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Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

If you’re going to post…better make it a big one. Like the birth of a child or something. How convenient because that is exactly what I have here–my son Cooper! As my friend Roberto said, ‘my best portfolio piece yet’. Now, he’s seen my portfolio (or lack thereof), so he could merely be making a comment on my pathetic work to date..or is this actually a really impressive creation? Who knows. All I know is that Coops growing into a true cliché. Cute as a button and growing up so fast. Instead of bombarding you with daily photos I’ve made him grow right in front of your eyes by condensing three months of his life into a few thousand pixels. Grow little guy go…wait, no please don’t.

I’ll spare you all the details, but suffice to say we’ve been busy. So far Cooper has visited 7 states, taken  his first holiday (from what I’m not sure) and generally been a pretty easy going fella. Sure, it’s not easy peasy but apparently I had set my expectations extremely low so it’s been a pleasant surprise! We’ve only been in our apartment one weekend day since he was 3 weeks old as we’ve been adventuring. Thankfully at this stage this is still possible (or maybe it always will be?! *fingers crossed*). Next trick up my sleeve is a magic pocket so I can take him with me everywhere forever so I can always be hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. Granted from the look of these pictures he wants to Kung Fu me quite a lot of the time, so first I have to tame him…

Editor’s Note–Speaking of pieces of work…it makes me seriously stressed thinking about the lack of design associated with these rare posts. But you know it took me three months to make an ugly one. Can’t imagine how long it would take me to make a pretty one…hmm might be why that portfolio I was speaking of is nonexistent!

 
 
 

A cabin holiday preview


I recently chronicled our adventures back at the family cabin (aka my dad & stepmum’s house…sounds more glamourous saying ‘the family cabin’) for my old friends Boden. It’s up on their blog now so you can see how Matilda & I celebrated on our time off at Thanksgiving. Here are a few outtakes, but check out the full post here!

 

 
 
 

Color Me Senseless

I’ve been known to run a race or two in my ‘past life’…an assortment of short runs and a marathon or two sprinkled around the world. But never have I run so excitedly around a giant parking lot/runway as I did this past weekend. My friend Darcy joined me in the deepest parts of Brooklyn to test my lazy bones for a 5k known as ‘The Color Run‘ (do you know how many times I have written color with a ‘u’ just in this post alone?!?). You’ll have to check out their site for their funny FAQ’s but for the CliffNotes version: it’s an untimed 5k where they douse you in different color powders as you go around…and you complete with a crazy powder fest at the end ensuring that your car and clothing will have just a little bit more life to them than they did when you woke up that morning at 5:45. Did I mention you wear white for it? …and that you’ll never look cleaner at any point in your life than you will when you look at before and after pictures from the day? I’ve always been a sucker for a motivational film (e.g. Nike ads) to get me up and ‘attem’ which explains why I signed up the day I watched their little film below. And if all other reasons fail: it’s an instant whitening tool for your teeth.


*photos above by the Mister

 
 
 

Decision 2012: Artwork

Decision 2012 might sound like some horribly misplaced political article or a terribly clean and unfunny Jon Stewart segment… but really it’s just my new household initiative. Adorn the wall with frames and then decide on some artwork, and get.it.on.the.wall. No spending months, years with empty frames waiting for the right thing to suddenly appear. Just make it happen. So pleased to introduce you to the  two new pieces of eye candy on the wall. First, I saw this fabulous ‘mermaid’ print on the blog of my favourite new obsession, the stylist Emily Henderson (seriously she needs a whole post dedicated to her and my stalking of her incredible style) but for now, I’ll keep it short. I love everything she does, she had some artwork on her blog. I saw, I liked and I purchased. In about a four minute turnaround. This is a completely foreign behavior, but apparently contagious because just a few short weeks later a great image of my Grandpa came through from an Aunt. They had found an image of him from on top of a Red Cross building in China during the War and with some clever help from my uncle they made a jpeg and literally THAT night, it was up on my wall. I’m planning on rewarding myself with more frames for the wall. And it’s because of this crazy behaviour that means I’ll never become President…Unless it’s of my own house and then I graciously accept the nomination. See ya at the polls David!


You can have your very own copy of ‘Married to the Sea‘ by Tastes Orangey for $25

However, I’m afraid you’ll have to find your very own cool & handsome Grandpa. He’s all mine.

 
 
 

In a New York Minute

Today, August 8th, is the one year anniversary of our move to New York City from lovely London…so how does that feel? Well, to quote an LCD sound system song, ‘New York I love you, but you’re bringing me down…’ except in our case just remove the love… New York you’re okay but you’re bringing me down. Perfect.

You see I don’t mean to make a once-in-a-blue-moon appearance and then just whine…but with all the hype over new York and everyone loving it soooo much you start to feel a bit alone, when you possibly, perchance, definitely don’t agree. What am I missing? It’s dirty, it smells ( because I’m a nice person and you might be snacking while reading this, I won’t be saying what it smells like. Lilac bushes and freshly cleaned laundry it is not). There are rats, and more rats.  And the amount of people that just give you the heebie jeebies is just, well, crazy. To say it doesn’t compare to London FOR ME is the understatement of the year. But we’ve done it, and that’s gotta count for something? ‘if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’… like an advert for the armed forces. Yay, I’m lying in a barbed wire ditch. It can only go up from here, eh?

But it’s not like we haven’t made it– we have, there are positives. David and I both have good jobs, a beautiful apartment and for the past few months have found a place to call home that makes us feel happier. We’ve made DUMBO, Brooklyn our home, which is fantabulous on it’s name alone. Who doesn’t want to live in world of hat-wearing baby elephants?! But in actuality it stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This also means that we are few short blocks from the Brooklyn bridge, from the water and from glorious views of the city. I know, you probably don’t believe that after the last little rant, but honestly the city is pretty from afar, with the statue of liberty waving her little flashlight in the distance, the sun setting behind the Financial district, the Empire state building and Chrysler building peeking out of the skyline and saying ‘hello!’. Whew, I feel a bit calmer already. I’ll detail DUMBO a bit more in the future, but it’s very creative, great industrial buildings and a regeneration with some serious love behind it.

 

And lastly, the thing making me avoid Pillar Box Post for months. A bit of sad news…our little Olive Juice, the french bulldog life and rumpled-faced-soul, of our little family is no longer with us. In April we had an emergency visit to the vet and sadly our little girl had to stay there to go to sleep. It was in connection with her back issues we first had a year ago, right after we moved to New York. It’s been seriously hard for David and I to get over not having her around…and we still miss her every. Day. When you aren’t satisfied with other areas of life, sweet puppy breath and kisses on your face is always an instant soother. Sigh. There I got that out, not that most of you don’t know that already..it was some how a mental struggle to come out with that on here. She was quite the star of PillarBoxPost…so here are some of her best bits… biking around Kensington Gardens , relaxing around the house , travelling in England , visiting Rye England , and her introduction.

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A quick list of  where and what we’ve been up to this past year, as per the photos above.
Starting in the Top, going left to right…

——— FIRST SET ———

ROW 1: 1. Two weeks after arriving in New York we ‘survived’ an earthquake and a hurricane hitting NYC. Yay for crazy Northeast weather! | 2. Our second flat on the upper west side. | 3. Oh Olive, and your crazy outfits…silly girl

Row 2: 1. Christmas tree hunting, on a real life tree farm…yay for being back in Central PA. | 2. Family photo, frenchie fur babies and all! | 3. All ready for the ‘First Annual Forest Friends Christmas Eve Feeding’ which consisted of taking the deer and other cute animals of the forest a lovely christmas dinner of carrots, corn etc. at midnight on Christmas Eve

Row 3: 1. Taking Olive out for our annual New Years walk, but bag style. | 2. Gondolas…indoors…waaaaitaminute? This must be crazy-vegas. | 3. Out at the Grand Canyon, right before the hail blizzard started.

Row 4: 1. Yep, that hail blizzard has now started…very impressive my face doesn’t look like swiss cheese after that encounter! | 2. Zion National Park, yes that IS a real photo. Places like this DO exist. Wow. | 3. And yep, these little sheepy guys do too. Right next to the road! Saw a roadrunner after this, it was like Wild animal Bingo.

——— SECOND SET ———

Row 1: 1. Brooklyn Bridge with the lovely Clare. | 2. David and Olive…oh she’s. so. happy. Can’t you tell? | 3. We fled for some winter sun down to the Riveria Maya, Mexico. Beautiful eco resort full of canalways, crocodiles and other potentially less dangerous things. This is the view of our casita, aka adorable little building, on the canal, taken from our nature boat tour.

Row 2: 1. Lunchtime at work–fabulous view of the Empire State building. | 2. Our UWS flat, or one corner of it, at least. | 3. My 29th birthday at the Standard Grill, where I made a pact with myself to make a penny floor in my imaginary house.

Row 3: 1. Drinks after work…palm trees and that same pesky little Empire State building. It’s everywhere. | 2. ….like right here…in between the arches, do you see it, yep it’s piercing the Manhattan bridge in DUMBO | 3. View of DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge from a Manhattan rooftop.

Row 4: 1. Finally had our first trip back to England for a few days…just in time to catch some beautiful summer fields | 2. …and take some random pictures of ourselves on said train | 3. and catch the London Olympics site, sadly just 2 weeks too early.

 
 
 

Oh Deer, stuck inside a winter wonderland

No need to flee to the weather channel to figure out if New York City has been covered in snow…sadly we haven’t. But there is a little winter wonderland present in the flat right now. At first I thought I might be a bit late since Christmas is over and the decorations are all packed away…but on second thought, winter hasn’t even arrived here yet, so why should non-Christmassy winter stuff be shoved away (and because I have no idea how to pack them!). These lovely little ‘snow globes’ for lack of a better term were a real project of many inspirations–one part Anthropologie, one part Martha Stewart, one part family and voilà!

I had saved Martha Stewart’s tutorial for snow globes ages ago…and then when I saw these variations at Anthropologie with my sister-in-law we set about picking up mason jars, salt and pepper shakers and glitter. Then at Thanksgiving I went home and my stepmum had picked up all sorts of lovely bits like bell jars, dishes, moss, deer and even…a pillar box! Crowning touch if I do say so myself. I picked up a few pinecones in Riverside Park and that was it– a little piece of nature (and england) in NYC.

Along the way we learned the following useful facts that might help you if you were to take this on:

1. Using artificial snow  as a base builds up a nice shape. We then used fine white glitter on top for the sheen. I also dripped some glue around on the ridge of the deer and the top of the pillar box so some glue would stick on top…

2.  Don’t shake the salt shaker…unless you’ve made sure the holes are covered. Oops.

3. Schleich animals have a nice ‘vintage’ look about them and can be found MUCH more easily (for instance at Michael’s) than proper vintage characters…trust me we’ve tried!

and last, and certainly most useful…

3. Small town train stores have a lot of small figurines…not ice skaters unfortunately, but they do a cracking business in homeless people and prisoners….so ughm depending on the theme of your winter wonderland that could be ughm…well frankly useless.

photos by pillar box post. lamp & table from West Elm