My friend Sarah and her lovely boyfriend James have been in town visiting this week. It's been wonderful having them, and Sarah has loads of complementary things to say about me, so I'll let her get to it.
Since freshman year in college Lily has always been one step ahead of me. From fashion to entertaining and even life wisdom, she’s just that little bit savvier. Let’s just say she knew that paisley was cool long before I could wrap my mind around a skirt made of gaudily swirling colors. And now she’s imparting her collected wisdom right here on ‘A Charmed Wife’. I’m telling you, take heed.
You’d think I’d resent her – for being so darn perfect and all that jazz. But the truth is, it’s not a bad thing – in fact, it’s the sort of situation a girl can only dream of. A best friend who’s always got the answers? Amazing! While in college her sage advice often went unheeded in favor of 3am pizza and keg beer (should have followed lily’s migration to martinis) and disastrous relationships (why oh why could I not see that dysfunctional is not mysterious and exciting?), these days I can’t get enough Lily wisdom. Living in London I’m somewhat deprived, so on this trip to New York I was determined to soak it all up.
I’m not sure Lil will feel that these little pearls of wisdom justify a post, but seeing as I’m the guest, I get to make the rules. And the truth is, these random little nuggets of everyday advice are the best bits. So here you have a sample of the sorts of things you pick up along the way when spending a week with our very own ‘charmed wife’.
1. The key to a great margarita – Being from California, you’d think I’d be a margarita aficionado. But I’m not. I have no excuse. It’s unforgivable. Lucky for me, Lily’s a bit of a master. So the key, in case you were wondering, is minute maid limeade. Buy the frozen concentrate, add some water, tequila and triple sec and you’re good to go. Oh and don’t forget to garnish with a few lime slices to make people think you’ve been slaving over the lime juicer all afternoon.
2. Never leave home without…a crossword – This week we scaled the empire state building. Ok, ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Truth is, we took the elevators. But it felt like an epic journey because there are 6, yes SIX, different stages of lines that you have the pleasure of waiting in. It took us two and a half hours and it could have been miserable. But 5 minutes in, Lily whipped out the NY Times crossword and the first few lines flew right by.
3. Bring your walking shoes – The problem with visiting New York City is you want to look chic, but you’ve also got to walk…a lot. Well, unless you have car service – a girl can always dream. But back here in reality the subway and my own two feet have to get me up and down the island. And after a day of aching feet, I wished I’d thought a bit more deeply about my footwear. Lily’s got an impressive collection of comfy but super cute flats that keep her happily zipping around Manhattan. The lesson? Comfy shoes can be stylish – take the time to find the right pair and your tootsies’ll thank you.
4. Sometimes a mix is just as good – This morning I awoke to the smell of baking. You know, that delicious, warm fragrance that sets your mouth watering? Apparently it’s not so labor intensive to produce as we all thought. If you’re craving corn muffins, the jiffy mix which only requires the addition of water and an egg produces deliciously light and fluffy golden muffins in no time at all. I’ll have to ask Lil for more tips about mixes that are even better than baking from scratch.
5. Murphy is best – Guest beds are always a bit of a nightmare. If you’re not on the floor you’re squeezed on to a couch or, if you’re lucky stretched out on a lumpy sofa bed or a rock hard futon. While you’re eternally grateful for being put up free of charge, a good night’s sleep is rarely part of the equation. And in places like NYC where space is at a premium, you’re never going to have room for a proper guest room. But this week at Lily’s has been, well, completely the opposite. In fact, it’s been a dream. Why? She’s got a Murphy bed. It’s brilliant. A real mattress with fluffy pillows and not a lump in sight. And it folds right up into the wall when guests aren’t around. Magic!
6. And finally, when the fashion pendulum swings around yet again, you heard it here first – paisley is cool.
Oh and the one thing I learned all on my own this week? Virgin premium economy is, as the adverts attest, not necessarily the best premium economy in the world, but it’s definitely in the top one. So pay the extra.
photo credit: muffin from myrecipes.com, flats from sam edelman, margarita from signaturerestaurantsolutions.com, crossword from quicklybored.com
6 hours ago