September 27, 2016

Blogging has Changed


I miss blogging.
I miss rambling on about random little moments.
I miss making new friends via the weird old internet and exchanging emails like old school pen pals.
I miss lists and random brain dump posts.
I miss early morning typing sessions with coffee and some music and the sound of fingers clicking on the keyboard.
I miss comments on my blog and commenting on other blogs.
I miss giveaways and link ups and random shout outs from other bloggers when you write something that they can nod their head at.
I miss getting recommendations on stuff to try and places to go that isn't sponsored.
I miss laughing at the funny stories of daily life and following along with real stories.
I miss posting without feeling like I need to spend 30 minutes creating a good image and title for the post. (I hope you like the photo I so creatively chose in 30 seconds for this post.)

I know this still exists and I still read a few blogs daily that I have for years. But I feel like blogging as a whole has really evolved in the last year or so. Lots of people have gone silent on the internet for one reason or another, some have turned into more of a business and less of a personal story (which I totally support but maybe don't love in the same way) and there are my few friends that are still rocking.

Things change and grow over time and obviously blogging was going to evolve. I don't have the same kind of time that I had when we first moved to devote to this little corner of the internet. Remember that time? I didn't really have any friends in town, so I had lots of nights to hang out with my computer. Between work, fun and traveling, this blog has taken a back seat and I miss it.

I love reading about the weekend adventures that we had back then and I want to get back to documenting the little things more frequently. I want to get back to connecting with people over shared opinions, weird pizza obsessions or the latest great library read. I want to get funny texts from my friends back in Minnesota about the classy things I shared. I want to share my favorite things, photos, places we've tried in Brooklyn and adorable pictures of Lola & Quincy.

I know I'm not alone here. So, please I'm begging you, comment below with your favorite blog that you read and your own. Tell me what you love about blogging. Not a blogger? Tell me something awesome.

September 23, 2016

My Fall Bucket List

I made Summer to-do list this year and only checked off about half. I'm giving this another shot with a brand new season and hopefully I'll be a little more organized (and realistic.)


Apple Orchard - I love apples and farms and fall colors, plus I haven't been to an Apple Orchard in at least a few years. I'd love to find one near here and act like a little kid again. If you know of any within a few hours of NYC, let me know.

Wine Tasting - Because that seems to go along with an apple orchard. Plus, I'd love to stock up on some new wine. Spending any minutes outside while the weather is still nice is necessary as well.

Oktoberfest - Might as well get the drinking items out of the way. I love nothing more than a tent with big steins of beer and fun music and happy people. I missed out on tickets for this Saturday, so I'm going to look around for another opportunity to experience a tiny slice of my heritage.

Visit Charlotte, NC - FINALLY. I have been wanting to visit this city and our friends who live there for a long time. We have a weekend locked in now and we will get to meet our friends' new little baby. The countdown is on.

Take a boat ride - We have always wanted to take a cruise around the island of Manhattan so we are hoping to find one in the next few weeks. Maybe a brunch cruise with my mom when she's in town.

Complete 3 cozy things - I received this book for Christmas last year and it's finally found a home on my counter and I'm ready to dive in and get ambitious. Each month has a few recipes and DIY projects and even though I haven't always been successful in these endeavors, I refuse to give up.

Visit Governor's Island - Yes, this was on my summer list and I still haven't done it. The ferry runs for a few more weeks, so I'm going to keep it on the list and hope it gets done.

Update Skin Care Routine - While moving, I realized that I have been hoarding lots of bottles of products never tried. I've received stuff in subscription boxes and on sale at different stores - but then I put them in the closet and don't use them. I'm determined to try them all out and find some new favorites. I'll make sure to share any that become amazing.

See Live Music - We have tickets to one concert in October, but since we went the whole summer without seeing one concert, I'd like to catch at least a few more before the end of the year.

Catch Up on my Reading List - I am very far behind on my goal for the year and now I officially have a library card and it's time to hit the books. We have a tiny balcony that fits a chair and I'm determined to spend as much time there while the weather is nice with a book in my hand.

Yoga - We want to take advantage of the new student discount at the studio around the corner and take a few classes.

Wish me luck on my list. I want to enjoy the fall colors, the long walks, the new neighborhood and the best weather that we get all year long. What's on your list?

September 22, 2016

#trendingontwitter: Brangelina, TV and Politics


I'm back with another round up of hashtags that caught my eye this week. If you aren't already following me on Twitter, come join the fun.

#emmys2016 - Game of Thrones was a big time winner, but I was really sad that one of the ladies didn't edge out Maggie Smith. We only watched during commercial breaks in the Packers vs. Vikings game, but we saw a few great speeches. Here is a round up from the LA Times that includes our favorites. I don't care at all about the dresses. Sorry, but fashion isn't really my forte.

#Brangelinabreakup - So I think the Post went too far with this cover. BUT, if you read the Post or even see it in stores, than you know they go too far often. While this split doesn't really surprise me, I feel bad for the kids. Divorce sucks and it probably sucks worse for celebrities who get all their dirty laundry (fake and real) spread across the covers of all the magazines. And then there's Jennifer Aniston (who I love) getting dragged into this... I don't get it.




#TrumpACandy - Oh Donald Jr. Your comments about the Syrian refugee crisis were horrible. What I do appreciate is that Tweeters around the world can turn a disgusting comment into a black hole of hashtag stalking. Some of the tweets on this hashtag were very creative. I suggest looking through them if you need a laugh... but some are very mean so you've been warned.

A photo posted by New York Daily News (@nydailynews) on


#firstdayoffall 
#pumpkinspice
#sweatersandleggings
#basicseason

I love fall and so do all the people on Twitter. It is officially the first day of fall. It's the season that brings back the disgusting Pumpkin Spice lattes and plaid scarves and boots. I'm a big fan of the temperatures and Oktoberfest celebrations. Plus, football is back in full swing.

#thisisus - Of all of the new Fall TV shows, this one showed up on my social media more than anything else. I'm happy I have Hulu because I'm going to check it out this weekend. Are there any other awesome new shows?

#macarthur - Read this article for more information, but I'm excited to learn more about the winners this year. I also like that the foundation doesn't love that it's been nicknamed the "genius" grant.

I have also been reading lots of news stories about Charlotte and Tulsa this week. I'm finding it impossible to even think of the right words to write here... especially in the same post as Brangelina's breakup. So please just spread love and respect and kindness. I'm begging you.

Hope you are enjoying your first day of fall. Happy tweeting.

September 21, 2016

Why I Watch Historical Movies

I had this post ready to go today and realized I could link up with Mattie and Lexi. This is a little more serious than I usually am, but I wanted to share something I watched recently and would recommend. 

When we were kids, teachers would turn on "historical" movies and we would all roll our eyes and try really hard not to fall asleep. We watched fictional movies like Forrest Gump and Titanic and feel like we learned something about the time period, but the characters were never real people.

As I've gotten older, I've become more set in my preferences. When choosing a movie, I like funny, cheesy and happy movies. I will watch some of the Oscar nominations and a few of the fantasy movies (duh, Harry Potter is one of my favorites.) But at least once or twice a year, I get off course from the usual and watch something that makes me feel a little more.

Tonight, we watched Selma. It told the story behind the march from Selma to Montgomery during the Civil Rights movement. It shows more personal interactions between Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife, the president and the men he worked with during his work for the Civil Rights movement.


I know these movies are researched and as accurate as they can be, but they can't possibly know every detail. That said, I think it's such a good way to see moments in history from a closer perspective.

It's important to continue to learn about the moments in history that brought us to the point we are in now. History has a way of repeating itself, but also helping us grow. We have to learn. We have to fight again ignorance. We have to talk and share and discuss. We have to listen.

I've been struggling a lot this last week with mean people. I got yelled at by my cab driver in Las Vegas because of the city I was coming from. He told me that New Yorkers know nothing and we don't understand real problems that are happening in the rest of the country. I had just landed from a late night flight and couldn't do anything other than sit there horrified (and not tip him.) Then we've been hearing nothing on the news except for news on the bombings in NYC and NJ this weekend. It's exhausting and terrifying.

These protests are still happening more than half a century later. People are still battling for their rights in this country. We have to be aware.

I just have to keep listening, learning and loving. I'll be voting and debating (peacefully and respectfully) with others. And I will keep encouraging others to ask questions and learn about other people. We all have to stick together and be kind with one another. There isn't another way.

Let me know if you have any movies like this that are favorites of yours.

September 19, 2016

Ice Cream, Vegas & Brunch - A Photo Dump

Yep, I still have an iPhone 5 with about 2 GB of storage. Every day, I get that little reminder telling me that I have no storage, so I dump photos on my computer. Lucky you - I decided to share my recent dump with you. 

And yes, it's 11 photos, because that's what I get rid of to make room for more Quincy & Lola photos.

Last weekend, we went on a furniture shopping errand with our friend, Jen. She had found this ice cream on Instagram so we had to try it. It involved waffles cones and cookies'n'cream all over my face. It was the perfect stop on a hot afternoon. Go check it out on the Lower East Side.

Ice_Cream_NYC

Sunday, we celebrated the first regular season Vikings Game of the year at the best bar in the city for purple people eaters - Bar None. We yelled and cheered and drank pitchers of Brooklyn Lager. AND THEN WE WON!!!!!!! We have been so sad about Teddy Bridgewater's injury, so this was an exciting moment.

Vikings_bar_nyc

After a super fun weekend, I headed off to Vegas for 48 hours for a work conference. I had some rough moments getting there and I was exhausted, but during the conference, we would fed SO WELL. These bite sized desserts were part of every meal. They were different for each meal and you don't even need to feel guilty.


Here is the view we had during all those meals and breaks of the conference. We were at the M Resort and Spa and it was beautiful. It's about 10 miles south of the strip which meant it was quiet and clean and wonderful.


Here is a picture of my Wednesday night dinner. It was a "clam bake" but there was steaks, lobster tails, crab legs and all the side dishes. Plus there may have been drinks flowing and live entertainment from a super awesome guitar player while watching the desert sunset. It might have been a whirlwind trip, but I'm grateful for all the stuff I learned, all the food I ate and all the fun moments shoved into 46 hours.


Three hours before my red eye home, I hit the strip with my work friends. We flew through the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesar's Palace, the Bellagio and Paris.


Instead of going to sleep at 6 PM on Friday like I wanted to after zero sleep, we decided to go to Citi Field to see the Twins play the Mets. We saw a few home runs and ate some awesome food. There was a definite chill in the air, but it was fun to get a baseball in before Summer is officially over.



Saturday morning, we set out to get some furniture shopping done and some IKEA customer service line waiting accomplished. After all the success, we ended up finally going to Rosie's for brunch. I'll do that over and over again. Yes, this enchilada has eggs and green sauce and cheese and amazing all over it.


We did a little shopping for a friend's baby due in November. We were bummed to find out that this horse was WAY MORE than we could afford to spend... even on a car.


And then Saturday night, we were safe at home in Brooklyn watching movies. Sunday morning, we decided to just stick close to home and tried Walter's for brunch. It was amazing.

brunch_brooklyn

So that's my recent phone pics dump. We are waiting for a few more shipments and the apartment will be completely assembled and put together. We have our first out of town visitor in a few weeks when my mom comes to town. In the meantime, I will be putting together some posts on our new hood and some of the best food I've eaten since I moved to the east coast.

Hope your football team won this weekend, hope you enjoyed some good brunch or donuts and I hope your phone holds more than 11 photos at a time.

September 13, 2016

The End of the Jersey Chapter




We took in the views one last time from the brand new building's rooftop at our apartments. We've been preparing for this move for the last month or so. We spent so much time getting excited about our new home but we also wanted to make sure we were appreciating our last moments in Edgewater.

This place has been home for the last 3 years. 

Seen the Empire State Building lit up in so many beautiful colors. 
Lived through what felt like non stop construction noise. 
Watched the first GOP debate with brand new neighbor friends after happy hour (pretty much all the Eaten at least 45 pizzas from Porto.
Drank many beers on the pier watching beautiful sunsets.
Celebrated Christmas mornings on our couch in our pajamas.
Watched the NYC fireworks over Central Park from our window.
Seen the skyline of Manhattan change and grow.
Seen the lights of the World Trade Center shine brightly into the sky on 9/11.
Crashed someone's Thanksgiving dinner last year and ended up with two amazing friends out of the deal.
Watched the dogs run laps in the dog park more times than one person can count.
Been caught in a torrential downpour running from the bus stop to our front door.
Received countless amazing care packages from friends and family back home.
Set off the smoke alarm while learning to cook new things multiple times, but we've also cooked meals that were able to be shared and enjoyed by others.
Built forts in our living room and binge watched many Netflix shows.
Gotten used to the constant sounds of helicopters flying over head.
Hosted sisters, parents, friends and coworkers in our living room. 

And about a million other amazing moments. We are most grateful for the people that are part of our lives now thanks to this little apartment complex. The first few months felt a little lonely, but when you are exploring NYC - you don't have too much time to notice that. Now we are starting over in a new neighborhood, but we have lots of awesome people still close by and a brand new place for our friends and family to come and visit.

I always knew the east coast was a place that I could fall in love with, I just never realized it would be home for me. I'm so lucky and grateful for the last three years and I'm beyond excited for our next adventure. So far, we are have been here a week and a half and I can safely say - it's a perfect fit.

September 7, 2016

How Someone in Jail Found Our Apartment

Alright, so we live in the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn now. After weeks of apartment hunting and dealing with sweaty brokers, we got a tip from someone in jail, so we met with an awesome dude who was super flexible and showed us an awesome apartment and we signed on the dotted line over beers and a cheese plate that night. But let me go back a little ways...


When we started thinking about our next home, we were interested in a neighborhood in NYC that is somewhat affordable (because it's NYC and we aren't stupid), is dog friendly, has trees, airport accessible and we can kind of manage with a car. The neighborhoods on our list were Astoria, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and the northern tip of Manhattan.

Once we started getting an idea of what those neighborhoods would cost and look like, we were sure we had narrowed it down. This is where the felon comes in. Obviously, it's not a real felon. It's Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black... she just plays a felon on TV, but what fun is that?

She did an interview with Delta Sky magazine, she described her favorite parts of NYC. It was an area called Fort Greene and we had never been there. We decided we would add it to our list and if the opportunity ever arose, we would head that direction.

Well, we did. Right before we actually dove into apartment hunting. Holy moly. A neighborhood with beautiful brownstones, central location and really tall trees? Probably no chance we will find a place.

After losing an amazing two bedroom affordable apartment and missing out on a 3rd floor walk up in Astoria with a private roof deck, we were determined to make a decision quicker. To summarize our apartment hunt, it was 110 degrees, pouring rain every day in the middle of hunting, sweaty brokers, awkward apartment showings with other couples... Looking for a place to live here is a shit show - there is no other way to describe it.

We had meetings out on Long Island on a Friday and the traffic was atrocious. We had made a few apartment showings over the weekend, but just two on Friday on our way home. We were running late and the guy was super flexible about our timing which was RARE (and understandable.) We were looking near the Ft Greene area that we didn't know very well. The pictures we had seen were really cluttered with other people's stuff. We were feeling "meh" about the showing.

After ten minutes, we did a 180 on our "meh" feeling. We were in love. We got in the car and drove to our second showing, but we couldn't stop thinking about the place. We started stalking the broker we had just left. We wanted the apartment. We couldn't get it out of our heads. We called him at least 10 times in a 30 minute period and it kept going straight to voicemail. We were sure he was showing it to someone else and they were putting money down. We went to our second showing and were feeling completely defeated, but right as we were getting in the car, the phone rang.

IT WAS HIM. He was getting a quick 60 minutes massage in between appointments and called us right before his next showing. We told him we'd meet him immediately with money and we could make a deal.

Twenty minutes later, we met at a local spot over beers and a cheese plate and made it officially. We were going to be Clinton Hill residents - after our application was approved and millions of dollars were paid. But look how pretty our neighborhood is:


I was so happy I could cry. Looking for apartments in NYC is exhausting. I was finally able to stop stalking street easy and tracking emails, calls and texts with brokers. The search was over.

It's been almost one full week here and I'm so 100% certain that we landed in the right spot. We love the neighborhood, we love our apartment and it feels like the perfect fit.


I'm sure there will be shenanigans, parking tickets (we've only got one so far), weird neighbors and interesting encounters - but that's kind of what you sign up for living in New York City. We were sure that we would end up in Queens originally, but once we found this place - we knew there was hope for us in the land of the hipsters. I'm working on my closet as we speak. Maybe I'll start a whole new series on my slow transition to a "Brooklyn hipster" but most likely, I'll just keep living life in leggings and baggy shirts. Who cares?

Also, I just recently took a quiz about which borough I should live in and got this, so I definitely feel good about my decision. And thank you Taylor Schilling for your suggestion in an airline magazine - we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.


Now I need to eat all the things in Brooklyn and see everything that I should see - let me know what recommendations you have, when you want to meet for a beer, your horror stories in apartment hunting...

Thanks for all the awesome happy notes on the move. I finally feel like a normal person with my things (somewhat) in place again. Watch out world.

September 5, 2016

Currently...



Watching Real Housewives of NYC. It just doesn't get old, but I'm so over Luann. She left for a while and now she's back. Ugh. But I love reunion shows.

Reading three books at the same time. I'm so behind on my reading goal for the year, but now that I have a chair by a window that I can read in - I should start catching up soon.

Exhausted from all the moving. It felt good to be able to sit down and relax tonight.

Buying so much stuff for the apartment. Moving is so expensive, but we are so excited about our new place and how it's all coming together. There are just a few more little things we are looking for, but we are going to just stick to thrift stores or antique stores in our neighborhood.

Feeling behind in everything. We took off Thursday and Friday to move, so work will be nuts this week. I'm looking forward to a productive short week.

Eating way too much take out. Now that we are unpacked, we should be able to get back to cooking at home. I'm not mad about the new pizza places we've found and eating Dough donuts. I'm sure my scale would disagree.


Grateful for the amazing weather we've had this weekend. There was a threat of a tropical storm, but we ended up with windows open and perfect weather all weekend. It was a good change of pace after it rained the entire day that we moved our stuff.

Planning nothing. I have a work trip next week, but nothing else on the calendar. It feels weird.

Loving everything about my new neighborhood. I'll share more this week, but there are brownstones, trees, amazing restaurants and it's awesomely quiet.

Counting down to Thursday when the NFL season kicks off. I've shed many tears over Teddy Bridgewater's knee, but he wasn't on my fantasy team so maybe we have a chance.

Laughing because I just got a text message from my awesome friend, Brian, asking me to write about classy things on the internet. It made my night and I'm glad I can give the people what they want. There will be more posts this week about our new place.

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Just a friendly reminder, Summer isn't actually over so enjoy the last few weeks.