No Makeup Day

Makeup free day, for both of us

If you read my No Mascara post, you may be under the impression that a “no makeup” would be another way of phrasing the worst day ever. You would be wrong though…a “no makeup” day is one of my favorite days!

choose to have no makeup days on my nothing-to-do-but-stay-home-and-relax-and-cuddle-days. This is also known as “pajama day”, “movie day”, “lazy sunday”, etc. It is so rare that I get a day off with nothing to do, so I planned on taking full advantage of one this Sunday.

I told Fiance of my plans ahead of time so he was fully prepared to do nothing, except hangout with me, of course. I stayed up extra late Saturday night, so I was fully prepared to sleep in as late as possible. I even turned down an offer to eat vegan hot dogs with Zoey because that would require real pants and shoes. Even with all this planning my day wasn’t totally non-productive.

I love to relax and watch TV all day, but it is not easy to do. After I woke up…at noon… I remembered all the things I needed to do that I now had the time to do (Stupid guilt) (i.e. laundry, clean house, clean out closet, wedding planning). Then both Zoey and Fiance informed that it was one of the most beautiful days out in a long time and I should not be wasting it inside.

Fiance agreed to do the laundry, while I get some other things, and as soon as we were finished we’d walk to the park, and I could just go in my pajamas: problem solved.

Doing laundry in the city is a huge pain. It entails carrying all your laundry and detergent to the laundry mat, paying with quarters, waiting forever, and not having any room to hang the clothes you cannot dry. Faince solved the last problem by hanging a retractable clothes line in our hallway/kitchen.

It looks a lot like a fish

He is a genius, and this little tool has been super useful. Except today, it fell along with all of the wet clean laundry. It took an hour to drill back into the wall (after 6 other holes were drilled) because our walls are made of a combination of very old plaster, lead paint, wall paper, and several more layers of paint. The walls basically crack and turn to dust when you attempt to drill or nail into them.

After getting this finished we still ended up hanging our clothes all over the house because we were lazy and waited far too long to do laundry in the first place.

So our park trip was a little late in the day, but we made it, and it was BEAUTIFUL! My favorite part about living on the Upper East Side is being so close to the Central Park.

It is finally nice enough to not wear my winter coat, and  no one cared that I was walking around in mostly pajamas (I decided to wear yoga pants instead of boxer shorts…it’s a little too chilly for that).


Belle was SOOOO happy to be outside, playing fetch, and chasing the birds and squirrels. We had a great “no makeup day”.

This was our attempt at a family picture, but Belle couldn't stop kissing her daddy

Now it’s time to put the computer away, and watch several episodes of Game of Thrones, and eat some Chocolate Dreams because that’s the proper way to finish a “no makeup” day.


Best Sandwich Ever

For about two days I did not eat out,  buy Starbucks, online shop, or anything else at all. I was still feeling guilty about my shopping spree that I did nothing to earn, so I thought I’d save some money by making myself meals and coffee for a couple days.

Venturing into the kitchen can be an extremely messy and frightening experience for me.

Every morning, I blindly stumble into the kitchen, and manage to start a pot of coffee with just the mere memory of where everything is placed in my kitchen. I then shower*, and it’s around the time that I dry my face off that I feel like my eyes are open and the smell of coffee reminds me that I made coffee and that I do have a reason to get up at such a painful hour.

After drinking a pot of coffee, and finally waking up, I look around the kitchen….horrified…then turn to Belle (who is whining for breakfast) and say, “WHO made this mess Belle?!?!”

The kitchen looks as if a mad person sprinkled coffee grinds on every inch of counter space, dripped water on the floor, the rugs, and down the side of the coffee maker, and took out 3 different coffee mugs.

I’d like to blame this behavior on the fact that I make coffee while still asleep, but my own Mother and Fiance will be all too happy to tell you that this is always how I behave in the kitchen…no matter what the hour. “If you follow any trail of crumbs it is sure to lead to Hilarie.” ~Mom

Even when I try extra hard to be neat while cooking, someone else will walk in and immediately have a look of shock upon their face. “How did you get avocado in your hair?” ~Fiance

Even though I am an obvious mess, I stuck with my plan to cook for myself. (You should know that Fiance was out of town for the weekend so I was really left to fend for myself.)

My first meal was what I will call “The Best Damn Vegetarian Sandwich You Will EVER Have – made by Hilarie”. That’s right I made it, and it was FANTASTIC. Here’s how I did it.


wheat bread, mayonnaise, cilantro hummus (but any hummus will work), arugula, vegan pepper jack cheese, cherry tomatoes, orange bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, vegetarian chicken nuggets, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some random seasonings


I pretty much treat my sandwiches like my soups…I just throw all my favorite things together and wish for the best.

First, cook four fake chicken nuggets on a skillet. They turn out crunchy this way, the microwave just makes them mushy. I typically still make them in the microwave because I am impatient, but I was trying to be a real chef this day.

Next, toast the bread. Then, spread the mayonnaise and hummus. After these grueling steps, just toss all the veggies on (after you chopped them up of course), put on the hot nuggets, and add the cheese.

The last step is to add the extra flavor. I pretended to be a Subway sandwich maker and top off my sandwich with olive oil and vinegar, and some seasonings that I like…I think I used some Italian seasonings and pepper.


Best sandwich ever

It was so good it was even worth the disaster left in the kitchen. If it wasn’t for my very strong fear of roaches, I would have left the mess until Fiance returned from Pittsburgh.

I hope you enjoyed my super easy vegetarian cooking lesson.


*This is kind of a lie. I do not shower every morning…In fact I only wash my hair every 2 or 3 days, BUT I do wash my face every morning, which can often take as long as a shower.

No Dogs Allowed

A short story by Belle the dog.

So, my Mom and Dad often take me shopping. I think this is mostly because I need a walk, and they need to shop. So they try and kill two birds with one stone. Amazingly, dogs are allowed in basically every store that does not sell food in NYC. Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman’s, Barneys, Macy’s, Chanel, Gucci, they all allow dogs!  Even some restaurants allow dogs here.

For some reason, Mom and Dad tend to get nervous when they take me into an expensive store. In fact, whenever they decide to carry me, I assume that everything in the store must be pretty valuable. Once, they took me to Ralph Lauren when a big party was happening. There was free champagne, hors devours, a famous artists, and me! Mom and Dad even let me walk around (on my leash) as they window-shopped from floor to floor. Not one person seemed a bit nervous about my presence.

It’s not always so glamorous though… one time they told me they were taking me to the park, but Mom somehow became sidetracked and we ended up shoe shopping for over an hour! I can’t even wear shoes!

Another time, Dad and I were out for a nice evening stroll, when Mom called to let us know she was off from work, but decided to run to H&M to look for a new top. Dad thought it would be fun to meet her there. I thought it would be more fun to roll in trash, but Dad disagreed.

So, about 15 minutes later we arrived at H&M. Mom was waiting at the top of the escalator and we rode up to meet her. I love riding escalators, and I love my Mom, so I was very excited! I was shaking my nub the whole way up!

Right at the top of the escalator I felt I quick sharp pain in my back paw, but I was so happy to see my Mom that I ignored it and jumped straight into her arms. Mom and Dad talked for a while, my paw started to ache a little, and Mom’s shirt started feeling wet. At first, she thought I had a little accident. Please mom! Like I would ever do such a thing! But, then she and I realized her shirt was covered in my blood.

It turns out that the sharp pain on the escalator was 2 of my back claws being pulled out! I was not in much pain, until I was rushed home and Mom and Dad started examining it. This may come as a surprise, but Mom actually deals with these sort of situations much better than Dad. (Only because she knows this could never happen to her, and blood is one thing that doesn’t cause  a major panic attack.)

Dad was about to throw up with the sight of my blood and could hardly touch me. Mom, on the other hand, was fine with handling my wounded paw.

Being the nieve pup that I am, I assumed the worst was over.

But, it was far from over. Mom and Dad poked and proded at my little foot all night, and then forced me to go the Vet the next day! Isn’t getting my paw caught in an escalator enough torture for one week?! I swear I learned my lesson!

Fast forward to a couple weeks later, and all is better. My paw is possibly forever stuck in a “hook em’ horns” position, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. Now, if I can just convince my parents to not take me shopping again….

Maybe they won't find me under this blanket.


Spring Fever

This week has been AMAZINGLY warm here in the city. It is sunny and beautiful, and thanks to “spring break” I actually get to go outside and enjoy some of these lovely days. My place of employment doesn’t technically have a “spring break”, but the majority of the students who attend classes there do have spring break (for two weeks!).

Half of all the classes are canceled this week and next, which means my paycheck is also cut in half. I try to forget that by enjoying my extremely long breaks as best as I can. Everyone at work seems to be on the same page. If anyone walks past my building at any time this week they are very likely to find coaches laying in the sun rays coming through the giant windows, drinking coffee outside on the sunny steps, or sleeping under a table in the break room. My boss is in such a good mood I didn’t even get reprimanded for wearing shorts today.

Belle and I have had some very long walks around the city and through Central Park. The flowers are starting to bloom, the spring lines are advertised in every store window, and for the first time in MONTHS I can go for a walk without a coat, scarf, gloves, and hat on. Yay me!

I even had time to head downtown with Zoey and check out a new store called “The Hoodie Shop”. This is a weird little shop that sales nothing but hoodies, or things with hoods. They have new hoodies, vintage hoodies, designer hoodies, ugly hoodies,  pretty hoodies, you name the hoodie they got it! It’s also supposed to be a “hangout”. They have large comfy couches, the kind everyone wants to sleep in, all over the store, and a pinball machine, but nothing else to promote hanging out.

The ladies working in the store said they hope to start selling beverages one day, but until that day comes it seems like a really boring hangout. I mean, there’s not even snacks! Minus, the weird hangout atmostphere, it’s a cool hippy-type shopping place, if you’re in the market for something with a hood that is.

Today, I spent an hour of my break relaxing in front of Starbucks with a friend from work. There were 20 other people lounging in the Starbucks outdoor seating area with us soaking up the rays. We sat and sipped our iced coffees for so long that I actually turned a little pink! In March! I am seriously loving this weather, I even wore shorts and a tank today. Nothing makes me happier than summer clothes and a very very large iced coffee.

If you ever drink Starbucks, you should really invest in a Starbucks card/Starbucks app. For every 15 drinks you buy you get a free coffe (any style, any size), AND free add-ins. FREE! So, everytime my “free drink coupon” comes in the mail, which is basically weekly, I make sure to get the largest most expensive coffee I can get. This is usually the best day of the week for me.

I guess today is the flipside of “no mascara” day. “Shorts and Iced Coffee” day? Whatever you call it, I’m loving it and am even considering being productive for the second half of my “spring break”. Well, at least half of the second half…


Belle’s Back!

Mom’s tired and stressed tonight, and says the blog will only get done if I write it. She’s thrown herself across the couch, leaving room for no one, and has stolen my favorite blanket that she claims belongs to her. She is now glued to the T.V. and crying at sappy commercials as she waits for SNL to come back. I guess I’ll take over from here…

New York has turned out to be a pretty cool place for a dog. I have always had pretty high standards for my living arrangements, and as it turns out, most dogs in NYC have pretty high standards. I fit in perfectly. Dogs get walked here ALL the time. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss having a big yard full of grass to run around in and chase bugs, but my parents can no longer just open the door and let me out when they feel lazy. They actually HAVE to put me on a leash and walk me EVERY time I need to go out. Yay!

On my walks I often see several other dogs forcing their parents to take them on walks too. Some of these dogs are incredibly instrusive. They walk right up to me and sniff me as if they know me! I let them know how incredibly inappropriate this by showing them all of my teeth and letting the Mohawk on my back stand all the way up. Other dogs tend to keep their distance and do not invade my personal space.

I’m not sure if you heard, but my parents sleep in a loft-style bed about 6 feet off the ground. At first, this was incredibly annoying because anytime I wanted up or down I had to whine loudly at my parents and stomp my feet before they’d listen to me and place me on and off the bed as I pleased.

It was not too long before they came to their senses and devised a solution to my little problem. Dad and Grandpa Mark built me my own personal doggy spiral staircase. I could have easily shown my appreciation by using the stairs immediately to get on and off the bed, but I knew better than that. I devised a plan that was sure to get me as many treats as possible.

See, anytime my parents beckoned for me to come up the stairs I would just stare at them confused and cry. Their next step, was to place me on the steps and call me up or down. Even then, I just sat, cried, and then began shaking to show how nervous they were making me. Finally, it all paid off.

Their last plan was to place a little treat on every single step. I still acted scared, so as not to give away my plan, but I slowly made my way up each step, ate each treat, and got an even bigger treat when I completed the steps. This lasted for a while. Slowly, they moved onto a treat every few steps, then just a treat at the top or bottom, and now? Now, do you know what I get??? I get scratched behind the ears, and a belly rub if I am lucky. Of course, now that they know what I am capable of, crying no longer works when I am at the bottom of the stairs. Oh well, it is easier to get in and out of the bed on my own.

Now, if I can just figure out a way to make Mom stop dressing me up like a fool….


NYC Thus Far…

Thank you Zoey for starting your blog and therefore encouraging me to start mine up again. I know I left everyone hanging on a thread, sitting on pins and needles, and holding their breath waiting to see what was going to happen next in mine and Fiance’s venture into Manhattan. Soooo, in this blog, I will attempt to summarize what’s been happening over the past… 5 months? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Where do I even begin…?

We’ve had A LOT of visitors! (Marsha, Mom, Mom-in-law, Dad-in-law, Teddy, Genevieve, sister, brother-in-law, Steve, Derek, Zoey, Danica, Scott….did I miss anyone?)

We’ve seen 10 Broadway shows, a couple concerts, the Rockettes, an amazing off-Broadway show, and too many street performers.

We have discovered some really fantastic restaurants. Some of these are crazy expensive and uber fancy, and others are dingy little dives…that are still a little pricey. My favorite is a little taco shop in Soho called Tacombi.

I have spent way too much money because NYC just isn’t fair. There are too many great shops. Every corner you turn there is a new boutique, or department store that I somehow missed. Every New Yorker should be given an allowance. It’s just too hard to live like a tourist everyday.

I am still working 6 or 7 days a week…yet still living paycheck to paycheck (see above paragraph).

I still enjoy my job, which has a lot to do with my boss who is really great and supportive.

Our wedding plans are crazy. Everyday is a new dilemma, a new reservation to make, a new item to order, and another payment, but we are loving it and absolutely stoked about the big day! I only freak out every other day so I think I’m doing considerably well.

Belle is completely citified. She potties in the street (not on the sidewalk). She shops at all the designer stores. She’s even attended a party honoring an artists at Ralph Lauren. The loud noises freak her out much less. She has her own spiral staircase to enter our loft at night. She now has a vet, thanks to her very unfortunate incident on an escalator.

We have had most experiences in NYC that one should have. (i.e. yelled at a cab driver, yelled at the subway, started calling the subway “the train”, ate bagels, ate hotdogs, ate lots of pizza, got stuck in a subway  train, gotten frustrated with tourists, spent New Years Eve in time square, seen every major tourists site, joined a museum, and had every type of food delivered to our door for dinner.)

And, if you haven’t heard, Zoey has now moved to NYC!!! She is only a block and half away and has started her own blog!

Check her out here: New York Whimsy