Sunday

Today was a nice Sunday that consisted of a cozy late sleep, followed by lots of cats in various positions to be rubbed, followed by the Nets beating the 76ers.  Soon, the night will be about Brussels sprouts – my favorite food in the world right now.
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Often when I look down at my computer this is what I see. 
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When the heater turns on, everyone turns nice to each other and there’s a girl pile up in front.
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Brother Bear waits in the back though and lets the girls get warm first. He’s such a gentleman. 
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My dad bought me this Brooklyn Nets coat for Christmas. I  knew he got it for me, so I opened it a few days early (sorry!).  It’s super warm so it’s great to wear to the games as we walk to the Barclays Center arena and back for each game. It’s been very chilly and windy the last few days here. WP_20121223_007
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Saw this while walking home, so had to pull out my phone to take a picture.

Saturday

It’s officially vacation time until the first week of January.  I will be sleeping more, reading more, dancing more and trying not to send out work emails.   My dad did his yearly day to visit before Christmas and it was very eventful.  The highlight was him coming in from the roof telling me (while visibly upset) that his car that was parked outside my apartment building was missing.  I threw my housecoat off, threw on a sweater and ran downstairs.  Yes, it was missing.  Was it stolen?  Was it towed?  Yes, it was towed.  So after finally finding out that the NYPD took his car to the tow yard, we went there and got it back.  The procedure to get it back was actually quite easy (although pricey), but boy was that a crazy first half of the day.  After we got back, I made him tea to relax us both.   Then he drove back to Pennsylvania.   Then Matthew and I went for a burger and saw The Hobbit 3D (48fps).  I loved it,  I would highly suggest seeing it at the 48 high frame rate and in 3D if your theater has that ability. At one point, I was positive one of the characters was standing in front of me and I jumped.  Then Matthew jumped. It’s a experience  to see it this way.
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This is my dad (and me) in front of our Christmas tree.  I love when my dad visits.
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Xanadu especially loves when my dad (her papa) visits because he spoils her nonstop.
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My dad snapped this picture.  I like it because it explains our life pretty good.
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A fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
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This is my dad getting out of the NYPD escort van.  That’s one sentence I wasn’t expecting to say today.
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Had lunch at Shake Shack.  They had on the menu that their custard was Gingerbread today but the menu wasn’t right.  My dreams were smashed.  I did enjoy a great burger though.
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3D.  Matthew told me I look like a thug in this picture.  I think I look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.
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I saw it knocked down on the street so I high 5’d it.
Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

San Francisco

I was in San Francisco a few days ago.  I was only there for about 19 hours so I didn’t get to see much, but wanted to share the experience.  This was my first time on the West Coast, it’s so sunny in California – how do you guys see?
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This is how I travel.  It’s really the necessities.
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Watching live TV 35,000 feet up in the air is probably one of the most exciting moments of my life.  Sadly the Nets lost and I had a Knicks fan next to me.
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I had IN-N-OUT for the first time.  I thought it was very cheap, but taste wise it was just ok. (I’m sorry!)
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The next morning I met one of my best cat friends Melody for a very early breakfast.  Melody moved to San Francisco a few months ago and I have missed her so much.  She was nice enough to meet me very early for french toast.  We talked about cats the entire time.
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This is us.   What a beautiful pose she made!
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San Francisco.  It’s very bright.  That’s my suitcase too.  It’s very bright.
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I did not pay to use this, instead I just took a picture of it.
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I had Mexican, a chicken taco and chicken tortilla soup.  The taco was great but I still think this recipe for tortilla soup is the best.
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Me and Miss Golden Gate Bridge.  I also said hi to the Pacific Ocean and Alcatraz from a distance.
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I don’t usually get to see palm trees.
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Then I flew home on a red eye.  Note how much Virgin America looks like a night club. 
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But it’s ok because I can order unlimited “free” Mighty Leaf tea from my screen at any time I want. I love it!

New York Christmas Cheer

My favorite part of the holidays is seeing houses and streets all lit up.   If I had my own house to decorate, there would be inflatable snowmen all over. I would probably stand outside everyday and give out hot cookies.  It’s the best time of the year!
These were all spotted walking home one day..
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Then I spotted this pumpkin.. still trying to relive Halloween.  Poor guy.
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Decorating The Christmas Tree

Each year we try to collect at least one tree ornament.  This year, we added a few.    Before we decorated, Brother and Xanadu gave us some help.
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Here are some of our new and old favorite ornaments:
This one is laser cut and is inspired by all the dinosaur work we have done this year.
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We can never have enough snowmen.
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This is a lion.  We love lions.
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This is a red and white felt ball we got at Liberty in London. I wish I would have gotten more!
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Matthew got this made for me one year.
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Both Mister Star and Mister Tree come from Germany.  We got them in Berlin last winter.
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Today in Pictures

Today started with a walk to meet a student we will be mentoring next semester.  The student has a great style already and thinks outside the box, so this should be fun!  Hopefully we can help guide him into creating something he’s really proud of for the end of the year show.
Hot chocolate was had:
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The cafe we met at was decorated for the holidays with hanging Gingerbread all over:
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Afterwards I went and bought stickers but I can’t show you because the stickers are for friends who might be reading this!
Today was also a great day because I got a package in the mail from Black Milk delivering some new tights for me.  One of them was this pair which is “omg so cute”.  I wore them immediately:
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There’s cookies on my leg!
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There’s a sun on my thigh!
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There’s a gumdrop machine and candy corn on the back.  Oh man, the tights are really beautiful. They are guaranteed to brighten up your day!
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The sun was setting on the way home.  It gets pretty dark here by 4:30PM now.
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I gave Essy some good rubs.  She likes it on her chest and between her front arms (or you might call them legs).
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Now we will spend the rest of the night getting the tree all set up.  Last night I unfortunately broke a ornament, it wasn’t my fault I swear! Hopefully I will have better luck tonight.
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Virgin Atlantic Airplane Food

Virgin Atlantic had pretty great airplane food.
From NYC to London:
For breakfast:
A delicious apple muffin with as much tea as I wanted (keep it coming). 
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For lunch, I had vegetable curry which was delicious.
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Matthew had some beef, mashed potatoes, vegetable medley.  He said it was good.
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Dessert was Tiramisu!
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On the return:
In London, waiting at the airport, let’s have a chocolate croissant and a banana.  This seems balanced.
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From London to New York:
I had vegetable pasta with white sauce.  The roll was MMMMMMM.
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Then I had Gu, which can be described as a amazing chocolate/cherry pudding experience.  And more tea.
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Then it was time for “Afternoon tea”.  Ok, sure, why not. I had to give Matthew my sandwich, it had mayo on it, yuck.  But I ate that Great British cupcake – you bet I did!
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Friday Food + Whiskers

Today is Friday! I’m excited for Saturday sleeping in.
Some more food finds that I wanted to share..
I caved and got the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter made by Peanut Butter & Co.  It’s so good, it’s exactly how you would hope. I thought it was going to be more sweet but there’s still a firm peanut butter taste here.  You can throw this on a piece of low calorie bread every night for dessert and be happy.  Or you can have it for a afternoon snack which I’m going to do very soon…
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Now this.. this might be the food find of the year.  Would you believe by looking at the picture this is frozen food?  I wouldn’t!  Let me introduce you to Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers.  If you go to their website you will see they have lots of choices, but they don’t list the one I have pictured here, also the only one I ever tried, also the one I’m obsessed with: Lemongrass Chicken & Shrimp.   This is 280 calories, and the chicken and shrimp portions aren’t huge, but this is a super tasty meal.  The whole point of these meals is they are steamed vegetables and come with a built in plastic steamer.  You can just throw this in the microwave for 4 minutes, it steams itself, then you take the food out of the steamer, dump in the sauce which is at the bottom of the tray, mix and eat.    This picture here shows the steamer.  My local grocery has these on sale for $2.50 a piece.  I wouldn’t spend $5 on any frozen food to be honest, but if you see them on sale.. try them!
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Now on to cats.. it’s a cold day today so there’s lots of loitering in front of the heater:
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There’s lots of hanging out next to each.. or just Xanadu harassing Essy.
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Amazon is the love of my life.  I love seeing this walking down the hallway.
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Cats love boxes too.  If only they could help lift them…
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Holiday Time

This weekend I finally got a taste of that time of the year… it’s holiday time!  From snowmen to peppermint bark to hot cocoa to decorated brownstones, New York is starting to light up with it’s colorful holiday cheer.  Hopefully we will be getting our tree mid week, have you gotten yours yet?
A quick trip to Target for milk left me in the Christmas aisles..
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Which  meant as soon as got outside, open up the peppermint bark and inhale it!
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We walked by this house while the owner was setting up and he had such a proud look on his face. I told him his decorations were beautiful and he beamed with happiness.
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One of my top 5 things I love: snowmen.  I should count the number of snowmen we have one day..
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If you see this hot cocoa at the store, please buy it.  The Arctic White is hard to find, so when I saw this in Target I basically bought every pack.  The Mint is delicious too! 
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As soon we got home (with freezing hands), I heated up some milk and got the cocoa going.  Hot chocolate should be part of everyone’s daily diet!
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Twinings London

If you know me then you know I am tea obsessed.  If you come over, I will serve you tea.  If you see me, I am probably drinking tea. I dream of tea at night, dark english breakfast tea.  I have started lovely friendships with tea exchanges.  It all started as a young girl where everyday before school my mother would make me toast and tea.  Let’s not discuss if this is ok for a 8 year old to have, but I fell in love with it immediately.  So when we were in London, Twinings headquarters was my number one spot.  When I went in I told the employees how excited I was and I’m not sure if I freaked them out or they thought I was sweet. Either way, they did throw some free samples my way.  If you’re ever in London, go here.  Go have afternoon tea too.  Drink tea all day.  It’s totally ok!
Let’s go in!
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Magical fairy land..
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Of tea! Every kind!
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Bags, loose, pots – have your pick…
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I happily skipped down the aisles filling up my bag with tea.  Matthew asked me “Really, you need that much?”
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Why, yes I do!
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Matthew doesn’t like tea, I’m not sure how this relationship has survived this.  One day I talked him into having tea with me and I thought I would serve him a dessert tea, something chocolate and mint, it would be delightful and he would fall in love with tea! Then we would go on daily tea dates!  Unfortunately Matthew burned his lips on the hot tea and cried.  So I drank his tea. He never has tried it again.  He was curious on the smells though…
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What a fun time!
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Some of my loot!  I would highly recommend the Queen’s Jubilee tea
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Married and Chocolate

I don’t think I made a formal post about this, but Matthew and I made it official and got married in August.  
After 10 years, we did it.
We have been together for almost 10 years, so decided to finally do it.  We did it at Borough Hall in Brooklyn, which I honestly wouldn’t have done any other way (besides the standing in line for hours).
This was before we got married,  panic all around!
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His and Hers Shoes:
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Flowers from our lovely witness, and good good friend William:
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Matthew + William.  They look like a cute couple here.
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William signing us away…
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Saying our “I do’s”.
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Then we celebrated at Shake Shack afterwards.  It was a good custard day too.
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This past week we saw our good gal pal Layla and she surprised us with these lovely dolls.  Bonus is that she colored the brides hair blue.. oh I miss those days!
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Inside my body (I wish) was delicious chocolates.  I ate them all today.
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Missing In Action: London!

Hello Friends – I’ve been missing in action for a short bit.  Matthew and I took a work trip to London where had our first UK solo gallery show – it went great, everyone was so encouraging.  In the next few days I will share our trip.  Hope everyone is well!  Can’t believe Thanksgiving is in a few days already.. and then Christmas.. the holidays are here!    After a job on Monday, I’m hoping for a slower December to enjoy this time of the year!
First up, the traveling….
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Waiting in line. I learned that the United States always has the longest lines for everything airport related. 
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Before we left JFK I already bought a frog neck pillow to add to the family.  This guy is amazing.  On the way home he saved my neck.  On the way to London while sleeping, I must have been dreaming because I threw my pillow in the aisle – thankfully I did not throw Mr. Frog.
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We flew out in the morning…
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And then I got confused with what time it was somewhere over the Atlantic. 
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When we arrived at Heathrow they weren’t sure if Matthew was suspicious or not.  I had to come save him and tell them he’s ok.
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In London.
The Grandpas had to be searched at the airport, but then security realized they really are just frogs.
On the way back, Heathrow also deemed the Grandpas who are stuffed frogs suspicious.  They had to be escorted to a separate area to search.  I was worried they were going to cut them open, especially since Grandpa has a heavy foot (its where his stuffing has gone over the years) that could be used to carry “stuff”.   After explaining we just love stuffed animals, and these are the Grandpas, and digging deeper in our bag they found another frog named Sylvester who wears a bow-tie, they just thought we were weird and let us go.  The security lady kept saying we were frog mom and dad, it’s pretty true.
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747’s are massive.
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Home Sweet Home!

~Frankenstorm~

The Northeast might be hit next week by “Frankenstorm”.  It’s hard not to love such a cutely named festive storm…  Today we will build the green house to get ready for a possible rain/snow storm of crazy measures.   If you are in the way of the storm, stay safe!  On a lighter note I will leave you with some predictions and favorite quotes I have found about this storm…

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“Mother Nature is not saying, ‘Trick or treat.’ It’s just going to give tricks.”

“pre-Halloween hybrid weather monster….”

“Just remember — when the zombies emerge from their graves after the cemeteries are flooded, aim for the head.”

“The poor kids! This is the second year of crummy Halloweens in a row.” (last year we got snow!)

“I already heisted a Wonderbread truck.  I’m expecting the Welsh Farms truck any minute….”