14 February 2012

Dates II

Happy Valentine's Day! Before the season of romance passes, I thought I'd share with you two more great dates...


image via facebook

One of my favorite Christmas presents last year was a ticket to a wine and cheese pairing class. One of our favorite cheese shops partnered with the wine shop next door to host a class where attendees, mostly couples, learned what to look for when pairing wine with cheese and how to taste them together. We had a delicious time, and wine is always a great equalizer when you're sitting at a table full of strangers - quiet, nervous couples become more gregarious, while pretentious old people get sloppy. Good times!

The best way to find a good class is to ask around at your favorite shops and restaurants. Get on their mailing lists so you'll be in the know when an interesting class pops up. This is a great date for any stage in a relationship - even a first date! Drinking + instant conversation topic = magical.


Remember when we went camping in Brooklyn? While this may not have been a date in the strictest (or any) sense of the word, it was definitely a romantic time. Jasper slept miraculously well in the tent, giving us time to cuddle by the campfire and whisper sweet nothings. During the day we got to sample delicious cuisine throughout Brooklyn and Queens, hang out with some pals, and hold hands on a boardwalk. If you happen to do this without a baby, take advantage of the opportunity to cram a fancy dinner date and a crunchy nature date into one weekend.

I hope you enjoy your day, whatever your relationship status. We're going to dress up and (Keith will) cook steak. It may not be Ohio, but I can't wait!

10 February 2012

three magazines

Three magazines worth reading:

The Gentlewoman

The Gentlewoman is a fabulous biannual magazine for modern women of purpose. Featuring ambitious journalism and photography of the highest quality, the magazine celebrates inspirational, international women through its distinctive combination of glamour, personality and wit. The Gentlewoman offers a fresh and intelligent perspective on fashion that is focused on personal style – the way women actually look, think and dress.


Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love. Every element of Kinfolk—the features, photography, and general aesthetics—are consistent with the way we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends. 


For too many people, being happy at home is pretty much an abstract idea, something they can't know or imagine, until it appears on some taste makers must-have list, or in a magazine, or reposted on Tumblr. A home sweet home is not curated or produced by acquiring a perfect arrangement of chairs, lamps and friends. A real living space is made from living, not decorating. A bored materialist can't understand that a house has to become a home. It happens, not through perfection but by participation.

shirt talking

Despite constant frustration with my wardrobe, I can usually count on a few basics that can carry me through any situation. This is not the case with the perfect white blouse. I'm looking for something that looks masculine and feminine at the same time - even on a curvier figure. That rules out most "boyfriend" shirts, which end up being too baggy on anyone over an A-cup (tenting).  It also rules out highly tailored shirts, which tend to emphasize one's figure in a manner reminiscent of a sexy nurse costume.

The key is a looser fit that nips in a little under the bust, but not enough to cling at the waist. One of these, perhaps?

Emerson Made White Shirt

Any hot tips? I'd love to know!

06 February 2012

Dates part I

Valentine's Day is approaching, so over the next couple of days I'm going to talk about some of my favorite dates.

But before I can talk about dates, it's important that you understand Keith. Keith is a man with lots of ridiculous ideas - some of which are awesome and some of which are stupid. He seems to understand that he has to be really convincing/conniving when he pitches his ideas if he wants my support, as in the following example:

Keith: Guess what! I signed us up for a class!
Maryli: What are you talking about?
K: Yeah! A micro-computer coding class!
M: What are you talking about?
K: Like, you know, micro-computer database coding that they use in health care.
M: I still don't know what you're talking about, but I don't think that's really in our field...
K: You never know what could happen in this economy, and besides, you're looking for a job. I figured it couldn't hurt to make ourselves more marketable.
M: I guess you have a point, although I don't believe you.
K: What's not to believe? Health care will always be a thriving industry and they always need people who know about micro-computing.
M: Hmmm...that's true. Ok, but I hope this wasn't too expensive.
K: Psych! We're taking Spanish lessons.
M: Oh thank God. Awesome!

I think I would have agreed to Spanish lessons pretty easily, but it's probably best to pitch every idea with gusto just in case, right? Here are a few of his good* date** ideas...

*Some of these ideas might not actually be good for everyone or every situation.

**Jasper did come on some of these, but they were still pretty date-y.


Snowshoeing is awesome. Last winter (when winter was winterier) we rented snowshoes and hiked around the Appalachian Trail in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. Jasper was really little, so we threw him in a carrier and brought him along. It was really nice to enjoy the snow and see interesting wildlife, including a bald eagle (we're pretty sure)!

After our big adventure we had dinner at the G.W. Tavern, which was not only amazing but also surprisingly kid friendly. The front rooms were ideal for a kid-less date, but they also had a large room in back where most of the families were seated. It was perfect, since we could enjoy the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant without feeling bad about our loud and/or messy baby.

Football Road Trip

A sports game can be a really good date. Even if you and your partner don't like sports, it's fun to dress up in team-themed costumes, drink cheap beer and soak it all up. So once upon a time, Keith and I decided that it would be funny to really get into football. After some meticulous but ultimately arbitrary calculations, we decided that the Jets would be our favorite team.

The Jets did well that year, so we decided to treat ourselves to a playoff game. The fact that said game was in Cincinnati didn't stop us! We hopped in the car on Friday after work, got to Cincinnati in time for the game, won the game, painted the town red, indulged in local traditions, and came back to CT in time for work on Monday. (Since we won the game, we decided to go to the next playoff game back home - the last game ever played at the old Meadowlands. I stole a seat as memorabilia.)

We had a great time, especially since I'd never been to a professional football game before. Everything was super-novel to me and hilariously funny. We didn't even have Jets merchandise, so Keith wore a green jacket with racing stripes and I wore my green "Livin' La Vida Loca" sweatshirt - truly die hard fans.  We also had a ton of laughs telling jokes and familiarizing ourselves with bad country music radio in the car, eating weirdo Cincinnati food, and looking for nightlife in a totally new city.

Obviously I wouldn't recommend this for everyone, but it was a good reminder that sometimes a good date can be about the entire process and not just the main event.

I'll be back with more hit dates tomorrow, followed by some bad date stories later this week. What were some of your favorite or most bizarre dates?

03 February 2012

week links

Happy weekend, everyone! We're all getting over what I've been calling dysentery, but we're looking forward to a great and fully recovered weekend. I'm going to kick mine off with my best pal, who will be up from New York very soon! I bought a bunch of blood oranges (citrus is my favorite thing about winter) that I'm looking forward to cocktailizing...

Here are a few links to kill the last half hour of work...

  • Stylish men lunching! What could be better??
  • Elevated snacks (and drinks) that are still football appropriate...
  • If I had people I called "The Girls," we would get together every Wednesday and play poker with these...
  • Speaking of the girls (I'm talking about boobs now), everyone's favorite pinkwashers really did it this time. Sometimes a simple illustration says it best...
  • Cabin Porn! Don't worry, it's workplace safe...
  • Speaking of romantic getaways, check out these ten romantic hotels. Two of them are in the vicinity of our honeymoon and might just be worth the splurge for one or two nights.

That's all for this week! I'll be back Monday with some Valentine-related posts that hopefully won't make you gag.