Starry Night


French photographer Thierry Cohen currently is going to have his “Darkened Cities” collection on display at the Danziger Gallery here in New York March 28-May 4. It’s a series of photo illustrations that show what major cities would look like if we could see a sky full of stars. The stars are ones that appear on the same latitudes as the cities so they are really accurate depictions of what our city skies would look like without light pollution. While I love my city, there is nothing quite like the big open starry skies in the country. Hoping I can find some time to see these in person!

*Check out the rest of the cities on the gallery’s website!*


101 Update and The Best Day Ever (Ever)


Last weekend I crossed three things off of my 101 Things in 1001 Days List. THREE! I #78 Visted Emily At Yale last Friday night. We ate Mexican Food, drank many many many Jack and Diets (me)/Gin and Tonics (her), jumped up and down on her couches to Taylor Swift (true story), and then Lizzle wiggled her legs while walking down the street (also a true story). Then, on Monday, Brett and I took advantage of a day off of work and had the best day ever. For real! We #21 Went To The Top Of The Empire State Building and it was amazing. It was so windy and so chilly but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we could see for  miles. We snapped an unreasonable amount of selfies, smooched an unreasonable amount of times, and after about an hour we decided we could be done. But I now have a list of times to return (summer time, nighttime, autumn time, etc.) so fear not, more to come on this one. After our snuggle sesh with Empy State, we #89 Treated Ourselves To A Massage. A 50 minute massage, to be exact, and it was glorious.


Small Fries


I understand that Valentine’s Day is over, but you have to undertand that it’s one of my favorite things. So I’m extending the holiday a little bit with this Vally Day video from Small Fry, a pretty amazing “Children’s Lifestyle Blog”… yes, those exist. Reminds me of that tv show “Kids Say the Darndest Things” – what ever happened to that?

Manda Cooks: Vally Day Dinner (Brett Cooks Too!)


Brett and I decided to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day by staying in and cooking dinner at home. Spending more than an hour or two together on weekday nights is hard to come by these days because of his demanding (and insane) work schedule, so it was actually quite the treat. We first polished off the heart shaped brie that I had sent to his office earlier that day, then we made kale salad, pesto risotto, and lemony and a little bit spicy and buttery shrimp. We started up a fire, filled up our wine glasses and had an indoor dinner picnic. Hope your Valentine’s Day was equally as delicious : )

It’s here!

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It’s here! It’s here! My most favorite day of the year. Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I am going to be in meetings all day today at work, but that’s not going to stop me from loving this day. I sent out most of my valentines on Tuesday, got a special delivery of roses at the office yesterday (Bretty!), and am wearing my favorite J.Crew print – heart throb. (I thought the skirt and shirt together might be overload, so I just went with the skirt.) Already counting down to 8pm tonight when I get to smooch my Valentine and then eat cheese and wine and more cheese (and probably some sort of other food too but all that’s been decided so far is the cheese part.) Happiest of Valentine’s Day! Lots and lots of love from Manda.

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Manda Cooks: Weekday Breakfast

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My sister made the family baked eggs over Christmas break and they were so yummy I knew I had to add them to my repertoire. I was ecstatic when I found out how easy they were — so easy that I decided to attempt them on ::gasp:: a weekday morning for Brett’s birthday. And… success! Don’t tell my secret, but it really doesn’t involve any hard work other than getting up ten minutes earlier than usual (which I know, believe me, is actually quite hard on some days). I made them last week again as a special treat, then Dana made them for me and Christina this past Sunday, and now I’m officially sold. If I can do this on a weekday morning, and my sister can do this while simultaneously caring for her one pound kitten, they are sort of fool proof. (But don’t take my word for it, we Veraldi’s are sometimes superhuman.)

Easy: Coat ramekins in a bit of olive oil. Crack two eggs into each, top with a bit of milk or cream (about 1/2 tablespoon), little salt, little pepper, then a generous sprinkle of cheese (parmesan or romano are great) and any green herb (rosemary!) Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes, until eggs have set.

Slightly more complicated: Slice up some strawberries and peel an orange.

Even more complicated: After you pop the eggs into the oven, run to Starbucks for coffee and Pret for a croissant. Wake up your sleepy boyfriend (slowly and carefully, as if you were pulling someone out of anesthesia) and then modestly accept your award for Girlfriend of the Year.

Downton Abbey Giggle


ImageI saw the photo above on Facebook and it took me a minute to realize what was going on, don’t our favorite 1920’s Brits look quite different in 2013?
 And I don’t want to spoil Season 3 for anyone, but this post on “If Downton Abbey Took Place Entirely on Facebook” is spot-in and so funny. Thank you Stina for passing it on and providing me with some midday laughs. It’s official: Tuesday > Monday.

The Weekend.


So we New Yorkers somehow made it through the snowpocalypse of this weekend. Somehow. I used every item in my survival kit (except my whiskey was mixed with diet coke), and didn’t let the snow stop me from galavanting all over the city: dinner Upper East on Friday night, a return to the Upper East for brunch and pedicures on Saturday, a party Midtown West Saturday night, and then a trip to Brooklyn on Sunday to see my sister and meet her new tiny kitten, Frankie. Frankie is just the cutest little cat you ever met. I spent last night watching the Grammy’s while making valentines (third year in a row! that counts as a tradition, right?) and must admit I was pretty proud of my weekend. Plus I got to see Bretty briefly after his return from snowy Colorado, and was excited to start my new position today! Then Monday came. And New York was grey and rainy. Had I known the weather this morning was going to foreshadow my day, I just might have stayed in bed. Sigh! But now it’s over, and tomorrow is Tuesday, and it better be good. Or else…