Category Archives: Just for Fun

Your holiday gift guide (If you don’t always want to give a bottle of booze. But a bottle of booze is always fine, too.)

Screen shot 2014-12-08 at 5.53.56 PMIt’s that time again. Christmas time! Which means you gotta give people gifts. I have compiled a few unique and lovely gifts that are sure to please.

The pop culture enthusiast/movie buff

  • My coworker discovered this Wes Anderson coffee table book. It is the best. You should get this book even if you have only seen one of Wes’ movies because it is just that good. Also, if you’ve only seen one Wes Anderson movie, you should really watch more.
  • Since we’re talking about Wes, these prints are amazing. A perfect way to put posters on your wall without looking like you live in a college dorm.
  • And who doesn’t love a sassy tote?
  • Okay, and who doesn’t want to lounge around in a Glen Coco sweatshirt?

For the girl who likes cute art and fun things:

For the girl who is all about hosting the cutest party:

For the gal who can’t put her phone down:

For the recently wed:

For the new mom in your life:

What fun gifts did you score this year? Share them in the comments below!

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The Books I’ve Read This Fall (So Far)

You know that my first love is a great book. I compiled a list of the books I read this summer and I thought I would keep the tradition alive by listing the books I have read so far this fall. These books are in no particular order, but hopefully you’ll find some reading inspiration. Screen shot 2014-11-16 at 5.41.21 PM This is How You Lose Her: Junoz Diaz is one of my new favorite writers, and this might be my favorite of his books yet! The book is a series of short stories about women, and how the men in their lives affect them either positively or negatively. The book is written mostly from a man’s point of view, but Junoz still writes beautifully and compassionately about the female experience.

The Dinner: This book was super weird and I am still trying to figure out how I feel about it. Basically it is a short book about two sets of parents who go to dinner to talk about a horrific crime their sons committed together. The book takes place entirely in a restaurant over four courses of dinner (though the narrator does illustrate points through flashbacks). Overall, ‘The Dinner’ is pretty messed up in a totally crazy, wtf, kinda way. It is also really slow until the end, and most (wait, no, all) of the characters are pretty unlikeable. So yea, I wouldn’t say to skip this one entirely, but I also wouldn’t say it is a must-read.

Help for the Haunted: This book follows a teen trying to navigate her life after her parents, who used to work as mediums, are killed. ‘Help for the Haunted’ is really good, beautifully paced and thoughtfully written overall. It is fairly easy to get through and just suspenseful and spooky enough that you don’t want to put it down. However, I will note that it is a bit silly in places. But part of me thinks maybe that’s the point?

The List: Don’t judge me. This is 100% a teen book, but it was actually really good. It was discarded on the Barnes and Noble must-read table and I picked it up not realizing it was written for a 14-year-old girl. Whoops. But seriously, I loved this book. Here’s the scoop — there is this fictional high school that publishes a list of the prettiest and the ugliest girls in every grade. The book examines the impact the list has on the girls voted prettiest and ugliest. ‘The List’ is kind of like Mean Girls, but not funny. It is definitely worth a trip to the young adult section to pick it up.

Reconstructing Amelia: First, let me say that this book is described as being similar to Gone Girl. This could not be further from the truth. Reconstructing Amelia is nothing like Gone Girl and I am confused as to why that was approved to print on the cover of this book. So know that when you read this book, it will bear no resemblance to Gone Girl. Okay, now that I have said that I will say that this book is really great. Reconstructing Amelia explores a mother’s quest to find answers after her smart, focused teenage daughter commits suicide (or did she??). The book bounces back and forth between the mother and her daughter, Amelia, a few days before she died. Like ‘The List’, this book tackles the sometimes heartbreaking effects of Mean Girls in high school.

Diary (in progress): I haven’t finished this book, and I must say that it is the weirdest book ever, however it is by the same guy who wrote ‘Fight Club’ so what do you expect? I am sticking with it and it is getting sort of good. It is still beyond weird, but who doesn’t love a little crazy? What books have YOU read this fall? I am always looking for a good book recommendation!

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Happy Halloween! Love, the Lobby Boy

IMG_9250_1Have you seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet? If not, you really should. It is such a great movie. I loved it so much I am dressing up as a Lobby Boy for Halloween. I even made a (really, really) short film about how important a Lobby Boy is below:

Happy Halloween!

xoxo

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Tourist in Boston

Acorn Street, BostonMy husband and I went to beautiful Boston this week and we stumbled across Acorn Street. Fun fact, Acorn Street is the most photographed street in the country. So despite my commuter clothes I had to get some photos with this gorgeous street!

fall preppy style

fall preppy style

preppy detailsOkay, basically everything I am wearing is J. Crew. Except the sweater which is H&M

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How to take the best Instagram Photos

On Instagram, not every photo is created equally. There are great images, and there are not so great images. I want to make sure none of you ever find yourself on the not-so-great side of Instagram.

Instagram tips

Be picky: First and foremost, Instagram is a curation of your best moments. So go ahead and flaunt your best photos, girl! However, it is best to only post once or twice a day, and try to keep mirror selfies to a minimum.

essieGet Creative: Think of fun and unique ways to take pictures of every day things. Try using fun backgrounds and cool composition to really take your photos to the next level. Don’t be afraid to get inspiration from other Instagrammers. If you search #coffee on Instagram, you will find at least 1,000 unique ways to photograph coffee that you never even thought of!

nycThis might take a while: Capturing the perfect Instagram photo usually requires more than one take  (full disclosure — I take between 7-10 images before I decide on the perfect one). To accommodate all your snapping, it is best to take your picture on the camera app (in square mode) so you can snap multiple photos and choose the best one for Instagram.

Block IslandMake sure the light is right: Bad light can be detrimental to an otherwise great photo. Natural light is always best. I never use flash for Instagram photos as flash can add a forced, staged look to your images (not to mention the risk of zombie eyes *shudder*). Try taking pictures by or near a window for the best light (For a portrait, make sure the light is in front of you, not behind you).

Modifying the focus can also help you make the best use of light. To do this, tap on different places on your camera screen to focus on those areas of the image. This will also change up how much light is allowed into your lens.

photo (1)Make it pretty: Lately, I have been ditching Instagram filters entirely and using their creative tools (click on the little screwdriver on the upper right of the screen to use these.). These features allow you to straighten your image perfectly, and also tweak the brightness, saturation, contrast, shadows, highlights, etc. of the image. I am obsessed with these tools as they help to make my images look just right, and not too filtered. I highly recommend you explore Instagram’s creative tools!

kate spadeThe world is your stage: The best part of Instagram is the part when you get to arrange your stuff into something worth taking a photo of. I like to call these images, “staged photos of random things”. They are fun to do and great practice for getting light and focus right. So get to shooting your random stuff!

Screen shot 2014-08-25 at 3.47.04 PMWipe off your lens: Okay this should have come earlier, but I wanted to end with an obvious bang. You know how sometimes your pictures look like they are dusty and weird? Well it’s probably because your camera lens in dirty. Wipe off you lens before you take your pictures. You can thank me later for that tip.

 

 

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A definitive list of the books I read this summer in rank order

So I am really, really, really into reading. I usually read about two or three books a month. I would totally nerd out and read more if I didn’t limit myself to reading only when I am ‘in transit’ (i.e. on the subway or otherwise traveling). I am also, admittedly, a huge book snob. You will never catch me reading any Nicholas Sparks or some ridiculous drivel by a celebrity (except Bossypants). I also don’t really do self-help books much (Though I did like He’s Just Not That Into You). I am a novel/memoir purist to my core, peeps.

Summer is a big reading time for me because I travel a lot and I find myself waiting for the subway to come a lot. Below are the books I read this summer (so far) in order of least favorite to most favorite.

Screen shot 2014-08-11 at 9.19.44 PMNote: I didn’t read this book.

 

11. Under Observation: Okay, I am only 75% through this book. So this might be a premature statement. If you have any interest in true, unbiased stories about mental institutions and psychology, this is a good read. This book is very clinical, though and a little dry (like reading a text book that desperately wants to be cool).

10. When The Nines Roll Over: I am a huge David Benioff fan. His books The 25th Hour and City of Thieves are two of my favorites. So I had to pick up this collection of short stories. Some stories were really, really great — some I got to the end of the story and I was like, ‘uh, what?”. I think longer novels are David’s strong suit. I will stick to those from here on.

9. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: Yo, this book starts off so slooooow. It does heat up (thank ya lawd), but overall this book is a slow burn to an unsurprising end. The story telling is superb and Junot builds characters that are unforgettable. But I actually can’t get over how slow this book starts.

8. The Bell Jar (reread): I hadn’t read this book in so long. It’s a classic, very powerful but still easy to read.

7. Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids: I bought this book because it won the Nobel Prize forever ago. It was intense, but what else would you expect with a title like this?! If you dare, you can read this little book in a day or two — but it will leave you thinking for days after.

6. The Yellow Wallpaper: I borrowed a friend’s Kindle and read this short story on the subway ride home. It is a powerful look at how women with mental illness were treated not so long ago. This book is a definite must-read.

5. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda: So if you haven’t noticed, my reading choices skew bleak. Not sure why, but they always have. This particular bleak book is a super in-depth look at the Rwandan Genocide. This non-fiction story is eye opening to say the least. It gives a full 360 picture of what happened in Rwanda starting with the disastrous colonization of the country all the way to the aftermath of the horrific genocide hundreds of years later. It is a fascinating and heartbreaking read.

4. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (reread): I have read all the David Sedaris there is to read, but I still have to reread at least one thing by him a season. His story telling never gets old. He is one of the few authors who can make me ‘lol’… loudly… and usually in public.

3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: This book is hilarious and sad and heartwarming and so great. I also love how it was written. This is a perfect travel book.

2. Prep (reread): OMG, I loooove this book. It is literally (no joke) like reading about my high school experience (well, the second half of it). If you are a girl and you went to high school and you ever once felt even a little bit like an outsider, you really need to read this one. It’s like the author read your diary and then published it. Fo’ serious.

1. Drown: This was my favorite book of the summer. You know how a book just reaches out and grabs you and you’re just along for the ride? No? Is that just me? Well this book is amazing and a half. I am obsessed with it, and you should really read it. Junot Diaz is just the bees knees.

 

The end.

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Crabby on Block Island

block island 11This past weekend, my husband and I went on an adventure to Block Island. Y’all it was gorgeous. Everyone should go. As you will see from the abundant photos after the jump, it was a bit cloudy. That did not take away from this place’s beauty.

Oh, and another thing happened on Block Island. Matt made me hike seven miles. Your girl was scaling cliffs and walking through overgrown grass so he could see a lighthouse. Is that the definition of love? Being covered in leaves, sand, and sweat and following your betrothed all over the wilderness so he can see a lighthouse? Oy. Here’s the photo of said lighthouse below. Worth it? Maybe.

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Shoes: New Balance | Shorts: Made ‘em from old jeans | Sweater: J. Crew | Belt: It is (was?) my Dad’s from Brooks Brothers

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