Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

So I lied to you readers.  You are going to get one more post from me before 2011!  Mostly because my friends are all running ridiculously late for our pre-game party haha  But I thought it'd be the perfect time to reflect on 2010 since it was one hell of a year.

1. I survived the Snowpocalypse/Snowmaggedon/SnowtoriousBIG/Snowohmygod/Snowgasm whatever you want to call it that pelted DC.  No classes for a week?  Yes please

2. I served as Co-President of our campus's anti-human trafficking group, Trafficking Free GW and successfully held "Activism Through the Arts", a fundraising event that blended social justice organizations and live music.


3. I spent an amazing Spring Break on South Padre Island, TX.  It was full of shenanigans and for any of my readers still in college/grad school...GO THERE THIS YEAR!

4. I graduated college.

5.  I moved to NYC to start my first real job and I found the 2 most amazing roommates in the world.

6. Oh and I went to Miami to celebrate my lovely roommate's birthday.



2010 was good to me!  Hopefully more good things are to come in 2011.  Happy New Year loves!  Be safe and party hard tonight!

Bloggerstock: What Inspires You

It's that time again...Bloggerstock!  Bloggerstock is a unique blog swap, where posts are exchange in a circle.  Make sure to click through all the links to read everyone's thoughts on this month's topic: What Inspires You.  Make sure to stop by Emily's blog Phraseless to read CkretsGalore's post and head over to Alex's blog IceWolf's Ramblings to read mine!
Hi readers of Leanna's blog! I'm Emily from phraseless here. I've never lived anywhere near NYC or even visited the city, so this'll be a departure from your usual reading fare. 

It's hard to say exactly what inspires me, and in what ways, sometimes I'm not even sure. I do have very vivid dreams though, and more than once I've received a germ of an idea for a story or an image from my dreams (just a germ, not fully developed at all). 

Here's one book, one picture, and one person who inspire me.

The Melancholy of Anatomy: Stories by Shelley Jackson


This book shows everything that short stories should be but have hardly ever become. It's disgusting and wonderful.


M.C. Escher, Reptiles, 1943

I love Escher's work in general, and this painting blends his 3-d paradoxicality with his carefully calculated flat transitions.


His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso the 14th Dalai Lama


I saw His Holiness speak when I was in the ninth grade - so long ago! - and the branch of Tibetan Buddhism that he espouses is one of the religions that appeals to me most of any. This coming from someone who is a staunch agnostic.

Happy Bloggerstock! I hope this entry gave you all some things to think about and maybe sprouted a germ or two in your own minds.

-Emily

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stuff I Like

Like a crazy lunatic, I dragged myself out of bed at 5am this morning to hit the gym.  But....the good news is as long as I get my lazy butt to the gym tomorrow I get a $200 membership reimbursement from my health insurance company.  *woot woot*.  I apologize in advance if today's post is caffeine fueled and rambling. haha

1. Gap: True Straight Pants
I recently bought these pants from the Gap and I am OBSESSED.  They fit like a glove and make my butt look awesome.  Plus, the tall size is plenty long enough for all 5'11" of me.  Gap was having some very good sales before the holidays (everything in the stores 30-40% off)...not sure if it's still going on but if it is you should take advantage!

2. Vinny Guadagnino's Twitter
Everyone knows I'm a huge Jersey Shore fan so it shouldn't be a surprise that I love Vinny's Twitter.  His posts always crack me up.  During the aftermath of this weekend's blizzard he posted "Why isn't a trending topic in NYC yet??!"  Love it!  And for those of my lovely readers that are on Twitter...let's be friends!  You can find me here.

3. Crumbs Seasonal Cupcakes
How cute are these Crumbs seasonal cupcakes!?  I could eat a zillion of them...or maybe half a one at a time since they're gigantic and super sweet.  I'm dying to try the Black Bottom Cheesecake one.  Yummmm.

4. Spa Sally's $25 Tuesdays
One of my co-workers is always talking about Spa Sally's $25 Tuesdays.  This week I finally gave it a try and what a deal it is!  Each Tuesday, they offer a $25 service at a different spa in NYC.  I'm treating myself to a 75 minute deep cleaning facial at La Peau Day Spa in the near future.  I can't wait!

5. Chop't
My junior year of college I used to eat Chop't on an alarmingly frequent basis.  Then the sad day arrived when I hit the Chop't wall and couldn't eat it anymore.  After 2 years I'm finally ready to embrace it again.  I had it for dinner tonight and it was just delicious as I remembered it!  My personal favorite is the Cobb salad with Dijon Vinaigrette.  You can also make your own salad so the options are endless!

This is probably the last you'll hear from me until after the New Year...you'll get a Bloggerstock post on Friday but it will be from a fabulous guest blogger.  Happy New Year...do me proud with your celebrating!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good Riddance

First of all my dear Free Falafel is in town and I was so happy to see her today!  Go check out her blog since she is adorable, intelligent, and hilarious.

Second of all...HAPPY GOOD RIDDANCE DAY!  For those of you who are not familiar with it, good riddance day allows you to get rid of anything that's been bothering you in 2010 and gives you a fresh start for the New Year.  Today, New Yorkers could venture to Times Square to shred, throw out, or use a sledge hammer to demolish their bad memories.  Unfortunately, we were too swamped at our office to venture down to Times Square.  Instead we improvised and made lists of what we wanted to say good riddance to. Then we ran them through the office shredder.  I think it was pretty creative.  Here's my work of art:


What are you saying Good Riddance to in 2011?

PS-Is anyone else completely obsessed with this song right now?  I CANNOT get it out of my head and it better be played on NYE.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Two Tuesday: New Year's Resolutions

 *I just realized I wrote this on Monday...thinking it was Tuesday.  Vacation really messes with your sense of time hahaha*

Two posts in one day!?  Oh my, I must be home in Millville.  I really enjoyed Top Two Tuesday last time I participated and I found some awesome new blogs to follow.  I thought I'd do it again this week!  I'm sure everyone's gearing up for NYE.  I'm excited to spend a fabulous night at Guastavino's and do some dancing!  I'm also working on my resolutions for the coming year.  Here's are my top 2.


1. Budget
In 2011 I'm going to stick to my budget for once!  I try so hard to budget.  At the beginning of the weekend I take out a certain amount of cash and that is what I allow myself to spend on entertainment that weekend...until I run out and hit the ATM again.  I'm going to try to resist doing that this coming year.  I'm also going to keep better track of where I'm spending my money.  I can cut out some of those $5 lattes from Fika and I can definitely cut out some of my shopping trips as well because how many different sweater dresses do I really need?

2. Read More
I was unsure what to set as my second resolution.  I already work out religiously and am overly obsessed with making sure I eat enough fruit and veggies so those resolutions would be copping out.  Instead, I want to start reading more.  I've started reading on the subway in the afternoons and I LOVE it.  I'm going to make it a habit for the new year.  And I'm not just stopping at books.  I want to read newspapers more often and more nonfiction to keep up on current events.  While I was studying International Affairs in college, I always knew the latest in world events.  However, after graduating I was so burnt out from all the reading and studying I moved away from it for a while.  I'm going to get back into it and I'm looking forward to doing so on my own schedule and pace.

What are your resolutions for the new year?

Poppin Bottles in the Ice, Like a Blizzard

I couldn't resist the title...that song is constantly stuck in my head!  It's snowing like crazy in MA right now.  I'm hoping to make it back to NYC in one piece this afternoon.  Amtrak is on limited service but it looks like my train will still be running.  *fingerscrossed*

It's been a great little break at home.  It was wonderful to spend some time with my family and see all my little cousins.  I received some very very thoughtful and generous gifts from my family and I hope they liked the ones I got them as well.  Here are some highlights:

I got together with some of my high school friends.  It's been a couple of years since some of us have seen each other and it was a lot of fun to see each other.

My almost 2 year old cousin loves Lady Gaga.  Whenever music would play she'd yell "Gaga!  More Gaga!"  Too cute!!

We watched Twilight Eclipse on Christmas night.  My grandmother declared "Bella is a floozy" and my cousin observed "What kind of sick pervert writes a book like this!?". hahaha  Soooo true and soooo funny.  (But I'm still all for Team Jacob...no judging).

My poor father had to go out on a service call around 9:30pm on Christmas...he's an electrician.  He brought my uncle with him.  When they came back they reported that it was like the Griswold Family Christmas over there.  Maybe next year a few less Christmas lights will keep their power on!

I finally made cake balls!!  I followed Bakerella's recipe except I opted for chocolate cake, butter cream frosting, and a milk chocolate shell.  They were outrageous and pretty easy to make!  I recommend trying it out.

Now I'm looking out my window at this:
Got to love winter in New England!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

Since I've got the day off from work today, I'm participating in a blog hop.  I think this one is particularly appropriate for me because everyone knows how much I love drinking wine.  Plus, I'm meeting up with a bunch of high school friends for a beer tonight.  I can't wait to see them!

Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stuff I Like

Today's edition is brought to you from my couch in Massachusetts with a giant iced coffee by my side.  It's so nice to be home for Christmas!  I hope everyone else is enjoying the holidays as well!

1. I Don't Care About Your Band
I recently finished this absolutely amazing book, "I Don't Care About Your Band" by Julie Klausner.  This book is not for the prim and proper since Julie is in your face with her dating and sexual exploits but I highly recommend it.  While she's a little more wild than I am, I can relate to her uncontrollable desire to date jerks and her feeling that she's failed when ever one of these losers breaks up with her.  When I read this quote I seriously felt like I had written it myself..."And he never knew that because he never told me I was fantastic, I worked harder to prove to him that I was.  Because twenty-two-year-olds, even the ambitious ones, don't have much else besides that to do .  They like drama, and they need projects".  But fear not, the book has a positive ending and is all about how the stupid things you do in your twenties are important.  You need to date the losers, party too much, and make mistakes to learn what you really want from life.  Oh, and her writing's absolutely hilarious.  Has anyone read it yet?


2. People Who Get My Name Wrong
I'm not being sarcastic about this...I think it is hilarious!  Leanna is not a very difficult name.  I mean I can understand misspelling it but not understanding it makes me laugh.  The three times I went to Starbucks last week I received cups with three different names on them "Deana", "Leona", and my personal favorite "NaNa".  I can't to see what they come up with next week!

3. PopTart World
On Monday night I finally went to PopTart World and wow it was it was amazing!  The merchandise selection was kind of terrible but they had an entire menu of PopTart themed foods.  Who didn't dream of a restaurant that only sold PopTarts when they were 8?  They have everything from PopTart ice cream sandwiches to chocolate dipped pretzels rolled in pieces of PopTarts.  I tried a peanut butter and chocolate brownie with PopTart pieces baked into it.  Yummmm


4. Prince
On Saturday I went to the Prince concert at Madison Square Garden.  It was a ridiculously good time!  For a man in his 50s, Prince can still play guitar like a champ and does some pretty sick dance moves.  There are very few men over fifty I find attractive but he's one of them....along with Liam Neeson, Viggo Mortensen, and Billy Idol (no judging...Billy Idol is fucking hot and he still has some gorgeous abs).  The whole live show was wonderful and included plenty of glitter and costume changes.  However, there was an extreme moment of awkward when Prince invited Spike Lee on stage to play the tamborine...say what!?


5. Christmas in NYC
This part is best told in pictures...enjoy!



Monday, December 20, 2010

20 Something Bloggers Blog Swap

Happy Monday everyone!  Today I am participating in 20 Something Bloggers' Blog Swap.  This entry is written by the lovely Sneha of Limit Free Lifestyle.  I really enjoy her blog and how positive her outlook is.  Stop by to see for yourself and to check out my Blog Swap post.
*****

I've never really been a fan of the question, "So where do you see yourself (insert number here) years from now? Well, to be honest, where I see myself X number of years from now may not be where I actually will be, so I would rather work on today and the near future's goals. I would much rather think, "What are some of the next goals I have in mind or things I want to explore?" So for 2011 and beyond, here are a few areas of my life that I'd like to develop further:
yoga
teaching
traveling
improving my writing
growth
family
friendships
helping out more in the community
happiness
laughter


Having big dreams is great, but I think it's more important to break down those dreams into smaller, manageable, and realistic goals, so that you can accomplish them. If you have the right resources and know some good people who can assist with your goals (and maybe you can help with theirs), that's even more beneficial.
What are some areas of YOUR life you would like to see grow and improve?

This post was written by Sneha, writer of limitfreelifestyle.wordpress.com. Written as a part of BlogSwap 2010, it’s a personal twist on the question “Action. What are you going to do next year that you've put off too long?”  Through her blog, Sneha writes about issues and experiences related to a 20-something’s life. She covers Work, Health, Finance, Family, and a hodgepodge of other topics.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Big Screen Debut

I went to see The Fighter today and it was incredible!  This movie is a must see not only because I'm in it but because the story of Micky Ward is inspiring, the acting is amazing, and Marky Mark is gorgeous. 



Two summers ago this blogger discovered the website beinamovie.com.  On a whim I filled out the form to appear as an extra in The Fighter and encouraged two of my closest friends to do the same.  By some stroke of good luck we were all selected and assigned to appear in the audience of the Micky Ward/Shea Neary championship fight scene being filmed at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA.

When we arrived on set all of the extras that signed up through beinamovie.com were placed relatively far from the boxing ring and paid SAG extras were brought in to fill the floor seats.  However, they were more seats than there were paid extras.  Members of the production crew began combing the audience for appropriately dressed unpaid extras.  My two friends and I were selected to sit ringside!

We spent the almost 12 hour day delivering our best cheering and booing performances, watching Christian Bale creepily pace in the corner while running his lines, drooling over Marky Mark, and seeing how a movie is made.  It was a very long but exciting day!  Never in a million years did I think I'd be an extra in a movie.

Seeing myself on the big screen today was crazy!  Since the camera angle is constantly shifting to keep up with the boxers' movements each time is brief but you can see us at least 4 times.  If you go see it, see if you can spot me.  I'm sitting directly behind the photographers, in the second row of spectators, on the left hand side, and I'm wearing an adorable brown dress.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Silliness

It's time for a Christmas inspired Saturday Silliness post!  And this week you get not one but 2 fabulous videos.

This first one features an impersonation of my love Mark Mary Wahlberg (btw I'm an extra in his new movie The Fighter and my scene made it into the movie!  I'm seeing it on Sunday so expect a post about this soon).  Andy Samberg's impersonation is dead on, he nails the accent and the strange way Marky Mark tends to look into the distance instead of at the person he's talking to haha.  Plus, it involves Rudolph.  Amazing!




I LOVE this youtube video so much.  It imagines what the nativity story would be like in the digital age using gmail, twitter, facebook, foursquare, etc.  It's super cute!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stuff I Like

This week's edition almost didn't happen.  After an exhausting evening of Christmas shopping, cooking dinner at 10:30, and cooking for tomorrow's office party, I'm ready for bed.  But I couldn't let you down could I?  So I hope you enjoy this week's post even more than usual haha

1. Creeping on Celebrities

Today I was minding my own business and doing some Christmas shopping at the Manhattan Mall when I walked by *GASP* my girl Jwoww from Jersey Shore.  I adore Jersey Shore and Jwoww has always been my favorite (besides Pauly D of course).  Since I am a cool and sophisticated New Yorker I didn't stare or make a scene when I walked by her.  Instead I oh so classily ran as quickly as possible across the mall so I could snap cell phone pictures at a safe distance (you can judge a little if you want to...I deserve it).  Of course, the quality sucks but there she is to the right with her impressive entourage.  Oh and check out this guy waiting to meet her:

Can you say Pauly D wannabe!?

2. Christmas Cookies

I have been eating waaaaay too many Christmas cookies and sweets lately but I can't get enough of them.  I'm especially excited for my Grandmother's Christmas cookies next week!  She always makes the traditional Swedish Christmas cookies Spritz (see picture above) and Pepparkakor (my absolute FAVORITE) as well as Chocolate Chip Meringues and Russian Tea Cakes.  Yum!  What are your favorite Christmas cookies?

3. Ear Muffs
It has been OUTRAGEOUSLY cold in NYC the past couple of days.  I have formed a very close and loving relationship with my ear muffs because of it haha.  I think they are the cutest!  I've always wanted a pair but for some reason my mom only ever bought me those horrible, no good, very bad head band ear warmers which are unfortunate and not at all cute!

4. Little Penguin Wine
Speaking of cute things...how cute are the labels on these Little Penguin wines!?  This is my new obsession.  I know it's nothing fancy or terribly sophisticated but this wine is delicious and affordable.  It's Australian (like my fabulous roommate) and they have some interesting blends...try the Shiraz Cabernet, it doesn't disappoint.  Their website is great too since it offers advice for food pairings.  As a girl who knows NOTHING about wine etiquette (I'm taking a class on Sunday...maybe I'll learn something!), I trust their advice.  Oh and they make 1.5 liter bottles, which are great for entertaining...or roommate movie night haha

5. Cliff Lee
Thank You Thank You Thank You Cliff Lee for signing with the Phillies!!!  Even though I'm a New Yorker now, I will always be a MA girl and GIANT Boston fan at heart.  Anything that screws over the Yankees brings me joy.

So that's it for now.  I've got my office Christmas party tomorrow...it's starting at noontime.  I better keep reminding myself that it's a marathon and not a sprint or I'll be passed out by 4! haha  Enjoy the rest of your weeks loves!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

(Un)Domestic Goddess

So it's no secret I'm a closet Real Housewives fan and along with this obsession, it is also my secret life goal to be a Real Housewife of Long Island someday.  Queen Jean and I will clearly be the 2 greatest housewives to ever grace reality television.  I mean come on, I can already drink mimosas, shop, and work out like the best of the NYC cast.

However, there is one MAJOR obstacle between me and this goal.  I lack any and all of the domestic skills necessary to be a housewife.  You're talking to the girl who recently called her mother and asked how to make a baked potato.  That's right A BAKED POTATO.  I think the only thing easier to make than that is a piece of toast.  So I've decided it's time to put on my big girl pants and start learning how to do more adult things.  What better time than the holiday season to start!

To start things off my roommates and I threw a Christmas party over the weekend.  This was the first major step since here is what happened last time I threw a party:

It was Olympic themed, I gave out medals, and no I didn't know half of the people before they showed up at my dorm room.  It was epic but nothing about it was adult or remotely domestic.  I mean, I decorated with paper snowflakes...talk about high class.

And yes, I spent the next day scrubbing wine off of my dorm room ceiling.  No one knows how it ended up there.  I'm blaming the Navy School boys that showed up because they're not here to refute that claim haha

This weekend we really stepped it up from the college parties I used to throw.  First of all we replaced the paper snowflakes with a real live tree!


We had actual hors d'oeuvres (I made crabbies which were a huge hit...click here for the recipe!)


And a dessert spread (ok and maybe some red and green jello shots but baby steps people baby steps!)


I think the party was a success and other people seemed to have a great time too!  And this time there was no wine on the ceiling (although I might have still been cleaning it off of the floor today).

I spent my day off today writing out Christmas cards.  I'm almost done!  How cute are these NYC themed cards I found at Barnes & Noble?


So what do you think readers?  Is there hope for this blogger to learn a few more domestic skills?  I hope so!  My next adventure is to attempt those cake balls Connecticut Cupcake is always blogging about.  They sound absolutely delicious (but horribly messy to make...that's why I'll be using my mother's kitchen when I'm home next week...love you mom! haha).