Saturday, May 12, 2012

What I've Been Up To

It's been awhile, so I'll get you up to speed on my adventures. In case you didn't know, I'm a famed photographer on Instagram now. So far this year I:

 Drank lots of cocktails, obviously.

Went to Orlando to visit this dumb idiot.

Shared a delightful afternoon with this cactus. I hope we meet again some day.

Thought I saw a picture of Alex Scordelis in a museum, but it turns out it was just Cindy Sherman.

Realized I would never be happier than eating bacon from Peter Luger, and then drank mimosas from this stolen glass the next day.


Bought this horrifying toy from Kid Robot.

Looked out of my plane window and thought the world was ending but realized it was just Colorado.

Got allergies.

Spent too long sifting through piles of lego heads.

 Sailed the high seas of the Hudson River.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Best Wedding Tools

When I got engaged, I really had no idea where to start. Unlike many ladies, I was not one of those girls who always dreamed of the day when I would walk down the aisle. When we decided to get married 6 months after getting engaged, I had to transform into a wedding planning robot. There is no way I would have been able to pull it off without some handy online tools. Here are the top 5 most helpful online wedding tools I used to pull it off.

1. Paperless Post
As soon as we nailed down a location, we needed to get our save-the-dates out right away. Like, the next day. Luckily someone told me about Paperless Post, which allowed me to customize a card, an envelope, and envelope lining! You just upload your contact list, and it blasts out a personalized card to each friend and family member and keeps track of the responses. At first it seemed like a ghetto idea to email a save-the-date, but the site completely changed my mind.

2. Wedding & Registry Jojo

We knew we wanted a cool wedding website with a memorable URL, so I had my friend snag me LesleyandGalen.com. I'm not much of a designer, but Wedding Jojo had some fun templates to choose from and they made adding all the info pretty easy. Also, because my apartment is roughly the size of a PF Chang's lobby, we have no room to put anything. I hated the idea of stuffing a bunch of tea cups and napkin holders into my snack drawer (one of four drawers in my kitchen, and it's already filled with fruit roll-ups). Registry Jojo allowed us to ask for an amazing honeymoon as a gift. We filled out our site with custom options like "Swiss Spa Adventure" and "Spending $$ at the Luvre" and asked our guests to contribute. It worked!

3. Martha Stewart's Seating Tool

I seriously hated The Knot and all their creepy email reminders. "We noticed you're getting married soon and you have 57 uncompleted tasks this week!" I was happy when I discovered Martha Stewart Wedding's handy set of planning tools. The most helpful one was the seating tool, which allows you to upload your guest list and drag and drop people to different tables.

4. Pinterest
Ooooh Pinterest, how I love thee. If you haven't discovered this online curating tool, you need to check in out immediately. It allows you to "pin" your favorite stuff online as your surfin' the net with the click of a button. I obsessively searched wedding blogs at weird hours of the night and was able to remember the best of what I'd just looked at.

5. Pinhole PressOk, so this one's not a planning tool, but I used Pinhole Press to make our wedding album and I love it so much. I ordered a small paperback version which fits nicely in my living room (the size of PF Chang's hostess stand). The book is beautiful and was pretty easy to make, aside from agonizing over which 68 pictures to include.

I'm pretty sure I would have eloped had it not been for the Internet.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice


Due to the success of last year's foam board Halloween costumes, I decided it would be fun to try again this year with some inspiration from the very first PG-13 movie I ever saw. Beetlejuice made a pretty big impression on me, so this Halloween, Galen and I are going to be stretch-faced Adam and Barbara.

Barbara and Adam


I bought this shirt for Galen, and I found a super rad flowery dress with shoulder pads from Daha Vintage. But the real fun was in the mask construction.

I bought a big stack of colorful foam board paper.


supplies


I cut up a bunch of teeth and hot glued the details (and my hands) together.

cuttingteeth


Pancake made fun of me for burning my hands.

pancake


And then the mask was done!


Mask

Now I'm attempting to make the Adam mask out of paper mache and latex gloves, but it's currently a hot mess. I'll let you know how that works out.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Shoes (My Pretty Woman Moment)

Finding the perfect pair of wedding shoes was rough. Because my dress was short, I needed something that was going to look awesome but not too show-stealing. I found them, see?
The Shoes - Kate Spade Clarice

But it was tough work. I started with some really weird ideas about my shoes. I kind wanted either:
A. clogs
B. bright yellow shoes
C. something with suede
D. all of the above

My resident shoe expert and bridesmaid Stephanie was all, "Hell no." She suggested we go to Bergdorf Goodmans in search of some "real people" wedding shoes. I had never been to Bergie's before, but I knew it was super fancy and I was desperate to fit in. I rifled through all of my unsophisticated Greenpoint-style attire and scraped together the Sex In the City-est outfit I could find. When we entered Bergdorfs, we were already aware that it was going to be a Pretty Woman scenario, and that we were both playing the part of Julia Roberts. When we got to the shoes, Stephanie couldn't resist trying on a pair of ridiculously sparkly Louboutins.

Steph and Bergie's

I think some sort of buzzer must have gone off in the back room, because a stuffy old sales lady rushed up and asked what we were doing. "I'm looking for wedding shoes," I said, my voice cracking as I pawed at a pair of YSL pumps.

"Oh really? You're getting married?" the bitch questioned, astonished that someone would ever commit to such a piece of trash. "Where's the wedding?" she sneered.

"At a f-f-farm upstate. It's really pretty. There's goats?" I wanted to lie and say "The Four Seasons." It must be fancy since Bethenney Frankel got married there. But it was too late.

"A farm, huh? Ok. Why don't you girls head down to the fifth floor. We have some clearance shoes there," she cackled. And so that was that - we were banished to the fifth floor. The dreaded cellar where shoes go to die. We took the elevator there and found files of old, dusty, out of style footwear. It was depressing, and so we left.

I was pretty discouraged, and I was honestly considering wearing an old pair of sandals, when I decided to stop in to Kate Spade, just to see what was going on. Mindful of the possibility of being banished, I mostly kept to myself, until a nice sales person came to help me. She didn't have an evil laugh, and she even let me try on a bunch of pairs of shoes. When I tried on the Clarice, I knew they would be The Ones.

Kate Spade Clarice

The way they sparkled in the back, but looked lovely and traditional in the front would make them the perfect fit.

Pancake Approves

When I put them on on my wedding day, even Pancake was like, "Dang! These look great!"

with the ladies

Sure, after prancing around with the goats in the mud, they got a little gross.

Dance with Dad

But at least they went to good use. Maybe now I'll donate them to the Fifth Floor.

* all wedding photos by Kate Miss

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Somebody Got Married

Whelp, it's been awhile, but I have a good excuse. I was getting married and stuff. It was the most magical time of my life, and Mr. Galen is now my husband! I guess you may now refer to me as Mrs. Galen. Anyway, here we are making out in a vintage Citro├źn.
mr. and mrs. galen
Although select parts of the wedding planning process made me want to rip my eyes out, there was a whole lot of it that was super fun. Mainly the part where I got to curate all things awesome. Like my favorite garlands from Confetti System, our amazing photographer Kate Miss, and of course, baby goats.
baby goat at my wedding

Each day, I will take you through a different cool element that I enjoyed making or planning, and fill you in on all the top secret details. Hold onto your hats. This first wedding post will be about my dress, made by the unrealistically fabulous Leanne Marshall, of Project Runway fame. It's kinda crazy to think that 3 years ago, I was gushing about Leanne on this here blog, and then I finally got to meet her and get her to make the wedding dress of my dreams.
the dress

Figuring out how to make this a reality wasn't easy. I did a ridiculous amount of internet stalking and emailing to her Etsy account and other sources before I looked on her blog and discovered a secret wedding page (which has now been removed - sorry!) I was finally able to contact her and get a response! I was put in touch with Nathan, Leanne's styling assistant and make-up artist extraordinaire who set me up with my first meeting.

My mom was in town visiting, so she came with me which was really special. She brought her "wedding lace" with her in an old brown sack. Now, let me explain this lace, which at first was a bit disastrous but then became the star of the wedding. When my mom wore it layered over her wedding dress in the 70's, it was stunning because it was part of a well-crafted ensemble.
mom and dad

But the lace alone - without the dress or my pretty mom wearing it, sort of resembled the puffy shirt from Seinfeld. My mom was like, "Oh you could just wear it over whatever dress you get... if you want." I could tell how much it meant to her, but I couldn't imagine a scenario when the puffy shirt would look acceptable over the type of short and cute dress I wanted. When we met with Leanne, I tried on the dress of my dreams and instantly fell in love. Check out the enormous smile on my face when I discovered the dress had pockets!
pockets in my wedding dress

I knew this dress had to be The One, and Leanne knew it too. And we had a lovely chat about the Golden Girls, specifically about how we both were "Rose." It was almost surreal how swimmingly everything was going, until a small croak penetrated the magic moment. My mom held out her little shaking hand with the wedding lace in it. "What about the lace?" she shrieked wistfully. Leanne, in typical Project Runway fashion, offered to cut up the puffy shirt and incorporate the lace into my dress. This was "making it work" in the best way.
leanne and me

When I picked it up The Dress from Leanne a couple months later, it was seriously awesome to see what she had done. When my mom saw it on the morning of my wedding day, she started to cry. We both knew it was the perfect dress.
Mom sees the dress

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Phoenix Suns Homage: Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Do you ever wake up in the morning and think about how much better life would be if it was only 1993 again and the glorious Phoenix Suns were killing it in the Western Conference Finals? I'm constantly daydreaming about Dan Majerle's amazing 3-pointer skillz, Oliver Miller's impossibly long arms, and Kevin Johnson's good looks.


kevin_johnson

As an homage to my favorite sports team from the early 90's, I decided to make a vegetarian Shepherd's Pie, decked out in purple and orange.

peas, carrots and purple potatoes

I started by cutting up carrots and de-shelling snap peas.

shelled peas

Using snap peas is not recommended. It took forever to take the shells off and this time could have been spent doing something better, like fantasizing about being productive while watching reruns of Teen Mom.

Then I put some olive oil, garlic, and shallots in the pan before dumping in 1/3 of a bottle of IPA and a bag of Morning Star Farms veggie crumbles. I let these items simmer while I speculated about what the "Z" in Cedric Z. Ceballos stands for.

fake beef crumbles stewing in beer

I concluded the answer was probably Zesty, and moved on to the purple potatoes that I mashed up with some garlic and butter.

mashing the purple potatoes

As I spread all these ingredients into the pie crust, I made sure to sample generous portions of everything. I take the advice I learn from Tom Colicchio on top chef very seriously.

almost a pie

After everything was in the pie crust, I found the orangest cheese I could find and shaved it all over the top. After baking it for about 15 minutes, I had a vegetarian pie fit for the Phoenix Suns gorilla. I'm sure KJ would be proud.


phoenix suns!


phoenix-suns-logo

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Must Have: Pillows!

I've developed a pillow problem. You see, it all started this morning when Galen's mom Alison confirmed she would get us a new couch. This news came as quite a relief, since the current couch we have is being held together by safety pins (literally) and has been reduced to a Marjorie the trash heap-esque mass.

After gazing at all sorts of zany sofas that were ultra-cool and particularly uncomfortable, I've been talked into getting a very cozy, neutral couch. It's the Henry in dove-gray cotton basket weave from West Elm, and I think it will be a smart choice. And now I get to jazz it up with pillows, which makes my heart race with excitement. Which of these should I get?

pillows1

Oars and Anchor Cushion by Helkatdesign
Gate Citrine pillow by Dwell Studios
Horses Cushion by Helkatdesign


pillows2

Pyramids Woven pillow by Dwell Studios
Bazaar Lion pillow by Thomas Paul
Seahorse pillow by Thomas Paul

pillows3


Martin Square pillow by Unison
Fox Cushion by Donna Wilson
Rope Rectangle pillow by Unison

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In My Garage (I don't feel safe)

A few months ago, Galen and I rose to extreme levels of luxury when we got a parking space in our Greenpoint apartment building. The spot has helped us avoid getting the car encased by the terrors of the Snowpocalype, and today's Snowpocalypse Jr.

I'm not trying to be a snob or nothin', but the garage could be a bit more aesthetically pleasing. Let's just say that our landlord appears to have picked up some decorating tips from either a zombie or a Grabage Pail Kid. Shall we take a virtual tour?


trash

This is the entry way. You'll notice that instead of a welcome mat, there's a broken down van and charming pile of rubbish.

fridges

Then to your left, there's a pile of old refrigerators labeled "keep" with sharpie and masking tape. They have a certain "old-world charm" about them, don't they? Maybe I'll be lucky enough to receive one someday. Thank God they'll be waiting safely in the garage until then.

chairs


I believe this is a piece by Marcel Duchamp.

golfcartofdoom

And the finishing touch, probably added for the purposes of Feng Shui, is this vehicle of doom. If Skeletor drove a golf cart, this would be it. I'm not certain what this automobile is used for, but I'm sure it's very important.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

No Pants 2K11

I was pleased to participate in my 4th No Pants Subway Ride in NYC thanks to Improv Everywhere. The day started with SvT and I enjoying thermoses full of gin, vodka, and tomato juice. Unlike the last few years, we went to Bushwick and met up with Alex, who asked me to be a car leader person.
alex in bushwick

Here is a pic I found online of me doing that.

svt and me

My hands almost froze off but I managed to stay alive and pull off my pants (my underwear sort of fell down too. eep!) This year, they say there were around 3,500 participants in NYC, and even more people dropped their drawers in 50 cities across the world. I'm happy to have partaken once again in this pants-less extravaganza.



me and svt in union square


alex & steph in union square


no pants at bar none