August 15, 2017

Handling Emotions

Emotions. They are a strange thing, but they make us humans. They are also writing most of this, so I apologize for the unorganized stream of thoughts.

Let me tell you, I've had every single one in the last 72 hours. This shit happening in our country right now is horrifying. Racists, nazis, the KKK. Why are those still active groups in 2017? Who is teaching this kind of bullshit hatred?

I've been scared, sad, angry, embarrassed, inspired and grateful over and over again in a big swirl. I've felt useless, I've had a hard time believing and I've felt such waves of love for people in my life. Shame, heartbreak and rage. It's a lot to handle.

My biggest focus the last few days is trying to continue to figure out the correct channels for all these emotions. I find myself constantly refreshing Twitter and while that's a great way to get real time reactions on things, it's not productive to do for hours straight.

The best thing I can do is speak up. Not just via tweets and blog posts (although those are important), but in my day to day life. Have the face to face conversations that can be uncomfortable. Participate in community events and be an active member in all places in my life. Promote love and grace.

When I first saw this poem, we were visiting the Boston Holocaust Memorial. This morning, someone smashed the glass at the memorial for the second time in six weeks. This is NOT OK. I don't want to hear the BS about how the motives are unknown. The acts of vandalism are disgusting and full of hate.

The other thing I want to scream about is the argument over these statues. A statue is erected to honor a person or a moment. Sometimes it's honoring someone or a group that tragically lost their lives in an event and sometimes it's celebrating a real hero. Removing statues doesn't erase the past, but it does show the future what is worth honor. Watching the Durham video today had me cheering. It's 150 years past due to pull these down. I promise, the history is there and documented and won't be erased.

On top of speaking up, I have to channel all this emotional energy into something positive and I would encourage everyone else to do the same. Be angry and get fired up and then pour that energy into something - maybe it's a post on your blog that people can share and read and discuss, maybe it's a volunteer event or fundraising for a special cause or maybe it's just going to spend time with the children in your world because they need to know that it's not the world we want to leave them.

Let me change gears for a quick second and fill you in on something I'm going to do this week to funnel my emotions. Last March, we lost a dear friend of our family way too young (read more about his story here.) He was so passionate about teaching and worked in a few different cities with Teach for America. After he died, his family has made it their mission to continue his passion for kids. They have used the funds they have raised to help keep a neighborhood sports program alive, give scholarships for high school students that are pursuing a teaching degree and helping provide school supplies for those students that can't afford them. They are doing their 2nd annual 5k to raise money this weekend in Saint Paul. Since I won't be in town, we've decided to carry out their mission in our neighborhood by donating backpacks filled with supplies to the church in our neighborhood that is organizing a collection. If you're interested in participating, I can help you find something local to you, send you info on the #forthekids 5k in MN or I can include you on our shopping trip this week.

I apologize if this post was a little all over the place, but my brain hasn't settled down in days. If you haven't read through Steph's post yet, do that here. She shared some powerful stuff - especially at the end. I would just encourage you to channel your emotions into something that helps you not be completely worn down. Also, put more love out there into the world than usual because that's the best way to fight the hate.

Sending the love to all of you today.

August 14, 2017

Staycation Snaps

We originally had a trip scheduled to go to Seattle, but when we started doing our research, we decided that it wasn't the right time for us. Since we already had the time off of work, we decided to just stay home and enjoy five days of relaxation and fun. We had a good old fashioned staycation. We did this around the holidays, so we knew how wonderful it would be to just enjoy some time at home.

The weather was perfect, so we enjoyed a lot of time outside. On Wednesday, we took in a noon Mets game. We ate cookie dough, vegetarian hot dogs and cold beer while enjoying our seats in the shade. After the game, we walked to the Cobble Hill neighborhood and met some friends for drinks and dinner. We tried Ethiopian food and were blown away.

Thursday, Justin tried a float tank in the morning for the first time while I enjoyed some strolling around. I went into one of my favorite bookstores, sat at a coffee shop for my entire morning coffee and creeped on a film shoot. Once he was done, we did some shopping, got some ring dings and enjoyed lunch at our favorite local spot, Mekelburg's. Our afternoon was spent lounging and relaxing and trying a new Mediterranean take out spot.

We had a friend in town Friday, so we met her for brunch at the Rabbithole in Williamsburg. After an afternoon of fun, we grabbed slices of pizza, took the dogs for a long walk and then headed out to meet friends in downtown. We watched some baseball, enjoyed some fall like weather outside on patios and found a great little wine bar on a quiet street in FiDi. We had the place to ourselves and they had a great soundtrack. 

Saturday was another relaxing day. We read books, walked to General Greene for waffles, finished a 2000 piece puzzle (yes that's a real amount and it took us months) and watched When Harry Met Sally. 

We finished off our perfect long weekend with a Sunday Stroll in the West Village complete with breakfast tacos and a cheese plate at Murray's Cheese Bar. We tracked down one of our friends in Washington Square Park and hung out for a while. We ended our evening with pizza and Game of Thrones.

It was exactly what we needed. We accomplished all of our staycation goals - naps, books, beer, tacos and dogs. Plus, we had one of our favorite New York City moments which I'll share in a separate post.

The things going on in the world right now are horrifying and heartbreaking. I want to write about it, but every time I started this weekend, there were tears and lots of profanity. I'm going to focus on the kindness challenge from Chelsea (see the details here) and just give love as much as possible this week. Spread some love today friends.

August 4, 2017

Giant Beers Fix Things: Our Time in Munich

I just heard that it is International Beer Day. In our house, that happens every Friday, but there isn't a better day to share some pictures of giant beers. 

We had a little bit of a debacle getting to Germany. I don't want to totally relive it, but I'll give you the short version. There was a "weather delay" leaving NYC, passengers that wouldn't let those trying to make connections get off the plane first, sprinting through Detroit only to watch the plane roll away, hours calmly talking to Delta management, a kind French woman getting us on a flight in the middle seats to Paris, treating ourselves to macaroons in the Paris airport and a short flight to Munich in separate parts of the plane. We only about five hours later than originally anticipated and completely without luggage, but we were there. And I promise, that was the short version.

Once we got to Munich, we were determined to just have the best time, so we did what we do best and we set out walking. The weather was perfect, the parks are beautiful and the people were so wonderful.

We spent one giant beer's time at the Hofbrauhaus. The first half, we sat outside and admired all the amazing outfits. We moved inside for the second half of our giant beers and got to enjoy so much music, arm wrestling, loud singing and people having a great time. It wasn't the greatest beer I had while we were in Europe, but it was the one I was most excited about.

We walked all over town and tried to take in as much as possible. We fought off the exhaustion because we only had one day to explore. We enjoyed street food and live music and spent some time watching the river surfing. If you're looking for a list of what to do while visiting Munich, you can read about that on the Nomad's site here. Also, J shared some info on the river surfing here if you're interested in that.

I'm going to just share some of my favorite pictures.

My highlights from this lovely city include the ceiling in the Hofbrauhaus (and the live music), the amazing breakfast at our hotel - Design Hotel (we would definitely recommend this place), the Englischer Garden and our early morning walk with no one around.

Have you been to Munich? We really liked it. It wasn't our favorite city, but we also didn't give it much time thanks to our delay and the fact that we were trying to avoid big cities on our trip as much as possible. We were ready to hit the road.

Happy International Beer day!

August 2, 2017

Beautycounter Favorites: Summer Edition

I did a post on my favorites from Beautycounter when I first signed on as a consultant. You can see those here. Because that was back in the winter, I wanted to revisit and share some new favorites with you since they have come out with lots of new products this year.

1. The new limited edition Ocean & Pacific Palette - I ordered this yesterday and I'm pretty excited. I only use the eye shadow from Beautycounter and I love it. These colors were inspired by Santa Monica and I love them.

2. No.1 Brightening Facial Mist - This mist can be used all day to refresh your face. It helps reduce age spots and brighten skin. I haven't loved facial mists in the past, but this one doesn't feel like you are shooting yourself in the face with a squirt gun. They have 3 mists and I own all of them, but this is my favorite from the summer thanks to the Vitamin C boost.

3. The Protect All Over Sunscreen - This sunscreen goes with me everywhere. It's safe, it works and it rubs in without making me look like Casper. The sticks and lip balm are awesome too.

4. Lip Gloss in Peony - I'm not a lipstick wearer, but I really love the lip gloss. It's helping me feel like more of an adult without getting lipstick on everything I drink throughout the day. Maybe someday I'll graduate to real lipstick, but in the meantime, I love this stuff.

5. The Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion - Every day, this stuff impresses me. I've always been good about lotion on my face, but this stuff takes it to a whole new level. I don't know what kind of sorcery they did (well, actually they tell you on the website) but I love this. When they first released this, they sold out in 24 hours, but it's restocked now.

Those are my favorites at the moment. Plus, they are running a promotion right now that if you spend $75, you will receive 2 free lip balms with the SPF.

Also, they just updated the free gift for Band of Beauty members and it's amazing. It's the two best colors of eye shadow - Pearl & Champagne. To join, you pay the $29 annual membership and get free shipping on orders over $100, promotions for members only, 15% product credit and that free gift if you spend over $50.

Let me know if you have any questions on anything. Hope your August is off to a good start.

August 1, 2017


Is it the last month of Summer? I think not. Once you are out of school, I firmly believe that you get to wait until the end of September until you move on, but that won't stop me from enjoying every bit of the Summer months today. Here is what we are up to currently.

Loving Clinton Hill. Summer is the time of block parties, stoop sitting and rooftop sunsets. I'm soaking in every minute. The trees are tall and full and the streets are busy. The conversations linger longer in the warm nights than the winter evenings. It is light out until past 9:00 PM and the music is loud at least an hour past that.

Eating Hello Fresh this week. They had the best lineup for this week that I've seen in a long time. We had sweet potato & black bean tacos today and that's just the beginning. We haven't always been super excited about their menus so we have barely tried them, but I couldn't pass up a week of some favorites with new twists.

Drinking lots of IPAs. While I write this, I'm enjoying a Hoppy Adventure from Harpoon. I love hoppy beers.

Watching Sopranos and Veep. We figured we would finally watch a few shows that have been recommended to us a bunch from HBO. We obviously pay for HBONow thanks to John Oliver and Game of Thrones, so we are maximizing the $14/month (totally worth it in my opinion.)

Missing our OG squad. Our favorite family is leaving the tri-state area this week and I miss them already. They were the first ones here to have a baby and move on and it's sad. Truth is, it happens to so many of the NY friends you may meet. We wish them the best and we can't wait to visit them in Boulder, CO in October.

Reading too many books at one time. I love "holds" at the library until all of a sudden, they all come in at the same time. I'm grateful to have a few days off next week so I can read in the mornings and get caught up a little bit.

Buying this palette from Beautycounter. They only release items like this once or twice a year and they are wonderful. I got mine this AM because I was worried they are going to sell out. Get yours here.

Googling winter vacations to the Caribbean. I've never been and I feel like I need to see turquoise waters this year and everything magical. Maybe Turks?? Any recommendations?

Counting Down until next week when we have a few days off to just enjoy life for a few minutes and step away from the craziness that has been work. We were planning on going to the west coast, but we decided to just stay here and enjoy a few days at home with no plans and an "out of office" on. One week. So pumped.

What are you excited about this month?