This Beautiful Photo Collage Blanket Made an Awesome Gift!


photo collage blanket

For a while now, I’ve really enjoyed taking advantage of my Nikon DSLR to take some great pictures of NYC. I used to be a broadcast journalism major in college and got to get my hands dirty a little bit with DSLR cameras for some of my projects, and I’ve loved it ever since. I also love to sit and edit, whether it’s film or photos, so it was natural for me to keep up this hobby post-college. I’ve been lucky enough to do some portraits and freelance on the side, but it’s my NYC photos that I take just for myself.

In one of my previous posts, I talked about my ongoing photography project. One day — maybe it’s when I’m long-gone from this beautiful, crazy city of lights — I’d like to put together a coffee table book of sorts with my photos of the city. I don’t take out my camera as much as I’d like to (just seems like I forget half the time), but I have been having fun with my snaps in the meantime. Every now and then, I’ll choose a print and get it blown up on canvas for my apartment (Groupon and LivingSocial always have great deals!).

Recently, I thought to try out the website Collage.com to try a new project. I had seen a deal (LivingSocial to the rescue again!) for a photo collage blanket and instantly thought of those beautiful blankets that Susan Sarandon’s character in Stepmom makes for her kids. I LOVED those and wondered if maybe my NYC pictures might look good on a blanket.

Oh.My.Gosh.

I can’t even EXPLAIN how impressed I was when I got my my blanket in the mail. Not only did the pictures print absolutely BEAUTIFULLY and so crisp, the quality of the blanket was also wonderful. It was a super light fleece blanket that is just the right amount of weight for a comforter alternative or a couch throw.

I gifted this blanket, but I’ve seriously considered taking it back because I love it so much. 😉 Seriously, it’s one of the best projects I’ve worked on and definitely one of the best purchases I’ve made.

Also — when I was on the site putting together the blanket, they had another promotion going on to upgrade the blanket size with a coupon code, so I was able to use my LivingSocial voucher and the coupon code! (The blanket covers a full-sized bed.)

Here are some other pictures of the project:

photo collage blanket photo collage blanket

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Stroke of Midnight: Welcome 2013


Welcome to the Future

Welcome to the Future

Wow, is it really 2013 today? When I was younger, growing up in the 90’s (the good old days), I used to refer to the far-away future by saying something like “…yeah, maybe in 2013” as if it was unimaginable to even think I’d be alive to see a year that far away. Realistically, it wasn’t that far away because I’m only still in my early 20’s, but it still feels pretty futuristic to be living in a year like 2013. But here it is: 2-0-1-3.

People always put pressure on what they’ll be doing at midnight every New Year’s Eve, and it’s a bit silly when you think about it. Time is ongoing, cyclical — and the beginning of a new year is more symbolic than anything else. Still, it’s a memorable time — to remember exactly what you were doing and where you were at the beginning of a new chapter.

12:00 a.m., January 1, 2013 for me was already memorable because I was in my favorite city: New York City. Not the friendliest to the passerby, but a soulmate to those living here, NYC had given me some great memories in the last year. I was spending New Year’s with a few friends at one of their apartments in the city, and the night was expected to be a great time ringing in 2013 with drinks, foods and general merriment. The hilarity and memorable ridiculousness that ensued wasn’t anything that we thought would happen, but it will definitely stay in my mind as one of the most memorable New Year’s I’ve had so far.

I was with just a few friends having snacks, playing drinking games and enjoying each other’s company on New Year’s Eve. We had a great view of the New York City skyline from the apartment we were in, and we had been debating for over an hour whether to head up to the rooftop to make an attempt to the see the fireworks that would be going off all around the city at midnight. Finally at 11:58, we decided to make a dash for it. There seemed to be an issue communicating to half of the 5 of us to walk out of the apartment and get into the elevator quickly before we missed midnight altogether. By the time we all made it in, there was less than 30 secs left before the stroke of midnight…

Then the elevator got stuck.

The rooftop had been closed off so the elevator made an attempt to go back down the 3 floors it needed to for us to be back on our floor. With 10 seconds left, we couldn’t believe our ridiculous predicament and resolved to begin the countdown. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Happy New Year!

In all our vain to make our New Year’s spectacular with fireworks and an amazing view, we had missed everything altogether. We didn’t see the ball drop; we didn’t see any fireworks — we just spent it together laughing at the superb mess and perfect ridiculousness stuck in an elevator.

A minute later, we realized our elevator doors were only opening a few inches and closing up again. We really were stuck.

One of the brave in our party decided to try and pry the doors open, hoping the censors would kick in simultaneously. We got the drama we had wanted of beginning the New Year with something to remember as we literally scrambled out of the elevator hoping we wouldn’t be crushed by the steel doors.

And back in the apartment we went, only a few minutes after we had left. So, the first moment of 2013 was spent stuck in an elevator of a very nice apartment building in one of the most wonderful cities in the world. Not quite what I expected, but memorable it was nonetheless. Perhaps it was just the beginning of many circumstances this year that will play out in the same wonderful chaos into something better than expected?  Who knows!

Happy 2013 to you all, and may this year finally bring us what 2012 didn’t and more of what it did.

NYC GreenFlea Market: 2 Stalls You Have to Stop At


GreenFlea Market

For those of you who know me (or have seen any of my previous blog posts) know that I absolutely love vintage finds. Last time I was in New York, I had the privilege of digging up some great stuff at a flea market that I’m still getting compliments for to this day. So, naturally — it was a matter of time before I made my way to one of the most talked about flea markets in The Big Apple: The GreenFlea Market on the Upper West Side. Since it’s only open on Sundays from 10 am – 5pm, I traipsed up there around noon, today before the crowds hit.

Boy, oh, boy — did I strike gold today! (And that’s only slightly an exaggeration after you see what I picked up). I had done my research about this place beforehand and read great things about vendors selling a mix of great vintage designers pieces, food items and original creations. Truthfully, though, I didn’t know what to expect.

I ended up picking such great things, but there were 2 stalls and vendors that especially had such beautiful things to sell that I want to tell you about. More than that though, they were incredibly personal and made the shopping experience for me thoroughly enjoyable, which I think is super important at a flea market.

If you’re visiting the NYC GreenFlea Market anytime soon, make sure you check out these 2 stalls:

Mary Campbell & Phyllis Jackson’s Stall

Mary and Phyllis at their stall

These ladies’ booth is one of the first stops when entering the market, and what I loved (besides their gorgeous selection of jewelry and accessories) are their personable natures. My heart stopped when I saw a beautiful gold-plated belt that I was told was from the Victorian era. Now, as I’m both obsessed with belts and with history — I knew that I was going to have a hard time walking away from this belt.

A portion of Mary & Phyllis’ great stuff!

Phyllis told me she couldn’t bargain with me much more since the price had just been marked down, but I told her I was a poor gal who couldn’t afford the what she offered me and walked away hoping I’d find something else. Lo and behold: 45 minutes later, and I was back with the belt in mind. However, these ladies were so personable and genuinely sweet knowing how much I wanted this belt that they gave me a great deal, and I came home a very happy camper! They also had cases and cases of necklaces, earrings, brooches and much, much more.  Thank you, ladies — I will definitely be back for some more of this great stuff!

*The pictures of the belt I bought are at the bottom of the post with my other purchases’ pictures

Bruce Snell’s Stall

Designer everything at Bruce’s stall!

When I heard you could pick up some designer duds and jewels at a flea market, I had absolutely no idea it could be in this volume. Again, I was just blown away by the gorgeousness of everything that Bruce had tucked away in his glass cases, and as we got chatting, I learned that vintage buying and selling was in his blood. As a 3rd generation vintage hound, Bruce looked like he knew his stuff — and it was clear just by the hoards of lingering ladies that seemed to know him well from shopping trips before.

More of Bruce’s gorgeous designer jewelry

Although the price tags were well within bargain range for Dior, Chanel, Givenchy and the like — they just weren’t agreeing with my entry-level media salary, and I was honest with him about it. Once again, connecting with someone on a personal level seemed to work, and instead of getting discouraged that nothing was affordable — I asked him if he had anything within my price range (which was much less than anything marked). Surprisingly, he pulled out a pair of beyond gorgeous gold Dior C-shaped earrings that were marked for about 5x the amount for what he quoted me! I walked away once again, super happy with my purchase, but even happier with the personable interaction of the vendor. Thanks for the great deal, Bruce! I’ll be back for more!

Bruce also sells his stuff online here.

Here is what I ended up bringing home with me:

Vintage Christian Dior Earrings, $30


Other belts I bought, about $3 each

My First Week in NYC and a Pocketful of Finds


Last Friday, May 18, I made a very stressful move to New York City from Texas. We’re talking two 50 lb suitcases, a carry-on suitcase that was probably dangerously close to about 35 lbs., and a “purse” that was actually a tote bag that housed my purse, laptop, Nikon DSLR camera, Flip blogging camera, another digital camera, vitamins, makeup, phone, iPod, chargers for every electronic mentioned, and large blanket thrown over everything. Oh, then of course I had to dress in boots and a very warm sweater to lessen the weight of my suitcase, so I looked like a nutcase walking around the airport when the weather outside was about 80 degrees.

But — in the end the madness was worth it because even though my back muscles gave out on me, and it took me two hours to get to my apartment after landing and another hour to get into my apartment after that because I couldn’t figure out how to work the key in the lock, I am now living in the best city in the world. After an incredibly rough year, I’m  now employed and the happiest gal in the entire world! What’s unbelievable is that it’s already been a week, but I already have a pocketful of sunshine and goodies! Check out some of my pics of where I’ve been and what I’ve picked up so far:

1. East River Plaza, Harlem

East River Plaza

Since I couldn’t bring a lot of my necessities with me, I needed to do some grocery shopping immediately so I set out to explore my whereabouts from where I’m subletting on the Upper East Side and where did I end up but the super cool and awesome East River Plaza in East Harlem. Something of a new complex, this place made me feel like I was right back in Texas as soon as I saw its parking garages and its huge Target and Marshall’s. It has a Costco, Best Buy, Old Navy and a few more other stores and is a super cool place for some good commercial shopping on the weekend. Considering I had literally stepped off the plane from Texas hours ago, I was having major deja vu shopping here. The weird part was stepping outside and seeing the New York skyline hit you — talk about culture shock! This place is a gold mine though. I love New York for its boutiques and department stores but I can’t stay I wasn’t thrilled to see a friendly bulls-eye staring at me when I realized I just needed some toothpaste.

2. 9th Ave Food Festival, Midtown

9th Ave Food Festival

How perfect was it that the exact weekend of the 39th annual 9th Avenue Food Festival would be when I show up to town?! Too perfect, I think. A college friend and I were lucky enough to enjoy absolutely beautiful weather last weekend (before it got super icky for the work week) for this food and overall fun fest. We got some good grub, of course — but I picked up something even more exciting! What’s better than really great food at a food festival?

C.O.P.A. Medley Soap bars

Well, if you’re moving across state lines in a handful of suitcases and you forget to bring soap, I think handmade soap would take the cake. (No pun intended) We stopped by the Beekman’s C.O.P.A. Soaps’ stand and I picked up a box of four Medley soap bars, or as they are affectionately called “Frankensoaps”. Oh.my.gosh!! The soap is made with mixes of lemongrass, tea trea oil, shea, lavender, and other amazingly yummy stuff. I bought four gigantic bars for $10, and got a free sample of their lavender soap. Score! What’s amazing is how fragrant this soap is; it literally doubles as air freshener for the bathroom even without the steamy shower. And don’t even get me started at how buttery smooth my skin is. Seriously.so.in.love.

3. Georgetown Cupcake, SoHo

Earl Grey Tea & Lavender cupcake

You can imagine how thankful someone like me would be about just having a job after a year of unemployment, let alone to be working in New York (which just happens to be my dream place). But somehow my dream continues because not only has work been actually been pretty fun and my coworkers pretty downright fantastic from the get-go, but there also turns out to be a Georgetown Cupcake right around the corner from where I work! Yes, the Georgetown Cupcake – from TLC’s “DC Cupcakes”  — also known as the place that gives out a free cupcake everyday! Now, I won’t pretend like I was in the know about all of this, but I do know of the show. What I did not know was how amazing their cupcakes were and what a gold mine of a location their new spot in SoHo is. If you go at the right time,  you won’t even hit a line. Now, this is an absolute New York heaven.

I’ve done so much in just a week and have so many stories to tell, and these were just a few tidbits. Hopefully I’ll have my camera on me to record videos and snap more pics to come back and share more! My New York adventure has just begun, and I’m already falling in love this with city all over again.

Foiled Bomb Attack in Times Square


Here we go again…Except this time, we were super lucky that a guy was smart enough to notice the smoking SUV sitting unattended on the side of the street and to report it. What a dumbass though. Because the car didn’t explode, the license plates and everything was recovered. Although the plates don’t match up with the registration on the car, the police are pretty certain they’ll be able to find the perpetrator. They even have tape of the car being driven to the spot. Bravo to the guy who was brave enough to speak up and alert enough to notice this. We need more of you guys in the world.

Read the article here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/times-square-bomb-scare-york-authorities-probe-evidence/story?id=10532755