July 31, 2017

Love Letters to NYC: Visitor's Edition

One of my best friends was in town this past weekend. That means 3 days of strolling, eating, laughing and drinking all over this city. Having visitors forces me to be a tourist myself. Here are some things I'm writing love letters to in this magical place.


Pizza places in our neighborhood - When Luigi's was busy and the pizza didn't look great, we can call Mario's and it is at our door in 20 minutes. The fact that two of the closest pizza places to this apartment are named Mario's and Luigi's just makes the nerd in me so damn happy.

Sugarfina - This candy store is somewhere I could move into. When you walk in the door, they always offer samples. It is expensive, but it's a pretty awesome gift or a tiny "treat yourself" moment.

Law and Order - We almost got our chance to be famous, but we weren't patient enough to hang out and wait for Ice T and the rest of the SVU cast to show up for filming.

Our bartender at Social - We didn't plan to hang out with you for the majority of our Friday evening, but you were super supportive of our new project (do you follow us yet?) and we will never forget you.


The talented children in School of Rock - We got tickets to see School of Rock and I've never seen the movie so I wasn't sure what to expect. The kids in this show were so awesome. I could have watched them perform for another few hours at least. Plus, the lead was played by an understudy and he was UNBELIEVABLE. Sometimes getting to see a show with the understudy is better because you know they are getting a chance to play a bigger role and they usually crush it. This show was no exception.



$0.99 Slice of Pizza - On our mission to feed Kelsey pizza every day, we stopped at Sauce and they didn't have the garlic salt labeled and there may have been some confusion that it was cheese. That slice didn't impress. Two block later, we grabbed a slice from the cheap place and it was really good. It shocks me every time but I love it.

A Good Jukebox - So many bars have switched over to TouchTunes, but not the dive bar down the street from our apartment. A few dollars spent and we were able to sing loudly to Toto and Hall & Oates while drinking beers and fighting the cute aggression over the puppies running around the bar. Seriously, if you're in our neck of the woods, check out Do or Dive on Bedford.


Bodega Sandwiches - While we usually only enjoy breakfast sandwiches downstairs, we had a meat eater staying in our house and she was definitely impressed by the turkey & provolone sandwich picked up on the way home from our singalong. Why aren't these a thing in other cities? I don't understand.

Dekalb Market - On a hot day, sometimes you need a little air conditioning. The new food market in downtown Brooklyn is great to cool off after a lot of walking. We stopped there for the final pizza of the weekend (it was fried and amazing) but we also enjoyed Key Lime Pie and the magnificent Arepa Lady. I love that a place like this exists.

On top of all these wonderful things, we had perfect weather and no flight delays in or out of the city. Plus, the puppies got lots of love from Kelsey. Hope you all had an awesome weekend!

July 27, 2017

Some Favorite Things


Isn't there a prize when a blogger posts two days in a row? I'll take one of those please. It's weird, but I feel like my routine isn't complete without stopping here every once in a while. I've been stocking up on some recent favorites that I figured I would share with y'all. The post does include some affiliate links.

First up, this is my new favorite coffee mug that I've been using daily. I mean it's true, coffee first, then all the things.

I think I've talked about Blue Apron on the blog before, but we've been using it sporadically for the last 2 years. I love the variety and the fact that it makes me feel like a real wiz in the kitchen, but it's rare that I circle back and remake the recipes. I've been thinking about redoing this one that involves goat cheese and plums recently. It was so damn good. If you want to try Blue Apron, holler at me in the comments because I have free meals to give out. 


I've recently posted about my love of Game of Thrones here, but we purchased this candle last month and now we light it every Sunday night and it just seems to set the mood a little bit better. I will also admit that every Monday morning, I spent at least 15 minutes on Twitter reading all the theories about the previous evening's episode. I can't get enough.

And these pajamas. I recently got myself flamingo PJ pants, but these are on sale and I want them.

Beautyvcounter is having a pretty badass sale right now. If you spend $150 on any products, you have the choice of a free body oil ($73 value and one of my personal faves) or free cleansing balm ($80 value and everyone's favorite.) That means, you could pick up the Countermatch lotion, one of the Beautycounter+ Spa sets and the best selling All Over Sun Protection and then you'd get one of the free items. Plus, if you sign up to be a Band of Beauty member, you would receive another free product for signing up, you'd get free shipping and you would get 15% product credit (if you purchased those exact items - you'd get $25.20 to spend on your next purchase) for this product credit on this purchase and every purchase for the next year. Shop using this link.

Lastly, this song. We saw these guys a few weeks ago and I begged Chad to play this song via Twitter. It's one of my favorites currently. Have a great Thursday!

July 26, 2017

Normal

Does anyone crave "normal?" I like to think that I'm spontaneous and can just roll with whatever comes my way, but that's not true. I have a limit. After two weeks of living in an AirBnB in Indianapolis, I was so happy to get a glimpse of the NYC skyline Saturday evening.


I was so happy to be back to normal - even if that "normal" is never really normal. Here are the things that made me feel more normal this week:

1. Enjoying coffee at my leisure. The last two weeks, I had to make a cup in the morning and then if I was lucky enough to sneak away mid morning, I could grab another cup. This week, I'm back to just being able to refill at leisure.

2. Reading. Staying in an AirBnB with coworkers meant lots of evening brainstorming and socializing and no time for reading. I got home to find out 7 books were ready for me. I'm in trouble and have some serious catching up to do.

3. My bed. Duh.

4. My shower. Again. Duh.

5. Morning walks in our neighborhood. We walked the dogs around the block in the neighborhood we stayed in Indy, but the temps were so hot that we couldn't walk them too far. Now we are back in our hood and the temps have been perfection. Walks have been lengthy for the pups and th3y are so happy.

6. Meals in my own kitchen. The AirBnB we stayed in didn't have great kitchen tools, so we made pasta and veggie burgers, but nothing too crazy and I missed it.

7. My own plethora of things in the bathroom cabinet. My favorite lotion and my charcoal mask and I felt like my face was back to normal.

All of those wonderful things are happening regularly, but things are still nuts with work and I'm playing catch up on chores. At least I'm heavily caffeinated and I have endless options for comfortable clothes. Plus one of my favorite people lands in NYC in less than 24 hours and I get a long weekend with her.

July 19, 2017

A Long Trip

We have been in Indianapolis since last Sunday on a work trip. We've been doing training and instead of traveling back and forth a few weeks in a row, we packed up the pups and headed to an AirBnB for two week straight to do it all in one swoop. Two weeks is a really long time. We are exhausted. The work part has been great - super productive and lots of awesome stuff is happening, but I'm so excited for my own bed and my own shower.


Since my brain is kind of mush right now, I figured I'd check in here and just make some observations about things happening lately:

1. AirBnB is great for work trips. We got a house with 3 very separate bedrooms and we have a couple of coworkers that are staying here with us. I understand that would be really uncomfortable for a lot of people, but the group we are with is super comfortable (or we would not have brought up this idea at all.)

2. If you are in Indy ever, you should check out Garden Table. We love this place and visited here twice during our visit and love it. Also, the Broad Ripple Brewpub, they have the best vegetarian options.

3. Countermatch is back in stock. This stuff is amazing and when Beautycounter first released it, it sold out almost instantly. It's back now and they made a lot more so get your hands on some. Click here. Make it happen.

4. I haven't had very much time to check social media, but it isn't one of those good breaks. I'm still seeing the sad and horrible and disgusting news, but just seeing less of my friends daily antics and pictures of their babies and puppies.

5. We have had a rough week with Lola. She's going to see the vet on Monday, so let's just hope that our drive home is comfortable and happy for her. She's on a rice and chicken diet right now and I'm hoping that helps.

6. I'm still excited about the GoT premiere.

7. I read an article this week about the new Star Wars hotel at Disney... and now I want to just go super nerd and check it out. Read more about it here.

8. Athleta is having a sale. They are one of my favorite stores because they are comfortable and they have environmentally friendly practices. I'm thinking of getting one of these comfy shirts or these leggings.

9. Everyone here has chickens. I know that lots of people do this, but we are staying just north of downtown and literally every house on this block has a chicken coop. They run around during the day and it keeps catching me off guard. When we walk the dogs in the morning, we hear Roosters. It's hilarious.

So, send good thoughts - for Lola, for these last two days and for our sanity. We will be home Saturday night and I'm so excited. Also, we listened to all of S-Town on our drive out here, so if you have any good podcast recommendations for our trip back - let me know. Hope all is well!

July 16, 2017

Why I Love Game of Thrones


I have so many friends that would update Facebook on Sunday nights with posts about winter and the iron throne and I didn't get it. I understood a tiny bit about Game of Thrones, but didn't really have the interest. I can't remember what started it, but last year, we decided to sit down and watch the first two episodes. We always give shows two chances. Good thing too because the first episode was a little overwhelming. After the second hour, we were hooked. 

We are currently watching the last few episodes of season six and prepping for tonight's big premiere. Unless you live under a rock, you've been seeing the tweets and posts about it everywhere. If you're like I was two years ago, you might roll your eyes and say that it's not your thing, but I thought I'd share the reasons I love the show in case you're on the fence.


A bunch of bad ass women. Seriously, the talented ladies in this show are everything. There is no shortage of powerful females in these stories and it makes it easier to have multiple favorites.

Nerdy discussions are necessary. I can't tell you how many happy hours have been spent arguing over our favorite characters and creating conspiracy theories.

There is an entire map that I can reference while watching the show. I love maps, so this website makes me so happy.

Iceland and the other beautiful places it is filmed. The scenery alone makes me want to travel to all kinds of new places. Lots of filming is done in Iceland, Croatia and Scotland.

The right blend of character development and hard core action. I'm not a fan of non stop fighting scenes or action movies. This show definitely has that, but the stories and writing are so detailed that it doesn't feel like I'm just watching battles non stop.

It isn't a huge commitment. This season, there are only 7 episodes. While sometimes I wish there were more in each season, I'm also happy that I can stick with it. Shows with 20+ episodes each season take so much time to watch.

The music. I love it. I missed out on a live orchestra performance of some of the music last year and I'm still kicking myself over it.

Even after watching many episodes twice already, I still find myself discovering new clues and character connections I didn't notice the first time. The story is so complicated, but you find yourself wanting to learn more. Plus, I haven't even tried the books yet, so there's a whole different level I could take this love to.

If you're watching the premiere of season 7, I'm with you. If you're thinking about giving the first episode a try, I fully support that idea. I'm off to get my wine poured and get comfortable. Cheers!


July 11, 2017

The Bookshelf: Vol 13


It's book day!! Surprisingly, I'm still on track to hit my goal and that's after I've decided to give up on two books already this year. If I've tried more than 1/4 of the book and I'm still not into it, I'm probably going to give up. If I'm on the fence, I usually check to see if any of my Goodreads friends have read it and what they thought. 

Not Finished: Swing Time was a book that I was so excited about and then I just didn't love it. I might give it another try next year. The Women in the Castle was the one I just brought back to the library. I think it was too soon to try another WW2 story.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling - (Goodreads/Amazon) I really enjoyed this book. I recently watched the Mindy Project and loved it way more than I thought I would. It took me a lot longer to finish but I read it while reading other books and it was perfect to pick up every once in a while and read a little bit. I would definitely recommend this if you like anything she does.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo - (Goodreads/Amazon) This book was fine. I didn't love it, but I finished it and it was enjoyable enough. I think I just have a problem with love stories that make me angry at the people in them. This was one of those stories. I just rolled my eyes multiple times.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham - (Goodreads/Amazon) I love Gilmore Girls and I love Parenthood, so I was excited to read this book. It didn't impress me that much. I was enjoyable to read, but I think I was hoping for more. I did like the way she shared her memories from filming the Gilmore Girls special on Netflix. It's always been obvious that she loved played that role, but it was fun hearing how much they all loved each other.

My favorite of the last month:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - (Goodreads/Amazon) I loved this book. It was recommended by one of my best friends, plus it was the book selected for the citywide book club in New York. Some of my favorite books are ones that introduce you to characters and just walk you through their life. There was no suspense or mystery, just a constant desire to know what happened next.

So what about you? Did you finish those two books I mentioned above? Have you read Americanah? What should I read next? It's that time of year for poolside easy reads.

Linking up with Steph and Jana for my favorite book link up.

July 3, 2017

Currently...


Happy 4th of July weekend. My mom is in town visiting so we have been eating, drinking, strolling and sweating all over the city. But I did take the time to write my monthly "currently" post since I think the blog would explode if I missed a month. Here is what I'm currently doing...

Reading this book since it's been a while since I read a WW2 book. I went through a phase where it felt like that was all I was reading, so I took a little break. I just started it, so we will see if it's easy to dive into.

Watching summer movies. After long days in the sun, I love coming home, pouring a glass of rose and putting on something hilarious like The Great Outdoors or Summer Rental.


Loving this amazon purchase. It has come with us on multiple adventures now and is so comfortable. Plus, watching Justin run to fill it with air is amazing. Get one now. You won't regret it.

Attempting to use Instagram stories for more things. I think I will hold onto Snapchat because I like the voice changers and the ease of sending funny photos to one person, but I use Instagram more and I like the back and forth communication.

Sharing this bundle of Beautycounter summer essentials, because I love when anything saves money and these are some of my favorites. Get these 3 items for $50 instead of $63 if you place your order by July 5th. Click here to get yours.



Eating Steve's Key Lime Pies. He opened a stand at the Dekalb Food Hall and we visited it last night. Those damn pies are my absolute favorite - especially on a hot day. They have tons of awesome food stands there and if you need a break from the sun, it's a great place to check out.

Plotting out our road trip. We are heading to Indianapolis for work next week and we are driving since we have to stay for longer than 2 days. We like to bring the dogs if we can instead of leaving them at the boarding place. Also, we have been hoarding some podcasts for this trip and we will FINALLY be listening to S-Town and I'm pretty excited.

Shopping for new summer dresses. I purged so many when we moved last fall because they didn't fit anymore or just weren't my favorites and now I don't have any and it seems wrong. Hopefully I'll find a few when I'm out in the city with my mom today.

Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July and that the pups all survive the obnoxious fireworks displays.