Posts Tagged ‘brooklyn’

Six Items or Less, Day 29: The end of the road.

October 5, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day of Six Items or Less for me. I’m slightly relieved since this weekend I’m going to three fancy events — a rehearsal dinner, a wedding and a family photo shoot with my future peeps-in-law — all of which require a somewhat polished appearance, and I don’t think anything in my six items much less the rest of my closet fits the description. Although, let’s be honest, I’ll probably end up wearing the blue J. Crew popover that’s defined my SIOL experience to one or all of these events anyway.

As a little gift to myself for getting through SIOL/getting my first paycheck at Ye Olde New Job, I bought the red beanie you see above from Yes Jess. It’s getting chilly in these parts, and since I lost my favorite purple beanie last year, I have nothing to wear on my head — I don’t want to be caught unprepared. Besides, I needed something bright and amazing to enliven my mostly navy wardrobe.


What to Expect When You’re Expecting… to Participate in Six Items Or Less

October 4, 2010

To the relief of  at least a few members of this blog’s readership, I finally did some much-needed laundry. This writer is wrinkle- and coffee stain-free once more (at least for now). Still going strong in my blue popover and jeans, y’all. *fist pump*

Looks like the folks over at Six Items or Less are getting ready to unveil their new site and start another leg of the experiment en masse! Hooray! In honor of the occasion — as well as the final three days of my own Six Items or Less stint — here’s a list of dos, don’ts, always-es, definitelys, maybes, etc. to help you prepare for the mission, if you choose to accept it.

1. Stock up on lots of good-quality underwear and socks. You’re going to need them. I suggest getting them in cotton and like colors to cut down on laundry costs (see below) and spruce up your palette — despite my somewhat stark, monastic ramblings earlier, I firmly believe that variety is the spice of life :)

If you’re a man, I kindly suggest you proceed to tip #3.

2. If you’re a woman, now’s the time to invest in one or two comfortable, high-quality bras. In case you didn’t know, a good bra…

  • might require a fitting at one of those lingerie specialty stores (you know exactly what I’m talking about; every town has one!). I strongly suggest that every woman endures five minutes of minor discomfort / embarrassment and get fitted. You’ll be glad you did.
  • will probably be more expensive than you’d like but is worth every penny
  • will make whatever you’re wearing (even if it’s the same six things, over and over) look good and feel comfortable

Remember, a bad bra will make you feel and look unpolished and uncomfortable no matter what you’ve got over it.

3. When you’re trying to decide on your six items, don’t choose anything that needs to be dry-cleaned, washed on delicate, rinsed in rosewater by the light of the full moon, etc. Everything you choose should be able to be washed in cold water and dried in a washing machine. No wasting time here.

4.  Do expect to do laundry more often than you have been. There’s no such thing as waiting an entire month to do laundry again in The Land of Six Items. I’ve had to do it about once a week (gasp!).

5. On that note, when you do do your laundry, expect to only have to do one big load (or maybe two medium sized-ones). I purposely didn’t choose anything white in my six items so that I could throw all of it in the wash without worrying about colors bleeding. It was a big money saver (and good for the environment, too).

6. If you’re not doing it already, brace yourself to wear clothes two, three, four or, in my case, as many as nine or ten times between washes. If you live in Brooklyn, you’re already at an advantage, because no one between the ages of 18 and 34 seems to bathe or wash themselves regularly anyway. If anything, you’ll just fit right in.

7. Raid your friend’s and family member’s closets (with their permission). I feel like the only thing that was really missing from my Six Items or Less experience was a greater sense of community (I’m sure this will be at least partially remedied with the new site!). As I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t have much to work with outside of my six items anyway, so it would have been nice to rely on a few close friends for accessories, scarves, jewelry, etc. It gives you more opportunities to talk about the experiment in a meaningful, constructive way with people you care about, and it helps decrease any feelings you might have to spend money on those things that aren’t included in your six items.

8. Take this opportunity to relish the small things. If you happen to be a lazier, relatively unadorned sixer like myself, you will begin to take a new-found pride in personal hygiene — brushing your teeth, flossing, combing your hair.

9. Similarly, I recommend using your money to buy quality experiences instead of “things.” For instance, pay to get a really good haircut or manicure. Sure, it won’t last forever, and it might seem a little indulgent. But you’ll get to relax as well as meet and converse with the kind person offering you the service. I guarantee buying a bracelet at Target won’t give you that. Besides, I’m terrible at painting my nails; I’d rather hire a professional to do it.

Any fellow “sixers” have good advice that I didn’t mention here? Chime in!


August 12, 2010

I hated them as a kid, but now that I’m older, I think that tomatoes just might be the perfect food.

A few months ago, right around the time I caught the cooking bug and attempted to expand my culinary horizons, I found out how crummy the produce selection actually is at 90 percent of Brooklyn supermarkets. There are some things that I can let slide — less-than-perfect apples, mediocre grapes. But there is one thing that no amount of money can buy at a grocery store, and it’s this: a perfect, homegrown summer tomato.

So, here is my Saturday morning routine: Wake up at 9 a.m., put on my shoes and walk about two minutes down the street from where I live to the Greenpoint/McCarren Greenmarket. I’ve known about the Greenmarket since shortly after moving here in March, but I didn’t do a whole lot more than browse a few times on my way to the L train. Now, it’s my favorite part of the weekend.

This past Saturday, I got a pint of bright orange Sun Golds, which I ate like candy, and a couple of weeks ago, when it was way too hot to use the oven, I made a little bruschetta with one standard red tomato, one low-acid yellow tomato, a handful of basil, one finely chopped garlic clove and a little salt and pepper. It would have been the perfect meal if 1) I hadn’t forgotten about the bread while it was broiling (I flipped the slices over for the picture; pretty smart, eh?) and 2) I hadn’t gotten eaten alive on the back patio (referenced here) and had to move the party indoors. I’ve also made a variety of sandwiches, salads, etc., but am looking for more tomato-centric recipes to tide me over ’til the fall.

Sorry so sloppy.

August 8, 2010

In the words of Jim Anchower, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve rapped at ya, but I’ve had some important business to take care of since the posting of my last entry, an event which almost directly coincided with the onset of summer.

I had such grand plans for this summer. I was going to buy this thing and drink from it exclusively until September and host a barbecue on my back porch and wear only high-waisted shorts and sunglasses all day, every day. But then I realized how broke I was, and this was never bought, and I discovered the hard way that we’ve got a bad mosquito infestation on the back porch (still have the scabs on my ankles to prove it), and I realized that high-waisted shorts probably wouldn’t be a practical wardrobe choice for someone who works in an office 40 hours a week and has thighs that look like Christmas hams. Additionally, sunglasses and I have a love-hate relationship. Like, I’d love to wear them, but I hate the fact that I don’t wear contacts and am blind without my real glasses. Ya heard?

But my summer’s turned out pretty well after all. I went to Long Island for the first time, which was a little surreal. I felt like I was in The Twilight Zone if The Twilight Zone took place at my roommate’s in-laws’ house, and there were aunts with heavily penciled-in eyebrows serving you things like deviled eggs, and at the end of the day, when all you wanted to do was get back to your version of civilization, you pulled up to the Long Island Railroad station just as your train back to the city was pulling away. But that’s another story for another time.

I started running again in hopes of reversing the aforementioned case of Christmas Ham Thigh Syndrome. The results, thus far, have been promising. I got health insurance, REAL-LIFE HEALTH INSURANCE, and went to the dentist on Thursday. No cavities. And the other day, I found not one, not two, but FOUR green Matchless happy hour coins, which for someone who doesn’t drink that often (for health and pocketbook reasons alike), was like finding a goldmine. I’m still saving two of them for “a good time.”

The majority of my life, if you break it down, hour by hour, is spent at work every week. When I’m not there, I’m with my guy or reading (right now, it’s A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, a book that I read in high school for AP Lit and managed to smuggle into one of my suitcases during my move last year) or watching 16 and Pregnant or, most recently, dreaming about what I’m going to cook next based on that week’s farmers market bounty. My interest in cooking has really taken off since this, but more on that later.

In my mind, I’m always striving for something a little better, but all things considered, I couldn’t be more content at the present moment.