the 80's.

i was going through some old pictures this morning and found this one.

my sister and i are totally 80's!!! look at our walkman's. also, check out the rockin' jelly shoes i'm sporting. oh, and the red vw bug was my dad's. i wish he still had that car. anyhow, have a great weekend. i'm off to a girlfriend's bridal shower and then to see sex and the city!


african violets.

i remember my grandmother (a.k.a. gammy) used to have several african violets right above her kitchen sink in the windowsill. i have one in my kitchen, and finally this year it bloomed. but it needed a little bit of help -- african violet plant food. regardless, it's so beautiful right now. and i'm reminded of my gammy each time i see it.


martha II. nyc.

i promised i would post about my adventures in nyc, but more importantly the tour of the martha stewart empire. so here you go! note: i didn't have my camera with me. so no pictures with this post. p.s. sorry for the delay in posting. it's been a very busy month. but i'm back!

it all started early on monday morning (4.28). i was at the train station early. half asleep. trying to gather myself to make the train to grand central. as i was hustling to the track, i passed through a movie scene in the tunnel of the station. i was told that al pacino was behind the dark black curtains. ooh la la! my boyfriend will be the first to tell you that one of my favorite movies is scarface. but no celebrity sightings for me. regardless, it was a great way to start the day.

when i arrived in nyc, i checked my bags at my hotel and decided to head down to the chelsea area where the martha stewart offices are located to get a sense of where i would be for the rest of the day. it definitely wasn't by chance, that i ended up in the bead district. every store i walked by was filled with the most amazing strands of beads. i couldn't resist and had to take a quick peek.

i was immediately drawn to the turquoise and red colored beads. my latest color obsession. but i was so overwhelmed and decided that this store and the others on that street were worthy of a separate trip into the city. so i was good and didn't purchase anything, and continued on walk.

i was to have lunch with a good family friend (my sister's godfather) who works for the martha stewart show, but he was pulled into a conference call at the last minute. so i took this opportunity to lunch solo! as i walked through chelsea, i came upon a very colorful outdoor patio that had the cutest furniture. guess what color? turquoise! i took a quick scan of their menu and entered. i was their first guest for lunch. so i sat at the bar by myself. the restaurant, pars, is in fact a persian restaurant. i ordered the salmon kebob, which was so delicious! i have to admit i was little weary of how the food wood be, but i was pleasantly surprised. a few minutes after i sat down, i was accompanied by another bar guest, marshall. a retired business man from brooklyn. he had a copy of the new york post in hand and we chatted for a bit about the headline, roger clemens' love affair. and we both shared our views on infidelity. definitely an interesting conversation to have with a complete stranger. but anything goes in nyc, i guess.

after lunch, i made my way down to the martha stewart living omnimedia offices (mslo) for my afternoon tour.

all i can say is that when I entered the lobby, i literally felt like I was in heaven. for one, everything was white (wow! martha loves white, too!). the walls, the couches, the tables, everything!! also, the mslo offices are located on the ninth floor so being high up and seeing the beautiful view of the chelsea piers and water below added to this heaven-like experience. i was feeling anxious. ready for the tour to begin...i was about to see one of the most creative work environments in new york city.

we met gayle towey, the chief creative officer of mslo, in the conference room, which was floor to ceiling glass all around. i sort of felt like i was in a fish bowl. to the right of the room was martha’s office (i should note, one of martha’s offices. i believe she has a few in the city).

as you can imagine, it was all white, and very tidy. so sign of a computer, probably stashed away in a drawer. everything had it’s place. there was a beautiful beige colored chaise lounge, which was set in the corner of the room. there was no sign of martha. but i really wasn’t on the tour to see her. i was on the tour to see how her concept of “living” is brought to fruition.

when gayle entered the conference room and introduced herself, my heart began beating faster and faster. i felt like a little kid in a candy shop. she gave us the historical background of the building and noted that mslo is the only company in manhattan whose office space is the length of an entire city block. and after seeing how much they house in this space, it’s no wonder why martha chose this building. from test kitchens to a wood working shop to photography studios to craft areas. but the best use of space of all, in my opinion, was the AMAZGING prop warehouse.
the prop warehouse houses over 10,000 items used for magazine photo shoots. anything you can think of is inside this very organized room. next time you see a photo in the living magazine, you can bet that it was created right in the mslo office space. they have everything, fireplaces, hardwood floors, front doors, furniture, bedding, you name it the prop house has it. it’s like putting all of your great tag sale finds in one room. martha actually employs people to go find all of these props for her. they travel all over and collect pieces for future magazine shoots, television shoots, etc. gayle mentioned that every quarter they have a tag sale in the prop warehouse. they open it up to all of the employees, which i should mention are mainly female, and sell many of the items they will no longer use as a discounted price. what a great perk!

as we toured through every department, i was in awe of how much creativity goes on every day at mslo. the set up of the office space is such that each employee has they’re own cubicle. but if they turn their chairs around they are facing an open desk area where they can collaborate with their other coworkers on magazine spreads, crafts, textile designs, holiday products, websites, and so much more!

as the tour came to an end, we were returned to the lobby area where we started. in the conference room, i saw a group of mslo employees (all women - go figure!) gathered around the conference table, which was filled with plates of homemade cookies. i was told they were doing a taste test for a cookie contest that was connected to the new release of martha’s cookie book. once again, i felt like i was in heaven.

i was fortunate enough to continue my martha stewart experience just a few blocks down the street by meeting up with a good family friend who works for mslo for a private tour of the martha stewart television studio. since it was a monday, i wasn’t able to see a live taping of the show. but i actually got to see a whole lot more because the studio was closed. he showed me everything from martha’s dressing room to where all of the producers sit to the actual set (yes, i stood right at her kitchen counter where she and her guests stand on the show). i have to say martha is amazing! no matter what anyone says about her, she’s a very smart and very talented business woman who has her hands in every area imaginable. she employs over 700 people who believe in her creative vision. and both tours were proof of that.

it was a full day of martha, martha, martha. but worth every moment. i left nyc feeling so inspired. i know that i need to continue tapping into my creative side. i know that i need to believe in myself. and who knows, maybe one day i will find myself in that same heaven-like state again.