Archive | January, 2010

365 days in the life of…

27 Jan

So when Julie and Julia came out this fall, it was hard to not relate to this lost, cubical bound  girl, commuting to the outer burrows of NYC and cooking her way through Julia Child’s cook book.  But it was even harder not to think “how freakin brilliant is she?”  The girl basically endured the arduous struggle of following somebody elses already created book for 365 days at the cost of a few lbs, a ton of great meals, and oh right, ultimately becoming a rich and successful  author! Now don’t get me wrong, a sucker for a chick flick and yummy food, I LOVED this movie.  But when I recently saw the add below on the 6 train, I couldn’t help but wonder why I have yet to come up with a get rich scheme that capitalizes on this latest trend?
However, then my rational brain kicked in and I actually considered the task at hand.  Could I commit to doing something by choice for 365 days? (keep in mind I have barely commit to one job for that length of time) If I could commit, who’s expertise or passion do I really care enough about to commit that kind of time to? On a spectrum of Julia to Oprah, I’m pretty sure I’d be leaning towards the good food, but as much as I love to try out a new recipe (more to come on this later!), I’m not quite sure I’m cut out for 365 days in the kitchen.  Whose wisdom would you commit 365 days to live by?

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My love for vegetables..

26 Jan

Kohlrabi is broccoli-like and Mike-like

Fact: If you prepare them right, organic fruits and vegetables are all kinds of delicious. When I eat a nasty (ok, absolutely mouth watering) box of chicken mcnuggets, or a bowl of chocolates (so many holiday leftovers, still), I become a total brat – completely unpleasant to be around. When I eat a particularly healthy meal, I like to imagine the goods coursing through my veins, loving up on my insides and brightening my mood.

Marked up at the grocery store, it’s hard to shop organic and eat well-rounded meals on a lean budget. When I go to the Farmers Market without a plan, my eyes are often bigger than my reusable bags and I end up blowing through a lot of cash. So when I heard about the South Central Farmers’ Cooperative CSA (community supported agriculture) box – which hooks you up with about 5lbs of veggies for $15, I was intrigued.

I signed up for just one week – I’m a little bit commitment-phobic in life in general – and picked up my box at the Hollywood Farmers Market. It was a little bit refreshing to go to the market with a purpose – one purpose – and I marched straight to their table, picked up my giant box, turned around and headed home. Giddy with unexpected anticipation, and I popped open my box in the car at a red light (I live four minutes from the market and this was unnecessary). Holy-greenery. The box was stuffed with leafy greens the likes of which I had never seen before. I could name the cilantro, the kale and the green onions, but everything else was mysterious to me (especially kohlrabi, which looks like a Monsters, Inc. character and I now looove). I went to the SCF’s “What’s In A Box This Week?” website and played the matching game with their photos and my goods. It was like cereal box prizes, only the prizes were nutrient dense side dishes.

My handsome man and I spent the week thinking up recipes, intent on cooking from the box at every possible meal. We made kale chips to have alongside fish tacos, mixed kohlrabi and tomatoes into our pasta with trader joe’s sausage. I ran home during lunch two days in a row to cook up collard greens to eat with my cold cuts sandwich. I spent less time on fashion blogs and more time searching for inspiration for my next meal. Eep. The CSA box took over my life.

And that was the downside; that I spent my week trying desperately to empty out the box (and even then, we still threw away some wilted lettuce and extra cilantro, a handful of radishes). I think if we were a bigger family, had some little kids to force veggies on, the box would be a completely affordable miracle in my life. For now, I think we’ll box it once a month or so. Or maybe I’ll just calm down a bit and accept that if a few things go bad, they go bad. It’s not a race to the bottom of the box; it’s about supporting the local farming community, about eating healthy, and about letting the true thrill of veggies get me all hot and bothered.

Do any of you participate in your local CSA?

On parties..

26 Jan

(Congrats to our girls Shara & Lindsey!)

Despite living in Manhattan and working in a rather in-the-moment industry, when it comes to pop culture and general knowledge that all my friends seem to know inherently, I am well, in the great words of Fergie — SO 2000 and late.

Sadly, technology is no exception—I do not know how to update my ipod (thank God for Emily), I don’t have an itunes account (that’s James’ expertise) and I most definitely do not know how to use a blog (you can thank Missy for getting my Word docs up on this site for your viewing pleasure).

But like most other 24 year olds who have spent their first two years of the real world trapped in a sea of stifling cubicles, I have managed to find ways to fill my very limited free time entertaining myself on wholesome (read: unblocked) sites.

While most of you may already know about the latest impress-your-guests invite, I have recently discovered – and become OBSESSED with – Paperless Post.  I first heard about Paperless from my newly-engaged green-minded friend, and I have now spent about as much time planning my college friend’s 25th birthday bash as I have on my weekly reports.

The site offers an eco-friendly, electronic throwback to personalized announcements and invitations.  Tons of color, texture, font, and design options and you even get to pick the envelope!  It’s the evolution of the e-vite and it is FABULOUS.

If you haven’t already set up an account, pretty invitations are ALWAYS a great excuse to throw a party and certainly a fun way to kill a few hours on a Monday morning!


Comfy, cozy..

22 Jan

How to save $700 without really trying? Quit Starbucks (Coffee Bean, Dunkin’, the gas station, even, and I hate to suggest it, your local shop). Think of the vacation that money could buy.. Or the rainy day savings account it could pad.

I know, it’s daunting to think about quitting cold turkey. I miss the friendly baristas, the morning routine.. and that little hit of adrenaline that buying something new and nice gives me (even with coffee!). But here are a few one-time purchases that might make waking up early to make a pot worth it.

$10 for one of Jessica (aka Wayside Violet)'s beautiful cozies.

For your:

$19 at Target.com

On Furnishing..

20 Jan

I recently moved into my own place. After four years of roommating in college (including one year living with thirty-two chicks in our sorority house), four months in the bottom of a boat (more on that later), six months with a stranger, and ’08-’09 with a good, sweet friend, I needed some space. I wanted to come home and pout if I needed to. I wanted to change out of work clothes into sweatpants without picking up after myself, and DVR my guilty pleasures without consulting someone else’s television tastes.

So I went looking for something in my price range (low) that was safe (#1), cute and comfortable. I found adorable studios and one bedrooms on great streets close to my new job.. but just as I was getting serious and my other lease was ending, the realities of moving out on my own hit me. Before it was rent, and minimal, one-nice-dinner’s-worth in cable and utilities. But having to pay for everything on my own; water, gas, electricity, cable (bye bye DVR).. and shit! Decorating. I could afford to pay my own rent, that was easy, but having things to sit on when people came over, things to cook food in and strain pasta with? This was going to add up.

So I started shifting my craigslist focus just a little bit. I paid less attention to how cute hardwood floors are and more attention to how cute “utilities included” sounded. I unchecked the “has images only” box and added “furnished” into the keyword search. And then I got lucky. A sweet girl was in a tough spot and needed to get out of her lease. The rent was a bit above my price range, but it came – gasp – fully furnished. I figured the extra money I’d spend in rent just about equaled the money I’d save by not having to buy couches, a coffee table, a dining room table and chairs. So began my “it’s like a payment plan apartment” theory. Or excuse.

Anyway. I’ve been daydreaming lately about what purchases I WOULD have made, had I been forced to (oh, and in these daydreams, I’m crazy rich). January’s Anthropologie just showed up on my door and I am crushing on this Battersea Sofette. My style is a mix of masculine and feminine, with just a touch of sweatpants, and this baby suits me perfectly. Right now the wall behind my couch is navy blue, but this would look so clean in front of a crisp white.

Do you guys ever browse for your dream home and the things you’d put in it?

Getting to know.. you..

16 Jan

barcelona, 2007

Hello new world, you look really good today. So it’s January 15th, 2010 and we’re celebrating our new endeavor with a little introductory post. Who are we? What’s our story? What are we listening to right now (I’m tapping my feets to The Avett Brothers)? Good questions.

I’m Missy. I’m twenty-four, living in sunny, sunny Los Angeles. I have a job that I dig, friends and family on both coasts, and a new pair of boots (I call them my christmas boots and they’ve seldom left my feet since). I’ve been thinking for awhile now about how not everyone has their mom to help shop for basic needs after flying the coop.. You know, the kind of needs that you don’t really know you need because you’ve never flown the coop before? A slated spoon, for instance, or a ladle if cooking soup is your thing.

Ally and I met when we were two and a total bully of child named Evan convinced us to climb to the top of our nursery school’s playhouse and then stole the ladder and left us there to cry.

***

I’m Ally. I’m 24—soon to hit the big 2-5 and loving all the excitement and daily meltdowns that accompany this fabulous quarter-life milestone.  I grew up outside the city, went to college a whole 98 miles away, and after a few debaucherous but oh so memorable overseas adventures, migrated back to New York where I live with my boyfriend and quit jobs every 12 months to move on to something new!

Currently in my third job in two and a half years, I am one very happy girl.  A numbers girl at heart with a love for beautiful things, I have found myself in the wonderful world of fashion—by which I mean I sit next to the fashion while I make my way through endless Excel sheets.  Great family, great friends, and I too have a few new pairs of Christmas Boots that have helped kick off the frigid New Year in NYC.

***

Christmas boots aside, Missy and I are two very different girls, living in two very different worlds who somehow, seem to always end up on the same page. One might chalk that up to endless gchat convos and priceless advice that only your best friend who lives 3000 miles away can dish out, or to the fact that we seem to be chasing a not so different dream.  Whatever it is, it’s kept us sane as we wander aimless through our 20’s.

So we’re here at FIRST SHOT to create one place where everyone can go to talk about shit you never knew you needed, problems you never knew you had, bills you never knew you’d have to pay!, and fun adventures you never knew you’d be so lucky to go on.. So join us, won’t you, in growing up?

2010

15 Jan

our first logo, won’t be around too long..

We’re turning 25 this year, and it’s starting to freak us out. It’s not that we think we’re getting old – quite the opposite in fact. There is so much ridiculously exciting life ahead of us, but are we ready?

At the end of 2009, we resolved to take control of these exciting lives – so we’re following our dreams – starting a company and creating a safe haven for twenty-somethings (and thirty-somethings and forty-something, well everyone, really) to come together while we try to get our acts together.