Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday to all of my readers! Enjoy this time with all the people you love! Eat lots of delicious food and relax! We all deserve a break! Lots of love from me!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Week Surprises

Happy Christmas Week Everyone!

In my humble opinion, I think that this week and the week in between Christmas and New Years are the best two weeks of the year. I've been enjoying my week so far: work and then a few wonderful Christmas activities. On Sunday, I treated myself to a mani/pedi. I'm currently sporting dark red nail polish and I LOVE it! I feel very Christmas-y! I'm planning on getting my haircut on Wednesday, so I'm very excited for that! I will be all ready to celebrate!

In other wonderful news, I surprisingly finished my shopping last night. It was totally unexpected and very exciting! I have one more gift to get, which is a super easy purchase! Just like everyone else, I was worried that I wasn't going to get it all done with my work schedule this week. But I did it! So Wednesday night, I will head to Macy's to get that last present and then treat myself to the haircut! Wahoo!

Last night, I had the pleasure attending a work Christmas party and then a friend's Christmas gathering. Both events were fun, but I especially loved going to my friend's. It was a last minute invitation and someone who I hadn't seen in a long time. It was so nice to reconnect and catch up! To me, that is what Christmas is all about: spending time with friends and family and having fun. As stressful as this time of year can get, its nice to take a break and enjoy some good food and drinks and laugh with friends. Last night was exactly what I needed to push through the rest of the week! So, thank you dear friend for that really warmed my heart. :)

I hope everyone enjoys some little surprises this week as well. :)

Happy Christmas!

-Jackie O.

PS: The youtube video for today is my absolute favorite Christmas song. They actually sang it at mass the other day. That was another lovely surprise for me this week!! I'm planning on singing it at Christmas Eve mass! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Top of the World

Hi Everyone!!!
I am currently sitting in my lovely apartment with a Christmas candle burning, lights glowing, and a beautiful wreath that smells delightful and I can't help but be in the Christmas spirit! This time of the year is my absolute favorite and there is no better place to experience it than in NYC!
I am so grateful that I live here....which means that I don't have to spend only one day during the Christmas season to enjoy the city's offerings. Its so magical! I am still in awe.
Anyway, the other day my boyfriend and I were planning on going ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Unfortunately, the rink was going to be closed for a good portion of the afternoon for a private event. Boy did this end up working in our favor! We ended up going to the Top of the Rock!!! I have always wanted to do it, so I was glad to be able to check it off my bucket list. For a mere $25, you can go to the tippy top of 30 Rockefeller Center and see the most incredible view of New York City. There is nothing blocking you from seeing the Empire State Building, all of Central Park, the Chrystler Building and other important landmarks. If I had to describe my experience, I have one word for it: incredible. It quickly climbed its way up to the top of my "Favorite Spots in NYC" list. The other wonderful thing is that there is no time limit on how much time you spend there. I thought it was going to be a quick visit and then we were going to be kicked out, but that is so not the case. We must have spent a half-hour there. There is no time limit! Its so easy to do because you just can't get over the sights! I have so many pictures...I need to print them out so I can remember every moment. We were also lucky with our timing because we got there and the sun was setting over the Hudson! So not only did we see the Sunset, which was gorgeous, but we also got to see the city light up! Long story short, I fell in love. It was just unbelievable. This lovely afternoon followed a relaxing weekend of fun Christmas things. We baked cookies, watched The Holiday and The Santa Clause (which happen to be two of my favorite Christmas movies) and just chilled out. It was just what I needed after two long weeks of working everyday! After our amazing afternoon at the Rock, we went and grabbed something to eat and then took a long walk. So perfect. I've said it once and I'll say it again, I am so lucky.

I'm looking forward to spending this last week before Christmas doing fun things and enjoying my time in the Greatest City in the World before I go home to celebrate with my beautiful family for the holiday!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Trees and Lights

Hi All,
Just popping in to report that I am loving seeing all the Christmas Trees and lights in NYC. Someone down the street from my apartment already has his/her tree up and it looks so pretty in the window. My roommate purchased a real wreath for our apartment and it smells amazing! Last night I was walking around the Upper West Side and I saw so many tree vendors and lights up! It makes me so happy!! Christmas is coming! Speaking of which, I need to do some more decorating! Maybe a christmas-scented candle of some sort.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

3 Year Anniversary! :)

Hi All!
So yesterday, November 30th, I celebrated my three-year anniversary of living in NYC. I can't believe its been that long! Those years just flew by. It has been some of the hardest but most rewarding years of my life. In honor of the occasion, I decided to compile a list of my three favorite, non-touristy places in the city. These are places that I would not have discovered unless I lived here. Why is that you may ask? The answer is that when you live in a city as big as New York there are two wonderful benefits: 1. There really isn't a need to rush exploring because you don't need to catch a bus or train in 3 hours! and 2. When you live here, you go to new places because of either work or meeting up with friends. You don't just stay in the touristy sections (cough cough..TIMES SQUARE...cough cough). Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the touristy spots just as much as the next person. The fountain at Central Park is still one of my favorite places. But, the purpose of this post is to celebrate the fact that New York has been my home for 3 years and I need to celebrate the fact that I'm not a tourist. So, without further ado, I present to you:


1. PIER 40-
Ok, when I decided to write this blog post, this location immediately came to mind. Pier 40 is located directly on the Hudson river, so West Street, and I believe the cross street is West Houston Street, but I could be wrong. Anyway, its nothing special to look at from the street, and you would never stop there unless you had a reason. My first summer in New York, I worked at a summer camp and once a week we spent some time at Pier 40. Its this massive structure that looks like a parking garage, but really its a bunch of playing fields. So when people in the suburbs ask, "where do New York City children play soccer?," the answer is either Central Park, Battery Park, or Pier 40. When we took our kids from camp there, we got to play on the top level, which is 3 stories above the street. So, long story short, the view is breathtaking. The pier overlooks the Hudson River, and then you can also seen the rest of lower Manhattan, and perhaps my favorite part, there is an excellent view of the Statue of Liberty. The time we spent at the pier was one of my most peaceful times during a hectic day with 29 third graders. Also, we were usually there in the late afternoon, so the timing was always perfect. It was never too hot and the sky was just beautiful. Sadly, I haven't been there since that summer. I need to go back. Its awesome.

2. 72nd Street and Broadway- This is directly in the center of the Upper West Side, which has turned into my favorite neighborhood in NYC. Its "so homey and so New York." I love this intersection in the city for a couple of reasons. The first one is because the entrances to the subway are these houses, as opposed to just boring staircases. I also love that there is a Trader Joe's right when you get off the subway. As you all know, I love me some Trader Joe's. Its an obsession and I'm ok with that. I also love the benches outside of subway. Its a great place to sit and read or just people watch. This is also the location for one of my favorite scenes in the movie You've Got Mail, which is another obsession of mine. Also, I would just like to put out in the blog universe, that if I had my wish, I would live right on 72nd and Broadway. Its a dream of mine. Really, any apartment on the Upper West Side would work for me. I want to be Kathleen Kelly from that movie. Its my New York City dream. Maybe one day....

3. The South Street Seaport- Now you may look at this and say, "Jackie! That is a tourist spot!" I know...I know. The reason why I added this to my list is because right by the water, they have wooden risers that people can sit on and there is a fantastic view of Brooklyn and the bridges. I love going there at night because its so peaceful. Its not nearly as crowded and the view is beautiful. I also love hearing the water splash against the port. On the walk back to streets of the city, you get a breathtaking view of the financial district. I love the lights of the buildings at night. Its beautiful. There are also some great restaurants and bars right by the Seaport. Check it out!

So there we go! My top three non-touristy places! It was really nice to think back and remember them. The next time you are anywhere near those locations, please check them out! Finally, I would like to raise a toast to my three-year anniversary! Here is to a spectacular time in NYC so far, and to many more years in my wonderful city!

-Jackie O.

PS: Today's video is a live performance of the song "The Hudson" by Dar Williams. I love it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miracle on 34th Street

Hi Everyone! So BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! First of all, Christmas music is playing 24/7 on the radio, which makes a happy Jackie! Secondly, and the reason for this post: Miracle on 34th Street (the ORIGINAL, black and white version) is on Netflix Watch Instantly! I watched it last night. Such a great movie. I wanted to share my two favorite scenes. The first one I talked about in a previous post. Its the one where the little dutch girl comes to see Kris and he talks to her in Dutch. It is just the sweetest and makes me tear up. The second scene is in the courtroom when the prosecuting attorney's son is brought to the stand to defend Kris and says, "You wouldn't lie to me, would you Daddy?" Hahaha. Hilarious. Gets me everytime! Unfortunately, I could only find the first clip on youtube. Major bummer, but that gives you another reason to watch to the movie on Netflix or whenever it airs on tv this holiday season!
-Jackie O.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Upper West Side Sunday :)

Happy Thanksgiving Week Everyone! I am thankful that today I get to spend my entire day in the Upper West Side. Its my favorite neighborhood and I love to be there as much as possible! Thank goodness I work there! So here is the reasons why today is being dubbed my Upper West Side Sunday:

1. Black and White Cookies and Starbucks Cookies- So New York, I can't even handle it.

2. Work in the West 70s- My favorite area of the UWS. So grateful because I love my job and I love the neighborhood.

3. Shopping at a Book Fair in the West 80s- My roommate told me about this book fair and I am so excited to check it out! I love the movie You've Got Mail and I feel like that book fair is something Kathleen Kelly would totally check out. I will let you know how it is! I will be there in about 3 hours!

4. A jazz music mass in the West 100s- Since I'm going to the book fair, I wouldn't make it to my usual mass down the village, so I made a compromise! I'm very excited about it actually. I'm going to a mass with jazz music! It should be very cool and the perfect way to end the church year! Next Sunday is Advent! Ahh I love it!

What do I think of this day? First of all, its amazing and second of all, its so New York. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!
-Jackie O.

PS: Hope you all have a ton of turkey and stuffing! Enjoy the amazing food!

PPS: Here is my youtube video for this post. Its a beautiful montage of New York City. Just watch it. Its amazing. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the book fair closed at 5 and I got out of work at 5, so it was a no-go. I was bummed to miss it. BUT, I decided to walk uptown and see where the wind took me because I had about 45 minutes to kill before mass. I passed by a Hale and Hearty..and they had my favorite soup, CURRIED CHICKEN CHOWDER. And that my friends, was why I wasn't meant to go to the book fair. It was delicious. Mass was wonderful too! The priest was fantastic and the music spectacular!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gratitude List :)

Today I was sitting on the train, and I was inspired to write a gratitude list. My grandmother and I used to write daily gratitude lists and it was always so nice to reflect on the blessings in my life. So without further ado, here is my gratitude list for November 1o, 2011!

1. My wonderful boyfriend, who I started dating exactly a year ago. :)
2. My supportive family, who have been so supportive of my dreams
3. My hilarious roommates, who have always been there to make me laugh and chat
4. My friends, who have given me so much joy
5. New York City, my home and the most magical place in the world!
6. The fact that I get to work in my favorite neighborhoods in the city!
7. The funny things that I hear on a daily basis
8. My FREE and amazing gym classes! (ask me about them!)
9. Being able to listen to music on youtube and pandora for FREE
10. The amazing acting opportunities that I have been lucky enough to enjoy
11. Being able to watch all of my favorite tv shows for FREE on the internet
12. The way the leaves fall in the pretty and peaceful
13. The beauty in Central Park
14. The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center-delivered TOMORROW!!
15. Christmas in NYC...just breathtaking.
16. Learning how to make my own cup of coffee. I'm an adult now!
17. Trader favorite place. No joke. Its awesome.
18. Finding out an amazing Thai food place delivers in my neighborhood!
19. Nutella being on sale at Duane Reade...its the little things.
20. Anything pumpkin :)

-Those are just 20 things that I am grateful for and the list could easily go on, but I won't bore you. :)

-Jackie O.

PS: Today's Youtube clip is one of my current obsessions: Unforgettable by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. Its such a perfect song. So romantic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Fun To-Do List

So, I live in New York City. Its the most wonderful place in the world filled with amazing museums, parks, restaurants, cafes, theatre, art, music, dance and the occasional surprise. I have been living here for 3 years and I still haven't even scratched the surface of things to do. One of my favorite movies, and recent obsession, is You've Got Mail. One of my favorite things about that movie is how they make New York City seem almost like a small town. Yes, its a HUGE city with millions of people, and yet everyone manages to have their own "places." For instance, I'm sure the people at the Barnes and Noble near my work recognize me since I go in almost everyday to browse the latest gossip magazines. I always shop at the Upper West Side Trader Joes and I recognize some of the employees. I could go on, but the point is, that even though New York can be very impersonal, in some ways, it is one of the most personal and romantic places. You can easily run into old friends or spot some beautiful moment between a parent and a child or a pair of lovers. You also have your own "places." I love that about this city. Now, with that said, I have a bunch of places that I need to go and explore. So without further ado, here is my list of New York City Places:

1. The Brooklyn Bridge
2. Grimaldi's pizza (after I walk across the bridge)
3. Tea Lounge in Park Slope (totally happening this weekend, I've decided)
4. Metropolitan Museum of Art (I can't get enough...still so much more to see)
5. Museum of Natural History
6. Metropolitan Opera (I've been to Broadway and the NYC Ballet...must conquer Opera!)
7. Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building
8. A NYC sporting event (shocking I know)

I know that there is more that I need to add, but I'll leave it at that. I also need to find my pizza place in my pizza gods, I am putting that in your hands. :) I love New York.

-Jackie O.

PS: This post's youtube video is courtesy of the movie You've Got Mail. God I love that movie. Hahaha. Such a perfect movie. You must watch it!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A White....Halloween?

Hello Dear Readers,
I'M BAAAACCCKKK!!! After reading my friend Olivia's HILARIOUS blog, I have been inspired to write again. Yay! It has been way too long and its nice to do this again.
So, first of all, Happy Halloweeen! The craziest thing about this Halloween? It SNOWED on Saturday. In fact, this was so crazy, that it felt like December, and I was compelled to watch Miracle on 34th Street on Netflix. I know, I know, its terrible, but the snow was so inspiring! Also, it is no secret that the holiday season is my absolute favorite time of the year. That movie got me even more excited! But its done, and I am back in the Halloween spirit! And now...I hereby pledge to not listen to any Christmas music or watch any holiday movies until Thanksgiving! The minute Santa passes by Macy's in Herald Square during the parade is when I am allowed to listen and watch all I want. Done and done. more Christmas thing. I know, I lied, but this is really cute! I would just like to say that the greatest moment in Miracle on 34th Street is when Santa talks to the little Dutch girl. Abhhh! Its so cute and makes me tear up. Ok, now I'm done. Back to pumpkins and Halloween.
Today is October 31st, so the famous Greenwich Village Halloween parade is tonight! I'm so excited! I have been to it for the past two years. The first year, it was pouring rain and miserable, but still a cool experience. Last year, Halloween fell on a Sunday, so after mass at my church, we had a rooftop party and watched the parade from up there! Yes, its true, my church sits directly on the parade route. Its pretty amazing and we throw a kickass party! Be jealous! This year, we are doing the same thing!!! I'm pumped! Its also a costume party, which will be fun. My boyfriend and I are dressing up as Woody and Jessie from Toy Story! We are ready to win this costume contest! Bring it on!
In true JUST JACKIE fashion, I will leave you with a youtube video. I know, you are probably thinking, "Geez, she better not post that Miracle on 34th Street clip with the Dutch girl! Its too early for that!" Well, to be honest, I thought about it, but no. Instead, I am going to leave you with one of the greatest moments in Halloween movie history! The famous "flames on the side of my face" moment from Clue! The best part about this clip is the faces of the other actors. You can tell that she totally forgot her lines and everyone else is like "what are you doing?" Haha! I love it! Enjoy and Happy Halloween!!!

-Jackie O.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Seeing the Sites

Hello My Dear Readers,
I told you I wouldn't let you down!! I'm writing another entry and its only been a little over a week since my last entry! Hooray! I'm being consistent...this is good. Let's keep it up? Yes, blog, I will.
I am writing from a hotel in beautiful California. It was rainy today, but we have had beautiful weather here since we arrived last Thursday. One of my tour mates said it best: "California reminds me of what Europe must look like." I must say that I agree. We have been driving throughout this massive state and it seems to be true. It is just beautiful.
This touring experience has just been incredible. I have gotten to see so many wonderful sites. I have also gotten to see some family! Last Thursday, when we arrived in California, we were in Los Angeles and my new extended family lives there! I am the last one in my immediate family to visit LA, so it was a really exciting visit. I finally got to see all of the places that my family members had told me about and it was wonderful! I had so much fun! What was the best part? Well......I GOT TO STAND ON THE RED CARPET AT THE OSCARS!!!!!!!!!!!! When I got into town, my sister-in-law's mother took me to Hollywood to see the Kodak Theatre, which was being prepped for the Oscars. The red carpet was set up, but it was covered in plastic. I still got to walk on it and it was thrilling! There are plenty of pictures and videos too! I had so much fun! I am so blessed! We had three shows in the LA area and I had someone there to support me at every show. I am so grateful! What a gift!
I have one more month of being on the road. In the beginning of April, we return to NYC and then just perform locally, give or take a few nights away. I must say, I am very excited to get back home. I miss the city. Still, I am very excited to see what else this adventure has in store for me. On Saturday, we leave CA and head to Las Vegas!!! I can't wait to see all the hotels! I'm also looking forward to Utah and Wyoming. By the end of this tour, I will have been to 31 states! I am on my way to achieving my goal of visiting all 50 states! I can do this!! Yay!!
Thanks for reading! I will be back soon!!!

-Jackie O.
PS: I promised you a picture from my visit to the Four Corners. It was a surreal experience. I was so excited to be there! Here is the money shot! I'm hoping it will end up in a social studies textbook one day so that someone can be as inspired as I was! Start the campaigning, people!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Hello My Dear Readers,
Greetings from New Mexico! I'm so sorry that it has been so long since my last entry. I really need to do a better job of updating. I keep saying to myself that I am not a great writer. I'm sure that this would change with practice. What better way to practice then on here? So I promise from this moment on, I will update more. That's a promise!
So here is an update on what I have been up to: I'm on tour! I am playing Mrs. Rachel Lynde in a touring production of Anne of Green Gables. It is with the same company that I worked for last year. I started this blog on that tour! Things have certainly come full-circle! This year's tour is great because we are going all over the country. I have never been to most of these states, so I am very excited. It has always been a goal of mine to go to all 50 states. With this tour, I am that much closer to my goal!
I am really looking forward to tomorrow because.......I am going to the Four Corners!!! Let me explain why this is a big deal for me. When I was in the third grade, in our social studies book there was a picture of a kid laying down at the Four Corners with each of his limbs in a different state. I thought that that was the coolest thing ever and I have always wanted to do that. Well, I am finally going to get the opportunity to go and I couldn't be more excited!! This is a life-long dream of mine!! I am going to e-mail my teacher the picture! I will be sure to post it on my next entry!
The show is also going really well. Anne of Green Gables is such a beautiful story and I am enjoying telling it everyday. We have been performing in some beautiful theatres and the audiences have been incredible! The cast is wonderful as well and we are having a blast seeing the country together! We bought authentic Texas cowboy boots in Terrell, TX and got to go to the Center of the Universe in Tulsa, OK and Harry Potter World in Orlando, FL. We also went to the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX. That was a really neat experience! You all need to go to these places!
In honor of my special experience tomorrow at the Four Corners, I am posting a youtube video of this incredible place!! Enjoy!!!!