Thursday, November 11, 2010


Well, fall is officially here. There is not a green leaf in sight, the temperature is slowly dropping, it's dark by the time I leave work now (bummer, bummer), and since it is now November, the stores are putting out all their holiday displays (Already, really?! It's earlyyy NOVEMBER).

Then summer fades and passes and October comes. We’ll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.
-Thomas Wolfe


The lack of sunlight can sometimes make me a bit depressed and blue - but I often forget about all the things I've been loving right now (maitenant). This is my fall list of things that make me happy (even when it's dark at 4:30 p.m.) - some may seem super insignificant, but to me, they're just the little things that I overlook so often, but also come to rely on and look forward to (even when I can't feel my fingers).

The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings: woods, health, music, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances, warm fireplaces, and all the footprints scattered throughout our days.
-Sue Monk Kidd

1. Starbucks.
As soon as the red cups are broken out, I feel even more of a motivation to stop by Starbucks more frequently than usual (which, if you're friends with me on Twitter, you probably are flooded with my Starbucks visits on a regular basis).


2. Crumbs Bake Shop/Mr. Cupcakes.
Oh my goodness - okay, so I am cupcake obsessed. I've been known to drive into the city for just a few minutes to go to Magnolia Bakery and grab a few vanilla cupcakes. This started eating up my money VERY quickly since my car only takes premium, so I've been searching all over Bergen County for a good alternative.

Last year (or maybe even two years ago), my dad stumbled upon Mr. Cupcakes - this little hole-in-the-wall that sold the GREATEST cupcakes in the world (and at $1.50 each, it is way to easy to buy a dozen). Since first discovering it, Mr. Cupcakes has opened three other locations (that are much easier to find than the original - I seriously drove past it four times before I found it!). Every so often, my dad pops into Mr. Cupcakes and surprises me with a box - all for me! (My mother and brother are not pleased when this happens, and neither is my waistline).


There has also been a Crumbs Bake Shop that opened up in Ridgewood - this super cute little town filled with shops and restaurants lining a bunch of streets. I cannot believe I almost went twenty-three years without having one of their enormous (I can't finish them!) cupcakes that are all filled with stuff inside (like chocolate ganache, or raspberry filling!). They are per-fection and always are rotating their flavors.

Soo many flavors!

Raspberry filling! (And a stealth attempt to smuggle a Crumbs cupcake into the movie theater).

Sometimes, my dad and I have the same idea, and bring home cupcakes for our family without realizing it, on exactly the same night (Raspberry swirl, Apple pie - filled with real apple pie!, and Cinnamon Roll cupcakes from Crumbs - yummmm).

If you are ever in Bergen County, NJ, I will gladly treat you to a yummy Mr. Cupcake! :)

3. The Golden Girls.
I could not possibly love The Golden Girls more. I watch this on a regular basis, and it makes me cry with laughter every single time, without fail.


4. My kids at work.
So, at work I'm in charge of the third grade boys for the first hour (where we basically do attendance, hand out the first snack, and try to get the kids settled down!), which is one of the hardest things I have to do. They are SO bad, but I really just adore them. They say the most awful, but hysterical things, and I have to restrain myself to keep from cracking up when they say these inappropriate things. Some days, I want to absolutely kill them because they don't listen and are so obnoxious, and other days I just want to gobble them up they're so sweet. Three of them in particular are my favorites (I know teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but who are we kidding?).

Last week, I was sitting at the table with the three favorites, and they were talking about all of their Halloween candy, when one of the boys randomly said,

"Tomorrow I'm going to bring in four pieces of my candy - one for me, and then three pieces for my best friends at school." I told him that was really nice of him to share with friends, and he replied, "Yeah. So I'll bring one for you, Miss B., one for Timothy, one for Eric, and one for me."

I almost melted, it was the sweetest thing.
Days like that make all the other ones when I want to scream at them so much more worthwhile.

5. Making handmade Christmas cards and gifts (with a little help from Martha Stewart).
As I've said many, many times - I am a HUGE Martha Stewart fan (but not in a creepy Misery-ish way). I recently purged my ridiculous collection of back issues of Martha Stewart Living magazines, pulling out article after article of craft projects and recipes I'm DYING to try. Her website also serves as inspiration for holiday card/gift making - I'm so excited to make everyone handmade things for Christmas and Hanukkah this year! (Especially since a lot of them are very beginner DIY friendly).

Rickrack Cards, Magazine Christmas Trees, and Button Snowman Cards.


6. The current seasons of Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries.
I am still SO confused about certain things going on with Gossip Girl, but I'm loving all the scandal and the guessing. And Vampire Diaries - omg, I am so NOT a vampire obsessed girl, but this show is converting me slowly. What I would give to have both the Salvatore brothers lusting over me? I don't even know. The show is always so unexpected, and really well written and acted for being a teen drama.
I highlyyy recommend both!



7. Reading
When I was in college, I almost never read for fun, which was tres depressing. Most of my time was spent pouring through textbooks, or reading tons and tons of children's books for my education classes. Since being home, I am devouring book after book - and loving it. I've made friends with the woman at my local library (seriously, she erases my fines when I'm overdue - which I constantly am), and holds movies/DVDs she thinks I'll like. So cute!
I'm trying to expand my horizons and read books that I might have earlier shied away from, so if you have any suggestions, I'm definitely open!


8. Boyfriend Blazers.
Can these please never go out of style? I'm obsessed - especially when they're fun colors!


9. e.e. Cummings
An addendum to the 7th thing on my list. I'd never been super into poetry (besides my boy Pablo Neruda), and I've had stacks of e.e. Cummings works on the bookshelves in our library, so one day I began reading and became hooked immediately. I knew (and have loved) the poem, "I Carry Your Heart" for a long time, but I was unaware at how powerful the rest of his poetry is.
"Since Feeling is First" is one of my new fav-ortites. So perfect.

"we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

and death i think is no parenthesis."

10. Being able to use the fireplaces.
I am fireplace obsessed! There's something special about curling up in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine (or two), reading a book or watching a movie - especially when Cooper is hanging out with me. (This is our fireplace at our house at Cape Cod, so please excuse the cheesy lighthouse rug, and my sweats! Whoops!).


11. Beads/Embellished clothing.
Le sigh - if only I had one of these dresses, I'd never be sad again.


12. House Hunters.
This is super embarrassing. I work with all women who are 50+ in age, and we all bond because we sit around the break room before the day starts, and talk about House Hunters. If you've never seen it, it's on HGTV and is SO good and strangely addicting. I got into it because my nail salon always has HGTV on, and every week when I go to get a mani/pedi, the show seems to be on - I am not upset about this whatsoever. Sooo good!


13. Reliving things I loved as a child, through the kids I work with.
These kids bring back memories of things I've long forgotten - the way I loved Paddington Bear books, and begged my parents for a Paddington stuffed animal for Christmas one year, talking about books they're reading that I loved or hated when I was in school, or talking about movies like The Sandlot and quoting our favorite parts (all my boys like the part where the boy pretends to drown so the "hot girl" will kiss him. I don't think they understand CPR yet).


14. Feathers.
Another trend I hope never goes away. I LOVE feather details on anything (and so wish my hair looked like this!).


15. Blogger friends.
I know it sounds cheesy, but I really adore all the old and new friends I've met on Blogger. I love this little tight-knit community of all of us, who know so much about each other, even without ever meeting in person (but maybe someday!). Through the reading of each others blogs, comments, the chats I have with some of you, the emails I share with many, the Tweets - it warms my heart to know all of you fabulous women and men. Just know that I adore each and every one of you and think you're wonderful!

16. Keurig.
Oh my goodness. I am obsessed with our Keurig one-cup coffee maker and do not even know how I survived without one in my apartment last year. It is so easy-peasy to use, and so perfect. My parents don't really use it, but now that I'm home they have been stocking up on different pods for me to try. This is perfect for when I'm at home, and it's rainy, and I do not feel like venturing out for a good cup of coffee. Thanks, mom and dad!



17. Tights.
What else can I say? I love them, especially patterned or colored.


18. Being recognized by the staff at a favorite restaurant.
I visited friends in Pennsylvania last weekend, and headed to one of my favorite restaurants up at school for take-out to surprise my friend on the way. When I walked in, the manager exclaimed, "Allison!", asked how I was, and proceeded to repeat my order. While some may find it sad that I ordered the same thing every time, I thought it was so cute that they remembered me, even though I hadn't been there since May! (This place has such good Chinese food and it's 0% greasy. Yummo! AND, my car is in the shop, so I got to take one of my dad's. Doubleee winner because his is one bagillion times cooler than mine!). :)


19. Stained glass.
J's brother got married about a month ago, and not to sound awful, but I was so unimpressed by the entire thing. The church seemed so gloomy and unhappy - not at all where I'd want to get married. As I tried to figure out what was missing - why this huge church was so... ugly (sorry, it was), it hit me - there were no stained glass windows. I love the way light shines through stained glass, making rainbows of color on the floor - it just makes it happier to me.
(P.S. Comments like that are exactly why I keep my blog a secret, secret from all my real life friends and family -- I like being honest!).
(P.S.S. I hope I'm not doomed for criticizing the appearance of a church. It really was the ugliest church I've ever seen though. And they had no flowers. Or decorations. At all).


20. Romeo & Juliet (the remake movie...and the play too!).
While cleaning my room, I came across the VHS tape of Romeo & Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. This was my favorite, favorite movie when I was growing up - I was mesmerized by the beauty and tragedy of it all (I was a very old soul). Since we don't have a VHS hooked up anymore, I rewatched the movie using Netflix, and wondered why I haven't invested in this gorgeous movie on DVD yet. So good (especially since I watched it while sitting near the fireplace - win/win for sure).


What cheers you up (even when there is frost on your windows, little sunlight, and no leaves on trees?).

Currently listening to: The amazing CD I made for my mom - she's going on a trip with her best friends to NYC for the weekend - with lots of songs from Glee, a little Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, Alexi Murdoch, and Ben Harper (and others). So good. I think I should just make mix CDs for a living and forget about a teaching job!

Happyyyy Veteran's Day! Make sure to give a call to a grandparent, friend, someone you know who served at some point. I called my Poppy to tell him "thank you" and that I love him, and he told me he didn't think people our age cared about that.


Lindsay said...

I pretty much agree with everything on this list! Now I'm craving some starbucks and a cupcake. I'm so jealous that you are so close to the city! You have officially convinced me to start watching vampire diaries. I've only heard good things, and let's face it I love True Blood and Twilight so I'm sure I will fall in love.

Couture Carrie said...

Gorgeous post, darling!
Especially loving the BF blazers!


Pop Champagne said...

lol I love cupcakes too, and I stopped watching gossip girl a few weeks ago.. need to catch up again!!

Kelly @ The Startup Wife said...

This post made me so happy!! Those cupcakes look AMAZING. and how sweet that your dad buys them for you! I love that.

also, I need to catch up on Gossip Girl. I hear it's been really good! I've only watched the first episode of this season ... and I'm excited to see what happens.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Literally love everything about this post! We have a lot in common - except that I am not creative and will not be making Christmas cards :(

Oh and The Vampire Diaries - hands down my fav show on TV. I've never missed an episode of eaither season!

Kristin said...

Sparkles, cupcakes and those darn red 'bucks cups are definitely amongst my addictions. We have SO much in common lady!

la petite fashionista said...

AWE, i love this list! i have a serious starbucks addiction (i write this with a grande caramel macchiatto sitting next to me) & i've been giving our local cupcake shop way too much business lately.

my parents have a keurig coffee maker & its at the top of my christmas list for when I move in feb! glad to hear you like it so much :)

Nicole Linette said...

It's such a pleasure to read about what makes other people happy! Where I am, fall is waning to winter already I'm sad to say! haha although I have thoroughly enjoyed the crisp air and gorgeous foliage of the Adirondacks.

Haha I have $20 worth of Starbucks cards-- from my graduation party! Alas, the North Country is.. entirely devoid of Starbucks. I can't wait to return home for break and finally use them! Peppermint mocha, anyone? :)
I remember all your posts raving about Magnolia (and I really, really want to go there one day!), but it's even better that you found a low-key, just-as-delicious substitute! And your dog is... adorable!! He looks like a stuffed animallllll ♥ And oh my goodness, the chai latte k-cups are my favorite :).
Basically everything you have here is divine. I should give R&J another chance, because I think the contemporary bizarre-ness of it turned me away at first. But Leo Di is definitely worth it!

Enjoy your weekend Allison! Cheers,

Nicole Linette said...

p.s. I make my Christmas cards every year, so maybe I should consult Martha as well :D

Jenni said...

Oh sweet friend... I really enjoyed perusing this list, and I relate to you on SO many. That little story about the 3rd grade boys really made me smile, too. And House Hunters? One of my favorite shows of all time. ;)

You are just too kind and I wanted to thank you, especially, for your comment on my lastest post re: my stepdad's cancer. I really, truly appreciate your prayers and support. You're an angel!!! I truly hope you have a wonderful weekend. :)

Jenna said...

AHHH! This post...we have so many similarities!! I'm going to pick out a few faves!!

Romeo& movie EVER. I seriously loved it when I first saw it in 9th grade IN SCHOOL, no less. Then I went out and bought it!

Stained glass! It is beautiful! As regards to your comment about church ugliness, I do agree that some churches are far more visually pleasing than others, however I also think that God just loves that we are there to worship Him, no matter where that is or how it looks like :)

STARBUCKS!! (Oh, and now following you on Twitter too, dear friend!!) Could this place be more amazing? Like THE BEST. And OK, I totally thought of YOU this week when I picked up my chai latte this week and they had broke out the red cups BECAUSE I remembered how you said you loved them. It made me smile MUCHO.

Golden Girls! My grandma and I used to watch these when I was little (she passed away when I was 13), and we would laugh our heads off. It is a very fond memory I have of her...I have many! :)

Embellished clothes? OH YES.

e.e. cummings! Talking a creative writing class this semester and we totally read his work and I LOVED IT. Probably my fav poet!!

Boyfriend blazers...I am addicted to them!! They BEST not go out of style, because I'm not going to care....I'm wearing them anyway! Ha!

Reading. Oh, college. I wish I could do this more. But like you, in four years, I will be again! I love to read.

Your kids? They sound adorable. What a cute thing for him to say!

AND I WAS DYING over all the cupcakes. I am now starving and wish I had some spare cupcakes laying around...gosh, SO GOOD!!

Also, I don't know what I'm listening to right now but I LOVE IT. I kinda-want this playlist! LOL!!


Just FYI...this post made me really happy. I had a silly smile plastered to my face the whole time while I was going "OHMYGOSH! Me too!!!!!" Lol...we are very alike in many ways!

Morgane said...

Love love your list because it could be mine , really : hum those cupcakes sounds gorgeous !

Morgane said...

thanks for the compliment ! we didn't have Martha stewart here ( even if i knox her name ) , i only use my little brain and a glue gun ! I hope you're okay and youhave great times !

▲my• said...

those cupcakes look amazing!

i love starbucks' holiday drinks and cups. i think i mark the seasons by starbucks' seasonal items haha.

gossip girl! i have to catch up. i need to see all of season three and the last two episodes of season two... ahhhhh

jessica lynn said...

what is it about those red starbucks cups!? ha! love them.

LEON said...

Allison, omg!

Is Cooper a little poodle?
he's BEYOND adorable and beyond cute how old is he?

Also, I have to say your blog is among THE most eclectic, exciting blogs out there - it visits so many inspirations and influences.

Love your vision, LOVE the layout

How did you come up with such clever idea?


Savvy Gal said...

what a great list. I am drooling over cupcakes, the pic of fall (remind me of Boston school days) and that adorable dog.

Lady Lipstick said...

Hey girl!! Um so I have so much to say so this might be long! First, I cannot stop thinking about the guy on Mad Men that was in SATC (politician guy) esp the way they broke up and why!! All I can do is think about his obession with pee! LOL GROSS! But the series is still really good despite that!
As for this post, there are so many things on here I TOTALLY agree with you on!
First, I LOVE the Golden Girls - it such a good show!
Second, I heart Starbucks with my whole heart and soul and would spend my last dime on a latte! HA
Third, I have recently become obsessed with our new cupcake place here called Sprinkles! Your cupcakes look amazing too though!
And Fourth, I want your dog!! what kind is he??
Sorry the novel!!
Have a fab friday tomorrow!


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LEON said...

Allison dear,

I knew Cooper got some poodle in him!! Such a cutie.

Thank you soo much for your words - it's absolutely mutual, just so you know :)

Lets definitely be in touch