Below are some fun ways that I've worn them! If you pick one up let me know how you wear yours!
Agnes used hers to make a christmas tree out of a lamp! Adorable!
We wish you a wonderful holiday season with your friends & family!
We spent Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with the Stirek family and will be spending Christmas in Williamsburg, VA with the Pineiros. Plans are to ring in 2013 low-key here in Astoria.
Juan is a few weeks away from finishing his second feature film. Taylor is currently looking for a full-time positon in non-profit or
political organizing in Los Angeles! We are planning to move in mid February!
If you are in NYC let's make sure that we get together before we leave, and if you're on the west coast we will be seeing you soon. We know that life gets very hectic these days and we feel very lucky to have the internet to be able to keep in touch with so many people that we care about. Time and distance sometimes feel overwhelming but we are always talking about how grateful we are to have you in our lives.
Thank you for a wonderful 2012 and we look forward to many years of friendship!
The #1 thing that bugs the crap out of me is store bought wrapping paper! It is expensive, it is wasteful, it is boring! There are SO many more fun ways to wrap your gifts! This year I'm digging deep into my craft pile (not a room or a box, a pile) and trying something different with each one.
First up is fabric!
What you need for fabric DIY wrapping paper:
- A thoughtful gift!
- A scrap of fabric - I used extra I had on hand but this is also a great way to recycle an old t-shirt
- Needle & thread
Simply cut the fabric the way you would wrapping paper, no need to iron the fabric you'll be pulling it as you sew. Start with the middle crease tape down the bottom layer (just like with paper) and fold over the top layer and tape to hold. Hand sew the seam and remove the tape (obviously the tape on the bottom will still be there, but it'll be hidden). Fold the first side down as you would wrap and sew all the seams pulling lightly as you go to smooth the fabric. I'm cool with it getting messy a bit under the seams since it is easy to hide folds as you go.
That's it! Much easier than it looks. The fun part will be to watch your friends and family try to open it, scissors might be required for that too.
After the holidays you can use the fabric again and again (on smaller and smaller packages) or use it to make patches, bags, aprons, add it to a quilt for a great memory... sky's the limit!
We've been wanting to move for a long time. We've talked about LA and then Austin and then back to LA. The west coast makes the most sense for JCPE with his job right now and I have always enjoyed it there and have a great network of friends & colleagues to plug into! This is the perfect time for us. JCPE's second feature film, Know How, is almost complete. I'm looking for jobs after recently leaving my Assistant life (hopefully for good). Why not start to look for jobs in LA?!
I don't have many answers, and it's likely that this will take longer than we anticipate but we are really excited about the new chapter in our life!
Here are some FAQs from family and friends:
Why are you moving exactly? (Mama Stirek) - We've been in NYC for almost 13 years which is a really long time! For me personally I have done SO MUCH of what I wanted to do while I was here. Recently my book club read Rules of Civility a novel about women in the 30's in NYC. While reading it I was so moved by all of MY NYC memories. JCPE and I went out for late night Jazz and I started drinking just gin! If I hadn't ever lived in NYC a book like that would have made me SO sad. Instead it made me SO happy and grateful for all of my experiences here. I will treasure them always and never say never we might hate it out there and come back!
What happend to Austin? (Sister Blair) - At behest of my therapist we went to visit the places we were considering living. Austin was really high for a long time, we have great friends and a great sister there! After going to visit it affirmed our love but we wanted to see LA as well. LA just felt right for where we are in our lives right now. We want to take a chance (a serious earthquake might dump us into the ocean chance!) on living the dream there for a while! I anticipate we'll move to Austin or somewhere similar in a few years when we start to have expensive children! It's not out for the count at all.
What about all your non-profit work in NYC? (Everyone we are on boards with) - Right now I'm continuing my work as is, because you never know and the worst thing would be to be here in April with nothing to do! A lot of we both do can be done digitally and over the phone for a while during transitions etc. We never want our passion for our projects to suffer so when we anticipate it being a real issue we will act accordingly!
What do YOU (Tay) want to do in LA? - Right, it makes sense for JCPE to move there obvs. For me, it's not just following him to the west coast it's also been a dream of mine to move somewhere warmer and closer to my family for years now. I'm grateful to have been let go from my former position in such a way that I'm able to job search from home for the next few weeks. I recently went to PA for the Obama campaign for just two weeks but I absolutely loved it. I'd love to do some sort of political organizing in the Los Angeles area. I have a few contacts there that I will be talking to and sharing my resume and applying for jobs that I might love! I'm thinking organizing, social media, progressivism are my key words. California is a fun state politically and I think I can do a lot of good there!
What is the timeline like? - I'm looking for jobs starting now. If I get something I will go and sublet and search for apts while JCPE finishes up work here. We understand that this could take months, but are hoping for Jan/Feb.
How will you get your stuff there? (Dad Stirek) - well! I have no desire to drive a U-Haul across country so Mama Pineiro and JCPE will do a mama/son road trip! It'll be adorable.
What neighborhoods are you looking at? - Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Echo Park probably. We want something walkable for dinner/drinks and we have no concept of where we will be working so these places are the best NYC transplant starter-kit 'hoods.
When can I come visit? (Gugs) - Soon! Let's go to the beach all the time and hide under umbrellas and full body sun proof suits!
Can we go to Spago in LA? (Gugs) - yes! haha let's do everything LA fancy! Including star-maps and possible the TMZ bus tour!
Got more questions? I can try to have answers!!
For the first time in an exceptionally long time I am going to be job searching without having a job to go to everyday. I am extraordinarily lucky to have spent the past few years at a place that gave me the chance to save a little so I can take some time to figure out what I want to do with the rest!
Mostly I'm worried about starving to death. Or finding a way to balance that fine line between not spending a lot of money on food and also being on Weight Watchers. I think I'm going to have a turkey corn dog and a pear for lunch.
The day actually started out pretty great. The very first thing I did was apply for a job at a company that I really love. Then I cleaned a little, visited the offices on the floor below (aka JCPE in the basement) and now I'm listening to classical musica on Spotify and answering emails. Today I'm going to paint a roof white and tomorrow I'm going to register voters in Herald Square.
Anyway, I'll keep you posted on this adventure! I'm really looking forward to what it will bring!!
I get that a bunch of my friends are well, all different ages. I used to think age mattered so much, but I know now that it really doesn't. I learned so many things in my 20s that weren't really age-specific (other than that big 2-1) they were just experiences. Experiments in city living, friendship beginning and some really big friendships ending, finding the man I was going to marry right in my circle of friends all along, gaining a new beautiful family when I met his... They could have happened anytime but they happened in my 20s. I'll remember it as a decade of intense heartbreak and intense love. It was a very personal time. I will (try my hardest) to never regret where I am in my professional life. It happens when it happens... I've been growing every day.
I feel sometimes that I'm meant to be an old lady. Everything these days seems so rushed and I just want to slow down and enjoy it. I want to spend more time with JCPE, go for longer walks and grow a garden. I also am struck with the biggest wave of baby fever I have ever had. I want to be a young enough old lady to hang out with my grandkids for a while. I have some friends who are expecting their third and others who recently found out it would be impossible for them to conceive. I don't know what the future holds for us, but I know that I'm looking forward to new challenges.
Over Memorial Day weekend we stayed at a house in the Hamptons with friends, we had a lovely time. There was a large porch that overlooked a pool it just ASKED you to jump in it. We all politely agreed not to, then on the first night I'm napping (like I do) and I hear a splash and yelling and a lot of "I CAN'T BELIEVE HE DID THAT!!" I mean I didn't have to be psychic to know who it was who jumped off first!
I was angry. I said things like 'Don't be dumb I need you!' then I thought to myself, self, you never do anything adventurous isn't that the root of your problem? Indeed. So I said, FINE you want to jump off second story balconies I'm going to too!! Everyone had left at this point, which was for the best because I needed 30 minutes to psych myself up. I jumped around, I made JCPE play 'Stronger' by Kelly Clarkston three times. I took off all my clothes stood on a ledge and screamed THIS IS A METAPHOR!! To his credit JCPE just looked at me in wonder and smiled the whole time. Finally, he had to go so that I could. My husband jumped off a ledge and I followed, nude, about 20 seconds before our friends walked in the door! Just in the nick of time!
Aren't the good things often like that though?
You're ready when you're ready.
It happens when it happens.
As long as it happens.
And I think in my 30s it all will.
I'll start tomorrow. Happy almost Birthday to me!
Please join us as we kickoff the summer with a BBQ in our favorite neighborhood, the Lower East Side!
Sunday May 6th
1pm – 5pm
11BC Community Garden
626 East 11th Street (Btwn B&C)
$10 suggested donation at the door, please RSVP via facebook HERE.
We will provide the food, drinks and white roof coating demonstrations!
Come learn about simple tangible change from WRP!
I don't know why anyone uses Photoshop when clearly Paint can do everything that photoshop can! This is a simulated picture of me on V-day. I f-ed up and I'm still not over it.
JCPE is perfect. He bought me a beautiful necklace that says 'loved.' Holy hell am I lucky that I am because someone in my house is a hot mess right now (hint: it's me). I couldn't decide what to do... I was thinking I want to do something silly romantic, like the male equivalent of flowers! Then I thought oh! I'll get him actual flowers!
So the plan was three fold:
1. Wake up early and make breakfast
2. Have flowers come to his office in the middle of the day
3. Have a pizza party at home and watch Aliens
I got up at 6 and made him breakfast, that went over as well as it can when you're out of coffee and wake someone up who is confused and tired and force feed them eggs and hush puppies. Then I waited ALL day for the flowers to get to his office... finally at 6pm they arrived! Or so I thought! Actually some asshole in the building has my flowers. I don't even sort of understand. Either the delivery guy straight up lied about delivering them.... or he delivered them to what? Another person? Another floor? He just dropped them near the building and hoped for the best? Unacceptable on SO many levels.
I freaked out and shut down and took a nap, ruining all pizza party planning.
Luckily, twitter exists. I don't MEAN to exclusively complain on twitter... but it works. Often. I tweeted something snarky to @1800flowers and within 55 minutes I had my money back and a $20 credit! After my first tweet they asked me to DM them... and my DM's were more like 'actually, I'm so sorry that you're at work tonight' 'Are you ok?' 'This is probably my fault' because I can't not-apologize or think everything is my fault.
We then proceeded to eat dominos picnic style in the living room. Not a bad end to a nail-biting day of flower delivery waiting, and I think he forgives me for not getting anything after all... I got him a cute card in spanish so that must be worth something.
1. Next time I'm going pro-flowers.
2. twitter is for lovers and complainers
We'll try again next year!
While exploring the crock pot I discovered some Indian recipes I wanted to try, the aforementioned Tikka Masala was awesome. I decided that if I wanted to get serious I should get a cook book, even JCPE supports buying physical cookbooks. Possibly the last physical books we'll ever buy. I'm happy to read anything on a kindle but there's something about carrying a cookbook around the kitchen and staining it was spices and wilting the pages as you cook furiously that make a physical cookbook irreplaceable.
I bought 660 Curries on Amazon. It's awesome but REALLY intimidating. I wanted to jump right in and the first two things I've made have been... just... Ok. The first, Cauliflower with onions and peppers was WAY too spicy. The second, toasted lentils was beautiful and I think it tasted just like it was supposed to... it just wasn't really our style.
I'm a terrible learner. I get really frustrated and sad if things don't work out the first time... but hello, there are 658 MORE curries in this book, and I only did ones with ingredients I happened to have... I need to step up my game so here's the plan for the weekend:
1 - make a list of ingredients to purchase (either online or at an Indian grocery)
2 - make my own spice blends
3 - make my own ghee (butter boiled twice, sort of)
4 - make my own ginger paste
Then I think I'll be at a better place to get started! Also, the book is huge and I feel like I keep flipping to the same pages over and over. I need some post-its but I also need a little guidance. I compiled a list of 'favorites' from the stellar Amazon reviews and will start there! Wish me luck!
The Amazon comments tell me to try:
kidney beans section
marinated roast lamb
South Indian curd rice
Pineapple Chutney and have it warm, over vanilla ice cream
Spicy Potatoes and Spinach with Blackened Chilis and Coconut Milk
Cauliflower and Potatoes in a blackened red chile sauce (Alur Phulkopir Jhol) on page 481
Ginger Chicken with Peanuts and Coconut
Yogurt-Marinated Lamb with Ginger and Garlic
Brown Lentils with Chunky Onions and Chilis
Cayenne-Spiked Cauliflower with an Onion-Tomato Sauce
Sweet Potato and Plantain in a sauce of fresh and roasted coconut
Chili-Spiked Eggplant with Lemongrass & Scallions
I made the Chicken Vindloo and it was Amaaaaaaaaazing!! I didn't even get a good pic because we ate it so fast!