will work for margaritas

WANT.

These are chicken mole tacos from the cute little Mexican place near our apartment. I’d love a plate of these bad boys right now, along with a blood orange margarita and a scoop of their incredible guacamole. But I just got back from Las Vegas, you say? Where I drank margaritas the size of footballs? Yes, well. I’m not ready for the summer party to end.

A scrumptious dinner out isn’t gonna happen this week, though. And probably not next week either. It’s shaping up to be a very busy month…and I’m discovering that October will be similarly packed.

Between writing, rehearsing, performing, babysitting to help make ends meet and working on a few other fun projects, I’m almost as busy as I was back when I was working the 9-5 shift. (The difference now is that I actually like what I’m doing with my time.)

One of the best parts of 2010 so far has been all the traveling I’ve gotten to do. I was married to my office job schedule last year at this time so trips out of town were few and far between. This year I’ve had time to go to Montreal, Chicago (twice), Vegas, and this fall I’ll go to Philly and Florida…AND to Los Angeles for the first time in my life!

The LA trip will be a whole week with Harvard Sailing Team. We’re doing a show and taking care of some other biz on the West Coast – can’t wait! I loved being near that part of the world this past weekend, so I’m excited to go back in just a few weeks. I’m looking foward to the weather, the change of lifestyle pace, and catching up with a bunch of old college and high school friends who live in Cali now.

In the meantime, it’s still warm and sunny here in New York and even though the kids are all marching back to into school this week, it doesn’t quite feel like summer’s over for me yet. Maybe I can talk Kev into a Mexican night out this weekend. 🙂

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!

1979

When Kevin and I were gifted an awesome used leather couch this past weekend, I was inspired to clean up my little corner of the living room because the rest of the room looked so great. (You can see a pic of the couch here!)

Long story short, I found some hilarious old photos, like the one above.

That’s Harvard Sailing Team at the Chicago SketchFest in 1979. I’m kidding, it was 1989.

I’m kidding. It was 2005, I think?

Except Billy (far right) just stepped out of a “Welcome Back, Kotter” episode.

Even though it wasn’t really that long ago, it feels like eons. We look so young! And our hair…it’s killing me.

(Incidentally, one guy you might not recognize in this photo is our good friend Matt Decker on the far left. Matt was a member of the group for the first year we were together, but then he moved away. We miss him. And absent from the photo is Faryn who was studying abroad in Spain at the time.)

We’re making our short film this weekend with the Friars Club money we won earlier this summer and we’re so excited. When we all needed better haircuts back in 2005, who knew we’d get to make a short film together just a few years later?

and a new week begins

First, some fabulous points:

  • I’m reading “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” the second in the series. Enjoyed the first book. Having something to read is the best.
  • I’m loving NYC right now. Mid-to-late summer temps, everybody’s happy and relaxed, it’s vacation month for most of the city.
  • I have a free gym membership for the month of August.
  • Harvard Sailing Team is making a movie in two weeks with the money we won for the Friar’s Club. Can’t wait.
  • Going to Vegas for my cousin’s wedding over Labor Day. Can’t wait.
  • Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tuscan Bread is my favorite bread. Related: I think the world needs some toast restaurants. Toastaraunts.
  • Summer rules.

Speaking of summer, I went to the beach this weekend for the first time this season. It was so nice. Kevin and I went to New Jersey to spend time with our friends and their adorable 5-month old baby. (Her name is Luna. Don’t you love that?! She’s a little angel.)

We had such a nice time eating homemade veggie pizza from the grill (yum), drinking wine and visiting a lovely place called Grounds for Sculpture.

This is Rat’s Restaurant, which is inside the sculpture park. The whole park is beautiful and fascinating as hell. And this restaurant is no exception – it’s a magical place that seems like it fell out of a fairy tale. We didn’t eat there, just got to tour through it, although I heard the food is really good.

Incidentally, the Executive Chef at Rat’s is on Top Chef Season 7 right now! He’s the guy named Kevin with the glasses. (I love Top Chef. Angelo’s gonna win, right?)

It was such a sweet little weekend trip. Our hosts, Scott and Mary Ellen, were so generous. And I’m plotting to eat their baby with whipped cream.

I’m excited for the new week to begin. Good things are happening in small bursts lately and I’m feeling energetic and eager to keep working. Hope you all have a good week too!

the dream and the reality

I’m still adjusting to being back in New York, having spent much of July traveling and being out of my element.

We returned to the city to news from our landladies that the whole house has termites (meaning our apartment has to be exterminated), and the exterminator broke the main water line, causing some serious plumbing drama.

On top of all that, Kevin had his wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday. So that and all that goes with it has been happening around here too. (He’s still recovering, but doing okay!)

This summer, for better or worse, hasn’t been a period of R&R by any means. And all the essential things that have filled my schedule this month don’t pay me like I want them to yet. That’s okay – I’m alive and well-fed and happy and healthy. I choose to accept that this is where I am on this journey.

Still, I caught myself daydreaming a few days ago about my old lifestyle when I had a desk job. Blasphemy, I know. I don’t miss the daily commute, the irritating coworkers, the constantly ringing phone, navigating midtown, trying to fit a workout in on my lunch break, hoping I can get out early enough to make a show or a rehearsal, calling in sick to go to an audition or shoot a video.

But I do miss the consistent income. That and breakfast from Pret A Manger are the only things I miss.

I daydreamed about being able to spend money on buying new shoes, jumping on a plane for a last minute trip to Florida, renting a car for a day because it’s fun, blowing a ton of money at the grocery store buying up whatever I please, getting my nails done every week – that kind of frivolous stuff. I can’t wait for the day when that is my lifestyle again.

But the trade off for having those things back then was that I was totally miserable at my job almost every day. I was stuck and unproductive and uninspired, I felt like my professional life didn’t make me excited and proud. I was swiftly approaching 30 and I wasn’t on my way to the career of my dreams. And that just wasn’t good enough.

Beyond that, if I still had an office job I wouldn’t have been able to go to Montreal for six days (and have one of the most memorable experiences of my life). I would have had to finagle the time off to go to my cousin’s weekday wedding. I’d be worried about getting time off in the fall to go do an HST show in LA, I’d wonder if I could get time off to go out of town for my 30th birthday in November. I’d be stressed and resentful and feeling locked in. All for a job that paid me a salary but provided little else in terms of incentive.

So if I have to choose, I’d still rather have my freedom and have control over my own professional destiny than have a steady paycheck. That’s just who I am. And I have faith that someday soon those two worlds will collide and I’ll be a billionaire. Or I’ll at least be somebody who’s willing to spend money on weekly manicures again.

August is going to be another busy month. We’re taking a trip, shooting a short film, I’m going to be doing a lot of writing and planning, Kevin’s starting a new job, and I’m hoping to squeeze a few more juicy drops out of summer.

It’s been 9 months since I quit my desk job to pursue work that makes me happier. This is where I am today.

spring in july

If you’ve yet to check out Spring, the site I’ve been contributing to lately, get on over there!

It’s a lovely corner of the web created by four successful, passionate women – entrepreneurs and bloggers in their own right – who’ve come together with a singular focus on mind: To inspire you to “design a life you love.”

Obviously, I like that.

Throughout the month of July (which is coming to such a swift and sudden close, I almost can’t believe it!), I wrote four pieces on the theme of Self Care:

Self-Love Advice from a Former Fat Girl

3 Reasons to Skip the Gym

A Lesser Person Couldn’t

Without Condition

I’ll be back contributing to Spring in August on the subject of, what else, inspiration! If there are any specific topics you’d like me to explore or any questions you’d like me to ponder in my August articles, shoot me an email: jenifercurran@gmail.com.

ch-ch-check-in

Hey guys! Just a quick check-in to say hello.

I’m back in New York after a fantastic trip to Montreal, but I’m only here for another 24 hours. Kev and I head out to Chicago tomorrow morning for my beautiful cousin Kalan’s wedding! I’m excited to see the fam and wear a pretty bridesmaids dress with all my ladies. Kalan’s three sisters and I are all standing up for her. Should be a pretty wild time.

I’m hoping to get a chance to post some of the Montreal pics later today, but we’ll see. I’ve got an action packed day ahead of me, which will kick off with…drumroll…a haircut!

After your sweet feedback last week (and a generous check in the mail from my mom to cover the cost) I’m gonna go chop my hair off! Whew. I can’t wait.

In the meantime, my third installment on the topic of self care is up over at Spring. This week’s article is called “A Lesser Person Couldn’t.”

Hope everyone’s having a good Tuesday!

blazing

We’ve been having some seriously blazing temps here in NYC for the last week. I love warm weather, but these have been painfully hot days even for my taste.

This morning was a smidge cooler than it’s been though, and a bit overcast – a welcome relief especially on a day when Harvard Sailing Team trekked out to World’s Fair Marina in Queens for a photo shoot!

We spent a fun, easy morning at the marina with our fantastic photographer, Eric Michael Pearson. I can’t wait to share the pics.

After the shoot was over, I grabbed some lunch in the city and then I spent the afternoon putting the finishing touches on a huge batch of red velvet cake bites (3o0 of them, to be exact) to ship off to Arkansas tomorrow morning for a friend of a friend’s wedding. This is the official official 100% without a doubt last order Fanny & Jane will be doing this summer. The bride placed her order back in December, so I had to honor it, even if it means overnighting the cake bites to her in a tightly packed cooler. Hopefully they’ll arrive intact!

And now I’m off to see two of my HST teammates in their two-person sketch show, The New York Smiths. Chris and Rebecca moved to LA earlier this year (which you probably know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while) and they’re back for the month of July! Looking forward to seeing what changes they’ve made to their adorable show.

When I get home tonight, I think I’ll crash onto the couch, wish I was a millionaire for about thirty minutes, and then I’ll get back up and do some writing work. Because I’m not quite done yet today. Oof. It’s been a long week.

There’s a stiff drink in my future.