Seven Things That Are Underrated (if you ask me)…

1. A woman with a firm handshake

Totally boss.

I don’t know about you, but I appreciate a confident, firm handshake when shaking another woman’s hand.  Nothing is worse than going in for an assertive grip only to be met by a feeble handshake in return . Those limp hand shakes are for the birds, and leave me asking, “What woman started this wimpy habit?”  I think there is something so refreshing about a woman with some substance behind that palm.  To me, it says, “I’m a strong, capable, secure woman, and I’m not afraid to show it.”  C’mon ladies, men do it, so why don’t we?

2. Eating dinner alone

When I was younger I hated being alone.  I could easily spend days and nights completely consumed by hanging out with my friends.  In fact, the first day I met my friend Reagan, we ended up spending nearly a week together, going back and forth to each others apartments.  I still love my friends (and my husband), but I no longer mind eating dinner alone.  I could easily go sit by myself at a café or diner and be completely content there alone without anyone else to talk to.  I think with age you start to appreciate alone time more (at least I do), and those times where you can turn your brain off become highly underrated.

3. Comfortable Silence

Does anyone remember this scene in Pulp Fiction?

It goes something like this:

Mia: Don’t you hate that?

Vincent: What?

Mia: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bulls*it in order to be comfortable?

Vincent: I don’t know. That’s a good question.

Mia: That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.

P.S.  Isn’t that true?

4. Getting lost

I hate to sound cliché, but everything really does happen for a reason.  Sometimes it’s good to be lost, and sometimes it’s good to not have your life completely planned out.  Trust me, I learned this one the hard way.  I spent most of my early 20’s trying to control everything and everyone who walked into and out of my life.  Finally something clicked one day, and I realized that living my life this way made me miserable, so I decided to make a change.  One of the best times of my life was when I decided to stop looking at the big picture, just take each day at a time, and give myself permission to flounder…and do you want to know a secret?  I became happier, and something wonderful happened.  I met Matt, who eventually became my husband.  You might think something is right for you, whether it be a job, relationship, etc., but it might not be what is best for you.  If you refuse to let yourself be lost, than you never allow yourself to truly be found.

5. Handwritten letters sent in the mail

Snail mail is way underrated.

In a generation where we can connect with people all over the world in a matter of seconds, it’s almost impossible to not take advantage of the internet and email.  However, I think sending a good, old-fashioned letter or card in the mail is completely underrated.  Think about it.  What if you opened your mailbox today, and received a note from a friend telling you how much they missed you, instead of simply writing it on your Facebook wall.  How special would that make you feel?  Yep, pretty special.  That’s what I thought

6. Electric blankets

So genius.

The fact that I found this picture, where the model is trying her best to look super cool as she is luxuriously wrapped up in the electric blanket, is so funny to me.  So, I know we’re moving in on summer here, but I’ve got to tell you, electric blankets are totally underrated.  If you’ve ever slept in one, especially in the dead of winter, than you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s warm…it’s cozy…and it’s phenomenal…Enough said.

7. Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives

Best. Show. Ever.

I am seriously obsessed with this show, and think it’s the bomb.  Let me guess, you’ve never heard of it, right?  That doesn’t surprise me, because every time I try to shoot the sh*t with someone about it, they have no idea what I’m talking about.  If you’ve never seen it, it’s basically a cooking show where the host, Guy Fieri, travels around the United States in search of the best diners, drive-in’s and dives.  It’s not your average cooking show, in that it doesn’t go into all the tedious step by step process of a recipe, but it does give you a recap of numerous cooks whipping up deliciously unhealthy grub that is sure to make your mouth water.  In a nutshell, this show is entertaining and tons of fun, but completely underrated, because hardly anyone has heard of it.

Photos by New York Daily News, Pinterest, IMDB, The Food Network, http://www.notthatkindofgirl.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/catladydinner.jpg

About these ads

Don’t Mess With Texas…

Well, tomorrow Matt and I are off to Houston, Texas for about 6 weeks, where Matt will attend a Kaplan retreat, to prepare for his big medical school exam in March.

I'll be sure to let you know if this is true...

We had an extremely busy holiday season, and it’s hard to believe it’s already time to jet off to the Lone Star State.  To be honest, I feel a little guilty…This will be the third consecutive New York winter that I’ve managed to avoid.  Since we’ve been back in the States, it hasn’t even been that cold, but already I’ve noticed myself daydreaming about the spring and summer in a few months.  I am looking forward to enjoying some sunshine again, and also just seeing Texas in general.

When I traveled in the national tour of Les Miz, we went to Houston, and also Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Dallas.  Because I was so young, though, I really don’t remember much about it, other than the fact that it was extremely clean there, and sweltering hot.  I’m interested to see if it’s how I remembered it.

I have a feeling we are going to enjoy our time in Texas, and for some reason, all week I have hummed tunes from the play Oklahoma (I played Ado Annie in a high school production of Oklahoma.)  Okay, so they’re obviously two different states, but they’re both country, so it felt fitting.

Have a listen and see if you agree..(P.S. This song has a special meaning to me, because a high school friend of mine who played Curly in Oklahoma passed away a few years ago, and this song always reminds me of him.)

02_-_oh_what_a_beautiful_morning_-_oklahoma_(original_soundtrack)

I have every intention on getting a pair of these during my stay…

You can't go to TX and not wear cowboy boots...

I’m also really looking forward to embracing the country culture, and possibly eating some cheesy grits and fried chicken…

Not exactly healthy, but definitely worth the calories...

I may even try out a southern drawl and bust out a “y’all” or “bless your heart” here or there…

Here’s another one…lollygagging…that’s southern, right?  Either way, I better quit lollygagging and get to this packing, because the truth is, I haven’t even started yet!

So, off I go.

Stay tuned for more Sarah Smiles Awhile…Southern style.

~See ya.

It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want to.

That is, happy tears of course!

So listen to this…

Matt and I flew back to New York on my 29th birthday this past Saturday.  We had a rough night the night before we left, complete with Matt accidentally punching himself in the eye…No, I’m not kidding.  It was crazy, Matt was weighing one of our extremely heavy pieces of luggage, when the luggage scale snapped, causing his right hand to shoot up, hitting himself in the eye!  He had to go down to the university clinic on campus to get bandaged up, and he still has a black eye! 

Thankfully, though, the next morning when we left, everything went very smoothly, and we had a really great flight.  We got off the plane, got all five pieces of our seventy pound luggage, and made our way to ground transportation, where Matt’s parents were picking us up.  When we walked out, I saw Matt’s mom and dad waving to us.  They made their way toward us, and we said our hello’s.

Matt and his Pop.

Then, suddenly something or someone caught my eye…

I looked…

Then, I took a double take…

It was my parents!

My dad is not in the picture, because he was the one taking the pictures!

They came to New York all the way from Michigan and surprised me for our U.S.A homecoming, and for my birthday.

The craziest part is…I had NO idea.

When I saw my mom in her red coat, I didn’t believe it.  For a second, I thought I was just seeing someone who looked like her, but then I saw my dad smiling as big as his mouth could smile, holding his brand-spankin’ new movie recorder, and that’s when I knew it was real.

I was beyond surprised.

Matt's mom, my mom, and me.

Let me say this, it really is hard to dupe me.  Naturally, I am a very inquisitive person, I ask lots of questions, and I easily pick up on discrepancies.  My parents told me a host of lies to pull this thing off, complete with forwarding their house phone calls to their cell phone, so that I wouldn’t catch on.  Last Friday my parents went into the city for a viewing of Regis and Kelly, when I called, and they told me they were out Christmas shopping.  Somehow I fell for everything, and to be honest, I am a little shocked that I did!  P.S.  I am convinced I didn’t catch onto the scheme, because I had been so busy packing and getting ready to move, but everyone else says that they just fooled me really, really well.  Maybe they’re right!

The best part was, Matt’s mom had orchestrated the whole event months ago!  She invited my parents to stay at their house, and my parents took her up on it, and had been visiting for days, before Matt and I even got home.  How cute is that?

I’ve literally never ever been more surprised in my entire life…not even when I got engaged!!

It was my best birthday ever.

Here are some other shots from that day.

Homecoming and birthday dinner.

That's a big bowl of pasta, eh? That's how we Italians do it up.

Did you notice that the name on the bottle says Palma? That's because Matt's dad makes wine. Cool, right?

Birthday cake! My absolute favorite, Baskin Robins Oreo cookie ice cream cake.

Opening birthday presents! That's my dad sitting next to me, and my mom sitting on the floor.

My parents went back to the Mitten State on Monday, but Matt and I have enjoyed some long overdue time with his family, including his twin nephews James and Joseph.  I even had the honor of doing their very first haircut!

Joe-Joe Bear

Sweet Baby James (like the James Taylor song.)

All I can say is, it’s good to be back in good ol’ New York, New York, and on American soil.  Just yesterday, Matt and I walked into a grocery store, and I’m not even kidding, I felt like I was entering the gates of heaven when I saw the enormous variety of food.

I have to admit, it is quite cold here, and I already miss that Caribbean sun, but not enough to give all this up.

Nope.  Not even close.

~The End.

Shall We Brunch?

There is something so divine about brunching, isn’t there?  When I’m in New York, one of my very favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon is to go to brunch, and to order my uj of a goat cheese, tomato, and basil omelet, a spicy (non-alchy) bloody mary, a cup of coffee with full fat half and half and two splenda’s, and a homemade muffin to pick at on the side.  That’s what I usually order at my favorite brunch joint, Isabella’s, anyway…

So, lately I’ve felt a little melancholy about my old brunching days, and just a little reflective about NYC in general.  Since I’ve been in Grenada, this time of year has been the hardest for me, because you don’t really know me, if you don’t know about my love for the fall in New York.  I mean, there’s a reason why they’ve made movies called Autumn in New York.  It makes me sad every time I think about another fall season going by that I’m missing.  There is just something about drinking a non-fat extra hot chai latte, while traipsing around  Central Park and looking at the beautiful changing leaves.  In my opinion, it’s just the most gorgeous time of year, and as a friend and I once dubbed it: the most amazingly awesome weather for fashion ever (hence the perfect time to sport a t-shirt and a scarf, a skirt and cute riding boots, a dress with a light fall jacket, etc.)

Can't you see why I love it so?

So, when I was invited over by a friend of mine for brunch at her apartment, it came at the perfect time and when I needed it the most.  I took my invitation to the brunch very seriously and baked a homemade pumpkin bread from scratch.  It was raining while I was baking, and for a minute, the spicy smell of the bread made me feel like it was really fall weather out, and not the 100 degrees that it really was.

I honestly looked forward to my little event with the girls all weekend, and when it came time, it was just so much fun to do something different for a change.  It can get pretty monotonous around here, so it was fun to shake things up a bit.

We had good conversation…

FYI: This conversation was definitely not as serious as it seems to be...

We had a delish spread of treats…

Yes, the watermelon is yellow here...Weird, huh?

Delish egg fritata, watermelon, blueberry bran muffin, pumpkin bread, and a mimosa to top it off right...

A cute little puppy for company, too…

Chewy was so ready for his close up...

Wouldn’t be complete without a little girl talk…

A little gossiping never hurt anyone...okay, so that's not true, but let's face it, sometimes it's needed.

It was a fun morning, and definitely did the trick in making me miss New York a wee bit less.  However, when I walked outside after my lovely get together, and I felt the heat beating down on my shoulders, I realized there was unfortunately nothing that could make me miss my favorite season in New York less…except for maybe New York itself.

~The End

Central Park photo by stephaniefrost.net

You Say It’s Your Birthday…

Well, it’s not my birthday too, because….

Today is Matt’s 29th Birthday!!  Hooray!

Happy Birthday to Matt (aka Jib, Jiberoni, Jiblock, Jib-Jab Jaberwocky, Moo-Moo, Le-Le, Leland, the cheese to my macaroni, the peanut butter to my jelly, the captain to my crunch, the butter to my toast, the milk to my cookies, the sun to my shine, the pop to my tart, Frankie-boy, and my turtle-dove love.)

Since we’re in Grenada and Matt is super busy with all things pathophys, pharm, clinical medicine, and BSFCR, I’m trying to make it as special of a day as I can.

So, that means…

We gotta have some birthday decorations up in this piece…

And there’s gotta be some birthday cake…

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting, per Matt's request...

Because you have to…

Nothing says I love you or Happy Birthday quite like some really unhealthy carbohydrates...am I right, or am I right?

A Birthday just wouldn’t be complete without some party plates, right?

And he’s gotta have some rad presents…

Oh, you know a practical gift...

And there’s gotta be an impractical gift, too, right?

Imported bags of Kona coffee for my coffee connessieur...So, I know it's tacky to talk about how much gifts cost and stuff, but who has ever heard of a $50 bag of coffee? Proof's right here.

It’s funny to think that we’re actually married now.  We dated for a pretty long time before actually taking the plunge (about 4 years to be exact), but my mom can even vouch for me when I say, that after our first date I called her at 1am and exclaimed, “I think I’m going to marry him!”  To which she replied (half asleep), “Oh Lordy, okay.”  I’m sure she thought I was crazy to say such a thing after only one date, and she also probably thought I was just being funny, but the truth remains, that I did know.

Something told me that I should document our first date, which I did…

Glad I was having a good hair day...Just sayin'...

The night I kind of think we fell in love…

This was our second date. Matt took me to a G Love concert, and this is me among all the duuurty hippies. Yay.

And the rest is kind of just history, ya know?!

Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Palma!

Love Always,

Mrs. Palma

~The End