Oprah and I have been good friends for many years. Growing up my mother was addicted to the Oprah Winfrey Show. She got home from work everyday just in time to tune into Oprah. So rigorous was her Oprah schedule that friends would call the house and on more than one occasion hung up the phone apologetically upon realizing that they had called during the Oprah Winfrey hour!

Well, I put in for tickets to her Life Class Tour and WON!!! Woo Hoo! So who better to take to New York with me than my mother. We had so much fun. As you know by now I LOVE NYC and mommy had never been. Like I said, we have family right across the bridge and in all the years my mother has visited them, they never took her to NY! It’s crazy! Anyway, we had a blast.

Our Life Class was with Tony Robbins. Double Yay! My mother has been listening to his tapes for more than 20 years, so how perfect that we ended up at his taping with Oprah! (Sorry for all the exclamation marks– I have a professor from college who would be dying right now, but just writing about the experience gets me excited again LOL).

Oprah asked us to tweet the fear that is holding us back. I said that mine was that my critic would be right. Now that I put it out there it doesn’t feel as scary. So what, half of them don’t have their lives together either. It was a great two hours. Here are some pictures to commemorate a bucket list item completed.

This is the line that we had to wait in just to go into Oprah’s Life Class as ticket holders. These two girls in the right corner of my shot were such snobs. They thought they were special somehow. Luckily we didn’t have to deal with them for long. My mom and I made friends with the security guard and he let us stand at the front of the line with him. LOL!

Oprah getting mic’d. It was interesting to see the behind the scenes portion of the show. I am really into all the elements that go into making a show, so seeing the inner workings of a live show was a great experience.

Here are some shots of the show during taping. Sorry they are not better quality, but we could only bring in camera phones. The worst part is that we really weren’t that far back, it just looks like it. Sometimes I love my Iphone, other times… not so much.

My mother and I. Oprah bucket list item complete!


{April 21, 2012}   New York, New York — Part 2


NYC isn’t really the place you think of for deals and steals, but if you stay out of the malls and find regional chains, you actually can find some cute stuff for cheap prices. I try to use this strategy, so that when I do find something absolutely unique I don’t mind spending some money on it.

Three stores I would like to highlight: Two are not boutiques, but regional chains and the other is a true boutique. You have to be careful in NYC, because there are a lot of small stores that fashion themselves to be boutiques, but they sell the same brands as other stores at a more expensive ticket.

First, I discovered a regional chain called Bolton’s. Besides a store in Philadelphia, they only service the New York City Burroughs. They sell some of the better name brands, but at a great price(you can easily get a nice dress for $30-40)! I bought the dress I wore to Oprah’s Life Class Tour at Bolton’s. I was sad I found it at the end of the day or I would have done more damage :0

Next, I found a store called P. Luca for Barami. I didn’t have a chance to spend a great deal of time in this store, but everything I saw, I loved. It is slightly more expensive than Bolton’s ($40-70), but the items are more unique as well, for a midwest girl it was nice to see clothes that I knew others wouldn’t have. Besides a store in Atlanta, GA. they only have locations in NYC.

The final store was a boutique in every sense of the word, Magda K. The proprietor is named Magda and she is a fire cracker! She and her assistant were so much fun. They are determined to prove to you that they have clothing for every shape and size. Magda makes most of the designs in the back room of the shoppe and carries some other hand made items from very exclusive vendors. Now this store is pricier ($150-200 for a piece), but they are definitely originals. The thing about Magda K. is that you have to be in the shoppe to really appreciate her inventory. Her website does not do her store justice, in fact it kind of looks like she caters to older plus sized women. That could not be further from the truth. Every piece is sold seperately so you can design the perfect outfit. Also, she can make any of her original items to fit you perfectly by getting your size. I think I loved her accessories the most. She had this amazing hat, that I am still considering. We are not a hat society anymore, but that hat made me want to dress classier. I may have to make the investment. I will send of picture if I do.

I went to a few other stores, “boutiques,” but I wasn’t impressed. Below are a few pictures from my shopping excursion. These aren’t even the best items, but I became enthralled in my shopping and forgot to take pics 😉

{April 14, 2012}   New York! New York! — Part 1

I recently spent a week in New York City! One of my favorite places in the world to visit. I love NYC, its crazy, its busy, its so over the top, its New York! New York is a lot like me, either it is or its not. There is no middle ground in NYC. When I look around NYC I see fantastic shopping, sometimes good food… mostly overpriced, and a culture that is all its own. You take NYC as it is and don’t try to compare it to anything else, there’s no point. With that said, I love NYC because I choose to experience NYC. I will never understand people who live in NY for years, decades, even their entire lives and never experience all that it has to offer. I think the greatest waste of time is to ask a lifelong New Yorker anything about NY because they never know. They mostly stay in their Burroughs and do not bother to experience anything around them. I mean, Manhattan is only 23 miles long, and yet people have never experienced any of it, and can tell you nothing about it.

My own family, lives 16 minutes from Manhattan, with slight traffic, and yet they haven’t been there in 20 years. They couldn’t even tell me how to get to JFK! I asked a woman from the Bronx where to get authentic NY pizza, she told me Dominoes, and was so serious! At least when I was in Chicago, though there is great debate about which pizzeria is the best, the residents can still give me an opinion on which local chain I should visit. Never, not once, was Pizza Hut, Dominoes, or God forbid Little Caesar ever mentioned.

So people who hate NYC do so because they have cloistered themselves off and have not experienced NYC. On the other hand, NYC is not a place I would live without the funds to enjoy it. I do not understand people who take pride in their residency of NYC and do nothing with it. As much as I love the city, if you are not experience the culture and the atmosphere of NYC then you are just existing in a slum. Think about it. If you take away, the great restaurants, attractions and world class opportunities, what is New York? Answer: A dirty overcrowded island, with rude people, expensive everything and rats!

{April 13, 2012}   Another one bites the dust

Whelp, I went on another date through It’s Just Lunch. Why so long since my last one? Because they matched me with someone who didn’t respond for two weeks and instead of matching me with someone else the company was content to just let me languor in limbo until I called them and told them to match me with someone else in the mean time. Duh!

So they matched me with R an engineer. I won’t even bother with the description because at this point I’ve figured out it’s lies. Nice enough guy. Didn’t meet any specifications.

I’m 5’1″ with heels… I shouldn’t have worn heels. He likes to ” travel” … He’s been to the southern part of the state at his self described “red neck” family’s farmland. He’s read about everywhere and been no where. He likes the Tolken books, Renaissance fairs, Mideaval things. I like the Harlem Renaissance and dream of going to the Mediterranean.

Now if I tell them that they are doing an awful job of matching me they say I am too picky, the ones who are jerks have never been that way with anyone else (so it must be me) and we really do have a lot in common, I just don’t know it.

{April 8, 2012}   Happy Resurrection Day

Happy Resurrection Day everyone! I love holidays because I love to cook. Whether I have anyone at my house or not, I cook on a holiday. It makes me feel a little less lonely (sometimes… sometimes I feel more alone). It also reminds me  of my family and the happy times we spent together, before we became “grown ups.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, growing up.

I visited family in New Jersey, family that I hadn’t seen in a few years and it was an interesting transition. For the first time, I was a grown up. The adults would be talking and I would feel the need to be quiet and just listen so that they wouldn’t kick me out of the room while “grown folks talked.” But I realized, I AM one of the “grown folks.” LOL! It was the weirdest feeling. The last time I had seen these people I was considered a child, now they talked to me like an adult and included me in the conversation. The experience brought to light the fact that I am an adult. I am closer to 30 years old than I am 20 years old. I used to imagine about this age and here I am. My parents are preparing to retire… My how time flies.

Anyway, as I transition into adulthood I am focused on resurrecting my dreams. I am committed to blogging more to revive my dream of being an author. I am committed to traveling more and living in the places I’ve always wanted to live (New York, London). For a brief time, I was going to be safe and move where I have family. The loneliness of being a single woman, sometimes gets to you. As much as I love my family and want to be near them, I know that the cities they live in do not offer me what I want out of life. Not right now. In the mean time, I focus on reviving my dreams, not settling and finding small comforts in old traditions.

et cetera