Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day at the Office Followed by 20 Minute Cookies

Yesterday was my first full day (working from 9:30-6) as a Good Housekeeping intern.  After a subway ride on the R line, I was immediately whisked off to the archives room.  I'm really not exaggerating here; starring at 125 years of women's history was probably one of the most exciting moments of my life.  

Colorful covers dated back from the 1880's, and here it was my job to organize this room.  I know this sound ridiculously cheesy, but I really felt like I was taking a step back in time as I studied each cover.  A 1999 Kelly Ripa binding brought me back to the days of 3rd grade while a 2005 Sarah Jessica Parker number made me question the GH stylist on their hideous selection.  Because abundantly old issued were going in the trash, I was able to pocket a few of my favorites.  

At the end of the semester, I'll be writing a paper on how the images  of women have changed in the last 125 years to receive credit for my internship. And, I can't wait to once again slip on the required white gloves (which must always be worn when handling these priceless pieces) as I sift through evidence to support my arguments.

After my lunch in the Hearst cafe, I sifted through towers of mail. 

 Note to anyone reading this:  If you ever want to renew a subscription to GH, don't send your order form and check to the New York editorial office.  It's supposed to go to Iowa.  There's a business supply envelope in the magazine for a reason. 

After a trip to the freebies table, where I grabbed a cute cookbook called Weeknight Desserts, I bid the building adieu until Tuesday.  As I schlepped my 5 vintage GH magazines back on the R train, all I kept thinking about was how wonderful it will be once I get home.  A quiet night (free of roommates) was just what I needed after a long week in the City. 

WeekNightDessert_Cvr.jpgHere's a delicious and super easy recipe
 from my new sweet treat manual:
Flourless (and Quick) Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the PB, sugar and egg until they're well blended.  Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork dipped in water. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan. 

And there you go; in as little as 20 minutes, you have made about 15 cookies. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Wandering Mind

Have you ever had one of those days where the one person you keep trying to forget is running on a treadmill through your mind.  Just when you start to settle back into your normal routine, something happens and you think of them.  Even the must mundane aspects of the day, like walking through slippery slush or bitting into a Poptart, starts you day dreaming.  For a split second, you think "what if?" Then a honking taxi brings  you back into reality. You're forced to realize it's never going to happen.  They aren't thinking  about you, so you should stop thinking about them.

I'm sure by now you've realized I'm speaking from the heart here.  Right now I'm suffering from a school girl crush gone wonderfully wrong.  Thanks to 15.3 inches of freshly fallen snow, classes and work were cancelled. So my mind had the entire day to wander.  I kept replaying shared conversations, searching for something I'd missed in the moment.  Nothing new was discovered.

But the worst part is, I don't really know if I want to forget, if I really want to stop thinking about the past.  For once my mind no longer strays, I'll be forced to close another chapter of my life.  And, I'm not quite ready for that yet.  It's all so complicated.  I just wish the real world would abide by the rules of journalism...Keep It Simple Stupid.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Working For a Magazine...It's Just Like the Devil Wears Prada (Well Sorta)

300 West 57th Street...The Hearst Building...Probably the Most Intimidating Place Ever.

NYU is an expensive school; I'm not stating any groundbreaking find here. However, NYU has one of the top journalism schools in the country.  It's the whole reason why I'm willing to bury myself in debt, IOUs that even my great-grandchildren will be paying off.

 And yes, I'm completely aware this sounds super dorky, but the only publication I've ever really dreamed of working for is Good Housekeeping.  As a child, the monthly magazine was a constant staple on my mom's coffee table. I'm sure I was the only 8 year old clipping cheesecake recipes, oohing over Heloise's advice column, and tearing up after each Blessings story.

GoodHousekeepingJuly1967.JPG.jpgIn last semester's Foundations of Journalism class, our adjunct professor asked each student what their dream job would be. Of course, I said writing for Good Housekeeping. Even though it's only a quick subway ride on the R train,  I always thought the 28th floor of the Hearst building would be nothing more than a far off fantasy for this Georgia girl.  So, you can imagine my surprise when I received an email last December announcing the periodicals need for an editorial intern.  The only thing standing between me and my dream job was a cover letter, 3 clippings, and a revised resume. So I  clicked send and that was that.

Fast forward one week, and I'd be changing my Facebook Employee information to a Good Housekeeping Editorial Intern.  I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. However, my nerves got the best of me.  I kept imagining my first day, and each day dream sequence ended in dread.  So when Tuesday, January 25th rolled around and my start date was officially upon me, I didn't really know what to expect.  I'd seen The Devil Wears Prada and Confessions of a Shopaholic.  I was just hoping my 1st day would be drama free.  

I'm here to say, it was absolutely terrific.  Rosemary Ellis, the editor-in-chief, said hello to me. I got to explore the test kitchen, look at old editions, fact-check, and drink free coffee. I even have my own desk and computer.  Plus, I get to wear ridiculously tall shoes and cute cardigan sweaters every day without feeling stupid. I'm even getting class credit.   Really, can life get any better than this?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weepy Return to NYC

Yesterday was a very weepy day. I cried drinking coffee. I cried when my mom went to the bathroom. I cried because I was missing the Space Ghost concert. I cried unpacking my suitcase. I cried eating a bagel. And, I cried watching Fantasia. Basically, my tear ducts were on massive overload.

When I woke up yesterday morning, it hit me for the first time that I was leaving Macon, Georgia and wouldn't be returning for another 4 months.  I'll be missing my brother's Valentine's dance, my sister's prom, my 20th birthday family party, and countless other mini-milestones.  I just broke down and couldn't regain composure.

But this morning when I woke up in my extra long twin sized bed and looked down 23rd street, my melancholy mood seemed to vanish. I had to put my big girl panties, fix my own breakfast, and make my own decisions for the first time in 4 weeks. As I was walking to City Grace this morning, listening to my ipod on shuffle, I realized I wasn't so much mourning Macon but all that Macon stands for...comfort, childhood, parental pampering.  But, I'm almost 20 years old (only 10 more days-heck yes).  And, it's time to grow up.

For me, the Spring 2011 semester starts at 9:30 tomorrow morning. So, I had to visit the NYU bookstore this afternoon. After shelling out $305 for only 6 books, spending another $40 at K-Mart, followed by an additional $57 at Trader Joe's; my no-longer plushy bank account certainly resembles a college kid's.  Breakfast was a cup of coffee; lunch was a bagel from last night. Yep,  one thing's for certain...I'm back in the City.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Buying 80 cups of Coffee

After the month long winter break, it's finally time to hit the books and begin another semester at NYU. Even though September (or August if you're from the South) has come and gone, January is another "back to school" experience where pantry restocking becomes a necessity.

 So, today (during my last 24 hours in Georgia) my step dad and I made a trip to Sams Club. Similar to one of those mega warehouse clubs like Costco, it's one of the few places where you can find a gallon of mustard and a 200-count pack of hotdogs all on the same aisle.

I'm sure my cabinets are empty. During the two weeks leading up to finals, my diet solely consisted of continuous cups of coffee and mountains of M&M morsels. I know a trip to Trader Joe's will be needed , but I couldn't help myself from buying a few favorites. All for under $75, I was able to buy

The Shopping Trip of Champions

  • 25 pack Special-K strawberry bars: the perfect snack for a quick subway ride to work. 
  • 40 oz. of Jif Extra Crunchy peanut butter: I go through PB like it's going out of style. Seriously, I bought this twin pack before I went to school in September and finished it before October 1st. 
  • 36 Swiffer Wetjet cleaning pads:  Me and the roomies try to keep things tidy, but it's a little difficult when you have to crawl on your hands and knees for a good scrub down. 
  • 80 Keurig coffee cups: I'm addicted. There's no stopping now. 
  • 5 Scotch lint rollers: I bought the cutest black pencil skirt for my new job. The only problem is, it's a total dust magnet. 
Plus, one of the true draws Sams is their delicious samples. I'm completely serious. I know that if I would have gone to a non-New York City university, many-a-night my dinner would be those scrumptious freebies! Today, I was able to try Milano cookies, Frosted Mini Wheats, and Robitussin cough syrup. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Advice comes Two Years too Late

uga.pngThis past weekend, after a trip to the Georgia Aquarium, my sister decided UGA is the college for her. As I celebrate her big decision, I can't help but think about my own collegiate choice.  With less than four months until she graduates, I'm sure a million thoughts are running through her head. So for this blog entry, I'm dedicating it to my baby sis. I guess you could say this is my "advice column" made especially for her. So, here it goes...

  • Don't sweat the small stuff- You only have a few more months of Tattnall. Then, you'll really learn what the saying "that's so high school" really means. Once you get to college, things that seem so important now(like prom limo drama, AP test prep, and Senior Superlatives nominations) no longer matter.  
  • Make New Friends-I know right now you're the only person that's a future bulldog, but if others attend UGA too, don't limit your inner circle to just fellow Maconites. One of the best things about college is the ability to reinvent yourself. Sure, it'll be fun to facebook creep on your friend's GSU experiences, but don't be afraid to meet new people.  However, I'll warn you; it will be slightly awkward when you have lunch with one of your TSA friends that you haven't seen in over a year. You both realize the only thing you have left to talk about is gossiping about former frenemies. 
  • Stay at School-Don't come home every weekend. Make sure you enjoy these next few years. Sure, you'll read more pages of useless knowledge than you ever thought possible, and I'm sure you'll see quite a few sleepless nights. But, enjoy every minute of it. Don't make the 2 hour drive from Athens to Macon every Friday afternoon. Now, I'm definitely not saying never see the parents, but enjoy Athens and take advantage of all it has to offer.  Plus, I'm kinda jealous of your ability to attend football games every Saturday of the fall. Gosh, you're gonna be so collegey! 
  • Your Roommate Doesn't Have to Be your Best Friend-As you know, my roommate and I definitely weren't besties. I remember hearing this advice a million times before I left Mactown; however, I always thought I'd be the exception. Now, definitely be nice to her, but don't just assume she'll be the maid of honor at your wedding some day. 
  • Stay True to Yourself-Beck, you're such an amazing person, and I, of course, love you so much.  I know this sounds so cliche, but seriously keep yourself grounded.  In your yearbook, way to many people will write "never change." Now, that's sucky advice. Obviously, you'll be experiencing mega changes these next 4 years. But still, stay true to your values, and remember what's really important to you.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Going a Bit Stir Crazy?

Ok, so I absolutely love my family, and I'm so glad I've gotten to spend this time with them. But seriously, I'm going stir crazy! You can only visit the new Burger King so many times.  And after you've exhausted all the movies from the local Red Box, what's really left to do in Macon, Georgia?

Apparently, 49 of the 50 states had snow on the ground yesterday (all except Florida). For two days, my brother and sister were home from school, and all the roads were frozen over.  I was stuck at home with no chance of leaving.  So, this morning, when my mom asked me if I'd mind taking my brother to the oral surgeon, I jumped at the chance.  Seriously, I was so excited to get out of the house I probably would have driven to a meat market if she'd asked me to.

wassail3.jpgOf course, one of the few good things about my house arrest was my ability to perfect my mom's Wassail recipe.  A delicious wintry drink, the preparation time is short, and the results are scrumptious.


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can 6oz. frozen orange juice
  • (optional)-1 can 6oz. frozen lemonade 
  • 1 tbsp. clove
  • 1 tbsp. allspice
  • cinnamon sticks
Mix cider, sugar, and undiluted orange juice and pour in a large pot.  Add in the coves and allspice to cider and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Pour in a cute coffee cup (I used my Butterbeer mug from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and serve with cinnamon sticks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Visit to UGA-a College where School Colors are Actually Worn

Fraternity row, team colors students actually wear, and staying out until 3am-Sure, I've finished 3 semesters of NYU, but before Friday night, I'd never really had a true night of college experiences.  Even though the 5 boroughs boast over 100 universities, New York City, by no stretch of the imagine, could be labeled a college town.  I moved there at 18, and I really couldn't imagine spending my 4 college years anywhere else. But it's certainly not a town solely made up of 18-22 year olds.  So, it was certainly a culture shock when I spent an evening in Athens, GA.

Space Ghost is my friend's band.  I'd heard some snippets and read countless facebook messages praising them, but I wanted to hear them for myself. So, on Friday afternoon, I borrowed my sister's red VW Bug and made the two hour trek, and I must say, it was well worth my time.  Of course, they were amazing. But for me, it was the whole night of collegiate experiences that really made me wonder what life would be like if I wasn't a Fighting Violet.

After the show, we had 5 Guys at 2 in the morning.  Now, I'm probably the most un-collegey college student. I knit, I bake, and I enjoy 8am classes. So(unless I just happen to wake up in the middle of the night, roll over, and look at my alarm clock), 2am is not something I see quite often.  But it's weird,  for some reason, french fries and veggie burgers just somehow taste better.  And once I realized I was the only girl at a table of 5 straight guys my mind was really in a state of wonder.

So, I guess I can now check a few things off my college list-

  • go to a bar to hear you friend's band play...check
  • eat a meal at 2am...check
  • actually stay awake until 2am...check
  • spend the entire next day in bed because you didn't get any sleep the night before...check 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

D.I.Y.-Infinity Scarf

The Finished Project and I'm
All Bundled Up
With all this wintry weather, you may be searching for a cute and cozy fashion for keeping warm.  When slipping on the circular infinity scarf, it already looks wrapped and chic--but it doesn't need any retying or adjusting when the winds hit.  

Since October, I've been envious of my friend, Alice's, gray neckwear; however, because of GAP's sluggish restocking, I've been without an infinity scarf to call my own.  Inspired by my reading of Kate Jacob's The Friday Night Knitting Club, I picked up my size 7 needles and casted on.  With each row measuring 35 stitches across, it's a little wide, but also very warm.  

These no-tie wonders are being seen in everything from shades of gray that fade in and out in a silky weave to extra-chunky cables in a rich licorice black.  My bulky skein of blue/green yarn measured 576 yards.  For under $6 (and after a week of constant knitting) I'm excited to say I am the proud honor of a one-of-a-kind infinity scarf.  

When most people picture a knitter, they think of a gray-haired granny.  However it seems as though 
more college gals are trading in their dancing shoes and little black dresses for oversized knitting needles and skeins of multicolored yarn.  Thanks to organizations like "Stitch 'n Bithch" knitters and crocheters are able to get together on a regular basis to stitch, and well, you know.  All meetings are open to the public and free of charge.  After a simple google search, it should be no problem at all to find a local knitting group (or if one doesn't already exist, create your own.) 

It Stretches to Be 41/2 feet
then it's Doubled Over  

So, if all this knitting talk has got you curious, I've included a video link so you can learn to tie a slip knot and cast on for yourself.  But beware, it does get addictive!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Day of Muggles, Magic, and Ma

The Hogwarts Castle 


As we usher in a new year, I'm forced to think of how I spent my last day of 2010.  I may have gone to sleep at 10:30 and awakened in a retirement village for active seniors, but that doesn't mean my day was any less eventful.  For me, it was spent drinking Butterbeer and casting spells while touring the Hogwarts castle.  That's right, between the hours of 10am-4pm, my December 31, 2010 was spent at the Wizarding World of  Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. 

After parking in Spider Man row 352, my grandmother, Ma, and I paid for our Islands of Adventure tickets and immediately headed towards J.K. Rowling's vision.  The line just to enter t Hogsmeade was 90 minutes, but it was well worth the wait.  After winding around the land of Jurassic Park, we received a standby ticket and were admitted.  Greeted by the conductor of the Hogwarts Express, Ma and I were completely blown away by the quaint village nestled just outside Hogwarts, Hogsmeade.  Although the temperature may have read 76°F, snow covered each magical marketplace.  
At the Snow-covered Markets
 of Hogsmeade 
Our first stop was the Hogwarts castle.  On the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, after waiting in line for an hour and a half, Ma and I made our way through the classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts.  Just like in the books (and movies), talking portraits hung on the wall, and Albus Dumbeldore greeted all passerbys.  We took a broom ride with Harry, Ron and Hermoine over the Hogwarts castle, battled dementors and played a game of Quidditch against Malfoy and the Slytherin gang.  
Lunch was had at The Three Broomsticks.  Paired with a hearty glass of Butterbeer, I had roasted potatoes and frenchfry wedges.  Sure, the food was delicious, but let's be honest, the Butterbeer was the real reason for dining in the bewitching bistro.  I can't really describe the flavor; it was like buttercream but better!  Just know that if you even make it to the Universal Studios, the $9.99 price tag is worth it( this does include the commemorative mug, just the frosted beverage is only $3.99).   

Ma Drinking Butterbeer at the
Three Broomsticks

Next, we visited Olivander's Wand Shop.  I took pictures with Harry and Hermoine's wands, but I'm glad to say I resisted the $29.95 cost.  However, I did buy a Hogwarts Express Platform 9 and 3/4 tee and a chocolate frog from Honeydukes.  
Our goal was to be home before "all the crazies were on the road," as Ma put it.  So once 4pm rolled around (and only after we'd covered every inch of The Wizarding World multiple times and taken more picture then is really necessary) we bid Harry Potter adieu and made the long two hour trek back to Ocala, Florida.  
Holding Hermoine's Wand