Bundled.

You guys. Winter has broken me.

And by that, I mean I finally bought a puffy coat. It looks like this:

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So…yeah. It happened. Because while afternoons have been strangely balmy in NYC lately, mornings and evenings spent commuting to and from work have been rather uncomfortable.

Plus, on days like today when I feel like my body just might be trying to get sick, nothing feels enter than wrapping myself in a cocoon of synthetic down and a giant scarf and just pretending no one else is around.

Though, to be fair, I do the pretending part anytime I’m on the train.

Anyway. It’s big news in my world.

Speaking of actual news, the next month and a half has somehow gotten kind of busy. I have a lot of catch-up dates with friends, I’m going to Salt Lake City for Alt Summit in less than two weeks, then I’m off to Vegas for Super Bowl weekend. Then I basically have to start packing up my life because a move will be right around the corner. Wacky.

So what I’m saying is, if I am getting sick, lets get this thing over with, shallll we?

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What to Wear During a New York Winter

It is officially really, really cold out. Bitterly cold, you might say.

It’s around this time of year, when the morning train platform starts to feel like its own form of torture, that I usually find myself thinking about the same kinds of things:

Is it going to get colder? Am I going to start hating my commute again? Is this the year I finally crack and buy a puffy winter coat?

I’m dangerously close to conceding on the last one. Sure, I would prefer not to look like a marshmallow, but these freezing temperatures aren’t messing around.

From there, I start making a list of all the cold-weather items I should probably add to my list. And since it has been a while since I blogged, I’m sharing it with you. I’m also hoping to hear your recommendations if you’ve purchased one if these items (or something similar) with great success. Most of my readers are in the Midwest or on the East Coast, so I know y’all have some winter wardrobe advice.

Must-Haves for a New York Winter

H m
$13 – hm.com

180s glove
kohls.com

Faux fur hat
$26 – oliverbonas.com

 

Post-Hurricane Whining

You guyyyyys.

I feel like I’ve been in this apartment for a month. Getting a wee bit stir-crazy.

To be fair, we have left a couple of times. The day after the storm, we drove to visit Joey’s grandma and make sure she was okay. And we ate at Johnny Rockets because the mall had electricity and we did not. (Desperate times.)

And yesterday, I went to the gym. (Hey, if it’s open…)

But other than that, we’ve been staying put to reserve gas in our cars. (In case…we have to flee? I have no idea. But pretty much every pump has a line around the block, so we’d rather not have to get gas until things calm down a bit.)

The weird thing is, when we stay in our apartment, we can almost pretend like everything is back to normal. We have electricity, Internet, hot water. Last night we ordered delivery sushi. (And, yes, felt a tiny bit douche-y doing it. BUT IF IT’S OPEN, WE WANT TO SUPPORT, YOU GUYS.)

If anything, things are nicer than normal because I’ve been home all week so the apartment has stayed cleaner than normal. (I’m bored, remember? That means lots o’ cleaning going on.)

Like I said, we’ve been very, very fortunate.

That being said, I’m still pretty glad that tonight we have plans outside our home that require us to wear real pants and brush our hair. Because it’s time, guys.

How is everyone else holding up? Getting cabin fever like me? Or too busy worrying about real issues like property damage and lack of electricity? Let me know if I can help!

A quick hurricane update

Well, the power is out again, so I don’t want to waste too much phone battery, but I wanted to give everyone a quick update of our status.

We’re FINE.

I went exploring briefly this morning (okay, I was seeing if I could find a cup of coffee…no dice) and every traffic light in our town is out. There is a lot of debris and branches and I passed three downed power lines. It’s still a bit windy, but not too bad.

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But again, we are fine.

Both our offices are closed for the day (not that I could get to the city anyway since the trains are still shut off), so for now we’re just hanging out. Fun fact: The aftermath of hurricanes is kind of dull.

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Right now my biggest concerns are how long we have before all our refrigerated food soils and everything I have to catch up on at work.

Which, given the alternatives, are two pretty take concerns to have.

Hopefully everyone else is staying safe too!

How I’m getting through the hurricane.

So, as you have probably heard (unless you live under a rock), the East Coast is currently making the acquaintance of a little gal named Sandy.

Word to the wise: She’s a bit of a B. Don’t invite her to your parties.

But surviving a hurricane isn’t all bad. Today, pretty much every office in New York was closed. (And even if it wasn’t, the LIRR was shut down, so there was no commuting forthis little lady in the forecast.)

I was able to do a bit of work from home, but for the most part, I used the time to have an ironically Martha Stewart-themed day. Here’s everything I accomplished:

1. Cross-Stitch Family Project

A couple of week ago at the Martha Stewart’s American Made Workshop, I got a cross-stitch kit. Today, I used this tutorial to create this:

Adorbs, right? I’m in love with it.

2. Baked Peanut-Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I used this Martha recipe for the basics, but I subbed the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips (since Joey has that weird thing with chocolate) and added a teaspoon of cinnamon. It has to be said, there’s nothing like freshly baked cookies on a rainy day.

3. Painting Craft

I got this little wooden box at the Martha Stewart Tag Sale last week for like, 10 cents, and I decided to use it to hold all the business cards I get at meetings with potential partners. (Because buying a legit Rolodex just sounds sad.)

I painted the outside with Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint, and the inside with a pretty periwinkle paint I had leftover from another project. It’s still in process (the power went out briefly and it turns out it’s hard to paint in the dark), but here’s what it looks like thus far:

So…yeah. Like I said, domestic day.

For now, I’m just hoping the power stays on a while longer to help stave off the boredom.

Hope anyone else in the storm is staying safe!

Hair help needed.

You guys. I need help with something totally frivolous.

Yup, it’s time for another “let’s talk about Justine’s hair” post. You love those, right?

But for realz. I need advice.

As my more long-standing readers can attest, I go back and forth on what color my hair should be fairly often. It’s kind of a seasonal thing.

In the last year or so, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am happier as a blonde. I think it suits me better.

YOU WOULD THINK THE QUESTIONING WOULD END THERE, RIGHT?

Wrong. I still have questions.

Because lately my hair has gotten pretty darn blonde. And I think for fall, I want to do something a bit deeper. But not so much darker that it’s at all difficult to go back to blonde once the weather gets warmer.

So I have a couple of options.

1. Ombre.
Although I read something online yesterday that mentioned ombre might be over. I always miss things. But I was thinking something soft like:

2. All-over reddish-blonde toner.
I’ve done the red hair thing, and while I liked it, it’s pretty hard to maintain in the long-run. But a subtle honey-colored toner for fall/winter? Seems simple enough. I’m thinking:

So…what do you think? Anyone else make a seasonal color change almost every year, or am I the only crazy one? At least I’ve narrowed it down a little, right?

How to: Shrimp Fajitas & Michelob ULTRA Light Cider

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For whatever reason, summer seems to have hit New York with a fiery passion this last week. It’s supposed to rain sometime Friday, so hopefully we’ll get some relief, but as of last night, things were a bit, shall we say, steamy.

And not in a sexy way. There’s nothing sexy about the backs of your legs sticking to whatever you’re sitting on from the sweat. Just sayin.

The point is, the hubs and I were looking for some refreshment.

I’ve never been a huge beer drinker, and since my favorite brew isn’t even available in New York, I’m more inclined to order a cocktail, wine, or cider out at bars. The first drink I legally purchased (just moments after turning 21 my first summer in New York) actually happened to be cider.

Don’t believe me? Check it.

Photo taken by my darling friend Susan. Yes, I had short hair. Yes, I was fatter. Let’s move along, shall we?

The point is, I really love cider, especially in the summer. What I don’t love? The extra calories. Which is why I was really excited when I heard about Michelob ULTRA Light Cider.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Michelob ULTRA Light Cider is a less sweet, lower calorie alternative to traditional ciders. In fact, it has one third fewer calories than the average cider. Well played, Michelob ULTRA. Well played indeed.

We enjoyed our cider with homemade shrimp fajitas, which is quite possibly the easiest dinner ever.

Simply saute sliced peppers and onions for about seven minutes whilst lightly sauteing the shrimp in another pan.

I added a few dashes of paprika, cumin, and cayenne to each while cooking for a little kick. Once the onions and peppers are soft and the shrimp are pink and curled, you’re done with the cooking portion.

Add chopped veggies (like tomatoes and lettuce), freshly grated cheese, and some non-fat plain Greek Chobani in place of sour cream, and you’re done!

And I have to admit, Michelob ULTRA Light Cider made a pretty great pairing with the fajitas. It’s really refreshing (ideal for heat waves) and will appeal to anyone who likes traditional cider. (Translation: It doesn’t even taste like alcohol. Proceed with caution.)

Want to try it for yourself? Michelob ULTRA Light Cider will be available nationwide (excluding CO, UT, WY and OK) beginning May 7, 2012, and will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce clear glass bottles. And in case you like your drinks really cold, it can also be served over ice. Just got a little chill, didn’t you?

Have you tried this cider? Which favorite summer meal do you think would go best with Michelob ULTRA Light Cider?