Monday, June 29, 2009

sunny with a chance of rain

This morning I woke up and as per usual I rocked the rose-colored sunglasses...a trait I have clearly inherited from my dad. And I just want to clear up for everyone who is worried about this little girl in the big city - I am doing great. Really. I love NYC. I love what I'm doing. And, believe it or not, even though life in the big city can sometimes be lonely, I have found an indescribable comfort and peace from the Lord. My blog is definitely censored. The raw uncut version sometimes goes out to my close family via e-mail (you can't subscribe to that sort of insight, sorry!) But I think I mostly don't include the sad parts because thats not how I like to remember my journey. However, after having a semi-meltdown at work today, I thought I'd share some of the lows as well because those are the times that God really reveals himself. This morning as I was reading my devo I came across 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 which says, "We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." God is in control regardless of my circumstances. He was with me on Friday when I wandered around the city alone, and on Saturday when I was literally shaking with fear, and He was with me today when a long day at work brought on crocodile tears. It is definitely a test of faith to be a Christian in this city and its sometimes lonely but I am so thankful for a heavenly father who has promised to never leave my side. My ipod has been stuck on an old Jaci Valesquez song that has been a great reminder of God's love. I hope you find encouragement from these lyrics too...

"If This World"
Do you feel you've been disowned
Left outside in the cold
And without a home?
Do you think that no one cares
That you're lost an alone
And without a prayer?

Don't give in to the lie
That there's no one you can turn to
Don't lose heart, there is hope
There is someone who will never desert you

If this world is a lonely place for you
Fall into the arms of love
If this world is a lonely place for you
There's a God who you can trust
Who'll comfort you and lift you up

Are you looking for a friend
Who will stand by your side
To the very end?
Someone who is always true
To his word, be assured
He won't turn from you

Put your faith in the One
Who will never let you down
He has proven His love
Open up to all He has for you now

He hears your cry, He sees your tears
He knows your pain and all your fears
He waits for you with open arms
He longs to live inside your heart
You'll never be alone again

Sunday, June 28, 2009

la vita e bella


It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend here in NYC! Caitlin & David came up for a visit on Saturday so we headed down to the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked across with the intention of eating at Grimaldi's as a reward but the line was long. Longer than long. Longer than usual long. So we opted for the Cream Factory instead and headed back to Midtown for lunch. We went to the 6th Avenue Summerfest with all of the street vendors and it was really fun. Afterwards we went off to Rockefeller to get some banana pudding from Magnolia's and to people watch :) Just as soon as we got settled, a huge rain cloud came and poured over the city. It was so neat to watch (probably wouldn't have been as enjoyable if we hadn't found shelter) When it finally cleared up we ventured over to Times Square until we got hungry again. You will never believe what I had for dinner!!! OSTRICH! (see picture below) And the best part of all? I loved it! It was so good! It tasted just like a normal hamburger would. That says a lot too b/c I am typically a pretty picky eater and definitely a creature of habit - I order the same sub at Subway EVERY time I go. We were stuffed after dinner so we headed over to the movie theater and convinced David it was a good idea to see My Sister's Keeper. We, of course, were right. It was a really good movie. Different from the book. Normally I am queen of "why read the book when you can watch the movie?" but this is one that I'd say def. read the book regardless.
Sunday I met up with Cait & David again and we headed over to the MET. All I can say is thank you Marc Jacobs for making The Model as Muse exhibit possible because it is hands down my favorite exhibit there. After David had seen the swords, Caitlin had seen the photography, and I had seen the dresses, we were spent. We went down to Chelsea Market for lunch - no signs of Rachel Ray though. I did however, have a wicked witch (chocolate mint) brownie from Fat Witch Bakery, the so-called best brownies ever. And I gotta say I disagree. I thought it was good. I mean how often do I turn down sweets? BUT it tasted more like fudge than a brownie. My favorite brownies are the double batch ones that Kayla makes. I have yet to taste a better brownie. When lunch was over we headed down to Chinatown to say our goodbyes. Cait & David headed off to VA on a bus and I made my way through foreign territory and back home to Midtown.

Also - I tried a new church tonight, Journey, and I really liked it. It reminded me of a smaller version of the Wave. On my way out I ran into another intern from Shape so hopefully I will have a future friend to go to church with! Until tomorrow...


Friday, June 26, 2009

bucket list

Today I was thinking about all of the things I want to do before I leave NYC and I narrowed it down to my top 3 (besides the obvious - getting a job and/or opening my own bakery). The list goes as follows...

1. make money doing entertainment in the subway - the options are limitless!!
2. get on a tv show and/or movie (Gossip Girl, anyone?)
3. win the wicked lottery & see the show on the front row

That's not too much to ask, right? I'm off to venture out into the city & counting down the hours until Pinkberry gives out free froyo at 5!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

is this real life?

Sorry for the lack of updates. Life has been crazy!

Yesterday I went over to the Upper West Side after work with Katie, Tia, and Courtney to see the premiere of My Sister's Keeper. On our way over to the theater we stopped by this little bakery called Levain's where we got the most delicious chocolate chip walnut cookies! They were served warm and the middle was still gooey - yum!
We finally got to the theater and we were hoping to catch a glimpse of Cameron D but she got there early!! What ever happened to being fashionably late?! We DID see Abigail Breslin, Rachel Zoe, and Caroline Rhea though!

Here is the video we took of Abigail Breslin's arrival -->ABIGAIL BRESLIN! It's a little shaky b/c the security people kept making us move (they must not have known who we were)

Tomorrow I was supposed to go to a TV segment at ABC but it got cancelled (I'm assuming) b/c of today's events :( So sad.

Be blessed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

step by step

Well...3 weeks later and I finally made it to church! I went to Redeemer on the Upper East Side (as suggested by Christie - good pick, thanks girl!) I cannot even begin to tell you how good it felt to be at church with other Christians. I soaked up every minute of it.

On my way back to the apartment I thought about last summer, and then this one, and how different yet the same they both are. Last summer I worked at Kanakuk Kamps (K-Kountry specifically) where I spent everyday teaching 9 year old girls about the mercy and love of Christ.

This is from my diary on July 11th of last year when I got back from kamp...

"So I’m back from Kanakauk, this 2 month gap in time that I feel like changed my life forever. Kamp was probably one of the hardest and one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, which sounds completely bizarre. Kamp pulled me completely out of the world for a while. I mean we literally had no phones, no television, no internet, etc. My only means of contact with the outside world was through snail mail. I was blessed enough to have letters come in daily, which I held like treasure. It was my only piece of my life outside the red gates of K-Kountry. And I think being pulled out of the world like that makes you really realize just how worldly you are. I think I had grown really complacent in my walk with the Lord. I thought, “I go to this Christian school, I’ve put in my time on leadership, I do this, and that,” and a million other things that only led me to the “bad as” road where I justified my sins by comparing them to the sins of others. The first two weeks of kamp were rough. I had this huge personal conviction of how dependant I was on people and how worldly I had really become. It's almost as if I became self-conscious about it, more reserved, guarded. I have never been so broken and yet felt so loved by God. He helped me to realize that He doesn't NEED me to do His work, and that it's not about me. I had rough days and I had some of the best days, but everyday I woke up I knew I couldn’t get anything done without the strength of Christ. On my so-called "worst day" of kamp 6 girls from my cabin ended up receiving Christ on the front porch of Barn 5. God sent a daily reminder of His love for me in some way, shape, or form - be it a rainbow in the sky, a chocolate chip scone for breakfast, or through the salvation of one of my girls. One night after our director Pete gave the gospel message we found my 9-year-old kamper Maggie bawling (like favorite pet died, alligator tears, can't breath crying) and when we asked her what was wrong she simply said, "I just can't understand how one person (Jesus) could do that (die for our sins)" I was brought back to the reality of my faith on a daily basis. We read through Philippians during my time at kamp which I thought was kind of ironic - Paul found joy in a jailhouse and I couldn’t find joy at the coined happiest place on earth? God answered my prayers at kamp. I had been praying consistently for about 3 years that I would become completely dependent on God and not people...so He takes me away from everything I know and leads me to this place, perfect for me to grow. I can’t get mad at God for answering the prayer I desired for so long. God also immediately showered me with people I did not deserve. My co turned into a lifelong best friend, my UC an amazing mentor, and my fellow "kitchies" were some of my closest confidants - all people who loved me at my absolute worst, at my weakest. I was not the same person walking out of those red gates as I was walking in. I've changed for the better."


K-KOUNTRY 2008


So now you must be wondering how life in the Big Apple could even remotely relate to the life I lead last summer in Branson, MO. In fact, in most aspects, they are completely different. In Missouri I was surrounded by like-minded people who encouraged me everyday in my walk with the Lord. In NYC I brush elbows with strangers everyday who care more about the shoe brand they have on than the cause of Christ. A summer at kamp prepared me for the summer I am encountering now. I know that the things of this world will fade. I know the importance of spending time in God's Word daily. And I know, most importantly, that no matter what happens I am loved and taken care of by a heavenly father who only wants the best for me. This moment, I am exactly where God wants me to be.

When I was having a hard time at kamp my friend Ashley Goss gave me some of the best advice I've ever heard. We had a set of HUGE stairs at K-Kountry that were steep and long. I took them almost everyday and I gotta say - I wasn't a huge fan. Ashley said to think of the stairs when you think about life. If you look up at what is ahead it is easy to get overwhelmed and even a little discouraged. Looking up at the stairs while you went up them made the hike up seem even longer somehow...BUT if you took things one step at a time, one day at a time, suddenly it didn't seem so long. So thats what I try to do now. Take everything in one day at a time, one step at a time.

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." - John 13:7


Left: the K-Kountry steps I took everyday from the field to the office.
Right: the escalator from the 6 train that I take everyday to work.

summer solstice


Today is officially the first day of summer! Brie left this morning :( It was so fun having her here this weekend - we always have so much fun together. She got to NYC on Friday night and we got the most amazing bagels from Ess-a-Bagel and took them to the Rockefeller Plaza. It was a beautiful night out, a nice break from all the rain we've been getting. We walked around Times Square for a bit and then went downtown near NYU to get froyo from this place called 16 Handles. They have tons of different flavors and toppings!! I had banana, cheesecake, and chocolate froyo with cookie dough, sprinkles, and clear gummi bears! We got back to my apartment a little after 1 and crashed. Saturday we got up early and went to Times Square to score tickets to Wicked. Our three attempts were unsuccessful so we used the rain as an excuse to go shopping instead. For dinner we went to Ellen's Stardust Diner where Broadway-wannabe waiters sing and dance. The food was pretty gross (at least mine was) but it was a really fun atmosphere. One of the waitresses sang a song from Wicked - good enough. Here is a little taste of our experience at the diner...

video

Friday, June 19, 2009

mc meets lc


So today could quite possibly be my favorite day in NYC so far. I got to tag along to a Lauren Conrad photoshoot! I hop on the elevator on my way to the studio and guess who is in the elevator!?! LC herself! (I played it cool) The shoot was so fun! I got a sneak peek of LC's new fashion line for Kohl's - I'm already a fan. AND I read some of her new book, LA Candy, which is really good. She was so friendly and beautiful in real life. Now I'm off to the airport to pick up Brie from LGA! YAY :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

tut tut, it looks like rain

Today it rained. No, no, it didn't just rain - it POURED. Allllll day. Somewhere around 2 o'clockish I had to run a package to a company a mere 10 blocks away. I returned soaking wet, with a broken umbrella and a grumpy attitude. One of my co-workers saw my distress and took pity on me and gave me a new umbrella! She was so nice!

After work I met up with Katie and we went up to Bloomingdale's to watch a Dance Off and catch a glimpse of Ed Westwick from Gossip Girl! We both agreed that he was much cuter in person.


Tomorrow Brie comes to visit and I am beyond excited :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a tear on tuesday

I shed my first homesick tear today...maybe it was NYC's recent spout of gloomy weather or the "i miss you baby" text from my dad, but I was on the verge of losing it until I ran into Liz before work.

Today at work was insane. I wrote a press release for Shape.com, interview questions for Jennifer Love Hewitt, and another press release for the new July issue of Shape (which is really good by the way). Turns out I'm not that great of a writer. I was reminded of that at every meeting I attended. Needless to say, it was a long day.

Have I mentioned that I wear a backpack to work now? Does that make me a loser? Probably, but its saving me from developing a permanent limp.

When I finally got home Alexa and I headed to Crunch. Today was my last free trial day (looks like I'll be taking the stairs and the long way home from work now) so I took advantage of it by attending my first Spin class. It wasn't too bad! The room was all dark except for black lights! I also met a cute guy who works there and is from Lynchburg - can you believe it? Maybe I should join after all...JK!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

life. or something like it.

Kerri & Emily came to visit me this weekend and I had SO much fun! They arrived just after lunchtime on Thursday with bags full of my favorite foods (they are so thoughtful) We went straight to Dylan's Candy Bar and FAO Schwarz where Kerri & I took a stab at "Heart & Soul" on the Big Piano - she was more successful than me. After our adventures in Midtown we headed over to Grand Central for dinner and then spent the rest of the night out and about in Times Square. When we got back we went over to Tasti D Lite where we got the most delicious peanut butter ice cream. It literally tasted just like Reese's Pieces. AND I got mine for FREE! Yeah, I know!


Friday morning I volunteered in the editorial department of Shape. I shadowed the assistant managing editor, Kristen Maxwell, who is really nice. I feel like I learned so much in the few hours that I was there. I got to see the complete layout of the August issue and all of the elements that go into getting it printed. All of the people I met were very friendly and I really liked Kristen's position, she gets to do a big mix of different things. When I got off work I met Kerri & Emily for a trip down to the WTC. We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the shops in SoHo. I finally got to treat myself to some mini cupcakes from Baked By Melissa (yum!) and we met Alexa for dinner at a little cafe. 

Saturday was the "Snapple Big Apple BBQ" in Madison Square Park so we walked down to the park and enjoyed free ice cream, snapple, & granola bars! We opted for the nearest Subway for lunch (what can I say, I'm not a fan of pork) but it was still fun to be in the midst of everyone! After lunch we met up with Emily's boyfriend, Jared, and went all the way up to Central Park where we watched, and I quote, "some black guys dance"...

video
We walked around the park for a long time and I found my new favorite spot in NYC - Tavern on the Green. It is beautiful there!! (picture on the left)
We ate dinner down in the Village at P.B. & Co - a flashback to Elementary School. I had the sandwich of the week, Rocky Road, which was dark chocolate peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and sliced almonds on wheat bread (no crusts) with carrot sticks and potato chips! Jared had ants on a log and grilled cheese hahaha. It was so classic. I will be back. We walked off our dinners down by NYU and treated ourselves to some overpriced froyo at Red Mango before heading back to my apartment.

This morning Kerri & Emily went back to Boston, but they left me with a gift card to Crumbs! I seriously have the best friends. It was such a nice day in NYC today, which made up for the crummy weather we had all weekend. Hopefully it stays that way!

In unrelated news, does anyone else find it disappointing when Bath & Body Works discontinues your favorite smell? My first disappointment came with the disappearance of "Pacific Paradise" (circa 6th grade), followed by last summer's "Hello Sugar! A Whole Lotta Lemon Going On", and most recently "Rice Flower and Shea." Worst.

Also: I do not know how many of you know, but my Nana was sent to the hospital this week for a brain aneurysm (they caught it before it ruptured) and she had surgery this weekend. She is recovering well but I know she would really love and appreciate your prayers! Thank you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

wednesday

Not gonna lie...today was kinda boring at work.

My boss left for the Bikini Body Tour in Miami today (lucky!) and before she left she realized she left something at home so she asked me & Liz if one of us would mind going to get it. She felt bad and said it was unprofessional to ask, but I jumped at the chance for reasons that were just as selfish as her asking. 1) She lives on the Upper East Side and I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the filming of Gossip Girl and 2) Who doesn't want to see where their boss lives?!

After that little adventure, I spent the rest of the time at work making phone calls and drafting e-mails - nothing to write home about. In fact, I HATE making phone calls. It is probably one of my least favorite things to do, right above cleaning the bathroom. I can't complain too much though because I got off work early! AND I met this lady at work named Suzanne Bell. She does AD Sales for Shape.com and she is sooooo nice. She is going to let me come in on a Friday and teach me all of the online stuff for the magazine so that will be really sweet :)

After work Katie, Amanda, and I went over to the Boat Basin Cafe on the Upper West Side, its this cute little outdoor restaurant right by the Hudson River. ED2010 had this huge welcome party for interns and I met a lot of other magazine interns there. 


I'm really beginning to figure out NYC, but there is one thing that absolutely puzzles me...do these people really have all this money or do they just have a lot of debt? I think a lot of them are in debt. Thats my conclusion. What do you say?

Anyways, tomorrow Kerri & Emily get here and I cannot wait!!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

beanie weenies

If you ever happen to stumble across my blog and find yourself envying life in NYC remember this one thing...I ate beanie weenies for dinner. As glamorous as life seems up here, I usually get a reality check around meals (I had pb&j for lunch) 

I also performed the ultimate intern task today - getting coffee for my boss. Large iced coffee with skim milk and 1 1/2 packets of Splenda. Lots of ice! Why do I have that memorized? Because I was scared to death I was going to screw it up today. Thankfully, I didn't.

Today was pretty uneventful. I spent a majority of the day working on a press release for Radaronline.com, a celebrity news site that AMI recently bought that has literally skyrocketed since its re-launch. When I wasn't working on it, I was in meetings about it. 

At the end of the day I got to start on some pitch ideas for TV segments for the Today Show. Pitching ideas is probably one of my favorite things to do because you really have a lot of creative freedom. I credit all of my creativity to going to a Christian college - a lot of weekends were spent doing some pretty random stuff.

After work my roomies and I went to Crunch. Tara headed over to the Pole Dancing class, while Alexa and I opted for the treadmills. I'm satisfied with my decision on that one.

Monday, June 8, 2009

tastes of times square




Oh what is this badge you might be asking? Just a pass to 30 Rock!! (more to come later)

Last night I made my first attempt at attending church in the big city. I did my homework and stumbled upon Journey Church and chose the location nearest to my apartment - the Village. Well, lets just say the name alone should have tipped me off to the shadiness I encountered when I got off the train. I literally got off on 14th Street, called my dad, and turned around and headed home. Not even my mace helped ease the bad feeling I got from that place. Fail. Sorry God!

On the up side, work today was pretty fun. I got to go to 30 Rock for a meeting with Tammy Filler, an NBC producer for the Today Show. (Thus the special pass) I felt so VIP with my paper pass! I came back from the meeting and finished writing a press release for the revamped Shape.com site. My favorite feature is called the "Frizz Report" - you type in your area code and it gives you the humidity percentage & how to best manage your hair that day. Today's forecast was 74% humidity, Partly Frizzy. The recommendation was to, "combat frizz by using a conditioning cream or leave-in spray conditioner to moisturize hair and weigh down curl." Cool, huh?

My favorite part of work today was FREE ICE CREAM! One of the many benefits of working at Shape...there are freezers full of light ice cream. I treated myself to a chocolate fudge brownie lil' drum! Yum! Speaking of ice cream, here is the link to Friday's TV Segment - ICE CREAM (aka all the ice cream stocked in our freezer)

After work I met up with Katie and her friend Melanie for "Tastes of Times Square." All of the restaurants around Times Square set up these vendors where you can try different samples of their menu items. We were in heaven! I tried a crab salad cone (it was jumbo lump crab meat, avacado, and mango puree) from The View, cheese pizza from John's Pizzeria (who could resist John's pizza?!), and watermelon soup from Bourbon Street Bar & Grille (good, but a little weird). Overall, everything was delish! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

little girl. big city.

So I’ve been up here in the Big Apple for a week now and I thought a blog would be a much more convenient way to keep everyone updated on my everyday adventures.

Around this time last week I fought back tears as I said goodbye to my dad, aunt, and sister. After spending the previous day in the city in full tourist fashion (including trips to FAO Schwarz & Serendipity3) we woke up last Sunday to move me into my summer apartment in Midtown. Floor 25. I’m in trouble if there’s a fire, but at least I’ve got a great view.

I share an apartment with 3 other girls – Amanda, Tara, & Alexa. Amanda is from South Carolina and is interning with a PR company called Harrison & Shriftman, Tara is from North Carolina and is interning with MTV’s Nickelodeon On-Air Productions (she got to watch episodes of Spongebob for work the other day!), and Alexa is from Michigan and is interning with a finance company called Black Rock. They are all really fun and we have had a great time together.

As for me? In case you didn’t know, I’m interning at Shape Magazine in the PR department. I work directly under the PR Director, Samantha Trenk. So far, I love it. I work on Park Ave. on the 10th floor. It all seems so surreal sometimes. I mean here you have to have security cards, clearances and codes for everything – including the bathroom!

Already, I’ve had some of the coolest experiences. Last week I got to write up interview questions for LC (she is going to be on the September cover), attend a TV segment at the Good Morning America set, and help come up with a promotions campaign using Twitter. I usually work from 10 to 5ish and use my lunch breaks for trips to Herald Square with Lizzie, the other PR intern.

When I’m done with work I can usually be found eating out – my expensive new hobby. I have already fallen in love with the cupcakes at Crumbs Bake Shop, crepes at Melt, and just about any overly indulgent sugary treat you can find in Manhattan. My friend Katie gave me the idea of starting a food journal where you record the places you eat, rate them, write a little description, and include a business card/menu - which has become my latest endeavor. See for yourself… 

Other than that, I try to keep myself from becoming too jaded while I’m here. Although I was initially intimidated to live in the city, I’ve surprisingly adjusted well to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I call my parents almost everyday and thank them for the sacrifices they made to give me such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Although I stay busy and my phone conversations are typically short and sometimes rushed, I truly love and appreciate any phone calls, e-mails, and texts I get from family and friends. The kind and encouraging words have truly kept me grounded and brought lots of comfort. Thank you!

Please know that I would also truly appreciate your prayers. I don’t know how God is going to use me in NYC this summer, but I trust his guidance and calling for my life here. The quiet mornings I have spent in His word before work have been so refreshing and have helped to keep my thoughts from desiring the materialistic life-stlye that NYC has to offer.

“Therefore I urge you who have been chosen by God to live up to the life to which God has called you.” – Ephesians 4:1 (NCV)

And now for a quick list of things I’ve learned while living in the city:

1) Sweatpants are not appropriate at any time in the city. According to my roommate Tara, if you wear sweatpants in the city, people will think, “Why are you wearing those? Why do you even OWN those?” It makes women in NYC feel like they are getting away with something by wearing them around the house. However, other than sweatpants, anything goes in NYC. Anything. Conveniently, leggings are the new sweatpants - perfect.

2) Crunch Gym is no YMCA, it will kick your butt. Almost everyday after work my roomie Alexa and I head off to Crunch gym where we embarrass ourselves in a class that is about 2480298340 levels too high for us. So far I have flunked vinyasa yoga and two classes of ultimate conditioning.

3) Curse words are used just as frequently as “hi” and “thank you.” If I had a penny for every curse word I heard, I could retire. Seriously.

4) Google Maps has become my new BFF. Whoever invented the “by public transit” and “by walking” feature is a genius.