The Weekend Update

Middle School was one of the best times of my life. To this day, I claim that my culminating year, 8th grade, was the best year of my life. Clearly Matt doesn’t appreciate this comment since I didn’t meet him until Freshman year of High School. I have a lot of memories of dances, field hockey games, class officer meetings and of course, Mount Cardigan. However, one strange memory seems to sick out in my mind.

My middle school French teacher, Madame Meyers, had a poster of Val Kilmer hanging behind her desk in her classroom. While I never quiet understood her obsession with him (he seemed OLD!) I certainly found her stories entertaining. Madame Meyers would talk about how her son was going to be a famous actor some day and he would introduce her to Val. As much as I liked Madame Meyers, at the age of 12, I was wise enough to know that not everyone who says they want to be an actor, actually becomes one. Honestly, who grows up in Bedford, NH attends Manchester High School West, and goes on to become a famous actor? Well apparently, Madame Meyers’ son – Seth Meyers actor and lead writer on Saturday Night Live.

So my tribute to Madame Meyers and her unwavering support of her son, is my version of the weekend update (minus all of the really funny jokes).

While I did not accomplish everything on my To Do List, I had a good weekend and I started off with amazing productivity.

1. After work on Friday, I went uptown and taught a swimming lesson to two of my favorite 11 and 12 year olds. I essentially turned them into Olympic caliber swimmers in the span of 1 hour.

2. When I got home from my lesson, Matt was taking a nap (he had to wake up at 3:30am Friday morning) so I took the opportunity to finish the apron I had started to make earlier in the week. I based my pattern off of the apron that they sell at William Sonoma. I have to admit, I even impressed myself with the final outcome. Let me know if you think this is good enough to start making these and selling them on Etsy.

3. On Saturday, Matt and I banged out a 50 mile bike ride to Piermont and back. We stopped for brunch at the half way point, which was a great idea, until we started biking home (which is 99% uphill) and the french toast I thought looked so good on the menu, didn’t feel so good in my stomach. We even out-did ourselves with a 2.5 mile run immediately following the bike. Matt is doing the NYC triathlon in July and had a moment of sheer panic when he realized this was less than 2 months away. He felt pretty good about completing his first “brick” of the year, until he work up the next morning and felt the pain in his legs!

4. Saturday night we went out to long Long Island to see a band that we were considering for our wedding. Not only did we love the band, but when we were talking to the lead singer afterwards and he asked us where our wedding was, and we responded by saying outside of Boston, he whispered “Don’t tell anyone but…” and rolled up his sleeve to reveal a sick Boston Red Sox tattoo. I was pretty much sold at that point.

In addition to seeing a great band and FINALLY going out to a bar with my sister, I had my own Jersey Shore experience. Let’s just say, Long Island isn’t far from Jerz and the stereotypes hold true there as well. The bar had multiple flat screen tvs playing ultimate fighting the entire night. Honestly, the owners of the bar should know that these guys don’t need anything else to get their testosterone firing… They were more fired up by the fighting than by the band or the girls. Not sure if that is more of a statement on the guys or the girls….

After that my weekend fell off track a little. I convinced Matt that he didn’t really need to watch Tropic Thunder and we could send it back so that it would stop clogging up our Netflix queue (score one for Molly). unfortunately, Matt decided that instead of waiting for the next movie to come, he would just watch it on demand (negative score for Molly?). So now, as I write my blog (at my new desk!) he is watching a lame movie that Howard Stern suggested. I bet you can all guess how much I am enjoying that!

While I like making To-DoLists, and I LOVE crossing things off of them, sometimes life doesn’t always follow a plan. Sometimes, your lists are long, your time is short and you just can’t find enough time to get everything done. However, the beauty of life is that it goes on. The Container Store will be there next weekend. I can take a personal day this week to help Abby paint her apartment. And living in New York City, you don’t need to have food in your refrigerator – there is ALWAYS a restaurant open and willing to deliver. You need to take time to do the things that aren’t on your To-Do-List; visit a friend and tell them you love them, belt out the lyrics to your favorite song when it comes on the radio, and dance as you walk down the street. Never let yourself become to busy crossing things off your list to dance.

“She loved to dance and point her toes in any direction
And when she spun it stirred her soul
She caught herself in the mirrors that engulfed her life
She felt the rhythm connected to life
and the harmony of love
She’ll never stop dancing
The spotlight is her refuge”
-Trisha Bassi

3 Day Weekend, How I Love Thee

So it is Friday morning at 8:30am. Only 7.5 long hours until I am free from work and get to enjoy a glorious long holiday weekend. There really is nothing better than 3 day weekends, besides maybe 4 or permanent vacation; however we all know that at the age of 27, I am probably still a little too young to retire.

I have started to make a list of things that I want to accomplish this weekend. I don’t necessarily have lots of chores or things around the house that I want to get done, but if I don’t make a list of all of the fun things, I sometimes find myself wasting perfectly good days watching hours of Mad Men in our apartment (which Matt turns into a cave by shutting ALL of our blinds), baking cupcakes for no real reason, or folding insane amounts of laundry (honestly, how does 1 boy product so much dirty laundry?).

So here is a list of all of the fun things I would like to do this weekend:

1. Teach a swimming lesson (alright, not that fun, but I already scheduled this).

2. Go for a bike ride to my new favorite place, Piermont with my favorite people Matt and Abby.

3. Visit my new find: Purl, an arts & crafts heaven located in SOHO. Make something from their blog.

4. Finish my new apron that I started to make last weekend. All I need to do is sew on a pocket and it will be complete! Pictures to come.

5. Go to Long Island to see a prospective wedding band. Clearly this means fist pump along to the songs, hopefully with my MOH (maid of honor) and BM (best man), and of course Matty.

6. Go to the Container Store and get a few more things for my kitchen cabinets – I am nearly finished with my re-organization project.

7. Paint Abby’s apartment back to white. Since she is moving (sad) we have to paint over the awesome stripped hallway we created last year when we were living together.

8. Go to Fairway and buy some food. Right now we are down to cheese, beer and 18 sticks of unsalted butter in our refrigerator.

9. Get Matty to watch Tropic Thunder so we can return it and get the next movie on our Netflix queue, Valentine’s Day (clearly this is my pick!)

10. Dominate my new favorite workout video: Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. This video has 3 20 minute circuits that are SO hard. I will look like Jillian in 30 days!

Lots to do! Hopefully I will report back on Monday with a list of things I accomplished this weekend.

The Search for the Perfect Desk: Complete!

One of my first posts was about my search for the perfect desk. Just as former President Bush announced, “Mission Accomplished” after he landed on the aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, I am happy to announce that in the mission to find my perfect desk, the mission has been accomplished!

While our apartment is a good size for New York, that’s just it… it is a New York apartment. When we moved in I thought our 900 square foot, 1-bedroom apartment was very spacious. Now that we have been there for a year, the same 900 square foot space is starting to feel a little cramped. I must admit, it may be because when we moved in we didn’t have a lot of furniture and over the past year I have added random tables, chairs and now, our (more or less, my) craft corner!

I purchased kitchen cabinets from Ikea and mounted a wooden countertop on them. I then added “organization tools” like baskets, storage drawers for paper, and shelving. I covered 3 cork titles with different colored fabrics and then framed them, to serve as bulletin boards.

The biggest headache of this whole thing was getting a chair, specifically one that fit with the height, of my desk. I originally purchased one from Ikea but it was too high. After much nagging by Matt I finally exchanged the chair for one that was slightly smaller. Of course, this exchange was not done without a lot of attitude from the Ikea employees and then in response, attitude from both Abby and myself (Anyone who knows us, is well aware of the power Abby and I possess when someone makes us mad).

I am thrilled to have a designated space to work at, although I have a feeling some of my blogs might still be written from the couch as I watch my favorite tv shows.

My next home improvement project is to finally do something about our bedroom which we have pretty much ignored up to this point. While I am sure Matt doesn’t mind having mismatched furniture, walls lacking pictures and a down comforter without a duvet cover, I have to do something about this. Honestly, you never know when Martha Stewart will drop by, unannounced. And to be honest, with our current set up, she would not be impressed.

A Walk Through Central Park

Central Park is one of my most favorite places in New York City. This weekend, after a fun day starting with delicious New York bagels, wedding dress shopping, a walk on the High Line, and a drink at the Frying Pan, we took a stroll through Central Park. You honestly never know what you are going to see in New York. I think my video sums up my findings the best.

Give My Regards to Broadway

My mom has been talking about going to see the musical South Pacific for years. At first it started out with subtle hints to my father, then it progressed to my sister and I, and ended with her flat-out saying “I want to see South Pacific. Someone take me!” So for Christmas, Abby and I got my parents tickets to see it.  We had to give them more of an IOU since we didn’t know when my parents would be visiting NYC. I personally love IOU presents. They are creative, personalized and half the time, the people who you give them to forget to redeem them. You get all the credit of a great present, but don’t actually have to deliver something! Unfortunately, my parents are redeeming their IOU this weekend.

I went to the half-priced ticket stand that is located down at the South Street Seaport, fairly close to my work. The stand opens at 11am, so I planned to show up at 10:45. Clearly, 15 minutes early would be plenty of time and put me at the front of the line. I had a tour scheduled this morning for some anxious NYC parents (aren’t they all anxious?) which ended early so I made my way over the South Street immediately following it. Thank goodness I got their early. I arrived at 10:15 and the line was already 25 people deep. As I stood in line waiting, the line behind me grew and grew until it was well over 100 people before the doors were even open!

It took a few minutes for me to get to the front of the line and when I did, I got a great price (50% off) and great seats (Orchestra). I am thankful for the ease of the TKTS booth, and my credit card bill is definitely thankful for the steep discounts! If you are planning to visit New York City at any point , and plan to see a show (which I HIGHLY recommend you do) definitely stop in at one of the TKTS booths to pick up tickets at a great price. Just make sure you get there early and know which shows you want to see!

Half-Priced Tickets

Snail Mail

When I was in 3rd grade, my class was selected to participate in a pen pal program with a school in Zimbabwe. The unique thing about this program was that instead of sending letters through the mail, we used a new system was that was called “electronic mail.” We would cram our entire class into a tiny office that held the one computer in the school with an internet connection. We would dictate a letter, which our teacher would type on the computer. Once we were satisfied with it, the technology coordinator would push a button and “whoosh!” off our letter would go to Zimbabwe. I had no idea where Zimbabwe was or how the letter was taken from our computer to their school, but I remember thinking that it was a big deal that our class was selected for this program. We probably sent a total of 6 emails all year and we were always excited to hear back from our pen pal class every so often.

This morning, I went to an admissions directors breakfast at a nursery school. It lasted from 9:30am until 11:00am. When I walked out of the school and checked my phone, I had 27 unread emails. I didn’t feel quite the same excitement as I scrolled down my iPhone  reading my mail, as I did back in 3rd grade.

While I can appreciate the efficiency and ease of email, there is something to be said about snail mail. Not only is it exciting to receive something in the mail, but a hand written note is so much more person and touching than a quickly typed, often full of typos, email.

Another lost art form, similar to snail mail, is the mixed tape. I remember sitting at home on Saturday mornings, listening to” Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40″, with Kasey Kasem trying to time my recording perfectly. There was nothing worse than hitting the record button at the start of the song only to have the DJ continue talking over the song. You would have to rewind the tape and wait for the song to come on again, scanning the various FM stations. The amount of work that went into making a mixed tape is far superior to CDs or MP3 playlists. Now to give someone the gift of great music, you simply purchase an iTunes gift card. It just doesn’t have the same effect as creating a mixed tape with the plastic case cover with handwritten song titles. While I do not have a tape player I still think that a homemade mixed tape is the best gift you can receive.

Today I received snail mail at work;  a card from my mom. It immediately brighten my day and gave me something to hang on the wall of my cubicle.

While my mom didn’t design the card, or write all of the words, I appreciate her taking time out of her day to browse the isles and pick out a card that says “just the right thing.” She sent me another one earlier in the school year that has been hanging on my wall since then, cheering me up every time I look at it.

I encourage you all, the next time you go to write an email to a friend or relative, think about sending a card or a letter. I guarantee that it will be one of the “little things” in their life.

20 Minutes Till Freedom

As I sit writing this post, I have 20 more minutes until my workday is over and I am free for the weekend. I am going up to Boston this weekend for a wedding and I can not wait to return to the dirty waters of beantown. I packed my Red Sox hat and my “Yankee Suck” chant – I have everything I need for a weekend of fun in the greatest city on earth.

Earlier this week, I called my mom around this same time. We chatted for a few minutes and she told me that she was getting ready to go for a bike ride. I knew that this meant “I want to hang up” but I insisted that she keep talking to me and get me through the last 20 minutes of my work day. We continued chatting about nothing important and every time we came to the end of a topic, there was an awkward pause, followed by my mom asking how much longer she had to keep talking. She started telling me a story, that was actually pretty interesting, about a conversation she had with her friends about wedding bands; a topic that I should care about since Matt and I still have to nail a group down for our wedding. However, as she was in the middle of the story, I looked down at the clock on my computer and realized it was 4 minutes PAST the end of my day. I quickly shut down my computer and interrupted my mother telling her that we had made it to “closing time.” Instead of being insulted that I wasn’t letting her finish her relevant story, she said “well get out of there!”

It is so great to have a mom who understands my priorities when it comes to my job.

On another note, I would like to thank my sister for coming to visit me for lunch this today. For someone who claims to “never go below 59th street,” I really appreciate it!

Lastly, I would like to thank my dad for his mid-day phone call. While I talk to my mom 5-6 times per year (sadly, I am not kidding) a phone call from my dad at lunch time is a rare and special treat. It is like he has a 6th sense and knows when I need some heartfelt dad-loving.

I can’t begin to express just how lucky I am. Doesn’t family rock?

DIY – mobile

Sometimes things happen in life and there are no logical explanations. Sometimes, you get dealt a bad hand and the only thing you can do is play it and see a disaster unfold. Sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes there is no sun, no colors and the world is grey.  During these times all you can do hold tight to the good things you know to be true; family, friends and hope. Hope that things will get better in time and the color will return to your world. Until that time, here is a project that will help you remember the good times and bring back the color.

Today at the hospital it was “Sewtastic with Molly.” Once a month, I step outside of my typical volunteer role at the hospital and lead the group in a sewing project. Last month we made ribbon belts, bringing me back to the days of “Prep By Molly” my old business (a term that I use that term loosely here) that I ran out of my parents’ basement. The kids loved the project, but it required a lot of work on my part. I pinned and sewed together 8 belts in the span of an hour; rivaling the rate of little kids working in sweat shops in Asia.

This week we made mobiles using colorful foam paper. The project was simple but had a lot of effect. You can use sheets of foam paper like we did, vellum paper which has a nice effect if you are hanging it in front of a window, or colorful scrap booking paper. Start by cutting the paper into 1-2 inch strips. Place the strips in the color pattern that you want and sew them down the middle, leaving 10-12″ of thread at the top. Try and leave equal space between each strip for a more uniform look. At the end, leave another 10 – 12″ of thread. Complete the look with fishing weights or colored beads. This will give the mobile enough weight to keep it straight.

I wish I could take credit for this idea; however, I found it on a fellow blogger’s site Oh Happy Day when doing “wedding research.”

Carry with you the good times, the laughter, and the love. Don’t let the world go grey.

Mastering the Chocolate Chip Cookie

My mom is a baker. Like me, she enjoys putting together butter, flour and sugar to create a delicious treat. Growing up, you could often find homemade bread and muffins cooling on wire racks in the kitchen. When it was our (my sister, Abby and me) turn to bring snack to Kindergarten, we never brought something that was store-bought. While I can certainly appreciate this now, it was sometimes hard to be the only kid at the lunch table without a pudding cup, Ding Dong, or Little Debbie Snack Cake. To this day, neither Abby nor I have ever had a Twinkie (although I have a feeling we aren’t missing out on much).

Some of my earliest memories revolve around baking with my mom. When we made chocolate chip cookies, we always followed the recipe on the back of the nestle toll house bag. Is this ingenious? No. But is it the best? Hands down yes!

One specific memory I have was when my mom would add the brown sugar. It was inevitable that some would spill onto the counter as she packed it down in the measuring cup. Never fail, she would let me eat the sugar that had made its way to the counter and I would be in heaven. Now that I bake on my own, I have realized how much easier it is to pack the sugar into the measuring cup by scooping the cup into the bag of sugar and pressing it against the sides of the bag. This way you avoid spills and don’t get the sticky residue all over your hands. I have a sneaky suspicion that my mother figured out this trick as well, but continued to do it her way  when I was around.

Another thing I remember about making chocolate chip cookies was eating the cookie dough. Licking the beaters was a given; however, Abby and I didn’t stop there. After we finished making the dough and we were getting ready to start baking them, either Abby or I would suggest to my mother that she call her mom. Baking cookies was a weekend activity, as was our mom’s weekly call to our grandmother. So once we got the first sheet of cookies in the oven, my mom would dial up our grandmother and spend the next hour or so chatting with her. During this time, Abby and I would entertain ourselves by eating nearly all of the cookie dough in the bowl. I remember the first time I made chocolate chip cookies on my own, I was shocked by how many cookies the recipe actually made.

Whenever I make cookies now, I am tempted to call my mom and tell her that she should call her mother. I am not sure if it is to relieve my guilt for eating the dough, or an old habit, but it just seems like the right thing to do.

While my cooking and baking skills are still being fine tuned, I am confident in saying that I have mastered the chocolate chip cookie. The trick to this, fairly straightforward concoction, is two-fold. First, I prefer butter flavored Crisco sticks to regular butter. Second, when I bake the cookies, I reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees (from 375 as the recipe calls for). I normally cookie them for about 9-10 minutes – try to take them out right as they start to brown. It is my “unprofessional opinion” that these two steps will result in soft, gooey cookies. And let’s be honest, people who like hard crunchy cookies are just crazy. Another thing I have found recently, that improves upon the original nestle toll house cookie – chocolate chunks, as opposed to chips, have a much better effect. (Unfortunately, when I made these cookies today, I only had chips in my house!)

Try these few changes to the recipe and you can master the chocolate chip cookie as well. Just make sure that you have some milk nearby!

Robin Hood Responds

All of us have heard the story of Robin Hood. Robin Hood became a popular folk figure starting in medieval times continuing through modern literature, films, and television. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor,” assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his “Merry Men.”


The Robin Hood Foundation, formed in 1988 by a successful hedge fund manager, applies this idea, of taking from the rich and giving to the poor, to help fight poverty in New York City. The board of Directors (the Merry Men) totes some of the most influential names in our society; from NBC President and CEO Jeff Zucker to Gwyneth Paltrow to many of the leaders in the financial industries. Power, knowledge and resources combine to run, and more impressively, to underwrite all administrative costs of the foundation so that 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to help those in need.

Robin Hood was a pioneer in what is now called venture philanthropy, or charity that embraces free-market forces. An early practitioner of using metrics to measure the effectiveness of grants, it applies sound investment principles to philanthropy. In doing so, the foundation has helped to save lives and change fates.  

Robin Hood targets poverty by identifying and attacking the main source. That’s why Robin Hood focuses on poverty prevention through programs in early childhood, youth, education, jobs and economic security. And while prevention is the under lying goal, there are people who are currently living in poverty, so they also fund basic survival programs in healthcare, hunger, housing and domestic violence.

Last night I had the honor of attending Robin Hood’s annual gala which was held at the Jacob Javits Center. Being part of such an incredible movement was inspiring. Being in a room that raised just over $88 million in the span of one evening is an experience you can’t imagine. While it is easy to point fingers at Wall Street, especially after recent events, it is hard to ignore the generosity and good will of so many. I was reminded how fortunate I am to have been raised by strong and supportive parents. They worked hard for their success and taught me to do the same. While my bank account and list of accomplishments pales in comparison to many of the other people in the room, I certainly have a lot more to my name, and have experienced a lot more in my 27 years, than many other New Yorkers.


So I thank my parents and family members for providing me with the education and tools to succeed. I promise to make more of an effort to remember this “not so little thing” every day.