Here’s where the things come in

- - All

Two months into 2014, and here’s the deal. (At least, here’s the CliffsNotes version, and yes, Cliff’s Notes lost the apostrophe!) For the first time in almost 10 years, I’m a full-time freelancer. I’m settling into the lifestyle change pretty well, all things considered. There is pleasure in shaping one’s own schedule and in choosing one’s own adventure. Slightly less pleasure in typing up invoices and hustlin’ for work, but what are you gonna do? Anyway, I’ve been writing for publications such as, Cosmopolitan, and xoJane so far. More to come. Stay tuned.

The other big, terrifying, exciting thing is that I’m working on launching a beauty site of my own. Originally I wanted it to be an everything site—recipes, travel pictures, beauty, et cetera—but that feels a little scattered, and I think I’ll be able to focus better on one thing. So that’s coming around the Ides of March. You’ve been warned. (Ha ha, get it?)

I’ve had a really positive, warm, confident feeling about this year. And I think a lot of that has to do with actively trying to practice gratitude. My grandfather frequently used to talk about how fortunate we were just to be. “Honey Bunny,” he’d say in his German accent, “You are so very lucky! You have your HEALTH, you have a family who LUFFS YOU, and you were born in the CRAYTEST COUNTRY in the WORLT!” At eight years of age, all of that seemed like a gimme, but now I understand what he meant. (“Opa knows best,” he also liked to say.) He was right. So many good things are happening, and it is the craytest filling in the worlt.

What to do when you lack motivation (as I do right now)

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Really long-time readers and friends know that I was a deeply depressed teenager and young adult. Deeply. While I’d like to say that these days, I don’t recognize that girl who used to sleep 12 hours a day, the truth is that a sliver of her is still within me. This morning, for instance, I have no desire to leave the house. Typing in bed, kitties at my feet, Cuban delivery for lunch: these are my measly Sunday ambitions.

Except this is why things are different now than they were back then. I’m going to write this post. Then I’m going to work on a different writing project, and I’m going to do it at a coffee shop for a little social stimulation. I will do this even though I’d prefer to stay in our warm home (it feels like 10 degrees outside!). And if I don’t? I’ll feel dumb, unaccomplished, and slothful — and I’ll start telling myself that I am all of those things, which will create an ugly “I suck” spiral.

So, on the off chance that you, dear reader, sometimes feel unmotivated and down, here is what gets me moving. I’m writing it out because, well, see #4. Read More

(Don’t) steal this book

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This is just a public service announcement for those of you who like perfume: My friend Barbara Herman is about to release her first book, Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume, and I could not be more excited to read it. Barbara is the writer behind Yesterday’s Perfume, which looks at vintage perfumes from cultural and olfactive perspectives alike. Even if you’re not into perfume, you might like Barbara’s blog, because it is so lovely and smart. Read More

And now we are 17

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I’ve had a website for 17 Octobers now. A few thoughts.

As a child, I didn’t so much want to be a writer as much as I gravitated toward writing. Before I could read, I dictated stories to my mother, who dutifully wrote the tales down. In grade school, I enthusiastically poured myself into the Young Authors program and was part of the St. Basil Good News Bears, a two-sided “newspaper” that was actually pretty clever for kid stuff. High school, college, more of the same: campus papers made on desktop computers, cut-and-paste zines, and then, a website. Read More

On the waterfront

- - New York

The lease-renewal letter arrived in an envelope, but it might as well have been a rock through our window. Our monthly rent is going up by a few hundred bucks, so we’re moving. Again. You know how people tell you that it’s cheap to live in Bushwick or Astoria? They must have a time machine, because it’s not. Which is why Dylan and I went to look at apartments in — wait for it — JERSEY CITY.

When I told my colleagues of this weekend plan, they were less than enthusiastic. Leila frantically began to send me links to Craigslist ads for places along the L train; Lexi insisted that I just could not move to Jersey. Gabe warned me of paying taxes twice, once in New York and once in New Jersey. “We’re just taking a look,” I said. “Seeing what’s over there.”
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Me talk pretty dress one day

- - All, Wedding

Growing up, I was never the kind of girl who daydreamed about her wedding. As an adult, I didn’t expect to get married, but at a certain point, I sorta knew that Dylan and I would be married someday. At that point, I always imagined I would be a cool, laid-back, extremely practical bride. Especially when it came to the dress. Because who needs to spend that much time and money on a dress you’ll wear once?

Me, apparently! Much to my true surprise, I cannot get enough of looking at wedding dresses. At the risk of revealing an unattractive side of my personality, there’s a special place in my heart for gaudy, hideous gowns. Seriously, show me a picture of an overly beaded taffeta mermaid nightmare, and I will develop a manic, giddy grin. Anyway, I like the nice ones, too, which is why I practically skipped to yesterday’s Watters bridal presentation at the Hilton Midtown.
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This modern love

- - All, Wedding

Someone recently asked me how I knew Dylan was The One.

And this is where I am probably supposed to talk about how I just knew, but the truth of it is that it wasn’t like that at all. I mean, yes, if you made a movie about our romance, you’d start with the meet-cute (Kearny and Post, a Batman joke) and move on to a 3 a.m. rescue of Minou the cat, weekends in Marin, and eventually to a gray April afternoon when he surprised me with this ring. All of those things are part of how we both knew, but it’s not how I really figured it out.
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Smorgasburg 2013 kicks off

- - All, Food, New York, United States

Although we didn’t get the balmy weather we’d hoped for, Dylan and I headed to Smorgasburg 2013 today. The Williamsburg food festival goes down each weekend, rain or shine, and the first Smorgasburg of the year also happened to be our first one ever. Here’s what I, no longer a Smorgasburg virgin, learned. Read More