Over the Weekend

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Hello! Even though Spring is not quite in the air yet, I had a very colorful weekend. Did you?

Photos 1-5 taken at 5 Pointz//Photo 6 taken at PS1//Photo 7 taken in my laundry room

 

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Over the Weekend

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This weekend really did feel like Spring! I had a wonderful weekend soaking it up. The Quail, my stepson and I went out for lunch and then wandered around Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday and the Quail took some fun photos. On Sunday we visited an animal shelter and walked the sweetest pup I have ever met. She is wonderful and we’re thinking about bringing her home! I hope you had a great weekend too.

Thirteen for Thirteen

bigolwoman1

I know, I know. It has been 2013 for over a week, but Happy New Year anyway! Here are thirteen things, in no particular order, that I am wishing to accomplish/do/work at in the following year. Just for fun.

1. Be more present. The sunset isn’t any prettier if it gets posted on Instagram or Facebook. I need to put my phone away and just enjoy the moment. Sometimes life is better lived offline.
2. Knit more. I picked up knitting last winter, but never got past one wonky-looking scarf. I would like to be able to pull off a hat and a pair of wooly knee socks this year.
3. Turn 30. I know I am going to do this anyway, but I am kind of excited about it. I am ready for the beginning of a new decade, hopefully a better one.
4. Go see more stuff: concerts, plays, exhibits, movies, etc.
5. Spend more time in this space. I have fallen off blogging the past few months due to computer issues at home and I miss it and want to get back to it as much as I can.
6. Do a complete overhaul of my apartment. I have lived in the same place for close to TEN years (The Quail has been there for FIFTEEN—this is sort of unheard of in New York) and it is time to toss all the clothes that don’t fit, things I don’t use and college stuff I am holding onto purely for sentimental reasons. Fact: there is a closet brimming with things in our hallway that I haven’t opened in close to a year!
7. Start a Journal. I recently found my journal from my sophomore year of high school and, despite its horribly teenage and angst filled tone, I loved reading it. There were entire things I had forgotten about and things that made me cry to remember. Journaling was such an important part of my growing up years and I would love to get back into the habit of jotting down some thoughts/feelings at the end of the day.
8. Use my gym membership. This one is obvious and self-explanatory, but who doesn’t want to look better naked?
9. Plan a trip with The Quail. We never took a proper honeymoon and I would love to run away somewhere exotic with him this year. At least for a week.
10. Indulge in more time with the people that matter. Instead of sitting on my couch all day on a Saturday, go somewhere and do something with people I like to be with. This one goes along nicely with number 4.
11. See my newest niece on her actual birthday. This one is a bit tricky to plan, but I would love to be in Wisconsin when my sister goes into labor with her third beautiful girl.
12. Take a jewelry class. I took several in high school and would love to get back into a studio to do some bead making or soldering.
13. Learn to sew, at least a little bit. My grandma and my mom are phenomenal sewers and I have never tried to learn. Maybe this year I can find a cute sewing machine and make something (even if it is just a throw pillow).

It looks like i am in for an awful lot of crafting! Do you have any resolutions or goals for the upcoming year?

*The photo above is one The Quail took of me at The Brooklyn Museum. I thought it conjured being a bigger woman!

Dora Maps

My sweet niece, Finley, loves Dora. When my sister told me she wanted to make Dora maps for her third birthday party, I volunteered to help out. I found this adorable felt map on Sew Homegrown and decided to personalize it for my sister’s backyard. After enlisting the help of my very crafty husband (it runs in the family), we created a template for each piece of the map–Dora, the slide, the tree, and the piñata–traced, and then cut them out of felt. Next, we hot glued the pieces to the white map and then added in the little black tracks. After the map dried we attached circles of Velcro (so you could roll it up), and added the map’s silly face to the outside.

It was a lot more time consuming that I had thought (so many little pieces!), but I am so glad we got them made and mailed on time for her party this Saturday. Even though we can’t be with her on that day, I hope we helped to make it special for such a sweet girl. Happy third birthday, Finny! We love you!

Lately

 

I recently downloaded Instagram (my username is makaylamota, by the way) on my phone and here are some photos I snapped and posted this past week. It has been sunny and lovely in New York, so there have been a lot of walks around town, park visits, and fire escape people watching. Our roommate did move out a few weeks ago, so we are in the process of switching bedrooms. We painted the new bedroom green and are working on getting all of our things moved! I am planning on doing a “before and after” post soon, and I am so excited for everything to come together! We also discovered the entire series of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” is on Hulu, have you ever seen it? We spent pretty much all of yesterday afternoon watching episodes and it is my new favorite thing. The stories are strange, great and so dramatic! I also love checking out the furniture and the clothes!

Stuffed Peppers and fulfillment

I made the Quail stuffed peppers for dinner last night. While I was cooking I started thinking about the two different sides of my life–personal and professional–and how they are so opposite. I feel like two different people.  I have always felt confident and on track in my personal life, but my professional one lacks focus and that sense of being sure. I met a boy and fell in love, we got married–I know that for sure. Professionally I am stuck in a dead end job and I am dying to get out, but how do I do it? What do I want? I have all this creative energy, but I don’t know how to focus it and turn it into a living. I talk to friends who have done it –who have made a career for themselves building on their strengths and creativity and talents–I feel like the only one that doesn’t know how.

 

I have this bad habit on of riding home on the train wondering if I did a good enough job of being a “person” all day at work. Was I ok? Did I hold it together? Did I do any relevant work? Did I act interested enough? I think part of this stems from the broken escalator at 34th Street, and the sense of vertigo that occurs when you have to walk down it. But maybe not. I actually do this all the time. I question what I am doing and how I am doing it. It’s like taking an empty jar of pickles out of the refrigerator–is it really empty? Did I miss a pickle somehow? Do other people find empty pickle jars in their refrigerators? Do they pour the juice out slowly to savor the smell even though they hate pickles? Is this a real thing I am doing?

 

This all seems unnecessarily philosophical and silly to me, but it is something that happens all the time. Lately I keep catching myself in moments and questioning the very merit of my being and my life. Maybe it is this year and the fact that I am now 29 and married, yet still feeling very unfulfilled in my career. Shouldn’t I know what I am doing already? Or what I want to be doing? I am so happy at home, bumbling along in my day-to-day life of cooking dinner and watching movies with my new husband. We’re also about to switch our bedroom (which frees up a lot of additional space in our apartment) and I am enjoying making plans with him–plans for us, for our future, for our home. But what about my professional future? Can I live my life being so happy on one side and so miserable on the other? It seems so obvious–change your job, change your life–but it isn’t that simple. I have spent years going from one dead end position to another, which leaves me with no discernible career to speak of. I keep applying and applying for positions and getting nowhere.

 

I don’t know what I expect to get out of sharing this. Or why making stuffed peppers put me in a tailspin. Maybe I just need to acknowledge that I am stuck. I am so stuck. And I need to figure out a way to change that.

 

Dead Horse Bay

As I mentioned in my previous post, my mom and I took a day trip to Dead Horse Bay–which lies at the southern edge of Brooklyn. Dead Horse Bay was named because of the horse rendering plants that surrounded the area in the 1850’s. From the New York Times: “Dead Horse Bay sits at the western edge of a marshland once dotted by more than two dozen horse-rendering plants, fish oil factories and garbage incinerators. From the 1850’s until the 1930’s, the carcasses of dead horses and other animals from New York City streets were used to manufacture glue, fertilizer and other products at the site. The chopped-up, boiled bones were later dumped into the water. The squalid bay, then accessible only by boat, was reviled for the putrid fumes that hung overhead. A rugged community of laborers, many of them Irish, Polish and Italian immigrants, lived in relative isolation on neighboring Barren Island, which shared the bay’s unsavory reputation.”

 During the turn of the century the marsh also began to be used as a landfill and was filled and capped by the 1930’s. The cap burst in the 1950’s spewing trash all over the beach. Since then garbage continuously leaks onto the beach from the landfill and into the ocean from Dead Horse Bay.
While a garbage filled beach does not sound like a fun place to visit, I found the area very tranquil and eerily romantic. Littered with both broken and intact bottles from another era along with the occasional horse bones and various other garbage (leather shoe soles, random pieces of metal, rubber hot water bottles from the 30’s) it is a scavenger’s dreamland. Dead Horse Bay is magic. I am glad I went with my mom too. I have lived in New York for over ten years and she has seen the sights–multiple times! This adventure was something a bit strange that neither of us had done and we had so much fun. She also walked away with a bunch of colorful broken glass for a future mosaic project:
And I got pretty bottles to put around my apartment:

Recovery

Hello there! I am back! I had minor surgery last Tuesday and have spent the rest of the week resting, drinking massive amounts of tea, reading Furious Love (so good!), napping with my kitties and hanging out with my Momma (who flew in to be with me–thanks mom!). I am feeling so much better and am excited to do some new posts this week–including a photo diary of a day trip my mom and I took to Dead Horse Bay. Stay tuned!

Happy Weekend!

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Happy Friday, folks! Let’s end the week with some fun links, shall we?

I have been crushing on this dress all week, and it is 60% off!

In an effort to be greener, I bought a shampoo bar at Lush today. I can’t wait to try it.

I ordered this book for The Quail and I to read it together. Doesn’t it look fun?

Can I just  quit my job and open a restaurant?

I love this sweet Valentines Day card.

I feel bad complaining about the ridiculously mild Winter we’ve had, but I am ready for sandals and sun.

Have you seen the new trailer for The Hunger Games? Oh man, I am so excited for this movie!

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I would be very excited if someone (hint, hint) made me this monkey cake.

Any big plans for the Superbowl? The Quail made an enormous and awesome snack stadium that we are going to fill with yummy food for the game. I can’t wait. Have a great weekend!