28 December 2012

love letter to the city

"What if your great city became a place where all people flourished and prospered?"

I have had the privilege this year of working with Redeemer City to City and understanding more of what they do. This is a beautiful video (that makes me cry every time...) explaining a little more about the mission and vision of City to City. It's worth every bit of 3 min and 5 secs to watch.

21 December 2012

merry christmas from minnie!

This year's window display at Barneys New York includes a festive video of Mickey, Minnie and friends. I think it's almost too adorable for words, such a fun spin on classic Disney characters.

santa claus is coming

...to town directly at you!

13 December 2012

13. family

Today's photo is supposed to be of family. While I have a wonderful family (and even, luckily, some only an hour away), I wasn't able to snap any pictures of them today. Therefore, this is a photo of one pseudo-family of mine in New York: City to City. We gathered together tonight and celebrated Christmas with Virginia-cooked pork tenderloin and turkey (y'all, I'm not kidding), home-baked apple pie and baklava and Christmas caroling. What a special group of people they are.

[mad photo props to Clara since I snagged this picture from her facebook page.]

12. a beautiful sight

...we're happy tonight.

[5th Avenue]

12 December 2012

vintage christmas card

What classifies something as vintage? 25 years? 50 years? How about 7...? This card seems ancient from many, many moons ago. Ancient, and full of wonderfully merry memories.

These are my roommates from my sophomore year at Auburn in Mollie Hollifield.  (Aren't they beautiful?) I'm wondering now who even took this picture for us. I can't recall, but I remember the night being a big to-do with lots of wardrobe changes (mostly by me) and closet raiding. 

[circa 2005]

11. green

And the prettiest type of green.

[oops, late again.]

06 December 2012

6. shopping

Not for myself. I was given this package as a birthday gift from my roommates tonight at dinner (they're so sweet, more on that later).  

how to work effectively:

But, of course, there's only one true, effective way to work during this season: add Christmas lights and cheer to your work surface. It will also really impress your colleagues.

How can you ever go wrong with Christmas lights?

5. today's temperature

A little late. And as boring as can be. 

I started to leave this one out altogether, but I couldn't very well do that. So...err...enjoy?

04 December 2012

4. joyous

Tonight at a City to City event, we gathered together, ate pizza, listened to Christmas tunes, drank hot chocolate and wrote Christmas cards to church planters all around the world. Joyous.

To add to the joy, the church planter I was writing to in Hong Kong is a fellow Auburn grad! 

03 December 2012

3. red

I look forward to these enormous Christmas ornaments every year.

[50th Street and 6th Avenue]

02 December 2012

01 December 2012

1. your view today

I was challenged by my friend Kova to do this Capturing December photo challenge. Then my friend Maggie suggested we all do it together. (Great idea!) And, if you've read this blog for more than a day, you already know I love photo-a-day challenges and am always hard pressed to turn one down.

So here we go...I'm in, now. Day 1, hello there.

27 November 2012

yes, that's a deer wearing a cowboy hat.

And yes, I think Brendan is as scared as he looks. Welcome to Boligee, my friend: the place of many childhood memories and fun times. And the home to the bustling population of 369 people.

We took Brendan to see my dad's hunting camphouse after my birthday dinner in Livingston, AL. He might have been in shock, I can't tell for sure. I know one thing: he was excited about the "carpet" in the camphouse being the astroturf straight from Bryant Denny Stadium, home of the Crimson Tide. I think that secured him a bed there next time he visits. 

23 November 2012

tis the season

Peace on earth, goodwill to men? Or, bahh humbug!

[I love these cards!]

22 November 2012

hi, from alabama!

A full and happy heart from all the festivities of today. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

last year on Thanksgiving:

It was my birthday. And that morning, I did a turkey trot hike up Table Mountain. I went to the beach in the afternoon. And that evening, I attended a Thanksgiving day braai. All in Africa.

Not your traditional Thanksgiving, but one I'll never forget!

Glad to be celebrating stateside this year. But, such wonderful memories thinking back on last year.

to you and yours.

Thankful to be home with my family in Alabama today. And to have my health. And to have such a wonderful community of friends and "NY family." And for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And for my mom's dressing and green bean casserole.

May you remember all your blessings today and thank the One from whom all blessings flow.

19 November 2012

today on the park forum:

I guest posted over on The Park Forum today and wrote a prayer focusing on thankfulness in light of Luke 3. If you're interested, you can find the post here: 

18 November 2012

remembering cape town

One year ago, today, I landed in South Africa after an 18 hour flight across the oceans. I was tired and having my first experience with jetlag, but boy was there an amazing week waiting ahead of me. It's a week I will never ever forget, and quite frankly I have trouble holding back the tears when I think on that week for too long in one sitting. If I get sappy over here, don't mind me.

I'm thankful for all of the memories and stories and friends I still hold dear after an entire year has passed in this place. What a beautiful picture. What beautiful hearts of such a precious team.

Last year I blogged all about my trip here: Big Apple Pear: Cape Town

16 November 2012

hello there, mr. cunningham

Last weekend, Pamela, Katherine, LeeAnne and I met in the park for our annual Central Park "photo shoot." I have more pictures from that to share later, but I wanted to share these pictures first.

As background, my friends turned this year's shoot into a pre-birthday surprise for me and they brought balloons, confetti and gifted me with this wonderful rainbow umbrella. Turns out, these things made amazing props for our little photo-taking jaunt in the park.

So amazing, in fact, that Bill Cunningham even snapped a few pics of us. Mr. Cunningham is a fashion & lifestyle photographer for the NYTimes and is known for always wearing his blue jacket and khaki pants and riding through the city on his bike to snap photos. A few years ago, the documentary "Bill Cunningham New York" came out telling about his life and work. (I've yet to see it, but it's now on my Netflix queue.) If you look closely in all of these pictures you can see him snapping away - and smiling! - in the bottom right corner, standing on the bridge. How adorable!

We're all crossing our fingers for a brief cameo in his Sunday video or photography piece...

13 November 2012


Being in the neighborhood of an enormous art supply store - Dick Blick - last week definitely warranted a drop-in. It took me back to my design school glory days seeing aisle after aisle of beautifully arranged art supplies. I wandered around looking at the beautiful colors for almost half an hour because, unfortunately during design school, I never had much time to leisurely enjoy an art store. I usually only ventured in to grab supplies when my project was due in 24 hours...or less.

election day, this year

This year on Election Day I did something a little different than I did 4 years ago. (Thank goodness.) I threw my own party. It was mostly surprise birthday party with a touch of Election party to boot.

Everything was red, white, and blue. And my shirt gave a pretty solid plug for voters to get out and vote. But the main attraction was really the birthday boy. Brendan's birthday fell on election day this year and I thought it made perfect sense to celebrate both milestones at once. With the birthday party part being a big surprise. It worked out pretty well, and we had a fun time feasting together.

And, I must say, it was much better than being in Rockefeller Center. Remarkable, actually.

09 November 2012

election day, 4 years ago

I've now lived in New York for two presidential elections which is almost unfathomable. (It seems like I moved here just last year!) For the presidential election four years ago - when I was just a New York City newbie - I actually spent Election Night at Democracy Plaza in Rockefeller Center.

And, that, my friends, was a mistake I didn't make again this year. Although, my friend Kline and I were able to have our picture made with the lovely elephant below, there's not much that would convince me to go back to that place on Election Night...ever again. Right, LeeAnne?!

I did have some pretty fun Election Night plans this year, though. Details: coming up.

05 November 2012

the city and the storm

The most commonly used word to describe this week's cover of NYMag


I can agree with that. It's an unbelievable shot of the two worlds New York became last week.

04 November 2012

eat down. tip up.

Last week when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, much of the upper part of Manhattan walked away completely unscathed. Downtown was a different story. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power for nearly a week including tons of local restaurants and small businesses.

Because NYers really come together in times of crisis, a campaign was started to help those local businesses and restaurants get back on their feet. It's inspring: Eat Down. Tip Up. You're encouraged to eat downtown at these small restaurants and leave a double tip, take a photo of it and submit it to this blog where they're cataloging all of the people joining in this campaign and what restaurants they're helping. What a great way to support our neighbors in lower Manhattan. It has my vote.

[I took this photo from the Eat Down. Tip Up tumblr. I haven't joined in yet, but I will.]

30 October 2012

God's promises never fail.

"Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: '...I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.'... I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind." 

[This rainbow photo in New York after Hurricane Sandy was found here. Simply amazing. After seeing so much devastation and feeling so discouraged by the "worst storm in the city's history" that has impacted so many this week, this is a miracle of the things God has promised. I may or may not have shed a small tear when I saw these beautiful rainbows shining above Manhattan.]

25 October 2012

good morning (in) chicago

This was my view in Chicago from the moment I woke up - literally, from my pillow in my bed.

Not too shabby, I must say.

[thanks again Julie for being the hostess with the mostess!]

24 October 2012

reunion no. 2

The second reunion in the last few weeks was with an old friend, Amy J. LeeAnne and I met Amy at the meet-and-greet part of the service at Redeemer (not the cookie room, but the part where you shake hands with those around you for 15 seconds! yes, quite unbelievable that we became such instant friends.) during our first summer internships over five years ago. When we told her we were from Alabama she said, "Woww. That's REALLY southern!"

Amy came for a quick visit last week, and Katherine and I met up with her for a Shake Shack dinner. We realized that we've only all lived in the same place for a total of 3 months, but we became quick friends that summer as we all shared the very new experiences of the working world + life in a big city. Amy please don't be such a stranger! Come back and visit soon...even if it means taking another 20 hour bus ride from the Carolinas, AmyJ-style.

22 October 2012

a quick glimpse

...of my life flashing before my eyes.

at the SkyDeck Ledge in Chicago this weekend. In case I haven't mentioned it before, I'm deathly afraid of heights. I couldn't even take this picture because I couldn't look down, nor could I put my entire foot on the glass floor - a few inches was far enough. Thank you LeeAnne, then, for helping me to document this death-defying experience and taking the picture. 

reunion no. 1

I had a good span running for about a week where I had several reunions in a row with several long-lost friends. (I suppose not "long-lost" per se, perhaps ones I'd just like to see much more often.) The first one was with my good buddy from elementary school, junior high, and high school. We go waaay back. All the way to the pencil sharpener episode in Mrs. Dockery's 3rd grade class, in fact. (Ask me for the story on that some time, it's a good one.) Of course, it was a blast catching up.

21 October 2012

hi, from chicago!

[note to self: I love this city! & sorry I'm not sorry for all the Bean pictures to come. Here's no. 1]

19 October 2012

chicago bound.

I am Chicago bound tonight! I'll be hopping on a plane with LeeAnne for a short, fun-filled weekend in Chicago to visit an NYC friend transplanted there for law school. If you have any suggestions on what I should see & do there, please share. It's my first time! I apologize in advance for the 500 pictures I'm sure to take at The Bean in Millenium Park.

15 October 2012

conversation at the yogurt counter

I had been noticing the new yogurt place, Yapple, in the neighborhood the last few weeks, but hadn't made time to stop in and try it out until last Friday afternoon. I inadvertently ended up there at 3pm with all the teenie boppers, so my conversation at the checkout counter went something like this:

Yapple worker: Hi, do you have your student ID? You get a discount.

me: I have one, I wish I could use it...but...I think it's probably expired by now.

Yapple worker: Expired?! (confused look)

me: yeaaa. I've been out of school for a long time.

Yapple worker: OH...ooooh, you look good for your age!

me: ("for my age"? I didn't say I was 50.)

me: Well. Thank you. I'll take it...

13 October 2012

kids these days

Some kid, somewhere in New York is running around the streets of the Upper East Side wearing a $178.00 JCrew sequined shirt. For the entire 1 month that it fits them. While I'm sure they look adorable, I'm also (almost) sure they have a spaghetti stain or something of the like splattered on the front, too. Is this really what parents buy their kids these days?

I was thinking about my friend, Meg, when I saw this shirt. Doesn't Miss Reagan need one of these for her 3rd birthday party? Just think about how fancy & sparkly she would look.

10 October 2012

sticky's finger joint

I discovered the best chicken fingers in all of New York City on Monday night: Sticky's Finger Joint. That's a big feat considering I've lived here four years and tried hundreds of chicken fingers around the city, and I just made this discovery two nights ago. That's saying something.

I got a special coupon on Gilt City for a dinner for 2 that included two orders of chicken fingers, two sides, two slaws, 4+ sauces, and two drinks. And, for only $26 when that package normally would have cost over $45. I was pretty excited. But making our order was no easy task with 10+ options for chicken fingers and almost 20 options for dipping sauce, alone!

As we were trying to make our final decisions on dipping sauce (15 min after starting our order), we asked the woman for recommendations. She said, "If you like ranch, ours is really good." She had no idea who she was talking to but this was the moment I became a fan for life. 100% sold.

Sticky's: Before

Sticky's: After