Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tee Shirt Week - Pizza for Breakfast

pizza-for-breakfast, cold-pizza, pizza-tee, pizza-for-breakfast-tee
I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in my employment of the pizza strategy. You order a pizza and eat it for every meal until it's gone. The best meal, of course, for eating pizza, is breakfast. The pizza has been together as a whole for long enough that all the flavors have mingled and become one deliciousness. The best way, of course, is to eat the pizza cold, right out of the fridge.

Since I am 100% sure cold pizza for breakfast is well loved by spinsters, college students, children, and adults alike, today's tee is about my and everyone else's love of pizza for breakfast. The pizza illustration is one of my first more in-depth objects in photoshop.  A delicious piece of pizza.

When and where should you wear this shirt? Well, an obvious example is wearing it to breakfast. Other options may include but are not limited to pizza parties, trips to New York, and wearing as pajamas. This way, if you wear the tee to bed, you'll already be wearing it when you wake up for breakfast. You're welcome.

Check out the Pizza for Breakfast Tee here on the Zazzle Spinster Store.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tee Shirt Week - Bathrobe Tech Pack

Day three of tee shirt week! Today's shirt is a bit of fashion geekery mixed with some serious spinster action. In fashion, when you are having a sample made at the factory, you send them what's called a tech pack. In the tech pack, there is a front and a back sketch of the garment, and those sketches are called "flats." The tech pack will include measurements and callouts describing how the factory should go about making the garment.

Today's tee shirt has a Bathrobe tech pack because, of course, as a spinster I'm a bathrobe dweller. However, since I haven't been an apparel designer in a few years, I'm going to assume there's some information missing. So, don't send this to the factory expecting a perfect sample to come back.

You can check out the Bathrobe Tech pack tee shirt here in the zazzle store so that, if it is your wish, you can wear your bathrobe even when you're not actually wearing a bathrobe, like at the gym.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more of tee shirt week on the Spinsterhood Diaries!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tee Shirt Week - I Heart My Tablet

Day two of the Tee Shirt Week! It's a little geeky, but probably true of anyone who draws with a tablet. Today's tee is "I Heart My Tablet."

I'd never really used a tablet until I got my first job in Fashion, and even then I was pretty much forced to have one installed at my desk. I was resistant, but once I got the hang of it, I was hooked. Now, I have one at home and one at work, and I'm in love.

The "I Heart My Tablet" tee is the perfect gift to yourself or anyone you know who loves their tablet. Once you this gem, it's the perfect way to show everyone just how cool you really are. You have a computer, and you know how to use it. Not only that, but you have extra things that plug into your computer to help you draw magnificent graphics and illustrations. I suggest wearing this to places where you're sure to meet people who also use tablets. Otherwise, they may think it's a poorly-drawn iPad.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tee Shirt Week - Unicorn Flash Card

This week, I was extremely excited to discover that trend forecasting site, WGSN, had mentioned The Spinsterhood Diaries in one of their reports on indie women. As a fashion designer, being mentioned on a website I've actually used for years was really sort of indescribably wonderful. They even linked to this site and mentioned the Zazzle Spinster Store!

In the wake of such exciting trend forecasting recognition, I've decided that this week will be full of Spinsterhood Diaries Tee shirts, all listed on the Zazzle Spinster Store for your enjoyment (and, if you so choose, purchase)!

Todays' tee shirt is the Unicorn flash card. The graphic is of a majestic fuchsia ombre unicorn with subtle star patterning on his hind quarters. His main and tail are cyan ombre with bits of light scattered throughout. The tip of the alicorn is a light lavender that slips into white as it nears the unicorn's forehead. This specimen of the typical unicorn is placed in front of a coordinating lavender square background and labeled accordingly in regular flash card font for all the world to know just what that is on your shirt. 

Wear this shirt to the first day of school, job interviews, over your swimsuit to the beach, or to your wedding. Wherever you go, it's sure to help you win friends and influence people. concerned about those times when it's not necessary to wear a shirt? The graphic is quite large, so if you need to, print it out and have it tattooed on your chest. I don't mind. 

Stay tuned for more tees this week! And click here to check out the shirt in the Spinster Store!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Getting It Done Spinster Style

kraft-paper, kraft-paper-drawing, prismacolor-on-kraft-paperWell, this week was officially the longest week ever. I wish I had scientific evidence to prove it, but you'll just have to take my word for it. I thought it would never end. However, it's possible that this week I became a real adult. I asked to speak to a manager.

I really, really hate that most companies are moving over to mail order prescription services. While in theory the mail order system should be easier, like shopping online, it's actually incredibly inconvenient. The difference between shopping and having your prescription filled is that you actually have to mail in the prescription with some accompanying paperwork in order to order it online. There is the option to have you doctor fax in the prescription, but after he's already written you the prescription once, he's going to get annoyed with you for making him deal with it a second time. Believe me, I know. My...ehem...lady doctor...was quite rude about it.

I won't bore you with more details, but I had a really hard time getting a prescription refilled this past month, and on my second phone call attempting to remedy the situation, I, for the first time in my life, asked to speak to someone's manager. I never thought I was the kind of person who needed to speak to a manager. That's for people who get themselves all upset because they were rude to the service person and are now reaping what they've sewn. However, I must say that my asking to speak with the manager actually helped! I just hope they're not filling my prescription bottles with hamster food or goat pellets. Then I'll really need to speak to a manager.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Spinster Love: Busby Berkeley

There is little in this world that makes this spinster happier than seeing some people sing and dance at the same time. If there are a lot of them, even better. Magnificent costumes? Even better! That is why I love some Busby Berkeley.

I can't remember the first time I saw a Busby Berkeley film sequence, but I think I was pretty young. I was young enough, at least, to think that such magnificent floor shows existed in real, modern life. I thought they must be things adults saw at nice clubs and dinner theaters. Well...not so much. I think probably the closest thing you'll find to a Busby Berkeley dance in today's performances would be something at Las Vegas or the very select Broadway Show. And that makes me sad. But, at least there's youtube!

In my most fantastical dreams of my spinsterhood, my life would play out like one of the below clips. Even though they're black and white, it's like you're watching a beautiful human kaleidoscope. But there's no way I'm going to explain this well enough to you. I just want to share with you one of the things I think is the coolest. Check out these clips and see what I'm talking about.


1. Busby Berkeley's Violin Sequence:
          This one is super cool for the use of the lights on the violins. I have no idea what kind of technology Mr. Berkeley had available to him at the time, but this seems pretty darn high tech for a black and white movie.

2. Young and Healthy:
         One of the reasons I like this clip is just because I love the song. The whole thing is great, but the real dancing starts u at around minute 2:30

3. Dames:
          This one has a really long lead in, but again it's great. The women show up at around minute 3:00, then the action picks up at around 6:00, then things really get going at 7:20. However, I feel like this one is really one of the dances that really shows you what Berkeley is all about. It's really funny, though, to see all these women's faces in the beginning and see what was considered really attractive when they were making this movie. Some of them would still be considered beautiful, but some of them look sort of...well, drag queen-ish.

4. I Only Have Eyes for you:
          To most people, this song will be quite familiar. However, I never knew it was in a Busby Berkeley film. There's a long (kind of boring/cheesey) lead in, but at minute 4:00, stuff starts getting crazy. I'm not going to lie. This one might creep you out a little. But then, isnt' that kind of what makes it cool?

5. Wonder Bar:
          This clip incorporates yet another one of my childhood dreams: the masquerade ball. Little did I know that those rarely happen in real life, and when they do, half the people are wear gross "sexy" costumes. Boo. But, this one is fantastic. I love the use of the mirrors.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed your trip into old hollywood. I know I enjoyed the research for this one. Oh, Busby. Please come back and make some more movies in color. They would be so fantastic I can't even describe it.

Yep. This might be yet another reason I'm a spinster. But can you deny these are amazing?



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spinster Party Food: Snickers Brownies

snickers-brownies, brownies-with-snickers
Earlier this week it was time again for the office monthly birthday party. They day before, I was home with a massive migraine, so I didn't have much energy to put toward my party offering. But hooray! I had a brownie mix! In an office full of women, though, I couldn't just bring regular brownies. So, since the Reese's Pieces Brownies were such a hit last time, I decided I'd try something similar but new: Snickers Brownies! So, here's what I did:



What you'll need:


  •  Duncan Hines Brownie Mix. I prefer the Chewy Fudge Brownie or anything that comes with the extra syrup packet.
  • Whatever the back of the box asks for which is usually vegetable oil, water, and eggs. Usually a Duncan Hines Mix offers you the option of "fudge like" or "cake like" with regards to how many eggs you use. I always choose the "fudge like" option.
  • 4 to 5 Regular sized Snickers Bars.
  • Baker's Joy or Pam with Flour
  • 13x9 pan.
What to do:

  1. Follow the instructions on the back of the box for mixing in the required ingredients.
  2. Take Two and a half of the Snickers and chop them in thin slices. It helps if they're fairly cold. This way, you won't have a sticky caramel covered knife.
  3. Dump the Slices into the Brownie Mixture and Stir in with a spoon.
  4. Pour the mixture in the pan, shaking to ensure everything is distributed evenly.
  5. Cook for the amount of time suggested on the box, checking with a fork or toothpick before removing from the oven.
  6. While the Brownies are in the oven, chop the other two and a half snickers bars into thin slices.
  7. Once you've taken the Brownies out of the oven, and while they are still warm, press the think Snickers slices into the top of the uncut brownies as decoration. You man not need all two and a half. You can eat the rest. I wont' judge.
  8. Let the brownies cool and cut with a plastic knife. and EAT THEM. Or share them. 
Enjoy!


Mix the Brownie Ingredients
Slice the Snickers



Stir in the Snickers
Press Snickers Slices in to the finished Brownies - This is the finished product!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sumter for the Artsy Fartsy Newcomer.

Yesterday I recieved a tweet from a recent transplant to Sumter's Shaw Air Force Base asking where he might find some fun, creative people and things around his new neighborhood. Well, if I do say so myself, I think he's asked the right spinster!

Growing up is an artsy lady in Sumter, I must admit that I did spend my fair share of time learning the real ins and outs of the wal mart, shopping at the excellent thrift shops, going to the movies, and making dance videos, I did manage to fit in the odd bit of culture here and there. Not all of it, though, was confined to the Sumter city limits. So grab your keys, friends. You're going on some fun trips!

In Sumter:
1. Sumter Little Theatre:
          While this was where I spend quite a bit of my time in high school, the Little Theatre is a great place to meet other creative and fun adults while collaborating on a production. You don't even have to act to be involved. The Little Theatre always needs people to help with props, sets, stage managing, and many other theatrical posts. Not quite ready to participate for an entire show? Warm yourself up by catching a few of their shows. You're sure to meet some fun people at intermission.

2. Sumter County Gallery of Art:
          The Sumter Gallery of art has a fairly new facility and is now conveniently located right next to the Sumter Little Theater. Over the summer, The Sumter Gallery of Art offers a summer arts camp for kids, and at the end of the summer, there's a great show of all the kids' best works! However, if you're looking for something a little more mature, you can catch the Sumter Artists' Guild Show, happening now until August 29th.

3. Notable Local Artists to check out:
          - Grainger McKoy - Carver of incredible birds. One of his pieces is on display in Swan Lake and Iris Gardens
          - Ray Davenport - An incredibly realistic painter, owner of chickens, and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

4. University of South Carolina Sumter Continuing Education:
          You might think this is for old people, but they have some pretty cool looking classes in there. For one thing, you can learn how to do the Carolina Shag, which is a must for living in South Carolina. Not a dancer? You can learn about fishing, jewelry making, sewing, painting, cake decorating, photography, and even dog obedience. There are bound to be at least a few interesting people in these classes.   For a complete list of Fall 2013 offerings, click here!

6. Stanley Welch Clothiers:
          Before you go out on the town, you might consider stopping by Stanley's. The staff is friendly, and the shop is a gem unique to Sumter, Sc. With in house alterations and the expert advice of Stanley, himself, you'll be dressed to impress. Whenever my brother-in-law wants to look nice, he always says he's going to wear his "stanleys."

5. The Sumter Opera House:
          The Sumter Opera House is one of the iconic buildings on Sumter's Main Street. If you like old movies, then the Sumter Opera House has something for you! On Friday nights, they show oldies like The Outsiders, Curse of the Pink Panther, and Smokey and the Bandit III. I mean...what more could you want?

Well...I think this is a good segue. Just 45 minutes from the Sumter city limits is the State Capitol, Columbia, SC. While Downtown Columbia does house the State legislature and government, it also houses the University of South Carolina. It's a nice mix. So let's get to the things you might want to check out in Columbia:

1. The Whig:
          This underground bar and eatery has a cool, dark feel to it, and on tuesdays they serve cheap and delicious tacos. You're sure to find some creative (if slightly hip) people here.

2. The Nickelodeon:
          To my understanding, the Nick has moved locations to something a bit more luxurious than what it was when I was in college. Here you'll find independent films, sometimes film festivals, and sometimes older movies as well. It's a cool theater near a university that offers a Master's Degree in Film Studies. I like to think this influences the entertainment choices for the Nick's patrons.

3. Immaculate Consumption:
          This is a lunch spot and isn't open on the weekend. However, if you ever get the chance, I say GO! The pasta salad is to die for, and the turkey apple sandwich is so good. There's an upstairs and a downstairs, and it's just a cool place. And a delicious place.

4. Columbia Museum of Art:
          Every city needs an art museum, and Columbia has a pretty good one. They have visiting exhibitions, and there's a permanent collection as well. I'd be lying if I said I'd been more recently than in the past three years, but last I went, there were some pretty awesome sculptures in there. It's worth a trip. And sometimes they show movies out front on a giant screen. For a list of their cool events, Click here.

5. Barnes and Noble:
          There are two in Columbia, in case you get the hankering to go to a reading or a book signing.


       

Sumter and Columbia will be the closest to Shaw, but Charleston is always excellent. However, if you want to know more about Charleston, I may have to leave such a post to the lovely spinster Leah, as she now calls the holy city her home.

I hope this has given you a little kick start! At the very least, go have yourself some tacos at the Whig on Tuesday!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Experiment: Kraft Paper Self Portrait

So, one of the greatest things about being a spinster is having hours on end to do whatever you want without someone asking you what you're doing. Some might say that's lonely, but really, think of all the stuff you can get done that way.

I guess a month or so I bought a pad of kraft paper just to experiment. You might remember the Spinster Dream House post where I used the paper for the first time. Well, this past weekend, I got a chance to do a little more experimentation, and I kind of like the result. Of course, it' not perfect, but let's talk about it anyway.

So, I took this photo a few months ago using photobooth on my ancient Macbook. That's right, I still have the laptop they don't make anymore.

Anyway, I drew the self portrait looking at the screen of my computer since I'm out of printer ink, first using a graphite mechanical pencil, then going back in with Prismacolor colored pencils. sadly, my scanner couldn't quite pick up all the subtleties in the coloring, but close enough. The only thing I really regret here is that I didn't erase all the crazy graphite lines from the initial sketch.

Aaannd...that's today's post. If you're feeling a little light on content, just stare at it for a little longer.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just Another Manic Monday Playlist

It's Monday. And since my life is a more fashionable version of Office Space, I surely have a case of the mondays. I mean, let's be real. I've even been hypnotized.

If you're a spinster anything like me, and even if you're not a spinster, I'm guessing you need a little something to get you started this morning. That is why I've put together this Monday Playlist. I tried to leave out the more depressing Monday songs since Mondays are clearly already tough. So, I hope this adds a little pep to your step!

To listen blindly, click here.

And now for the list:

1. "It Sure Is Monday" - Mark Chestnutt
2. "Monday, Monday" - The Mamas & the Papas
3. "Monday Morning" - Fleetwood Mac
4. "Monday Woman" - B.B. King
5. "Come Monday" - Jimmy Buffett
6. "Rainy Monday" - Shiny Toy Guns
7. "I Don't Like Mondays" - The Boomtown Rats
8. "Blue Monday" - Fats Domino
9. "Monday Morning" - Death Cab for Cutie
10. "Except Monday" - Lorrie Morgan
11. "Manic Monday" - Bangles

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Spinster Brunch Addiction: Huevos Rancheros

I like to think I'm an adventurous eater, but where brunch is concerned, I have an addiction. I love some huevos rancheros.

The first time that I had the ol' huevos rancheros was at my favorite Astoria brunch spot, Cafe Bar, so I just assumed the dish was always made that way. However, I've ordered huevos rancheros all around the city, and apparently everybody does them differently. I've had huevos rancheros with crunchy tortillas, with sour cream and quacamole, made as a sort of soupy-looking omelet, and sort of served like tacos. The best, in my opinion, are the ones from Cafe Bar. They're just simple and delicious.

While eating brunch at Cafe Bar yesterday morning, it occurred to me that if I, at some point, am spinstering far away from my spot, I may find myself in dire need of los huevos. I'll just have to make them myself. And above, you'll find how I think I'd go about copying the delicious dish from my favorite neighborhood hangout. But in case my little recipe graphic is somehow confusing, I'll write it out for you, too.

What you need:
2 Flour Tortillas
1 Fried Egg
1 Scoop of Refried Beans
1 little cup of Salsa - or more, if you're really into salsa
Diced Potatos
Chopped asparagus
mushrooms

What to do (for the tortilla-egg part):
1. Warm your refried beans.
2. In a frying pan, place one tortilla on the surface, cover it with refried beans, and cover the refried beans with a second tortilla. Turn over a couple times until warm. Place on your plate.
3. Fry an egg to your liking - over easy or over hard. Whatever. Then place this on top of your little tortilla bean sandwich.

What to do (for the side dish):
1. Dice some potatoes and sautee them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic...and whaever else you want.
2. Chop some asparagus and add to the mixture.
3. Add chopped mushrooms and stir all together until warm and done.

Voila! Your Huevos Rancheros a la Cafe Bar!

Ok...let's be real here, I have no idea what kinds of spices and things they put in the potato/asparagus/mushroom mixture, but it is so tasty. I assume they cook that part first and then they do the egg. But until I discover the real recipe, I shall experiment, and so should you!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Spinster's Astoria Top 10

Earlier this week, a coworker was asking me about Astoria. As you may have noticed, I love Astoria, so clearly I was happy to email her a list of the highlights. Today, I wanted to share it with you!

Astoria is actually a really large neighborhood. I live sort of on the border of Astoria on the Southeast corner. That's about 3 miles from the Northwest corner which is just north of Astoria Park and the famous Ditmars Boulevard just south of Rikers Island. As such, most of my regular hang spots are in my immediate vicinity. Any other Astorian might have their own list.

But enough with the disclaimers! Let's get down to business.

1. The Museum of the Moving Image
          This is one of the coolest Museums in New York. It's small (re: manageable), interactive, and they have movie screenings. I went to the Jim Henson exhibition twice because it was so awesome. The interactive portion is super cool and includes exhibits where you can make your own flip book, make your own stop motion animation, and record your own voice over. The Permanent collection includes a bunch of costume, makeup, props, scripts, and head shots. If you're a movie-goer at all, this is a super fun place to visit.

2. Site
          This is a super cute store with a mix of hand made and made in the US items. They carry Astoria and queens themed shirts and home decor as well as some great jewelry, postcards, and home wares. I got an excellent cat necklace there one time, and of course I own an "I <3 Astoria" Shirt. Except the heart is right side up, of course.

3. Steinway Street
          At first glance, Steinway street doesn't seem like the treasure trove that it is. However, once you start ducking into stores, there are all kinds of things you can find for a steal. My favorite thing to look for on Steinway is costume Jewelry. For this, you'll do best to stick to Steinway between Broadway and 30th Avenue. There's a store called Prima Donna which has a really nice floor space, but further toward 30th avenue are also smaller, more jam-packed stores with names like "high on heels" and "jewel-licious." I suggest you just go ahead and peruse all of them. You never know what you'll find!

4. Queens Comfort
          On any regular weekend for brunch, Queens Comfort is absolutely at capacity. They serve delicious things like a fried zucchini sandwich, chicken and waffles, and fried green tomatoes. In other words, it's delicious. The decor is equally as charming as the menu. There are wooden booths, and a long wooden table down the center of the room. If that doesn't suit your fancy, there are diner-style bar stools at a formica counter. Against the back wall is a large projection screen, usually showing some random, obscure movie that you somehow can't stop watching.

5. Home Made Taqueria
          This is the first place I ever had a Huarache, and it was life changing. As the name suggests, here they make their own corn tortillas, which are actually much thicker than your average tortilla. Their version of a quesadilla bears no resemblance to what I had ever encountered, but it was obscenely delicious. It's tough for me to choose my favorite taco joint near my apartment, though, because there's another one on Broadway between 44th and 45th, but I'm not entirely sure it has a name at all. There's a neon sign in the window that says "we have tacos," and it's always full of spanish-speaking men watching a soccer game. So...I think that says a lot about the quality of their tacos.

6. The Astor Room
          I don't visit the Astor Room often, but when I have been, I have always been pleased. Located underground below the Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Astor Room offers the feeling of stepping out of a time machine into a jazzier era. The bathrooms are papered with opulent floral wall paper, and sometimes there is a Jazz combo playing during Sunday Brunch. On top of all of this, the doughnut hole appetizers are mouth watering.

7. Bareburger:
          Though Bareburger has infiltrated Manhattan, the original location is on 30th Avenue in Astoria. If you go for brunch on the weekend, you can get sweet potato fries, but on any regular day, you can get a basket of fries for the table to share which comes with three dipping sauces. My favorite sauce is the curry ketchup. And this isn't even to mention that their veggie burger, portobello burger, and beef burger are all quite good.

8. Villa Brazil:
          This Brazilian Buffet restaurant was suggested to me by my real estate agent before I even moved to the neighborhood. He was not lying. It is delicious. Aside from beans and rice and excellent fried plantains, this place has this meat window in the back where you can order all kinds of brazilian meats. I have to admit, though, that I've never gotten the meat. There are too many other delicious things to try. I have heard tell, though, that the meat is quite good.

9. UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas
          You had to know I was going to include this. Realistically,  this is where I spend a whole lot of my time. It's a pretty good movie theater that's clean, rarely has a super long line, and is rarely sold out. What more could you ask for? Warning, though: One time I ate the corn dog bites out of curiosity more than anything, and they weren't great. What's worse is that it was light in the theater for a little while before the movie started, so people saw me eating them. Oh, the shame!

10. Cafe Bar
          This is my hang spot. When I'm in town, I try to eat here once a weekend. I usually eat brunch there, and their huevos rancheros are the best I've had in the city. However, I can also recommend the falafel wrap, the pear and gorgonzola salad, and the cypriot breakfast. The fresh squeezed orange juice is $6 a glass, but I have to say that I think it might just be worth it. It may just be the best I've ever had. If you're in need of dessert, the chocolate lava cake will do you right every time.

Well, now that I've told you all my spots, I'm going to hit one of them for brunch! Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spinster Friday Jams: Friday Songs

Once again it's friday! If you're not excited, you absolutely should be. Whether you're going to party it up this weekend or totally veg out, Friday is the beginning of your time. You own it, especially if you're a spinster. So, get it girl!

Today I've put together a Friday playlist. Admittedly, there are a couple of songs on there that don't actually have anything to do with Friday. I just wanted to add them because they're awesome, especially since some of the friday songs are song I'd never heard of.

If you want to listen blindly, click here.

If not, see below the list!

1. "Working for the Weekend" - Lover Boy
2. "Friday" - Rebecca Black (How could I not!?)
3. "Heartache Tonight" - Eagles
4. "Friday is Forever" - We The Kings
5. "Friday" - Ice Cube
6. "Friday Night" - McFly
7. "Friday Night" - The Darkness
8. "Friday On My Mind" - Easybeats
9. "Last Friday Night" - Katy Perry
10. "Farrah Fawcett Hair" - Capital Cities (Ok...so its' not about friday, but it's excellent.)

Now, put on your headphones and get it bumpin'. It's Friday!!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top 5 Places the Spinster Eats in Sumter, SC

One of the benefits of all my friends getting married this summer, is that I'm going home a couple of times in the same month. While the trips to and from the airport and the loss of my regular weekend vegetative state will be tiring, I'm definitely looking forward to it. In fact, I have a countdown going: fifteen days until my next trip!

My hometown is called Sumter, South Carolina, and while some complain there's not enough to do there, I never had any trouble dreaming up adventures to have withe my friends. One that I particularly miss is when we'd do a "photo shoot" day and run around town with my Nikon film SLR making photos kind of like the ones you'd see in Rookie Mag.

As much as I liked our photo shoots, hang outs at Wal mart, and late night trips to Waffle House, I probably won't be doing any of that on my trips home. However, I do hope I can hit some of my favorite spots to dine. The good news is that I'll have some time to spread all these out so I don't return to New York looking like an obese gnome.

Without further ado, check out below my list of the top 5 places I try to eat in Sumter, SC:

1. Hibachi Grill
          I think this restaurant opened when I was in early high school, or potentially late middle school. This cheap and no-frills restaurant has the best broccoli and japanese sweet carrots I've ever tasted. Located in the far corner of a Piggly Wiggly parking lot next to where the old wal mart was, Hibachi Grill will surprise you with its deliciousness. Bonus: There's glass in front of the kitchen, so you can watch the chef make your food.

2. Sambino's
          Sambino's has been a Sumter staple for as long as I can remember. Formerly, the restaurant was located out by Shaw Airforce Base, then it moved to a tiny-but-charming little hut sort of behind the Food Lion and on the way to the YMCA. Now, they've updated their look to something a little more modern (which makes me kind of sad) and have moved across from the CVS on Alice Drive. The food is still good, though, and they have a ridiculously inexpensive lunch special - something like five dollars.

3. Murray's Dounuts
          I once went on a five mile run and planned it so that I would be finishing the running right around Murray's Donuts. I got two fresh glazed donuts as a reward for all my hard work and ate them on the walk home. While it doesn't take much for me to eat some Donuts, Murray's rival any I've ever had anywhere. While more established sumterites like my dad often prefer Perfection Bakery, I prefer Murray's. But I will admit, that is just a matter of taste. And that taste is delicious.

4. Ward's BBQ
          In the south, barbecue restaurants can inspire some serious debate. While there are definitely some great options in Sumter, Ward's is my favorite. Ward's doesn't have a lot of different sides, but their hash and rice is killer. Bunus: Hush puppies. Also, they are located now across from the new Sambino's Location and thus diagonally across from the CVS. That is, if you need some Tums or something when you're done.
       

5. Mary Ann's
          Mary Ann's is an unassuming little lunch spot in a strip mall on Bultman Drive. There are laminated table cloths, a carpeted floor, and strange paintings of tromp l'oeil windows on the walls, but a lunch in there will show you about half the business people in sumter. Their sweet tea is some of the absolute best I've ever had, and their pasta salad is really brilliant. I like to order the roast beef sub, but I hear the chicken salad is really excellent as well.



If you've clicked the links above, you'll see that hardly any of these restaurants have proper websites. That's how you know you're getting the inside scoop. So, if you ever find yourself in Sumter, and you're not invited to my mom's house or Ginger Jones's, I hope you'll take me up on some of these delicious options. At least go to Murray's for a little snack.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Keep On Fallin'

Alicia Keys's "Fallin'" has been in my head all day, but it ain't got nothin' to do with love.  No, my friends, it's a little more literal than all that. However, I am pleased the events of this work week so far
have reminded me of one of the biggest songs of my high school career. And How beautiful was Alicia Keys's face in that video? Flawless skin.

But let's get to the real meat of this story. Monday morning, I awoke at around 4 am to use the restroom, and on the way back to bed, I realized I was tumbling to the ground, and as much as I tried to catch my balance, I ended up crashing to the ground with quite a few bumps and thumps. It's jarring to fall all the way down like that, especially when you're a spinster, and you don't have a Life Call around your neck to push that button and scream like heck. Go granny go granny go.

Though I was worried about the noise I caused, crashing to the floor, I didn't actually hurt myself. No, I saved that for today. Around 5:15 AM this morning, some 13 minutes into  my run, I tripped over what seems to have been either nothing or my own foot. Whatever it was, it send me awkwardly hurling toward the sidewalk, heels of my hands out and ready to be skinned. And skinned they were, along with my left knee and, to a lesser extent, my left shin.

My first thought was that I was fairly sure I hadn't skinned my knee since elementary school. What is this, a playground? As much as it hurt, though, I have to admit that most of my concern was whether or not I could count this as a legitimate excuse to stop running and walk home. As much as I talk about running, sometimes I really dont' want to do it. Today was one of those days.

I walked home with blood dripping down my leg, and weirdly, no one would make eye contact with me. The best part of this whole ordeal, though, was clearly that I got to talk to people about it at the office all day. Maybe it is embarrassing, but so is, in some people's opinions, being a spinster.

The moral of this story is two fold:
1. If you're a spinster, get yourself a Life Call. You never know when you're going to need it.
2. Falling down has its advantages. Those advantages may not be worth a scabby knee, but at least you had a good excuse to go home and eat breakfast.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Wedding Season Post

My friend and former roommate Meredith was recently looking for some wedding shoes, and of course I had to do an extensive Google search to offer my advice. In my searches, though, I discovered the "wedding shoes" search on Etsy. Oh, my. I had no idea anything this...magnificent (?) existed.

To the left you'll find my own personal design for Meredith's Wedding. I think it'll go nicely with her Unicorn Unitard. But I assure you, this design has nothing on the links you're going to see below. Follow the links to a bizarre wonderland of the craziest shoes that I am 100% sure people wear to their weddings.

1. Ivory Pearl Wedding Shoes by Wedding Palace

2. Crystal Wedding Shoes by Paris XOX

3. New Colorful glass slipper diamond wedding shoes by Phone Case of Sophia

4. Sparkly Bridal Shoes by Bling Case 01

5. Luxury Heel Colorful Diamond Shoes by Apple Cell Phone

6. Wedding Cake Themed Wedding Shoes by Shoe Bakery

7. White Pearl Wedding Shoes by Phone Case of Sophia

8. New Crystal Lace Wedding Shoes by Wedding Palace

9. Custom Bling Heels by Wedding Palace

10. Luxury Colorful Crystal Shoes by Apple Cell Phone


Please note, however, that I have not done business with any of these sellers, so I cannot vouch for their validity. Since I know the first thing you're thinking about right now is how you can get your hands on #10.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Top 10 Ways You Know It's Summer In New York

Here in New York, we're in what is being touted as the worst heat wave yet of the summer, and I, for one, have been absolutely wilting in the heat. People always ask me why I'm not more accustomed to the heat since I'm from the south, and my answer is always this: we have proper air conditioning down there. So, in honor of the heat wave, I've put together a list of ways you know for sure it's summer in New York.

1. You keep thinking it's raining, but then you realize you're just standing under someone's leaky air conditioner.

2. You're never hungry because the air is so thick outside you're fairly sure breathing is the same as eating a meal.

3. The feelings of guilt you'd been having about missing out on all the nice weather have left, and you're more than happy to spend your entire weekend indoors.

4. You almost look forward to going in to work on Monday because at least they have central air conditioning in there.

5. You've started sweating in places you didn't even know you could sweat, like the fronts of your knees and the backs of your hands.

6. You get excited when a bunch of traffic passes you on the street because it's at least generating a little bit of breeze.

7. You're starting to worry that the subway stations have been sinking further underground and that every time you're on the platform, you're getting closer and closer to the earth's molten core.

8. You can't even remember what winter felt like. But then, in the winter, you couldn't remember what summer was like, either.

9. You've stopped even caring whether or not you shaved your legs. You're going to wear a dress. Or shorts. Let everyone think you're a wooly mammoth. And anyway, what kind of wooly mammoth wears pants, anyway?

10. On the way home from work, you've started undressing before you even unlock the door to your apartment. And then when you get inside, you have to stand in front of the air conditioner in your underwear for ten minutes before you can even think again.


Yep. It's summer here. I hope you're all enjoying some real AC.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Spinster Love: Glitter Polish

glitter-nail-polish, glitter-nail-lacquer, etsy-nail-polish
As you know, one of my favorite things is glitter nail polish. While I clearly enjoy a good trip to the Rite Aid to browse the glitter polishes, but today, I want to share some of the more creative concoctions I've run across on Etsy. The good news is I'm pretty sure you can use these whether or not you're a spinster.

1. Lavender and Gold multi glitter polish from Hit Polish Nail Lacquer.

2. Bunny Foo Foo White Polish with Pastel Glitter by Glitter Guilty.

3. Hangin' On Like a Yoyo Pink Polish with Multi Glitter by Pipe Dream Polish.

4. I'm a Cool Mom Lavender Polish with Pink, Orange, and Red Glitter by Lil Swagg Polish.

5. Clyde Tiffany Blue polish w/ silver and black polish by Glitter Guilty

6. A Walk in the Park Nude Polish with Gold Glitter by Wikid Nails

7. Flower Deco Grey Polish with Blue, Black, and Yellow Glitter (Yellow Glitter flowers) by Windestine.

8. I Heart You Glitter Polish with Blue and Pink multi Glitter by Glimmer by Erica

9. Viral Video Neon Glitter Polish by Me Lissa Lacquer

10. Just Can't Get Enough Periwinkle Multi shaped glitter polish by Lacquer Queen Polish

Cant' get enough glitter polish, either? Well...a quick search on Etsy for "Glitter Polish" under handmade will show you some pretty cool and creative little bottles of glitter. So, order some and have yourself a manicure. You deserve it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spinstering on a Summer Friday

Yesterday was another glorious summer friday. I had been looking forward to it all week. So, like the single lady I am, I finished the week in grand spinster style. I ate mashed potatoes, for one thing.

If you want to spinster out hard core on a summer friday, I'm going to tell you just how to do it by following my example.

Firstly, you should wake up and go for a run, followed by some frosted mini wheats. Then, you should fall pretty hard asleep on the way to work. Make sure you're sleeping hard enough that it's hard for you to open your eyes at your stop. This is key.

Around lunch time, go ahead and get lunch even though you'll be leaving half day. I suggest something really unhealthy. I went with meatballs and mashed potatoes. It just seemed right.

Leave right when you're allowed to leave, and then doze off on the train again on the way home. Once in your apartment, pass out on your bed or on your couch. It's not important which. Wake up two and a half to three hours later, confused where you are. The rest of the night should be filled with drawing, blogging, youtube videos, and Netflix.

These are all just suggestions, but I've found they work quite well. You will be sure not to run into any men or exert yourself at all. And, after a long week, isn't that what you need?

Friday, July 12, 2013

A (Thurs)Day in the Life of a Spinster

My latest subway read has been Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin. In style, of course, it is much different from, say, American Psycho, in that there is a clarity of thought that, while often tangential, on the whole, is understandable and easy to follow. Though I'm not sure the stories within Let the Great World Spin would actually count as part of the "slice of life" category, they do describe in minute detail the sometimes mundane occurrences of some of the characters' lives. And, of course, now I'm going to have to copy its style and tell you about my day.

Yesterday I woke at 5:30 AM, since it was not a running day, and had a bowl of frosted mini wheats with a bit too much milk. In my quest for the perfect amount of moisture in my cereal, Frosted Mini Wheats always throws a kink in my plans. I never have just the right amount, always too much or too little. I checked the drawer for a plastic spoon so I wouldn't have to clean it later, but I found the box of spoons was empty. In the drawer below, though, there was a box of assorted plastic silverware, containing knives, forks, and at least two spoons. Crisis averted.

I climbed back into bed and watched Tuesday night's episode of Pretty Little Liars, posting to Glipho during a commercial break. Spencer and Emily had a fight, and Hannah got arrested. I know I'm too old to watch this show, but I love it anyway.

On the way to work, I fell asleep while reading Let The Great World Spin, which was inconvenient because I was in this middle seat of the M Train. There's nothing to lean your head against in that seat. The window's too far back.

I took the back way into the building and entered through the showroom. There were bras and swimsuits all lined up along the walls, pinned to boards with fabric swatches next to them. It was day four of a week full of meetings with our merchant partners from out of town. I had used the back entrance to avoid being bombarded with questions immediately.

 I made a paper cup of tea and double layered the cups so I wouldn't burn my hand, and at ten it was time to go to the cross functional meeting via video conference. I dialed the video conference phone for the first time, and it worked.

I was supposed to have an important meeting that started at 11:30, but it was postponed, and I thought I had better get lunch. I ordered a salad with spinach, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and chicken. I told the man to put more balsamic vinegar than olive oil on it, but he didn't hear me say stop, and the salad was drenched. I got balsamic vinegar on my lavender silk dress, and I hadn't even made my presentation yet. Everyone had a tide pen, but the dress is dry clean only.

The salad was gross and soggy from all the vinegar, and so I put it in the fridge. I ate two cold frosted strawberry pop tarts from the vending machine instead.

The meeting finally happened around 1:30, and by that time the graphic designer had informed me that dolphins actually try to rape people. I googled it, and it was true. Now I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's terrifying. How can marine biologists, in their right mind, even let people near dolphins? And also, gross.

During the second meeting, no one paid attention to what I was saying, except all the people who had already heard it. The most important ones just talked amongst themselves and flipped through magazines. Tough room.

Next I had a meeting with the beauty team to discuss the bag they needed for summer. Also video conference. My production partner and I were the first two people in the room, and we talked via video conference to our out of town partner about Disney's Fantasia, of all things. I said I thought the mops had scared me when I was little.

I met back up with my cad designer by her desk, and we recapped a few main points we'll need to work on before I send out all the information to the factories. And then we walked to Wendy's to get milkshakes. Well, she got a frostee, and I got a frostee milkshake. This was our reward for making it through the meetings. On the way, we complained about how tense we felt every time our partners from out of town are in our office. It's double occupancy for an entire week.

When I got back, I met with my production partners who had some horrifyingly mis-matched strikeoffs I needed to approve, but we decided to make the factory try one more time. It looked as though they had tried to match the the paper CAD instead of the actual color standard.

Then I updated some folding information in a tech pack.

AT 6:15, I decided that, having finally made all my presentations for the day, I should go home. So I went home, ordered a pizza, and typed this while I waited for it to arrive. Once it gets here, I'm going to watch Netflix. And I'm going to love it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Spinster's Nemesis: The Dressing Room Mirror

In the absence of mirrors, other people, and rational thought, I like to think that the makers of the Victoria's Secret catalog have been pasting photos of Adriana Lima's face onto my body. They've only done this, though, because they think my face is too all-american, and so of course I understand. Last night's adventures, though, revealed my thinking on this point to be a fallacy, and I, for one, am horrified.

As you all know, I've got a lot of weddings to attend before the end of 2013, and so tonight whilst picking up the shoes for a bridesmaid's dress I'll be wearing in October, I decided I should see if I could find any dresses I might wear as a guest at another, sooner wedding. Picking up the navy lace number I'd found online beforehand, I headed to the dressing room.

What I saw in the dressing room will, no doubt, give me nightmares for the rest of the week. My hips, while still inside my pants, looked like two fat pork chops. The chunk sitch. But then, oh then. I had to change into the dress. In the dressing room mirror before me, I saw a human-shaped sausage casing stuffed in some places with oatmeal, and in others with Cracker Barrel's Lumpy Mashed Potatoes. But what's that? My face is atop this monstrosity?

Most women like to say that it's the lighting in a fitting room that makes them look like a heinous beast. I hope they're right. The only strategy I can think of behind this terrible lighting is that any covering at all is better than what you'll see when you stare at yourself in your undies in a dressing room mirror. Maybe it's a selling plan? But then, how would they ever sell swimsuits?

That said, though, I am officially declaring a war, albeit cold, on the dressing room mirrors of the world. They're committing atrocities and crimes against humanity. It must be stopped.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Top 5 Things I did in London

Jenine's photo of an obscured spinster at the V&A Museum
Well, firstly, let me say I'm typing this entry on my 5-year-old macbook which I unfortunately spilled water on last night, and now it looks like there's a puddle in the screen. So. This post shall be short, I think, and unfortunately you'll only get photos again. So sorry. Well get this sorted.

Anyway, yesterday I shared some videos, and today I just want to talk about the five things I most enjoyed in London. The whole of London, of course, was amazing, but there were some things that I really, shall we say, fancied. So, below you'll find my list!

1. Fish and Chips
          In New York, I like to get my tacos from a bodega just around the corner. They're delicious, and I don't need all those frills. So, when on my first day in London, Jenine suggested we have fish and chips, I was all for it. When I saw where we were getting them, I was even more excited. Jenine took me to her favorite bodega-esque fish and chippery where she proceeded to argue with the man behind the counter about how hot the chips were. It was delightful. I felt like I was a real London girl. And then I drank a can of Guava Rubicon, and it was delicious. And so were the fish and chips.

2. Harrod's
          I think I probably talked enough about Harrod's in yesterday's post that you know I'm obsessed. There's really nothing in the US to which I could compare it. I can say, however, that I think if I lived in London, I'd go to Harrod's just to wander around, much like I do here in Bendel's.

3. Meeting the Glipho Team!!
          Since about mid January, I've been using Glipho, and it's been really fun. I feel like the team there pays attention to all their bloggers and what they're doing. In addition to that, though, the platform is super cool, and it helps build a community of readers who follow each other and each other's work.
           But, really, enough about the actual site! The people who actually work at Glipho are so much fun. Before the meetup, I got to visit their headquarters, a nice office in a building overlooking a sort of courtyard and with a view of some water. The meetup was at Queen of Hoxton, where we all stood around laughing and talking and eating some of the most delicious burgers I've ever had. (They had Chorizo mixed in.)
          I followed the Glipho to a second location where I couldn't stop immitating their accents, and they tolerated it quite well. I apparently and unfortunately suffer from that affliction of accidentally grafting the accents of others when I'm surrounded. I will tell you this, though, Maria Nichol's American accent is all but indistinguishable from an American's.
          We even went to a third location: Fabric London, a sort of techno club like what you see in the movies. It was huge, and it was so much fun. I only wish I hadn't been dressed like an old school teacher when we went. I think everyone thought I was someone's mom. But I still had fun.

4. Borough Market
          I can't even go into any more depth on this than I did in the last post. I could have eaten everything in that market. I really think I could have.

5. The National Portrait Gallery
          I have to say this may have been my favorite thing in London. As you may have guessed, I love portraits. Especially really nice ones. I could have been in that museum for a whole day, and it's not even that big. So many faces. I'm usually not a person who just stands there in front of a piece of art unless I'm just trying to rest my feet by sitting on the bench, but I think I could have looked at each piece in this museum in excess of an hour. But then, I just love portraits. That, and I'm pretty sure I look just like King George, III. This makes me wonder, though, as I'm pretty sure my sister looks just like George Washington. Maybe they were related???

In any case, there was a lot more that I saw and loved, but these were the tip top on my list. Honorable Mention goes to the V&A and Selfridges, without a doubt.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spinstering Abroad

I'm not going to lie to you. I'm still recovering from my trip to London. So, today, while I'm still in recovery, I'm going to share some of the photos and videos from my trip. Hopefully tomorrow I'll share a bit more text details.

I think we should start this post with one of my best photos. When Maria Nichol, social media magician and excellent blogger at Glipho, found out I was coming to meet the Glipho team, she suggested we have a trade. She'd bring me some things from London, and I'd bring her some things from the states. Among my loot from the states were some Peanut Butter Snickers, Peanut Butter M&Ms, fun socks (not because they're american, just because I like them), some striped straws, and some Biscoff Spread (again, just because I like it.)  But the best part was something Maria, herself, requested. What was it? Red solo cups. Apparently, the ubiquitous Solo cup doesn't exist in the UK, and the fact Americans have red cups in all their photos, movies, and music videos, is quite exotic. With a little giggle, I was, of course, happy to bring two large packs. I feel like I got off easy there. And also...I'm considering becoming a solo cup trafficker.

_____

The video you'll find here is one from my first dya in London. My friend Jenine was a real trouper and took me all around the city to places suggested by on of the english designers in my office at home. One of the places we went was Camden Market, a sort of much nicer version of Canal street or that little alcove market in NoHo in New York. However, when I saw this light up tee, of course I had to take a photo. Later, though, my friend Sam left a comment on my instagram saying he actually owned one of these tees. I'm late to the party once again. But still...fascinating.

_________

Like all americans, one of the places I liked the best in London was Harrod's.  I still can't fathom that they had a giant food hall at the bottom of a luxury department store. There was a room for sandwiches and breads and other things you could buy and eat immediately, a room for jams and jellies and other packaged foods (where I found this Bacon Jam), an entire fish market with counters where people could actually sit and eat, and a room with chocolate and other sweets. When I saw "room," though, I don't think that manages to capture the grand scale on which the food halls were laid out. It was big. Really big.

Aside from the food hall, there were other departments such as Clothing, furs, fine jewelry, costume jewelry, Lingerie (where I struggled not to drool on the 1930's movie star-esque, floor length and trimmed in ostrich feathers), electronics, stationary, furniture, home goods, china, crystal, toys, and something called a "millionaire gallery." I am still in awe. I can't even begin to describe. But, Because I can't, I'm going to share the videos I took in this fabulous place.

Images of the fish market in Harrod's


Only a small portion of the chocolate in harrod's

The most fabulous dollhouse I've ever seen (Harrod's)

_______

After I visited Harrod's on Friday, I made my way over to Oxford circus for a bit of shopping. I hit Liberty London, the Terry DeHavilland store, Joy, and sundry other excellent spots. I also saw a man eating a hamburger, bread and all, with a knife and fork. It was a real Seinfeld moment, but I didn't say anything. One of the coolest places I saw, though, was this crazy shoe store called Irregular Choice. According to their website, they have a shop in New York, but I'd never seen it. These pineapple shoes are one of my favorite items of clothing I saw in London, though I didn't buy them. I kind of wish I had.


__________


Saturday, Jenine took me to this excellent outdoor food market called Borough Market, where I ate a Ham and Pea Pie. It was delicious. I also bought some loose leaf tea and felt quite english. However, I still need to buy an infuser so I can actually drink the tea without eating the leaves. I mean, I'm pretty sure that's the way you're supposed to do it. They had all sorts of things and samples to try. A few of my favorites were a delicious Mushroom Pate, Vanilla Strawberry truffles, Fig cake, some kind of cheese I can't remember,
and the photo you'll see here: gourmet mustards. My favorites were the fruity mustards. Delicious.

____________

On my last day in London, Jenine took me to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where I absolutely drooled over everything. Don't worry, I didn't get anything wet. However, we did take a little break before we went into the museum, where Jenine let me be an american and eat some scones and clotted cream with raspberry jam. And, of course, a pot of tea. The cafe in the V&A where we sat was so beautiful, I just had to take the below video. 

More to morrow on the rest of the trip! I hope you enjoyed my massive obsession with instagram and its photo and video capabilities!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

It's Time to get Sappy

So, it's the end of a long weekend for most Americans, and you know what that means: It's time to get sappy. So, for today's playlist, I put together some of my very favorite sweet love songs. I had hoped to make a playlist with all male singers, but unfortunately I couldn't find enough by men that said that kinds of things I wanted to hear. Ain't that always the way? Don't answer that. It is, and you know it.

So, make fun of me if you want, but you know you secretly love these songs, too. Or at least you will after you've listened to it and cried yourself to sleep a few times. Don't worry. I know what you're doing over there.

Click here to listen blindly

1. "My Love" - Paul McCartney & Wings
2. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - Roberta Flack
3. "The Luckiest" - Ben Folds
4. "Nobody Does It Better" - Carly Simon
5. "I Will Be Here" - Steven Curtis Chapman
6. "Something in the Way She Moves" - James Taylor
7. "Still the One" - Orleans
8. "You're My Best Friend" - Queen
9. "The Right Thing to Do" - Carly Simon
10. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" - Stevie Wonder
11. "Your Smiling Face" - James Taylor

....and yes, that's a baby's face photoshopped onto a glamour shot. You're welcome.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Jamz

leah-harrison, fruit-print, peach-print, apple-print, leah-harrison-journalist,
Since I'm out of the country (I love saying that) this weekend, I've asked one of my most musically knowledgeable spinster friends, Leah, to make you a special playlist for posting. Check out her amazing choices and comments below!

(click Here to listen to Leah's Summer Jamz.)
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Summer Jamz:


The right soundtrack has the potential to really up the ante on many summer activities, forever associating a beautiful summer memory with a great song. For instance, every time I hear "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden (you know, at skating rinks and themed parties), my stomach lurches and I think of holding hands with my 6th grade boyfriend. 

With these fresh and airy tunes, you're sure to create some potent remembrances.

1. "Helplessness Blues" by The Fleet Foxes. Because who doesn't wish they had an orchard during the summer?
2. "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys. The theremin--that alien-sounding instrument made famous by this song--is so associated with Halloween, but stick a good bass line and those summer harmonies with it and you've got a hot-weather classic.
3. "Taxi Cab" by Vampire Weekend. The tinkling piano solo in the middle reminds me so much of the harpsichord solo in The Beatles's "In My Life," which is so lovely. 
4. "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk. In case you need a little disco this summer. 
5. "Feel So Good" by MASE. If you were born in the 80s, you will no doubt have some dreadful middle or high school memories associated with this song, but take this opportunity to take it back. It's called reclaiming.
6. While we're listening to awesome songs from the 90s, be sure to pull out "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool. It's all in his name.
7. "Holocene" by Bon Iver. I listen to this when I'm trying to prepare beautiful meals for friends. I believe it improves them.
8. "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel. So many drums! So summer worthy.
9. "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter" by Jimmy Durante**. Considerably older than anything else here, but such a timeless piece. Think dusk, hanging out on a porch with a glass of lemonade.
10. "Cellphone's Dead" by Beck. Every time I listen to this song, the clouds part and I have all the answers to life's questions. Check it out, it'll add to your summer euphoria.

**I had to substitute the Fats Waller Version because I couldn't find the Jimmy Durante Version

Friday, July 5, 2013

Spinster Friday Jams: Slow Dancing

When you see this post, I will be in London! I know, it's a strange way to celebrate America's independence from the English, but I think we've patched things up pretty well since 1776, and I've never been to the UK!

But, I haven't forgotten about you! I made a pretty spectacular playlist for this friday, if I do say so myself. It's about to be like a middle school dance up in here. That is, if you were in middle school in the late nineties. It's pretty singable.  So, find a partner, stand face to face but arms-length apart, and press play. You're gonna like this one.

Oh, and that gif has nothing to do with this...but i had it, and i wanted to share.

(Click here to listen blindly)

1. "Back at One" - Brian McKnight
2. "Truly Madly Deeply" - Savage Garden
3. "Tell me It's Real" - K-Ci & JoJo
4. "Always Be My Baby" - Mariah Carey
5. "I Can Love You Like That" - All-4-One
6. "I'll Never Break Your Heart" - Backstreet Boys
7. "I'll Make Love to You" - Boys 2 Men
8. "I Need to Know" - Marc Anthony
9. "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You" *NSync
10. "All My Life" - K-Ci & JoJo

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Patriotic Playlist

So, I'm prewriting this post as I'll be in London when you read this. By the way, I've prewritten all fo this weekend's posts, too, and I think they all start this way. oops.

Anyway, It's the 4th of July!!! Hooray! So, in honor of the land of the free and the home of the brave, I've put together a (sort of) patriotic playlist. Not all these songs are worth playing year-round, but there's something to be said for seasonal and holiday-related music.

So, if you want to just go ahead and press play while you set up your grill and potentially put in your Ryan Lochte-esque grill, you can check out the Patriotic Playlist here.

The Contents:

1. "American Boy" - Estelle
2. "Surfing USA" - The Beach Boys
3. "Sister Golden Hair" - America
4. "Sweet Home Alabama" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
5. "Free Fallin'" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
6. "Born in the USA" - Bruce Springsteen
7. "Small Town" - John Cougar Melencamp
8. "American Pie" - Don McLean
9. "Party in the USA" - Miley Cyrus
10. "We Didn't STart the Fire" - Billy Joel
11. "American Girl" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spinster Health

Today's post comes from a spinster who is, no doubt, one of your favorite contributors: Alexandra Lubensky! Below you'll find her meditations on Spinster Health. I hope it gives you as good a giggle as it gave me.


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Good health is especially important for a spinster. If you get sick, you don’t have somebody to bring you chicken soup or clean up your phlegm-filled tissues. Preventative medicine is key, but if you do fall ill, it’s good to have a few remedies up your sleeve for a quick fix. Fortunately, I come from a Russian family, so there is no shortage of health advice to be had. All it takes is a single cough or a slight sniffle for all of my grandparents to impart their many combined years of wisdom. Lucky for you all, I am going to share just a few of the gems that I have gather over the years. Lest you be skeptical because of the lack of scientific evidence, let me assure you that my grandfathers have advanced degrees in chemistry and engineering, so they pretty much count as experts in everything.
The first step is to keep from getting sick in the first place and the best way to do this is to always wear a hat and scarf. The cold is an insidious enemy that must be kept out at all costs. You should avoid drafty rooms the same as you would the loud ranting man on the subway. Just imagine the wind to be a sneaky creature whose goal is to creep into your body and infect you with all sorts of illnesses. Scary! Women must be especially careful and never sit on any cold surfaces. Not only will you get sick, you will also never be able to bear children (though the latter point may not matter to some spinsters).
Sometimes, no matter how much you bundle up and avoid cold beverages, you still manage to fall ill. What to do now? You may want to start with eating a lot of raspberry jam. This is a magical cure-all, made all the potent when mixed with tea or hot water. It’s better if you can get it from the Russian grocery store; none of that Smuckers junk. After spending your day chugging hot raspberry flavored liquids, you will want to switch things up before you go to bed. Warm up some milk and add a healthy amount of honey before quickly downing the whole mug. If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, you can also just grab a giant spoonful of honey and swallow it. Again, quality ingredients are key. You want thick, all-natural, local honey, preferably with the comb in the jar. If you’re not packed full enough of liquids, you can choose to finish with a shot of vodka, whiskey, cognac, whatever. As long as it’s high-proof. This will knock you right out, so you won’t have to worry about waking up constantly to pee in the middle of the night after everything you’ve had to drink.
  Nobody likes a sore throat. It makes talking, breathing, and eating intolerable. There are two ways to get rid of the pain. To be safe, you should probably do both. First, cut up a lemon into slices and arrange them on a plate. Sprinkle them with sugar to taste. Now eat them, rinds included. It is more delicious than it sounds and soon you may find yourself faking a sore throat just so you can have an excuse to eat an entire lemon. The second option is gargling. Mix up some water and salt in a glass and head over to the bathroom sink. The more noise you make while gargling and the longer you can keep it up, the more effective the cure.
So next time you’re sick, don’t bother going to the doctor or even the pharmacy. All you need are a few key ingredients stocked up in the apartment and you can nurse yourself back to health.