Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bummer and a bright side

Our New Jersey driver's licenses expire six days before we're moving out of the state. We have to renew them so we have current ones to rent cars/trucks for the move.

Bright side:
I guess it doesn't matter what my hair looks like in the new photo.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NYC to Santa Fe

You've probably heard or seen by now that Scott and I are off for a new adventure: We'll be relocating in July from our four-year home in NYC/NJ to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Scott has accepted a new job at Outside Magazine.

We've been looking to leave New York for a while. While we were thankful for the opportunity to move here four years ago, we never really settled in. Our jobs allowed us to grow professionally and learn new skills, but the hours we worked kept us from really enjoying the city and meeting new people, and although we visited a ton of churches (see visual evidence of why this one was not it), we never found one to call home.

We've been talking for the past two years about cities we might like to move to. I didn't spill the beans really in these posts about visiting Seattle and Arizona, but they were scouting trips. Santa Fe was on our list, but we didn't get to travel there.

So for months we've been applying for jobs in our target cities. We were hoping something would materialize before our lease was up in our apartment at the end of April. But nothing did and so we signed a new lease (which we now have to break). Scott applied for this position back in March, and about a week after we moved into the new place, they contacted him, and he accepted the position last week.

I think this is going to be a great job for him. The people he's talked with have been really nice and helpful, and working at a magazine that focuses on outdoor activities, there will always be people heading out for adventure. Scott will love the opportunity to get out and be active, and I hope I can take advantage of that, too.

We're planning our move for the week of July 9, shooting for a start date for Scott of July 16. So right now we're in the process of trying to get rid of a bunch of stuff, find an apartment sight-unseen, and figure out how to get us and our dog and our stuff 2,000 miles from New Jersey to Santa Fe.

After we leave New York, I don't have a job lined up. I'm looking, but I'll also be taking on freelance design and editing work in the meantime. (Shameless self-plug: If you have a job for me or know someone who might, here's my portfolio site.) I'm also hoping to spend some more time on my card company. I'm excited to have some time to do a better job of networking and design new stuff.

If you'd like to pray for us, these are the big things:
- That we find an apartment we'll enjoy in a good area with a decent commute.
- That I can find a job quickly and/or have enough freelance gigs to make a few bucks.
- Finances. This is a big, expensive move, and we have to break our current lease. There are large fees associated with that, and we are on the hook for the rent until the unit is re-rented.
- A little peace in the stress of planning and executing such a huge move.
- Finding the community in Santa Fe we've been lacking here.
- For safe travels. We'll be driving 4-5 days cross-country because Thunder wouldn't do well on a plane.

Thank you for your love and friendship as we take on this new adventure. I'll try to keep you posted as the move nears!

Friday, May 4, 2012

How I wound up on MarthaStewart.com

A few weeks ago, I got an email from an Etsy admin that said The Martha Stewart Show was taping an Etsy show with an audience of all-Etsy sellers and that they (The Martha Stewart Show) wanted me to join them. I respect Martha Stewart for all her success — I've seen her show more than once and even own a few of her products — but I'm not a die-hard fan. But I knew this could be an opportunity for the business, and so I was in.

Apparently the audience holds about 150 people. There are 800,000 sellers on Etsy, so I am not sure how I ended up being one of the chosen. The show tapes here in New York, and I met some other sellers also from around the Northeast, so it was probably part awesomeness and part proximity.

Martha answers a question after the taping

We were told to bring items from our shop to hold up; I brought this print because I figured it would be easier to read on camera, and a few cards ('cause as you know, that's really my thing). I was really impressed that they pretty much taped the show straight through, only stopping once for a technical difficulty. The show taped on Monday, April 23, and aired on Thursday, April 26. I can be seen briefly on camera a few times, but my products never made it. At the end of the taping, Martha herself decided we should all have our picture taken with our items on the way out and they would go up on her website with a link to our shops.

And that's how I wound up on MarthaStewart.com :)

Take a few minutes and look through the other sellers, too — you never know what kind of creative goodness you'll find!

Watch (most of) the whole episode here ... see if you can spot me around 4:16 and 5:06!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our own House Hunters

For various reasons, we decided not to re-up our lease this year. We've been in this apartment for three years, the longest we've been in any place since we've been married. (Twice over.) But then life did what life does and threw a curve ball, and we needed an apartment here ASAP. So we went to the leasing office in our same building and asked what they could do.

Have you seen House Hunters on HGTV? I'm totally addicted. Basically people are shown three different residences matching their space/budget requirements, and at the end of the show, they eliminate one (if it's House Hunters International), and then they announce which one they to chose to buy.

We were presented with a similar situation: three available apartments, varying pros and cons, and a very short time to make a decision. The options were:

1. 23rd floor, similar floor plan, similar view of Hudson River and Empire State Building. Same price we would've paid to re-up this place.

2. Same floor we're on now, two doors down. Opposite side of the hall, faces west toward New Jersey, so no Empire State Building. Similar floor plan. Costs a little less.

3. 10th floor. Similar floor plan, faces west, closer to the ground, lesser view. Costs same as option 2.

We eliminated option 3 fairly quickly. Neither of us were loving the location in the building, putting us right over a busy street (and being further down is noisier). Because it was lower, the view wasn't as good. So we were left with 1 and 2.

In Option 1, the layout was flipped from our current apartment, which was a bit weird. If it was just the two of us, the 23rd floor would be totally fine. But with an old, arthritic dog, 23 flights of stairs during a fire alarm is a LONG way down. But it DID still have the fantastic view of the city, and the price was really reasonable.

In Option 2, we were aware that the would-be next door neighbors often fight. LOUDLY. Being on the other side of the building seemed to be a plus for us though, since even though we lose the Empire State Building view, we'd get the sun in the afternoon/evening instead, allowing us to sleep better and cooler in the mornings since we keep late schedules.

And the apartment we chose is ....... Option 2.

We move in a little over a week. About 10 steps down the hall. No boxes required.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sometimes, a girl needs hot pink earplugs

Dear de-construction workers outside my window every.single.morning at 8 a.m. on the dot:

Obviously you missed the memo that I keep a late schedule, and so I sleep late. After two weeks of you methodically tearing down a tin roof and s-c-r-a-p-i-n-g it across the concrete, back and forth at least 12 times, now you are jackhammering what encompasses AN ENTIRE CITY BLOCK. Enough is enough. You have it your way, I'll have it mine. Nice, quiet, and hot pink.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's for lunch?

It's lunchtime and I can smell the Cincinnati chili. It's been a favorite since I was a kid. You can't even get the spice packets for it here, but my mom sends me a few in the mail every once in a while. Precious commodity. When I make it, I make it in the evenings so it has time to simmer and the flavors can meld in the fridge overnight.

But it's lunchtime and I am eating cereal. I can smell the Cincinnati chili because it just got dumped in the trash. Because I made it last night and never put it in the fridge.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet is going to ruin my Christmas

I know it's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas. But it's been on my mind lately as downtown NYC starts to sparkle with Christmas lights.

And you better believe NYC does it up right. Carefully wrapped branches result in beautiful twinkling trees. None of that throw-it-in-the-branches-and-call-it-a-day stuff.

But one of my very favorite places at Christmastime is currently "Occupied."

Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement is camped out, is a block-sized, understated park you really wouldn't think twice about walking through. In the daytime, it's full of people sitting on its stone benches, eating lunch from the nearby food carts. Tourists take pictures from here of the WTC site.

But the real magic of this park is at night. We often walk through Zuccotti Park on our way home from work. (Well, we did, before the Occupiers arrived.) This particular park has light bars built into the ground every few steps, making it a really beautiful, peaceful, ambient place to be at night. I love it. I've even told my husband that if things had been different, I would love to have been proposed to in that park.

And the beauty of the lights is only magnified at Christmas, when each bare tree is painstakingly wrapped with strands of white Christmas lights. And the planters in the park are taken over by huge, perfect Christmas trees.
A little natural snow never hurts

So I'm a bit sad that it's looking like I won't be enjoying my favorite Christmas spot this year. I wish I had a picture of it at night to show you. But if I took it now, it'd be full of plastic tarps and unshowered protesters.

{This is not meant to be a political statement. Let's keep it that way.}