218. Kost

Ikea

Attention New Year’s Resolutioners…Resolutionaries…whatever you’d like to be called. If your plan was to ditch those extra pounds before spring wedding season then I’ve got the diet for you. It’s new. It’s easy. And all you have to do is find your nearest Ikea. That’s right folks, for a mere trip to the land of overpriced Swedish furniture you can enjoy a cheap, fresh, and healthy meal that will have your Weight Watcher friends drooling.

I find it hard to always choose the healthy option, especially when living in New York City, the land of amazing restaurants and specialty bakeries like Schmackaray’s (don’t get me started on their Maple Bacon Cookie) and Alice’s Tea Cup. That’s why I found myself at Ikea yesterday (ok, really it was because I desperately needed a slim dresser for my tiny bedroom). But, once I heard my stomach growling, I knew it was time for some famous Ikea Swedish Meatballs. Looking at the menu, however, I realized that ultimately, I didn’t need to eat 15 meatballs served with mashed potatoes, cream sauce, and lingonberries. But it was only $3.99!

Then I had a brilliant idea – the kids menu. Of course! That way I could eat a few of my favorite meatballs (5 in total), get a smaller portion of mashed potatoes, and add a salad bar for greens and volume. I grabbed some fresh fruit and Chobani yogurt (latest obsession) for snack later and opted for a bottled water instead of soda. I found that I was more than content with my selection and I had a balanced meal in front of me.

Here’s what could await you the next time you decide to buy and build a Hemnes Shoe Cabinet:

Ikea Diet

Or you could just show up for lunch. Or dinner. Or breakfast. Ikea’s got it all (starting at just $.99)! Plus, when you’re done, you’ll have more energy to pull down those boxes that weigh more than you do from the rafters. Just don’t blame me when you get home and spend 5+ hours looking for the one screw that’s missing from the box. At least you got a healthy meal out of it!

In case your wondering, here’s how my “shoe cabinet” (aka “everything that doesn’t fit in my closet” cabinet) turned out:

Hemnes

*Note to self: Call Ikea to ask about possible spokesperson opportunities. Let them know that I’d be happy to travel around the world in the name of meatballs and a hefty discount.

**In case you’re wondering what Kost means. It’s Swedish for diet.

203. Ouch

Alvin

You know that guy next to this Alvin Ailey dancer is praying that he doesn’t get tagged on Facebook. #goingtogymtomorrow

180. That’s So NYC

Cool New Yorkers in their Cool Outfits Cooling Off at the Thompson Hotel

Personally, I like the couple having a deep moment on the right. Maybe he’s saying “I love you” for the very first time. That is so NYC. This is going to be my new go-to lingo whenever I see something completely over the top ridiculous (and by that I mean lots of beautiful people doing really cool things). I’m sure these Manhattanites would appreciate seeing me apply chapstick every five seconds while I try to hide my upper thighs with a sarong that cost me less than $10 at Old Navy. Even the NY Times thinks hotel pool parties that start way before 5 p.m. on a work night are so NYC. That’s so NYC.

155. NYC vs. Everywhere Else

I thought this article was quite hilarious since I’m trying to move back to NYC while this guy is praising the reasons why he left. I think every New Yorker has reasons to love/hate the city while other people say they “love New York but only to visit.” It’s a city like no other and the author’s comment about feeling like you’re doing bigger things is kind of true. There’s something about that Manhattan energy (and I’m not talking about the a-hole pushing you into the subway car) that makes you feel like you can do anything. Granted, you’re probably never going to live alone and you’ll find yourself repeating the phrase “Seriously? A martini is $18?” but for many people New York City is revitalizing and empowering. Cheers to the Big Apple (even if you hate it)!

150. Driven By Boredom

(credit: Nate “Igor” Smith)

While writing my daily post for CBSNewYork.com, I came across this photographer named Nate “Igor” Smith. This blogger/photographer rocks, mainly because of the way he captures street life in New York City. It looks like his website, Driven By Boredom, showcases his latest work (including the recent kick ass performance by Childish Bambino at Prospect Park Bandshell). Donald Glover’s talent seems like this infinite black hole…it just keeps going and going. Smith is having an art show in Brooklyn this Friday for those folks living on the other side of the country. Cheers to these two guys on this Thursday afternoon. Clink (that’s my “cheersing” sound effect)

149. Without Nora, Harry Would Have Never Met Sally

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.” – Nora Ephron

I was sad to read that Nora Ephron had passed away today. She was someone I always wanted to run into on the streets of New York and hug and tell her how much she inspired me to become a writer. She had guts and talent and charm and wit and such a power with the words she chose. I recently finished her book I Remember Nothing and was laughing out loud. She went too soon but thankfully she left us with such wonderful films as When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle to watch over and over again to remember her vivacious and courageous spirit….R.I.P. Ms. Ephron. May you be enjoying garnishes up in heaven 🙂

You’ll understand that reference by clicking here.

Read some of the many wonderful pieces she wrote for The New Yorker.

129. Ducks Fly East To Manhattan

Oh, look at us!  Here we are about 10 days ago eagerly awaiting our trip to visit ad agencies in New York City.  None of us had any idea what to expect.  Especially me.  I didn’t know a single person as the lone grad student but I was ready to find out more about the fascinating world of advertising.

This trip was a sentimental one because I just moved from New York City last June.  As soon as I landed, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel.  Overwhelmed?  Over it?  Exhausted? In love all over again?  It was everything I remembered it to be and more (even the rain we brought from Oregon couldn’t damper my affection for the Big Apple).  I found myself actually missing the blaring sound of the alarm going off in the subway and the unsettling feeling of being in a taxi with the least safest driver in the city.

In a nutshell, what I took away from this past week is that I want to work in an environment that encourages quirky behavior and strange ideas. I want to be surrounded by smart and curious people.  I don’t want to feel stifled by the man at the top or the corporate rules of working at a large organization.  If I can get paid for voicing my ideas and putting them down on paper, I’ll be one happy lady.

I left Eugene wanting to work at a large agency but I walked away intoxicated by the smaller companies like Big Spaceship and Mr. Youth.  These were places where everyone came together (CEO & Jr. Strategist) for a common cause: to create the best campaign for their clients.  As someone who has worked in the dreaded cubicle, it was refreshing to see agencies where there weren’t any dividers.  Although, I was disappointed to see only 2 ping-pong tables out of the 6 agencies we visited, many of the offices made up for it with these quirky accessories and decorations:

DDB had their very own Ronald MacDonald (who inappropriately asked me to lei him upon arrival).

Ogilvy shared their editing bay with us. This included old school “astronaut-like” equipment (like tapes!)

My personal favorite: the Women’s bathroom at Mr. Youth.

Overall, I have to say this was one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life.  I got to immerse myself in a world I’ve always wanted to know more about (thank you Deb Morrison) and I was able to get a feel for what a “9 to 5” job in the creative field really entails.  I also learned the following: typography matters, making your partner look better is key, people at agencies like to say the word “nimble,” and presenting a campaign idea at Wieden + Kennedy is pretty f*$%#@g awesome.

Now, if only I could figure out why these two people forgot to put their shirts on:

128. Wait. Am I in Ireland?


 

While I was in New York City this week, I came across this little gem of a moment.  A man with a guitar was singing in the subway when a random passenger joined in. Afterward, the man introduced himself as an Irish folk singer.  I immediately looked behind me to see if they were shooting the sequel to Once, which is still one of my favorite films.

66. Who is this chick anyway?

(Super grateful for these two people: My parents at their wedding shower)

(I've also got two sisters. One older (left) and one younger (right). That makes me the MIDDLE CHILD. Sorry, I was trying to get your attention.)

57. It only took me three years to order pictures…

So I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments that I was able to capture in time thanks to the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone. Most are from living in New York City but some are from the South, Oregon, and California. Enjoy!

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