Friday, October 31, 2008

Pirates, Pumpkins and Bridesmaids

I love how 'in to' this day Americans are, back home in the UK it's not that big of a deal but here - wow! Houses are decorated and I saw quite a number of people making their way to work this morning in costumes.
Tonight I'm dressing up as a pirate - my outfit was called 'Captain Booty'! Not quite as slutty looking as it sounds, plus I'm wearing flat boots and opaque tights with it to decrease the 'hussy factor'. We are going to watch the Halloween Parade in the West Village and then its bar crawl time, (another reason for wearing flat boots!).
Last night I carved my first ever pumpkin. It's not too shabby looking, if I do say so myself, I'll post some photos tomorrow so you can decide for yourselves. It was a fun evening spent with my friends, watching Hocus Pocus (who knew SJP could look so bad?!), eating peanut M&Ms (yummy), drinking beer, last minute costume fixing and, of course, pumpkin carving.
Red Frame's latest post is all about bridesmaids dresses. The final picture is of the very dress that I will be wearing for a dear friend's big day in May. I feel a little sad that I have missed out on being able to help since I have been away since last January and only return to the UK 2 months before the wedding, although JB assures me that I will be helping with the favours* and all sorts of other goodies on my return. Seeing the picture of the dress made me smile. I'm so looking forward to the day, not only do I get to see my friend marry a wonderful man and be a part of the day, I get to do it all wearing a fabulous dress, YAY! I've lost 20 pounds so far this year and I'm hoping to lose another 20 before I go home so that I can do the dress justice. Obviously I will need to not spend too many evenings drinking beer and eating peanut M&Ms to achieve this. Did I mention the other bridesmaid is tall and slim and just beautiful...eeek!!

Happy Halloween!

*The favours are going to be minature Green & Blacks chocolates - yummy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday Walk

Yesterday I took a walk from the West Village to Bryant Park in the warm autumn sunshine. I think yesterday was a last glimpse of summer before winter really takes hold of the city again.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Banksy's Village Pet Store

Please excuse my poor quality photos. If you are in the city check out this Banksy exhibition currently to be found on 7th Ave South just below Christopher St.
For a better idea of what it looks like, check this out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Polishing my halo and thoughts of returning home.

Well another week is over and I've not written about anything. Actually that's not true I posted on Monday and then I deleted it. It told more than maybe I wanted to share and as things changed during the week I'm glad I took it down. I was venting and sharing worries that were unfounded.

Last Saturday I was team leader for New York Cares Day. It was a frustrating experience, although we did achieve a fair amount. My small team painted a mural and tidied and sorted what was basically a junk room into a library/reading/computer and science room at a school in Bronx. There was a lack of decent organisation and management from the site captain and I know that so much could have been achieved in the time we were there. We decided on the subway journey home that rather than going for a drink, heading home for a cup of tea and a slice of carrot cake was a much better idea - what a rock 'n' roll lifestyle I lead!

I've also started the scary prospect of looking for jobs back home. I finish my internship programme in February and then I head to Mexico for a month before flying back to the UK. I'm mainly looking in Edinburgh as that is where I think I would prefer to be but also I'm considering London which is something I never thought I would do.

The weather here is cold suddenly and that combined with the snuggly new bedding that Capt's parents bought him makes it particularly difficult to get up in the morning. It's like being wrapped up in down cocoon, ah bliss!

Friday, October 17, 2008

This weekend...

Inspired by The Cwtch

  • Having dinner tonight with Capt, his parents and his aunt.
  • Saturday morning up bright and early leading my 'team' up to a high school in the Bronx where we are taking part in New York Cares Day.
  • Then afterwards enjoying a couple of well earned beers hopefully at 'The Frying Pan' if its still open (its a great bar on an old light boat moored right on the Hudson. What makes it so great? Cheap beer, tasty burgers and a great view across the river to Jersey, you can actually see my apartment block in the photo below.)

  • Sunday going to the American Museum of Natural History - thanks to B for passing on 4 free tickets for entry to the museum and all the exhibits!
  • Sunday afternoon/evening - trying out some of the tasty sounding soup receipes found on Farm Girl Fare. (If they are as good as they sound they will be used over Thanksgiving weekend at the amazingly cute house we have found to rent in the Adirondacks.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Five Senses Friday

I've been spending this morning working through the archives on the glass doorknob. (Have I mentioned before how little I have to do at work?). I have decided to copy this from her.

Just thinking about it has made me pause to consider and enjoy the simple things in everyday life.

- the manhatten skyline from my bed with the orange of the sunrise behind
- the bright clear blue sky behind the empire state building (i do so love that i've had the opportunity to live and work here)
- the lovely text message from capt that was waiting on my cell when i woke up

- galaxy chocolate for breakfast (the last of my birthday chocolate *sniff)
- salt and vinegar kettle chips
- a pint of yuengling in a cosy local bar

- the john mayer track 'say' (loving it right now)
- the click clacking of a colleague's heels on the marble floor
- former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari talking about being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
- the laughter of my friend on the train to work this morning

- bread being toasted in the kitchen
- the wonderful mixture of smells in the deli

- the scab on the heel of my hand covering my 'boat bite' while the new skin grows
- my hair as i examined it trying to decide if it needs cut (it does!)

I should really have 5 for each sense but it's late and I'm sleepy.

Hope. With a cherry on top.

Blue Marble ice-cream parlor in Brooklyn is dreaming big.

Their plan is to open a sustainable ice cream parlor in Rwanda, yes, really, Rwanda.

Go here to read all about it.

This project isn't about saving the world. It’s not even about ice cream. It’s about hope.
With a cherry on top.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bella Wish

Skipping around blog and estsy land this afternoon I came across this wonderful etsy shop Bella Wish. During the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) $10 from the sale of each of her beautiful awareness pendants goes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
You can check out her blog here.

Images from the lovely Bella Wish.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A wonderful weekend

The sun shone each day and although we didn't get much wind and had to motor most of the trip, it was the most wonderful three days. Capt is laid back, easy company and I felt weirdly calm and at peace, which is not my normal state!

Sailing down from Tom's River, NJ towards Cape May on the first day we had some dolphins accompany us for a while, I didn't even try to take a photo. They lept out the water a few times and circled around to pass us again and I couldn't help but smile as I watched them show off for us. We passed Atlantic City in the dark, the buildings bright against against the dark sky and once we were out of the glow from the east coast's sin city, the stars could twinkle in all their glory. At 2am we dropped anchor outside the coastguard station and snuggled down into the warmth of our sleeping bags.

The next day we rounded Cape May in warm autumn sunshine, (so warm that I was wearing shorts quite comfortably) and headed up the Delaware River. Capt spent sometime swotting up on the boats so that he has fully prepared for the show and I enjoyed the quiet and just the feeling of being away from other people, a rare treat when you live and work in the hustle and bustle of NY! That evening we got into a marina on the C&D Canal just as the sun was setting and went to get a decent feed with his parents who were sailing the smaller 31ft boat down. This was the first chance I got to really talk to them and they were lovely, his mother was quick to tell me about how he had a habit for running around naked as a baby and that his third word, after 'mamma' and 'dadda', was 'boat'. His Mum also shared the happy news that Capt's older brother and his girlfriend of 8 years are expecting their first child.
So Sunday morning came and my birthday, it was cloudy and the visibility was pretty poor. I managed a quick call to home to my parents from my mobile that chewed through a fair amount of credit! By midday that cloud was clearing and we motored down and under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. At 3pm we were into Annapolis and having to change into shorts and tees since it was so hot! The Annapolis fall series is running at the moment so the bay was busy with yachts making their way in from racing. We had tied up in a packed yacht yard and spent a couple of hours chatting lazily and watching the comings and goings. All too soon my taxi arrived to take me to the train station and back to the real world.
Waiting at BWI station for the train back to New York I felt content. Once settled in my seat I didn't immediately block out the noise of the carriage by listening to music as I usually do. The voices and the chatter surrounded me and pushed my thoughts back to being in the warm cabin with the boy. His arms around me and the water lapping gently on the hull.
It was the most wonderful way to spend my 26th birthday weekend. I spoke to my oldest and best friend on the phone during Sunday, she said I sounded happy and content. On the train back I realised how right she was.
All images by me. Atlantic City on the horizon, C&D Canal marina, Sunset on C&D Canal, Atlantic Sky

Done, To do, Guilty Pleasures, Facts

I have been tagged by Rachel

So far today I have:
1. Uploaded some of my photos to facebook from the sailing trip
2. Eaten one of my birthday bars of galaxy chocolate for breakfast (I love my wonderful friend and the fab parcel she sent me!)
3. Discovered that I most of my winter clothes are now too big - what a great excuse to go shopping
4. Enjoyed walking to work in the autumn sunshine blethering with E.

Image: C & D Canal by Me
To do:
1. Start applying my tutor's suggestions to the nasty, horrid, vile paper that I had hoped I was finished with
2. Unpack and do laundry (yuck)
3. Write thank you notes and emails for my birthday cards
4. Look for a house for us to rent for Thanksgiving either in the Poconos or the Catskills

Guilty Pleasures:
1. Eating chocolate for breakfast
2. Cashmere bedsocks
3. Vanity Fair - I really shouldn't waste my meagre intern pay on it
4. Lying in bed all morning with a good book

1. I dislike going to the hairdresser
2. I'm terrible with money
3. I still get in bed with my parents in the mornings when I'm home
4. I prefer a wedge of lime in my G&T to lemon

I tag: whoever would like to do this (I know that this is lazy but there is a 5th fact about me!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Never again?

Please read Vestine's story and remember to be thankful for all the good things that we have in life.

I wrote my dissertation at university on the reasons behind the inaction of the UN and the international community on Rwanda's 1994 genocide. So this story brings back all the stories I read during the time researching my paper. I won't get political here, it's not the place.

I really don't know if I would have the strength to endure what Vestine and so many others in this world have endured, would you?

All about me...

Found this great post on you are my fave. Here is mine...

I answered the 12 questions about myself and then chose a corresponding photo from Flickr to go along with the answer.

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. What high school did you attend?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. Favorite drink?

7. Dream vacation?

8. Favorite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. One word to describe you?

12. Your Flickr name?

Wanna play?: Type your answer to each of the above questions into Flickr's search. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URL’s into the Mosaic Maker. It's fun.

A bit of colour on a dull Monday morning

This photo is from a lovely friend who has just spent a few months travelling around SE Asia. It was taken in Hoi An, Vietnam.
I just loved how bright and cheery it is. It made me smile on a grey Monday morning.
A decent post to follow with details of my WONDERFUL weekend.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Running away to sea...well for the weekend at least!

I'm off this evening for the trip with Captain America. Fingers crossed it will all be smooth sailing - both literally and metaphorically!
The weather is bright and there is a a bit of a nip in the air - perfect autumn day. It's due to be the same all weekend.
Next time I write I will be 26, this time last year I woke myself up worrying about what I was doing with my life and while I'm still not entirely sure at least I can say that I got to spend a year in New York!
Wishing you all a happy and relaxing weekend whatever you get up to.

(oh and I've just emailed my final draft over to my tutor *smiles)

The perfect excuse to shop!

If you are in New York this weekend there is sample sale with discounts of up to 80 percent on Edun, Theory, DVF, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Vince to benefit the Somaly Mam Foundation.
It kicks off tonight with an opening party (with Somaly Mam book signing and photo exhibit), 6-9 p.m and runs through to Sunday at 2 Great Jones St., b/t Broadway & Lafayette St.

PS You won't just be helping to end human trafficking - a tree will be planted too for each sale!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pinch and a punch...

...for the first of the month!

I love the autumn and October really feels like the start of it.

The month will start by celebrating my birthday on the first weekend and the second weekend and finish with Halloween on a Friday night in New York City - life ain't that bad really!

The reason for 2 weekends of celebration - Captain America and I are going away sailing for 3 days this weekend. I can't wait, although we have only been seeing each other for 3 weeks, it feels really natural to be doing this trip. I think perhaps because it was born of necessity. The boat needs to be taken down to Annapolis for the boat show and he wanted someone to come with him to help. The obvious solution was me. It's a birthday trip for me doing something great and he gets crew for the trip. Hopefully 3 days on a boat together won't lead to us wanting to strangle one another!

Ok, now I must try and get another 500 words of quality rubbish added into my assignment before the end of the day...wish me luck, I'm going to need it! (The silver lining to this cloud - once I've handed this in there will be no more really stressful papers for the remainder of my time here in the States!)