October 25, 2016

The New Normal

brooklyn_brownstones

This is not a blog post about NeNe's TV show. I never got into it because I don't really buy her as an actress, but that's a whole separate topic. I wanted to share a little bit of our version of "normal" life now. 
Normal (adjective): conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
Moving to Brooklyn has been one of the best decisions we've made in a long time. We knew we would be able to explore some new neighborhoods, eat amazing food and get around easier in the city, but there are some things we didn't really talk about before moving. We've settled into our new normal now and I thought I'd share a few of our findings.

Because of alternate side parking, we are aware of all holidays for all religions and we are grateful for all of them.

We forget where our car is. We park it and barely drive it, so it's easy to forget where it's parked.

We walk everywhere. It has helped us not overspend at Target and buy stuff we don't need. We definitely don't want to carry it a mile home. I thought I wore out my Toms quickly the last few years, I have a feeling that I will be getting new shoes more frequently here.

I carry a backpack instead of a purse 75% of the time because it makes more sense. For those of you following along, I got this backpack in the forestland pattern and I'm obsessed.

I buy beer at the grocery store and wine from the wine store. The best wine stores have loyalty perks. My favorite is Corkscrew on Myrtle.

We avoid the BQE at all costs. There is always traffic and the road will always be under construction and people will never understand how to drive on it.

Our gym never has anyone in it. It's amazing. I don't know where these skinny people in my building exercise, but it's not with me and I love it. I have actually stepped foot in there more than once.

We have to deal with the old tenants mail almost daily. It's a giant pain.

I miss seeing the skyline daily. We love our street and our adventures, but not having that beautiful skyline in constant view has been a little sad.

I spend way more time on our balcony than I thought I would. I was waiting for spring to get some new chairs out there, but I might see if there are any clearance options.

We do things on week nights. In Jersey, we barely even looked at events on weeknights unless they were concerts we really wanted to see. Now we are constantly looking for events (mostly free) happening on week nights because it's easier to get there.

We don't have a favorite place anymore. There are too many options. It's definitely not a bad thing, just makes ordering food a little more difficult. I may have stared at my seamless options for 37 minutes the other day... yep, I was paying attention to the clock.

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Have you have realized that life has shifted to a new normal? I am pretty grateful that our new normal seems to be an improvement.

October 19, 2016

#trendingontwitter: Debate Recap (and my own opinions)


#finallytheissues
#whatabouttheenvironment
#ilovemexicanwalls
#badhombres
#verymuchbetter
#bigly
#puppet
#putinputinputin
#anyonewantpoutine
#lotsofpeoplemovingtocanada
#lessthan3weeks
#chinachinachina
#ihavegoodwords
#ihaveneverseenthesewomen
#wrong
#30years
#wherewereyouwhenbinladenwaskilled
#ihavemorerespectforwomen
#trumpisdoingagreatalecbaldwin
#fiction
#foundationbullshit
#ihavenoboatsandplanes
#iputupaflag
#wrong
#butnotwrong
#busted
#whereareyourtaxreturns
#changethelaw
#idonotknowhowthegovtworks
#loserconcedestothewinner
#keepyouinsuspense
#itisrigged
#240yearsoftruth
#respect
#iranowesusathankyou
#celebrityapprentice
#isupportkhloe
#bernieiswithher
#donaldhasneverseenaleppo
#moreracism
#beingsyriandoesnotmeanyouareisissupporters
#shutthefuckup
#thethreatiseverywhere
#bringingbackjobs
#notbuyingsteelfromchinaanymore
#humanity
#godsaveus
#imwithher
#incaseyoudidnotknowthatalready

Yep, the debate in my own made up hashtags based on watching twitter during the debate. The moderator was great, this was closer to an actual debate, there were no handshakes. I think I got most of it.

I have tried to stay fairly quiet on the internet because I've had enough awesome conversation about politics in face to face conversations, but now I just want to be clear. I'm horrified at the comments I have heard in the debates. Saying that all the Syrian refugees are ISIS supporters makes me have angry tears. Comparing the Roe v. Wade discussion to women ripping fetuses out 1, 2, 3 or 4 days before the "end" is not OK. He has no experience dealing with foreign policy. He seems confused about how our government works every time he attacks HRC about why she didn't change the law. Using one example to generalize an entire group of people is not OK.

I've said it's become too emotional for me and that's still true. I can barely handle a normal person conversation about this.

Here is where I stand:

I support all the women who have had to make hard decisions about their body. Oh yeah, and women everywhere. I can't even believe that these topics are still on the table.

I support all the people who are running from a terrifying situation in their home countries. The whole world is dealing with this refugee crisis and it needs to be talked about.

I support a "no fly, no buy" restriction... but personally, I would like all guns to go away (in my fairytale land with unicorns.)

I support all my neighbors in this great city - we don't shoot each other on the way to the store and we have great people in our neighborhood and our city. We are all humans and we all deserve respect and love and kindness.

I support humanity, respect, equal rights. I also support democracy, so buckle up - here we go.

I will be exercising my right to vote on Nov 8. I hope you all take the time to read, learn, ask questions and get to know all the names on your ballot. President is not the only thing we are voting for. I could go on and on and on and on, but I'll leave it here:

#imwithher
#hillyes

Less than three weeks friends. Stay cool, be respectful and vote. We have to survive this crazy election and learn something from it.

October 14, 2016

Five Favorites for Friday


Friday has arrived. It has been a crazy week at work so this weekend will be well deserved. We have a comedy show on the calendar for tomorrow evening - it's a parody of 90210 and I'm pumped. We are checking apple orchard/winery off the fall bucket list on Sunday. I'm also going to take some photos of our apartment so I can show you this awesome little place we call home. As a weekend send off, I'm sharing with you five of my favorite things this week.

1. Kings of the North - The Vikings are 5 - 0!!!!!!!!! And now we have a bye week, so it will stay that way for at least another week. In other football related news, I'm doing OK in my fantasy league and I'm still alive in my survivor league.


2. Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. Zac Efron + Aubrey Plaza + Anna Kendrick + that other funny guy that I can't remember his name = hilarious even though the reviews don't necessarily agree. I loved it.


3. Go to Target and buy this sweatshirt right now. I have the red one in medium, but I'll probably be purchasing at least one more color because it's the most comfortable thing ever. I promise.

4. Read the Skimm. Every day. It's the best way to get your news and laugh for a second... most mornings. Their app is also my favorite because it adds all the necessary things to my calendar including the NFL schedule, TV premieres and important holidays like Treat Yoself Day.

5. This lady's Instagram account. Her mountain pictures are just gorgeous and I can't get enough.

A photo posted by Natasha Kingsbury (@natasha.kingsbury) on

October 12, 2016

If We Were Having Happy Hour...

I have some random thoughts, so let's talk about them. I'm enjoying a Crispin while writing this, so you probably should too. I always love reading people's "coffee dates" but the truth is, 75% of the time I would probably meet you for a cocktail.


If we were having Happy Hour...

I would probably ask you what good local breweries you've been to lately. I love the little places. I love talking about beer with people that get excited about it. I have a growler that I like to refill when we find something awesome.

I would avoid talking about politics if I thought that you didn't lean the same direction as me. It's gotten so emotional for me lately with the latest news. I enjoyed discussing politics the last few months because this has been one of the craziest elections ever. The closer we get to the election, the more emotional I find myself getting while having these conversations. It's too hard to have a productive conversation with some of the people in my life and I hate that.

I would ask you where your favorite place is to see the fall colors. We are heading south to the Blue Ridge Parkway later this month and I'm so excited. I doubt anything can beat New England, but I'm keeping an open mind.

I would probably order some kind of food with cheese. When the weather gets cold, I want cheese on absolutely everything. Plus, what is a good happy hour without snacks?

I would tell you that the temperatures in New York City the last few days can not be beat. The dogs have been on longer walks, we have happily strolled while running all of our errands and we finally paid a visit to Prospect Park because we just wanted to spend our evening outside.

I would ask you if you've ever tried Jeni's ice cream. It's the best ice cream I've ever eaten. There is a buttermilk mint flavor that tastes like those pink, yellow and green mints that are amazing. I also love the strawberry flavor. I eat a few bites every night and I don't care if it's bad for me.

I would remind you that the Justin Timberlake special is available on Netflix tonight. I'll be watching it shortly because I love him and I hope he puts out new music soon.

So that's it. I really got to run. I've got Suit & Tie playing in my head and I need to get my fix. Cheers to you and happy hump day.

October 11, 2016

The Bookshelf: Vol. 8


It's been a few months since I've recapped books. I've been too busy trying to catch up to meet my yearly goal. Read Vol. 7 here. I'm still behind, but it's the time of year to curl up on the couch and dive into a good book.

2 Stars:

Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin - (Amazon/Goodreads) If you are planning on having babies and then moving to the Upper East Side, you should probably read this to prepare yourself. If you're a sociology person like me, you might just find this interesting. I wouldn't really recommend it though. It's not the most exciting of books and kind of makes you annoyed at how rich people are. It's like Real Housewives of NYC without the excitement of Bethenny being honest with people.

I'll Have What She's Having by Rebecca Harrington - (Amazon/Goodreads) This author documented her attempts at copying the diets of celebrities like Beyonce and Marilyn Monroe. She talks about the weird habits and attempts to recreate them. It is a great idea for a book, but it's missing a lot of personality. I honestly think this would be better as a blog so you could follow along during the process.

3 Stars:

360 Degrees Longitude: One Family's Journey Around the World by John Higham - (Amazon/Goodreads) This book is the story of a family that gave up their home, jobs and school for one year to travel around the globe. Things didn't go as planned, but that didn't stop them. It took me a long time to read this because it didn't move too quickly.

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney - (Amazon/Goodreads) I had such high hopes for this book. I liked the characters and the plot line. I gave it three stars because the end left me wanting more. It seemed rushed. I think I was a little thrown off by the fact that the cover has a quote from Amy Poehler saying how much she loved the book - I guess I thought it would be funny? I don't know. It was good, but not great.

If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster - (Amazon/Goodreads) I love her memoirs. She is hilarious and I can relate to so many things that she writes about. This book was "fiction" but I'm pretty sure it was 85% true life. Plus, the entire story is about how obsessed she is with John Hughes and I get it.

4 Stars: (I'm learning that I rarely give anything 5 stars... so take that into consideration)

The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes - (Amazon/Goodreads) She is one of my favorite authors. I love that her books have totally different characters and storylines. Once you've read a couple books, you kind of understand her style, but I have really liked all of her books and this was no exception. I love watching the storylines work their way towards one another. This was a great plane read.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling (and others) - (Amazon/Goodreads) While this wasn't as good as the books, I'm glad I read it. It was a little peek into the world of adult Harry. It was kind of cool reading a script. I flew through it and would definitely recommend to any other Potter fans. If you haven't read the HP books, I would skip this and jump into those immediately. This is definitely not the place to start.

In Summary:


I'm currently reading: Modern Romance, The Good Girl and a book about how dogs brains work. I will be obsessively stalking the other people that link up with Steph and Jana to add some more books to my list. You should check them out too.

Now tell me, have you read any of these? Agree or disagree? I'm curious what others thought about The Nest.

**Also, if you click on any of the Amazon links and purchase a book, I will receive a few cents to buy more books.

October 5, 2016

Fighting Lazy Travel Habits


I travel for work a fair amount. It comes and goes in waves depending on what projects I'm working on. I've learned that sometimes I'm a good traveler and sometimes... bad. I want to be clear - I do not mean "bad traveler" as in the assholes that don't follow the rules of air travel. I'm talking more about laziness. I'm back in a traveling season, so I'm attempting to remind myself of the good habits and fight the lazy.

Example 1: Airport Food

There have been many times in the past that I've bought some sugary fruit juice and candy/chips in the stores at the airport. I usually dive into the snack before boarding and then buy myself another one in case I get hungry on the flight before they give out cookies. But today, I purchased a bottle of water (because I forgot my reusable one.) I also bought a protein bar so I would stay full until my layover. While in Chicago, I refilled my water bottle (hydration is key) and bought some veggies to snack on.

Example 2: In Flight Entertainment

Too many times in the past, I've been suckered into buying a new book and 85 magazines in the Hudson Bookstore. I don't even get to all of them while flying and it's so damn expensive. This week, I downloaded a few podcasts and brought my library book. No money spent on entertainment.

Example 3: Hotel Behavior

We've all hung out in the hotel bar and then snacked in the room on pure crap. Tonight, I went to dinner with my coworkers and got a veggie burger. Then I came back and went for a walk outside before the sunset and did yoga with my foldable mat in the hotel. Now I've caught up on emails and so I'm writing this blog and watching some good old fashioned Bravo.

Example 4: Skincare

I never had the travel size face wash or good night time lotions. Now, I've stocked up on those items and I even packed a face mask to throw on tomorrow night. If only I can remember to pack shampoo and conditioner next time - I had to purchase $8 of travel stuff at O'Hare because I hate the hotel options (except for Kimptons.) 

Example 5: Exploration

The locations I'm traveling to are usually in the Midwest and there are awesome restaurants and things to see, but so often, I just work and sit in the hotel. I've been trying really hard to get out more while I'm traveling and explore. Dinners in new neighborhoods and early morning walks to get some fresh air before the work day starts. Might as well enjoy these days as much as I would at home.

Now that I've been so productive all day and saved myself some moolah, I'm going to soak in some of this Bravo smut that I don't watch anymore... Don't Be Tardy anyone?

What are your travel tips? 

October 4, 2016

Blue Ridge Mountains Road Trip Part 2

If you missed part one of our Blue Ridge Mountains adventure, you can catch up here. The second full day in the area started off early with a beautiful Blue Ridge sunrise. Everyone should experience that at least once.


After a little nap, we started our day off with a beautiful drive. While en route to find a waterfall, we pulled over next to a field because some of us wanted to frolic. This is not a joke.



Sometimes these ideas sound amazing and then someone realizes that they are pretty allergic to whatever they ran through. By the time we were halfway through our 4 mile hike, Justin looked like Will Smith from Hitch when he has the allergic reaction. There was a 20 minute period I thought we might have to go to the hospital, but a quick rinse off in the stream and it started to go down.







Crabtree Falls is the most amazing hike. It was rainy out that day, but we were under the protection of the trees. You climb up to the top of the falls and take the same path back down. It's beautiful because you follow the falls the entire time and they change so much while you're climbing. I would definitely recommend visiting this place.

After our hike, we were thirsty so we decided to check out some of the local spots. We went to Blue Toad Cidery and then Devil's Backbone Brewing Company. We sampled lots of good stuff and ended up getting a few things to bring home (they didn't list long.)






We were just blown away by the beautiful scenery in this part of the country. We are hoping to drive through again when we road trip to NC. I don't know if I can even handle it while fall colors are in full bloom. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to go play outside.

Where's your favorite waterfall? They seem to just be my favorite.
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October 3, 2016

Currently...

The weather is changing and we can finally keep our windows open all day. I love this time of year... me and every other human it seems. Since it's always been a thing on this blog near the first of the month, today I will fill you in on what's happening in my world right now.



Anticipating tonight's football game. Giants vs. Vikings on Monday Night Football. My fantasy team did unbelievable this week, so I would like the same out of my reality team (plus I have Diggs in the flex.)

Excited about the leaves starting to change. We are road tripping down to North Carolina in a few weeks to visit friends and I'm hoping our drive will have so many good fall colors.

Reading Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Primates of Park Ave by Wednesday Martin. Both are books that take a deeper dive into specific social situations and I love that kind of stuff. I probably need to pick up some sort of novel to dive into before my air travel this week though since these books just don't read as quickly.

Smelling that rainy day smell outside. Everything feels a little cleaner and crisper at the start of this week.

Playing along with the photo a day challenge for October. It's rainbow themed and I love flipping through people's colorful photos. You can see the prompt's here and follow me on Instagram here. Today's prompt is purple which is awesome because the Vikings are playing :)

Loving the walking we've been doing the last month. I have hit 10,000 steps every day without much effort because it's been so nice to be outside and exploring. Running errands is all done by foot instead of by car which I LOVE. Just walking the pups, grabbing toilet paper and a trip to the library will get me to 10k. I want to keep this up even when the weather gets cold. Plus, the views we have close to us...




Starting a 30 day yoga challenge. I was inspired by Chelsea to get onboard and since my mom left this AM, we are going to start today. Thank goodness we have enough room in our apartment to roll out the mats.

Laughing at SNL this week. I thought Alec Baldwin was phenomenal. Margot Robbie doesn't really do it for me, but this next week's host is the writer of Hamilton and I can't wait.

Shopping for Boots. I had some cheap brown boots from Old Navy that lasted me 4 years, but they had finally seen the end of the line. Now, I'm hunting for new ones. I've got my eye on something like these or these. I'm not a fan of shoe shopping, but it will be worth it. Also, I've been wanting a new backpack. I've added this one to my Christmas list. I want one that will last a long time, hold my laptop and just be better than the one strap bags that hurt my shoulders.

Looking for new podcasts. I shared my 6 favorite podcasts back in June and I still listen to almost all of them (Anna Faris is a hit or miss for me) but I know that there are constantly new ones being added and I like to get suggestions from anyone that listens.

Thankful for all the awesome comments on my last post about how blogging has changed. I was able to check out some new blogs, but more importantly, I got some reassurance that I wasn't the only person that had thought about this.

So tell me, do you have any new podcasts that you listen to? What did you think of Alec Baldwin?
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