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Archive for the ‘Arbitrary’ Category

That Went Well: A Year in Review

Posted by AllieB on December 18, 2014

When it comes to making personal goals, it’s important to be realistic. I reread the post I wrote back in January that listed out what I hoped to achieve in 2014, and, I must say: I did quite well for myself. There’s that quote on Pinterest, “Shoot for Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars” but I prefer a more grounded and less astronomical approach, and I think we can all agree this strategy made for a pretty impressive year-end review:

1. Use my passport: Oui, je suis allé à France! (thank you Mom and Dad)

2. Be physically active for 30 mins each day: maybe not each day…most days though, for sure. The original post also mentioned “leaving apartment every day” as a goal, and overall I am pleased with my performance. Leaving the apartment on Sundays is not as easy as it sounds.

3. I was a non-presence on the Buzzfeed post “The 30 Dumbest Things Drunk Women Have Ever Done” and I’m wondering where my trophy is?

4. Read less. I did not read less. Some might argue that this is not actually a bad thing, so I will still count the loss as a win. And, while I did not publish anything outside of BBT, I DID work up a portfolio of best works and it’s almost ready to send out…almost. Honestly, I’m getting sick of reading people writing articles that I could have done – like this girl who lived according to the Pinterest Popular Page. I think she did a great job – she’s not annoying and it’s actually a font of useful information (an at-home gel mani that really works!) – but…I wanna do stuff like that. Credit: KReav.

5. Sign up for zero marathons. Well….full disclosure: I did sign up for the New York Marathon but at the behest of my sister Charlotte, and she ran it as me. This will also be filed as a W because now when I Goog myself you Goog me it looks like I not only ran a marathon, but that I hauled ass.

6269, Allie Baxter, New York, 03:38:14.

And I’d be remiss to leave this off my list of triumphs:

6. I unlocked the highest, most premium level of membership at Sephora: VIB Rouge. There was a parade and everything

I plan to ride this wave of success right into 2015.

In other BBT related news, my most read post of the year also happens to be one of my personal faves and is full of legitimately useful information: How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. Another one of my favorite things on BBT this year: this visual aid that I made on Excel using a false set of data to generate a line graph and some clip art (I don’t think enough people read the original post on which it was first featured, and I don’t want anyone to miss out):

my-will-to-live-2_Page_1

I can’t wait to see how this year stacks up :|

So, that went well… I hope you all have similarly positive feelings towards your 2014s.

The most newsworthy news of the week, maybe of month, even possibly of  year: Instagram added five new filters…! This is the first filtration addition since 2012, so it’s a big. freaking. deal. Here they are as shown by me:

new instagram filters

Clockwise from left: Slumber; Crema; Ludwig; Aden; Perpetua. Another tweak is that you can arrange your filters in the order of which you like/use them, so adios Hefe. Q of the D: what would you name an Instagram filter? For some reason “Lush” was the first word that popped into my head, and I can’t get past it. Lush as in lush fabric not lush like “have another cocktail, you lush.” Lush.

I’ve had a hard time getting amped up for the holidaze. I haven’t done any of my own Christmas shopping, and we’re not having our Annual Fireball and Pigs in Blankets Gala…Santa who? When I realized I’ll be back in ATL in just a few days, I was like, wait a minute – that’s only a few days to take advantage of NYC at Christmas, and when I get back it will be January…and you know who’s born in January: the devil.^

^This is according to my line graph, shown above. Will you just look at the damn thing already thank you.

So, I got my sh*t together, and now I’m feeling festive AF. On Tuesday, thanks to ole FlemWad’s planning, we wrapped gifts for children for the USPS Operation Santa project. Bringing joy to others is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. I had to run an errand uptown on Wednesday, so I took a detour down Fifth Avenue to take in the windows of Bergdorf’s, the bling on Tiffany & Co., and the tree at 30 Rock – nothing says Merry Christmas like nudging tourists into oncoming traffic. I have holiday-related activities every night up here before I go, and when I get home to ATL I’m going directly to the light display at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (seriously, do y’all just want to pick me up at the Arts Center Marta station and we can go straight there? LMK)…I might be tardy to this party, but I’m coming in h-o-t.

NYC Christmas

 The pic on the top right is a window at Bergdorf’s. Not sure it really gets my or their point across, but I like all the pretty colors. Merry Christmas from the freaky mannequin.

And now for a demonstration of my signature move: the Irish Goodbye. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS!!! xo

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Naughty or Nice?

Posted by AllieB on December 11, 2014

Santa’s super busy around Christmas, so I decided to lend a hand and help him out with those pesky Naughty or Nice lists. Santa, you are so welcome. ‘Tis the season for generosity and selfless good deeds! Also, no need to get a second opinion – pretty sure I nailed it.

Naughty:

~ the news of late…makes you wish for simpler times, like when we all thought we were getting Ebola

Nice!

~ the doorman in my building, Eustace, who knows the name of every single resident (he calls me Ali Baba which still counts and you can all call me that if you want because WWED?) and sells Girl Scout cookies for his granddaughter every spring. Put me down for all the boxes, Eustace – every single one.

~ Sephora. Sephora is on every block in New York, which means I am never too far from dry shampoo and bronzer. Dry shampoo is to me what cake is to those fat kids: you don’t want to be around us if we haven’t had our fix.

But, also a little Naughty:

~ Sephora. The small yet adorably packaged and, duh, therefore expensive items stocked in the checkout line at Sephora are to me what cake is to those fat kids: when it comes to temptation, we have the backbone of a wet noodle.

Back to Nice:

Domesticate-Me. Thanks to Serena and her sharp writing and rather challenging recipes, I have recently achieved Goddess of Kitchen status. I must also give a shout out to my poor budgeting skills, for without my inability to properly manage money, I would absolutely still order Seamless every night.

butternut squash soup

This is the Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Garlic, Goat Cheese, and Pepitas. It took me like 2.5 hours but it was worth it – that stuff is dank city.

~ Grapefruit season! I love grapefruit. You can all come over for Grapefruit-Rosemary Mules! (I swear I wrote about grapefruit before I saw this recipe – I’m even eating one right now at my desk, we just happen to be on the same page. Is this getting weird? We have friends in common….time to pop that chill pill.)

Possibly the worst ever:

~ (Subterranean transportation x the holiday season) + New York City = HOMICIDAL RAGE. Just last night I was meeting ERock and Flem for dinner at Marta (BBT says: 3.5 stars), and I was literally forced onto the wrong train because of the crowd surge. Stuck in this cattle car against my will, I had to ride the express all the way to 14th then double-back up to 28th. I realized, after the fact, that I really should have just walked the 13 blocks from my office….but it was snowing. So, yeah – toss lousy weather into that equation, and get the hell out of my way.

Go ahead and give in to the goodness:

~ Serial. Yeah, it’s a podcast, and yeah, IT IS AWESOME. I haven’t downloaded this week’s epi yet, and it wraps up next week…I have so many feelings I don’t even know where to start. Stop resisting and start listening – especially if you drive a car or go for long runs, this podcast platform is made for you.

It’s a toss-up:

~ The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. While it is hardly a morale booster, the #VSFashionShow does provide endless fodder when it comes to documenting the appallingly awkward moves, behavior, and facial expressions of Taylor Swift…your call, Santa.

Adrianna and Alessandra each have two kids. And I bet Ed Sheehan posted this on his high school reunion page w caption: "YOU CAN KEEP MY LUNCH MONEY SUCKAS"

Adrianna and Alessandra each have two kids. And I bet Ed Sheeran posted this on his high school reunion page w caption: “YOU CAN KEEP ALL THAT LUNCH MONEY SUCKAS”

Ending on a high note:

~ Christmas in New York. I will never tire of Christmas in NYC.

grand central

So now I ask all of you: are you naughty like Ebola or nice like a grapefruit?

It’s possible Santa might need a back-up list….

I honestly, in my heart of hearts, woke up today and thought it was Friday. The only silver lining is that I had time to throw together this haphazard, weak-sauce BBT…which I think we can all agree places me firmly and immovably on the Nice list.

TGIhowisitstillT!

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An Open Letter to the Internet

Posted by AllieB on November 13, 2014

I am mad at the internet. Between Taylor Swift’s new album and Kim Kardashian’s oily photo shoot, I am actually feeling feelings of legit anger. I am  unwittingly in the know about every single moment of Taylor’s life and am somehow now intimately acquainted Kim’s nether regions. I DID NOT WANT TO KNOW OR SEE ANY OF THAT. The over-exposure and inexhaustible self-promotion of these two women and their “art” really bothers me. I don’t follow Taylor Swift or Kim Kardashian on any form of social media, but they are unavoidable – from TIME Magazine to every single pop culture news outlet – and I want out. What’s more: I want the option to opt out. I feel like the internet has taken away my right to choose.

That said, I’m also a little mad at Taylor Swift. Promoting a new album is a musician’s job. You give interviews, you go on tour, you give free shows on morning news programs and appear on magazine covers. You tweet and you post on Instagram and you get your fans excited. Taylor Swift invited fans TO HER HOUSE for cookies. Taylor Swift inked a deal with the CITY OF NEW YORK to be its global ambassador even though she moved here in March. March of 2014. Speaking of, I’d like to note that Taylor Swift’s New York is that of the .0000007% and bless the tweens from Middle America who think their TriBeCa loft and black SUVs are but a Greyhound ride away. And although the entire music industry has imbibed the kool-aid served up at Taylor ‘s house parties, giving her album 5 star reviews across the board, I can’t bring myself to listen to a single song or watch the new music video that’s getting all the hype – I won’t even link you to it, I am standing strong!

And I’m always mad at Kim Kardashian. I think KimK is actually a robot and definitely has butt implants and is dead inside and I’m sure is very nice but only because she was programmed that way and her motherboard can only handle a very limited range of emotion. She is what’s wrong with everything that is going wrong.

While I do take issue with both Taylor and Kim personally – clearly – I am more more frustrated with the bigger picture. The ebola frenzy of recent weeks really annoyed me, too, but even coverage of that has waned significantly. And I’m not some highbrow consumer – believe you me, I’d much rather click thru on an article about 17 tips for getting ready after a sweaty workout-minus the shower over one about Vladimir Putin and something about the Ukraine, but that is my choice. The obsessive and ceaseless nature of documenting and reporting Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian has forcibly burdened me with information I did not want or seek out, and therein lies my main issue. I also recognize that resistance against these two is futile – case in point: I am writing about them right now – and it’s clear to me I have but one option: I must move to Appalachia. The End.

OK I feel much better, and I don’t even feel bad because I know that TSwizz would just Shake It Off saying “Hater’s gonna hate!” while cashing a check for gazillion dollars, and KimK can’t feel anything stronger than “slightly perturbed” so no harm, no foul.

I do realize the irony of a tirade against the internet…on the internet…but no one stopped to listen when I set up my soap box in Bryant Park.

My apologies to MelBoo and KReav for this outcry against Taylor Swift, but you’ve gotta tell your girl to pipe down.

What’s for lunch?

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Interview of the Week: Me

Posted by AllieB on November 6, 2014

This is the one where I couldn’t think of my own material so I copied something I’ve seen on another site…

Today’s post is borrowed from The New Potato and follows the list of questions they give to the actors/designers/foodies featured on their blog. Have they featured me? They have not. But now I will be prepared if/WHEN such an event occurs. I didn’t like some of their questions, so I made up a few of my own. I call this “Interview of the Week” – my first ever! – and my first guest is me because who else.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Breaky: 2 cups of earl grey tea and a cranberry scone from the bakery dude who comes to the Tribeca Farmer’s Market every Saturday…I’d probably also toss in pancakes from Bubby’s and brown sugar-glazed bacon.

For lunch: Shake Shack – Shack Burger & cheese fries.

Dinner: pizza, pasta, steak…pizza from Keste* or Spunto; pasta from Bianca or Max; steak by moi – a ribeye or similar coated in salt n pepper cooked in my cast iron skillet with sauteed spinach and the pepper jack mac n cheese from Whole Foods on the side.

Snacks: cheese dip from Jalisco, burrata from John Dory Oyster Bar, choc chip cookie from Levain; veggie slice from Fellini’s with Italian dressing for dipping…

I’m hungry.

*ATLiens: Don Antonio by Sarita is a Neopolitan pizza place on W Paces Ferry in Buckhead where STG Trattoria used to be – it is operated by the same owners who run Don Antonio in New York, who also own Keste. In other words: GO TO HERE. Go now and get the Burrata Roberto pizza.

How do you always start your day on a good note?

I’ve started making smoothies every morning and they are GOOD, like, get-me-out-of-bed-on-cold-and-rainy-mornings good. Also, sometimes I wake up and lie in my bed for a little while, looking at the river and just contemplating life/my outfit for the day, and I’ll see a big cruise ship go by – I have two thoughts: 1. How cool that I can see this from my bed and 2. SUCKAS

What’s your drink?

Actually, I was at The Standard East Village a couple weekends ago and my eye automatically went to the spicy marg – I saw ‘tequila’ and ‘jalapeno’ and ordered it w/o further thought, then K pointed out it was also “topped with red wine.” What. These are not two drinks I would normally think to have together – in succession, sure, but not simultaneously – and turns out it is delicious.

Hey AllieIt’s now called “The Allie” they just have to reprint the  menus

What are your vices?

I eat too much kale.

What’s always in your bag?

Vaseline and Rohto drops.

Words to act by…

I’ll defer to Pinterest on this one

Three words to describe social media…

I love/hate/love social media.

Do you Tweet?

Yes, I am on Twitter, but I only use it to share a new link to BBT (as many as one person has clicked thru – I have a massive and devoted following), and to retweet stuff I like. I have not had an original tweet since October 9, 2012, and I think we can all agree I really went out with a bang:

twitter

wow is right.

If you’re a Twitter-er you should follow Samir from Buzzfeed – he will make you laugh.

Million Dollar Idea? 

So, we all use Snapchat, right? I want Snapchat to have a function where it links to your Spotify and shows the name of whatever song you’re listening to onto the snap. I need it to access what’s going on INSIDE my phone instead of only picking up ambient noise. Por ejemplo:

wiz khalifaSee? Not just a selfie in the elevator bank (embarrassing), it’s like, “hey guys I’m here and I’m listening to Wiz Khalifa what are y’all listening to?” For the record, this went to only like 5 ppl in my Snap contacts…well, and now the millions of BBT readers. Either way, I am not trying to steal Snapchat or copy it, I just want to build on top of its gazillion dollar platform, is all. Everybody wins!

Mr. Snap: have your people call my people.

Favorite kind of workout?

The kind of workout I hate least is Flywheel. I did a new class on Tuesday: SLT (Strengthen-Lengthen-Tone). I’ve never been so sore: I’m walking like Frankenstein and every time I stand or sit or cough I cry a little. It’s like Pilates Reformer, I think – I’ve never done Pilates – but there’s a cardio aspect, as well. I don’t know, if you’re really interested read about it here. Bottom line: it was HARD.

SLT Soho“50 shades of fitness” LOL but 4 real those contraptions look like gurneys. Each class costs a month’s rent so not sure how often I’ll go, but it’s nice to pretend.

How have you contributed to the Greater Good this week? (BBT is not a place for political discussion, so voting does not count.)

I just made a donation to Atlanta Lab Rescue. And, unless you’re Mother Teresa, I’m guessing your karmic balance could use some padding, so please go to the Atlanta Lab Rescue site and donate $5 – literally, $5. You can all afford $5. It links right up with your Paypal so you don’t even have to register, and you can help save this dog’s life. (I can’t read the story again or I’ll lose it, but he needs your help!)

ALR is a 501c3 nonprofit and 100% of all donations are used for the rescue and care of these dogs. 

*PS none of you are Mother Teresa so let’s get going on the link clicking.

Ok. The End. Happy Thursday and hellooooooo to the Weekend. Goodbye, however, to Fall. It was nice while it lasted :(

foliage_best library in the worldFall foliage at my favorite library in the best city

Oh yeah – TGIT!

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Great for Halloween or Just Fashion

Posted by AllieB on October 29, 2014

Halloween, for me, is meh. With the exception of Wine Gal (she is my superhero alter-ego and she will CUT you with her corkscrew while sipping on a mini-bottle of Cab in order to save a glass a bottle a case of wine), I do not have the best track record of costuming, and 75% of the time I lose interest in assembling the ‘stume before it comes to fruition. When I was a sophomore in college I had a denim jumpsuit that was all the assemblage I needed for an entire year of socials and holidays – redneck social, Halloween, disco – but I stupidly threw it away. I’m still mad at myself: do they even sell J.Lo brand jumpsuits anymore? I only buy denim jumpsuits by J.Lo. I’ll check eBay. (Update: no luck on eBay.)

But what is meh for me is probably awesome for you, and I’m okay with that – we all have our strengths, and I genuinely respect and delight in other people’s talents. One of my favorite things is seeing what ole FJ comes up with for her Halloween look. I’ve shared this at least thrice on BBT and should probably make it the backdrop of my phone given how often I show it to people, but here she is as the Werewolf of London:

The Donk as Werewolf of London. I am terrified yet fascinated

Halloween 2012. Young children cried.

So, instead of stressing about thinking of and creating a costume, I instead found my inner Boppy & Basic BBT – it was a Tuesday, I don’t go to clubs on Tuesdays – and the result, I think we can all agree, was favorable: Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies. I made these from scratch using only organic ingredients, sporting Uggs and an apron that said, “Kiss the Cook!” while listening to the new Taylor Swift album on my pink Jambox. I posted a selfie with a dot of flour on my cheek and captioned it, “missed a spot! #pumpkinspiceandeverythingnice #yummy #mycoworkersloveme” Then my roommates and I got in a flour fight and I posted another pic: “Flour Fight!!! #LOL #lovethesegirls #youwishyouhadthismuchfun”

melt in your mouth pumpkin cookies

Even though I accidentally halved the called-for amount of butter (the recipe said FOUR sticks of butter I am not Paula Deen) they are still awesome – perhaps more muffin-like than intended, but I think I’d rather have functioning arteries, ya know? And I obviously used only organic ingredients, but besides that #sensethetone

If you still need costume ideas, here: 32 ‘Sexy’ Halloween Costumes That Make No Sense (‘sexy’ corn and ‘sexy’ body bag are especially…’sexy’), or for those living in ATL – hit up this guy.

mens large 42 reg black trench coat great for halloween costume – $20

image 1

“long black coat great for Halloween or just fashion”

^^ I have been laughing at that ad since Monday (credit: A Social Mess)

 In other news…

-UPenn is offering a class for actual course credit entitled “Wasting Time on the Internet.” A few thoughts: 1. really. 2. do they need a guest speaker 3. as a parent I would be displeased 4. is there a Masters program? 5. I shoulda went to an Ivy League school

**note: I wrote that blurb on Tuesday, and The Skimm mentioned it Wednesday morning, so now I feel cheated. But I’m keeping it in anyway bc who’s to say their description is any better than mine?:

Speaking of things that can make your head spin, the University of Pennsylvania has created a new course called “Wasting Time on the Internet,” where students will be required to do just that.

See? It’s just different. But if y’all are hiring…holla

-Dang, this city…. credit: K

NYC from above

-THEY FOUND AMELIA EARHART?! <crosses off #6 on List of Things To Do>

-the Fireball/Anti-Freeze scare is just in Europe, chill. We’ll still be having our Fireball Christmas Party in December.

-best dog in the world??  Probably: Bandit takes under 30 seconds to fetch his human a beer – and he even makes the fridge door is properly shut. If I had a dog I’d get to work on this trick immediately.

-CharBaxMaines is running her TWENTIETH marathon this weekend – she’s coming in town for the NYC race and I will doggedly go to two of the five boroughs to cheer her on. Cheering people on as they run 26.2 miles is really quite tiring. #sisteroftheyear

Happy Hump Day & Halloween! Love, Wine Gal

 Not the best pic: you can barely see WG’s fanny pack – tho that is a nice shot of the cape, but in all the other photos, well…her strength (wine) had become her weakness (too much wine).

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