Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Is Where I Leave You (the book, not a personal statement)

Wow.  I heart this book

It's all about the life of Judd Foxman, a non-practicing Jew (it comes into play!) whose wife cheats on him with his boss.  Oh, and Judd's father has just passed away.  He returns to his New England childhood home to observe the shiva (see?) with his mother and siblings.  In case you're not familiar, which was me until reading this book, shiva is a Jewish tradition in which the close relatives of the departed person mourn his death and welcome co-mourners for seven days. 

It was fascinating enough just to learn more about this practice, but throw on some family drama, childhood memories, and a ton of hilarity, and you have a real winner.  This was seriously a book that pained me to put down; I have since checked out Tropper's Everything Changes, which is very much in the same vein of being addictive.  (See what I did there.  Vein.  Addiction.  Drugs.  Hehe.)

Favorite quote from this book, spoken by Judd's older brother:

At some point, being angry is just another bad habit, like smoking, and you keep poisoning yourself without thinking about it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today I'm thankful for my: health, job, friends, family, American citizenship, collection of lip balms, subscription to Real Simple's daily e-mails (see picture above), and DVR. 

I'm also thankful for your: blogs, comments, and visits here.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Watch Me Go Green

Ok, ok.  Back in the summer I posted how I always go for relatively inexpensive watches.  It's true.  Or was.  I saw this and had to have it.

It's a Citizen Eco-Drive, and I'm crazy for it!  A month ago I saw this same watch in GQ and thought how nifty it would be.  And I'm not the kind of person who usually runs out and buys something just because I saw it in a magazine.  

Plus, I decided that since this one is solar-powered and never needs a new battery, I should not feel guilty about spending a tiny bit more than a few Timexes.  It's still not a Rolex or anything like that.  Granted, I am the slightest bit terrified to scratch it, but I know I'm in good hands.  My pals Steve and Missy, who own Steve's Jewelers back in my hometown of Union City, have got the hookup.  In the event that I have a watch or jewelry question, they always know the answer. 

And they happen to carry Citizen.  I sent Missy a picture of this one, and they had it in stock.  Color me green!

I do like the band it came with, but it was a little too military for everyday wear for my taste, so I switched it out with this one.

I found it at J.Crew for $20, and it's a lot more flexible and classic than the green one.  Of course I'm still keeping that one to mix it up, but the gray is my go-to band now.  Plus, it's kind of cool that this is a custom creation and no one (at least for many miles) has this same watch/band combination.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You Cheated on Me with Choreography. And That is the Worst Kind.

I really don't know why I have not yet blogged about Modern Family

It's genius, really.  My pal Ashley had been trying to get me to watch it shortly after it premiered last year, and I'm glad I finally came around.  Normally I shudder at "family" comedies and sometimes really wanted to sue the vile CBS because everybody does not love Raymond.  But Modern Fam is different.  Because it's actually funny.  And it's on ABC on Wednesday nights at 9/8 Central.

TV veteran Ed O'Neill plays Jay Dunphy, the patriarch of this crazy extended family.  He marries the spicy, much younger Gloria, who has a (hilarious!) son named Manny.  His daughter Claire (Julie Bowen, also a vet) is married to the delightful Phil, and they have three children.  Then there's Mitchell, the son/brother who, with his partner Cam, have adopted the adorable Lily.

The show has already racked up Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series.  If you're not watching yet, click here to see a bit.  You won't be sorry.

Oh.  This post was going to be about last night's episode, in which they celebrate Manny's birthday at Maggiano's, which I also love.  But I decided to make this an official endorsement.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

April & Oliver

If you're looking for a particularly season-specific book, I think I've found it.  

This is Tess Callahan's story of April and Oliver, childhood friends whose lives remain intertwined, for better or worse.  Upon the sudden death of April's younger brother Buddy, the title characters are reunited after growing apart post-high school.  Oliver is the preppy, quiet law student, who is engaged to the seemingly perfect blonde Bernadette.  April is the tough-exteriored bartender whose dark hair matches her mood.

As you can probably tell from the rather striking composition of the cover, this is not a feel-good story.  But it's not a total downer, either.  What happened in their respective pasts that caused them to turn out the way they are?  Are they ever going to just hook it up and end the suspense?  Way before the end of the story, I wanted both of the main characters to succeed, in spite of their challenges.  And even though part of it takes place at a beach house, you still get that sort of crispy, cool feeling that's present throughout most of the book.  I read it in bed, as I often do, and it was a nice one to snuggle up with.

What are you reading right now?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Swirly Goodness, Indeed

While I will always be loyal to my favorite guys, barring a catastrophic outbreak of lactose intolerance, I have a new discovery in Nashville.  It's Pinkberry.  And it's de-lish.

Yum is really all I can say.  I'd heard about Pinkberry from magazines and blogs (it seems that stars are usually seen cavorting about with those little containers), so I thought it was time to check out the new location on West End Avenue.  Oh, and in case you're wondering what it is, let me clarify.  It's fro-yo, yo!  (I didn't know for the longest time.  I wondered if it was snow cones or frozen berries or what.)

Ashley was down with that, so we hit it up on Saturday night.  They have several flavors of yogurt and a variety of fresh fruit and fully machine-made candy toppings.  I picked chocolate (duh) with chocolate crispy drizzle and a chunk of waffle cone.  Ashley got two mini swirls of pomegranate and mango.  We were both on cloud nueve.  Unless you like that super-tart, not very sweet flavor, steer clear of the original. 

Of course it's not health food by any means, but it's a fairly smart way to treat yourself.  Nonfat or low-fat yogurt.  Active cultures.  All that.  But also tasty.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ace in the Hole

I'm hooked on lip blam.  You may remember that from a while back, but in case you're new, this brings you up to speed.  And I just realized that I started this post with the same sentence as the older one.  Oh well.  I'm nothing if not consistent. 

Anywho, I had read about the brand Jack Black and how awesome their lip balms are.  On my last trip to Sephora, I decided to give them a whirl.  I'm glad this happened.

Jack Black is a men's line, which means that it's sort of low on the frills factor.  These lip balms are not too shiny or sticky, and they really work.  Plus, they have some SPF going on.  I'm for that.  I've taken to putting them on before bed, and I'm hoping that they pass the test of the dry winter air.

Do you have any new lip discoveries?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Ok.  I'm a tad late with this, but I wanted to share.

I made these whoopie pies to share with my pal Emily on Halloween, when I helped her pass out pounds and pounds of candies.  She lives on this crazy-cool street, and it was bonkers.  There were kids everywhere.  My favorite was a girl wearing a sweater vest, cool glasses, and scales down her back.  I asked what she was; she said a thesaurus.  Loved it.

I got this little word puzzle from a co-worker last year, and it's hung in my cubicle ever since.  Check out those directions.  Circle the correctly spelt halloween words.  And is RIP in this context really a word?  Again, love it.

I hope you had a fun Halloween and ate plenty of candy.