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Memphis & Nashville, Tennessee

In early February, Joe and I took a work trip.
We went to Memphis and two days later drove to Nashville.

Despite barely making all of our flights (snow) we arrived inspired and immediately hit the pavement to explore! First, we had an obligatory Fat Tire while sitting down at Gus’s ‘World Famous’ Fried Chicken. It came highly recommended & was worth it. Afterward, we walked around downtown, ended up on Beale Street, headed into a few bars, looking for music .. it was a Wednesday (off season) so we were out of luck. Although we did have the pleasure of learning a lonely bartenders life story over a drink, then headed back to the hotel and I was fast asleep as it got dark .. love that.

The following day we had the opportunity to go to Graceland! I’ve considered myself an Elvis fan since I was a kid, but this trip took it to a whole new level. I’m bold enough to say and smart enough to know that Elvis had a huge part in shaping American music. Since we were filming in Graceland we were about to spend more time inside then I had anticipated. I was soaking in every detail, imagining what it must have been like when his home was fully functioning.. it’s all still set up, the TVs, record players, kitchen .. it’s quite special, if you make it to Memphis I wouldn’t miss the chance to visit. My Uncle Rich was a huge Elvis fan in the 60’s, he bought two monogrammed handkerchiefs and sent them to him. In return, he received a personalized letter and when Christmas rolled around, a card from The Presley family. The card is framed and comes out every year for the holidays. When I saw the stone wall covered in fans messages I knew I had to leave a little piece of our family there. That night, we spent filming on Beale Street.. afterward Joe and I headed to The Buccaneer Lounge – a little bit outside of downtown but the word was it was a sure bet for late night music … nope, it had ended for the night! The bar itself was cool, we had beers and left.

The next day we stuck around Memphis until late afternoon, then took the four hour drive to Nashville (I’d recommend seeing both cities in one trip.) We reached our destination late on Valentine’s Day, checked in to our room (The Hutton Hotel) I quickly added as much volume as I could to my hair (gotta do Dollie proud!) threw on a dancing dress, and headed down to what they were calling The Honky Tonk.. it was a quick cab ride from our hotel, the bars were pumping music out of every door, cheap beers, good energy, exactly what we needed. We had another full day and night of work, then headed back to NY the following morning.

Over a month later and I’m still thinking about Tennessee.. my favorite part was being immersed into cultures that revolve around MUSIC. It wasn’t about superficial needs or wants or drama (although I am sure it exists everywhere) — it was about listening, moving, grooving. It’s something I do not have a problem understanding … bring me back! on vacation!

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The past few days ..

the past few days around here have been prettaaay prettaaaay good.

thursday joe and i went to see a brand new off broadway show called “Bike America” — it was great, we truly loved it. it was refreshing to be in a theatre, we made a pact to see a performance 1x a month – small or large. more on bike america to come soon, keep an eye out.

yesterday i had morning meetings and then ended up in the spa! for my birthday joe got me a gift certificate and it was exactly what i needed. there was a massage which ended up being mostly a realignment of my structure… it was interesting, so far i feel physically better… i think. next came a 75 minute facial.. yez. i have had problems with my skin since forever – the past year has truly been a challenge to find what routine works best for me. the esthetician turned out to be exactly who i needed to speak with! we are moving forward with an all natural regime and routine and i am excited to share the details here (when and if they work! fingers crossed.)

last night we met up with friends in williamsburg. all the guys from joe’s college team who were in the NY area came through. it was a lot of fun. i got to spend more time with shae and his fiancee – who just got back to the states after living abroad for a few years. welcome back guys!

also, finally got to intro dave my new camera so we had fun collaborating as always (pictures and video below)

i hope everyone is having a nice weekend! i am dragging my ass to head upstate for a bit and work on a new show. packing is the worst, especially when you haven’t unpacked from the trip prior. time to chug some coffee and hike it into full gear. xo

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Hanson in Sayreville

here goes my last hanson event in 2013. plans fell through so i ended up going solo but thankfully meeting up with an old hanson friend, mary, once at the venue. we got there around 11 am and spent all day waiting in line, just like the good old days. hanson did their “walk” around 330 or 4, i took some pictures. asked isaac when they’d be back in the area, he said early next year. also asked him about his night in portland from a few nights before, because the ‘it’s a small world’ gods put him on stage with friends of our very own sylvi (so ran-dom … pic below..) — i gave taylor the same letter i gave isaac and zac in philly.

after some serious line drama, mary and i ended up front row taylor’s side. the show was good. they had energy .. and encored with SNOWED IN! merry christmas baby and little saint nick — i have never seen them do christmas music live so it was a glorious first. as always, a hanson show in new jersey brings about a lot of familiar faces and it’s pretty weird, pretty strange, to be part of this culture of fansons.

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Dollhouse

This seriously happened a few weeks ago.  Also, this isn’t all of it.  Liz and I found the ultimate stoop sale with boxes labeled “Dollhouse”  — we requested a viewing of it and turned out to be all handmade furniture the lady’s grandmother made her in the 60’s. It was all amazing, but we only picked out our favorite pieces and went on our way.  We have created an entire existence for our bachelor here, expect to see more from him very soon.

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Ashley Tenenbaum

We watched The Royal Tenenbaums the other day. I was just looking through some old pictures and came across this one of me in our first apartment. It reminded me of Richie in the mirror. Not sure why. We are not in the same pose or holding the camera even remotely the same way. It just, reminded me.

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Saturday Chillday

This past Saturday was a lazy one for sure.  After we had been travelling to New Jersey all summer and then two consecutive September weekends for weddings and birthday parties, it felt SO good to be grounded to our apartment with zero plans.   Originally we had talked about bbq’ing all day and having friends come and go, but decided we’d rather just do our own thing (that’s allowed, right?)  On Friday night we ventured out on the town, first stopping at our friend’s new apartment in the Fort Greene neighborhood and then heading to Williamsburg to meet up with Ben and Dave.  Dave was apartment sitting for his cousin who had a pretty impressive studio/loft space on the water.  He built himself a raised bed and had funky art all over the walls, succulents growing in the middle of the couch and an old sliding glass door for the entrance for the bathroom. But, no oven or stove! Isn’t that crazy? I loved the space, but just could never be without heat for cooking.  If I remember correctly, he is some sort of creative director for Rolling Stone magazine, so I bet he doesn’t do much of the domestic scene. He also had a very adorable dog, Emmitt.  The four of us (and Emmitt) headed back to our apartment because the only thing left to do in Williamsburg was spend more money at the bars, which we really weren’t interested in.  We ended up with tall boys of Bud and Netflix streaming.  It was fun.

The next morning Joe, Dave and I sat outside practically all day  We had the grill going, played some board games, talked about ideas for a screenplay, re planted our fern and just chilled.  It was so nice.  My phone had died the night before and I apparently misplaced it, so I wasn’t in contact with a single person all day.  It is really such a liberating feeling to be incommunicado for an entire day.  I didn’t have to respond or reach out to anyone.  Joe grilled up some Mutten Chops that had been sitting/taking up space in our freezer since he brought them home from Chopped.  Mutten, is sheep.  I did not partake.  Instead I cuddled the animals and took notes of our ideas.

Dave left around 5 and Joe and I sat around for a bit longer, enjoying the early autumn chill.  Our yard somehow became a full blown bird sanctuary.  At one point we had a blue jay, cardinal, finch, and FOUR hummingbirds! Four!  I must add here, that I am not and have never really been a bird enthusiast (they actually usually scare me) but watching them from above as they just exist in a small Brooklyn backyard,  is interesting.  I tried to creep down to the garden to take some pictures- but I scared them away.

Joe and I headed inside, ate some ice cream and I was asleep by 9 pm.  It was glorious my friends, glorious.

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DIY Windex

Since living in NYC, I’ve started to take note of just how many people are always working. No matter what time of the day, there is someone doing some silly obscure job (and usually, making pretty decent cash!) A particular job that is not necessarily obscure- more looked over, is window washers. Do you people realize how many windows there are in NYC? Also, take a minute to thin about this.. most of them are CLEAN! I somehow can’t even keep up with the 7 (I know, I’m lucky) windows in my apartment. These window washers around here, they are amazing. They ride around on their bicycles with a bucket hanging off the back. The bucket is filled with a few chemicals that are bouncing around with a squeegee or two. Using the businesses water, they usually just fill up the bucket, then their potion. They do their thang, and leave NYC window displays sparkling. After some prodding at the professionals and online research, I bit the bullet. I made my own “Windex” Maybe this will make me feel more accomplished while cleaning? Well, it did! I had fun making it (yes, it’s fun) Also, it’s cheap and honestly, more effective then store bought glass cleaner. Everyone should be doing this at home. It only makes sense.

The ingredients: Dish soap, Rubbing Alcohol, Ammonia and water (empty used up bottle, which inspired this experiment)
I needed to make 1 quart worth so I measured and mixed:

  • 1/8 cup Ammonia
  • 1/2 cup Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1 “squirt” of dish soap
  • Finish off with tap water.
  • It worked great! I am so pleased with the outcome. In my opinion, it worked much better then a store bought product, and I’ll now admit- I am sort of a windex-aholic. We all remember the Dad from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” Right? How he uses Windex on everything and anything (including his own skin) When I first saw that movie (in theatres, yes) I exclaimed  “AH! he loves Windex like I do!”  Now I can be free with my squirt bottle without facing a $5 a bottle price tag. I’ll give up one more secret, Coffee filters. I learned this long ago working in restaurants. A coffee filter will not only eliminate streaks but also doesn’t absorb as much liquid as a paper towel. I’d check your local restaurant supply store for commercial sized filters (I read you can also use newspaper) You’ll never look back, my friends.


    Now, people. Give me all your secret DIY product recipes or you get the squirt.

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Life, you craazzzy..

Real quick- vacation at the beach house with Joe, my first earthquake (while on beach), I applied and was accepted into an internship in Manhattan, Hurricane Irene absolute freak out, our 1 year anniversary of Pippen joining our family, Ben moved in to our second bedroom,  I made some phone calls I’ve been putting off for a long time and was proud of myself for facing the music, painted our living room and kitchen and a wall in our bedroom, let Stinky off the leash for the first time in Prospect Park and he was a really good boy, got a tan responsibly, watched every Breaking Bad & Bachelor Pad episode, put makeup on for 5 consecutive days for a reason, reveled in the fact that I was able to not only keep plants alive but I got to watch them flourish, found a bit of a focus within myself, Stood beside Kristen Wiig on the street today, got creative, finished Geek Love.

That has all happened in the past two weeks.  It’s just “life” -I know.  I suppose I just feel like some stuff is going on in my life right now and although it’s at times scary, I am also excited.  I am turning 27 in a few days, the Return of Saturn- I’m ready for it.  I’m excited to move forward with the good things I have been blessed with in my life and try to deal with letting the negative things go.  While, taking care of them.  Which is the hardest part.  I’m basically just finally ready to end a few chapters in my book. It feels amazing.  Do you know that feeling?
It’s nice.
-Right?

Currently, Pippen is sleeping on the bed next to me and just gave me the dirtiest look for putting on “Working Girl” (thank you netflix instant!)
I am on my way to dreamland, but wanted to say hello to blogland.
Also, Tomorrow my Mom finishes her radiation treatments.  I am so so proud of her and can’t wait to celebrate with her.  She is so strong and beautiful.  It’s inspiring.

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Mister Softee

I’d love to share one of the many things we love most about our new neighborhood – it’s the Mister Softee truck. It comes through every night between 10:25 and 10:30. You can hear it softly in the distance.. then getting closer and closer. Usually it stops halfway through the block and the truck “dings” to let people know he is stopped (this is assumption, but I’m sure its true.) We listen to this almost every night, and we’ve debated a few times whether or not to run out there. Usually we just stay on our couch, partly out of laziness, partly out of the fact that we almost always have ice cream in the freezer. WELL, considering I finished our ice cream today for lunch, we finally had a valid reason to treat ourselves. It was fun! There were all these older people in their jammies and slippers, buying milkshakes. The ice cream man was our age, but totally polite and the cones were only $2 each! What a deal. I got chocolate + vanilla with rainbow sprinkles. So nostalgic.

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Random summer day ~

Hello there! I’d like to share a few pictures from a random summer day Joe and I enjoyed recently. I hope everyone else is taking time out of their summer to just, take their time. I think it’s really one of the only things that keeps me sane (I must add that originally I wrote “keeps me insane” there.. good thing I am proof-reading.) I love doing simple things like waking up slow, throwing on a hat to shield my funky hair, no makeup, and a comfy dress. Driving around with my man and Stinky. Dreaming about houses we might own one day, picking out land we’d love to buy. Those days when we really aren’t in a rush to do a single thing, and damn- it feels good.

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