I went to New York City!

I think I alluded this was happening in my post about my disappointing Stitch Fix. The good news is my own clothes were totally good enough for a trip. Why do I doubt my ability to pick out clothes I love and dress myself? Anyway, it had been at least six years since I’d been in New York, and we used to go a lot, so it felt like a pretty big deal to go back. My uncle and his family in New Jersey bought an apartment in Manhattan so I saved my pennies for a flight and took off to visit!

Since I’ve already seen the super touristy things, I tried to do things I hadn’t done before, while of course visiting some old favorites. If I share all the details I’ll get wordy too fast, so here are pictures!

Central Park – In all my family’s past trips to New York, we’d only cut through the park as a shortcut, and briefly visited Strawberry Fields. I was on my own on Friday morning so I used that time to explore the park. At one point I saw a sign pointing me towards a castle, and I ended up at Belvedere Castle, seen in the last picture.

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Pippin on Broadway – I first saw Pippin ten years ago at a local high school and it became one of my favorite musicals, despite having never seen it performed by professionals. Well, I can’t say that anymore! This is probably tied with seeing Cabaret at Studio 54 back in 2004 as my favorite musical theater experience.

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The High Line – This is new since my last trip to New York! Basically this was an abandoned, elevated rail line that has been converted into a park. It wasn’t too crowded, there were a few vendors selling treats (including my strawberry ginger popsicle from People’s Pops), lots of flowers, and unique views of the city.

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American Museum of Natural History – This is one of my old favorite places in New York. As a kid I loved this museum, and in high school Holden Caulfield’s description of it made me love it even more. These are my three favorite things in the museum: the Great Canoe (which has been elevated and the Native Americans removed since my last visit), the Giant Sequoia (which has historical events from its 1400 years of life written on it), and the 94-foot long blue whale in the Hall of Ocean Life.

ny11ny12ny13The Metropolitan Museum of Art – This place is huge and has so much famous art. My cousin Adam took an art history class in college and actually learned so much (this surprises me because I learned exactly nothing in my college art history class). This is just a selfie of me, my cousin, and Van Gogh.

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Washington Square Park – I am 99% sure that’s where I was. Monday was my last day in New York and again, I was on my own. I took the subway down to the West Village and then meandered over to Greenwich Village. What I think is so great about New York and that you can just wander around and suddenly find yourself in someplace beautiful and historically significant. Anyway, I sat on a bench and talked to my mom on the phone, and this was my view.

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Brooklyn Bridge – One of my friends probably told me a dozen times that I should walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Genius me decided to walk from Greenwich Village even though I had no idea where I was going, rather than take a cab or the subway. I eventually made it and it was pretty great! I wish the weather had been better. There’s a really cool old subway entrance nearby, and I gasped audibly when I saw the Statue of Liberty from the bridge (I kind of forgot she lived there?).

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Going Home – I took a shuttle to LaGuardia, where it started storming. My flight was delayed a bit, and then they said it was oversold and offered $300 in travel vouchers to three people willing to give up their seats. So I did it. I didn’t have any reason to get back to Houston immediately, I love traveling but can’t really afford it, and I didn’t love the idea of flying through the storm. So I did it! They put me in a hotel near the airport for free and booked me on a flight the next day. Of course, I’d checked my bag and it was too late to get it back, so I didn’t look too great the next day!

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Overall it was a lovely trip, and now I have a way to go back sooner than expected! What do you love to do in New York?

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Stitch Fix #3

Back in April I scheduled my third Stitch Fix and requested dresses and a blazer for work. Then I got laid off (don’t worry, I have a new job!) and decided to cancel it. Then I got $50 in referral credit and thought I’d schedule a fix for some cool clothes for my upcoming trip to New York City. I requested casual tops and dresses with a Gossip Girl vibe, and even wrote customer service to make sure that even though my profile was geared towards work clothes, I exclusively wanted casual clothes for my trip in this box.

When my box shipped I cheated and looked at what I was getting (there aren’t pictures but a quick Google search helps with that!). Trousers, a knee-length skirt, a tight dress, a shirt that looks like something my mom would wear, and a tank top I couldn’t find a picture of. I was worried.

Sure enough when my box arrived, the note from my stylist was all about clothes for the office, plus the dress for going out and the tank top for weekends. I wrote to customer service again and my stylist replied, apologizing but also not offering to fix the problem, only offering me tips on how this fix could work in New York. She did say that if I ended up not keeping any of it, she could work something out. I wrote back to say it wasn’t looking good and got $25 more credit. Not sure if that’s from her or another referral since I haven’t gotten a reply yet (but it’s a holiday so I wasn’t expecting one).

Anyway, I had my mom take pictures for this post but my camera was set up manual focus and she didn’t notice. So they’re blurry. And I think the fact that I’m not reshooting goes to show how little I care for this fix. :(

First Impressions: This is definitely not what I wanted for New York. But maybe something will work for me. The colors are gorgeous, definitely my colors.

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1. Darcy Weave Jersey T-Shirt Dress by Pomelo – $68

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This dress is pretty great actually! It fits well and is flattering. When I saw it online I was very skeptical of the weave effect but once it’s on, it doesn’t look weird. It is very lightweight and comfortable and hides imperfections. Ultimately I decided not to keep it because it just fits closer to my body than what I normally wear and I thought that if I kept it, I would end up not wearing it all that much. I also felt like the weaves sometimes sat funny and I had to readjust. See?

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2. Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser by Margaret M – $98

IMG_0266I have never been into the colored pants trend but consider me a convert! Anyway, I was also skeptical about these pants because a) how could they possibly fit me and b) high waisted??? But really, they are great. They are pull-on and have a tummy panel and feel like yoga pants. They’re expensive, but I will pay for comfortable work clothes. I did a Pinterest search for outfit ideas and was so inspired. Ultimately I am sending these back as well. They kind of make my butt look big! I’m really hoping I can find some emerald skinny jeans though because I send these back with a heavy heart.

3. Jessika Linen Solid Swing Skirt – $68

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First of all, you already sent me a much cuter skirt this color. Second, I could make sew this myself, it is not unique or interesting at all. Third, I felt like a school marm in this. Fourth, it is too big. Sent it back.

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4. Corinne Striped Knit Tank by Olive & Oak – $44

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This is cute and totally my style, so much so that I already have a shirt almost just like it. The only difference is the white ribbon going down the front goes down the sides. Also this shirt is too big.

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Oh I took a mirror selfie in this one, in case you want to see it non-blurry.

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5. Juliano Chevron Print Twist Shoulder Cowl Neck Top – $88

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Oh my gosh, just no. This looks like my mom’s shirt. If my mom did Stitch Fix and they sent this to her, I would totally get it. But no. Just no. The colors are awesome but other than that I have nothing good to say. The print is way too much, it’s too big on the top, the cowl neck/twist shoulder is just too much. The fabric is soft and feels nice but it’s also kind of heavy. Just NO.

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Maybe you like it and want a non-blurry version?

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Overall: I didn’t keep any of it. I feel some twinges of regret about the pants, but I’m hoping I can find something at the mall that looks better on me and maybe is a lower price. I’m glad I got them though because I never would have tried on bright green pants otherwise! Currently I have $55 worth of credit so I’m going to do another fix, but I feel like my faith in this company just went way down. If you’re still interested in trying, use my referral link and I can keep trying!

 

I Pet a Giraffe!

Giraffes became my favorite animal in the spring of 2011. I was a high school teacher then, and we took the students on a field trip to the Houston Zoo. It was then I learned that for a mere $5, you can feed the giraffes three pieces of lettuce. I’d never cared for giraffes one way or another until then, but something about being so close to them just won me over and I was in love.

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Since then, I’ve fed the giraffes a LOT. I also started learning more and more about them and I just realized everything they do is weird! Their tongues, the way they fight, the way they sleep, the way they have to drink water… So now when people think of me, they think giraffes.

Anyway, for my 28th birthday my parents got me a behind the scenes tour of the giraffe barn at the zoo! It took a couple of months but I recruited a friend to go with me and we scheduled the tour for June 3 (almost a month ago!). Here’s how it all went down.

We met the tour guide near the front of the zoo just before noon. There were 6 people total on the tour and the guide said that was a good number because we’d get more giraffe time. We met the keepers at the barn and they led us up to the second story platform to meet the giraffes!

giraffe2First we fed them lettuce, and then came the giraffe kisses, which is when you put a piece of sweet potato in your mouth and let the giraffe take it from you. “The closer you get, the less tongue they use,” said the keepers.

giraffe3The giraffes that were bottle raised, like Miles, like to be pet.

giraffe4One of the giraffes definitely got a little tongue in my mouth too, so that was pretty gross (and it was caught on video!).

Basically it was like the $5 feeding you can do most days, except there’s no line behind you to rush you and you can pet them! It was such a relaxed environment and the keepers kept using the word “intimate” when comparing it to the standard feeding. I couldn’t agree more and I really REALLY want to do it again!

Click here to see the options available for tours at the zoo. They cost $75 for non-members and $50 for members. It is so worth it! My uncle wants us to do the lion/tiger tour so look for a post on that someday!

More posts coming soon…

Oh hey. It’s been a while.

Whenever I decide to blog, I immediately have all these plans of all the things I will write about. I will have features, and they will be regular, and I will write so consistently. Basically I start out with the expectation that my blog will read and look like this is my job. But it’s not.

I also get too personal. I want this to be a personal blog, but this is the Internet, so I don’t need to post every detail. Just the things that I think are fun and that I don’t mind the world knowing.

So I’m going to write again but I don’t know how often. Most likely there will be weeks when I post like 5 times and then months when I don’t post at all. And that’s ok.

I’m working on a real post for later today or tomorrow, and I’m also going back through my old posts and deciding which ones to make public again and which ones to delete for good. So sorry in advance if your blog reader makes it seem like I have 20 new posts when really I’m just making some old ones public again.