On a happier note…

I lost 20 pounds! YAYYYYY!

Sure, there’s more to be done in that regard, but I am feeling better than I have in a long time about my appearance.

PLUS, ladies with thick unruly hair, you MUST get this product called Moroccan Hair Oil. It has changed my life. Seriously. It’s not cheap, but you can find it cheaper than what’s listed on Amazon. A little goes a long way, so it will last a long time.

House of Turquoise

Soon, Damir and I will be making a few changes within our apartment, which (among other things) includes a new paint job. Wahhooooo! The current dark vanilla on the walls is so depressing. I need bright! I need color! I need BLUE! It has been an interesting time trying to decide what color will grace our bedroom walls, and I think I have decided on some shade of turquoise.

While looking for inspiration, I stumbled across this website, House of Turquoise, and I am absolutely hooked. I would die to live in just about any of these spaces pictured. Here are a few of my favorites:I love this mix of turquoise, black and red. So unexpected! It seems to me that it carries the right mix of feminine and masculine, modern and classic.

I could crawl into this bed and sleep a long and peaceful sleep dreaming of sandy beaches and blue oceans.
Previous living spaces I have had (Amsterdam, for example) featured a lovely yellow and turquoise combination. This sample above is a much more adult (read: expensive) version of that attempt.

Hopefully this weekend we will go out and get some samples. Stay tuned for pictures!

And we are back.

Dallas was so much fun I couldn’t bring myself to blog about it last week:

A) Because I spent last week in a coma of exhaustion, finally getting about 12 hours of much needed sleep this past Friday night.

B) It kind of makes me sad to blog after a much awaited event, because it means that it is really over and in the past.

It was great to stand up with Ms. Ashbloem and Mr. Davey and witness their union. I particularly loved their vows and will have to see if they’d let me plagiarize all or some in the event I ever take that big leap. It was also great fun to see old friends from the Amsterdam days. But what I loved best about their wedding was that it really did represent who they are as two fun people. They only included the traditions that represented them, and the originality of the wedding, from start to finish, made it special.

Damir and I got to enjoy Dallas and had a beautiful room at the Fairmont Hotel. We didn’t do too much tourist stuff, other than visit the Aquarium which we both liked a lot. They had an odd inmate: a leopard. Why is there a leopard in an aquarium? They had him (her?) caged right in front of the flock of flamingos, with just a clear plexiglass of separation. Isn’t that on the same plane of water-boarding?

In the end it was a fun and exhausting trip. Just when we were so happy to escape the heat of Texas, we come home to near 100 degree temps. Thanks for that, Mother Nature. But at least it means it is beach season here on Long Island and that is a happy thing indeed.

Big D

Damir and I are off tomorrow for this girl’s wedding:

Awwwww yeah. If I know this girl, and I think I do, this will be a wedding like none other. Pictures to follow.

The Dress Mess

Finding a dress in a bright color to wear in Ashbloem’s wedding, should be easy, right? Well, for whatever reason for the life of me I cannot find a damn thing I like. And I have tried. OH how I have TRIED. I have been to the following stores in the past 6 weeks on the hunt:

Macys (5 different branches), Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Cache` (awful!), David’s Bridal, H&M, JC Penny, Jones of NY, Saks, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, The Limited, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Annie Sez, Dress Barn, Off 5th, all the outlets at Tanger Riverhead and numerous no-name boutiques.

and finally, the Long Island phenomenon that is Estelle’s Dressy Dresses. Where fringe, poof and sequins go to die. See exhibits A, B, C and D:

All I want is a pretty blue dress. Or pink. Or jeeze, even orange. No frillys, no pattern, no glued spangles or ornaments. Just pretty. Why is this so difficult??

Back on the W.

Oh Lordy. Watch out!

I decided to go back on the Weight Watchers. Ugh. Boring! Today I went to my first meeting and I couldn’t help but think that SNL should do a skit on this place. A group of mostly older women (its a Monday, so the attendees are mostly retirees) in their velour track suits and big hair dying to talk about Their Story… how they were once skinny….then had kids and got fat… then lost the weight…and now in their older years they’ve gained it all back again, punctuated by the odd hip replacement story or two.

But, it’s all good. I applaud their effort, and in relation, mine as well. I have already apologized in advance to poor Damir to whom I am surely going to be a complete bitch once the hunger pangs and french-fry withdrawal take control of all my rational thought.

Speaking of poor Damir, he has some kind of tooth trauma going on that has one side of his face swollen nearly to the point of shutting an eye. I am home from work and about to take him to the oral surgeon, he definitely can’t drive himself. That means we can kiss another couple of grand away, as certainly there is a root canal in his near future (his second in 4 months). Thanks healthcare for covering all the bases!

BUT GOOD NEWS: we finally bought a new mattress! It was a struggle, holy hell in a handbasket. We trolled all the usual places before finding an area in Long Island City where there are 3 or 4 mattress warehouses all in a row. They are pretty competitive with each other, so negotiating was like cutting butter with a hot knife. We ended up with a Serta Mattress by Vera Wang (yes, the wedding dress designer), Sweet Slumber, Sweet Comfort version (long enough name for ya?) for about $500… normal retail price is $3870. It was on clearance so we get no return policy or warranty so we damn well better like it. It’s a latex mattress, and oh-so-pretty its a shame to put sheets on it. But there you go, hopefully we’ll sleep better.

It’s My Birthday Y’all!

Well, this year’s celebration is going to be decidedly LOW KEY. I am still feeling the lasting effects of the FLU, or whatever plague has taken up residence in my lungs for the past 7 days. And now, Damir is sick too and definitely not up to pampering me in my usual princess-birthday style. Though I have to say he has taken excellent care of me these last few days. My team wanted to get me a cake, but I have decided that we can postpone my official birthday grandiosity until next week when I can actually enjoy, or at least taste, the cake. Sweet, though, they offered me some birthday soup instead and got me not just a birthday card, but a Get Well card too.
So no big birthday shenanigans planned for the big THREE FOUR. And for once in my life, I think I am pretty OK with that. But next year… WATCH OUT. I will make up for it in style.

Tattoo Dreams

I got my first and only tattoo over 11 years ago. I was a recent graduate and about to embark on a trip around the world on board the SS Universe Explorer with the program Semester at Sea. Life seemed full of possibilities and the tattoo I chose was meant to remind me of a time of strength, hope and adventure. Not once did I regret it.

Over the years I have wished for another. Back in Amsterdam I even had one designed by a local artist, but in the end I couldn’t decide on where to place it. Shoulder? Arm? Back? Since I couldn’t decide, I figured it wasn’t the time. The design was a beautiful black and red compass rose.

Lately I have been thinking about tattoos again and wish for something more dramatic than my discreet first tattoo. I had the first placed on my lower back on the left side of my spine so that it would not be of consequence to business, formal wear, or bathing suits. And especially not to be visible if/when wearing a wedding gown. I have to say, however, I don’t really care so much about those things anymore. I am not the traditionalist I once thought I was. And I feel more confident in making a decision like that at 33 than I did at 21.

I saw these two tattoos today on the internet of cherry blossom branches and think both are so beautiful…they make me want to run to the nearest tattoo parlor:

I like how both sweep across the back and the femininity of the pink blossoms against the stark black branches. I was not aware of this before, but I just read about the differences between Japanese and Chinese symbolism of the Cherry Blossom:

Chinese Cherry Blossom

For the Chinese the cherry blossom is a very significant symbol of power. Typically it represent a feminine beauty and sexuality and often holds an idea of power or feminine dominance. Within the language of herbs and herbal lore of the Chinese the cherry blossom is often the symbol of love.

Japanese Cherry Blossom

For the Japanese the cherry blossom holds very different meaning. The cherry blossom is a very delicate flower that blooms for a very short time. For the Japanese this represents the transience of life. This concept ties in very deeply with the fundamental teachings of Buddhism that state all life is suffering and transitory. The Japanese have long held strong to the Buddhist belief of the transitory nature of life and it is very noble to not get too attached to a particular outcome or not become emotional because it will all pass in time.

I am not ready to start shopping the local tattoo parlors just yet, but the urge is sitting patiently on a stool in the corner of my brain waiting for the right time and the right design to come along.

A poem for ME

There lives a girl in Long Island
Who today seemed to be smilin’
She just turned thirty-three
So she sang Happy Birthday to ME!
Did you get me a present?
OK, I admit. I was never the poet.
To commemorate the big day, I wore this same outfit pictured to work today.

Happy Howlerween

This is the first year I am not getting dressed up for Halloween. Sure, I have the costumes in the basement from previous festivities, but I am not into it. Surprisingly, I am not missing it too much this year. I guess there’s just other stuff on my mind. But, I am excited about the prospect of tricker-treaters coming to our door this evening. Never have I lived in a place conducive to little kiddies in costume coming to ring my bell. I have to say, I am really looking forward to it!

Well, even though I am not dressing up this year, I pay homage to halloweens and costume parties of years passed…

My mom used to make us THE BEST costumes. I don’t know how she did it, but we never had store-bought platic costumes.

Check this out, she sewed that! I don’t even have a sewing machine much less know how to use one.
While I lived in Amsterdam there were lots of costume parties being thown. At this one below there was a “Heaven and Las Vegas” theme, so naturally I dressed up as a shotgun bride.
Monica Lewinsky was an easy costume, and fun to boot. I went as ML for two halloweens in a row and never got bored of it.
Madonna at the office:

70’s party, I was instructed to dress up like a white Diana Ross.

Wig party 2005 was a lot of fun back in Beantown. I like wigs (as if you couldn’t tell).

The year the Red Sox won the world series I dressed up as Pedro Martinez.

Last year I bought an authentic flapper dress on Ebay (I loooove Ebay!) that was a little too boobalicious. But, I felt like a hot mamma in my 20’s dress and black bob wig.