Thursday, October 27, 2011

peace. love. ice cream.

Weekend before last, when I was in Vermont, Chris and I went to the Ben & Jerry's factory.    It was an iffy day weather wise.  You can see in my pictures, the ominous clouds followed by gorgeous warm fall sun.  For a small fee of $3/person, you get a tour and a sample of ice cream.  I never realized what Grass roots types Ben and Jerry were.  They are very much into supporting and promoting fair trade.   Very cool stuff.   We also took a saunter through the "Flavor Graveyard" which houses tombstones for all of the "deceased" or retired flavors, kind of fun! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gwen Stefani


Everyone has their style icons.   I have a few;  Audrey Hepburn for timeless style, Rachel Bilson literally always looks good and can rock so many different styles, but woman overall that can rock literally anything and always looks good?  I mean, she can wear sweatpants and combat boots and appear as though she's just walked off a Milan runway...  Gwen Stefani.  

From a young age I've admired her.  From her killer vocals in No Doubt, her edgy grunge style that forced it's way through the late 90's, to her now more refined L.A.M.B. line and all it's glory.    A true icon in all definitions of the word.   Her recent feature in InStyle magazine inspired my post tonight... I wish I had a pinky full of her innovation in music or fashion..

Who is your style icon?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Feeling slightly liberated...


Ever just get so fed up with the disorganization that you just snap? 
Every now and again, due to the constant flow of purchases, I need to clean out my closet.   A very funny shaped closet, and since it's the only one in the entire apartment it houses literally everything that a closet should hold.    This obviously makes it quite difficult to keep any kind of organization.  Imagine your linen closet, with your front hall closet, and your bedroom closet....anyways I cleaned it all up.  Got my shoes all organized and have removed all the trash and clothing I no longer want/need.  

I removed, 1 garbage bag of trash...  3 sweaters, 2 pairs of shoes, countless colored and striped oxford shirts, 4 pairs of pants, 2 skirts, 2 handbags, 1 blazer and a few sweatshirts I no longer wear.

Now I have room for my new purchases :) 
2 Pair of Express jeans bought on eBay
1 pair of Chinese Laundry flats bought on clearance at DSW
1 pair of booties from Old Navy bought on clearance
2 new sweaters bought on clearance

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just like Austria...

Yesterday Chris took me to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.   Thanks to Rogers and Hammerstein we are all familiar with Captain von Trapp and the story of his seven children and late wife.   
The Sound of Music was well received in my household, and is a family favorite.  However, as familiar with the story and the songs as I was, I found I was quite unfamiliar with the rest of the story of Georg and Maria von Trapp and their family of singing children.   Turns out (maybe you already knew) that after they toured the United States, they settled in Stowe Vermont as it reminded them of the scenery in Austria and Switzerland.   
The Trapp Family Lodge is now a high class, yet very cozy hotel overlooking the most beautiful Vermont mountain side.   We enjoyed some lovely Austrian and Vermont inspired dishes at the Bakery/Deli/Brewery, and also a flight of their Trapp Lager. 

The view, amazing; the foot, scrumptious; the company, perfect.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

eBay treasures..

Every now and again I come across a gem on eBay and I instantly get that giddy feeling.  You know that feeling you get when you find something you want really bad but can't afford?  It feels like butterflies.   The difference is, if the bidding is right I can afford it! 

This is a Coach Swingback that I purchased last week on eBay for (drum roll please...) $29.99!
Gently used and the only wear spots are on the corners of the bottom.  The leather is as beautiful as I imagine it's first day out of the shop.  It's the perfect size too!  I love a fully functional, yet quite adorable handbag! 

What is the best thing you've found on eBay?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

the push...

Oireachtas season is upon us.  For all of you unfamiliar with Irish dance jargon the Oireachtas is the regional championship.   Our region, the Mid-Atlantic Region, is one of the toughest in the US because it consists of all of New York state, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.   There are a lot of dance schools in this region.  

Last year was our first year participating as our own school in our regions Oireachtas.  We had 4 dancers compete last year.  This year we have 8 dancers.  Each year it will keep growing, adding more solo competitors and hopefully some teams.   Each of the 8 dancers are on a strict practice and drill regiment both in and out of class.   We work with them each week to be sure they know what to go home and work on and without their efforts at home what we teach them in class is useless to a point.  

So, what do you do when a dancer you are spending specific time with doesn't practice?   How many times can you ask them the question of how bad they want to go, or tell them that without their extra effort they are wasting time.  

I have this dancer.  She is close to me because I give her extra lessons on a regular basis and feel that I have a good relationship with her parents.  She also reminds me of me as a kid...but only to a point.   I'm not able to understand why she won't make time to do the practice regiment I gave her.  I'm not able to understand how she just doesn't want to work hard for this, how she is strictly dependant on my instruction in class and her own talent to get her through.  How she doesn't want to push herself to see how far she can really go.    Maybe this makes me a poor teacher.  Maybe I'm looked at like I'm trying to live vicariously through my students by pushing her when she won't push herself.    She is SO talented, and made it this far on purely her own talent; it breaks my heart to see her plattue simply because she won't push herself.

Then again, isn't that why we teach our skills?  To push dancers to be better than us?  To teach our legacy?

Have you ever had to push someone farther than they think they can go?  Where you successful?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

something new again...

This weekend I've been inspired to do a few DIY projects.   I wish I had more time to them on a regular basis!  Today, my aunt brought me this awesome trunk that belonged to my Great Grandma Peggy.  You can see the remains of a stamp of her initials on the top "M.T." for Margaret Trimmer.  
The DIY project was cleaning & conditioning it.  I realize that this takes minimal effort, however, if it's not done properly you could ruin the leather.  This piece has a few water stains and marks on it and this just did the trick to make the leather look new again. 

Take a Leather Conditioner/Cleaner, you want to drop a few spots of it on a smooth and dry cloth.  Now massage that into the leather.  Once it's dry, take another dry cloth (I used an old towel) and rub the excess off.  This technique also polishes the leather.  You should clean and condition on a regular basis.  

Since my Grandmother's trunk has not seen the light of day in quite some time, I will be applying the conditioner a few times a week for the next couple weeks and post a snap of the "finished" project. 

Are you into antiques?  
Do you like to refurbish them yourself? 

I'm off to enjoy this gorgeous fall day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

repetitive motion...

In dancing, it's the repetition that makes your brain remember what to do.   

and step and step, together
and step and step, together
and step and step, together

Over and over, until your brain functions like reading a book.   Do you know what I mean?  Your eyes are focused on one word, but your mouth is three words ahead...

In dancing, the repetition is what I love.   In life, it's what is boring.  Go figure.  

As an adult, you go from day to day probably doing the same job functions over and over.  Just as my students or I would dance and practice movements repeatedly to perfect them, I go to work day after day and go through the same job functions.  I follow checklist after checklist, procedure after procedure, all in hopes of having stellar results and provide excellent customer service.    

It seems it's the variable in my day job which brings me joy.  The different people and personalities I get to work with, whether in the office or my customers.    

It's an ironic thought that repetition can make you so happy, yet bore you to tears.  

Do you have much repetitive motion in your life?

Monday, October 3, 2011

like an animal...

Animal print is everywhere.  I suppose I thought this was a fad that would swiftly come and go.  Fortunately for all us spot, dot, and stripe loving gals, it's not.  It's here to stay and making more of a statement then ever this season.   While shopping in NYC last weekend the gals and I wondered into a Topshop.   All I did for approximately 10 minutes is stare expressionless at price tags and drool over beautiful clothing.   I was mostly drooling at the animal print coat, handbags, shoes; these beauties above in particular.  I love the chunky heel paired with the delicate tie in the front, and Dalmatian print?  So, Cruella DeVille! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!   Can't you just imagine yourself in these things with cropped raspberry colored pants and a smooth black satin blouse? Oh yes, bring it on! 

What is your favorite statement piece this season?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Last weekend...

Apparently I need to get better at this blogging thing.  I, once again, disappeared for days.   
Anyway - above are some pictures from NYC last weekend.  I was probably the worst blogger/tourist on the planet and took about 10 snaps.  At least the shots I did get are decent ones, the important thing is that I... We had a great time!
 Friday we arrived at Kelly and Keith's around 6, they live in Harrison and took us out to this Irish pub for some grub and drinks.  Saturday morning we took the 20 minute drive into Upper Manhattan to meet up with our friend Kerry.   The last shot above is the view down 82nd street from the steps of her apartment building; a brownstone, and one of the only two left in the city with real gas lanterns outside. Neither Kelly or I had ever been to Kerry's apartment and when we walked inside I felt as though it was like walking into a movie scene.  It was so perfectly dressed with beautiful furnishings, the most adorable little kitchenette with blue tile counters which contrasted with the light tan natural wood cabinetry.   As you took the few short steps down into the living room the first thing I noticed was the lovely gas fireplace making a statement on one of the long walls, with a luxurious leather ottoman (the kind you can either sit, or serve appetizers on) and the most modern baroque style couch and two little pillows which had her initials on them K & B.   

While the boys went to enjoy a Mets game at City Field, the gals and I headed off for lunch.  Kerry took us to this quaint and adorable place called Isabella's.    All I know is the the grilled chicken on a stick is amazing!  I say that because we all got the same meal for lunch :)   I hear they have a great anything.   As we exited Isabella's and were headed to Canal Street to "shop till we drop", we meandered through a very tempting set of white tents on the sidewalk.  A street sale!   It was more of what I'd categorize a "craft sale" of sorts.  This street sale was of people who made, artwork, handbags, etc.    As we were perusing through the crafty made things, all of a sudden I looked up and thought.. is that? No, it can't be.  Well, I suppose it could...?
It was Debra Messing.  
Immediately the thought that came to my head was that Will & Grace episode when she wears the water bra on the date to the museum?  Remember that one?  The bra inevitably springs a leak and she is left deflating, while Will tries to cover her, I mean for her... har har har.  
We eventually did make it to Canal Street, where Kerry helped me haggle my way to a imitation Longchamp tote and a few pashmina scarves.  

For dinner, Kerry took us to this place called Fred's.   Their specialty is the mac and cheese.  Incredible food, lovely atmosphere.  So friendly - there are photographs of dogs plastered over every table.   Great food, great friends and conversation.    

When we arrived back to Rochester we headed out to my parents house to see everybody.  
My nephew, Romeo, is the most adorable thing on Earth.  Of course, I'm bias. :) 
He has just learned to roll over - so he was performing this trick for us all night.

Enjoy the snaps.