Mari's Notebook

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

dave matthews concert

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day. I spent the weekend with my family in Saratoga -- we've been making these Dave Matthews concerts a tradition and it was nice to take a long rainy drive, check out the local neighborhood and listen to a little Grey Street.

The first couple days were, unfortunately, rainy. Rainy rainy rainy. And, if you've been reading this blog for at least some time, you know I can't possibly write a post without mentioning how much I love rainy days.

But when you have lawn seats with only the sky above you, rain can really dampen the mood (haha, see what I did there?). The opening act could not have gone faster, and it was freezing. But eventually the rain stopped and it was an awesome show regardless.

On Sunday we brunched and went antique shopping (ok, it was one antique shop but it was my favorite store of all). We browsed Barnes and Noble, which was a real treat since our local one closed down and home hasn't felt the same since. We ate some gelato and while my parents watched Mad Men, I took advantage of the hotel bathtub and used on my many many Lush products. It was always kind of crazy how many bubble bars and bath melts I had since I don't take baths at home--but whenever I'm in a hotel and I'm just chilling late at night, it's nice to be able to turn my bath water pink, sparkly and smelling like berries.

Monday was the only pretty day weatherwise, but we didn't stay in town long. We did manage to grab some Breugger's Bagels for the road. Their strawberry cream cheese is my favorite.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

some link love

hello everyone, how is the week going? I am not really feeling myself this week--a sore throat and runny nose will do that to anyone and honestly all I want to do is sleep and eat chocolate.

for the past few days I've been helping my mom with some research, and that's been keeping me busy during the days. It's also added a bit of structure, which is kind of nice after a couple weeks of aimlessly chilling out. I feel like my days are more productive and I have some reassurance that my brain isn't turning to mush.

break time during my mini-internship consists of walks around the neighborhood, dunkin donuts runs and lots of internet surfing. here are some of my favorite finds. enjoy. :)

1. I start my internship in a few weeks and want to appear as professional as possible. I really liked Terri's reminder not to ask questions but make statements. 

2. It's Comedy Week on YouTube (I know, right? If anything will ruin your productivity, it's this.). I've been having a grand ol' time checking out all the hilarious new uploads -- I'm quite interested in how this series will work out.

3. Speaking of YouTube, these guys are my new favorite YouTube couple.

4. I really need an excuse to send some invitations or thank you cards -- these Oscar de la Renta for Paperless Post designs are gorgeous.

5. Graduation season is upon us, filled with lots of caps, gowns and inspirational words. I loved Kerry Washington's speech at George Washington University.

6. My roommate sent me this a couple days ago. Hilarious but unfortunately incredibly accurate -- communication with college suitemates/roommates is not always the most productive and efficient. The cat-on-a-roomba picture is a classic move.

7. I LOVED Sascha's post about landing her dream job and finding where she's truly happy.

what are some of your current internet favorites?

p.s. voting is still open for The Indie Chick's Badass Blog Awards! I've been nominated for "Best Newcomer Blog" and would love your support! :)

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Friday, May 17, 2013

five things...

...that I'll be doing this weekend.

strawberry milkshake from yesterday's trip to the city 

1. four words: cupcakes with strawberry frosting. we have a party to go to on Saturday and I really really want to try my hand at making strawberry frosting from scratch. can you tell I'm in a strawberry mood?

2. bike maintenance. My bike's been locked up in the garage for ages. I can't quite remember when I last saw it but this summer I will definitely be making a bike-riding comeback. sometime this weekend I'm going to get it out and see what shape it's in.

3. getting ahead with next year's academic reading. I have The Marx-Engels Reader calling my name.

4. wearing something other than my Kappa gym shorts. maybe I'll surprise even myself and wear a dress.

5. finishing up the second season of Revenge. I wonder what tv show I'll tackle next? Any suggestions?

what will you be doing this weekend?

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Badass Blog Awards 2013

Hello! Today I woke up with the most awesome news--I'm a finalist for the's Badass Blog Awards!

I've been selected a finalist for the "Best Newcomer Blog" category and couldn't be more honored to be among the ranks of all the other amazing blogger finalists.

If you have a moment, please be sure to vote for me--Mari's Notebook. All are welcome to vote and voting ends May 31!

Thank you for reading and have a spectacular day. :)

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


currently I'm...

reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
listening to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something
watching Revenge on Hulu.
thankful to be able to sleep in.
cooking barbecue chicken pizza.
smiling at my thirteen-year-old dog who still sometimes thinks he's a puppy.
eating strawberry gelato.
wanting to try the headband hairstyle featured in this video.
inspired by flowy skirts, ballet flats and anything sparkly, coral, gold and grey.

Happy Wednesday :)

all photos from polyvore

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Monday, May 13, 2013

banana coconut macadamia nut pancakes

There's nothing like good food to celebrate a holiday. For as long as I can remember, we always served my mother breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. But this year, we decided to do something a little different. My dad, brother and I put together a nice family brunch, complete with flowers, mimosas and a fully set table. It was the first meal as a family of four we've had in a very long time.

For some health reasons, we've been trying to go a bit more gluten-free around the house. One of my mom's gifts was Gretchen Brown's Fast and Simple Gluten-Free cookbook. One of my favorite things to do with my mom is try out new recipes, and I'm very excited to dig into the world of gluten-free cuisine. For Mother's Day brunch we decided to kick off with Brown's own banana coconut macadamia nut pancakes.

adding in the coconut flakes and macadamia nuts...

We had to buy a lot of new ingredients to make it gluten-free -- like gluten-free flour, coconut flower, and coconut milk-- but it was so worth it. With nuts, bananas and coconut flakes, the pancakes were thick and hearty. My only regret was not putting in more macadamia nuts.

What gluten-free recipe should we try next? I have the whole summer ahead of me to explore.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Just wanted to give a shout-out to all the wonderful moms, grandmas, aunts, godmothers and mother figures out there who do so much for the people they love. I know the women in my life have had such a great influence on me and have helped me become the person I am today, and I am so grateful for that.

today will be spent with the family. my dad, brother and I got up early to make some banana coconut macadamia nut pancakes (gluten-free!) that were absolutely delicious. I cut some flowers from the garden, dad popped a bottle of champagne and we had a lovely brunch!

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! what are you doing to celebrate?

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

review: The Great Gatsby

today was the first Saturday in a really long time that I didn't have to get up at a specific time to study, or attack some really long to-do list. today I slept, spent time with family, read a book at my leisure and ran some errands. I know these days will get rarer as I get older so I'm enjoying them now.

we saw The Great Gatsby today. I have been looking forward to it for a while--I loved the book, the movie has an incredible cast and with Jay-Z as executive producer of the soundtrack? oh wow.

the movie definitely met my expectations. I thought it was very well done--especially with regard to cinematography and editing. they really captured the thrill of the Roaring 20s.

the acting was okay. Leonardo DiCaprio was a fine Gatsby--but not a great one. many people are hoping he'll get an Academy Award for this, but honestly I don't think the performance was particularly exceptional. Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan played the part well, but it wasn't completely memorable. and Tobey Maguire playing Nick Carraway really annoyed me. Carey Mulligan is the only exception. I thought she made a fantastic Daisy Buchanan.

the music was a little disappointing. it got so much hype but honestly I think the selection could have been much stronger. I do however really like the idea of an era piece with contemporary music--all the Jay-Z tracks were a nice touch.

the setting and scenery were incredible. New York skyscrapers, the cars, the houses, the chandeliers. I can see why someone would want to see the movie in 3-D--the party scenes are quite a spectacle--but I thought the regular showing was perfectly fine!

In all, definitely see The Great Gatsby, but read the book first!

what did you think of the movie?

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

"that's all, folks!"

one last hammock chat with my roommate. 
taken just an hour after my last final. 

So, living on the fifth floor this year has had its ups and downs. I'm exhausted once I reach the fifth floor. No one wanted to visit our suite. In fact, I didn't even want to visit my own suite.

But then again I also got an amazing leg workout each day. It was relatively quiet on our floor. And passing all the other rooms on our way up, I met some cool people. I smiled at the cleaning lady whenever I passed by, I shared exhausted walking-up-to-the-fifth/sixth-floor faces with the guys across the hall and the guys upstairs.

And because students keep their doors cracked open, we can't help but get to know everyone's regimens and quirks. There's the girl who seems to ALWAYS be at her desk typing up some paper, no matter what time of day. There's the room on the first floor with all the fancy paintings. There's the suite that always wrote some song of the day or song lyric on the white board outside the door.

The song titles and lyrics were usually pretty random--or, at least, I wasn't in on the inside joke. And sometimes they were superbly appropriate. For instance, after one of Yale's Safety Dance, a dance notoriously known for sending at least a handful to the hospital with alcohol-related injuries, the song of the day the morning after was Taio Cruz's "Hangover" (which is an awesome essay-writing song when you're not feeling too enthusiastic or inspired, just btdubs).

But Tuesday, the last day of finals, the eve of move-out day, the white board said "That's all, folks!" Being the super nostalgic person I am, I smiled to myself whenever I passed by on my way up or down to my room.

It's been an amazing year. I took such inspiring and thought-provoking classes, I wrote really cool essays, and I got to know some talented and accomplished professors. It was a blast just running around campus with my friends, going on late-night food runs, belting out Kappa songs, lying out on the hammocks and meeting new people.

I am in such shock that it's already been two years. I know the next two will be filled with just as many unpredictable, enlightening, one-of-a-kind moments. Moments when I can't stop laughing, when I can't help but cry...moments that I know I'll want to treasurer forever, moments that simply go by way too fast.

Yale, once again I have fallen in love with you. I will miss you this summer--tons. Fifth floor, I believe our love-hate relationship is ending on a positive note. I will miss you, too--in some weird way. Friends, it will be a few months but I know once we all move back in the fall we'll pick up right where we left off. I'll see you then.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Goals

This May, I'd like to...

make it through these next two final exams and term paper. 
write 15 blog posts. 
pack efficiently--one car load!
complete the May instagram photo-a-day challenge. 
find a new chair for my desk at home. 
drink two bottles of water daily. 
enjoy my last few days as a sophomore. 
practice lots of driving. :)

happy May everyone! what do you want to do this month?

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