Thursday, November 29, 2012

love comes in every shade.

so in new york city there are a lot of ads. they're everywhere: inside (& outside!) subways, inside (& outside!) buses, draped down skyscrapers, zooming around on the top of taxis, and tucked in as little inserts in newspapers everywhere. as you can imagine (& have probably experienced yourself) most of these ads are pretty annoying & i don't notice them. but lately i've been spotting these wonderfully sweet, very refreshing ads for gap & lemme just say, these are some ads i can fully approve of. their whole holiday slogan is "love comes in every shade" (of cozy knits! in all sorts of krazy kolors! visit your local gap store for more details!) & the campaign features a series of images of well-known people displaying various kinds of love. they're pretty cute. check it out:

love love: diana garcia & gregory rogrove. i guess look them up?

best friend love: gia coppola & nathalie love.

married love: j├Ârn weisbrodt and rufuuusssss! (favorite #1).

puppy love: jack huston & orso.

family love: haley bennett, thomas keeling, & lani bennet.

married love: michael j. fox & tracy pollan (favorite #2!).

father/son love: nas & olu dara.

sibling love: the atomics.


cute, right? let's hear it for the gap! read more about them here.

holiday travel.

well, folks, it's time for the big reveal of our holiday travel plans. i say "big reveal" like it's been on purpose that i've been waiting this long to tell you, but in reality i just hadn't gotten around to blogging about it yet. honesty is the best policy here.

so. drum roll please!

(image via)

(image via)

(image via)

(image via)

...we are going to africa! addis ababa, ethiopia, to be exact. addis ababa is the capital city of ethiopia and often even referred to as "the political capital of africa."

ben's research advisor is leading a "joint u.s.-africa materials initiative" (JUAMI for short) workshop there to help promote international/african physics. which, you know, more power to him, am i right? in the meantime, benny will be heading out there to attend & help, & a week later, his 7th favorite wife blogger will be flying out to meet him. we fly back to the u.s. on december 22, just right in the (saint) nick of time for christmas in seattle.

check out the cute facebook page about it created & managed by benjamin a. himself! maybe even "like" it if you feel so inclined. haha. & speaking of "JUAMI," ben & i have been saying things lately like, "juami make you some dinner?" or "juami call the cable guy about our broken remote?" it's very funny. just try saying "juami" out loud, pronounced exactly like it's spelled, & hopefully you'll start to catch our vision.

we feel very excited & blessed at the wonderful opportunities we've had through ben's program & columbia. we certainly do not take any of these opportunities for granted.

so look out, africa, because here we come in a blaze of physics glory! (although in reality it will be in a tired, disheveled, disgusting NON-glory, at least on my part, when i get off that plane (honesty is the best policy, remember?). can we TALK about how many hours it is going to take on a plane to get to africa?)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

as seen in our apartment.

things are feeling real cheery around here as we get into the swing of finals that leave us barely alive the christmas season. we leave the house every day all bundled up in yummy chunky scarves & gloves & it's all starting to feel real, you know? thanksgiving sneaks up before you even know it, like "holy WHOA tomorrow is thanksgiving?" sort of thing, but christmas gets a nice looooong wind-up so by the time it comes around you can hardly wait with excitement. 

of course, we'll be gone for most of december & well into january with our holiday travels (perhaps i'll update you with those soon! teaser.) so we're not really getting a tree (is that blasphemous? lemme say it again: we'll be gone most of the month. so the tree would probably die). but heck, tree or no, we've got christmas music playing like crazy & christmas candy like you wouldn't believe (i tend to go gaga in that section of target). anyway, here's what else is going on in apartment #55:

as seen on our couch:

as seen on this delightful little red seat in the corner:

i took the same picture below with the light off, but i think the light on adds an especially sweet tinge of drama, don't you? especially on our friend sir reginald the reindeer (all the best ones are knighted). the first time husband saw sir reggie his reaction was, "whoa, did you slay a marble stag on the way home?" you know it, benjamin. you know it. oh, yes, & as seen on our side table:

as seen on top of bookshelf #1 (we have a bookshelf #2, but nothing is on top of it. yet.):

OH YES WE DID (remember how i get in the target christmas candy section??):

as seen near our front door (it rained ALL. DAY. TODAY):

ben & i have an unspoken rule that i just made up & haven't told him about yet that when i decorate, i get to decorate with pictures of benjamin absolutely whenever & wherever i want to. oh, & as seen in our bathroom:

also as seen in our bathroom (currently wearing/obsessed with this color):

as seen on our calendar: 

as seen on our fridge (found this full-page, nearly caption-less beaut in an entertainment weekly one time! what else could i do but put in on our fridge? i ask you!):

tonight ben & i will cuddle up with a hot stack-a these. smothered with applesauce & peanut butter for him, boysenberry jam for her. 

we'll watch the newest episode of this, & then of this.

i'm planning on introducing husband to this album tonight, although we're currently listening to the christmas radio station where this lady reigns supreme. blast that exceptionally soothing, syrupy smooth voice of hers! (plus, did you know homegirl is a single mother to 13 children?! what the!)

have a good night!

Monday, November 26, 2012


really, daniel day-lewis? don't you ever get tired of being the greatest actor this generation has ever seen? it doesn't help that you're so incredibly private with your personal life, meaning that for all we know, you could be a robot - or an alien. we seriously would probably never know. after watching "lincoln" last friday with the fam, i'm starting to lean towards alien, myself. seriously, guys, check out just how alienish-y amazing "lincoln" (& good old daniel) is:

you just gotta go & get all method-y & immersed in your character, don't you, daniel day-lewis? you just gotta make every character you ever play the most amazing thing to ever happen to modern cinema. i mean, it was while watching "lincoln" that i decided i either a) wanted to be lincoln, or b) be best friends with him. & when lincoln was shot (the least spoiling of all spoiler alerts)?!? i cried REAL TEARS, people! it was like i was losing my best friend. oh my heavens. it also doesn't help, daniel day-lewis, that i love learning more about how you work from this video, & that your hair in said video looks really, really awesome, & in general you strongly resemble the lead singer of a band that your 7th favorite blogger is proud to call one of her favorites.

see what i mean? definitely possibly an alien. maybe they referenced him in "men in black" & i just didn't notice. plus, can we talk about daniel's black & white ascot that is totally happening in the picture above??

anyway, long story short, daniel day-lewis is out-of-this-world crazy good at anything acting he ever goes. & the moral of this story, you might ask? go see "lincoln." the end!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

4 fantastic covers.

sometimes i love me some song covers, & sometimes i don't. sometimes i'm like, "WOW, so & so musician, write up your OWN music, okay? so & so musician #1 has already sung this song! don't just go stealing other songs, because that's lazy!" & other times, the cover musician adds a new element to the song that might have gone previously untapped. & when that happens, my friends, everything changes. & that's when i love covers. below i've listed just a few fantastic covers (4, to be exact) that totally deserve to exist. so let's get started.

1. "skinny love."

here's the original (which reminds me of husband every. single. time!):

& here's the cover by birdy. it adds such a painful new element from a woman's point of view.

2. "limit to your love."

here's the original by feist. it's a song already haunting because, let's be honest, it's sung by leslie feist, & she's like a beautiful ghost haunting all of her songs:

& here's the cover by james blake. am i committing the heresy of all heresies when i say i might actually prefer his version to feist's? it's just that those two opening piano chords slay me right in my soul. MY SOUL!

3. "the boxer."

simon & garfunkel at their best. what else do i need to say?

& a recent version by mumford & sons. they add a new element of ferocity & woundedness to an already emotionally raw song.

4. "hurt."

check out this edgy, almost eerie original by nine inch nails. maybe it's the whispering that makes it slightly wonky to me, but hey, trent has composed some pretty good soundtracks since, so i can't hate.

but holy guacamole this cover by johnny cash. can you imagine JOHNNY CASH covering your song? if you're going to listen to any of the songs on this blog post at all, make it this one. i absolutely love this song. chills, tears, shivers, all of it. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

cousin + nyc: roundup.

wow. so i kind of dropped the ball on finishing up blogging about when lauren came to visit. the other day ben was like, "didn't you only blog about the first two days of lauren's trip? don't you need to finish blogging about that?" so you know if even benny boy has an opinion about it, someone has got to get on it...namely, your 7th favorite blogger. so lemme attempt to do a quick roundup of the rest of the crazy adventures lauren & i went on while she was here in the city. before i begin i should really say i took a pitiful amount of pictures compared to how many lauren took. i really should have taken more pictures, but it wasn't a vacation for me...i live here, you know? when visitors come i get a bit lazy about taking pictures, but i shouldn't. so i let lauren take the pictures, & of course, i knew later i'd just link to her blog so you can check out more details. anyways, let's get started:

we hit up the city bakery in the flatiron district. we're talking thick hot chocolate, fatty marshmallows the size of a fist...we were in heaven.

we also treated ourselves to a mani/pedi that felt really well deserved after days of walking.

one night after my class we picked up some yummy banana pudding at magnolia bakery (sadly, their cupcakes are not the most tasty thing there. get the banana pudding!)

lauren & i hit up the rockette's show at radio city music hall, which was a blast, of course. afterwards, we met up with ben to walk around rockefeller center & then stop it at the nearby anthropologie. if you're ever near an anthropologie, be sure to stop on in just to look around because it is an experience. hence these magnifying glasses as part of their store decor:

& pretty pretty ballerina skirts that i admit i sort of coveted up the wazoo:

looooved walking around with these two. we would just talk & laugh & laugh:

pizza at patsy's later on that night. the 1/2 margarita 1/2 pepperoni is always a good choice.

discovering ben's shoe twin on the subway:

gi-normous cookies at levain...later we came to the conclusion that these weren't really cookies, they were more like giant piles of cookie dough that just got stuck in an oven...& let's not even talk about how many calories they were. we'll just ignore that part.

this was that scary 5 minutes lauren thought she lost her credit card (or was it a debit card? i can't remember). luckily she found it soon after this & ended up NOT having to face the wrath of andre by using the wrong card! ha. (don't worry, let's remember my husband is the same way! :)

dark chocolate chocolate chip peanut butter cookie! BOOM:

oh, we saw this. & we were TOTALLY seduced by the darkness.

the gorgeous red curtain of the phantom theater, & of course the chandelier that "figured in the famous accident" of the opera house (that thing actually swung around!)

yummy bruschetta we picked up at ben's string quartet show at cafe vivaldi in noho...

...& the panini too. good food + good music!

after ben's show we just so happened to bump into this waffle truck on the side of the road that i love. we bought a hot waffle covered in speculoos & nutella & we all agreed it was the best decision we had made collectively in the past few hours. 

man oh man. what a fantastic week with lauren. SO happy she came, seriously love this girl! also, she was the great kind of visitor who comes all prepared with a list of stuff she wants to do...which makes it so easy for us hosts! all we have to do is navigate. so note to anyone that wants to come visit...come with at least a few items on a to-do list! it makes everyone's experience that much better. :) check out lauren's blog for our day 3, day 4, day 5, day 6, & an awesome videeooooo of nyc in motion! lauren doesn't kid around, you guys.

Monday, November 19, 2012

how to live without irony.

absolutely loved this fascinating article in the new york times about living without irony. so well-written, & such a good read for your monday! 

"For many Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s — members of Generation Y, or Millennials — particularly middle-class Caucasians, irony is the primary mode with which daily life is dealt. One need only dwell in public space, virtual or concrete, to see how pervasive this phenomenon has become. Advertising, politics, fashion, television: almost every category of contemporary reality exhibits this will to irony."

check it out, if you'd like.

image via.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

cousin + nyc: day 2.

ah, day 2 of lauren being in town. just another long day (that went by really fast) for us to take over nyc, one restaurant/theater/clothes store/etc. at a time.

our day started out nabbing tickets for wicked. we made sure to get to the gershwin theater nice & early to get cheap tickets...& turns out we were the first two people in a line of about 6 & our tickets were still almost $100. oh well. onward & upward!

dean & deluca! lemon poppyseed muffin! pumpkin spice white chocolate hot chocolate!

after dean & deluca, we headed down to soho, where i put in a few hours of work. in the meantime, lauren explored soho, which has lots & lots of yummy (& devastatingly expensive) boutiques & fun little shops. we met up for lunch at balthazar, which was a great idea. lauren & i split a chicken sandwich, which was another great idea.

(plus, isn't this baby ketchup the cutest??! found at my boss' apartment, where i was working from)

after i finished up working in the afternoon, we headed over to dylan's candy bar on the upper east side.  i really love dylan's & i love taking visitors there. it's not only a candy store - it's an experience! it ended up working out perfectly, because we are able to pick up some treats to eat at wicked later on that night. 

sour strawberry belts & grapefruit & pineapple candies. yummmm.

one other cool thing about dylan's is that they have tons little boxes of movie star's hand-picked favorite candy. & most of them are signed, too! so now i know the favorite candy of one of my faves, mindy kaling (who provided this still-compelling look into the mind of the modern man). thanks mucho, dylan!

another favorite, for obvious reasons. 

rows upon rows of candy. dylan's is not for the faint of heart, y'all.

after dylan's came the ultra-fantastic, uber-thrilling main event of the night: wicked!!! (where we ate our dylan's candy. we were sneaking the candy at first, but then at the beginning of the show the announcer said, "please turn off your cell phones & unwrap all candy bars now." so i guess one can now eat food in broadway shows! who knew??) 

ben & i have been wanting to see wicked ever since we moved here to nyc, but we were never in much of a rush because we're still here for so many more years, you know? we've got all the time in the world! so lauren was good to give me a kick in the pants to finally see it. & now it's even better, because ben didn't come with us & i have a great excuse to go see it a 2nd time! & if any of you ever want to come visit us, & what can i say...WE. LOVED. IT. i mean, this song, right?? wicked is magical! plus it featured a strong, sassy, smart (& green!) female lead. what's not to love!? i ask you! check out more details & even more wonderful pictures of our day 2 HERE.


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