Auf wiedersehen, 2012!

I took some time this weekend to reflect on this year that's almost over. Compared to the few that came before, it was pretty sedate. We didn't move house, not once, across the world or the country or the street. We didn't make any huge life-altering decisions. We worked, and traveled, and lived our lives as they are. I think we had a good year.

Some highlights:

I survived Don Giovanni, Sweeney Todd, Le nozze di Figaro, L'elisir d'amore, Don Giovanni again (in which I had my first Met directing credit), and Maria Stuarda (assuming all goes as planned tonight).

I took a cruise with Legs McGee. Cruises might not be my thing, but I'll happily travel with Legs again, anytime, anywhere.

I crossed off 3 Bossy List items: #12,  #9, and #56.

I started taking my health more seriously. I visited doctors and dentists. I took up running again, and ran my first 5K race. I finished the Whole 30. I dabbled in Paleo and felt the best (and lightest) I've felt in years. Then I fell off the wagon. I think I'd like to climb back on in 2013. Who's with me?

I spent a glorious 2 months in Europe with CM—1 month at idyllic Glyndebourne, and 1 month traveling around and hearing lots of opera. I crossed off 3 more countries toward my goal of eating a meal in every European country.

I vowed to make the most of my free time in New York, and started the Sundays in New York feature. It worked—I fell in love with the city again.

We added a new member to our family: the adorable Bossy Kitten! She stole our hearts, and even the Bossy Cat is getting used to her.

I spent 183 days with CM, and 115 days at home. I'd like to break some records next year.

Tonight I'll have my last opening night of the year, and then say goodbye to 2012 in style on the Met's Grand Tier. I'm wishing you all a wonderful night. See you next year.

Adios, 2011
Tschüss, 2010
Addio, 2009
Adieu, 2008

Happy weekend!

How was your week, my dears? I've been struggling, as we all have, to find moments of lightness and joy after last week's tragedy. I'm so happy that CM arrives today to bring me out of the doldrums. This weekend we'll get cracking on our December list.

Some links to occupy you while we're at the circus:

I love this software that automatically adjusts the lighting on your computer at night. No more blue glow!

Thoughts on staying in love (via Planting Dandelions).

ACK! Puggles!

I enjoyed this article about Deb Perelman. Have you bought the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook yet?

Send a call from Santa.

How to help.

CM made his first batch of barrel-aged negronis! Don't they look gorgeous? (Custom-made labels are from Pinhole Press.)

Here's hoping your weekend is filled with holiday celebrations, hot chocolate, and strength in numbers. xoxo LMB


Welcome, friends, to the new and improved Little Ms. Bossy! It was time for a new look, so of course I contacted the fabulous Carolyn to help me out. I'm so pleased with what she's made—it's exactly what I was looking for. You like?

Happy weekend!

Have you had a good week, friends? Somehow this one has managed to both fly by AND be completely exhausting. Any good plans for the weekend? I've scheduled some time with friends, some time at work, and some time with colleagues at a Christmas party. Let the eggnog flow.

For your weekend, some links:

I don't really need one, but I'm wishing for this like crazy.

Homemade Girl Scout cookies!

If you're wondering what to get me for Christmas, I would also take any one of these.

Baby krazy? You might not want to look at my college friend Erin's website.

Owl Jolson! Amazing.

CM sent me this amazing pic of BOTH cats kneading our bedroom rug. We're so close to the dream (the 2 of them sleeping snuggled together in a pile, obvs).

Hope your weekend is filled with wassail, twinkly lights, and good cheer. xoxo LMB

Our own cheetah

CM sent me this amazing video from the Houston Zoo. I love it so much.

It reminds me a little of this other video CM sent me. See the resemblance?


I always wanted a pet cheetah.


Rehearsals for Bohème start stomach-churningly soon, and I've been studying, and re-reading Murger, and answering questions about wigs, and thinking about supers, and generally attempting to CALM DOWN.

Thank goodness for comic relief. I highly recommend Opergasmic's brilliant synopsis (Act I, II, III, IV). Good medicine if you start to take yourself and your work just a little too seriously. If you find profanity offensive, these links are probably not for you.

Also, you saw this already, yes?

December to-do list

The past couple mornings it's actually been colder in Houston than in New York, and it's taken all my willpower not to jump on the next plane home, light a fire (turn on the fire), and get to snuggling with my sweet husband and those adorable kitties. It's a bummer not to be home at this time of year. Last Christmas was so lovely, with family time and friend time and together time, all in our cozy, Christmas-y house. BUT. I'm here until January 1, and CM will be here with me Dec 21–26. Christmas at home is not in the cards. Luckily, NYC is wonderful at Christmas (if it would only SNOW finally), so to cheer myself up I've made a holiday to-do list for the rest of the month.

1. Go to the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center

2. Buy a (real) tree and decorate it

3. New pjs on Christmas Eve

4. Watch Love Actually

5. Take a tour of department store windows

6. Drink peppermint hot chocolate with whipped cream (maybe simultaneously with #5)

7. Check out NYC's Christmas markets

8. See movies (tentative list, in no particular order: Les Mis, Skyfall, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, The Hobbit, This is 40)

9. Exchange stockings with CM

10. See the Rockettes  (Check. And it was everything I could have dreamed.)

11. See the tree lit up at Rockefeller Center

What's missing from this list? Anything we shouldn't miss during the holidays here?

New headshots

My time at home in October happened to overlap with our friend Simon, so CM and I both hired him to take some new headshots for us. My old ones didn't look like me anymore—I change my hair too often. Plus, I'm always worried that pictures of me tend to look like someone auditioning for the role of Zerlina. I wanted something a bit more directorial (whatever that means). What do you think?

Happy weekend!

Oh my goodness, things have been busy. For you too? I think it's that time of year. What are you up to this weekend? Something wintry and festive? Now that my second opening of the season is over with, I'm deep in rehearsals for the third. But not ALL weekend, and luckily CM is coming back to town. We're planning some holiday festivities—I think we'll buy our Christmas tree this weekend!

In the meantime, some linkety links:

Fab holiday shops!

Can't get enough of this.

An excellent reason to go to midtown.

Gentlemen, CM swears by this.

I've probably linked to this before, but it deserves another look. Oh, aspiration...

Lola and Lucy are keeping CM very busy taking photos of them at their cutest. I mean, honestly:

Hope your weekend is filled with peppermint hot chocolate, skinny pants with boots, and snuggling under blankets. xoxo LMB

Staycation 101

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! CM was in town, and even though I didn't have much time off, we had a great, relaxing weekend. Friday afternoon we were wishing we had time for a vacation this winter and lamenting the fact that we don't have any overlapping time off this year. So, on a whim, we decided to take a mini vacation right here in Manhattan this weekend!

Do you ever take staycations when you don't have time to leave town? I'm a new convert—even one day outside of your normal environment can feel like a real vacation. We lead such busy lives that we have to take advantage of any time we can get to relax! May I suggest some guidelines for your (and our) next staycation?

1. Get away from it all.
You may be staying in town, but you don't need to be anywhere near home, or the office, or your commute. Mix it up and explore a neighborhood you don't know very well! We stayed in the Meatpacking District, somewhere we never go (and, I might add, where we were drastically less hip than the other inhabitants). It's only 2 stops on the express train from Columbus Circle, but we felt transported.

2. Stay somewhere swanky.
There's no point in getting a hotel room if the bed isn't going to be an improvement on the one at home (this is one thing that prevents us from staying in Houston hotels—I can't imagine a more comfortable bed than the one we have). We splurged on a room at The Standard—SO decadent. We loved all the mid-century modern detailing in our room. And the view from our room was incredible.

3. Eat well.
This one's important. Eat somewhere special, which doesn't have to mean expensive, but somewhere you don't go regularly. CM was especially excited that Blue Bottle Coffee was in the neighborhood. It's his favorite whenever he goes to San Francisco, but I had never been. We made sure to get creamy cappuccinos there…twice. Then we ate dinner at The Spotted Pig (our first Michelin-starred restaurant!). They don't take reservations, so we put our name in (they take your cell number, as all restaurants should) and headed to Vin Sur Vingt for wine flights. When we were done we took a short walk, and then our table was magically ready! We ate gnudi and incredible burgers. Highly recommend. After dinner, we stopped by the Biergarten at The Standard to soak up the atmosphere (and the beer).

4. But get a little bit of exercise.
We actually planned to visit the hotel gym while we were there, but we weren't quite that ambitious, so we settled for a brisk morning walk on the High Line. Neither of us had been in ages, and it's such a lovely walk (especially in the morning before the weekend tourist crowds descend). Walking around in the cold made us feel like we had earned our lazy magazine-reading time and our delicious burgers.

5. Don't check your work email.
This one might be the very most important. You probably can't get away with it on a two-week trip, but for one Saturday night into Sunday afternoon, the world will not end if you don't check you work email. It's a rare occasion that CM and I can both turn off work brain for any length of time, but I'm starting to think it just might be the key to happiness.

Or it might be room service breakfast, I'm not sure.

On the radio

For those of you with Sirius XM radio, tune in tonight to Met Opera Radio live broadcast of Un ballo in maschera! I'm being interviewed about Don Giovanni in the second intermission (probably around 9:30 Eastern).

Oh, and watch this! I wish you'd all been at Carnegie Hall yesterday afternoon.

Happy weekend!

Friends, what are you up to this weekend? I have a busy one planned: a Broadway show tonight, work tomorrow followed by a much-needed night in, the fabulous Joyce on Sunday, and a slumber party with the Wise Soprano. Phew. I can't wait!

While I'm taking advantage of this incredible city, here are some links for you:

Curated TED talk playlists. Cool.

My new favorite pants. I might need to get them in every color.

Thinking of sending this to the continent of Europe. Think it would catch on?

My latest to-do list tool. Loving it so far.

How amazing would this be? Save your miles!

Have you ever seen anything cuter than this photo CM took of Lola? Honestly.

Here's hoping your weekend is full of good music, good food, and good company. xoxo LMB

A very important holiday

Friends, do you know what today is? It's Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Beaujolais Nouveau is a young wine designed to be consumed the same year it's harvested (unlike most wines, which are meant to be stored and generally improve with age). It's a light, fruity red wine, and it's best served slightly chilled. Although there are plenty of wine snobs who don't like the taste, I think it's the perfect casual wine for holiday get-togethers and easy dinners at home. It doesn't hurt that it's often about $10 a bottle.

There are actually LAWS against selling the wine before the third Thursday in November, which is officially Beaujolais Nouveau Day (that's today). At 12:01am this morning, all over France people were popping corks and toasting with this year's batch, and the festivities will continue all weekend.

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! I know just how to celebrate.


Do you guys know about Taschen, a German publisher of amazing coffee table-worthy books on art, design, and travel? The Strand has a special mezzanine devoted to Taschen books, and whenever I browse I always want to take them all home with me (it's probably a good thing I don't actually live here). They're mostly pretty affordable (except when they're not), and they're beautiful.

When we were in Brussels, we happened to pass a Taschen store, and CM and I were mesmerized by the variety of books. I'm dying to visit all the stores. Don't you love bookstores?

If I was planning a Taschen Christmas, here's what I would buy my loved ones:

For Mama Bossy:
Design for Obama
A collection of posters from the 2008 campaign.

For Papa Bossy:
Early Travel Photography
The photographs of Burton Holmes, who took incredible travel photos at the beginning of the last century.

For CameraMan:
Audrey Hepburn
CM's favorite.

For myself:
4 Cities
Pocket-sized guides to Paris, New York, London, and Berlin. Why don't I own this already?

Which ones would you put on your wish list?

Sundays in New York: Union Square

The weather in New York the past couple days has been a gift. The city begs to be explored, without a coat, until your feet are aching. I spent a few hours discovering the area around Union Square—I love it! Turns out, Union Square itself is occupied by a holiday market setting up (I'll have to go back once it's open), but there's plenty to see and do nearby.

First stop: Vapiano for lunch. Obviously. It felt like home.

Then a wander through the amazing shopping nearby. The Strand bookstore is one of my favorite places in the world. I could lose a whole day in there.

Nearby is ABC Carpet & Home, which is a giant home store and a great place to get inspired. Also wonderful for buying gifts. I picked up a little something for CM's Christmas stocking. Then on to the Marimekko 5th Avenue flagship store, where I lusted after a navy puffy coat with yellow polka dots (sorry, I can't find it online), but didn't pull the trigger. I did, however, stop by Restoration Hardware to nab a soft cozy blanket for my apartment here. Once the weather remembers it's November, I'll need it.

My day wasn't all shopping, though. There's lots to see outside. The iconic Flatiron building must be photographed as much as possible.

And Madison Square Park is a lovely place to relax. And there's a Shake Shack outpost inside! If I hadn't been full of carbonara I would have been tempted to get a burger.

I finished out my Sunday adventure with a walk around the perimeter of Gramercy Park, which requires a coveted key given only to its neighbors. Oh, to live in a stunning Gramercy townhouse and to have the Park as my backyard...

What adventures have you been on lately? And where shall I go this week?

All photos by LMB, with my iPhone.

I'm still here

Apologies for the radio silence over here. The internet at my apartment has been sketchy at best, due to the hurricane (I'm not complaining—hit or miss internet is the worst I've had to deal with), and I'm getting settled and readjusting to city life. Here's all the news that's fit to print.

I'm ecstatic and so very relieved that the presidential election turned out how it did. PHEW, am I right?

Last night I started a French class at the Alliance Française. Six hours a week for the next five weeks. C'est bon!

Tomorrow is the first day of rehearsal for Don Giovanni with a fabulous cast of singers I don't know. I'm excited AND scared.

I'm missing CM and the kitties so so much. Luckily, CM is coming to visit in two weeks for Thanksgiving! And he's been very good about taking pictures of pretty Lola.

And videos! See below: the closest the cats have come to playing together. Progress.


And how are you all doing? Hope you're having a good week.

Happy weekend!

Well, friends, I'm safe and sound (and dry!) in Manhattan. My flight was smooth and not too crowded (I even snagged an exit row with an empty seat next to me), there was no gridlock on the George Washington Bridge, and my sublet (found on Craigslist—eep!) is quirky and lovely. Phew. This week was stressful and strange. I felt like I was in 2 places at once, and the uncertainty of whether I was actually leaving yesterday drove me crazy. It's good to be here. Back to regular programming next week.

What's on the docket for you this weekend? Any big plans for that extra hour? I'm getting settled, transitioning back into full-time work mode, and planning to patronize some local establishments (lots of businesses have lost huge amounts of money because of the storm).

While I'm settling in, some links for you:

Amazing Sandy photos.

What a sweet idea.

Highly recommend.

This arrived this week. Can't wait to get started!

DIY cat costume.

Here's the Bossy Cat fishing for kittens:

Hope your weekend is filled with exploration, hot cocoa, and POWER! xoxo LMB

Fingers crossed

I had a shockingly short and easy phone conversation with a United representative this morning (seriously, under 5 minutes from start to finish, including a teensy bit of hold time), and I'm rebooked onto a flight to Newark tomorrow instead of my original La Guardia flight (have you seen those pictures?!). It looks like about half of the Houston-Newark flights today were cancelled, but the others have left mostly on schedule, so I'm hoping the travel gods will smile down on me. I've booked a car service to get me to Manhattan from Newark since trains and subways will probably not be up and running yet when I arrive. I'm wishing that I was staying within walking distance of Lincoln Center, but I'm very happy and relieved that I'm subletting uptown where there's no flooding or power outages.

All in all, I'm feeling that my timing has been extremely lucky. I'm sad to leave home, but excited (AND scared) for my next adventure—I'm making my Met directing debut in November!

My thoughts are with everyone affected by the storm. How are y'all doing???

Batten down the hatches


I'm tempted to take a Hurricane Day today. You know, in solidarity. We'd pretend the internet was out and keep our computers closed all day. We'd light a fire in the fireplace (or, in our case, turn the fire on) and snuggle up under blankets on the couch reading real books. As it got darker outside we'd light candles and talk about things we haven't thought of. We'd slow down, even though we wouldn't be in any danger here.

Instead, we're heading to work and obsessively checking Sandy status reports today (it's a little shocking to see my little hometown of Westerly, RI on so many weather maps!). We're sending safe, warm thoughts to all our loved ones east of us, and crossing our fingers that it won't be as bad as predicted.

Hunker down, folks.

Happy weekend!

We're a bit bleary-eyed this morning, having been woken up in the middle of the night by a kitten attacking us for sport. Blergh. She is cuter when she sleeps through the night. However… it's Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Today the Houston weather has magically turned colder, so I'm hoping for some nice long walks. Plus, tonight is opening night of L'Italiana in Algieri.

While I'm busy sleep-training my kitten (kidding…sort of), some links:

Have you registered for Go Mighty yet?

We rented Moonrise Kingdom last night and I loved it in all its Wes Anderson weirdness.

Just bought this cutie for fall.

In lieu of a Vespa, I think I need this.

Rabbithole of the week. Gorgeous.

And here's Lola falling asleep in a fruit basket.

Hope your weekend is full of cooler weather, changing leaves, and hot cider! xoxo LMB

Lazy day

Today's our free day (last one before I leave in a week!!), so of course we've spent the whole day in workout clothes. A trip to the recycling center (yes, we're very exciting), then IKEA, then Argo (so great!), then the first step for the barrel-aged negronis (approximately 4 weeks until they're ready), then the end of Homeland Season 1 (holy stressful amazingness). CM's grilling us a gorgeous steak and we're whiling away the evening.

Oh, and then there are the cats.

Sigh. I'm wishing I never had to leave.

LMB eats/Europe

You may remember that when we moved to Vienna I set the ambitious goal of eating a meal in every country in Europe (there are 45 of those, by the way). It was originally on the Bossy List, but when we came back to the States I moved it to my Life List instead, because I knew for certain that I wouldn't be getting it all done by 2018.

Since I started the project, I've eaten meals in France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. This summer, I made some more headway.

United Kingdom

We ate many a meal in the UK this summer, including countless Glyndebourne canteen breakfasts, the best Indian food I've ever had, and one sneaky trip to Vapiano. And every Friday (just about), we ate fish and chips. I recommend it with mushy peas, which are exactly what they sound like.


During our week in Munich, we made sure to have one traditional Bavarian brunch, consisting of Weisswurst, pretzels, mustard, and (obvs) beer. In my experience, best eaten in a courtyard tucked away off the street, preferably under a sturdy umbrella to protect you when the summer rain starts falling.


I was too embarrassed to photograph the waffles I ate EVERY DAY for breakfast at our hotel, so you will have to settle for moules frites instead. Also served with beer (sensing a summer theme here?). Note the ketchup and mayonnaise in the corner—we're basically locals.

All photos by CameraMan

Solo photo excursions

CM and I both love taking photos, particularly while traveling, so you'd think it would be a great activity for us to do together. In reality, however, it's not my favorite. Chalk it up to my own insecurities, but I get frustrated when we both photograph the same thing and his photos turn out SO MUCH BETTER. And with his amazing eye for composition, he spots photo opportunities that I would pass right by. For whatever reason, when we're together, I tend to leave my camera in its bag.

Which is why we I'm so happy we discovered a new travel activity: solo photo excursions. Some of my favorite pictures of the summer were taken during a timed 30-minute stroll in Montalcino at sunset, when we headed off with our cameras in opposite directions and met up afterwards for Negronis and shared what we'd each seen. It's a tradition I hope we'll keep on subsequent trips—I actually felt closer to CM after spending a (teeny tiny) bit of time apart.

I had plenty of time to wander alone with my camera during our 3 days in Aix-en-Provence. Poor CM was holed up in our (admittedly gorgeous) hotel room working for most of our time (despite the vacation beard, he wasn't truly on vacation). I was going stir-crazy, so I headed out to take pictures of this gorgeous city, all winding streets and outdoor cafés and rosé…so, so much rosé. I've been told that Aix is not even close to being the most scenic spot in Provence, but we sure liked it.

As ever, click on any photo to be taken into a slideshow.

All photos by LMB


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