Thursday, June 30, 2011

jerks + crack + balance

Upper West Side

So Blogger completely punked out on me this week.
I couldn't post. Couldn't comment on other blogs. Couldn't receive comments.
What a jerk, Blogger.

unique take on a Brownstone

Instead, I spent time with the newest form of crack, which I'm sure you are familiar with, Pinterest.
It's a wonderful thing, this new crack.
It combines my love of organization and all manner of pretty, humorous and inspiring things.

Café Lalo from You've Got Mail

In other addictive news, I have also given myself over to Instagramming.
Sorry if you are totally over the Instagram movement, I am loving it wholeheartedly.
I have noticed I don't tend to take my 'real' camera with me as much as I use to because the iphone camera especially with Instagram is way convenient... and alot less heavy when I'm schlepping all across Manhattan.
I do want to find a balance, though, because the quality of real camera pics just cannot be beat.

I think I'll go here this weekend

Here's to a weekend of balance.
Some iphone pics and some real camera pics.
Spending more time offline than online.
And embracing this one wild and crazy life.

If you want to get crazy, you can follow my pinterest boards here and my instagram username is mrigoloso. Simple as that.

Jerks don't make friends, Blogger.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a few of my favorite things

Specifically a hot + cold combination.

There's no such thing as too much.

I think flowers simply make things prettier.

Happy Tuesday, Friends.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In my mind

Today I am running errands.
And in my mind, this is what I am wearing & toting.
Yes, I know it's summer and that I am wishing for a coat.
I am not cold, mind you, but wishing for cooler temps. The kind that warrants coats.
What are you doing today and what do you wish you were wearing?

1 outfit, Talbots via Tulips & Flight Suits 2 watch, REVOLVEclothing 3 bag, Banana Republic

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's Friday, Friday

Last night I was chopping almonds, preparing our dinner.
And then this happened.
I had already swept a few to the side, so you really aren't getting the full effect.
I am still finding them. Under the table, in shoes, under the couch.
Justin walked into the kitchen right after the Grand Almond Explosion and said,
"Sometimes it's a nuts on the floor kind of day."
Then he walked out.
Sometimes you find works of art that leave you speechless.
Like this bathroom mirror graffiti I found on the Lower East Side.

Happy Friday, Friends.
Hope you are surrounded by many beautiful things this weekend.
Watch yourself if you are chopping up almonds.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh, yes it does

I love parties. I love attending them. I especially love planning them.

Birthday parties, baby showers, bridal teas, bachelorettes, or a just-because-we-want-to-party party.
From the biggest detail all the way to the tiniest.
The menu. The flowers. The decorations.
The invitations. The invitations.

My mom and I were hosting a baby shower for my cousin.
We went to a fancy schmancy boutique to find the most special invitations you could imagine.
They were perfect in every way.
We began to work on the wording.
Kindly join us for Saturday brunch from 10 to 2. Lillian's house. Honoring Kelly and baby Payton.
Then we reached the RSVP part.

Boutique Lady: To whom shall the guests RSVP?
Me: That would be me, Molly Rigoloso.
(I understand my last name is not Smith so I paused kindly and began to spell slowly)
Me: R I G O L ...
Boutique Lady: writing R I G A
Me: Oh... I'm sorry, that should be an O
Boutique Lady: Smiling pleasantly, Oh okay. Writes R I G O O L
Me: I'm sorry, mam. I'll be glad to write it for you. It will just be easier.
Boutique Lady: Snatches the paper & clutches it to her breast, Oh No! You cannot do that!
  You cannot write on this paper!
Me: Furrowed brow, Okay... my last name is spelled R I G O pause L O S O.
Boutique Lady: most definitively writes on the sacred paper R I G O A L O S A. Molly Rigoalosa.
Me: Deep breath, That's still incorrect. It's R I G...
Boutique Lady: Oh, it really doesn't matter.

My mom said I nearly flew across the counter.
And apparently I have a certain look when I reach this point of frustration.
It's not my most shining moment, I will admit.

I pulled out a piece of my own paper, wrote my name, and the rest is a blur.
I am fairly certain I was mumbling, It doesn't matter? It doesn't matter? Oh, but it does! when we reached the car.

A couple days later I received the nicest phone call from the boutique. This was a different lady.
She said she couldn't read my last name surprise, surprise and wanted to verify the spelling before sending the invitations to print.
I graciously thanked her, spelled my name once and the invitations, I am happy to report, were perfect in every way.

Parties are wonderful things and I love every aspect of them.
And the answer to Does it matter? is yes.
 Yes, it does.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our picnic movie date

I think it was one of our favorite nights in NYC yet.

We went to the Summer Film Festival at Bryant Park.
I wore navy stripes and kelly green, a winning combination if you ask me.
Our meal? Perfect homemade sammies, some manchego & some kind of flavorful fancy chips.
And a chocolate, chocolate chip cookie for a lil' something sweet.

A few other people had the same idea.

Justin caught up on current events.
And yes, the blankets were just that close.

Our attempt at a picure together produced this charmer.
I think J's laughing?
Meanwhile, I haven't learned where to look when taking a self-shot group pic on my phone.
 At the camera hole? At myself? At the button I'm pressing?
Apparently, I went with All of The Above giving myself a nice crossed eye.

We watched the sun fade against our city, darkness rushed in and then it was time.
The movie began and everyone stood up to cheer and dance.
Watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with 1,000 other New Yorkers was amazing.
The energy was electric and palpable.

We bid our sweet city goodnight vowing it was one of our favorite nights yet.

Please teach me how to take a self-portrait on my iphone, lest I look cross-eyed for the rest of my days. 
Please and thanks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Officer and A Gentleman

My Dad loves to work. While I was growing up, he worked for GTE, the phone company.
He wasn't retired for long before he went back to work.
Now he's a Sheriff's Deputy, the fulfillment of a childhood dream.
He's a true Southern gentleman, too.
He believes in holding the door open for ladies and saying Yes Mam.

When he was a little boy, he shot a pellet from his BB gun into this onion plant.
When his grandmother was chopping the onion for dinner one night, there lay the pellet.
It grew straight into the onion.

He loves music and can name the title of a song and the artist within one beat.
Some of his favorites are The Doobie Brothers and Chicago.
He loves to tinker and can fix most anything.
His laughter is contagious and I could pick his whistle out of a crowd.
He's an excellent woodworker and photographer.
He can grill the best hamburger, but he also makes a mean Italian Cream cake.

 He values family and relationships with the highest regard.
He loves my Mom fiercely and has loved her since their high school days.
He writes her a love letter most every morning before he leaves for work.
When I'm home, he writes one for me as well. And Justin, too.
I have every one of them.
He loves with strength and tenderness and without apology.

This weekend is Father's Day, and it's also his birthday.
I celebrate you, Dad.
You are the best man I know and I'm so thankful you're mine.
I love you greatly!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jane and The Comedian

Jane of All Trades.
I was editing my blogger profile when I realized that I'd used that phrase to describe myself.
Perhaps that's a bold description of yourself there, Molly, one may think.
I'll shoot straight with you about my street cred and let you be the judge.

the face of skill & sheer talent is always best accompanied by mint green metal siding & kudzu 

To date, here's a list of every job I've ever had beginning with the very first...

I increased talent in this field by reading The Babysitters Club Series in its entirety. I identified most with Kristy and Mary Anne.

Hello Kitty employee
Properly known as Surprises Inside, I fell in love with this store as a small child and vowed to work there when I was old enough. And I did. If you bought a pink plastic clipboard showcasing the reknown kitty during 1999-2001 in South Alabama and wanted it personalized, I more than likely drew your name in fancy script with paint pens.

Baby Boutique Manager
A family friend owned a high end baby clothes boutique and I spent the summer after my freshman year in college running the shop. Smocked. Embroidered. Appliquéd. I became fluent in baby clothes vocab.

Collegiate Assistant
I was an administrative assistant in an on-campus office during the rest of my college days. My love of office supplies like folders & sharpies & multi-sized, multi-colored paperclips was merely confirmed during this period.

Events Coordinator Intern
My college internship was spent under the tutelage of my cooler, older cousin who did events coordinating for The Ritz Carlton. I quickly learned that Good Afternoon is the much preferred salutation to Hi There.

Victoria's Secret
You know the understood rule of keeping your underwear on while trying on bathing suits? You'd think that would apply here as well. Too bad most people didn't adhere to that rule... and they weren't afraid to show you and ask your opinion. Yikes.

Events Coordinator, University of Alabama
Gamedays were my longest workdays. I got up early. I stayed late. President's Mansion Gameday Garden Party. Catered box seats. Meals for the players. Meals for the refs. Parties for the donors. Blood, sweat and tears describes this season well. Emphasis on the sweat.

Interior Decorator
A high end furniture shop needed a girl with taste to say what-looked-good-with-what until they found a real deal interior designer for their staff. I fit the bill. I quickly learned what I liked and what I didn't and that some people really do have more money than sense. Not all people. But definitely some.

Preschool Teacher
Part super adorable + Part highly frustrating + Part very rewarding. Rotate each emotion while teaching 3-year-olds that it is much cooler to do your business in the pot versus your pants, that biting won't win you any friends in life, that sharing means caring and that you have to eat your carrots before your princess gummies.

Optometry Office Secretary/ Get It Done Girl
I think I was hired to do PR & marketing, but I found myself sitting at the front desk asking for insurance information and updated addresses while calling patients to remind them of appointments while keeping the doctor happy with the patient flow while calling insurance companies for verification while saying I'm Sorry Your Appointment Was at 3:15 and It's 3:17 and You Haven't Seen the Doctor Yet while mailing reminder cards while typing an office memo per request of the doc about not drinking Diet Coke at your desk because it looks unprofessional while taking out the trash while filing charts. I think some businesses call that a Secretary.

Independent Consulting
That's a fancy way of saying I combined my experience and education and talent and went into business for myself. I took on some clients in need of interior decorating. I sewed pillows and drapery panels and roman shades. I shopped for unique art and lamps and rugs. Picked out paint colors. Refinished furniture. Hung draperies from an 18 foot ceiling. Okay, Justin hung them while I supervised. The next day I'd shift gears and plan a birthday party for a 5-year-old. Design a logo for a new business. Edit articles for a local publication.

I went through a season where I had a very hard time answering the question What Do You Do? I encountered feelings of low self worth since I couldn't offer up a succinct, pithy answer. Through the encouragement of those who knew me well, I realized I didn't have to define myself in one label. One friend said, You are kinda like a Jack of All Trades.

Only I'm not a Jack. I'm a Jane.

You should see my man's résumé. We'll save it for another day, but I'll tell you this... it includes Papa John's delivery guy, theme park ride tester and tutu-wearing-roller-skating-hot-pink-gorilla mascot. I promise I'm not making this up. Most days I think he missed his calling as a funnyman.

A Jane of All Trades and a Comedian.

Yep, that's us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrate we will

Justin is off work for the next three days.
I think we shall celebrate.
Because we can.
Because we should.
Because we have a swell time together.
Because we love this city.
Because we love each other.
Because life is short.

Celebrate something today.
Paint your nails.
Buy a frivolous magazine and peruse it at your leisure.
Wear red lipstick.
Look at yourself in the mirror until you find something you love.
Take a walk.
Enjoy a nap.
Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers just for you.
Call a far away friend.
Smile at a stranger.

Celebrate this day.
Because you can and you should.

Celebrate we will, for life is short, but sweet for certain.
D. Matthews

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Tale of the Yellow Pants

J's favorite picture of us, 2006

We knew each other for four years of college and didn't begin dating until after we graduated.

He favored another sorority on the hill other than my own and was a shoo-in for all manner of date parties and formals. He was the date of choice to a few of our parties, but mostly you would find him the Main Fixture at The House Next Door. To say he was well-known on campus would be a gross understatement.

We actually spent my freshman homecoming together. He was the date of a friend of mine and I was dating a friend of his. After an evening of unforeseen events to the rest of our group, the four of us found ourselves eating at the fine dining establishment known as Waffle House. It was memorable to say the least. Who knew I was sitting across the table from the man I would fall madly in love with, the man I would marry... while presently on the arm of another? Pretty wild.

One particular semester we seemed to have a similar schedule or at least one that found us appearing at the gym to exercise at the same time everyday. We both showed a bias toward the elliptical over the treadmill and occasionally we'd find ourselves side by side chatting casually as friends do.

Not too long after we were married we were having a conversation about what an interesting story we had. How we'd known each other through college and how our relationship had grown since that night long ago at Waffle House.

Then he made a small confession. He looked at me so sweetly and in an incredibly sexy voice said, "I always loved those yellow pants you'd workout in..."

I tilted my head ever so slightly and gazed into his beautiful greenish brown eyes and with so much schoolgirl charm said, "Really? That's so sweet... I never owned yellow workout pants."

It must've been a girl from across the hill.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The two sides of honesty

If you are new, welcome!
Here's what you need to know in order to get the gist of this post...
My name is Molly and I am married to Justin.
We are originally from Alabama, but we have moved around for J's job for over a year now.
To date, we have lived in San Francisco, Dallas, and currently, Manhattan.
We love good music, cold weather and most any combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
That last bit really isn't relevant to this story, per se, but oh well.
You readers who already knew those facts, thanks for coming back, friends!

Whether you are my mom, my mother-in-law, a blog friend, mom of my college bff, avid reader non-commenter, avid reader frequent commenter, or my uncle's mother's next door neighbor's babysitter...
I am so happy you are here. Reading these words. My words.
The words that oft times come freely and generously with reckless abandon.
And the ones that take their precious time ruminating until they are good and ready to be brought forth.

The emotions behind this post rendered a heavy feeling within me. It has taken a while for me to gird myself with the fortitude necessary to write this post, but I am ready now.

Let's go.

Travelling this past year has been amazing. We have learned so much about different parts of our country and have fallen in love with several of them. We now know that one can survive without a washer and dryer within arm's reach and that walking to the grocery store means carrying your groceries home which ultimately means Buy What You Can Carry. It will only take one trip of not adhering to this very simple rule and you will never forget again.

We learned that Tucker's in Alameda has the best ice cream and hot fudge, hands down.
And that Sausalito is dreamy and much like a mini Europe.

We learned that everything really is bigger in Texas, even the ferris wheel.

We learned that Manhattan has the ability to steal your heart and the contents of your bank account within a day of your arrival.
I don't know that it could be any closer to my heart if I had it tattooed directly above it (which I didn't, Mom and Dad).

Travelling has been amazing for our marriage. We have learned so much about who we are as a couple and who we are as individuals. We are able to own our likes and dislikes and passions and preferences with more strength and ardor. We have seen new talents and abilities in one another as a direct result of not being in our comfort zone.

Everything you just read is true. And now I am about to tell you a different part of the story.

Travelling is hard.
I miss my family and friends back home fiercely.

I wonder if I am missing precious moments with my grandmothers.
I think, What if I don't get to celebrate another Christmas or birthday with them?
The thought quickens my heart so badly I think I'll bust.

I wonder about babies.
Would we have made the choice to have them by now had we not been travelling?
I want my parents & J's mom to be grandparents.
I want to see my parents nearly forget about me for being so wrapped up in our baby.
But I don't know that I am ready to give birth in the back of a taxi.

One of my best friends suffered a miscarriage last month.
She's in Alabama and I am in New York.
I couldn't put my arms around her and hug her. I wanted to go sit on her porch with her and tell her we could talk about everything or nothing at all because that's what best friends do.

The mother of another dear friend has had a tumultuous sickness within the past month and faced emergent surgery. My sweet parents went to the hospital on my behalf which I am so greatful for, but I couldn't be there.

One of our dearest couple friends are buying their first home. 

Others just welcomed their first baby, a girl, two weeks ago.

Babies are becoming toddlers and taking their first steps while I wonder, Will they know how much I loved on them and rocked them when they were brand new in this world? 

So how do I deal with the hard part?  I have learned that you do not have to be physically present to be present in someone's life. If I am thinking about a particular family member or friend, I try to call them as soon as possible even if just to say, I miss you and I wanted you to know how important you are to me.

And the one that is present with me? I hug him a little tighter and kiss him a little longer and make sure to thank him for taking me on this wild and grand adventure. I wouldn't have had this opportunity without him. The hard times are made easier because we're in this together. And I love who we have become along this journey.

I have found something beautiful even in the difficult times... thankfulness that I have people in my life that I love so fiercely.

Two sides of the same story.

Admitting that it's not always easy is a burden lifted from my heart.

So now you know.

And yes, we gladly accept gifts in the form of good music and chocolate peanut butter combinations.

Or just come visit us if you'd like.

We'll supply the tunes and the chocolate.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dear June, What Happened to May?

Dear June,
I like you and all... in fact, I think we're going to have a great time together.
I just don't know what happened to our friend May.
She was filled with many a good time even if she passed by all too quickly.

we celebrated Mother's Day
Dad, Granny, yours and Aunt E

and tried to capture as many sweet memories as possible on camera
Dad, Mama, Nana and yours truly

two of my fav ladies
my Dad's sister and my Mama

we laughed, talked, ate, rested, repeat

perfect hydrandeas from the backyard and fresh fruit salad also known as heaven

pear salad, a traditional Southern dish

we made time for dinner at our fav Tuscaloosa hole-in-the-wall

the cooks are amazing and friendly and fiesty all at once

we welcomed the newest addition to the family, Dad's tractor
affectionately known as Little Red

And lastly, we enjoyed many a late, breezy afternoon with Miss Grace

So, June, you've got some big shoes to fill.
However, I'm quite confident in you.
Here's a tip or two... keep up the pleasant weather and dinners in the great outdoors.
Love ya, mean it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A random roll

Today's offerings consist of various and sundry pictures I just uploaded from my phone.
I hope you enjoy the randomness that is my camera roll.

sailing pond + city reflections in Central Park

a new-to-me deli sammy locale that had me at Hello, Welcome to Pick-a-Bagel

excellent spot in the park to pause for liquid refreshment + a hearty dose of people-watching

iconic Bethesda Fountain + Terrace

saying goodnight to the park

fresh watermelon margarita hour with my sweet pal Amber

Mr. Fallon does a little impromptu performance for us at the book signing. Super talented, that guy.

a little comedy hour with Horatio Sanz + the angel Gabriel, of course

In other words, You may or may not die in the roadway. Hope you are okay with that.

That's all for now, friends.
Any random thoughts you'd like to share?