the dirty thirty

I have so many photos to share from my birthday trip to Florida! This one was taken during the delightful sunset marine life cruise we took off the coast of Sarasota.

Most of the rest of the shots are intimate close-ups of all the sinful food I ate including but not limited to Mexican, fried breakfast items and a delicious steak and potatoes meal from a fine dining establishment.

All in all, I had a nice time in Florida with Kev and got to reconnect with my mom and stepdad, both of whom I’m lucky to have in my life because they’re fun and nice and smart and they laugh at my jokes.

And now I’m 30! It happened just like that. Overnight.

I’m having a birthday party at my apartment in Brooklyn this weekend with some friends. Looking quite forward to it. (If you’re in New York and you’d like to come – please do! Email me for details. We have two cats, so consider your stance on that first.)

I’m still adjusting to being an old woman, but so far it’s not so bad. I feel mostly happy to have gotten the transition itself over with, which seems to have been the worst part. Now I just feel confident, mature, responsible, and like I can do whatever the hell I want because I’m 30, bitches!

Work is fine. It’s not exactly what I want to be doing with my time, but I’m not entirely sure what else I would be doing with my time right now. Plus, making money is a good reason to get up in the morning.

Speaking of which, I finally settled my boots search on these little darlings, which are Clarks, arrived in the mail from Zappos yesterday and are as comfortable as can be. They’re exactly what I wanted.

Thirty: kicking ass, taking names, and only buying boots that I really love.

 

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my new job

I’m back in Brooklyn after a great week in Los Angeles. I had a blast on the trip, but I’m glad to be home – I am reminded how much I love New York City.

Today, Kevin made us brunch, then we did some shopping (new shoes!), and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening. It was perfect.

Los Angeles was an awesome experience for Harvard Sailing Team. We had so much fun together, got a lot done, and things are moving in a great direction right now – we’re definitely pinching ourselves.
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lessons from my summer

How pretty is this little girl? I was so happy to see her and her brother this morning when we got home from the airport.

I’m back from a Labor Day weekend in Las Vegas! I was a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding at the Mandalay Bay – we had a lovely time. And the bride and her new hubby looked beautiful and happy. (Thanks for a fun weekend, Mal!)

Wedding activities aside, Vegas kicked my ass. We partied a lot, rode the giant coaster (on which I broke my glasses), won some money, lost some money, won some more, and everything in my suitcase smells like cigarette smoke and that weird floral scent they pump into the casinos.

I hadn’t been to Vegas since I was 15-years-old. I love it there. Love the weather, the lights, the 24-hour party, the gambling, the people-watching. I could never live there, but I’ll visit any day.

Now we’re back in NYC and a new week will begin bright and early tomorrow morning. I’m reflecting on what a weird, but unexpectedly life-affirming summer I’ve had. It’s been spent worrying sometimes about where my next paycheck’s coming from, and celebrating sometimes exciting successes along my new career path. I feel hopeful and curious about what the coming months will bring.

This summer has taught me a few key lessons.

1.) Money is fluid. It’s meant to come in and out of your life. To bring yourself to a state of panic when funds are low does nothing but cause you unproductive discomfort. Do what you love and the money will come. It’s true.

2.) Support other people. There is enough success, love, money, happiness, fulfillment and inspiration to go around. Being genuinely happy for other people doesn’t take anything away from your own path – it makes you feel good. And being selfish or competitive is transparent.

3.) You can be your own worst critic or your own best friend. It’s up to you.

I’m so excited for fall, you guys. I’m looking forward to a lot of travel, a lot of work, and my 30th birthday in exactly 2 months. I’m also looking forward to some exciting changes on the blog in the month of October.

Have a great week!

a wedding weekend

My little cousin Kalan celebrated her wedding this past weekend. Kevin took this shot from inside the reception hall while we were out on the patio with the photographer. (Pretty great for a through-the-window shot, babe!)

Kalan and her Scottish hubby Dave were officially married in a small civil ceremony in December, but on July 22, the whole family came out to don fancy outfits and party with the newlyweds. It was a great time. The bride was nervous as heck, which was so funny and sweet. She also looked stunning – like a true princess. I couldn’t help but picture her as a five-year-old girl in a Cinderella gown.

Kalan is one of four sisters. I’m an only child, but I grew up very close to my cousins, and as the oldest grandchild I got to enjoy some of the sisterhood experience myself. “The girls” (as we call the four sisters) and I all lived in the same town growing up and spent a ton of time together. Today, they’re all fabulous, strong, smart, beautiful young women who each have a razor sharp wit and a wicked sense of humor.

Many of my childhood memories involve those girls – ridiculous games we played, dress-up clothes we wore, productions we put on for the family. And there was no shortage of screaming fights, jealous fits and memorable and violent physical altercations.

We used to daydream when we were little about growing up together – who would get married first, what appetizers we’d serve at our weddings, how many kids we wanted to have, where we’d live, what our husbands would be like. It’s amazing how quickly time has passed.

Finding myself standing up at their weddings (Trisha and Kalan are both now married, Mallory will be married in September) is so surreal. There are moments when I feel like I’m  still 10 years old, and watching a video of what my life might be like as an adult. I remember those girls so vividly as the scrappy, loud little kids that I loved to boss around. Seeing them in wedding dresses is bizarre and amazing.

Anyway. Enough sentiment. You get the point. We had a great time at the wedding and all the activity surrounding it.

I wish Kevin and I had more time in the midwest – it’s always nice to be there – but I’m glad to be home after two weeks of traveling first to Montreal, then to Chicago. I’m nothing short of exhausted.

Congrats, Kalie & Dave! So happy for you guys!

boys will be girls – the sequel!

Our new video has gotten some generous love from the worldwide web this week. We’ve been featured on Andrew Sullivan’s blog at The Atlantic (thanks, Trish, for the tip!), New York Magazine and Comedy Central again! 

We’re having a great time in Montreal – it has been a very inspiring, exciting and life-affirming trip in a lot of ways. And it’s also great to get to spend so much time with my best friends. It’s certainly a tiring and busy and nonstop kind of festival, but all in all, it’s been an amazing experience. 

Hope you enjoy the new vid, “Boys Will Be Girls: Night Out.” 

See you back in the states!

a working actor!

Guess who booked a NATIONAL COMMERCIAL!?! This guy!

I’m so happy for him. He’s had a lot of great signs-from-the-universe come into his life lately, telling him he’s on the right path. And what’s interesting is that he hasn’t even really been trying to get acting work, he just keeps getting called in for auditions, and he says yes to them when he can squeeze them in. Boom! National commercial.

They’ve asked him not to cut his hair for the role, so the poor guy has been driving himself crazy trying to stay cool with those thick locks all over his forehead.

The one small bummer related to this exciting news is that it means he can’t go to Montreal with us next week because that’s exactly when the commercial shoots in Baltimore. I’m sad he won’t be there because he’s a great travel companion.

p.s. The nice summery shirt he’s wearing in this photo is one of my very favorites that he owns. And it’s from – where else – the Kohl’s in Crystal Lake, Illinois. I love shopping Midwest.

welcome new readers! + 21 things about me

If you’re new around here, welcome! I’ve been so lucky to have so many new readers over the last few months, so thanks for stopping by!

And thank you so much for your emails or comments letting me know that my story on “follow my bliss” is something that resonates with you. Love to hear from you guys.

In the interest of all the new (virtual) faces around these parts, I’m gonna do a crash course “about me” rundown so you’re all caught up!

21 Things About Me:

  1. I’m 29. I’ll be 30 in November. Yikes!
  2. My boyfriend Kevin and I live near Prospect Park in Brooklyn with our two cats, Chawser and Kaia. I talk about those damn cats a lot on this blog. You can bet Kevin and I talk about (and coo at) them even more in real life.
  3. I quit my boring desk job as a receptionist at a law firm last year to…well…follow my bliss, i.e. to pursue work that makes me happier.
  4. I graduated from NYU Tisch with an acting degree.
  5. I graduated two years late because I dropped out somewhere in the middle to..uh..see how much I could screw my life up before hitting rock bottom. It was a blast. That’s sarcasm.
  6. I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD LIKE IT’S MY JOB.
  7. I really want a dog.
  8. I’m originally from the suburbs of Chicago.
  9. I lost 115 pounds in my early twenties through diet and exercise. I’ve kept the weight off for almost 8 years.
  10. Kevin and I have been dating for 3.5 years and we’ve lived together for 2. But we’ve been friends for over 8 years!  I guess I’m keeping him. 🙂
  11. When I was 21 I punched an ex-boyfriend in the mouth, got kicked out of the apartment we were living and ended up essentially homeless on the streets of NYC with $12 to my name. That’s obviously a much longer story. Continue reading

better

I’m feeling much more balanced today, y’all. Just in case you were worried about me. There’s a lot going on and it can be overwhelming, but it’s all really good stuff. I’d be insane not to focus on the positive.

Talking it out to Kevin really did make me feel a lot better. It also helped to put on some big girls clothes and get the hell out of the house. I did two improv shows last night, had some nice chats with friends and felt much better this morning.

It’s a hot, sticky soup of a day in NYC  and I’m holed up writing, working, blogging in the delicious air conditioning.

when it’s hard

So, as you know, I quit my desk job 8 months ago to pursue stuff that makes me happier. And I’ve been doing that. I’ve been writing, which I love, I’ve been baking, which I also enjoy very much, and I’ve been acting, telling jokes and having fun collaborating with talented people, which makes me feel very happy and alive.

I’ve received so many emails and comments over the last year from people telling me that what I’ve done inspires them. Thank you!! That makes me feel humble and grateful.

Meanwhile, I don’t always know where the next significant paycheck is coming from and I’m confused as hell half the time. But I’ve gotten by (and eaten well) for 8 months. And I’m not dead yet. So hopefully I’m onto SOMEthing here.

Some times are fantastic, others are hard. Today, for instance, I woke up feeling like I’ve lost my mind lately. I’ve been confused, moody, uncertain and feeling generally lost for a few days now. Par for the course, of course, but still difficult.

I mentioned these feelings to the boyfriend this morning. And I ended up crying over my iced coffee.

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who knew

It’s been a while since I’ve done a cat post!

Who knew that this mangy little rascal who once scuttled away from every human or slight breeze that crossed her path would turn into such a stunning creature.

That first shot is from last year, right after we got her. This one is from just yesterday. She’s about 2 years old now.

Her dad calls her beautiful Mancoon coat her “party dress,” which is adorable and hilarious. You can’t see her whole body in this shot, but when you can, she really does look like she’s on her way to her Quinceañera.

She still scuttles away from almost anything, but she’s become a great addition to our family. She demands snuggles in the morning, likes to brush her fluffy, soft tail against you to remind you she’s underfoot, and when she sleeps (all day long) she’s the cuddliest little thing on planet Earth.

You may or may not recall that when we first saw her in her cage at the adoption place, Kevin didn’t think we should pick her. She looked…well…sickly, and she seemed terrified of everything. Plus, her fur wasn’t all grown in yet so she was a patchy mess. But I had to have her. I don’t know why. I just knew she was mine. Now, of course, we both adore her, but I’ll never let him forget that he would have left her there to die. (Melodramatically speaking.)

If you’re new around here, you might not know that we have two cats. The little girl cat is Kaia. And our older cat is the dashing, handsome, personable Chawser.

He’s a real man’s man. He’s inquisitive and social, likes to hunt and fish and chase squirrels that he will never catch because he’s not allowed outside unsupervised.

And he doesn’t want anyone to know it but he’s fiercely protective of his sister. He adores her.

Cats. I want three more, plus a dog, a horse and a baby goat.