Sunday, November 15, 2015

Panda Bears and French Clowns

Happy Halloween! Yeah, I'm a fan. You know this. I love when Halloween falls on a weekend. It's basically a guarantee to do TWO costumes. Yes please! So this year I got the idea that our big group of friends should do a theme costume. We were down to Mad Max characters, Troll dolls, Guess Who characters, or french clowns. Pierrots won it. I had so much fun painting everyone's faces.

I think Jackie's (far left) clown was the most successful. Mine won Most Budget Conscious spending only $12. I think Jen's would have been Most Charming but she got stuck in North Carolina unexpectedly and missed the festivities. The guys' costumes were definitely creepier. Also, I have no idea why someone in New York thought it was a brilliant idea to put a pizza sofa on the street. So glad they did though.

The second night we had tickets to a EDM show at a warehouse in Brooklyn. I wanted to be a dancing troupe of panda bears but no one would come up with a synchronized dance with me! I was thinking Hotline Bling meets nay nay. Anyway. It was still good fun. Borgore put on a solid show. It actually got a bit rowdy for me towards the end. I guess I'm not quite as down for being hit in the face by massive men insisting on holding the front rows when they could see just fine from the bathroom...I digress. 

I'm already psyched for next Halloween. Until next time, xo

Monday, September 21, 2015

How was your Saturday?

Just one of those weekends in New York. 

Boyfriend got a Groupon for a Greek place in Astoria, Queens. We got up Saturday to go check it out and ended up walking around the area before lunch. I considered Astoria as a potential area to live when we decided to move to the Upper East Side. After actually walking through, I'm really glad we ended up finding our place so quickly. I wouldn't have liked this option. Granted, I only spent a couple hours in the neighborhood, but from where I stand...
Brooklyn > Queens. We came across some amazing street art, however. The Socrates Sculpture Park is a sad little place. Good farmers market, but it could really use an investment in the sculpture department. I'm still a bit confused about where Long Island City ends and Astoria begins.  Regardless, pretty much the whole area looks like a regular old city. It's hard to believe you are still in New York. To continue click below...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Life Lately

 *Rain in NY...still my fav, death in Louisiana, New Orleans in a 2x2, drinks with rents,view from the Met, couple yoga, the infamous cronut, and my godpup DJ Cool Herc.

Much love blogosphere xo

Monday, September 14, 2015

love is real.

You know how people often say that relationships take so much work?

Can I just take a moment to set the record straight? So not true. I might be in a magical situation but boyfriend and I's relationship has never been work. Actually, I'm definitely in a magical situation. Regardless, world, it exists! It's not always work. Or hard. Or complicated. Or...well anything bad at all. Sure, we've had a few arguments and a couple tough times. None of that is constant and none of that takes work. We weather the storms together, always. I choose this man. Every single day. To continue click below...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Never Forget

It wasn't that long ago two towers stood;
where those two hallow squares now should;
give solace to those who experienced loss;
and stand guard as a symbol for what politics cost.
If we don't value humanity and protect each other;
the enemy is us and we'll hurt our own brother;
let's swallow our pride and find compromise;
or more holes in our earth should be no surprise.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

That time it was the best time ever.

In honor of today being the day James Sirius would start school at Hogwarts...
My first look at the Wizarding World
Hi everyone. My name is Ellie. I'm an addict. My offense: Harry Potter.

Ms. Rowling so lovingly romanticizes life while maintaining the highest level of detail. It's glorious. My dog's name is Gryffindor. I own a time turner. I have read these books 17+ times (yes, all of them). Meaning, that's not counting the umpteenth amount of times I read them between the years 1998-2007 (before the release of the entire series).

They are housed quite perfectly in a little trunk under my bed with notes and coffee stains and love. And I have all the movies, the Ultimate editions with full special footage. This story is a constant in my life. It's like an extra parent. I just love it. It makes me feel brave to know that no matter what happens in life – if I’m dirt poor, all alone, horribly heart-broken or just a normal day and the happiest of people, Harry will be there and I get to love his story all over again. To continue click below...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 that so wrong?

I was just listening to the follow up story on Longest Shortest Time about Trystan and John. Something really struck a cord when John spoke about belonging. John wanted his kids to belong to him. As a child, you are perfectly happy to belong to your family, your parents. To be safe and part of something bigger than you. Teenage years come and you're fighting to be independent. You want your own life, away from your parents. So you belong to your group of friends. After school, you are cast into the world with nowhere to belong. For the first time, you are choosing whether to belong to yourself, your partner, old friends, new friends, stay around family. Then, you move, you lose touch or you're uprooted and you have to sort it out all over again. It's all this process of "where do I belong?" It got me thinking, I am no doubt a belong-er. It's taken me years to come to terms with that. I love to fancy myself miss independent, but I'm a serial monogamist. I've only been single for almost a year, once. I like being in a relationship. Belonging on a team, in a group of friends. Pretty sure, I'm just over here trying to belong to as many people as possible.

Is it normal? Apparently, it is. Happily, I'm perfectly belonged at the moment. But I hope I always remember, whenever that reset button is pressed (cause it always is at some point), that its okay to want to belong. And luckily, there's always Gryffindor.

And here's a few more fun things...

Sorta love this
Cutest thing I've ever seen
Cheap airfare? Yes please.
To giving fucks
Dare to dream

Stay tuned for more ramblings,

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Northeast in one week! (Part 2 - Salem, Boston)

Mom and I left Seneca Falls with family in our hearts and took off to Salem, Mass. We thought about skipping Salem and having more time in Boston. Looking back, I am so glad we went! Witches, witches, witches!  To continue click below...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Northeast in one week! (Part 1 - Philly, Seneca Falls, Niagara)

"Talk to the hand", Boston, Bunker Hill Monument
My mom had a trip to Seneca Falls (update New York) on her mind for years now. My Italian family originally immigrated there and their history is ingrained into the city (or should I say town? haha). Anyway, she finally said "now or never!" and booked a flight. Luckily, I had enough vacation to join. It was a whirlwind.

She arrived in New York on Thursday night. I was able to take off work at lunch on Friday so we spent the afternoon together shopping in the city. We went to see Aladdin that evening. The set designs and costumes were just incredible. Disney really knows how to do Broadway. And, the guy who played the Genie...I mean, wow. I snapped one illegal photo just to make sure I don't forget those colors. To continue click below...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Life Lately, and some fun things

*PRIDE in NYC, @ the Penrose, my first bloody mary bar (it was everything I wanted it to be), a kodak moment, chucks for Sublime, and Gryffindor (appropriate decor for this guy's bed).

Just a few things...
Good to remember
Tough decisions
This and this. It's so much worse in NYC.
Have a good cry

Friday, August 7, 2015

Becoming a New Yorker

New York City. She beat me up a lot. Always picked me back up though, and gave me the "for your own good" pat on the back. As an artist, New York is like mecca. In college, our professors talked about the Chelsea galleries like they were sacred. You clean your feet before you enter and bow to the holy docents. I always wanted to live here. Be a New Yorker. Complete the hajj. "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!" So they say.

Guess what? I like the old art better. But don't tell anyone. To continue click below...

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Lesson on Ego, How To Lose Gracefully

Mom and I - Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Hello world.

It's been too long. I'm embarrassed. New York got away with me. She sure doesn't make it easy. Something tells me I'll have some more time on my hands over the next few months. And good thing, there's lots to catch up on. First thing's first:

Ellie, sometimes you just don't get your way.

What a concept. Children throw tantrums. Adults quit jobs, leave relationships, stop talking to family. It's so difficult to look at yourself square in the face and say "get over it, you lose". Are you going to be the person who loses gracefully and causes others to gawk in awe of your strength or possibly punish you further with accusations of weakness and dependence? Will you be that strong-willed one that ends up at square one with only like-minded friends to stand by? Will you sulk or buck up?

I had some struggles here in New York. This chapter is a lesson learned. I stopped writing, pretty much, because of one in particular. Had another one last week. I need to take it in. I should feel this. I want this time to make me wiser. Here's hoping.

For now, thanks for still being here, my trusty blog. I'm glad the internet keeps you safe for me.

Be back soon xo

Monday, April 27, 2015

"It's my party I can YUMMMMM if I want to"

Can I reiterate how much my 29th birthday rocked? I spent a long weekend at the Wizard World of Harry Potter (oh yes) and we had an awesome birthday dinner at the Sugar Factory! Sugary yum ridiculous alcoholic drinks and an enormous flaming mountain of ice cream? ok!

We are so lucky to have made some great friends here in New York. They are the best for showing up to celebrate with me. Another amazing year AND the promise of the last year of my twenties being just as perfect.

Also, boyfriend got me this beautiful Skagen gold watch. Love it xo
To continue click below...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

One for the books

I knew I wanted to throw boyfriend a surprise birthday party this year. Last year we had just moved to New York. Things were crazy and we didn't know many people. He made my birthday amazing still, as usual (still need to put that post together...its too much mushy love for a quick photo dump). BUT I pretty much failed so it was time to make it up to him. I started early - thought about the venue. A friend's house seemed too chill. Bowling was too expensive. Full-on renting a space in NYC would be way too expensive. Lucky for me, I know what he likes.

He's been really into craft beer ever since San Francisco. I think he's always been a connoisseur on all things taste, but we've really built a palate these days. Especially after our Oregon trip. There are tons of breweries literally everywhere nowadays. I called about 7 in and around the city, decided on Big Alice. The guy was so helpful and very supportive of the whole surprise part of it. I got a private tasting and tour for up to 15 people for less than $300. Pretty amazing! And he said we could stay as long as we like and they would play into the surprise however we need. Next came the hard part. To continue click below...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Flashback: Branson, Missouri and my family

I was looking back at old family photos today. Just like most people, my family is confusing and complicated. It's the funniest thing for me when people ask if I'm an only child. Really, I sort of am. My mom was a single mom after my father passed (I was two) up until she re-married. I believe I was about 7? I'm not exactly sure. They didn't have a wedding ceremony but for all intents and purposes they were and are still, married. Once that major change happened, I gained two step brothers. Again not exactly sure but I believe they are about 20-ish years older than me. We never lived together and I they only really came around every now and then. The youngest of my stepdad's two sons was married and then divorced after two kids. His wife was the closest thing I had to a sibling. Also a lot older than me, she always treated me like a little sister. Plus, she and her two daughters lived with us off and on for a majority of my childhood - and definitely during my formative years. She eventually passed away but I call her sister and always will.
During the same time, my stepdad and mom adopted my stepdad's great nephew over the course of about...oh 4 years or so. He started out coming on weekends, then weekends and summers, then stayed with us for like 4 months once I think and went back. His mother had issues and he was always being shuffled around. Finally, enough was enough and my parents were able to take him for good. He was 10 years old and I was 18. Since I moved out just before my 19th birthday, he soon got my room and settled right in. Good timing cause it saved my mom from experiencing empty nest syndrome. Anyway, I always wanted to be a sister to him like my sister was to me and I tried - a lot. But it's not that easy when you didn't fully grow up together. And it's not that easy when there's an 8 year age difference. And when you are such different people. Still, I tried. These days, he's such a grown up. 22 years old, in school, with a daughter, in process of finding himself, it's amazing to watch.
So, am I an only child? yeahhhh not really. Anyway a year and some change after he came to live with my parents full time we took a family vacation in Branson Missouri. Number one vaca spot for the good old people of Oklahoma. Branson offers it's tourists Silver Dollar City, an 1800s-themed amusement park with live music, the landmark Marvel Cave and Dolly Parton’s Wild West-style Dixie Stampede dinner theater. What fun. I think these photos are from about 2006. The lovely woman in green up top is my mom's closest friend. She is a second mom to me and such a beautiful soul. So clever and funny. She has a purr of a voice and impeccable grammar. Two moms and two dads (real that passed and step).  Doesn't my mom look beautiful? She's always sporting a beautiful, glowing tan. I love when she wears white. And my dad! Haha a silly look of course. He saved me. I really don't know what kind of a whiny self-centered brat I would be without him.
And look at my brother. I can't believe that kid. I really feel lucky to be his sister. Just for fun, here we are - blurry - at his high school graduation. I held him as a newborn and look at him now.

I feel so blessed to have these people. I don't see them as often as I'd like to and we aren't maybe as close or reliant on each other as boyfriend's family, but they are my favorite. I wouldn't exchange them for all the money in the world. It doesn't matter where I am in the world or what I'm doing, I can call them and they'll be there in their country house in Oklahoma moving the lawn, working on a car, reading a book - loving life. My mom can find joy in anything. My dad can make you laugh on your death bed. My brother listens with his whole heart - and it's gold. And Sonnie tells the best stories, she carries the world's lessons in her mind. I'm such a lucky girl :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Horses on the Beach on Grand Cayman

I love horses. Guilty. Oh so guilty. It's still on my list to take riding lessons. If I could, I'd just spend a nice summer working on a horse farm. Scooping poo and brushing and getting to know these majestic creatures who wear their hearts in their eyes. Sigh. Maybe someday.

For now, I settle myself on being around them as often as possible. During a cruise I took with family for my dad's 60th birthday, I signed up straight away to ride horses on the beach for an excursion in the Cayman Islands.

Grand Cayman is a vacationers paradise - ease of travel,  gorgeous weather, bright colors, beautiful flowers, and white sand beaches. There are plenty of things to do on the island so it makes for a perfect trip all on its own. I was only there one day during a week-long cruise so I didn't waste any time. I soaked up the sunshine, grabbed some street meat, and walked the town with family. That morning, however, it was just me, a family friend called Kerrie, and our group of horse-riding tourists.

This wasn't my first time riding horses on the beach, I'd also done it in Rosarito, Mexico and some trail riding in Cuba. Every time I've gotten to ride, I've been stuck in a line trotting along at a slow, steady pace. This time I was tired of it and got bold. I lied and told the tour guide that I'd ridden lots before and asked could I take my steed for a quick run up the beach on my own. What do you know? He said yes! After the group went along on the normal tour, he gave leave for me to take off. I kicked her belly, and my horse took off at a full run. It was faster than I expected, and bumpier! But, I held on and the wind whipped around and we made great speed all the way to the fence so far up the beach I couldn't even see the group anymore. It didn't matter, the horse turned around and rode right back. I cannot wait to get to ride at full speed again. I still can't believe I did that without having any idea what to expect. I totally could have fallen. I guess I just trusted my grip on the reigns and a false comfort from watching horses in films. I don't think I'd want to run much more without having some guidance to proper form. I'd hate to be putting the horse through more struggle by doing it wrong. Whew. It was so fun though. Now, my love of horses is just stronger.