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.




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.


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.


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.


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.


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?).



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!


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?


So I have short hair now…

…and I love it! I saw this picture on Pinterest and thought to myself, “I WANT SHORTER HAIR!”

This is crazy because I have been wanting to grow my hair out FOREVER. When I was 21 I cut my hair short like this:


And then later in the year I cut it REALLY short like this:


And then I decided to grow it out. Here is some of that process, except it took forever because I kept chopping it back to a pixie over and over.


My hair goal was to grow it really really really long and then get heavy bangs. Basically I wanted to have Zooey Deschanel’s hair. Eventually I got back to this point:


It looks lovely and thick in that picture (at least I think it does) but notice that ALL of my hair is on one side of my shoulder. If it was like that on both sides, I’d be in heaven. But alas, my hair is fine and thin, and therefore I will never actually have Zooey Deschanel hair. I did start to learn however that I have wavy hair, and that if I don’t blow dry it or straighten it, it actually looks pretty good. So I’m rolling with that lately.

Anyway, about a week ago I saw that first picture and decided it was time to cut it off. I asked my stylist if that length would work for me with my hair type and face shape and if it would look good wavy, and she said yes! Ready for the results?


It’s just above my shoulders and I love it so far! And I’m too excited to write a good conclusion to this post so THE END!

Happy Birthday to Me! And some freebies!

Today is my birthday and I am now 27! I’ve been calling myself 27 for a while now, to get used to it. So it doesn’t really feel that special. Also I’m not taking the day off work, so I’m just generally not feeling super celebratory. However, some of my closest friends from church took me to the zoo on Saturday to celebrate, which was super fun! I found out that as a University of Houston student, I get FREE admission into the zoo. WHAT? Awesome.


And speaking of free, there are lots of ways to get things for free on your birthday! So here’s a little list of some I know of:

  1. Starbucks offers a free drink – ANY drink, ANY size – to those with a registered Starbucks card. Sadly you have to have registered your card a month before your birthday, and I did not. Oh well, there’s always next year!
  2. Denny’s will give you a free Grand Slam breakfast just for signing up for their mailing list. Actually you might not even need to sign up.
  3. Or maybe you’re more of an IHOP kid? Create an account with them and make sure to check the “pancake revolution” box. You’ll get a free meal just for signing up, and then another free one for your birthday. It’s a free Rootie Tootie Fresh and Fruity or a menu item of equal or lesser value.
  4. Baskin-Robbins offers a free scoop of ice cream on your birthday when you sign up for their birthday club! You also get a BOGO offer when you sign up.
  5. Sign up for La Madeleine’s e-mail list and you get a free soup or salad just for signing up, and a free pastry coupon on your birthday.
  6. Menchie’s frozen yogurt will give you credit for $5 off a frozen yogurt with your registered Smileage card.
  7. And if you happen to live in Houston, Texas Carwash will give you a coupon for a free car wash if you sign up for their mailing list!

Do you know of any offers I’ve missed???


I sat here for about five minutes trying to come up with a more interesting title for this post, but at least it’s descriptive. On Friday I got a haircut. In 2007 I cut my hair into a pixie cut, and at some point while I was teaching (maybe in 2009?) I decided to grow it out really really long. I wanted Zooey Deschanel/Jenny Lewis hair. Super long, wavy, and heavy bangs. Except oops I have thin hair and it doesn’t look like that when it’s super long. Oh well. After many months of hearing people say “you’re hair is so LONG” but never “you’re hair looks so great” I decided to do what’s best for my hair and cut off the sraggly ends. Thanks to my friend Angela at her new Lakota Room Salon in the Heights!