Friday Five

I’d forgotten how much fun these are, but last week put me back in the swing of things.

1. The nonstop LOLs this video brought me:

Some hilarious wizard dubbed an Evgeni Plushenko ice skating performance from the mid-90s with Ginuwine’s R&B bump-and-grind anthem “Pony,” and while it might seem random, the result is superb. Plushenko’s original routine somehow, magically, lines up perfectly with the song, and if you can make it to 2:55 when his pants come off (seriously!) without tears rolling down your face, you must have a more mature sense of humor. Thankfully, I do not, and I therefore found this hysterical and much more preferable to the actual ice skating we saw at the Olympics.

2. THIS:

No explanation necessary. (!!!!)

3. My new bag, in preparation and expectation of spring:


I know, color! A few weeks ago I undertook an exhaustive search, employing all of my Internet Squirreling skills, to find The Perfect Spring Bag. Requirements: red or poppy, crossbody, big enough to hold my camera, zipper closure, under $300. You guys, it was a doozy, full of drama (I bought a bag I thought was The One, only to find out it wasn’t big enough, and then the company tried to screw me on their return policy, oy) but has a happy ending: I happened to wander into Macy’s when they were having a Coach sale, and the rest, as they say, is history. For just a little more than half my original budget thanks to the sale, this beauty met all of my requirements and then some. I’m in lurve.

4. This wonderfully weird Google Maps screencap:


I spend a large amount of my time “wandering” around Paris in Google Maps, as you know by now. Whatever, I miss Paris, it’s cheaper than a flight, and if I lean really close to the computer screen I can almost delude myself into believing for a moment that I’m there. So imagine my shock during a leisurely “stroll” through Parc Monceau when I came across a pair of legs, running on their own accord. Legs! What a delightfully awful Photoshop job, Google! I rire‘d so hard I thought I would need my inhaler. It’s the little things.

5. This stunning book-shaped lamp:


I can’t even! Designer Max Gunawan’s Lumio Book Lamp looks like a normal hardcover book when closed, but fans open and becomes an LED nightlight. “The strong neodymium magnets embedded within its covers allow this transformable light to be expanded 180 degrees to its fullest brightness, or mounted upon any magnetic surface.” It’s powered by a rechargeable battery, good for up to eight hours at a time, which is plenty of time for reading in bed before falling asleep (just make sure you close both books!). Currently backordered, but definitely on my wishlist.

What are you up to this weekend? My mom’s birthday is tomorrow, and we’re going to brunch at the museum on Sunday to celebrate. Tomorrow, unfortunately, is also Jamal’s departure date; he’s going to India (again) and South Africa (again!) for two weeks for work. Boo! In his absence, I plan on eating popcorn for dinner, unabashedly wearing my biggest sweatpants around the house, binging on tv shows, and missing him terribly.

Friday Five

It’s been a really, really (really) long time since I did a Friday Five, and to bring it back I thought I’d change up the format a bit. Instead of a round-up of things I want to buy right now, here are five things that are making me happy this week:

1. This Barnes & Noble Classics collection:


Sure, the set costs $1,496, but for 199 paperback volumes of some of the world’s greatest works of literature, no price is too high (and it works out to just around $7 a book). I picked up a collection of T.S. Eliot poems over the weekend from this collection, and I’d forgotten what an incredible value and resource these are; introductions from other authors or literary scholars, end notes, bibliographies, discussion questions. I’ve also read Dracula and Frankenstein in this series.

2. This commercial from the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion:

The CIDI delivered a 33 second (hilarious) rebuttal to Russia’s anti-gay stance. Well played, Canada, well played.

3. These art-inspired socks:


After realizing that 90% of my socks had holes in them, I went to Macy’s and did the most grown-up thing I’ve done in a while: I bought myself new socks. Seriously, for someone whose sock collection to date was furnished entirely by her mother via Christmas presents, this was monumental. Of course, now I have my eye on these adorable art-y socks. The Mona Lisa on your feet-sa! ($8)

4. House of Cards Season 2:


You guys. Are you watching House of Cards? Why aren’t you watching House of Cards? Stop what you’re doing and go binge-watch the entire first and second seasons of this unbelievably evil and amazing show. Go. Right now. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Netflix released all 13 episodes at once, but we’ve been pacing ourselves and just watching one or two a night. I’m simultaneously in love with and terrified of Robin Wright Penn’s character (and her hair, mon dieu).

5. This photo, “Hotel de Sens, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville”, by Eugene Atget:


One of these days I will do a full post on Eugene Atget’s photography of Paris at the turn of the last century. He was (and remains to be) a huge inspiration, and there are countless photographs I could share, but this one in particular has been on my mind recently. For Christmas, Jamal bought me a beautiful book of Atget’s work that I’ve been pouring over and falling in love with; old Paris, just after the reconstruction under Haussmann, holds such an allure for me. Can you imagine walking along this street as it existed in this photo? (cue: “These people don’t have any antibiotics.”)

Have a wonderful weekend, kiddos. What are you up to?

Friday Five

After an embarrassingly long hiatus from this series (oh my god, seriously? February?) my consumerism is making a comeback. Let’s dive right in, shall we?


1. Photograph of Monet / 2. Linen “Merci” tee / 3. Rug / 4. “Le Divorce” / 5. Settee

Not that we have any wall space left to spare at this point, but I’m really in love with this old photographs of Monet at Giverny. I love his hat and suit coat; he must’ve looked so formal, sitting at his easel. I know it’s one of the most obvious statements to make about photography, but I find it so incredible that records like that exist from the past. Do you think he knew that in 100 years we would be able to hang a photograph of him (not even a print of his work, just the man behind it) in our homes? How trippy is that? I think he’d say “Merci.” And in case you want to, you can say in style thanks to that J.Crew tee.

I am having a fight with this rug. I’ve had my eye on it for a while for the living room, but it was on backorder until the end of December when Home Decorators was having a 20% off + free shipping sale. I should have just ordered it to take advantage of the promotion, but the prospect of me exercising a modicum of patience, let alone enough to last me two months, seemed impossible. So I passed. But now it’s back in stock, and I still love it. It’s vintage-y and neutral while also possessing two very necessary qualities: 1. Fitz’s hair won’t stand out like a sore thumb, and 2. the pile isn’t too plush to freak Jamal out (dude hates flokati or any pile greater than a flatweave). What do I do? Wait for it to go on sale again? That’s the smart answer, right? And that settee, while it pairs perfectly with the rug, is just a pipe-dream; it’s adorable but seriously impractical. Do you see the brocade fabric wrapped around the back??

With all the books I buy/read (those are two very distinct categories) I would be broke were it not for the Amazon marketplace. I picked up a copy of “Le Divorce” for 99¢ earlier this week, and it arrived in pristine new condition. Somehow I missed the movie adaptation with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts from 2003, but Emma referenced it in a comment last week and it sparked my interest (thanks, Emma!). Since I’m a purist, I want to read the book before seeing the movie. I’m already halfway through it and I’m loving it so far (despite the really negative reviews it got on Amazon). If you amortize the cost of a book over the time it takes you to read it, new books are sometimes an extravagance (a necessary indulgence, though, and I promise I’m not complaining).

What are you up to this weekend? Sunday is our annual Friendsgiving (we’re having a Greek potluck this year!) and in between prepping the house for company and trying not to eat all the hummus Jamal makes, I’m hoping to get (what else) some writing done. Have a good one, kiddos!

Friday Five


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Well friends, we’ve entered the two week countdown to Paris. Two weeks from today, or rather, last night, I’ll be strolling around the city of light, snapping away and quite possibly crying all over myself. Today’s Friday Five is a little moodboard of Parisian inspiration (how incredible is that postcard Picasso sent to Gertrude Stein in 1919?). Hopefully the weather will be somewhat mild, but regardless the light at this time of year is just unbeatable: slightly pale, gray, and still magical. I’m trying not to panic about the possibility that the coat I bought and planned around might not be warm enough if the weather Paris suddenly decides to hover around freezing, by telling myself that the worst that could happen is that we spend too much time inside cafes or museums. Not exactly a horrible trade off, non?

Tonight I’m taking my mom to see Lewis Black (I got her tickets for Christmas) and then, fingers crossed, having a low-key weekend conducive to writing. I have too many ideas rolling around inside my brain right now; I need to get them down on paper. What are you doing this weekend? Make it a good one, kiddos.

Friday Five

I am so, so happy January is over, I can’t even begin to describe it. The relief is palpable. January was a shitty month, and I know it wasn’t its fault entirely, but I’m ready to move on from this month and leave it behind. 2013 can only go up from here, right? Right.

February was supposed to be the month I didn’t spend any money, per my 26 in 26 list, but I’m thinking that’s going to have to wait until later in the year. Not only because it’s the last few weeks leading up to my Paris trip, but also because, and you might have heard me shrieking about this all the way where you are, but the New Kids on the Block are going back on tour and tickets go on sale tomorrow. I AM SO PUMPED. You might remember previous references to them, but rest assured that my obsession has only spiraled wildly out of control in the intervening months, doubling in insanity the past few weeks after I found out about this new tour.

So yeah, not buying anything? Not gonna work. Especially since this week’s Friday Five kicks off the month of February, and I want everything in it:


1. Pillowcases / 2. Towels / 3. Agate Trivet / 4. Shelf / 5. Ring

This might be one of my favorite round-ups ever. Everything is so bright and colorful and do we need to talk about those pillowcases? Non, we do not. I’m thinking about buying a set of those towels and that little metal shelf for the powder room, only both are too cute to actually use. And I know agate is having a comeback, but that beautiful blue coaster needs to make an appearance in my house soon. Both the coaster and the (gorgeous) ring are from the delightful Leif Shop.

What are you up to this weekend? I’m spending Sunday morning with my nieces and am really looking forward to it. Tomorrow I have a hot date with my sweatpants and that book I’m writing. Remember that? Me neither, it’s been so long since I’ve devoted any real stretch of time to it. Have a great one, kiddos!

Friday Five

Everyone and their mother is complaining about the cold weather here on the east coast, with good reason, so let me add my name to the list: IT’S COLD. The high the last few days has been in the teens, which I know will garner absolutely no sympathy from Süsk, who’s currently holed up in the negative temps of Helsinki and still managing to look fabulous in spite of it. Not all of us are so lucky, and I end up looking like a burrito of sadness most of the time.

This week’s Friday Five is looking ahead a few months to, what else, my next trip to Paris!


1. Beauty Elixir / 2. Flats / 3. Candle / 4. Pouch / 5. Foot stool

In addition to having a list of things I need to wear/bring to Paris already planned out, I also have a list of things I want to buy while I’m there. That’s not weird. A new Diptyque from the flagship store (or maybe that macaron scented candle? Best of both worlds!), as well as an arsenal of beauty products from one of the incredible pharmacies around the city. I’ll be stocking up on Bioderma make-up remover, Roger & Gallet Rose body lotion, and this facial elixir magic spray by Caudalie. Sure, it’s available in the states now, but I’m still going to wait until I get there to buy it, because obviously. It’s inspired by the Queen of Hungary’s elixir of youth, or something, but I’m just excited to make my face smell pretty. Sorry, jolie.

And while it might be too cold in March to wear them, I’ve been eyeing a new pair of ballet flats in nude ever since seeing this photo from Paris in Four Months. Also, can we talk about that blog for a second? I have to limit my exposure to it for fear of passing out from joy. I love ballet flats, and Bloch really does them best. I can see myself putting my feet up on that adorable little footstool in my guest room. I just got a $10 off coupon for it, so that means I have to buy it, right?

Is it insane to spend $70 on a pouch to carry around your chapstick and cell phone? Perhaps, right? What if it was printed in my favorite Marc Jacobs pattern? Still no? SHUT UP, let me do what I want. I probably won’t buy  it, because it’s insane, even for me. That little 5″ nylon pouch costs more than the ottoman, and only a little less than the shoes. Good grief.

Boyfriend is leaving for India tomorrow night (BOOOO), so we’ll be making the most of our short weekend and having dinner at our favorite Italian place tonight and going to the Academy of Natural Sciences tomorrow. I’m looking forward to giant, ugly sweatpants, cereal for dinner, and lots of trashy tv in his absence. And that’s where the list ends. Have a great weekend, kiddos! What are you up to?

Friday Five

Thank you all for being so supportive and kind the last few days. I promise I’m not being intentionally vague, but for a lot of reasons I don’t want to get into it. It’s not my place but I’m also not okay talking about it. Just know that your sweet words are carrying me through a really difficult time.

On a lighter note, because we all need a lighter note to end our week, the first Friday Five of the new year (le premier “Cinq de Vendredi” du nouvel an –I didn’t even have to think about that translation!) is all things French. Big shout out to my mom, who keeps sending me Joss & Main “French Country Home” or “Parisian Chic” sales (it’s where I first saw the pillow and those trays).


1. Pillow / 2. Tin / 3. Trays / 4. Candle / 5. Ring Dish

Since shopping is hope for the future (right, Laur?), today after work I’m heading to Blue Mercury and Anthropologie (dangerous that they are so near each other, with an H&M, Zara, and Barnes & Noble in between them) to pick up that new Diptyque candle and the Eiffel Tower ring dish, respectively. Don’t worry, I have gift cards; Santa was good to me this year. I’m already planning my visit to the actual Diptyque store on Boulevard Saint Germain in a few weeks (I land 8 weeks from today!) to buy a Thé scented candle from the motherland. Too bad they don’t have H&M Home in France yet, otherwise I’d have to make a pit stop there to eye up all the French-theme goodness they seem to have (that Sel de Mer pattern is on everything). Oh well, guess that leaves more times to go to the Rodin Museum.

Tomorrow I’m having lunch with Anna and Audrey (I think we’re going for falafel!) and then hopefully having dinner with my aunt who is visiting from England. What will you be up to this weekend?

Friday Five, Best of 2012

So apparently it’s the end of 2012? I don’t know how this happened. I’m half-tempted to stomp my feet about it and put up a fight; wasn’t it just May? But as this is the last Friday of the year, today’s Friday Five will be (as you could guess from the title) my 5 favorite highlights from the past year. I did the same thing last year, too. It might have flown by in a flash, but this year was chock-full of absolutely incredible experiences. Without further ado:

1. I went to Belgium! / 2. And Paris! / 3. AND I MET GARY OLDMAN THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS! /
4. I’m writing a book! / 5. I blogged every day for the whole year!

I can safely say this year was all sorts of amazing. I visited Belgium (and fell madly in love with the Flemish-speaking side of the world, to the point that Boyfriend and I agreed it would be awesome to own a house in Ghent one day) and Paris (this needs no explanation other than to say that if Paris ceased to exist, I would, too). What else? I MET GARY OLDMAN, thus fulfilling my life’s mission to successfully stalk him down and tell him I loved him (the year would have been better if by some stroke of magic Gary Oldman told me he loved me, too). I also started writing a book! I’ve never written 16,000 words of anything before, and there are still thousands more to come. I keep thinking that if I don’t get it all down on paper immediately, it will disappear from my brain, but every time I sit down to write, the entire story is still there. Fully formed, waiting to be translated into words. As much as I love Paris, my happy place this year has been sitting at my little desk, typing away for hours on this story.

And yes, I put my own blog on the list because (barring some freak accident over the weekend that prevents me from blogging on Monday) this year I will have blogged every single weekday. I made a commitment to do that at the beginning of the year, and while it wasn’t always easy or fun to feel obligated to churn a post out (especially when I wasn’t feeling creative or talkative, see: yesterday), it has been seriously rewarding in ways I never thought possible. This year I fostered new friendships and blog connections, and I’m grateful for every single one of you. Taking the time to read here, to comment, to be involved, to care about my materialistic blabber. So yeah, my own blog was a highlight, but so were each of yours. Will I blog every day next year? Hopefully! It was a fun accomplishment, and it’s something I want to cross off my 26 in 26 list.

What are your top five of this year? Any personal goals you checked off? Fun celebrity encounters? Have a wonderful weekend, kiddos.

Friday Five

And suddenly, it was December. Are the months getting shorter while I’m not looking? Wasn’t it just August? I feel like this is an oft-repeated complaint, but it’s true. The year is flying by and it’s been completely unremarkable in its speed. I love winter, I’m thrilled tomorrow is December (my birthday month! And Hanukkah! And Christmas! And New Year’s! PRESENTS!), I just….I want it to slow down a bit.

1. Baby Monkey Print / 2. Dress / 3. Made in Chelsea / 4. French Baguette candle / 5. “Gone Girl”

Speaking of going by in a flash, I finished “Gone Girl” last night. Read more

Friday Five

I had the weirdest dream last night. Some stray, gray cat with patches of hair missing on its legs and bright blue eyes followed me home and waited outside the house while I went and bought cat food for it. It looked like this cat, that has been showing up all over my Pinterest homepage. Only it talked. And it was gross, it had fleas and other diseases and gave me giant hives but I loved it anyway. Then I woke up and told Boyfriend who promptly told me I was weird and that it was a nightmare, because he hates cats. To be fair, he’s actually allergic to cats, but there’s a fair amount of hatred in there, too. I don’t know, I kind of thought dream-cat was adorable.

Anyway, today is Friday which means a Friday Five is in order. It also means that tomorrow is Saturday and that means my French Immersion class is here! I AM SO PUMPED. I’m totally going to show up in a beret.

1. Dress / 2. French dictionary / 3. Painting / 4. Humidifier / 5. Homestilo

My work Christmas party is in a few weeks, and what everyone is planning on wearing was a big topic of discussion at girl’s dinner this week. I’m not the fanciest of people, nor am I the most fashion forward. I’m fine in leggings and an oversized sweater, but I’ve been looking for a new dress for the party since it’s at the Ritz and you know, leggings aren’t really black-tie. I found this little navy sequined number from Piperlime, and I’m sold. I’ll pair it with a bright red lip and to-be-determined heels (heels! I’m probably going to break an ankle) and voila: Christmas party dress acquired. And thanks to a 15% off coupon, it came to a cool $83. Not too bad, right?

I finally signed up for One King’s Lane (adding it to my memberships to Gilt, Rue La La, Haute Look, etc) and was struck by a featured artist in their “Emerging Artists” sale a few weeks ago. Michelle Armas’ work is so vibrant and beautiful and I find more and more to love the longer I stare at this piece, entitled “Laura.” I’m not a huge fan of abstract art (like, at all), but I’ve made a special exception for her work. When designers talk about a “focal point” in a room, this is what I envision. Swoon.

I know I can’t be alone in this, but I sleep with the window cracked open even though the heat is on. I need a little bit of a chill. Otherwise it gets too stuffy, but either way I end up completely congested and the inside of my nose is about as crusted as it gets. TMI? My mom has an adorable penguin-shaped humidifier, and I think it’s high-time I invested in one of my own. Who doesn’t want to breath better and have a cute elephant on their night table? It blows air out of its trunk. Holy adorable.

The French dictionary should require no further explanation other than I AM SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY SO EXCITED. French class! All day! Six hours! Free lunch! Do you think they’ll give out baguettes and butter? Can I bring my own? I have so many questions! I better leave the class with a tighter grip on the language, that’s for sure. The class isn’t exactly cheap (it’s about half the cost of the 10 week, 20 hour course I’m signed up for this winter, for a single day) so I better be able to come home and watch Amelie with the subtitles off. That’s cheating though, I know that movie by heart. And speaking of France…

And finally, I’m guest-posting over at Homestilo today! Santa is featuring a holiday gift guide and was so sweet to include me. Head on over to her amazing blog and check out my (surprise!) Paris themed holiday guide. My repertoire of French products is so expansive that I’ve never featured any of the goodies on my own blog before. Go go go! And thank you, Santa! I had so much fun. 

What are you up to this weekend? Anyone want to come to French class with me?!