Category Archives: home

Snow, Snow…

I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed with our non-existent snow this past weekend while my family members in Pittsburgh and DC had the real deal…although they would argue that they wish they hadn’t been dumped on! However, the mother-load MAY be coming to NYC tonight and tomorrow…WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST THURSDAY

Mayor Bloomberg has already closed NYC schools tomorrow:

Here’s our forecast: Snow is expected to develop by late this evening – with accumulations of 2 to 4 inches by daybreak. The snow will be heavy at times tomorrow, with rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. By the end of day tomorrow, total accumulation of 10 to 16 inches are expected. As the storm intensifies, winds will become strong and gusty. Winds of 35 to 40 MPH will cause blowing and drifting…near blizzard conditions at times with possible power outages.

Let’s see if this is another false alarm. Even if it does snow…I will still be at work…the trials of working in a city where no one drives!

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How to lower your rent in NYC…

My younger brother and a few friends have been in the market to find a new apartment for a lower rent…they may be able to just stay where they are and request a reduction in their rent! Here are some stories from the street:

Maybe there are some positives to this whole recession thing…if only I could request a mortgage reduction…or at least a reward for not faltering on my monthly payments!  

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Back home in NYC…

My husband, younger brother and I drove to Pittsburgh to spend Christmas with my family. It was great – except for the fact that I was wearing a cast on my righthand which severly interrupted my normal activities. We were able to see my parents, maternal grandparents, two sisters, their husbands and their combined 6 children!

Our activities included: shopping at the mall (which has become more like an observance of facinating characters and clothing trends after 7 years in NYC), watching blueray movies on my parents’ huge tv (which feels more like you’re actually inside the film than watching it from a couch that is so comfortable I would like to bring it to NYC to replace my bed), cooking dinner for large groups of family (in a kitchen that can fit my entire NYC kitchen in the center island), going to Starbucks with my mom each morning (our ritual to have some alone time to finally discuss all of the little details of our lives that just can’t be portrayed over the phone), sleeping in (on a king-sized bed that my husband loved because it prevented my ability to hit him with my cast while tossing and turning), grocery shopping at Giant Eagle (which could house an entire NYC grocery store in the produce section), chatting with family (aka – sharing funny old stories that we have shared a million times before), meeting up with old friends (aka – comparing jobs, husbands, clothing styles and drinking in an old bar in town that was “off-limits” when we were in high school), visiting with my grandparents (wishing they could still enjoy themselves as much as they did in their past – if only their bodies were as young as their souls)…

There’s definitely more involved in a visit home, but that pretty much gives a good picture of what I have been up to over the past week!

As my husband, brother (who lives in Tribeca) and I drove into NYC last night, I felt a sigh of relief to finally be back…Pittsburgh will always be special in my heart, but it has had to step down to NYC as my HOME….

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Time Warner & Landlines…

My husband and I are doing something we never thought we would do…we’re getting a LANDLINE!

This came up a few weeks ago when my Blackberry completely malfunctioned and I wasn’t able to email, call or text. I felt so disconnected and nervous to not have my comfort zone of instant communication 24/7! I headed home early to use my gmail account to email my husband to let him know why I wasn’t answering emails for phone calls. Of course everything was fine, but I never want to be in that situation and actually have something bad happen. SO, we’re getting a home phone just so both of us can always use that in an emergency and our close family and friends can also leave us voice messages on our joint machine, if they need.

You know what this means…an opportunity to purchase a new piece of technology! I enjoy browsing websites to find a fun new gadget, but my husband takes this pleasure to a whole new level. The second he realized getting a home phone meant actually being able to BUY a phone, he has been on every possible website looking for the sleakest phone that would be a fun toy for him to set up.

Personally, I would like an antique phone, but I definitely don’t want to have to manually do anything let alone be stuck wherever the phone is! So…we’re going for a wireless.

We found one that we like by VTech. It’s a shiny, sleak, black design with tons of extra features including a built in voice message machine. (Granted, I already signed up for voice messaging through Time Warner, so now I have to cancel that $3.95/month service).

I was very excited about this phone as well – that is – until I went to Time Warner’s offices on  East 23rd Street this morning to pick up our new modem with the phone jack and they gave me a FREE PHONE! I explained to the representative that this would have been helpful information to provide me BEFORE actually going to pick up the modem. I even asked the woman on the phone when I added the phone service if I needed to buy my own phone and she said “yes.” Of course, I would like to return our VTech phone as soon as it arrives, but my husband isn’t so excited about it’s design:

Also, we purchased it from, and we have to pay a 15% restocking fee if we return it…ugggg! I blame Time Warner for this!

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Goodbye Thanksgiving…Hello Christmas!

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving came and went as fast as it did! Now, I only have about three weeks to squeeze everything else in before CHRISTMAS! One thing I want to scratch off of my list this week is to get our Christmas tree! We will be spending Christmas with my family in Pittsburgh again, so I would like to have at least a few weeks to appreciate our own tree. When we drove back into the city last night, we saw all of the Christmas tree vendors lining the streets, and it made me very excited!

We have been going to the same Christmas tree vendor for the past few years, and we are very happy with their service, the prices, and the quality of the trees we have gotten. Thus, we will be returning to the nice men on 2nd Avenue and 19th Street again this year! It’s also right around the block from our apartment, which makes the hauling home very easy…for my husband 🙂

New York City was the site of the country’s very first Christmas tree retail lot. In 1851, Mark Carr hauled two sleds of pine trees from the Catskills to be sold in Manhattan. Today, bundled evergreens line the streets of New York City from Thanksgiving through Christmas. The scent of evergreens overpowers all of the other unpleasant NYC odors.

Prices can be steep – running from $20 per foot in tree height and up. Don’t be afraid to try to bargain with your tree vendor – they’re used to it. You can also have your tree delivered! If you’re not up for wrestling a sticky tree up the stairs of your walk-up, you will think the delivery fee is well worth it. There are also some retailers that will let you order online and have your real live Christmas tree shipped to your door.

Home Depot: Order fresh-cut Christmas trees and holiday wreaths and greenery online. Home Depot will deliver to your door within 5 to 7 business days. For example, a 4.5-5.5 foot fir tree will cost you $99.00 including delivery.

Macy’s: Macy’s now offers live Christmas trees shipped right to your door starting at $99 (plus shipping, which is $14.95+ per tree).

Once all of the Christmas fun is over and your tree has shed all over your floor, be sure to recycle it! The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation sponsors a Mulchfest in January. New Yorkers can leave their trees at the curb on designated days to be collected, chipped, and then mixed with leaves to make compost. The compost will be processed and spread upon parks, ball fields, and community gardens throughout the city.

Now, go to get your tree and be merry! ♥

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Vintage Thrift Shop


I like to think that I am a smart shopper – I don’t like to spend money on anything unless I think I am getting a good value. I also think pretty hard before making most purchases – if I see something I like, I won’t buy it and then if I find myself thinking about the item a few days later, I am sure I would use it. But, one thing is true – I don’t like cheap quality. It bugs me to feel or see bad materials – fabrics, zippers, buttons, furniture, etc. One way of shopping that works for the likes of me is quality vintage shopping, but I have to admit it can be hard to find that gem of a piece…

Enter Vintage Thrift Shop!

vintage 7

People walk out of this place with Prada shoes with soles that have never touched the ground, vintage Lanvin belts, and Madonna studded cuffs – the real things! Not to mention the furniture that will make you feel like you’re in a modern episode of Mad Men. Find furnishings, hats, vintage gloves, housewares, matchbook covers, etc. Talk to the salespeople – they are fashion curators!

The best time to go? Transitional periods – such as Fall and Spring when closets are cleaned. Merchandise does arrive daily, though, so stop in whenever you get the chance. Friday afternoons and Sundays tend to be busy.

Vintage also holds window auctions – but bidding can be fierce, so have your game face ready. They have so many donations, that they even have stuff in storage. Also look out for the “blue tag” fifty percent off sales when the goods are marked down even further after a few weeks on the floor.

Don’t forget to donate your own clothes from seasons past – one person’s trash could be another person’s treasure! Plus, you get a tax deduction…

286 Third Avenue
(22nd & 23rd Streets)

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