Monday, July 2, 2012

thank you, nora.

I found out via tweet last week that Nora had passed.  What an incredibly lame but effective way to find out important news.  I immediately toggled over to the internet on my phone to confirm and then called my mom (she was downstairs).  She had just read it on Facebook.
There have been many icons who have passed away in recent years but I don’t think any one of them has impacted me the way that this one has.  I started looking up all of the tribute articles, photo galleries of the stars’ responses to the news, anything that might tell me more about Nora and her life and her presence in others’ lives.  I both loved and hated Lena Dunham’s piece in The New Yorker, “Seeing Nora Everywhere.”  It was funny and elegant and I’m sure Nora would have been proud.  What I hated about it was how jealous I was.  I wish I had had the opportunity to have a relationship with Nora.  My relationship with Nora was short and sweet and she didn’t even know that it had happened.
When I lived in Los Angeles I had a “fabulous” job.  The type of job that it feels really cool to tell people that you have, especially people from your tiny high school in Connecticut.  The job may not feel like “I’ve made it” but telling people about it kind of does.  Not that the job wasn’t great.  It was.  And I loved the family that I worked with.  But personal assistant to Hollywood director and his family sounds shinier than it really is.  But lets back up a little.
When I first moved to Los Angeles I thought I would turn my social work degree and my love of the written word into a break-out writing career.  I would drop off my essays on society, my experiences and views at LA Weekly, send it into the LA Times and wait.  I never heard back.  Of course I didn’t.  You don’t become a literary star overnight.  But I looked for inspiration.  I was given the book Crazy Salad and I devoured it.  I laughed, I used a highlighter and I shared passages that I just couldn’t keep to myself.  And I wrote.  I wrote a piece called Nora Ephron based loosely on her Dorothy Parker, because she was my Dorothy Parker.  And I was proud of what I wrote. 
When I started my job as a personal assistant I couldn’t believe my luck.  This was one of my favorite directors as he had made two of my all time favorite movies.  Nora Ephron had even written one of them.  And as I soon found out, they were friends.  When an event was held at the household, Nora and her husband Nick would be invited.  Sometimes the couples would have dinner out together.  I would make the reservation and then confirm the reservation.  If I was lucky, I would have to confirm with Nora.  My palms would get a little sweaty and I would be overcome with excitement and nervousness.  Somehow I kept it together while on the phone with her, even though every moment I felt like I would going to sputter out nonsense about how much I loved her, how much she meant to me and how inspiring she was.  Oh and I wrote something about her, would she like to read it?.  Thankfully, for my job’s sake, I kept my poise on every call.  But what if I had sputtered a bit?  She would have thought I was slightly spastic I’m sure.  But maybe she would have read what I had for her.  Maybe she would have been flattered that the girl on the phone at her friends house idolized her, or would it have been creepy?  Maybe she would have taken me under her wing as she did Lena Dunham and I would have been receiving real estate and relationship advice. 
I never did say anything to her aside from:  “yes, your dinner reservation is confirmed, they will see you there.  Have a great dinner” or “wonderful, they will see you at the screening!  Have a great day!”  I would then hang up and sigh, “oh, and I love you.”
In the years since my time in Los Angeles I haven’t seriously pursued my writing career.  I have blogged and blogged about everything and anything.  A couple of years ago I realized that it was the thing that really made me happy.  My mom sent me a condolences card. If it were my job it actually wouldn’t feel like work.  I’ve heard that people can feel that way but I’ve never experienced it.  
In the meantime I had to work. I worked and worked and worked and then I got pregnant.  And now that I have Luca I have found time to start to think about writing again.  There was one thing in the Lena Dunham piece that really struck a chord with me.  It was when she was discussing the movie screening and Q&A of “This is My Life.”  She said that Nora explained to the group:  “you cannot wait around for someone to give you permission to tell your stories.”  Maybe that is what I’ve been doing.  But hopefully I won’t be doing that anymore.  I’m sad that I won’t be able to invite her to my future movie screening, book reading, other big lit event, and telling her that I was on the other end of the phone all those times and thank you. 
Thank you, Nora.  You did more than you know.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Time for solids already!  Luca started on solids about a month ago and it has been so much fun.  Making it, serving it, seeing what his reaction will be and watching him get so very excited.  He LOVES eating!  It's become a group event here at the house.  As of right now we're doing rice cereal (with a dash of cinnamon...woohoo) and straight fruits and veggies (see above carrots, a definite winner).  But we just got the green light on dairy foods too.  Wild.  I love looking up recipes and I can't wait to start blending foods together.  Any favorite first food recipes out there that you and your babies loved?

(Image above from Smitten Kitchen)

brooklyn weekend

Brooklyn through Instagram!  This past weekend our little family did get to make it down to Brooklyn and had a great time just poking around, stopping in some of our favorite little places (Brooklyn Larder...mmmm) and eating out.  But I think that I'm not craving living there right now as much as I thought.  Maybe I'm more country mouse than I first suspected.  I love the idea of things we need being right outside your door.  But I also love not having to worry about your neighbors next door and upstairs (especially when your baby is crying).  But all in all a great weekend of having some family time and seeing some people that we've been missing!
Thanks, Brooklyn!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

missing brooklyn

Every day I go through my usual suspects, my blogroll.  The first one is usually A Well Traveled Woman because it is so beautiful and so inspiring and I can usually find something I want to "pin" there for Pinterest.  And I have found so many other amazing blogs through her site.  Today she put some images up from "The Makers:  A photo project by Jennifer Causey."  It made me really miss Brooklyn and all of the "makers" that make up Brooklyn:  the printers, the bakers, the candlestick makers (see above).  It was such an amazing place for us to live for a time and I don't feel like I got to experience it to the fullest.  Hopefully some mini trips in our future will allow for that.  I highly recommend flipping through some of these images of the "Makers."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ugh...hilary duff...

...stop trying to be me! First she's born in Texas, then she looks like she could be my little sister, then she marries a hockey player, and now she has a baby boy...Luca! Really, Hilary?

I guess it's fine. He is quite a cutie. And as a fellow new mom I wish them loads of happiness.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I used to consider myself quite the activist. In college I lead the volunteer programs and became involved in many causes. I was a social work major and I wanted to make a difference in the world. Things have changed over time, I'm not as passionate about the same things as I once was. Not that I don't care, but there are other things in my life that weren't a factor in college (husband, baby, etc). As you grow, your priorities change.
However, when there is a serious cause that means a lot to me, I like to add my voice. Bullying is an epidemic that affects every town or city. Every time I hear of a child that has killed themselves because they were made to feel worthless by their peers, they were harmed physically or they were called names, my heart breaks. And now as a mom, I want to do every possible thing that can to protect this little guy.
This movie is so important for every child, parent, teacher, community member to see. Based on the trailer alone, it will be hard to see, but it will be necessary. It is each of our responsibility to make sure that our children feel safe, protected and loved.

well this sure makes me happy...

Michelle Williams and Jason Segal are dating. It may seem irrational (or crazy) that this makes me happy as these are not people that are really in my life, they are celebrities. But I have long loved both of them separately. Michelle is beautiful and talented and an incredibly likeable Brooklyn mom and Jason loves the Muppets and is really just like our friend Jared. So them together make me super happy. Little (crazy) things...

Friday, March 16, 2012

emerson fry

And then it was March! Whoops, where did the time go? It's been so beautiful that I forgot to do anything except try to get outside. But I was so excited when I saw that Emerson Fry had a new collection out and it looks great. I just want to be at whatever party this lady is at and in that dress. Even though she does look a little mad at someone, like she might throw the drink in their face. But she'll look good doing it! It definitely makes me ready for warmer weather to be here for good. And to wear dress up clothes again since I'm still in new mommy mode....sigh...someday.

Monday, February 27, 2012

you're doing ok

They've done it again! I saw this Johnson & Johnson commercial last night during the Oscars and it wrecked me! And then I went to find it on the interwebs today and it wrecked me again, and again. So sweet and touching and really nice to hear. When you're a new mom you don't always feel like you're doing anything right. You're taking care of new life and you've never done anything like this before and you're totally overwhelmed...and exhausted...but full of love for this tiny person. So this is for all you moms out there, you're doing ok!


Sorry for the lack of posts the past couple of weeks! I got lost on Pinterest and before I knew it two weeks had passed. In that time we have had a serious hint of spring and then a surprise snowfall. I am usually a cold weather girl and I love winter and snow and curling up and getting cozy. But this year I can't wait for spring. There's something about having a new baby and just wanting to be out doing things with him and introducing him to everything that we possibly can! I went out yesterday to buy some bulbs to plant in a couple of months and some tulips and hyacinth to start filling the house with springy love. What do you all do when you're getting cabin fever and ready for warmer weather?

Friday, February 10, 2012

little 77

Have you seen American Eagle's line for babies, little 77? Adorable! And with such fun phrases and comfy fabrics is hard not to scoop a whole bunch up. And it makes you want to take cool pictures of your baby wearing said awesome clothes. My baby is way too cool for me (clearly this post is just an excuse for me to put up super sweet pictures of Luca).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


...I found Pinterest. Have you? For those of you who are not familiar, Pinterest is an amazing online pin board for all of those wonderful images, recipes and miscellaneous links that you find on the interwebs and you can categorize your boards as you see fit. As someone who emails herself an embarrassing amount of links of rad stuff she finds, this is kind of fantastic!

The above image is of these tasty No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes I found, of course, through Pinterest. I posted it to my Food Board and proceeded to make them last night. Delicious!

Thank you, Pinterest, for providing unlimited inspiration! To follow my Pinterest boards just click on the icon at the top right of my blog (I'm just starting so while they are not full I'm trying to add a little something all the time).

(image from my baking addiction)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

little miracles...

As a new mom I'm often looking for a "miracle" product. What is going to make me look like I have gotten some sleep and that I have bright and glowing skin and rosy cheeks and shiny lips? What can make me look like a super mom? And what is going to do this is in as few steps as possible? And when I do get a chance to wash my hair, can it look awesome? And can some of these things be budget, as I am no longer working? While I'm still on the search for some of these products, I think I've come across some new mainstays.

The Burt's Bees Rosewater and Glycerin Toner makes my face feel fresh and clean and smells lovely. I had retired toners from my life a couple of years ago, wondering what the point was. And I guess I still don't know if there is a point, but I know that I like it and that it makes me feel like I'm sort of pulling myself together when I don't have time to do much of anything.

Now here's where the magic is: The NARS Multiple Stick in G-Spot (pardon my blushing). This product is important because it makes me feel pretty. And fancy. And just by swiping a little on my cheeks and lips, I feel like a more put-together woman. And that's a pretty amazing thing. This is definitely not a budget item, but totally worth it in my opinion.

I follow up that NARS with some Rosebud Salve, and then throughout the day again and again. It feels nice and smells nice and looks nice. Done.

Finally, Suave has come out with Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner so it makes your hair feel nice and smooth and comes at a great price. Thanks, Suave!

The one product that would round-out my miracle team is a great moisturizer. Now that I'm officially "in my 30's" I do think about my skin and how to make it look dewy and bright, not rough and dull. And I have found myself thinking about prevention (wrinkle, sun damage) like I never did before so I guess it's about that time that I step up my face game. Any recommendations??

And get ready for some gushy lovey stuff now because of course my best miracle of new motherhood is my little Luca (awwww...). He may be the best possible reason to not have time for my formerly intense prep work every morning.

What are all of your favorite items and what makes you feel refreshed, lovely and put-together?

Friday, February 3, 2012

pumpkin swirl brownie...

...because why not! I had a little craving for something sweet the other day and stumbled upon some fancy pumpkin swirl brownies on Gilt Taste. And while they looked delicious it just wasn't immediate enough. I needed to find something else, and fast. Thank you Betty Crocker! As a new mom I need something that will be quick and simple and this recipe was it, and totally delicious! Topped with some Cinnamon Cool Whip, yes please!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

playing pretend...

When I first read The Bloggess I laughed and laughed and then forwarded post after post. Blogger Jenny Lawson's posts are silly and absurd but she is also incredibly open with her readers about some of the issues she has had to overcome. While I know that someday I will post about some serious topics, it's something I have been incredibly nervous about. That type of honesty about such personal things is scary. But she works it in seamlessly, right in between posts about large chickens named Beyonce and her love of taxidermy.
And now she has a book, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened." I'm about to pre-order it myself. I'm hoping by the time it comes out I'll have time for reading books again!
Also, this book is not out yet so I haven't read it, this isn't a review. So if you get it and don't like it, if it's not your cup of tea, please continue to hang with me here!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

happy crafternoon!

Happy Crafternoon! I'm working on an owl mobile for Luca. Can't wait to show you all the finished product! Don't they all look a little creepy without eyeballs?

Monday, January 30, 2012

lovey dovey day cards

For those of you who know me, you know that I love love cards. I love letterpress cards and beautiful handmade cards and super dry humor cards. I can spend hours browsing a stationery store. And since I'm here in CT I won't get the chance to peruse my favorite shops for cute little notes, but that shouldn't mean that you readers don't get to! Here are my two go-to spots for card shopping: Paper Presentation in Manhattan and Lion in the Sun in Park Slope. And if you don't get a chance to get it together before Valentine's Day then Tiny Prints is here to the rescue with sweet little customizable and email-able cards.
So here is a round-up of some special notes to send your loved ones on the day of adoration (the above image from Rifle Paper Co., a personal favorite).

(Images from top: Rifle Paper Co., Smock Paper, Snow & Graham, Night Owl Paper Goods, Hammerpress, and Bald Guy Greetings).

thank you le pain...

Thank you le pain quotidien for your perfect unsweetened iced tea, your delectable brioche but most importantly for your cozy and private ambiance that made me feel secure enough to nurse in public for the first time!! What a milestone for mama annie the other day during our adventure into the big city!
I had a doctors appointment the other day and our little family piled into the car with all of our baby gear and drove on into Chelsea, our former home. We met up with our friend and for a little bit it felt like I was a resident once more, I transitioned right into a city mom and started nursing over iced teas. It felt like quite an accomplishment. New motherhood is filled with these little achievements. Ahead of time you learn about all of the baby milestones; smiling, cooing, rolling over, improved motor skills, lifting his head but you don't think about what your milestones will be; leaving the house, grocery shopping, fitting in a shower and blow dry, going for drive by yourself, trying on new pants (more on that later) and nursing in public! I know both Luca and I have many more of these ahead of us but each one fills me with such pride and lets me know that I've got a handle on all of this and we're doing ok!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

never have i ever...

tried "cooler corn." Have you? I found this article on Bon Appetit and now I can't wait to try it this summer up in Maine! How wonderfully simple.
We're already so excited to introduce our little Luca to all of the wonders of Frye Island, our summer vacation place, and I'm excited to find new things for us all to do as a family. What are your favorite family activities over the summer?

(Picture from Bon Appetit)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

new things...

Here we are, a new blog, a new year, a new home and the most important (drum roll please), a new baby! I'm so excited to share all of these things with you as I navigate motherhood, transitioning from city mouse to country mouse and exploring all that we can on this little lifestyle blog.