Thursday, January 27, 2011

Etsy: Fingerless Gloves

NYC has had its fair share of bad weather this season. Besides the many little snow storms, we've also endured the snowpocalypse in December and then last night's thundersnow, a precipitation description I did not know existed until now.

With all this crazy weather, one must bundle up: down coat, waterproof boots, scarf...and gloves.

I don't know about you, but I might as well be wearing two sports' foam fingers when I wear normal gloves or mittens. I can't zip/unzip my coat or purse, I can't open my wallet, I can't hold the Metrocard correctly to swipe it through the turnstile, I can't unlock all four locks to get into my apartment, I end up dropping everything...I completely lose all dexterity! So what do I do?

I opt for frozen little hands.

*insert pathetic frowny face here*

Hmm, perhaps I am the only one with this dilemma. I see plenty of others not experiencing simiar difficulty. But let's be honest, they're probably the same people that are okay with sleeping in socks.

(Seriously though, how can people stand that?)

In case there is someone else out there that is also handicapped by "normal" winter accessories for hands, we have a solution:  fingerless gloves.

Sure your fingertips might get a little nippy, but at least you can function properly.

TempoDesigns on Etsy sells them for $25.

They are made-to-order and the store owner has many color choices available. Click here to purchase.

See? SJP must drop everything, too.

image from here
image from here

 until next time,


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Food on the Brain?

It's too cold to get out of bed, it's too cold to go to work, it's too cold to go to the gym, it's too cold to walk, it's too cold to stand still, it's too cold to breathe.

But it's never too cold to eat.

NYC Restaurant Week started yesterday and it goes until February 6th. Click here to check out over 300 venues that are participating in the $24 Lunch / $35 Dinner 3-course meals.

Are you ever out & about late at night and you discover you're starving and you're not sure what's open nearby? TimeOut NY has compiled a list of late-night restaurants in NYC by neighborhood. How handy! Click here to see. And then save the link to your mobile device. You know you'll need it, you midnight-snacker you.

Last, but not least, it's time for a good winter recipe:

Turkey Chili
(It makes btwn 8 and 10 servings. It's great to freeze or to last all week!)


1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 chopped onion
2 cups water
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can kidney beans - drained, rinsed, mashed (16 oz)
1 can chili beans (16 oz)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash of cinnamon


-Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. 
-Place turkey in pot and cook until evenly brown.
-Stir in onion and cook until tender.
-Pour water into pot.
-Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, chili beans, and garlic.
-Season with chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
-Bring to a boil.
-Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Recipe is a combination of others from

until next time,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

iPad Painting of Beyonce

My friend tweeted this and I had to share. Thanks, ABZ!

It's Kyle Lambert's iPad finger-painting of Beyonce, using the Brushes app. Yes, and only his finger.

I love the endless layers of details!

until next time,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pink Loves Brown

Check out Pink Loves Brown, Nicole Balch's adorable online store.

Pocket Mirrors - $6.00

more options here

Paper Suitcases (great storage for paper goods & photos!)
small - $11.50 / medium - $13.00 / large - $15.00

more options here

Personalized Stationery & Suitcase Set - $38.00

more options here

Check out her cute blog, Making it Lovely, too!

until next time,


Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

"I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law."

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress."

"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

"Seeing is not always believing."

"The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'" 

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

"Life's most urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

until next time,


Friday, January 14, 2011

Reduce & Simplify

According to Robert Kunzig of National Geographic, the entire world could fit in Texas if each person were allotted the same average square feet of living space as in New York City.

Take a second and let that simmer.

Yes, the entire world.

To read his interesting article, Population 7 Billion, click here.

Besides some art work, baby/childhood items and a few sport trophies I have at my folks' (yes, I somehow tricked my high school coaches into thinking I possessed some athletic ability), I have my entire life crammed into what I'm estimating to be at most 400 square feet. Tiny, tiny! We already know how I feel about storage . One day, in an undetermined amount of time from now, I will jump for joy over a pantry, over a utility closet, over a machine that will wash my clothes...

...and not also my neighbors' clothes.

I bought my daily Clinique clarifying lotion yesterday and had to ask the lady for the smaller bottle (even though the bigger bottle is more economical) because I knew the bigger one wouldn't fit in its designated spot behind my bathroom mirror. I can't buy toilet paper in bulk on sale, I can't have too many "dry foods" at once and I feel like I'm constantly trying to make a tiny shoebox apartment home-y instead of cramped. 

I have a stainless steel skinny table in my kitchen and it's more than where I eat - it's my only counter, my office table, my art table, my I-have-no-other-place-to-put-my-blender-other-than-here table. While I'm definitely not one to preach about only having "the basics" (ahem), I also forget that living in NYC has forced me to keep things to a relative minimum. I must deep clean frequently to keep things tidy, I must throw out magazines after I've read them and I find myself constantly lugging bags of things to a local Housing Works thrift store in order to keep the amount of stuff in my apartment in check.

So even though I may complain (a lot) about my lack of room in this crazy city, I forget that I need to also acknowledge that it forces me to figure out how to live comfortably in a space smaller than many 2-car garages, an accomplishment I should feel good about.  I do not intend to criticize those that have large living spaces. (Trust me, I'm jealous.) Instead, I encourage you to examine where you live and what you have.

As you attempt to rejuvenate yourself and your lifestyle in a new year, consider this suggestion:  reduce and simplify.

Here are 10 easy tips for downsizing and de-cluttering in any home, big or small:

1. Go through your closet and pull out anything you haven't worn in a year.  No excuses. Get rid of anything you're saving for some inconceivable weight you hope to one day return to. Get rid of all the shirts that have yellow pit stains. They nasty. Research a local charity and donate everything that isn't nasty. Look at your closet and figure out what you have too much of and what you need. Next time you buy something, get rid of something to keep things at a certain amount.

2. Get the kids involved. Go through their old toys and donate what they've grown out of. Explain how he or she is going to make another child so very happy. Figure out the best way to store the toys that you end up keeping.

3. Open your cupboards and get rid of all the extra dishes you never-ever use. Do the same thing with your linens.

4. Go through your makeup bags, tool bags, wrapping paper bins, pen holders, junk drawers - clean/throw out/organize.

5. Attack your cleaning supply. Yes it seems silly to clean the cleaning supplies, but I'm sure they take up a certain space in your home. Figure out the best way to store them.

6. Go room by room and envision other potential set-ups and think if a different arrangement could somehow make things easier - or maybe just give you a new fresh feeling.

7. Clean out the fridge. And by that I mean take everything out of it, clean the inside, throw out whatever has been in there for way too long and put things back in a neat and organized way.

8. Do you always have a stack of bills and mail that continues to grow? Figure out a filing system for it all.

9. Do the same with your email. File away ones you want to keep in separate categories and delete the rest.

10. Get rid of anything in your home (and your life, for that matter) that is extraneous. You don't have to keep everything.

For those of you who also have a three-day weekend ahead (woohoo!), take a day and try and tackle at least one or two of these. I know I need to.

until next time,


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Send a Smile

Here I am at age 10, getting an art lesson from my brother. 

Ever since I learned how to fold a piece of paper in half, I've been making and personalizing cards. I've made Mother's Day cards, Father's Day cards, cards to send to my brothers & sister at college, Christmas cards, cards for Santa, birthday cards, i-colored-a-pretty-picture-for-you cards, thank you cards, Valentine's Day cards, penpal cards, high school alumni cards, invitation cards, and just-because-I-think-you're-great cards.

Did I mention I love sending cards?

Honestly, though, there is nothing like receiving a handwritten letter. If you think email is an equivalent substitute, ask yourself this:

Do you smile when you receive an email? 


Do you smile when you receive a handwritten card? 


Later this month, I will start my third class in Continuing Education of the Illustration Department at the School of Visual Arts. Thus far, I've taken Children's Book Illustration and Illustration Portfolio. Now? I'm about to start Greeting Card Design. I received my "student schedule" in the mail tonight and I couldn't possibly be more excited.

This is the course description:

This course will prepare students for the design, production and marketing of greeting cards and gifts in the "social expression" industry. Drawing skills are required; however, emphasis will be on concepts and ideas. Products will include: greeting cards, wrapping paper, postcards, paper party goods and stationery. We will discuss concept development, contracts, pricing, copyright laws, mass-market sales, freelancing and public relations. Students will complete a mini-collection ready for marketing. Information for card and paper companies, printing demonstrations and an introduction to industry standards and materials will be included, as well as how to prepare finished artwork for printing production.

The instructor, a winner of a LOUIE Award (the "Oscar" of the Greeting Card Association), has had many clients including:

Hallmark, Gibson Greetings, Portal, American Greetings, Ariel Publishing, Kodak, Macy's, Paramount, Target, Creative Expressions, New Creative Enterprises, Binney & Smith Crayola, Nordstroms, Keds, Mikasa, Limited Too, Harcourt Brace, Current Inc., Frances Meyer Inc., Marcel Schurman, Flomo USA, Scholastic, Really Good Stuff, Marian Heath Greeting Cards, C.R. Gibson

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to learning from what seems like someone with an incredible background in the industry. I love having assignments and direction with all of the many projects I want to somehow fit into my life.

I also look forward to sharing my experience with you! Stay tuned.

until next time,


Sunday, January 9, 2011

5 Things I Love Right Now

1. Jeffrey Campbell Voom Rainboots
purchase here

image from here 

2. Korres Lip Butter
purchase here

image from here 

3. Tili Reusable Zip & Seal Baggies
purchase here 

image from here 

4. Soapology Verbana Ginger Brown Sugar Body Scrub
purchase here

image from here 

5. Country Strong Soundtrack (make sure to check out both albums)
purchase here 

image from here 

until next time,


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