Tag Archives: Friends


Happy Birthday, Birthday, Cupcakes, 28, Celebrate

This month I turned 28.

Born on September 11th, my birthday is somewhat marred by people twisting their faces when I tell them it’s when I was born. I’ve learned to take it in stride, of course, and always give 9/11/01 the focus it deserves. I also choose to celebrate life on this day: the lives of those affected, and mine because I am lucky to have it.

This year’s birthday taught me one very important thing: I am blessed.

At 28, I have come into my own in a way I’d never expected. I am happy (stupidly). I am in love (madly). I am spoiled by friends and family (overwhelmingly).

On my actual birthday, my boyfriend took me to a favorite place of ours, which he proudly proclaimed “our spot“. We ate by candlelight in the center table in the window of this restaurant while I basked in his smile. I couldn’t have asked for more. That weekend, I enjoyed beers by the water with friends (+ our other halves). Laughter was accompanied by surprise cupcakes lit aflame with far too many candles (is that what old age looks like?) while I gasped at the spectacle. Lucky me, really.

So, in embracing routines, I am making a new list of birthday goals (because birthdays are our personal New Years – a chance to start fresh and try something new). Here’s my list for 28:

Stay Connected
This was my first goal last year as well. I think it is forever pertinent because I don’t think you can ever be too connected to old friends and family members. Be it by mail, phone, twitter, Instagram, I plan to make every effort to stay connected.

Fully & with my entire being.

Plan For The Future
There is a house on my block that was for sale 3 years ago. It’s since sold, but every time I walk past this gorgeous free-standing home in Astoria, I envision a future life with a yard to groom, a car to wash in the driveway, a dog to walk, and a porch to read on with my love. I certainly won’t have reached these goals by next September, but I can at least take baby steps towards them.

Read and Write
I made my college career off of those two things. They meant the world to me then, and they still do now. This year, I want to try to complete my first manuscript. And I want to read as many books as possible for inspiration.


Wishing You A Very Merry

It’s Christmas Eve as I sit and write this piece. My mother is sitting across from me at her computer in our kitchen (we are the only family I know that has a 1:1 computer to person ratio) and we’re watching the first airing of A Christmas Story on TBS.

I’m blessed this evening. Superficially because I sit with a roof over my head. And though I complain the house is cold, I’m lucky to be covered. We’ve just finished our Christmas Eve tradition of opening one present each. Mine? A beautiful Tiffany blue box filled with a gorgeous crystal box and a stunning necklace. My mother is cooking chiterlings (pronounced chit-lins) on the stovetop and seasoning the turkey for tomorrow while she says little things like “you’ve got to learn this, Maiah.” I usually just nod silently. This year, I’m taking note and asking questions because one year I’ll be in my mother’s shoes (too bad we don’t share the same size).

I’m blessed this evening for other reasons as well. I received a gorgeous holiday e-card from the Ace Hotel. Probably my favorite one of the year. You see, I’ve always loved the Ace but have yet to do an event or stay there. Despite this fact, their generosity and thoughtfulness shines through.

In honor of me, and the other hundred thousand contacts the Ace must have, they have made a donation in my name to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge. What an honor… what a gift. I am blessed because a gift was made on my behalf. And while I am blessed to have a roof over my head and to be in good health, others are not. So, I am blessed to have, and I am blessed to give.

Along these lines, my brilliant (and very pink) company did something similar.

How lucky are we to be able to give (with the help of our friends at Warby Parker) in this way? Very.

So, I am wishing you a very merry. I hope you’ve had the chance to spend it with the ones you love. And if not (or even if so), I hope you’ve been connected to brightening the season for others as well.

Xoxo, Maiah

Happy Thanksgiving, With Love

Another year, another day to give thanks.

This year, I’m thankful for my family – who hasn’t stopped talking to me since I walked in the door at 12:45am on Wednesday morning thanks to Tuesday night Thanksgiving traffic.

This year, I’m thankful for my friends – each of whom have sent the most ridiculous set of wishes for this year’s Secret Santa. No, I can’t buy you a house in DR with our $50 budget (don’t get it twisted through, I wished for diamonds and a brand new car. Good luck, Santa!).

This year, I am thankful for my job – it has taken me on a journey that I would never have imagined and with a few changes coming up for the New Year, I have a feeling this chapter is about to take me on the ride of my life.

This year, I am thankful for a roof over my head – there is nothing sweeter than my NYC apartment (and my super sweet roommate and her super sweet baking skills). But knowing that I have a roof waiting for me in NYC, as well as several in different states (and one international city), I am pretty blessed.

This year, and every day, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Weekly Gratitude

Fourth of July Edition!

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, recipe from my favorite foodies, Sues and Chels over at We Are Not Martha. Clearly, these were spicy, but I live for Frank’s Hot Sauce so they were a dream with every bite.


Garlic lemon shrimp, recipe courtesy of my mother who said “don’t put anything in this other than butter, garlic, lemon, and shrimp.” Lesson? Always listen to your mother, because this shrimp was a hit.


Johnson Family Potato Salad, recipe also courtesy of my mother. My favorite thing about her potato salad is how light it feels. Not nearly as creamy as what you might find at the supermarket, you might even trick yourself into thinking this is good for you. It’s probably not.


The finished product. I should have taken an after photo of the damage done by myself and my friends. My roommate rounded off our meal with the most amazing gluten free cake, which we topped with whipped creme, strawberries, and blueberries.

We watched the fireworks from our rooftop in Astoria, Queens, which offers a 360 degree view of fireworks being set off throughout the city. From Macy’s to home made explosives (eep!), it was a perfect night.

Happy Fourth of July!

All photos taken with instagram.

Suburban Girl Laments: The Dating Game

I entered Boqueria on 19th & 6 eager and excited for dinner and sangria with my girlfriends. We all raised an eyebrow at the table the waitress brought us to – sitting the three of us at the head of a table for 8. As the table slowly filled up with other parties we did our best to politely ignore the people next to us. It was a slightly strange concept: enjoying “intimate family style dining” in a city that prefers to leave intimacy for the bedroom.
The last two seats (directly next to us) were filled two more twenty-something women. I felt an odd fondness towards them as they tried to figure out what to order.
“Should we get the potato fritters or is that too much starch?” One would ask, all smiles.
“How about the Rose Sangria? Is a pitcher too much alcohol?” The other would counter and dissolve into giggles. My girls and I all smiled at each other – our motto once again proven that you can never trust a girl without girlfriends.
As I fell into my meal with my girls, we revolved around the usual topics of general nonsense. We spent the time crouched together in a tight triangle of three whispering, gasping, and laughing. We relived stories from college, collapsing into giggles and covering our eyes in horror for extra emphasis.
A lull in our conversation left a wide open space for an exclamation from the girls next door: “WHY are we still single? WHERE can we go to find boyfriends before the summer is over!?”
I couldn’t help but smile at the idea that “man” is the universal language of women everywhere. Of course there are a number of other things that I would thinkwomen across the world can connect on (you know, politics, shoes, health care, etc) besides men; but, no matter what, it is the topic we always seem to come back to. That said, I can’t help but be continuously intrigued and interested in the battle of dating.Yes, battle.

In fact, I share the sentiment exclaimed by our twenty-something counterparts. I find the idea of dating an incredibly daunting task. It completely exhausts me! Dating conjures feelings of anxiety and stress, rather than the jittery excitement it should create… (similar to the feeling one gets when buying her first Louis Vuitton).

My mother says this is because I am too picky. Hmph.

But can you really blame me when meeting a guy at a bar results in a one night stand and waking up in last night’s mascara? When online dating results in receiving emails from the illiterati (yes, it’s my new term) and the 60 year old men looking for someone to bring in a little “youthful fun”? When walking down a New York street seems to be reason enough for men of all ages to wink and make kissing noises in your ear as if this is normal behavior? When blind dates never, ever seem to end in a happily ever after?

Ugh, its all so exhausting just to think about. I yearn for the day that I find a hot English bloke waiting for me on my doorstep a la The Holiday. Until then, I’ll continue to carry on the “where is my boyfriend” conversation that women across the world are having over cocktails.