Thursday, November 29, 2012

Casual Thursday

Yes, yes, I know. Fridays are supposed to be casual, not Thursdays. But there's a good reason why I'm casual today. I've been wearing a (very traditional) variation of a skirt and a blazer outfit for the beginning of the week, and wanted to wear pants today, realizing that my good black pair is at the dry cleaners, and the other good pair requires high heels (how the hell do I own only two pairs?). Now my toes were hurting as I'd been wearing heels for three days in a row, and therefore I could not put on heels and wear those longer dress pants either (isn't that a farty word - dress pants?). So this is what I ended up with. Skinny H&M cotton pants, Target boots, made-to-measure tailor made silk top, and Ann Taylor cardigan. The outfit could be a little less casual if I had put on different boots..but after all that pant confusion, it was too much for my early morning brain to figure out. And anyway, my daughter assured me the outfit was not too casual. So if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for the financial industry, duh!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gotta Be In It To Win It

New York is in the grips of a HALF A BILLION dollar lottery jackpot. Yes, the lucky winner will get $500,000,000.00, minus of course the half that will go to Uncle Sam. So of course I went and played for ten bucks, even though I rarely lotto. And here's what I'll do if I win:

1. Charter a private jet and get somewhere warm and luxurious and hide out with the family until we had a life plan
2. Hire a personal trainer and a nutritionist to whip me into such shape that I can live forever enjoying my riches
3. Get a live-in massage therapist
4. Travel around the world for one year in first class, with an entourage of nannies, tutors, above-mentioned trainer, nutritionist & massage therapist; in the end of the year make a decision where to settle down.
5. Give ridiculous amounts of money to charities benefiting women and mentally ill in third world countries, building schools in Afganistan, Doctors without Borders, UNICEF, and many many others.

What would you do if you won?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Weekend in Photos

It was a nice, low key, long weekend spent with family. Lots of relaxation, one night I actually slept ten hours. And lots of christmas shopping: my two favorite malls - Americana at Manhasset, and Roosevelt Field mall; and a quick jaunt at Fifth Avenue, NYC, where we visited the American Girl doll store, which is always amazing, no matter how many times you go. The weekend also included some leftover eating (yummy paninis, and I made a delicious quiche out of leftover turkey and some veggies & cheese). Despite the deliciousness, after four days of leftovers, the word turkey is beginning to sound like more of a four letter word, so I guess we'll have to live turkey free for a while. We also put in some outdoor activity, and Christmas decoration. On top I squeezed in a gym visit, a nanny interview and some laundry... So maybe it wasn't so low key after all...

Friday, November 23, 2012


Our Thanksgiving was perfect. It was casual, warm, and still festive enough to feel like a special day. The food came out delicious, and the turkey was probably the best ever this year, thanks to a new brining recipe found from Pioneer Woman's archives. And with all the leftovers, I don't have to cook for at least a week (which is a GOOD thing after yesterday's cooking marathon).I will go and get a panini grill today (and brave the Black Friday crowds, yikes!) so that hubby can make some delish turkey panini for us. He's been talking about the turkey paninis for weeks and I'm not planning to let him off the hook now..

This was my hostess outfit yesterday: Kirna Zabete for Target tunic dress, BR skinnies, Tiffany necklace, bare feet. Funny thing about that Kirna Zabete dress; I had seen their stuff online (I always check out the Target collabs), but it had absolutely no appeal, it looked drab and boring with weird colors and prints. But then I went to Target anyway for some toy shopping, and the Kirna Zabete rack was right there in the front, 30% off, no less. So I browsed, and was amazed how much better the stuff looked in real life. I ended up loading on a ton of the Kirna stuff, and have been super happy I did..

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Preparations

The turkey (22lbs!! - never let the man go do the turkey shopping or you end up with a monster turkey like this) is being brined; the cleaning lady has done an excellent job; recipes have been browsed (thanks Pioneer Woman); the good plates have been counted (thank goodness I found the one nice set that has 12 plates, i.e. enough for everyone to have a matching place setting (I was already stressing over this as eating from mismatched plates on Thanksgiving would be a terrible no-no in my house, and even though I said that this should not matter, I cannot make myself not care)); the humongous turkey roasting pan has been brought out from the attic;  the pumpkin pie and the sweetbreads have been baked; the guests have been invited; and the spirit is very ready for this wonderful Holiday after all that we have been through of late.

Did I mention that Thanksgiving is my favorite?

It is the favorite of many other people too. Probably one of the most liked Holidays of the year. No religious pressures, no gifts required, and no crazy decorations needed...just get together with family and friends, and eat and drink and think about all the good things that you can be thankful of.

A business acquaintance sent me these Thanksgiving facts, which I can now share with you:

ThanksgivingFacts throughout History

·  Benjamin Franklin wanted theturkey to be the national bird of the United States.

·  Sarah Josepha Hale, an Americanmagazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a nationalholiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme "Mary Had aLittle Lamb"

·  Abraham Lincoln issued a'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on third October 1863 and officially set aside thelast Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.

·  The annual Macy's ThanksgivingDay Parade tradition began in the 1920's.

·  In 1939, President Rooseveltproclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.

·  Congress to passed a law onDecember 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unifiedThanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

·  Since 1947, the National TurkeyFederation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to thePresident. The President does not eat the live turkey. He "pardons"it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.

FunFacts about Thanksgiving Today

·  In the US, about 280 millionturkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.

·  Each year, the average Americaneats somewhere between 16 - 18 pounds of turkey.

·  Californians are the largestconsumers of turkey in the United States.

·  Thanksgiving Day is celebratedon the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.

·  Although, Thanksgiving iswidely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the secondMonday in October in Canada.

·  Black Friday is the Fridayafter Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of thetraditional Christmas shopping season.

FunTurkey Facts

·  The average weight of a turkeypurchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.

·  The heaviest turkey ever raisedwas 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.

·  A 15 pound turkey usually hasabout 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

·  The five most popular ways toserve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in stew, chili or soup, casseroles andas a burger.

·  Turkey has more protein thanchicken or beef.

·  Turkeys will have 3,500feathers at maturity.

·  Male turkeys gobble. Hens donot. They make a clucking noise.

·  Commercially raised turkeyscannot fly.

·  Turkeys have heart attacks. TheUnited States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier.Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.

·  A large group of turkeys iscalled a flock.

·  Turkeys have poor night vision.

·  It takes 75-80 pounds of feedto raise a 30 pound tom turkey.

·  A 16-week-old turkey is calleda fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Critical to Happiness

The time around Thanksgiving is perfect for taking stock of the past year to think about those things in life that we are most thankful for. Despite our constant focus on possessions and trying to get the latest and greatest, most likely they are not the things that first come to mind when we count our blessings. Instead we are most thankful for having the people we love around us, family and friends, and our relationships with them. Health is also high on the list. The things that are on the top of the list are the things that are critical to your happiness. Those are the things we need to focus most of our time on, to ensure that we have something to be thankful in the future too.

On the top of my list are three little girls who are very critical to my happiness. And I am critical to their happiness.. So as we prepare for Thanksgiving, I am most happy about being able to spend it together, and it doesn't matter whether the turkey comes out exactly perfect, or whether we have enough of the better plates for each guest, or even whether I remember to pick up my favorite wine. And if I sometimes get a bit busy, and wrapped up, I am thankful that they remind me of their existence, in the middle of a work meeting, with a picture message saying "Aiti, we love U".

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 13

And on the thirteenth day there was light.

I am going to take a break from this blog while focusing on something more important, i.e., my family, for a while.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 10

I've been uncharacteristically patient during this power situation, thinking that I shouldn't complain since we're not the ones who lost it all... but now on day 10, my anger is rising over the obvious incompetence and slow response of Lipa, our electric company. The stress is getting too much, and I'm abandoning ship. I woke up early today and changed previously booked flights for today. I'm outta here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 9

It's the 9th day after Sandy, and we still don't have power.. School opened today and our neighbor had his electricity switched on, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. I've been going to the office this week although the commute is a horror story.. Feels good to be doing normal things , anyway, like sit on a train :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Congrats Mr. President

I've been watching the election results and it's been a nail-biter event. Ohio was just called for Obama, and that means he wins the presidency!

So happy and relieved!

Congratulations to Mr. President, and to the United States, for the right decision!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

In Sandy's Wake

Our neighborhood in the North Shore of Long Island was spared from the worst, but there are a ton of trees down, which caused damage to houses, cars, and downed electric wires.

Day Six No Electricity

Our house is still not livable..thank God for friends with electricity, a spare room and a big heart.

Living without electricity brought out so many different thoughts; appreciation first and foremost for the things we take for granted, phone, cable, lights, wifi, heat and hot water. But also appreciation for those generations before us who did not have electricity and had to survive. You understand so much better the smaller rooms of the old houses (much easier to heat), and the need to get up at the crack of dawn to get work done during the day light hours; work which was extremely physical and taxing.

The modern day luxuries make people very soft. When there is no struggle for every day survival, people have too much time in their hands for unhealthy things, addictions and obsessions. You lose sight of what's really important in life.

It's sad we have to be reminded of our blessings and values in such a forceful way. I will try to keep this lesson in my heart forever.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

In the Aftermath of Sandy

I and my family and friends survived the devastating storm with no damage to persons or property, but our lives are still affected and far from normal. We still don't have power at our house. That also means no heat and no hot water.. We toughed it out for many days until the house got too cold when we woke up this morning.

I will never take any small everyday things, such as being able to make a cup of tea, or to take a hot shower, for granted. Despite our inconvenience I feel blessed, especially after realizing the extent to which some neighborhoods have been destroyed. We were the lucky ones. And the kindness of our friends has been beyond amazing. I am so thankful for all the people who have reached out, and especially to the wonderful friend who opened her family's home to us and is letting us stay warm and comfortable.

My prayers and thoughts are with those who lost their homes. I pray that you may find safety, shelter and comfort, both emotional and physical, and be able to rebuild and get through to better times.