05 September 2013

Labor Day Diary

This summer didn't end on quite the note I had hoped it would (with an especially harrowing past month), so when Keith suggested we go north for Labor Day weekend I hopped in the car as fast as I could. 

We spent Friday and Saturday nights in a scenic and cozy cabin in the Adirondacks. After a late arrival on Friday, we spent Saturday morning exploring the property which hosts ducks, a yellow lab and, in the words of the proprietor, "two mules we can saddle up for you, or you can just enjoy their sweet oddness."  Although there were a couple kinks (mostly involving online booking), we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and hope to go back. Jasper enjoyed himself too, as evidenced by the photos he took:

Photos of dog and mules by Jasper

On Saturday afternoon we made the 60-mile trek (back in the direction from which we came, but oh well) to Saratoga for some horse races. It took me a while to remember my patented winning strategy, but once I got into the groove I was able to come out on top based solely on skill! (Right?)

Immediately after my big win, we left the track for more verdant pursuits. We headed over to Saratoga Spa State Park, which brought back childhood memories of me being grossed out by my dad drinking the awful smelling water. Keith chugged a cupful of the fabled water, but Jasper and I could barely choke down a couple sips.

We also went on a little hike, which Jasper endured with varying degrees of enthusiasm...

Later we passed through the Village of Lake George, which seems like a dated and outrageous 10-year-old's paradise (think Jersey Shore meets Wally World). Just past the village, though, was a gorgeous sunset and some terrific taxidermy at Olde Log Inn. It wasn't exactly off the beaten path, but I felt like it was a true Adirondack experience.

Sunday was like a thousand days crammed into one. We raced up to Lake Placid to catch the early train to Saranac Lake for Hobofest. This is real. 

Saranac Lake was a cute place, although I think we were there on a quiet day. Jasper and I still managed to get some shopping in and scored, between the two of us, three tops, a new train and an evidently riveting magazine.

Jasper was losing steam by the time Hobofest (bluegrass performed by vagabond hipsters) got started, but the train ride back to Lake Placid featured a Steampunk Pirate band that we all enjoyed. 

Inspired by the drifters at Hobofest, we took an impromptu ferry ride over Lake Champlain to Burlington, VT, where we spent our last night. 

Burlington was more built up than any other place I've seen in Vermont, but it was quaint enough for me. We feasted on bone marrow and cider at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill, followed by a luxurious and LEED certified sleep at Hotel Vermont. I would normally recommend a more rustic approach to lodging in Vermont, but if you've just won big at the races or you're feeling particularly fancy, go here. It plays into every Vermont cliché, but I was seriously impressed.

The next morning we had an excellent breakfast at Henry's Diner, followed by a scenic bike ride along Lake Champlain.

Keith and I enjoyed the lake views to our west, while Jasper focused on the old train tracks across the trail. He took several photos worthy of a 2.5-year-old, mostly of Keith's posterior, but snuck in a few good shots of his beloved trains.

Train photo by Jasper

We were jolted back to reality on our way back to New Haven when we stopped for dinner in Albany. Albany always makes it less sad to go home, because at least home is not Albany. 

The End

15 June 2013

Three reasons to love Philadelphia

You can bring your kids out and still have a great time at Frankford Hall

You can go shopping at Vagabond, Third Street Habit and all the other amazing shops on 3rd Street in the Old City section. 

I just got back from a day long trip to Philly, where I broke my shopping ban and ate my weight in meat. All in all, a success!

20 May 2013


It's time once again for a self-imposed shopping ban. This season's ban will last until September and won't be as restrictive as my last ban (given the wild binge that occurred moments after it was lifted). This time around I will allow myself to buy the occasional item, provided it fills some kind of functional void. That means I have to slap my hand down every time it reaches for a chambray shirt or BB cream, but a suit or replacement bottle of shampoo would be okay (yawn).

Why a shopping ban fills me with this much dread is beyond me, as I wear the same exact thing every day (chambray shirt, BB cream) - but it does. I suppose I like the idea of options, just in case. With that in mind, I'm hoping that this shopping ban will not only force me to save money and fight the man or whatever, but also allow my current wardrobe realize its full potential. Surly there's variety in there somewhere, right?

Fortunately the internet invented Pinterest to keep track of looks I can bastardize steal replicate with my current wardrobe. FYI, my wardrobe = Madewell + Anthropologie with aspirations of being Steven Alan + Anthropologie.

(via Apartment 34) I think looking too pulled together is boring, but I have to do it from time to time. A t-shirt and cardigan could feasibly convince me to whip out that pencil skirt that's been hiding in the back of my closet. Knotting the t-shirt might be too risque for me, but I like the general idea.

(via Pennyweight.) Did I mention I have a lot of chambray shirts and gold necklaces?

(via Garance Dore.) Honestly I have no excuse not to look like this all the time. This is the amount of pulled together plus frazzliness I'm generally going for. I'll start with this tomorrow.

09 March 2013


Recent snow events have caused great unhappiness in my life. What I need right now is not more winter. What I need is to wear pink pants, listen to terrible pop music and drink a fruity something with an umbrella in it. The tease of 50 degree days followed by winter storms is enough to drive me to Florida, which, while unusually soulless and elderly, is reliably warm and accommodating on the umbrellaed drink front.

But there will be no Florida for me this year. Instead, I will suffer through the tail end of winter right here in cloudy, dark, windy, wintery mix-y Connecticut, covering up the pedicure I got in a fit of delusional optimism with thick woolen socks and clunky, weather-beaten boots. If you need me for any reason, you'll find me curled up in the corner, crying into my umbrellaless drink whilst listening to Mozart's Requiem and wearing regular colored pants. The world is a cruel place.

I didn't always feel this way about winter. I can remember a time, as recently as last month, when I welcomed the snow and embraced the cold. While those days are long gone, I look back on them with fondness and invite you remember with me as you look at these photos of times gone by. It is also my hope that, by releasing these photographs I will have thereby exorcized all remnants of winter and induced the onset of spring. 

New Haven



Middle of Nowhere


New Haven

07 January 2013


New Years tip: indulge as much as possible before implementing resolutions.

I love making resolutions. I make them whenever I get home from a vacation or finish a crazy job. Having some sort of plan for improvement upon my return to normal life allows me to operate at maximum relaxation capacity in the meantime. For this reason New Years resolutions don't go into effect until the fun is completely finished. That means we've opened presents from both sides of the family, eaten all leftovers, and drained the last of the champagne. In this year's case, they go in effect today.

There are a handful of resolutions that I always make and never keep, mostly revolving around money. They never seem to get off the ground, so this year I've decided to resolve as I go. I'm starting with a total ban on ALL non-essential shopping for Jasper and myself until March 6th. This includes all toys, clothes, "fun" beauty products, shoes, housewares, jewelry, electronic gadgets (with one exception), and anything else that seems tempting. The ban excludes anything purchased with a gift card, replacement beauty stuff (so I don't have to go without washing my hair for two months), a computer (because I don't have one currently), books, and obviously anything my family might need to...exist. I'm also not cutting out restaurants or the indulgent bottle of wine here and there. This particular resolution has more to do with my fondness for accumulating stuff than it does with overhauling my entire lifestyle. Baby steps.

Speaking of babies, the second resolution is to reinstate Jasper's good habits. We fell into some really bad patterns while I was working a thousand hours a day, which only got exponentially worse while we were on vacation.  Said patterns include bribing Jasper with cookies, unlimited i-Pad usage, and the end of any discernible bedtime. So far we're doing well with the i-Pad thing, thanks in large part to a gift from an uncle - the highly annoying but cute Playful Penguin Race.

My third resolution is to donate a significant chunk time or money to something non-political that I care about. Most of my idealism over the past several years has been channeled into paid work, and while I'm happy to have had a series of jobs that I can be proud of, they by no means let me off the hook. 

Finally, I resolve to wear more lipstick. My motivation isn't as shallow as you might think.

Image via Into the Gloss

24 November 2012


In case you were wondering what happened to me, I've just come down from an 8 month work binge, followed by a 2 week shopping binge that is finally culminating into one huge refusal to get dressed for at least a week. I'm armed with a Kindle full of books, the Sunday crossword, and a cute kid - the only thing missing is the appropriate wardrobe. "A wardrobe for NOT GETTING DRESSED?" you ask? Honestly! One cannot be expected to live a life of leisure looking like a common hobo. I, for one, plan on channeling the glamorous housewives of Old Hollywood, sitting at my vanity as I powder and perfume myself in perpetuity. And here's what I would like to wear:

This robe by Zinke, for sitting at the aforementioned vanity.

This robe by Eberjay, for cozying up by the fire[place DVD].

These silk pajamas from J. Crew for when I get to the crossword. 

This chemise by Fleur of England as a coy nod to the holidays.