Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lady Liberty

I moved to the city fifteen years ago this August and I had every intention of soaking up all that the city had to offer.  From the arts, to the music scene, historical sights and more, I have never wasted to miss a thing.  That second Tuesday morning of my second year at NYU I had all the time in the world and lived under the guise that this stuff would always be around.  So when I looked out the window and saw the Twin Towers on fire I started to realize you can't just take these for granted.  Not only had I not made it down to the WTC my freshman year, but then they decided to close the Statue of Liberty to visitors as well.  When it finally opened back up, I made it my resolution to go every year and then Hurricane Sandy happened.  

It finally opened again, but apparently crown tickets have to be ordered several months in advance.  So just this week, at 37 weeks pregnant, I scaled 186 narrow steps to scratch another line off my NYC Bucket list.  I have always been enamored by this statue and the story of how it was gifted from the French.  It was pretty cool to be up in something that old. We went to Ellis Island after and looked around, although the documents were removed because of hurricane damage.  My ancestor
s didn't come through Ellis Island anyway, although they did warrant mentions. 

They try to make you think the climb is super arduous, but it is not.  The hard part is waiting for the ferry back to the city.  
Up in the crown
Bottom of the pedestal

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fun Home

Yesterday I took a long lunch to go see Fun Home with R.  With no intermission and being less than 2 hours, it was the ideal show to take a long break to see.  We both really enjoyed it. The story is based on a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.   The story is about her relationship with her father who she only found out was gay when she came out as a lesbian in college. The musical was super entertaining and the kids in it were fantastic.  The first half was mostly lighthearted and fun.  It turned more serious as the story progressed but it wasn't nearly as dark as the average play.  I think the musical aspect makes darker subjects easier for me to digest.  I can definitely understand why Fun Home won the Tony.  I would have given it to An American in Paris because of the phenomenal dancing and chemistry. Nevertheless, Fun Home made incredible use of the Circle in the Square theatre to tell one of the most interesting stories I've ever seen utilizing only a few actors brilliantly. It was definitely a nice break from the office.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Blackbird Sisters Mysteries

I really need to have a good mystery at my fingertips at all times.  Since I recently ran out of books from the approximately 15 series I keep up with, I added this one.  Nora Blackbird and her sisters grew up on Philadelphia's mainline in a well to do old guard family.  Just the descriptions of the clothing Nora wears make these books interesting to me.  Her grandmother left her a bunch of Chanel and Schiaperelli and she has to wear them to her work assignments/high society soirees.  I am only on the third book right now so I am interested to see where the protagonist's love life takes her.  Fortunately I have 9 books left to enjoy while finding it out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stockpile Savings: The Sequal

I keep going back to Duane Reade for this 90% off rack and Monday I hit the jackpot.  I got four packs of Charmin toilet tissue for 2.79 and a 40 pack of Pamper's Swaddlers for 1.49. Let these couponing moms beat that!  They don't even live in Manhattan. 
All the baby classes are over now and I am in full on nesting mode.  He could be here any day now . . . but let's hope it's a few more weeks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Therese Raquin

This weekend A and I went to see this 19th century play starring Keira Knightly and Judith Light.  I have never been a huge Broadway play person, but lately I have been enjoying them. Maybe as I age my tastes are becoming more mature.  I enjoyed this show.  As usual, it got pretty dark, but the acting was good and the story was interesting.  I also really like the set and the costumes.  I don't think there was enough going on for the cast to expect any Tony awards but I would still recommend it to anyone who wants to see a non musical show.  Plus I have always loved Judith Light and I was excited to see her live.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Martian

I'm pretty sure I haven't seen a movie in the theater since Pitch Perfect 2 so I was in the mood for one.  I didn't think I would like The Martian.  I absolutely hated Gravity and I was scared it would be like that.  It wasn't.  There was so much dialogue and suspense.  The first hour of this movie = nerd heaven.  That was actually my favorite part.  Matt Damon has been in the news for saying a lot of dumb stuff lately, but I always I always really like his movies and I loved this one.  It also had Kristen Wiig and Kata Mara in it which was a surprise for me since I had never seen a preview.  If that is the last movie I see in the theater this year, that's fine with me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stockpile Savings

So I've been reading up on diaper stockpiling as a way to save money and it's very confusing. Some people say you don't need newborn diapers and some people say you need over 250. Well I've decided to settle for 163 after today's spontaneous Walgreen's purchase.  While looking for some dark chocolate during a break from work today, which I didn't get by the way, I stumbled upon a 90% off shelf.  


For a grant total of $1.58 I got infant formula (1.04) and 42 store brand newborn diapers (.54).  All this time I'd been researching ways to save for baby, but as usual the best savings came when I wasn't even looking.  I've been stockpiling honest, babyganics, and seventh generation, but for approximately .01 a diaper I figure I'll take my chances and hope baby's skin isn't super sensitive.  I can't believe this is my life now.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pink is the New Black

My sweet husband got me this little beauty for no reason.  I just came home from work the other day and there it was.  It's so small and lightweight and pink.  It's like having a tablet with a keyboard which is perfect for me because I'm not that into the touch screen on my ipad.  I basically just use it as a e-reader.  Now I just need to take the photos etc off my old laptop and take it to best buy for recycling.  I will be taking some time off from work soon and plan to do some nesting while I wait.  Between buying last minute baby things, getting rid of excess baggage, hauling stuff to good will, lots of laundry, and packing our hospital bags, I think I should be plenty busy.  I imagine my new pink laptop will be high on the hospital bag list.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Inside Out

On the plane ride back from Atlanta last week, I finally got to see Inside Out.  It was a delight.  The premise is super cute and although a lot of reviews suggest it would go over the heads of children, I can understand why kids would have a lot of fun with it.  The characters are great and the movie is visually engaging.  Although I though the message of the movie, that it's ok to be sad sometimes, was awesome, Sadness, played by Phyllis from The Office really got on my nerves sometimes.  She just kept messing stuff up.  I also would have like more screen time for Disgust, voiced by Mindy Kaling.  Overall I think this is a move that 90% of people would enjoy and I had a fabulous time watching.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


I didn't know this was a show until last week and now I watch it every other day.  It's the only show C and I can agree on right now.  He's all about the food network and I'm all about abc family.  I seriously had no idea Halle Berry was on tv now.  Typically I am not a fan of science fiction at all.  For some reason I find this show not only tolerable, but I would say that I'm pretty hooked.  Halle Berry's character is an astronaut who goes to space alone for over a year and mysteriously returns pregnant.  Her son is also a robot.  Sounds ridiculous, but it's actually good.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Down the Rabbit Hole

I read this book so fast.  If Girls Next Door was your guilty pleasure and Holly was your favorite like she was mine then you will eat this book up and sympathize with her all the way through like I did.  For some reason I let myself get caught up in the Amazon reviews and what I noticed is that they mostly wanted more details about her sex life with a 78+ Hugh Hefner.  The one group scene she described was plenty (disturbing) for me and I didn't need any more details.  I do agree with some of the negative reviews the observed a lack of self-awareness on the part of Holly because she didn't seem to acknowledge her own pettiness in certain situations.  Nevertheless, I finished the book liking her even more and finding her to be more relatable than ever.

She describes Hugh Hefner giving girls quaaludes on nights out, pitting them against each other, and keeping them just insecure enough in their looks and value to stay with him.  It makes a lot of sense when you think about it.  How else would this geriatric man get highly attractive women to stay with him for free room, board and $1000/week clothing stipend? He has to not only find desperate misguided woman without many prospects in order to agree to sex, companionship, and a 9pm curfew.  He has to break them down enough so they'll believe no one else will want them and that they are not enough on their own so they'll continue to stay.  

Holly does spend adequate time describing other mean girls in the house and her negative reviewers really take issue with this.  What they fail to understand or possibly didn't read far enough to see is that by the end of her memoir Holly comes to fully understand that this tension between her and the other girls was largely orchestrated by Hef.  As a thirtysomething she acknowledges that it wasn't the other women who were her true victimizers.  I read this book as the cautionary tale of someone who wasted her twenties with and abusive man who convinced her that she couldn't make it on her own and wouldn't be able to find love elsewhere.  I'm happy for her that she was able to extricate herself from that situation.  She and I have drastically different values.  I am a puritanical prude.  But I really admire her ability to cop to her mistakes instead of lying to herself and everyone else by pretending their was anything healthy about her relationship.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

An American in Paris

Last week J and I went to see An American in Paris.  An adaptation of the classic Gene Kelly, this was the best show I've seen in year.  I would rank it up there with my favorite shows of all like Wicked and 42nd Street.  It's sure to become a classic.  I couldn't jump up for a standing ovation fast enough.  There was a lot of ballet which was my favorite part.  My other favorite part was the orchestra playing all of the great Gershwin that I love.  I mean it was an absolute winning combination on that glorious stage.  We didn't even see it with the main lead.  Since we went on a Wednesday night we saw Garen Scribner and I can't imagine anyone playing that part, dancing that role, and having better chemistry with Leanne Cope than him.  It was all superb from start to finish.  I don't think I've ever seen a show where the first act flew by so quickly.  I was completely enraptured.  I really hadn't remembered the story that well from the movie and it's not even the movie that makes the show.  I have a hard time believing I will enjoy Fun Home more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Knockoff

I've read several books this summer, but this one is my favorite:

Imogen, 42 year old editor and chief of a fashion magazine, returns to her magazine after a six months recovering from breast cancer only to find that Eve, her twenty something HBS educated former assistant, has hijacked her publication and turned it into an app.  I can only assume the antagonistic twit that makes Imogen's return to work pure hell is a not so subtle reference to Anne Baxter's character in the classic movie All About Eve.  Although at 33 I'm sandwiched comfortably in between these two characters age wise, I relate so much more to Imogen.  

This book captures the twenty somethings of today perfectly.  I might be slightly more tech savvy than the main character, but I can relate so much more to her than these young girls. I can't stand how they are constantly on their phones during social situations.  I hate their insufferable oversharing on social media.  They just seem overwhelmingly slutty.  I know that's a huge generalization, but clearly the authors of this book have noticed it as well.  This is a page turner for sure and well worth the read.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pregnancy Diet

My sweet husband made me this delicious southwestern salad for dinner.  Now this is how you make a salad.  I cannot understand how people just eat leaves.  I can't imagine going to a restaurant and asking for a pile of lettuce or kale.  Black beans, avocado and broccoli made this so much more than rabbit food.  This year I've probably eaten 1/3 of the sugar I had eaten by this time in 2014.  Nothing motivates healthy eating or exercise like a wedding or a baby.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mr. Selfridge

A couple people told me that Mr. Selfridge just isn't that good.  I really enjoyed the first two episodes and I intend to keep watching once I find some time.  I'm hoping my work schedule will calm down very soon.  I see a lot of lunches, tv marathons, and errand running in my future.  I'm really hoping Mr. Selfridge stays faithful to his wife, though it seems unlikely.  I can't get enough of Masterpiece Theatre.  Downton Abbey just isn't enough and the season is so short.  I think a whole show set in a department store is a dream and I look forward to indulging in the next 28 episodes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Odd Mom Out

I could not be more excited about the new Bravo show from one of my favorite authors, Jill Kargman. 
I read Momzillas long ago and it's still on my shelf despite my many trips to goodwill to donate bags of books.  Who knew Jill Kargman could act?  I certainly didn't.  The show is by far the best thing on Bravo.  The dynamic between Jill's character and her sister in law is perfect.  I can never get enough books about UES moms and now I get to watch a show about them.  I'm not worthy.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baby Booty

My sister learned how to knit last year and she is responsible for all of this.  I am in awe of her talent.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Something Rotten!

Today I ditched work to go see the matinee of Something Rotten!  It was super funny and chock full of Shakespeare references.  I totally loved it, but I totally understand why it didn't win the Tony.  As much as I laughed and as much fun as I had, it was no Rent, Wicked, The Lion King, or Aida.  My favorite part of the show was all the tap dancing.  I am such a sucker for a big tap number.  I thought they could have made a little more use of the female characters, but I did enjoy the two women in major roles.

Today I also got tickets for Therese Raquin in October.  I'm not a big fan of plays but I am a big fan of Judith Light, and Keira Knightly's not too bad.  So the list of shows I'm hunting cheap tickets for has dwindled to three: The Book of Mormon, Fun Home, and Hamilton.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


This weekend I went to my 33rd state: Arkansas.  At a lost for what to do there, my husband took me to the Southland Greyhound dog race track.  It was not my scene, but it was a new experience and I appreciate him taking me.  We bet on dogs 3, 5, and 7.  Number 2 was the winner.  And with that we returned to Memphis where we were spending our Independence Day weekend.  I only have seventeen states left to go by age 50 and now I am halfway through with my new year's resolutions.  
dog racing = totally out of my element

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The 39 Steps

When I found out that The 39 Steps was in walking distance of my apartment, I was like done and done.  My mom visited for a couple days so last night we went to see this hilarious Off Broadway show together.  I didn't know what to expect, but it was jam packed with physical comedy and ridiculous Alfred Hitchcock references.  This is one of few Alfred Hitchcock movies I haven't seen, so I didn't know what the 39 steps were til the very end which was nice.  For some reason they also gave the whole audience clown noses.  We also saw Rachel Dratch when we were coming out of the theater.  Now I want to see the movie.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Library Lends

This is the fourth installment of the Devereaux's Dime Store series.  It's one of those that I await with bated breath and it didn't disappoint.  The author even deigned to introduce yet a third suitor to the mix which is sure to spice things up for the fifth book.  I wish I just started reading this series now so I could just read them all without waiting for a year in between.


I could not put New Money down and I was desperate to start the sequel which is not as good, but I still cannot put it down. I would be happy to read books about southern girls moving to Manhattan all day every day. I mean they should just make that it's own genre. Savannah Morgan is the kind of protagonist I can totally get behind. She's nerdy and wholesome, but also stands up for herself and the people she loves.  People who don't live in the city might not appreciate the Le Bernardin and Cipriani references, but I'm not super familiar with Charleston, where our heroin hails from, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is the best book I've read lately.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


So I've been going to withdrawal from all my shows being over so I've added a new one, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or, as my husband calls it, Suzie Schmidt.  Obviously I adore shows that take place in the city, but this one is especially bright and funny.  Even her outfits are colorful.  I have a feeling I will run through these episodes super quickly.  

I am not looking forward to work tomorrow after a week of rest and relaxation.  I spent the last week doing yoga, swimming and cleaning out my closet. I spent the weekend catching up with friends.   I know I keep saying this but I need a four hour work week.  Maybe  I am just really burnt out.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Guilty Pleasures

Every weekend I feel so happy and I have so much fun.  Then Monday morning comes around, unless it's a holiday weekend like this one, and it's back to the grind.  I really want to create a life where every day is super fun and I do try.  I try to relax and get in a good head space at work, but I just don't like the rush.  The lack of flexibility and being and having to answer to other people is just not my cup of tea.  I'm starting to see why so many people I know are working for themselves. Anyway, here are a few things I've gotten into recently that I enjoy but cannot in good conscience recommend.
Southern Charm on Bravo

Friday, May 15, 2015

Story Time

My favorite podcasts don't put out enough episodes to keep me going while working late into the evening.  As a result I've had to construct a B list to occupy my remaining time.  

(1) Old Time Radio Mystery Mondays - I just discovered this one today and it was love at first listen.  I listened to a Hercule Poirot story and a very interesting episode about a man who kills his wife called "You Can Die Again."  I love these old radio shows.  The acting is awesome and over the top and both episodes were thrilling.  I could listen to those stories all day long.

(2) Undisclosed: The State vs. Adnan Syed - This is a follow up to Serial.  It's a little rough because the hosts are three attorneys rather than seasoned radio journalists adept at podcasts.  Nevertheless, I am hooked.  So far they have gone through Adnan's day, Hae's day, and Jay's day and they are thorough.  They explore a lot of wholes in the story that Serial never bothered to cover.  Seat T even wrote into them with a question about why they couldn't verify whether Adnan had an alibi by checking his email records since that's what he was doing at the library.  I thought that was such a good question.

(3) Stacking Benjamins - I got turned onto this podcast because Paula Pant from the Afford Anything blog is a regular guest.  These guys cover interesting personal finance topics and have pretty good discussions with guests.  I really liked a recent episode in particular where the host interviewed a blogger from New York City who is having her wedding for $5000 or less.  (She's only having like 30 people and it's on a Tuesday.)

(4) Radiolab - I've only listened to a couple of these but the stories were compelling.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Younger on TV Land is my new favorite show.  I just hope enough people watch it so it lasts for several seasons.  Sutton Foster isn't just great on Broadway and it's so fun to see Hillary Duff back on television.  I love the premise of the show, a 40 year old posing as a 26 year old after her divorce and basically reliving her twenties.  I'm sandwiched comfortable in between the two generations contrasted on the show, yet for some reason I relate more to the forty somethings.  I wonder what that says about me?  The writing is so much better than the sitcoms I watch on other cable channels.  I wish there were more fun female driven sitcoms with good writing.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Elephants on Parade

I probably mentioned that back in February I went to Thailand.  The elephants were one of my favorite parts of Thailand.  We went to a save and rescue elephant park outside Chiang Mai.  I'm really glad that we went somewhere that treats the elephants kindly.  They don't let you ride in seats because it's not comfortable for the elephants.  They didn't make them paint.  In fact, they only let me feed the baby one banana because they said she couldn't have too much sugar.  Since we rode two to an elephant we got the extra large ones which meant we were super high off the ground. 
Moon Pat gave me the ride of my life
Feeding Moon Pat
Feeding the one year old baby
In Phuket we stayed at Le Meridien Beach Resort where they apparently have their own five year old elephant that they traipse around with daily. Unfortunately, I didn't get the impression that it had as nice a life as the ones at the save and rescue. I couldn't resist petting it every chance I got though.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Revival and an Original

In March, C and I were fortunate enough to score front row tickets to see The King and I on Broadway.  I had never been to Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont theater and it was a real treat.  The stage moves out over top of the orchestra and there is plenty of time before that happens to watch and enjoy the musicians.  I think the live orchestra is one of the biggest reasons I enjoy seeing these musicals so much. The kids in the show were super cute and after visiting Thailand, this was even more fun to go see.  I had never seen Kelli O'Hara in anything before.  She was a great fit for the part of Anna.

Image result for finding neverland broadway
Last week I my friend J took me to see Finding Neverland.  I don't know how I am so blessed to have all these wonderful friends who take me to see shows but I will never get tired of it.  I enjoyed the show immensely.  I didn't know the story because I'd never seen the movie, so I was excited to see it all unfold and it reminded me of Saving Mr. Banks, the story about how Mary Poppins came to be. The story lent itself well to being a musical. Kelsey Grammer was just ok for me but Matthew Morrison was fantastic.  His voice soared through the theater and I found his character so much more likable than Mr. Shue.  

I would recommend both these shows to people as well as others I have seen lately.  Nonetheless, I haven't seen anything in a while that blew me away the way some of the first shows I saw on Broadway did.  I feel like Rent, Les Miserable, The Lion King, Aida, Wicked, and Avenue Q were in a different league than the shows I've seen in the last five years.  I saw some of those shows three or more times and I can't imagine doing that with any I've seen recently.  Were those shows truly on another level or was it my youthful exuberance that caused me to rush out buy soundtracks I could play on an endless loop?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Recent Reads

I've been so tired lately I haven't really read that much.  I also can't really remember what I've read.  I have fallen in love with this Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series about a woman who moves from Dallas to rural Ohio to run her Amish's Aunt's shop.  In the grand tradition of super sleuth protagonists, Angie is quite the Buttinsky.

I also managed to get my hand on the latest Jenn McKinlay mystery,  This is the third series of books I have read by her.  I like the one about the librarian and the cupcake bakery owner, but this series about hat shop owners is the most interesting.  The love interest is by far the most interesting.