Beneath a Patch of Grass, her bones the old Dutch master hid

Earlier this month we went to see Joanna Newsom perform at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn (which, side note: is an incredibly beautiful theatre) and Andrew has had her album on repeat ever since. This was our second time seeing her perform and both times she has left us in awe - she sure is one super talented lady! Whilst usually my monthly song pick is more to do with a song that I haven't been able to get out of my head, this month's is mostly about how much we've enjoyed the video to Sapokanikan - we love to copy her movements in it! Basically, my husband & I like to skip around our apartment, doing the occasional half turn with our hands in our pockets. We call it the "Joanna Newsom", for obvious reasons, and it's a lot of fun (we should probably get out more...).

Oh, and also - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



You can see all my other monthly music posts from 2014 & 2015 here!

Reasons to be Cheerful - November 2015

  • Celebrating 1 year in NYC by going to the top of Lady Liberty & Ellis Island
  • Eating delicious cereal milk ice-cream from Momofuku Milk Bar
  • ...and treating ourselves to pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
  • ...and having a pretty great burger at the Burger Joint!
  • Enjoying the unseasonably warm weather & never-ending Autumn leaves
  • Making a pecan pie, cooking our first proper Thanksgiving dinner...
  • ...and feasting on delicious turkey-featuring-meals for a week after!
  • Receiving my first order from SSTUTTER - incredibly beautiful jewellery!
  • Adding to our VitsÅ“ system and making this apartment feel more like home
  • ...and signing on for a second year living here!
  • Celebrating Andrew's birthday with theatre, cake and dinner at Edi & The Wolf
Read/Watched/Listened To/Saw/Visited:
  • We saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 and Spectre at the cinema - both great!
  • We also watched the first 3 Hunger Games and all the Daniel Craig Bond movies (mmm, Daniel Craig), as well as August: Orange County, more of The Office & Gilmore Girls.
  • I read Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling and Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding.
  • I bagged some bargain tickets to A View from the Bridge at Lyceum Theatre and I took Andrew to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Barrymore Theatre.
  • We visited The Morbid Anatomy Museum, MOMA & the Brooklyn Museum.

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade 2015

Because it's never a bad time to share pictures of dogs wearing costumes...
When I found out that we would be moving to New York towards the end of 2014, I begged Andrew to try and swing it that we could arrive in time for the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade - something I was desperate to see! Sadly, however, we were scheduled to arrive the following weekend instead and thus began my year long wait for it to come around again!

The Halloween Dog Parade is now in it's 25th year and is described as "the largest dog costume parade in the world" - yes! I'm a biiiig lover of dogs, and cuties in funny costumes slay me. Every. Time! But I have to admit to feeling a little overwhelmed by the crowds at this event - turns out there are a lot of dog fans in NYC. Not that I wont be going again next year, because, dogs. Below are just a few of the pictures I took... Enjoy! :-)
This last little guy was super friendly! We were the best of friends for about five minutes but then we had to say our goodbyes and go our separate ways... :-(

NYC Hallowe'en Displays 2015

So I know it's like less than a week to Christmas, and really I should be posting about Christmas trees or Santa Claus or mince pies or something, but I totally forgot to post these pictures back in October and I really want to post them, ok? Also, heads up, I'm probably going to post more pictures from Hallowe'en before the end of the week, but this time it'll be dogs in funny costumes so you know it's worth it! ;-)
I loved stumbling upon all the fab Hallowe'en displays; whether it be simple carved pumpkins on stoops, zombie hippies, "Fleshdirect" vans driven by skeletons, giant spiders adorning buildings or scary clowns (though I am pretty terrified of the latter two!) - New Yorkers really know how to do Hallowe'en!
There was one particular Hallowe'en display that I really wanted to see, and even went out of my way to do so (though spending time in Boerum Hill is really no chore). Every year on Bergen Street, between Bond & Nevins, one couple turn their small front yard in to an awesome Hallowe'en display, and this year's treat was a scary clown crashing a kid's birthday party - complete with pooping child. The display really was incredible! While we were there we got to speak to one of the geniuses behind the idea and she informed us that everything they use is salvaged from the trash/left on stoops/being given away, and they spend the year collecting things, making it pretty much completely free - the base of the clown's body is a female mannequin, rescued from a dumpster outside Macy's! They already have an idea for next years display and I can't wait to see what they come up with!

My 2015 Festive To Do List

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So it may be just over a week until the big day, but it's never too late to put together a list of things I want to do over this festive season - after all, Christmas ends in January, right? Last year I didn't feel very Christmassy as life was all a bit up in the air, but this year I am in significantly higher spirits and thoroughly enjoying getting my festive spirit on!

1. See the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
2. Bake some gingerbread or sugar cookies
3. Buy our tree and decorate our apartment (done!)
4. Make a new decoration for our tree
5. Attend What the Dickens?: A Christmas Carol Marathon Reading at Housing Works (also done!)
6. Visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
7. Go ice-skating!
8. See the Christmas windows on 5th Ave
9. Bake a (non-fruitcake) Christmassy cake
10. Watch all of the Christmas films! Especially...
      A Muppet's Christmas Carol (obviously)
      Love, Actually
      Elf
      Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
      Jingle All The Way
      Die Hard and Die Hard 2
      The Holiday
      The Nightmare Before Christmas
      It's A Wonderful Life
      Holiday in Handcuffs*

* watching this movie has become a tradition for us - we stumbled upon it 3 years ago and have watched it every year since! We were intrigued by the combination of Melissa Joan Hart (aka Sabrina) and Mario Lopez (aka Slater), and whaddya know - it's so bad it's good! (watch it.)

And when I grow up, I will eat sweets every day

Every now and then, my husband will sporadically play a song from Matilda the Musical on Spotify, and that one song always leads to us playing all of the songs, over & over again until we get sick of them... because the soundtrack is amazing! Tim Minchin is a musical genius.

We went to see Matilda a few years ago in the West End and instantly fell in love with it; the songs are so witty and cleverly written. I hope to see it again one day, but until then I will re-live it through song. And if you haven't seen it I urge you to listen to all the songs & then NOT have the words stuck in your head for days! (good luck)

Reasons to be Cheerful - October 2015

  • Spending a weekend in Chicago - such a great city!
  • ...eating deep dish pizza, visiting the bean & finding a Jim Bachor mosaic
  • Helping out on my first lifestyle photo shoot with work
  • Going to the Tompkin's Square Halloween Dog Parade - dog lover's heaven!!
  • Witnessing NYC in the Fall (Autumn) and admiring all the Fall/Hallowe'en stoop displays
  • Seeing my first London Kaye yarn bomb
  • Eating lots of doughnuts - both pumpkin shaped & pumpkin flavoured
  • My first launch party at work with a night of cupcakes & free drinks at Parlor
  • ...followed by my first time grabbing a slice at Joe's Pizza!
  • Doing our civic duty & helping make Park Slope "cleaner & greener"
Read/Watched/Listened To/Saw/Visited:
  • I read The Shining by Stephen King, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach and Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
  • I started watching Glee again, because I freaking love it man! #sorrynotsorry
  • We started watching American Horror Story & The Office (U.S) - I love Jim so much!
  • I watched The Shining and Hocus Pocus - my go to Hallowe'en films!
  • We saw John Grant perform live at Le Poisson Rouge
  • And we went to see Rigoletto at the Met Opera House
  • We spent a day at the Chicago Museum of Art and saw American Gothic by Grant Wood
  • And explored The Morgan Library & Museum for OHNY Weekend

Happy Turkey Day 2015

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Here it is - our second Thanksgiving in America! But, more importantly, the first one in our own apartment. Last year we started our day early (but not as early as some) to go and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in the freezing cold, with thousands (possibly millions) of others. Whilst it was "an experience", it isn't one I feel the need to have again any time soon... so this year we are planning to stay home, in our warm apartment, watching the parade in our pyjamas and eating turkey-themed waffles for breakfast - best plan!

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Today I am Thankful for...

  • Finding a job that I really enjoy doing, with great colleagues that I love working with.
  • This opportunity to live & work in a new country, in one of the greatest cities in the world.
  • Our landlady (again) for letting us stay in our apartment for another year with no rent rise!
  • And my fab hubby for just being so wonderful, all of the time...

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What are you thankful for today?

Our First Year in New York City

One year ago today we boarded a one-way plane to start our biggest, scariest, and most incredible adventure (excluding marriage, obviously) to date. And what an adventure it has been!

We arrived in late at night, and after 2 hours in immigration (with bellies full of butterflies that something would be wrong & we'd be sent right back), we joined the long taxi queue in the cold to get us and our 8 (eight!!) bags to Brooklyn. I wont lie to you, my first impressions weren't the most positive.

It definitely took some time for the realisation that we now lived in NEW YORK CITY to really sink in.

The first 5 months were tough. I couldn't work yet, which meant we were living on one salary. This made finding an apartment incredibly hard (the "you-must-be-earning-40-times-the-monthly-rent" thing is a big hurdle). We finally got lucky a week before we needed to move and found a lovely little apartment on Craigslist, in our favourite Brooklyn neighbourhood, with a landlady who didn't mind that I was temporarily unemployed - hooray!

Living in NYC on one salary also meant that I rarely left the apartment from December to March, as no spare money to spend meant not even getting the subway to somewhere was an option (those $5.50 returns add up y'know). I missed London a lot a lot during that time. The crazy cold of a New York winter didn't help much either...

Things started to look up in March as I prepared for my employment authorisation to arrive - in total I waited 131 days (90 days max. my eye, America) - and I began applying for jobs. I found my perfect job on Craigslist (it strikes again!) and come April I finally started working, for an awesome company, with some great colleagues! The weather started to warm up, the trees were bursting with blossom, we started to properly explore this city and enjoy sampling all the great foods on offer (all the doughnuts please). We even began to make plans for weekends away and I began to really enjoy living in NYC.

It's crazy to think that's we've been living here for a year already. We've survived the coldest winter we've ever experienced, and the hottest summer (I've never been so tanned!). And you know what, we're totally prepared to do it all again!

We love you New York, and we're nowhere near done with you yet. 

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And here are a random selection of pictures from our 1st year here: