Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An Eye on the Time

To best celebrate any Jewish holiday, lots of feasting and friends are required. That's why last night, we had approximately 8 courses of food for 8 people. I love cooking for groups, and I never find it to be stressful--on the contrary, it's something I wish I could do more often. But coordinating that much food in a small oven with no timer was the feat of the evening. Thus, I bring you my egg timer roundup, in case your kitchen timing needs are as severe as mine!

First up, this adorable Lego timer throws me back to childhood. Remember the little men and women whose heads came off of their bodies? I'd always make them shop in the malls I made for them, but now they can keep track of my kugel in the oven!

If you're as crunched for space as I am, this magnetic timer from Crate and Barrel really comes in handy!

Aaaaand, to fulfill a whole other set of needs, this guy lets you set two separate timers at once, which makes it so much easier to keep track of multiple items at once. He's cute, too, decked out in retro colors that match the electric mixer of my dreams!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Mid-Year New Year!

Since tonight is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, I'll be taking it easy here at eatmywords. And by taking it easy, I mean... I'll be cooking up a storm and getting high off the smell of matzo ball soup. There's no feeling like a busy kichen for the holidays!

To all my wonderful readers, I hope this year brings you nothing but happiness and health!

Shana Tova U'Metuka--Have a Happy and Sweet New Year!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Produce and Antiques at 67th

Those in the city looking for something to do this weekend--or any weekend!--need not stray too far from home. My home, that is!

The same market that features heirloom tomatoes and organic baby salad cucumbers, it turns out, has a weekly antiques market that features truly awesome stuff.

From antique lockets to vintage Tiffany serveware, you can find all sorts of one-of-a-kind steals at this little gem of a Saturday excursion.

And best of all, it takes over the same little public school every Saturday of the year--rain or shine, it's the go-to spot for all your seasonal produce and antique knickknack needs!

The 67th St. Market, on E 67th between 1st and York.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sliding Into Home Plate

Yes, yes... you're all due an explanation.

Well, perhaps I should tell you that last night I was offered a full-time job. That's right, a full-time job! With a salary, and benefits, and the whole nine yards!

Perhaps I should also tell you that yesterday I discovered that there would be an opening at the travel magazine where I'm now working... in editorial... and with a fantastic title!

But alas, these two scenarios intersect only by pure coincidence. The job I was offered, in fact, isn't even in magazines. It's the only thing outside of magazines that I've ever considered--PR for upscale restaurants at a boutique NYC firm. The salary? Average. The perks? Enormous.

I almost don't even know how it happened. An informational interview in June led to a job offer in September, and the time in between seems to have all but disappeared. Was this really meant to be? I feel like, by some twist of fate that I can't yet understand, I've slid into home plate with not a single second to spare.

I held off on sharing the news until all my decisions were final and out in the open. Today I told my mentor at the travel magazine that I'd "most likely" be taking the job. I'd already said yes, but I wanted to soften the blow.

It also happens to be that today was the first day I've ever felt like an intern. When I'd made it through all my important work and nobody had projects for me to do, I offered my services to whoever would take them. "Want to clean the office? There are so many things in the wrong place," I was asked. Let's just say I quickly cleaned off one surface and occupied myself with a task more worthy of my Ivy League degree--freelance editing.

And the editorial job that's opening in December? It seems heavy in administrative work and low on the editing duties, but with a 3 month trial in store with PR, the timing could work out if things are meant to be.

In my new role, I'll be an assistant account executive--a fancy title that lets me eat out for free as a job requirement. Restaurant openings, TV press appearances, and food tastings are all part of the description. Could a food writer find a more perfect mecca?

Alas, I'll be able to afford that killer meal--nay, it will be on the house! And magazines? They're still in my heart. And I'm sure I'll make my way there soon. But for now, I'll gladly pass on my intern duties and take the freelance bylines to myself. Only time will tell where this curvy old road will go next.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DIY Madness--Faux Headboard!

It's been a somewhat turbulent week here at eatmywords. The job hunt has thrown me some very strange curve balls and I haven't quite figured out how to field them yet. Not to be overly cryptic about it, but I'll explain once things begin to settle down once again, which is bound to happen by the end of the week.

With all this madness in the air, I'm so happy to have a super-comfy bed to come home to. There's nothing like throwing yourself in bed at the end of the day and letting all the other issues just melt away. But until this weekend, there was something missing. Figured it out yet? Right! The headboard!

And, for a quick comparison to the inspiration image:

Not bad, huh?

How to Make A Faux Headboard In Six Simple Steps

1. Select a shape for your headboard and lightly freehand the shape onto the wall, using a level and tape measure to ensure that your lines are straight and symmetric. If you want trim inside the headboard, draw this as well.

2. Choose the prettier half of your freehand drawing, and trace it onto some tracing paper. Flip over the paper and trace the flipped image. This will create two halves to your headboard that are completely symmetrical. Again, if you want a second line of trim, this should appear here as well.

3. Use the fully traced drawing to cut out a stencil for your headboard. Tape it in place on the wall by taping along the top side of the shape. Make sure that you tape liberally, as you'll now use an exacto knife or razor blade to gently cut away the stencil. This will leave you with a taped-off outline of your headboard. Make sure the stencil stays intact, as you'll still need it later.

4. Paint inside your taped off area and allow the paint to dry. Peel off the tape, and the shape of your headboard will be cleanly defined on your wall!

5. Now for the trim. Trace your stencil onto nice quality posterboard or wrapping paper and cut out a 1-inch strip in that shape, basically freehanding the bottom line. If you're using wrapping paper, you'll want to mount it onto posterboard or something with some weight to it before applying it to the wall.

6. Stick the trim onto the wall with lots of sticky tack. You're done!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paper Blooms

I mentioned last week that TWB was coming in for a part 2 of our 4 year anniversary celebration. Why, you ask? Well, part 1 wasn't very festive. What with him being in med school and the date falling on a Tuesday and both of us being broke, we had lots of challenges to overcome. And apparently, they're easier to tackle in the city. And sometimes TWB needs an extra little push to do extra special things. Like this!

Now, for those of you who know him, making a paper rose with heart-shaped petals isn't the kind of thing that comes naturally to TWB. And this is why I love Martha Stewart. Linked here are the project instructions and materials, courtesy of the domestic diva herself. Look at how beautiful they look in a huge bouquet! If it weren't for the fact that I have the most perfect single bloom already, I'd be rushing to make a dozen of my own.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Falling out of Summer

Having grown up in Florida, I've always been really fascinated by the change of seasons. In Miami, you see, there are two seasons: summer, and lesser-summer, also known as inhumanely hot time and pleasantly warm time. Needless to say, the colors don't change on palm tree leaves and the beach doesn't exactly get a sugary coating of snow.

But here in New York, today is the first day of Fall. It's still 72 degrees outside and the weather is nothing less than perfectly beautiful, but the farmer's markets are starting to get squash and maize and the stone fruits are making their final appearances before the local apple harvest goes into full swing.

My life feels like it's been in a perpetual state of transition over the last few months, but now that the weather is changing too, I can't help but feel in harmony with the way things are. And the best part? The air outside is crisper and fresher and more pleasant than ever at this time of year... so if I'm not at my computer editing away, find me here at the riverside, taking in the amazing Fall weather just a block and a half away from home.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Technology Failures... And Sigh.

Because technology hates me, I've been unable to post today. Though I've had the day off, something is amiss with my sneaky computer. In lieu of a normal post, here are a few sneak peaks for what I'll be posting about next week!

Remember that headboard? Well it's nearly done. Expect a full recap with instructions (and pictures!) sometime in the early week. And remember all the talk about the Moroccan lanterns? They're finally installed in my back yard and ready for tonight's housewarming party. Details on all the above are coming your way!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend... I'll be celebrating 4 years with TWB part 2 as he'll be in town, so if I get luckily swept away on some marvelous adventures, you'll be first in line to hear about it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Teatime in the City

It's mid-September in New York, but it doesn't feel like it's yet time for the seasons to be changing. The summer escaped us far too quickly, and (at least in my mind) I'm trying to hold onto every last thread I can salvage. My body, on the other hand, hasn't been so successful. It certainly can't deny the changes at this time of year--that droopy feeling in my eyelids that has nothing to do with tiredness, the persisting sniffles, stubborn headaches, and the every-half-hour sneeze all indicate that change is in the air. And so is allergy season.

It's about this time of year that my hiatus on hot beverages comes to a staggering end. I'm ready for my stash of tea, and I want it now. Stuck in the office without the luxury of my Chinese Dragon Moon Pearl or Moroccan Mint, I'm dreaming about this cute little tea shop in Boston.

Hidden away on the second (or third?) floor of a Newbury Street townhouse, you can see nothing but this cute little logo from the street level.

But go upstairs, and hospitality abounds. Free samples, informational tutorials on tea infusing and packaging, and all the tea smelling your heart desires, all without the pushiness of usual novelty stores. If you're ever in the area, check it out!

Timesless Teas
85 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116

PS. Thanks to Minnie Eat World for unknowingly lending me her beautiful photo!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a crazy day today has been! After coordinating a shoot in Beijing for the greater part of my workday, I made my way downtown to my freelance workplace to receive a new assignment. Finally en route to my home by 7:00PM, I hadn't eaten much other than a small burger as a very early lunch. Ohhh, if only I could come home and make myself a glorious meal like the one I ate last night at my friend's wonderful potluck birthday party...

My contribution, you ask? A favorite recipe that's beyond simple. Goat cheese crostini with orange marmalade. I tried to plan so that I could have leftover ingredients for more, but alas, there's never enough for that :)

No-Cooking-Involved Goat Cheese Crostini with Orange Marmalade

1 pack Italian crostini (Melba crackers are a fine substitute, though they get a bit soggy as the evening goes on)
4 oz. plain goat cheese
1 jar of quality orange marmalade (you can make this yourself if you really want to--it's actually quite simple. Ask me for the recipe if you're interested!)

Spread out your crostini on a tray. Cover each with a generous smearing of goat cheese, and top with an equally generous dollop of marmalade. Serve, and wait for sounds of satisfaction!

And by the way, I stand corrected--the Hirst auction actually started yesterday and made more than I had reported by the end of the day, ringing in at 70m pounds... it just gets crazier!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's a Zoo Out There!

As I take a short break from my newly acquired, photo-related work duties, I'd like to share a little something funny that I stumbled upon. Today, it seems, auction network is holding an event to raise awareness and proceeds for some of the world's coolest (and most threatened) animals. 

What are they auctioning? Unlike Damien Hirst's trademark "animal-in-formaldehyde" pieces, which auctioned last week for 62 million British pounds, Auction Network is focusing on animal-made paintings. Basically, they've let a whole bunch of super-cute animals--red pandas, raccoons, and elephants to name a few--scamper around with buckets of paint to see what would happen. The result is being sold live online starting at 4PM. 

Cute news, plus it's the perfect little tribute to my roommate who just started a job at the zoo today! Congrats, roomie!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Red's Dollar Store

Reading about the aftermath of the "most extraordinary 24 hours on Wall Street" I started to wonder just how bad our economy would get before it started to get better. Fed up with my pessimistic train of thought, I instead turned to a new idea. Even with the economy deep in the sewage system--even with the dollar quickly plummeting in value--I was on a mission to find just how much we can still get for a buck of our quickly deteriorating currency.

Well, I'm happy to report that the results aren't too grim! A single dollar (or less!) will buy you any of the following.
These cute tealight holders are just 99 cents at Ikea. I have some that look a lot like this, and they never fail to cast a pretty glow on my walls.

These little Japanese-styled teacups look adorable on a bamboo place mat, and they match my brown teapot! Ringing in at 90 cents a piece, the price tag is much smaller than this pitiful little photo :)

I was pretty shocked to find a whole set of kitchen utensils for a single buck, but even that's still possible! Will they melt if you leave them too close to the pot? Probably. But for just another buck, you can replace them once again!

Last on my list is this pretty glass vase, surprisingly the cheapest item on my list at a shocking 49 cents! Can you imagine putting a few of these lined up on a window sill and sticking single sunflowers into them? The contrasting colors would surely be beautiful, but the flowers would be tons more expensive than the vases themselves! Oh, the irony.

Well friends, there you go. The economy may be in shambles, but we can still afford some pretty things... thank goodness for that!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hang Your Wine, and Drink It Too!

Aside from the usual job-hunting madness, internship training, and second-round interviews, today has been a particularly crafty day. After assembling my new desk, I began a project that will surely take a few days to reach completion. I've decided to paint a headboard onto my wall, and not just any plain-old headboard. After seeing this designer image on Design*Sponge, I felt totally inspired and up for the challenge.

Assuming it all goes according to plan, the instructions for a DIY designer headboard will appear here sometime next week.

However, the other big project of the day involved wine... isn't that the best kind of project? Always. But before we could drink any, we needed a place to put it. We ordered these wine racks from Target, and a few days later they're successfully on the wall.

And guess what--my new arm "muscles" totally compensated for the lack of a power drill for the anchors! Ahh, the sweet smell of success. Now to go enjoy the taste of it :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Secrets From Within (Part 1?)

The title of a recent Ed2010 post, "Where have all the jobs gone? They've turned into internships," makes a pretty solid claim as to the current state of the magazine industry. Internships are usually a big part of the pre-full-time-employment conquest, and in this career path that oftentimes spills over into post-grad life. But with things the way they are now, some report that their magazine staffs suddenly consist entirely of interns--that is, other than the most senior-level editors. It's entirely exploitative, but it's also rather puzzling. If internships generally require school credit, how do you score the clearly-necessary internship after graduating from said accredited university?

Ah, Red is sneaky in her ways. She's learned a secret that she'll happily divulge to you, dear readers. Credit doesn't have to go to a university... no, no, university students need to take off for midterms and finals, and though they work hard, they're not as reliable as suffering post-grads who are willing to do anything for that full-time offer. That's why major publishing houses will stretch the rules a bit and let you "work for credit" as long as you can show you're enrolled in any kind of class--university or not. Now, I'm wondering, does it have to be academic or can I just use this as an excuse to take cardio kickboxing at the local gym? Somehow, I think a class on Travel Writing might be more in order...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Paper-Lover's Heaven

The first time I walked into the Paper Source store in Boston, I knew I'd found my Mecca. It all started when I stumbled upon their website and decided to make some custom-made stationery for my friend using solid-colored cards and rubber stamps. The set came out really nicely, and I was forever hooked. Good thing the catalogs started coming shortly thereafter.

But alas--the store is an entirely new world of goodness! The catalog may contain 28 pages of goodness a month (I approximate), but the store holds enough pretty things to keep me happy for years and years. If any of you find yourself wandering around the Boston Common area, do yourself a favor and check out this unfairly irresistible treasure trove...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We Can Only Afford the Dreams...

I've always been intrigued by the tradition of anniversary gift-giving. I love how there are categorical designations for each year that a couple has been together. You'd think that this would make decisions easier, but I think there's great fun in creatively stretching the boundaries you've been given. For our one-year anniversary, I played with the idea of paper gifts by creating a date-less calendar that could be re-used from year to year. TWB will probably torture me forever about the fact that miscounted and gave him 363 love notes instead of 365, but I think he can deal with it.

Today, TWB (that's "the wonderful boyfriend") and I are celebrating four years together, and upon consulting my trusty guide, the traditional four-year gift is fruit or flowers. The "modern" four-year gift, on the other hand, is appliances. Think it's too late to tell him I've been dreaming about one of these?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cue the Aladdin Songs, Part Two

A few days ago, I wrote about the beautiful Berber style carpets I picked up while travelling in Morocco. The truth is, the craft culture in Morocco--and particularly in Fes, where most the crafts are made--is the most vibrant I've ever seen, and the products are quite remarkable. If only I'd had the budget and luggage space to bring home an entire house's worth of Moroccan decor, I would have done it in a heartbeat. But alas, the carpets and these dishes were my main purchases, and I love them dearly.

Finally, the two have found their homes in my new (and almost entirely unpacked!) apartment...

But remember those lanterns? Ahh... thrifty Red found some affordable ones online after much of a search, and they're making their way here as we speak.
PS. It's so nice to see comments from new readers and fellow (very much esteemed) bloggers! Thank you for the e-love--it never fails to brighten my day!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Opened Doors in Unexpected Places

Three days after TWC was supposed to come install cable and internet, I still have nothing. Hence the strange absence of yesterday's post. But since tapping internet is a bit more stable today than it was yesterday, I'll break my normal habits and post on a Saturday.

You see, the two interviews I'd mentioned a few days ago both went quite well. The paid job offered me a second interview for next week, and the internship (though unpaid) gave a great vibe. But the surprise twist came with an email from the Big Desireable Company that I've been trying to claw my way back into. An intern needed in the photo department of my favorite travel mag? Really? Sure, I'll interview. After all, I've always been interested in photo...

I arrived to the familiar building and got up to the right floor, plopped myself in the comfortable chairs and waited for my interviewer. "Let's just chat here--we'll be quick and it's a mess in there on Fridays," he told me as he came out, speaking in an Australian accent to die for. Sure, why not? We chatted for a bit and then he changed his mind. "Let's go to the back and I'll introduce you to a few people." As we wound through the corridors and made our way to the photo department, I wasn't sure what the signals indicated.

We pop into someone's office, and Mr. Aussie grabs her attention with, "I wanted to introduce you to Red, she'll be interning with us starting this month." I turn around and look at him, partly in confusion, partly in excitement.

"I will?"

"Sure, why not."

And so it is. Life in the magazine world warrants two things, it seems: well-roundedness and post-grad internships. I thought I'd be able to sidestep the nasty pattern that so many budding editors find themselves in, but alas, here I am, finding a way to get "credit" for an internship with a laughable stipend. But you know what? I'm actually happy about it--I feel like I'm making progress here, and finally am making my way back to that Holy Grail of publishing, the Big Company.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, those are pics from the new magazine... fitting since I'm going to be in photo now! Beautiful, aren't they?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cue the Aladdin Songs...

They might not fly, but they've been my favorite part of unpacking my apartment so far. Finally--finally!--after a long 3-month wait, I've been able to unwrap my Moroccan carpets. They'd been sitting patiently in my suitcase, wrapped up tightly in layers of protective plastic wrap and packing tape, just waiting for a permanent spot to call home. And if this gorgeous apartment isn't it, then I have no clue what could be.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chop Chop

While my move has gone swimmingly, the cable guy has yet to arrive and install internet. I'm tapping today, but tomorrow we'll be back in full swing (I hope).

I've often referenced the terrible state of the economy in this blog, and today will be no exception. I woke up after my first full night of sleep in a long time feeling refreshed and recharged, and for once the phone rang after I'd gotten out of bed instead of before. My temp agency was calling--probably with info on the M/F job or my paycheck, I figured.

As it turns out, the magazine I was working for, too, suffers from this nasty economy.

All the temps have been cut, she says.

That includes me.

It's the name of the game in this time, age, and industry, but it makes it much harder to enjoy my beautiful apartment when my main means for paying the rent has suddenly disappeared. Good thing I'm still freelancing, I guess!

On the calendar now is an interview for an internship (we have yet to find out whether it's paid or unpaid) at a super-elite magazine for members of a super-elite worldwide club coming up at 2 today, and one for a fact-checking job at a medical website tomorrow.

And also tomorrow, a more upbeat post--I promise!