Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spinsters I Know and Love: Mary Cothonneau Eldridge


At 22 years old, Mary Cothonneau Eldidge is far from being a pat spinster. However, the child for which she nannies would beg to differ. To hear Mary Cothonneau tell it, this child would marry her off to the next delivery man who comes to the door. 

But Mary Cothonneau has better things to think about and do. For one thing, I'm trying to convince her to write a book just so I can read it. She is, by all accounts, one of the funniest girls around. I've known Mary Cothonneau since childhood, and whenever we are at the same party I seek her out because, really, standing next to her is a party in itself.

I could say so much more about MC, but I'm hoping to convince her to write a full-length post sometime in the future, and I need to let you read a little something from her now before I talk you to death. So, enjoy!


Name: Mary Cothonneau Eldridge

Age: 22

Profession: Right now I am nannying while I work on my law school applications

Dream Job: Andy Cohen’s personal assistant

What you love to do when you have an afternoon/day/weekend at home alone: Catch any and all “Real Housewives of…” marathons while reading.

Favorite Breakfast food: Chocolate croissants

Favorite Takeout: Diprato’s or Za’s

Favorite treat (food or otherwise): Chocolate croissants

Favorite Beauty product or what's in your beauty bag: I live by my mascara and eyeliner

Favorite nail polish or nail polish color: Chanel’s “Ruby Slippers”, which is sadly no longer in production

Favorite Art supplies: Well, writing is an art form so I guess I would say a fountain pen!

The thing you love to do that you probably wouldn't do if there was a boy in the picture/around your apartment: Leave half empty diet coke bottles all over the place

Something enjoyable about being single: I do enjoy leaving my laundry in the dryer until I need a particular article of clothing (I hate folding laundry)

If you had a one-sentence spinster philosophy, what would it be? Not necessarily a philosophy, but I got a kick out of one of the Fool’s lines about Lady Olivia in  “Twelfth Night”: “No indeed, sir; the Lady Olivia has no folly. She will keep no fool, sir, till she be married, and fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings—the husband’s the bigger”.

What's your loungewear style? A comfy pair of jeans!

What's your uniform? I don’t have a uniform yet, but since I chase six-year-old children around during the week, I tend to gravitate toward jeans or shorts.

Complete this sentence: People think that______________, but really ____________. People think that Marie Antoinette said “let them eat cake”, but really the phrase was probably coined by either Jean-Jacques Rousseau or Maria-Theresa, who was Louis XIV’s wife.

Coffee or tea? Diet Coke!

Your go-to desk snack: Goldfish crackers.

I have seen every episode of...: The Real Housewives of…Game of Thrones, SuitsAmerican Horror Story, and probably Criminal Minds. I need to get a life.

Your favorite spinster jams: Queen Lana Del Rey and Florence + the Machine

Currently in your Netflix and/or Hulu queue: Nothing yet—all of my shows are on season breaks! Though people keep telling me to try Revenge.

The question on everyone's mind: Kittens or Puppies, and why? Kittens, obviously. They’re great pets for my current lifestyle—I live in an apartment building and am not always home on the weekends, so they are great because they don’t require as much attention as dogs. Also cat people are better than dog people.

In an alternate life what would you be? Andy Cohen

Complete this sentence: " I probably shouldn't admit this but..." I think my excessive intake of diet coke is giving me a rapid heartbeat.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Spinsterhood Diaries Giveaway Winner(s)!

Hello, Readers! Today we take a little break from the wonderful Spinsters I Know and Love to announce the winners of the Spinsterhood Diaries Giveaway. (Hooray!)

I'll keep this short and sweet. I had two amazing winners (and, honestly, only two entrants, but who's counting?). Monica Lo's amazing board includes a cattoo and some kitten lattes. And also, a lot of other amazing things. You should probably follow her anyway. Check out the board here: http://pinterest.com/lobese/true-spinsta-for-real/

Sydney van Bulck's board has the cutest picture of a kitten pushing a shopping cart with a tinier kitten inside the cart. I had a moment of cuteness aggression when I saw it. Additionally, on this board you'll find a giant beanbag couch with two king size beds in it. Ok? I mean, need I say more? I didn't think so. Check out Sydney's board here: http://pinterest.com/sjvanbul/true-spinsta-for-real/

Thanks again to my wonderful entrants! Tomorrow I'm starting back with more of my favorite spinsters!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spinsterhood Diaries Mug Giveaway!

Hello to all my lovely readers! Next week i the start of a brand new series! But, before that starts, I have something special to thank you guys for all the love on the Valentine's Day Series! Up for grabs is one of my special brand new Spinster Mugs, which you can find at the The Spinster Store on Zazzle (www.zazzle.com/spinsterstore). I love mine, so I hope you'll love yours! The contest starts today (Sunday, February 17, 2013) and will end next Saturday (February 24, 2013). Here's how to enter:

1. Like The Spinsterhood Diaries on Facebook. (www.facebook.com/thespinsterhooddiaries)
2. Follow The Spinsterhood Diaries on Twitter (@spnstrhddiaries)
3. Create a Pinterest Board entitled "True Spinsta For Real," with the following:
     a. Two of your favorite images from http://spinsterhooddiaries.blogspot.com
     b. Three amazing/hilarious/cute cat or kitten photos
     c. One bathrobe
     d. One item of loungewear
     e. The Mug you would like to win from www.zazzle.com/spinsterhostore
     f. An image of your favorite Spinster treat (food or otherwise)
     g. Your favorite book.
     h. An image of bedding
     i. A cute and/or comfy sofa
4. Leave a comment on this post with a link to your pinboard!

After I check out all your awesome boards, I'll post a link to the winning board for all to see!


Sound good? Get to pinning, liking, and following! I can't wait!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spinster Food: Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese

Growing up in my house in South Carolina, it was not uncommon to see my mother having a diet coke and a slice of pimiento cheese toast for breakfast. In fact, I'd wager many of my friends and their mothers ate that same breakfast but maybe with a glass of sweet tea. In New York, however, most people I know had never heard of pimiento cheese...until they met me.

I started bringing this southern delicacy as my party food a couple of years ago, and the moment I draw back the sheath from my dish, the first question is always, "what is that?" I try to explain that it's not just cheese dip but rather a multi-purpose item that can be used as a spread for sandwiches, bagels, toast, or even as the cheese on your burger as well as having a nice texture for scooping, but usually everyone just comes out calling it cheese dip. The last time I brought pimiento cheese to a gathering, a girl spread it on a croissant, making a sandwich. The girl standing next to her said, "how creative!" If they only knew. People have been doing that down south for...well, I don't know how long.

I am hesitant to tell everyone what's in this as I'm afraid you won't try it at all, but I'm telling you, it's always a huge hit at any party. This particular recipe is pretty popular here in New York as it's got a little spice to it, but you should probably note that the most traditional pimiento cheese is without jalapenos or hot sauce.

Without further ado, you may find below the answer to your next party-treat dilemma. If you want to get real southern about it, you should make little triangular sandwiches with crustless white bread. Otherwise, just serve it up in a cute bowl with melba toast or bagel crisps.

What you'll Need:

Tools:
1 large mixing bowl
1 Cheese Grater
1 Mixing Spoon

Ingredients:
1 Small Jar diced Pimientos
2 Blocks Cracker Barrel Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Jar of Mayonnaise (real Mayo, not Miracle Whip, you weirdo)
4 Shakes of  Worcestershire Sauce
5 Shakes of Tapatio (or to taste
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Garlic powder (to taste)
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

What to do:

1. Grate the two blocks of cheese into the large mixing bowl.
2. Drain the Pimientos and add them to the cheese.
3. Add a couple of spoonfuls or mayonnaise to the cheese and Pimientos and stir. Keep adding Mayo until the Cheese is spreadable but still a little chunky.
4. Add salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir.
5. Texture should be a little looser and more spreadable, but if it's still not to your spreadable liking, add more mayo until it is.
6. Add Tapatio, stir, and taste. Add more of any of the ingredients you think would make it better.
7. Once the mixture is finished, refrigerate over night. You don't have to do this, but it does get better with a night in the fridge. If you can't wait, you can serve immediately.

Now you're ready to make sandwiches, use as dip, or whatever else you can think of!

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Morning After

If you're anything like me, you thought you were going to want to eat the rest of that heart shaped pizza this morning, but now you're wondering if maybe you overdid it last night. What a wild night of spinstering! I doubt if anyone had more fun on their dates last night than I did with my Chartpak markers, my (sort of) heart shaped pizza, my bathrobe, and Law and Order: SVU on Netflix.

Really, I think the only way to get through the work day after such a crazy night is to have a can of regular coke and some candy for breakfast. And maybe to do something about this hair. I wonder if they'd say anything if I wore my bathrobe to work.

I hope you all had a splendid Valentines Day, completely devoid of awkwardness and disappointment. I, for one, got everything I wanted. Well, except a day off today.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

#1: Do it up!

Today's the Day! It's Valentine's Day! And here's to not having to worry about what you're going to give a significant other! Today, you're not going to ignore this holiday. No, that would be too sulky and expected. It's not "Singles Awareness Day." It's Valentine's Day, and you're going to do Valentine's Day things.

First of all, wear those heart tights we talked about. It's the least you can do. You don't have to go all out and wear red and pink and glitter and lace and ruffles unless you want to. I'd rather you didn't, but because you're a spinster, you're allowed to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it.

This morning you'll eat breakfast in bed, and if you feel like it, after your commute, you should probably get a chocolate croissant. Why not? It's Valentine's Day, and you love yourself.

When you get to work, it's time to pass out those lovely valentines you made! Last year I put a little mini bundtlette on everyone's card, but this year I won't have enough time to make that many. Just please, please, please don't make your special valentine's treat anything to do with miniature stuffed animals. No one likes that, and they don't know what to do with them.

Everyone will be leaving work at a decent hour tonight because they'll all have dates of some sort. And so have you. You've got an excellent evening all planned out. First, you'll stop by the drugstore on the way home to get yourself a large heart shaped box of chocolates because you probably haven't had one before. The cheesiness of receiving one from a boy would have freaked you out anyway. They are actually underwhelming in some ways as they don't hold as much chocolate as the regular Whitman's sampler and aren't as delicious as, say, Varsano's on west 4th, but it's the principle of the thing. You'll pick that up, and you'll head home where you won't have to share it with anyone. And you can poke your thumb through the bottoms of all of them if you want because you're the only one allowed to touch them.

Once you're showered and robed and queuing up your Netflix, make sure you call and order that Valentine's Day special, the infamous heart-shaped pizza. You have to do it. It must be done. And dont' skimp. Get the big one.

Now you're all set to watch something decidedly unromantic so you won't spend the night in tears while you feast on a heart-shaped pizza and a heart-shaped box of chocolate. Might I also suggest some sparkling grape juice? If you're gonna spinster, you gotta spinster out hard core. Do it up, girl. It's Valentine's Day, and this is probably one of the best dates you've ever had.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

#2: Read a Magazine

As a spinster, you should definitely be churning through an intensive reading list that includes at least a few challenging works a year. However, sometimes you need some lighter fare.  And it's a good thing you buy your groceries at the drugstore because what I'm suggesting today is a good old fashioned stack of magazines.

Some spinsters fancy bridal magazines, but I can only get into that about once every five years. There's a sense of sadness that can run through your soul looking at all those white dresses and knowing how easily they stain. I mean, no wonder they only wear them once! You can't sit down without checking your chair first.

Instead, I prefer an array of magazines that include but are not limited to Lucky, Marie Claire, Vogue, Nylon, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, In Style, People Style Watch, and - at this time of year - whatever prom magazine they're displaying. That's right. I look at prom magazines. I loved prom. I love movies about prom. So what if I'm never going again?

Magazines are really at their best on a trip to the beach. Read on a balcony or on the beach, there's something perfect about a magazine in salty air. However, since it's February, we're going for the second-best way to read a magazine: while painting your nails on top of its pages.

So grab a stack of magazines when you buy your cereal, girl. And while you're at it, you might want to check out the glitter polish.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#3: Get an outfit

When you spend as much time in your loungewear as I do, every now and then you want to have a good, solid outfit that you know is going to make you feel great and make you feel like you look great. I was going to suggest you put together an outfit specifically for Valentine's Day, but I think this is much more important than just one day of the year. You want a versatile outfit that makes you feel like you're only a spinster because all the men are afraid to ask you out. Because, really, that's what your mom always told you, right?

If you need to say Valentine's Day is the reason for buying an entire outfit, by all means, go out within the next couple of days and pick something out. I recommend you buy some fun black, sheer hosiery with a good design. Sheer black hosiery is very flattering and slimming to the legs. Buy a few pair if you want, but I think it's a good place to start.

Now, don't mind the heels in the drawing. I love a beautiful pair of heels, but truthfully, I'm unlikely to wear them more than three times a year. You need to figure out what kind of shoes you can get that are cute and stylish but also comfortable. I solved this problem a year or so ago with a pari of No. 6 clogs. I shudder to think that one day soon they may go out of style. It's like you're wearing heels but you're secretly not. They're that comfortable. But maybe your thing is a nice pair of oxfords or a nice pair of booties or flat riding boots. Who am I to say? Just get a nice pair that fill all your criteria.

I know it's cold out, but if you're shopping specifically for your dateless valentine's day, just go ahead and buy a pretty dress. Dresses always make me feel nicer than pants. Plus, when you get the right kind of dress, it's much less uncomfortable when you overeat. And let's face it, as a spinster on this holiday, you're bound to overeat. So get something that's fitted to the waist but loose the rest of the way down. Believe me. I know what I'm talking about here. We all know I like to eat.

So there's your three-piece outfit, but You can also add a sweater and a scarf. And of course you'll want to wear some tasteful-yet-sparkly jewelry. Just make sure you get something you can wear over and over. If it makes you feel like you look good, and you can stuff yourself without wardrobe-related discomfort, I'd say you've got a diminishing cost-per-wear situation that can't be beat!

Monday, February 11, 2013

#4: Buy yourself flowers

A month or so ago, I was sitting at my desk when  flower delivery man came into the office with a nicely arranged bouquet of flowers. Because I work in an office full of women, we all looked up. I'm sure each one of us was wracking our brain for who might have sent us flowers. For me, the only ones I could think of were my parents.

As it turned out, the flowers were for our office's amazing intern, from her boss for her birthday. So, none of us had to be sad that a man hadn't sent us flowers.

But, really, why does a man have to be the one to send you flowers? You can just pick them up on your way home from work. If you want to receive flowers at your office, you can send them to yourself. You have a credit card, too, and I'm hoping you're a responsible enough spinster that it isn't maxed out.

This weekend I went ahead and bought myself flowers, and they are currently adding some sunshine to what has otherwise been a dreary and slushy weekend. I was a bit miffed, though, that the man who sold me the flowers asked why my boyfriend wasn't buying me flowers. "Aren't those supposed to be a gift from someone?" he asked. I shrugged and said "from myself."

So if you want flowers this week or any week, buy some flowers for goodness sake! Your money is as good as any man's. And this way you can pick out your favorite ones.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

#5: Think about Kittens

Sometimes being a spinster isn't all breakfast in bed and cookies. Sometimes it can be downright hard and incredibly stressful. In those times, I like to take a little break, and look at a few photos of kittens. The very fact that kittens exist gives me hope for the future and goodness in this world.

On the weekends sometimes I like to take a little trip to Union Square and into the back of the Petco where they keep cats and kittens for adoption. They're just such little cutenesses. The very thought of kittens just sends me into a bit of a frenzy. I can't even. I think I feel my pulse quickening now.

But I need to admit to you, thought, that there is a parasite some people acquire that makes them love cats. A lot. I'm pretty sure I have it, but I don't think that diminishes the positive effects the very thought and sight of kittens can have on anyone who's having a little bit of a rough day, especially if you're a spinster.

What? You're not into cats and kittens? Well, I think you're crazy, but baby pugs are pretty cute as are baby pandas, so I guess those are also acceptable substitutes. The point here is that since Valentine's Day is approaching, you won't really have to take any time to smell roses, they'll be all around you pretty soon. Instead, take some time to look at a baby kitten and realize that everything will be OK as long as something that cute exists.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

#6: Bake Something

One of the easiest ways to gain favor with anyone - whether it be in your office, your apartment building, your laundromat, or anywhere else is to bring baked goods. People especially like it when you've baked it yourself. That is, of course, unless you're a terrible cook. If you are, in fact a terrible cook, you should just try the old buy-the-food-and-put-it-on-a-plate-from-home trick. Works every time.

But let's assume for a moment that you have at least moderate skills when it comes to following a recipe. People love a little something sweet, especially after lunch and then again around 3pm. And then again after dinner. And then again for breakfast. So pick a recipe that you love or one you'd like to try and think can't fail. In the office, people are always  more than willing to try your kitchen experiment, especially if it involves chocolate.

The next thing to consider is portion size. My dad always said that you never know if everyone had enough unless there is some left over. While I think this is an excellent rule of thumb, in an office full of women, there will always be at least one of whatever you brought left on that plate. No one wants to be "that girl." Just make sure you have at least one for everyone and then one extra one. I learned this lesson the hard way when last year for Valentine's Day I made a mini bundtlette for each of my coworkers, but I accidentally forgot one I only worked with every now and then. I felt terrible, especially since everyone who did get one was raving about how delicious they were. Yes, I'm tooting my own horn. The recipe is good. Pudding is one of the main ingredients. But the point here is to make sure you have enough and then some.

The last tip I will give you is to put it on the edge of your desk so everyone will know you're the delightful spinster who brought these delicious treats. They will invariably ask you how you had time. And of course, the answer is, "I'm single." And aren't they glad you are?

Friday, February 8, 2013

#7: Wear Fun Socks

One of the only good things about cold weather is socks. I love socks. On extra cold days, SmartWool can't be beat. On milder days, though, I like a good pair of fun socks.

Anyone who's ever been in college knows the more underwear, socks, and towels you have, the longer you can go between loads of laundry. Just because I enjoy laundry time doesn't mean I always have time to do laundry. So, to ensure I can make it through a couple weeks, I keep an extensive collection of socks. And most of those socks are fun socks.

The thing about socks is you can choose to show them or not. They can be your fun little secret, or you can share them withe the world. An otherwise-subdued ensemble, when paired with a punchy pair of socks, can be something fun and unexpected. An odd coupling of socks who've lost their mates can be hidden by a lengthy pant leg or a tall boot. They're still good socks, even if they don't match. I don't care what anyone says.

Additionally, in the grand scheme of clothing items, socks are cheep as chips. You can come by a good wacky pair of socks for less than $5 without too much searching. And, if you have inexplicably sharp toenails like I do, you go through enough socks to warrant constantly shopping for them. 

So, in conclusion, go and get yourself a fun pair of socks if you aren't already wearing some now. Since Valentine's Day is now only a week away, I am confident you will find a cute holiday-themed pair that you can enjoy - either secretly or publicly. The choice is yours!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

#8: Have something made.

There is little in this world that excites me more than having something made to my specifications. I suspect that's why fashion design initially attracted me. I find the thought of mass production positively titillating. But, what we're talking about today can be on a much smaller scale.

Every now and then I like to have a little something made without the input of anyone but myself. For such occasions, I like to use online printing sites like vistaprint.com, zazzle.com, printerstudio.com, and printedart.com. This Christmas, I had calendars, posters, and even a deck of custom playing cards made as gifts, all with special artwork created just for the recipients. Mostly, the images consisted of some pretty deft face-swopping with baby animals, but it could have been anything!

But, if custom printing doesn't ring your bell, here's another thought: have some clothes made just for you. In my hometown, there's a very reasonably-priced tailor/seamstress named Lynda who will make and fit clothing specifically to your body. She carries fabric, but you can also bring your own. My mom travelled to a girl in Columbia, SC to have a skirt made of fabric she bought in New York, and not only is it a one-of-a-kind, but it's also tailor-made to fit her body.

What you have made for you is your choice, but the process of having it made is the exciting part. There's the concept, the collaboration (if that's involved), the anticipation, and the day you get the special treat you had made just for yourself.

So, do a little research, figure out what you want to have made, and go to it, girl! It's an exciting process!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

#9: Leave the butter out

When I went home for Christmas this year, I purchased something I think is one of the closest things to manufactured perfection in the grocery store: Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies. They're crispy, crunchy, delicate, and they have just the right amount of chocolate. But I found, whenever I would sneak off to the pantry to have a little treat, some culprit was not only sneaking off to the pantry for a treat but was also leaving the package open, therefore decreasing the life of my cookies' crispness. So, of course, I had to call a meeting and explain why the package should at least be re-closed, not to mention that these were my special treats just for hoarding. I was willing to share as long as we all respected the freshness of the Brussels.

In my apartment, this would never have happened. Well, it might have happened, but if it did, I would know exactly who the culprit was: me. Somehow, knowing you have no one to blame but yourself really makes you much less angry and much more willing to eat stale cookies.

This long introduction, though, is actually to say something about butter. On that same trip home, my mother imparted to me one of the most joyous bits of information I have yet to receive: You can leave the butter out!

Why is this so important, you ask. Well, I will tell you. I'm pretty big into the jelly toast scene, and I particularly like to butter my bread before it's toasted. Refrigerated butter, though, comes out of its paper eager to rip holes in your bread so that the jelly will fall in your bed while you're trying to watch the Today Show. This won't do. So, of course, I was overjoyed to hear that my butter could not only be spreadably room-temperature every single morning, but now I could have a cute butter dish sitting on my counter!

And all of this brings me back to why it's great to live alone. Because I'm the only one lurking in my apartment, I know that butter's going to be waiting on the counter for me when I wake up, room temperature in its emerald green depression glass dish. No one will secretly put it away in the night. No one will use it all before I get any. That butter is room-temperature, and it's mine, all mine.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#10: Keep a journal

Since you're a spinster, you probably shouldn't sit around talking to yourself. It's too predictable. But how, you ask, will you deal with your desire to tell yourself all your thoughts and feelings? Keep a journal, of course!

I've been keeping a journal since I was in fourth grade. According to my calculations, that's about seventeen years of whinings, musings, and all-out fifth grade gossip. Literally. Gossip about fifth-graders.

When you're not pretending you're telling someone else all your feelings by writing in your journal, this little book can actually help you sort through some things in much the same way a therapist would. And, if you're anything like me, you can also draw little pictures in the margins. You can't really do that to your therapist. Or at least, I haven't heard of that kind of therapy yet.

Aside from all therapeutic benefits, though, there's a collecting aspect to journaling that stacks more neatly than, say, Sloan Crosley's collection of miniature pony figurines. I even like to tape little pieces of ephemera such as receipts, movie tickets, and interesting scraps into the blank spots in the paper. This way, you can feed your hoarding tendancies in quite an organized way.

Then, of course, there's the memory aspect of journaling. You can choose to read them years from now or not. That doesn't really matter. But, in the case that you need to write an incredibly detailed and accurate spinster memoir, you'll have some notes for your outline. Who cares if most of them are about cookies?

As a spinster, your creations are your progeny. So buy some beautiful hard-cover journals with fresh, clean pages, a Pilot Pen with the liquid ink, and a roll of scotch tape (to tape your hoardings), and go to town!

Monday, February 4, 2013

#11: Buy your groceries at the drugstore

When you're busy makin' that paper, sometimes you don't have time to stop by a proper grocery store when you run out of milk. In a practice that's potentially more bachelor than spinster, I solve this problem by shopping at the drugstore. As you've probably read, I prefer a good Rite Aid.

Last night I left the office around 8pm, and I knew if I were going to make it another day without moths flying out of my hair, I needed some shampoo. When I lived in South Carolina and had a car, I would have planfully gone to the grocery store over the weekend to pick up all the essential and more. Or, really, I could have stopped by target or the grocery on the way home. Now, though, I can't be bothered with A) planning to actually go grocery shopping with any regularity or B) shopping in a store that has more than the bare essentials for everyday spinster living.

Of course it helps that I have a Rite Aid mere steps out of my subway stop, but the deals at this drugstore can't be beat! They are always having cereal on 2-for-1 special, and a lot of times it's Honey Bunches of Oats. My favorite.

I know, I know. You're thinking, "but this is so inefficient," and I admit that it is. But you know, sometimes you want to go to the drugstore five nights a week and stare blankly at the magazine rack or buy the only box of butter available. Sometimes you want to look at every bottle of nail polish and then not buy any at all. And sometimes you want to do that every night, even for just five minutes. The drugstore just offers a highly honed and edited selection so you're not continuously overwhelmed.

In conclusion, just go ahead and buy your groceries at the drugstore. It's like a well-curated version of your grocery store...just closer to your house and with a shorter line.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

#12: Do your laundry

When I lived in Greenwich Village, I used to send my laundry out because I didn't have enough time to do it. Well, that, and the laundromats were so small there was nowhere to sit. But, with someone else in charge of my clothes, I started to notice the printing on my tee shirts was cracking. Despite my requests they were washing and drying all of my clothes on high heat. And of course I couldn't have that.

When I moved out to Queens, I considered sending my laundry out once more as it was even cheaper here than it was in the Village. But, upon seeing the expanses of industrial tile floor and plastic deck chairs, and a spin cycle machine whose noise could rival a jet engine, I knew I'd be spending a lot of time doing my own laundry.

The truth is I'm a stickler when it comes to Laundry. Working in fashion, I know that care label is there for a reason. A very good reason. So, I separate my darks, lights, and sheets, and I use special detergent for my darks so they stay dark. And, when I put everything that can be dried in the dryer, I throw about four dryer sheets in there for that delicious fresh laundry smell. Still, though, somehow my laundry does not smell as good as my grandmother's. I'll never know quite how she does it.

Despite my love for the rules and regulations of laundry, I like to spend a little time just sitting at the laundromat, reading a book, looking at whatever half of a magazine is left lying around, or trying to discern just what TV show is playing on that tiny TV by the ceiling. The slightly crouched man who runs the 'mat and I have become what I consider silent friends. We communicate our deep and high regard through a series of nods and bows, and that is all. And that is all it needs to be.

So spend some time doing your laundry today. That is, unless you hate doing laundry. Then don't do it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

#13: Spread the Love

If you're reading this, and you're still with me, spinstering out hard core all day every day, it's too late to have an un-awkward Valentine's Day Date. So you don't have a valentine. So what? You can have as many valentines as you want!

I love to make valentines. I love to send out home made cards made of construction paper, glitter, paint, stickers, doilies - you name it! The fun is not just in the making but also in the sending...and then in all the texts you'll get when people unexpectedly receive a home made valentine from you, their favorite spinster.

So, I'm making this post today to give you plenty of time to prepare! You've got seven days to make all your valentines, send them, and then they'll have a week to get there! So, here's what you're going to do:

1. Get some supplies: I have so many supplies that usually all I need to get are cards and stickers. I do like a good construction paper card, but Michael's sells plain cards in a variety of colors and sizes with envelopes included. This takes out that awkward thing of making a card that's too big for your envelope and then either having to trim it so that the composition is off or making a questionable tiny fold on one of the ends just to make it fit.

If you're not a supply hoarder like I am, here are some suggestions:
   - Cards and Envelopes
   - Stickers: Heart shaped, 3-d or with Kittens. I like to get something that's got a little shimmer or shine to it.
   - Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils/Watercolors: Personally, I always start out trying to use the markers and colored pencils and end up using the watercolors. I somehow feel like they go better with glitter.
   - Construction Paper/Cardstock: They have this really cool kind at Michael's with an adhesive back.
   - Glue Sticks and Tape
   - Glitter Pens and Glitter Glue
   - Paper Doilies (a classic)

2. Decorate your cards: Get creative! I'm not going to tell you what to say here. If you're old enough to read this blog, I'm hoping you've made a valentine before. I will say this, though: I like to decorate at least some part of the envelope, too, in a way that harkens back to the design of the card. It just feels like they are nicely coordinated and a set.

3. Draw up your list of Valentines: First of all you need to include your parents and grandparents and then any siblings you have. Then, think of anyone you know who likely will not be getting a valentine. They need one. Next, get your friends' addresses. You like them already. They won't be weirded out if you send them a valentine. Lastly, your coworkers and any people you see on a daily basis. You won't have to use postage for these (bonus!). I'll leave it up to you who in your office/daily route you think it would be appropriate to gift with a valentine. Probably don't give one to that creepy guy who's always in the office kitchen staring blankly into the fridge, potentially stealing your food. He might get the wrong idea.

4. Write your cards: Again, this is up to you. For a lot of people, I just write "Happy Valentine's Day!" and then my name. But, other people get a special note...but not a creepy one.

5. Get some stamps, address and mail those puppies! You know how this works, but I do have two suggestions:
   - Get the cute stamps. These are special cards.
   - Put a sticker on the outside of the envelope where it closes. That just makes it feel more exciting.

Once you've mailed your Valentines, you can just wait until Valentine's Day, when you'll likely get more love than you would have if you hadn't sent out those cards!


Friday, February 1, 2013

#14: Watch an entire series

I'll bet you're thinking, "does this girl never leave her apartment," and the answer is...not if I can help it. Well, I guess we all know that's at least sort of untrue. However, today's post is about staying in.

Earlier this year, I finished the entire series run of Frasier on Netflix. Why Frasier? I haven't a clue. I just started watching it and never stopped. It was almost like i was friends with Daphne, Niles, and of course Eddie. And then there was sort of this sense of satisfaction mingled with loss once I had finished. But now, any time someone mentions Frasier at a party, as we all know people are wont to do at the most interesting parties (I mean, at least I wish they were, now that i've invested all this time...), I will be able to say, "ah, yes! I've seen that episode!"

There's really no good argument for watching an entire series run of a television show other than the one I've listed above. Really, it's a waste of time, but it is rather enjoyable. A few years ago, I completed the run of The Sopranos, and geezow, I will probably watch that again at some point. That show is a masterpiece. Especially the episode where Adrianna wears leopard undies instead of tennis bloomers. For some reason that still cracks me up.

But I digress. You don't have to do it in one night, one week, one month, or even one year, but watching a whole TV show is like a project you can work on while you're working on other projects, if that makes sense. For example, I do almost all of my drawing exclusively in front of the TV...well, unless I'm at work. Then I'm drawing in the face of/on a massive computer.

Anyway, get you some takeout, and visit your friends in your favorite series. It's probably best not to start with Law and Order, though. You may never stop watching TV again. For years.