September 28, 2008

How to properly spend a rainy weekend on the Upper West Side

What do three Upper West Siders do on a gray and gloomy rainy weekend in the city? Absolutely nothing.

Friday: catch up on 4 hours of tivoed television and experiment with cake balls. Yes you heard it correct. I got pulled into a weekend that consisted heavily of cake balls. The roomies reaction to my No Cake Challenge... "Can't you just add a few more days on to you end date?" Ahh guilty peer pressure. (The cake balls were delicious and it is safe to say we got so sick of them I am looking forward to rest of my challenge!) And to be vain for a moment, my poor Burberry umbrella had a small accident and snapped. Guess it's just too delicate for this northeast wind and rain. RIP (unless I have sent off to be revived.)

Saturday: trekked all the way to Anthropologie in the rain and humidity only to get sent home three hours later because of slow business. Later, joined the roommates in eating a couple more cake balls before taking a fantastic nap. Wakey, wakey upper west siders, time for more cake balls and the 10 o'clock showing Baby Mama in Apt. 2D.

Sunday: ready for a much needed run after being cooped up for the last two days. Oops, still raining. Settled for a few deep breaths and sun salutations on my bright green yoga mat. After my arms had had enough, ran across the street to grab a cup of coffee and set out in search of a new umbrella. (Insert tears here...) Oh but what's this? Another street festival? Yes, the 20th anniversary of New York City's Ecofest, featuring all things good for the Earth. Watched some tango dancers perform on a stage powered solely by a portable energy sun panel, while eating my $4 falafal sandwich. Blissful.

Stay tuned, good things are happening on the Upper West Side this week.

September 22, 2008

Rediscovering the old in Hell's Kitchen

Saturday I awoke to a fall day. It was barely 7o degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I googled new-york-city-flea-markets and set out on my way to rediscover the old. After a brisk 2 mile walk I had arrived at Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. It was the kind of flea market you imagine. Decent prices, really old pieces (as in not faux old pieces), and a minimal amount of junk. There were fur coats, dainty jewelry, sweet hankies and aprons, Christmas decor from the 50's, dated cameras, and some of the most beautiful vintage Buddha heads I have ever seen. I knew I wanted to walk away with something special and was very pleased with my strength to resist the urge to plop all my cash down at the first vendor.

Ladies and gents, I made it through the whole flea market before buying anything!

I continued to think about an old bracelets I saw in the middle of the market. When I went back to the vendor and asked the price my heart sunk when she told me $39.

Well will you take $25? (It never hurts to ask and besides I only had $36 in my wallet.)
No. But I'll take $34.
Ok, then how much for this smaller gold bracelet?
$18. But I will sell you both of the bracelets for $35.

Sold! I pulled out my wallet and became the proud owner of 2 vintage bracelets circa 1960.

September 21, 2008

The challenge

My friend Martha has recently decided to take a challenge. She has decided to have a dry month. Not a single drop of red wine, white wine, beer, vodka, or any other kind of liquor will touch her lips for the next 30 days. (To be clear, this in an effort to save money and maybe a few pounds. Not because she has an alcohol problem.) While Kristin declined the challenge knowing well she would get her drink on in Texas next weekend, I thought sure, why not? But while we were at dinner I thought about it. I don't have a problem with alcohol. Have it, not have it... doesn't really make a difference to me. The real guilty pleasure in my life lies behind a glass case, made of the finest flour, sugar, and butter. Cupcakes. It would be worthless for me to even begin to tell you how much joy I find in these little creations. They know how to turn my frown upside down before I even consume one. So even though the thought of not being able to enjoy that moist cake and to die for icing for 30 days causes my heart to beat a bit faster due to anxiety, I accept. Oh man, I cannot believe I am about to take the challenge a bit further. But I solemnly vow to restrain from eating a cupcake, a cookie, or any other kind of baked good until October 18th. (I am making my statement public because I will for sure need to be held accountable. I am extremely good at talking myself into cheating!) So long Magnolia. Adios Crumbs. I will think of you often Buttercup. XOXO.

I justified eating two cupcakes as a reward for moving to the city...

5 minutes later, my roommates were impressed

*Yet another obsession that would send shivers down my mother's back.

September 20, 2008

Skull season

For those of you who know me at all, you know that I have had a love affair with skulls for a very long time. There are two types of skull I am drawn to: Gothic, sophisticated skulls and folkie, Day of the Dead skulls. I'm always excited for Fall. I love Halloween because it means pumpkins, cool weather, and falling leaves are about to make their debut. So when we received a Pottery Barn catalog in the mail this week with their Halloween merchandise I fell in love with their 2008 product. I'm pretty positive some people are a little freaked out when the learn this about me (Rachellee), but let's be honest, we all have our quirks!

*My mother has never quite figured out where my skull obsession stemmed from. And if you've met her you know it's not from her... she shivers at the thought!

Click on photos for your shopping experience.

September 17, 2008

One of my commenters suggested I take a picture of my picture and post it. Why didn't I think of that? Here is my Akugbey.
*Also, who posted that comment? Oddly it showed up under my name!

September 16, 2008


I want to share about my little boy that I support in Ghana through Compassion. His name is Louis Akugbey N. He turned 5 in July and is the cutest thing you have ever seen. (That is, if I had a scanner you could see him.) Since I have been sponsoring him I have received 5 letter from him each of which come with a picture attached. My latest letter I just had to share because his sincere and personal words practically brought tears to my eyes. I hope you enjoy it...

Dear Kate,
I was very nice to meet you in my life. How are you doing and your family? I hope by the grace of our almighty God you are fine as I and my family are doing in Ghana. My family loves you very much, they hello to Mark, Claudia, David, Tiffany and you for your support. I am on holidays staying with my parent through out. Are school children in your country on holidays? There is a festival going on in my town New Ningo called Homowo. Do you celebrate festivals? I will like to know more about things going on in your country. Stay bless with all my love to you. Thanks you.
Louis Akugbey

Also included with the letter was a picture of a green pencil! If I get the chance I will try to figure out a way post a picture of Akugbey so you can put a face to his words. Look forward to more updates in the future.

* Thank you Jenn Mosburg for introducing me to Compassion and Akugbey.

*For those of you who are interested in learning more... Compassion. And in honor of my friend Mary Emma and her work with... World Vision. (Both are equally great, world changing Christian organizations.)

September 14, 2008

When public transportation turns on you

So the story I am about to share with you I have meaning to post for some time now. Putting my embarrassment aside, I think it is important to let you know that sometimes living in the City is quite hard.

A couple of weeks ago I had an interview in midtown. I knew that taking the subway would take around 25 minuted to arrive at my destination. So of course I plan to give myself plenty of time by leaving my apartment 45 minutes early. When I arrive at the 70th St. subway stop, an announcement come on that the B train that is headed downtown is temporarily stalled. Not good! I decide to run up to Central Park West and hail a cab. Success! I forgot to mention that not only is this day the hottest and most humid day I had experienced thus far in NY but many of the streets were shut down due to Fashion Rocks and the NFL kick -off concert that was later being held. As you can imagine the traffic was horrific. So we are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at 5th Ave and 65th St and I have about 10 minutes until my interview. (Currently about 14 blocks from my interview.) I tell the cabbie I have to get out here and walk (rather run). I pay him $12 for practically nothing and begin sprinting down 5th Ave. (If you are wondering, yes, I was smart enough to wear flip flops and pack my heels in my bag.) By this time I have 5 minutes. I quickly call the HR front desk, let them know my situation, and arrive at my interview 3 minutes late, flustered and sweating. The result: currently the majority of the positions I am being interviewed for will not open up until December.

If only I was in a movie...

September 11, 2008

September 7, 2008

The P Party

Just wanted to share some photos from Martha's latest theme party. The attire was anything that started with the letter P. As I'm sure you can imagine there was a lot of plaid, polka dots, a princess, a Parisian, a few pregnant ladies, Patty Mayonnaise (remember Doug?), 1985's prom queen, Paris Hilton, some preps, Sarah Palin, Pink (Kristin), Purple (me), Pickle (Martha), Peacock (Kristen), and many other P people. And for those of you who are wondering, yes, Kristin and I did take the subway dressed like this.

The party's peacock
Only Martha knows how wear a green unitard

The pickle taking center stage

Pink and Purple loved the pink punch a little too much

September 6, 2008


Monday Kristin and I decided to spend most of the day in our running attire walking around Central Park. While walking I was trying to convince Kristin that maybe we should invest in some roller blades because of the awesome exercise they are known to provide. She looked at me sternly and said, "NO."

If you've been to New York you know there are many roller skaters and roller bladers. And don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a snicker or two when one plows into a wall or dances freakishly in their blades. And I know how rediciously one looks in them, but I thought maybe we could look past those reasons for a great set of toned legs???

Well luckily on our way back to my apartment we ran into a very fierce skating club, and as you can imagine the sights we were lucky enough to witness dissolved my roller blading ideas for good. Although I do wish for you all to see the video we caught of the skaters, it refused to upload. I will continue to try and post it at a later date. For now you'll have to just settle for the photos!

* We had a good laugh and continued with our evening of Gossip Girl and Haagen Daiz with Alyssa and [my other] Kristen. :-)

September 4, 2008


As you can see New York is not scared to express their true political feelings in a BIG way. Forget seeing the famous hot dogs, they want their customers to know who they're supporting!

*This post is in no way intended as a political platform.

September 1, 2008

The new 2D

For Labor Day weekend we decided to throw a big picnic in Sheep's Meadow. Hummus, veggies, pita, chipa and salsa, guac, sangria, black and white cookies, games.... ummmmm. Very tasty spread. As well as a photo op for the new crew that resides in apartment 2D.

(Alyssa and Kristen)