2013: Year in Review

January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

2013 was an incredible year for Nick and I for one very obvious reason: we had a son at the end of it. I got to experience pregnancy, and all the changes, compromises, preparedness, and the well-meaning funny/strange/weird advice that comes along with it. While this definitely dominated the year, there were still some great events that happened and memories made. Let’s review, if you’re interested.

JANUARY

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Nick and I began 2013 in Paris!

30 Rock (this blog’s namesake) had its final episode :(

I dealt with a painful and annoying arm injury from yoga, but after many chiropractor appointments and changes made to some poses in my practice, I got it under control.

FEBRUARY

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Julia and Jay came to visit from Toronto. Julia was nearly 3 months pregnant and knew we had been trying as well, but she didn’t realize that she’d be here the morning I had my positive pregnancy test! (Which was actually Family Day, for you Canadians. What a coincidence!)

My family celebrated my nephew Everett’s first Angel Day.

I got really into animating my friends.

I finally got to see Desaparecidos play. (They were great.)

MARCH

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I went for a very frigid visit up North to visit my family and friends – and waited a few days later until Nick joined me to tell them I was pregnant. It was hard to not tell my parents as soon as they picked me up from the airport, but I kind of just convinced myself I wasn’t pregnant and just lived the lie for two days to make things a bigger surprise when everyone was all together!

Saw a hilarious comedy show by Jim Jefferies.

APRIL

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13 weeks

The tragic Boston Marathon bombing happened.

Saw another great comedy show – Jim Norton at Caroline’s in Times Square.

Nick and I attended a very interesting and informative Choices In Childbirth meeting. It definitely inspired us to learn all we could about the birthing process so we could make the right decisions for us.

I tried acupuncture for the first time after my arm started flaring up again. It was actually very relaxing!

I went with Nick to Lancaster, PA’s Launch Music Festival and had a great time. (It’s also always pretty sexy to see your husband speaking as an expert on a panel ;)

Once we finally got past the first trimester, we announced our pregnancy to the world!

MAY

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My wonderful parents came to visit us in Brooklyn.

Canada’s music industry lost an agent and the world lost an amazing guy – Paul Gourlie passed away.

The Banana Stand came to New York!

I saw an exceptionally great – and very exclusive – Creative Mornings talk by Seth Godin.

Super fun Toronto friends Jana, Mike, Amy, and Bettie came to town. Bettie was part of a very impressive furniture show in Chelsea!

Nick and I found out we were having a boy!

I got rid of my trademark platinum blonde hair.

JUNE

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My good friend Kate’s adorable son was born!

I hit the halfway mark of my pregnancy and started to feel Henry move and kick.

My mom and sister threw me a baby shower during my Toronto visit.

Saw Postal Service perform at Barclay’s Center. What a fun show!

Finally made use of my building’s party room and threw Kate a baby shower.

JULY

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I visited Toronto again, this time with Nick, and it would be my last plane ride until Christmas. We attended the first ever TURF Festival.

6 months pregnant! Things were getting real. I started prenatal yoga and officially made the decision to give myself a Canadian maternity leave and take a year off once Henry was born.

Nick and I had our Babymoon in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island.

We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with a steak dinner.

AUGUST

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The third trimester began! We started to clear out a lot of records, books, and random stuff we didn’t really need to make room for Henry in the office. Nick started nesting enough for the both of us. A crib and stroller were chosen!

My Grandpa turned 80.

Nick and I played hooky one Friday to thoroughly enjoy each other’s company before there were three of us. We visited the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.

I had a great Brooklyn baby shower, hosted by my yoga studio!

Julia gave birth to her son Blake just 2 hours after her due date!

SEPTEMBER

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8 months pregnant! Doing more prenatal yoga than Ashtanga, walking slowly, toured our hospital, and Nick started reading to my belly nightly.

Was thrilled to be featured on Well Rounded NY’s Bump Envy series.

Two of my favourite Canadian girls came to visit me.

OCTOBER

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My due date month! All I want to eat is blueberry pancakes and I don’t care about my birthday. Nick was even out of town for it, so I just went for an indulgent Italian lunch with Kate that day.

Nerded out big time at the Wes Anderson Collection book launch.

Had a short and sweet visit from Angela in Williamsburg.

Did yoga and rode my bike up until my 38th week of pregnancy. Had to stop when I got painful sciatica in my right hip.

I thought I could just stay pregnant forever, but by my due date, I was so ready to have this baby!

NOVEMBER

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It was like November 1st didn’t even happen. I went into labour on Halloween and 35 hours later, Henry Nichols was born!

We spent two nights in the hospital and about 20 minutes after we got home, my parents arrived to meet their new grandson. My Mom was a superhero and stayed to help us for two whole weeks. Best gift ever.

DECEMBER

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Our first night out as a family happened December 14th at Annie’s Christmas party. Henry slept in the Baby Bjorn the whole time, despite the party being so loud we had to shout to talk to each other. What a trooper!

After applying for a passport for Henry when he was just two weeks old, it arrived in time for us to all go to Canada for Christmas.

…And that brings us up to date! I hope your year was as fantastic as mine and that 2014 is even better!

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A New Years Trip To Paris

January 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

To top off the busiest travel month I’ve ever had, Nick and I flew to Paris on an overnight flight on the eve of December 28th. We had heard that it was a great place to celebrate New Years Eve and thought “why not?”.

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We decided to splurge on a nicer, more comfortable hotel since we wouldn’t be spending quite so much time outside. We settled on the wonderful Hotel Relais Saint Germain, located in the 6th arrondissement of Saint Germain. There was a view of a tree with books hanging from its branches from our room (above) and even free wifi!

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Like Stockholm, we crashed as soon as we got to our hotel (red eye flights are awful) and woke up later that afternoon to get some dinner and walk around a little.

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We were both obsessed with Shakespeare & Company and decided to see Notre Dame again since it looked so pretty at night.

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The next morning, we got up in time to enjoy our hotel’s free breakfast. This is no Best Western continental breakfast. We were given a basket of very fresh croissants and baguettes, fresh juice, a cup of orange slices, amazing cheese, and ham sliced right off of a pig’s leg on display at the bar. And of course, amazing coffee. After this deliciousness, we walked along the Seine to Musee D’Orsay.

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This museum is made from an old train station and is so beautiful. Unfortunately, a gazillion other visitors to the city had the same plan as us, so we didn’t spend too much time inside. It was very cool to see some Van Goghs, Monets, and Renoirs in person though!

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It’s hard to tell, but this room was absolutely PACKED. You’re not supposed to take photos here, which I just don’t think is right, so I did anyways. Someone was poking me on the shoulder to scold me as I walked away. But look, that guy’s doing it too!

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Walking down along the left bank, we found more visual treats, like some Arago Line markers. AKA Rose Line, if you’re a Dan Brown fan or a conspiracy theorist.

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I guess I was supposed to stop in here, but didn’t!

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The view of the Louvre from across the river.

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I see you, Nick!

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One place I wanted to make sure we went was Les Deux Magots, a cafe that used to be an old literary and arts hang out. Hemingway, Wilde, Camus, Picasso, Sartre. Think: Midnight In Paris.

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Nick The Coffee Hater even drank a cappuccino here!

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This visit, we spent most of our time in Saint Germain and didn’t even get on the subway. It’s such a great neighbourhood with so many shops, cafes, restaurants, etc, we didn’t even have to. On another note, look how generously they fill your glass of wine in Paris!

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Of course, we also had to go back to curiosity and taxidermy shop, Deyrolle!

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And see the Louvre at night.

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Such a beautiful place.

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The following day included a visit to Saint Sulpice church and much more cheese, bread, wine, and coffee.

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That night, we had New Years Eve dinner reservations at Pinxo, so we got dolled up to celebrate right.

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Our prixe fixe meal was 5 delicious courses, including my favourite, dessert with macaroons!

After dinner, we walked to the river so we could watch the Eiffel Tower’s light show for the countdown to midnight.

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Once, it was 2013, we walked back to Saint Germain over the Pont de l’Archevêché bridge to add our love lock. This was by far the most romantic New Years Eve I’ve ever had!

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We spent New Years Day, our last day in Paris, with more walking and eating. A walk through Jardin Du Luxembourg was absolutely beautiful on this warm, sunny day.

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We spent our last night in Paris at the movies! We’d been meaning to see Argo for months and it was playing around the corner from our hotel. Who would have thought we’d finally see this American movie in English with French subtitles?

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Thanks for a lovely time, Paris! Such a magical city that we hope to return to someday for more coffee, bread, wine, and cheese!

More Paris:

2012: A Year In Review

January 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

2012 was “The Year Of Yes” for Nick and I. We wanted to make it the best possible, doing what we wanted when we wanted, within reason, of course. This attitude led to some pretty great moments and incredible experiences. I also fell even more in love with yoga, specifically Ashtanga, and turbocharged my practice into a 4-5 times a week affair which led me into new poses I never expected to be able to do. There were sad moments this year too, especially in February, but overall, 2012 was the best one I’ve had in years.

JANUARY

– On Friday the 13th, Nick & I went to see/experience the incredible Sleep No More.

– That same morning, I danced my heart out before 10am at Creative Mornings with Girl Walk All Day.

– Filed for an LLC and made my business official. No more freelancing for me!

FEBRUARY

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– The beginning of the month, my family faced a tragedy. Jenn’s nearly full-term baby suddenly passed away a week before her due date. We’ll always remember Everett, even though we didn’t get to meet him.

– Nick and I met my parents in Jamaica for a sunny vacation.

MARCH

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– I flew to Canada for a week-long visit, where I stayed with Jenn and her family. This included lots of playing with their new puppy, Biscuit.

– I tried an incredibly challenging Soulcycle class – right after Jake Gyllenhaal worked out in the same room.

– Mad Men season 5 premiered and I fell in love with the show all over again.

APRIL

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– Flew to London for a long weekend. We got to see Nick’s client Frank Turner headline his first arena show and Abbey Road!

– I helped set a record at the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade RecordSetter Event.

– Finally bought a bike worth more than $100. What a difference!

MAY

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– Spent a weekend in Ohio for Alex and Erin’s lovely barn wedding.

– Started a subscription to Lancaster Farm Fresh weekly vegetable share and farm fresh eggs. Best decision of 2012!

– Had a quick trip to Toronto to see Frank Turner and Baroness, along with some friends and family.

JUNE

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– Saw an amazing Radiohead show in Newark.

– My sister Jenn came for a weekend visit!

– The first Long Island beach visit of the year with Kate.

– Gave a sweaty-faced testimonial in a video for my favourite yoga studio.

– Went to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island solo, but met up with many ex- & current TAG friends and my good Torontonian bud, Travis Bradley!

JULY

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– Took a weekend road trip to Baltimore with Kate and Bryan. Survived the worst thunderstorm driving conditions on the way there so that we could see fish in their aquarium, go to a baseball game, and eat at a Brazilian steak house.

– Celebrated our second wedding anniversary with Nick by getting massages. So goooood.

– Rewrote my NYC + Brooklyn City Guide, complete with different categories, to appease all the NYC visitors!

AUGUST

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– Went to Massachusetts to visit Nick’s best friend Mike, but we also went WHALE WATCHING! I saw humpback whales for the first time and it was one of the coolest moments of my life.

– Finally upgraded from a Blackberry to an iPhone.

– Collected a ton of paperwork and “proof of relationship” to renew my green card and have the conditional status of my permanent residency removed. Filed it myself and felt very accomplished.

– Flew to Toronto for a 10-day visit that started with a Bachelorette Party Cottage Weekend for Julia! Was so incredibly happy to spend 4 days in a cottage with some of my best friends that I only get to see a few times a year.

SEPTEMBER

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Julia and Jay got married! I was so happy to be able to celebrate with them and stand up for Julia as a bridesmaid. I was also pretty happy to partake in the best dance party in years at their reception.

– Finally succeeded in doing headstand in the middle of the room! I have still never fallen (knock on wood).

OCTOBER

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– Celebrated a great 31st birthday.

– Helped Nick celebrate his birthday and had our first joint birthday dinner ever with some of our best friends.

– Went to Chicago to see Smashing Pumpkins in their hometown!

– New York got hit by Hurricane Sandy. We hunkered down, but were very very lucky to not have any damage.

NOVEMBER

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– My parents came to visit us for the first time since we got married!

– Went to a special Creative Mornings talk by George Lois at the Met.

– Kate and Bryan got married at city hall!!! They were engaged for over 3 years before finally tying the knot at Manhattan’s city hall and now they are pregnant!

DECEMBER

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– Saw Neil Young & Crazy Horse with Patti Smith at Brooklyn’s new venue, Barclay’s Center.

– Nick and I flew to Sweden for a long weekend to see his band Ghost. We were so happy about this opportunity, even though it was a whirlwind trip!

– After a few months of practicing, I was finally successful in doing a real Ashtanga back bend!

– Celebrated Christmas with my family in Oshawa and Fenelon Falls.

– Flew home from Canada on Boxing Day then flew to Paris less than 2 days later! Celebrated New Year’s Eve by adding a love lock to Pont de l’Archevêché. Romantic!

If you finished this post, I applaud you! How was your 2012?

Happy New Year From Paris!

December 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

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After staying in and watching When Harry Met Sally for the past four New Years Eves, Nick and I went out with a bang this year. First of all, we’re in Paris. Second, we had a delicious, rich 5-course meal at Pinxo tonight where dessert was the best part.

Third, after walking over the bridge from the Left Bank to the Louvre last night, I was reminded of all of the love locks on the one foot bridge. After doing a bit of research,  we found out that by placing a padlock on the bridge, it is a sign of a couple’s everlasting love. (We also found out that the Parisians hate it, but what else is new.) We decided this morning that this would be our New Year’s celebration rather than going to the Eiffel Tower, which was sure to be packed with people.

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After watching the countdown with the Eiffel Tower from across the Seine, we walked over to the Pont de l’Archevêché and put a brass lock on the bridge with a billion others.

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A very romantic start to 2013! Happy New Year, everyone! xoxo

2011: A Year In Review

December 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

Happy New Year’s Eve! As Nick and I prepare to do our traditional New Year’s watching of “When Harry Met Sally” and make/share our lists of goals for 2012, it seems like a perfect time to look back on 2011. Even though this year seemed to fly by, so much happened!

JANUARY

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– After the holidays, returned to work at Insound to find approximately a trillion online orders for the new CAKE album that had to be processed and sent out

– Met Ezra who was hired temporarily to help get the records sent out quickly. We realized we had a lot of the same musical taste and I declared him my New York Eli.

– It snowed and snowed and snowed

– I spent most of my mornings holding on to the iron gate below so I wouldn’t slip and fall on my way to work

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FEBRUARY

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– Nick and I attended our first New York Knicks basketball game, which was a ton of fun.

– We celebrated our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple at – where else? – Peter Luger!

– I changed positions at Insound from White Label to Fulfillment.

MARCH

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– The Japan earthquake and tsunami bummed me out

– After a few weeks at my new job, I started to experience serious leg pain. Turns out, my hips and knee joints were inflamed from over use. My body was very unhappy with my new job, working in a warehouse and running around all day. I started to get hives and thought I had shingles!

– Needless to say, I gave my resignation. I need legs more than I need discounted records.

– I planned a trip home to Canada the weekend after my last day at Insound. I needed some family, friend, and Canada time, big time!

– Coincidentally while in Toronto, my old employer of 6+ years, The Agency Group, was throwing themselves a 15th anniversary party! I was invited and of course I went.

– An old coworker from The Agency Group who now manages bands got a hold of me and hired me to do design, web, and social media for one of her clients, USS!

– I also started doing a freelance wedding planning assistant job for an older couple from New York

APRIL

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– By April, my freelance work was really coming along and keeping me busy. I stopped applying for other jobs.

– Experienced the best “April Fool’s Joke” ever – Elvis Costello playing three of his best songs before The Strokes hit the stage at Madison Square Garden!

– Nick and I moved into a fantastic new apartment, just one block away from our old one. Check out our sweet “box blinds” above!

– I attended my first of many Creative Mornings  in DUMBO

– Started doing Ashtanga yoga, instead of the usual Vinyasa, and fell in love with it. Have been practicing 2-4 times a week ever since.

MAY

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Jenn at Babycakes

– Celebrated Cinco De Mayo with Kate and some Mexican wrestlers

– Nick and I discovered comedy shows at Caroline’s in Times Square. We saw Jim Jeffries, Bill Burr, and Whitney Cummings while eating dinner, sipping beers, and laughing. What a perfect night out!

– Kate & I continue our fun by attending a Seychelle’s party. We drink free vodka, eat a free dinner, then later pay $25 for a glass of champagne, justifying we would have normally spent more than that anyway!

– My sister, Jenn, comes to visit for a weekend. I take her to Babycakes for gluten-free treats, Risotteria for gluten-free dinner, then help this hard-working mom get drunk for the first time in 7 years on red wine!

JUNE

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– My old roomie, Angela, comes to visit from San Francisco. We attend the opening of Jeremy Fish‘s art show, then a rooftop party in Chelsea.

– I attend Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and fall in love with all the food stands

– June’s Creative Mornings helps get me a few other jobs when I meet Mark from BCS Interactive while waiting for the lecture to start. We nerd out on fonts, design, and then he and his partner Lou hire me to do Social Media for some of their accounts.

JULY

The apple of his eye

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Julia and Jay visit, Nick and I get to feed them all our favourite things. Of course, this includes another trip to Smorgasburg.

– Nick and I spend the 4th of July weekend in Lancaster, PA with Nick’s Dad

– Went to the beach in Long Island a few times and actually got a tan

– Nick and I fly up to Toronto, just in time to experience the hottest day ever! Luckily, we later go up to my parents’ cottage and swim in the river under the shady trees for relief.

– While in Toronto, we celebrate our first wedding anniversary

AUGUST

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– Canada’s NDP Leader Jack Layton passes away

Courtney and Jesse move away to Atlanta

– In preparation for mine & Nick’s trip to Europe at the end of August, I read an entire guide book on Paris and create the most-organized and complete trip itinerary of my life.

– Attend limited-time dumpster pool party “The Palms” in Long Island City with Olivia.

– Nick and I travel to London, attend the Reading Festival, take the train to Paris, then back to London to fly home

– I read most of The Girl Who Played With Fire on the plane, train, and our Parisian balcony and decide there’s something to this novel series.

SEPTEMBER

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– Nick goes on his yearly “man beach trip” with his best friends so I decide to treat myself to a bonus Canada visit

– Get to attend Julia and Jay’s engagement party while in Toronto

– I manage to get a ticket to one of the unattainable, sold out in 31 seconds Radiohead shows in New York. Go to the show solo, but end up chatting with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke.

OCTOBER

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– We mourn the death of Steve Jobs

I turn 30, promptly get called a cougar

– Julia and her two other bridesmaids visit, I finally have an excuse to go to Lovely Bridal shop and watch her try on dresses

– I luck out and get another trip to Toronto! My fourth of 2011. It’s a quick one though, just two days, but still enough time to see two shows, friends, and a family dinner at a steakhouse.

– While we’re in Toronto, New York gets a freak snowstorm! The snow melts in approximately one day.

NOVEMBER

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– Nick and I finally try out the Grand Central Oyster Bar

– I take part in a Rainbow Parade

– We finally get to see Louis CK do standup live during the New York Comedy Festival

– We spend Thanksgiving at home, celebrating with a trip to Central Park, another Jim Jeffries comedy show, and turkey tacos for dinner

DECEMBER

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– I realize now that I work freelance from home, I have no Christmas parties to go to! Then I get invited to The Agency Group NY’s party. Phew!

– Nick and I go to Lancaster for an early Christmas to visit his Dad. We scope out the mall, find Simpsons DVDs on sale at a music store, and the biggest assortment of gummi candy ever!

– We go see the Rockefeller Center tree a mere 3 days before Christmas and it’s a mob scene!

– Fly up to Canada for Christmas with the family. Spend 4 out of 5 days living in a cabin in the woods and have 5 moose keep us from being able to get to the grocery store.

How was your 2011? What was the best part?

Feeling nostalgic? Check out:

2010 + 2009

My Favourite Movies of 2011

December 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

I just got the chance to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo this afternoon, and after confirming that it was in fact as fantastic as it looked, I can post my last Best Of List for 2011! So here we go, in no official order, my favourite movies of 2011:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Fantastic, dark, intelligent and appropriately violent! David Fincher did a great job turning this book into a movie. He makes the lead character, Lisbeth Salander, more instantly likable than the books did and cut out some of the unnecessary meanderings of the novels. I hope he makes the other two. Until then, I’ll be waiting anxiously.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

My favourite book-to-movie series every, the 10-year Harry Potter movie theatre reign came to a bittersweet end this year. Bittersweet because the last two movies were great, but now there’s no more to look forward to! However, I did take solace in knowing they were all made well and that I never lost interest. Thanks for everything, Harry!

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s love letter to Paris in the form of a film was the final push Nick and I needed to decide to visit the city this summer. The movie tells a funny and unique story while at the same time showcasing legendary writers and featuring gorgeous Parisian landmarks. What’s not to like?

Beginners

Funny, sad, and beautiful all at the same time.

Bridesmaids

Just plain funny.

Bill Cunningham: New York

A must-see documentary for any lover of New York or fashion. The 82 year-old New York Times fashion photographer leads a simple, yet full life specializing in candid and street photography and scoots around Manhattan on his bicycle.

What was your favourite movie this year? Did I miss anything great?

See also:

My Favourite Records of 2011

My Favourite Books of 2011

My Favourite TV Shows of 2011

Paris: our story

September 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s been two weeks since I’ve returned home from our European vacation and after a number of posts about Paris already, it’s time to tell you our Paris story.

We rode the Eurostar from London to Paris. The trip only takes 2 hours! After a short taxi ride from the Paris Nord train station, absorbing our first taste of Frenchness by gazing out the windows, we arrived at our hotel and took the smallest elevator I’ve ever seen up to our room.

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That afternoon, we explored the Mouffetard and parts of the Latin Quarter. We happened upon the Pantheon and after taking photos outside of it, we paid to get inside to see even more.

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The pendulum inside was impressive. The tombs in the basement were eerie, but beautiful.

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Our first dinner in Paris was at a little place in the Mouffetard where we sat beside a couple from Winnipeg! I started a conversation with them after deciding they were Canadian when I heard how they said “out”.

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We spent most of our nights after dinner just sitting on our balcony in the hotel, watching the streets below us. Can you spot the Eiffel Tower in the distance?

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Instead of going out for breakfast, each morning I’d go to one of the two patisseries across the street to pick up croissants and coffee to eat on our balcony. We’d also plan out our day and any possible subway trips with our big folding map and guidebooks.

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The first three days of our trip were whirlwinds. We visited so many landmarks, shops, and other French places. We walked large chunks of the city, breaking them up only by subway rides or meals. On our second day, we visited les Grand Magasins (the two large department stores), then walked all the way down to the Louvre.

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We’d stop along the way when a beautiful building would catch our eye, like the Academie Nationale de Musique.

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Or L’eglise de la Madeleine.

After an intense couple of days, we had to remind ourselves that we were supposed to be on vacation! We took it a little slower after that.

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If you walk around Paris, you’re bound to stumble upon something worth exploring! One night after dinner in St-Germain, we realized we were very close to Saint-Sulpice church. It was featured in the Da Vinci Code and has a beautiful fountain in front of it, perfect for smooching on.

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One of my favourite things about Paris were the streets of St-Germain.

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Deroylle taxidermy shop

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Nick and I both agreed that most of our favourite parts of the trip were visits to old churches and your pretty standard tourist fare. Of course, it was a little comforting to be in the company of other foreigners, but these places are sought-after for a reason – they are important, full of history, and beautiful!

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Notre Dame Cathedral

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We spent our last two days in Paris in Le Marais. We did a bit of shopping and I wanted to see the oldest house in Paris, Nicolas Flamel‘s house! It is now a restaurant, but the building itself is perfectly preserved.

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The trip was wonderful. We saw and did so many great things and I’m quite satisfied with the amount and quality of photos I took. It was very interesting to see so much history and culture in a brand new place. I can’t express how gorgeous the French are, especially the women. I literally took notes on their style. More to come on that another time ;)

I also have a new and heightened respect for those who live in a country and don’t speak that country’s language as a first language. I could probably live in Paris if my French was better, but for now, I’m more than happy to be in New York.

{See all my Paris photos here}

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