While Labor Day is not actually the official end of summer (I repeat, LABOR DAY IS NOT THE OFFICIAL END OF SUMMER), it sure can feel like it. I prefer a glass half full approach to this holiday weekend- meaning, buck up, we’ve still got another three weeks of summer (fall begins on September 22nd- also known as Smitty and my father’s birthday). However, if you are a bit more pessimistic and it’s about to be check out time at your summer share house, I understand your desire to go out with a bang.
It was a weird summer, let’s be serious. The weather was the equivalent of most of my decision making- it didn’t know what it wanted to do. Fortunately, we only got blasted with one intolerable heatwave and for the most part there was plenty of sun. While the majority of my friends posted pictures from Ibiza to Istanbul, I sat on the sidelines watching enviously as I scoured the internet looking for a new home in the borough of Brooklyn. That endeavor turned out to be about as successful as transporting a snow cone through the Sahara.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the half full or half empty camp, Labor Day is now upon us and we must prepare. Sunglasses, swimsuits, and sunscreen, ahoy.
Why, yes. I did quote a Mandy Moore song for the title of this post. And if you were born after 1990, please refer to the video at the end of this post and thank your lucky stars you weren’t old enough to drive a Volkswagen Beetle or own a Discman. In any case, this week is dedicated to sugar and spice and everything that throws a wrench in your 7:30am spin class efforts.
I’m not someone who suffers from a chronic sweet tooth– ironic as I just polished off a carton of Blue Marble Ice Cream as I edit this– but let’s blame the full moon and that time of the month. If, however, you are a lover of all things confectionery, this is your lucky week as I’ve had the pleasure of teaming up with a special guest, Breanne Butler, of ByBreanne to bring you a special How To Tuesday, exclusive interview, and photoshoot featuring her custom candy rings.
So, stay tuned, pause your diet til next week, and be sure to brush your teeth before bed.
People have asked me how the New Year has been treating me, but when they do, I tell them that my new year has yet to begin. Because my birthday falls in the first month of the year, I hold off on all resolutions and serious celebrating until the twentieth of January. Unlike many people, I love birthdays. It’s true that on average 18 million others share your special day, but it sure does feel nice to have one day of the year designated just for you (and those other 17,999,999 people). That is why I consider birthdays the real “New Year.”
Last year, I woke up in Paris. One of my best friends made the flight to join me. We explored, we learned, we laughed, we grew (apart). When I look back on the past year, I wonder how it feels so long ago, and yet I haven’t got that much to show for it. I’ve made new friends, lost old ones, loved, cried, succeeded triumphantly, and failed miserably. I’ve buried old hatchets, returned to old wounds, created rituals, and ditched bad habits. Maybe if I measured my year in the minute changes rather than extravagant events, I’d see just how far I’ve actually come.
I’d planned to awake again in another time zone, but I realized last year how much I’d missed spending my birthday with all of the people who mean more than anything to me on a day to day basis. I wanted to be surrounded by the people who truly make my life whole just by being there. I wanted to have a chance to thank them for helping me navigate this thing called life.
And while it was fun to FaceTime them from France eating baguettes braless, I’d rather do it in person.
I like New Year’s Eve. I always have. Despite the unnecessary pressure to come up with somewhere fantastic to toast the new year so as to post on all social media channels by 12:01 and even more pressure to lock down the perfect twelve o’clock kiss, there’s a bit of mystique built into an evening otherwise designed for disappointment.
What you may not know about me is that I’m missing the holiday gene. I don’t love Christmas carols, I couldn’t tell you the last time I decorated a tree, and I’ve spent the last two December 25th’s like Macaulay Culkin, home alone in Manhattan. A Grinch I am not, but because my family is so spread out across the country, the holiday season has taken on a bit of a different meaning to me. If you’ve never experienced New York on Christmas day, which most people have not, you are missing out on something truly magical. Empty sidewalks, closed cafes, and the absence of angry horns. Talk about silent night.
By the time December 31st rolls around, I’m more than ready to trade in the previous year for a newer model. I’ve got a list of bad habits I’m set to swear off, a newfangled collection of delusions for the year ahead, and a fresh pair of red knickers (for good luck, of course).
The places I’ve spent the last day of the year have been sordid and there are very few which warrant honorable mentions. As a matter of fact, I had to think for a moment where I even was last year. I danced the night away with new friends at Soho House and drank my body weight in champagne. I wore a black crepe de chine romper with lace tights. And as for this kiss? I was caught canoodling with a handsome young Frenchman. His name? Je ne sais pas.