Time keeps on slippin’ (slippin’, slippin’)

What’s the deal with time?

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This is the post where I try my hand at the comedic stylings of Jerry Seinfeld. Just kidding. But, so…okay, before all of my friends started breeding (haha), I used to marvel when someone would talk about how busy they were on a constant basis. I’d think to myself, “doing WHAT?” At the time, most of my friends were childless and either in serious relationships or married, many of them homeowners…but so was I, and I CERTAINLY wasn’t busy. I’d look at the free time stretched out in front of me with no end in sight, and wonder what these people (mostly women) were doing wrong (or more realistically, panic about what I was doing wrong that was causing me to be so free – was I a loser of some sort? Did I not have enough friends? Was I just incredibly lazy?!) And I was working crazy hours at the time!

I think that I must be some form of slightly late bloomer, because I’m now finding myself in the exact same position these other ladies were in about 5 years ago. I feel like I’m always running around, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all the things I need to do done. When I try to schedule things with friends it’s not just them who have a packed schedule – now we all do. But here’s the weird thing: I have NO IDEA why I’m so busy. Nothing’s really changed that much – part of me feels like having more financial freedom has made us more busy just on the grounds that being broke kind of prevents you from doing ANYTHING…but for the most part, I still don’t know what the hell all of this running around is for at the end of the day. If I’m catching up with a friend and they ask me how I’ve been, I almost always answer with some form of “good…busy, busy, busy!” – but I can’t really elaborate. When I look back on my week I’ll remember being busy, but I honestly don’t know what I did to make myself feel that way. Every holiday season for the past few years has crept up on me, and when it hits I feel like it was just Christmas two months ago. WHERE IS ALL THIS TIME GOING?!!!

So, that’s where I am. I don’t know if it’s something about my career that’s making me feel like I’m run ragged, or the fact that we’ve been traveling more, or what. But, on a related note, I took a 4-day weekend this week and we’re finally going to re-do our bedroom, which means I need to get running to the paint store and home depot, and it also means we have about 10 pieces of furniture to put together, in addition to cleaning and painting and moving things around. Plus, Jeff wants to see IT at some point this weekend, we have the Heart Walk on Sunday, and we need to take a trip to Ikea (which is about 45 minutes away) to return our old MALM dresser (which they’re still accepting as a recall!) and pick out a new one. AND I want to get a nice, long run in every day. I’d also like to hit up a local orchard before the honeycrisp apples are all gone, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen between everything going on this weekend and our trip to New Orleans next weekend. So, yeah – busy.

So if I’m a bit absent, that’s why…but I’ll try not to be. I still want to share pics from our trip to Savannah, and there are a few home projects that I’d like to share (including the bedroom, once that’s done – I’m pretty excited about it!) I hope you have a fantastic weekend – this weather is a dream come true! Pick some honeycrisps for me. And stay safe if you’re in Irma’s path!! ❤

 

 

 

Mid-Week Escape

Last night, Jeff and I took off work early and headed up to Philly to catch a concert at Festival Pier.

We wanted to avoid rush-hour traffic, so we decided to get an early start and were off & running by 3:30 or so. Despite not quite missing the swarms of traffic that clog 95 every afternoon (d’oh!) we arrived in the city shortly after 4 and settled in at Cuba Libre for happy hour. Recommended to me by some friends, Cuba Libre is this amazing Cuban restaurant and rum bar in Center City, and they have THE most amazing food and cocktails. They have a killer tapas selection for happy hour, so we each knocked back a couple of drinks and gorged ourselves on plantain chips and guac, padron peppers, ablondigas, and empanadas. Whoops, so much for healthy eating and not drinking on weekdays!

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It was a beautiful – perfect, really – evening and Penn’s Landing wasn’t far, so we walked from the restaurant to the venue. After a couple of meh openers (All American Rejects played, and let me just say that if you’re familiar with the lead singer’s character on Parenthood, they apparently toned down his real-life personality when writing for him), Dashboard took the stage. Although I ultimately purchased the tickets for Jeff’s benefit, I’m secretly a huge Dashboard fan myself and definitely fangirled out a bit. Chris Carrabba sounds AMAZING live, and he seems like a delightful, classy guy. All around, it was a pretty great night, and it felt good to let off some steam mid-week.

A Day in the Life: Long Weekend

Does anyone else get as much pleasure as I do from reading about the mundane aspects of other peoples’ lives? No? Just me? Okay, cool (ha).

As I recently mentioned, I’m obsessed with Refinery 29’s “Money Diaries” feature – partly because I find it fascinating to see what other people spend their money on on a daily basis, but mostly for the voyeuristic aspect of reading how each woman spends every hour of every day for a week. Since I enjoy reading these diaries so much, I thought it’d be fun to document my life over the course of MLK Day weekend. Here goes!

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Friday evening:

5:30 PM: I worked from home today, so I’ve mostly been lounging on the couch in sweats, staring at my work laptop all day. I’m feeling grungy, so I hop into a much needed shower.

6:00 PM: Jeff arrives home, and I decide to get started on dinner: parmesan crusted chicken breast over farro with tomatoes and garlic.

7:00 PM: We sit down to dinner – delish! We eat dinner at our kitchen island most nights, and Jeff cleans up since I cooked.

7:45 PM: I crack open a bottle of white wine and settle in for an evening of TV.

Saturday:

11:00 AM: Roll out of bed. I’ve been in a bit of a (physical, not so much mental) funk lately, and I’ve been sleeping in SUPER late. I hate wasting my day like this, so I’m making an effort to get back into waking up at a normal hour. Head downstairs and catch up on some blog reading while sipping on coffee.

12:30 PM: Make a snack of brown rice cakes with almond butter; hop in the shower.

1:30 PM: Today is the day we’ve decided to de-Christma-fy our house. I decide to let Jeff hang out on our third floor for a while (I bought him a new video game for Christmas – he’s not a big video game guy, but every few months he’ll go on a kick), and start removing the ornaments from the tree. I get on a roll and end up getting pretty much everything done aside from actually taking the tree down.

5:30 PM: Jeff comes downstairs and feels terrible that I got so much done without him (I really don’t mind; I just lost track of time). As a compromise, he cleans up the (insanely huge) mess I made taking the garland down, and drags the tree outside. I continue to putter around the house, dusting surfaces where decorations had been removed.

6:15 PM: I ask Jeff to put together a new floor lamp I purchased to offset the post-holiday decoration depression. He puts it together while I re-arrange our foyer (where we put our Christmas tree). The new lamp looks shorter than I pictured it, but after I arrange everything, I decide I love it.

7:15 PM: Jeff heads back upstairs for a few while I order dinner from our favorite takeout place: a buffalo chicken salad for me, and a BBQ wrap for him. I also break down and get an order of mozzarella sticks for us to share, because I’m starving after having eaten hardly anything all day. Takeout is convenient, but it’s SUPER difficult to find anything remotely healthy, at least from the places available for delivery in our neighborhood.

8:15 PM: Dinner arrives; we eat in front of the TV (the only time we eat in front of the TV is when we get delivery) and settle in with some Netflix, followed by SNL.

Sunday:

9:00 AM: Jeff goes to pick up his usual Dunkin Donuts coffee, and discovers his car has a flat tire. Womp womp. He takes my car instead, and decides to sign us up for AAA (normally he’d just change his own tire, but his car has some kind of crazy wheel locks that make it next to impossible). He’ll have them come either take off the tire tomorrow, or tow it to Pep Boys.

11:00 AM: I drink coffee while messing around online, and ask Jeff if he wants to take a trip to Ikea today. We decide to go later in the afternoon.

12:00 PM: I’ve been wanting to deep clean our kitchen for a while, so I get started. I remove everything from all the surfaces and do a wipe down, and put all the dishes from our open shelves (we have a bookcase in our kitchen for extra storage) into the dishwasher. While the dishwasher is going, I clean the baseboards and run the swiffer wet jet over the floor.

4:00 PM: Feeling accomplished, I hop into the shower.

5:00 PM: We head to Ikea, about 30 minutes away. We’ve both been desperately wanting a new couch for a while, but are having a hard time finding one – most of the local options are big box furniture stores, and I don’t care for what they offer. I’d like to order a couch online, but Jeff (understandably) doesn’t really want to purchase a couch without being able to try it out first. I recently found a sectional at Ikea that looked promising (the Nockeby model), but when we get there neither of us find it to be very comfortable. Sigh, back to the drawing board. At any rate, I needed a shoe rack for my closet, and I also pick up a really cute artificial succulent.

6:30 PM: Head back south, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack – we’re both a little obsessed – and decide to try the new Shake Shack for dinner. It does not disappoint.

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8:45 PM: Return home…debate going to a movie, but the soonest showing of what we want to see (he wants to see Rogue One, I want to see La La Land – we planned on splitting up) isn’t until after 10. We decide to stay home and try “Sneaky Pete” on Amazon Prime while sipping on red wine (for me, Jeff sips on bourbon). Jeff likes it a lot, I’m less into it. We crash at around midnight.

Monday:

10:00 AM: Wake up and lounge in bed for a while, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Jeff (having woken up a few hours earlier) comes into the bedroom and tells me that AAA will be here soon to work on his car. Hooray!

11:00 AM: Sip coffee while Jeff and the AAA guy are outside and Grooby is running around freaking out about the stranger. Refill my coffee and head into the living room to watch The Kitchen.

12:00 PM: Consider heading to the Y to swim laps; check the schedule and see that although there are lanes open for lap swim, there are various activities happening in the pool throughout the afternoon. I don’t feel like swimming laps while swim team practice is going on, so decide against it.

12:30 PM: Start dinner prep – I’m making a spicy apricot glazed pork tenderloin in the slow cooker, so I whip up the glaze and sear off the pork before throwing it in the crock pot with some baby carrots.

1:00 PM: Since I didn’t make it to the Y at all during the weekend, I decide to try a Tracy Anderson Method video on YouTube (I stream it through Apple TV in the living room). I make it through exactly two “actions” before I’m basically unable to move – HA, pathetic! Feeling defeated, I throw together a smoothie using a banana, a couple spoons of almond butter, some frozen stawberries, a spoonful of greek yogurt, a handful of spinach, and some unsweetened vanilla almond milk – this should hold me over until dinner. I received this immersion blender as a secret Santa gift this Christmas, and it’s perfect for single-serving smoothies. I sip on my smoothie while doing some writing.

3:30 PM: Dinner smells freaking amazing. I hop in the shower.

4:00 PM: My closet has been in desperate need of an overhaul for months and months – it’s gotten so bad that every time I grab a T-shirt off the shelf, an huge pile tumbles onto the shoe-covered floor. Oh, the joys of old houses without walk-in closets. I bought a set of velvet-covered hangers from Marshalls several months ago, and today is the day to purge and re-fold and re-hang (and put together the shoe rack I bought yesterday). This is more cleaning than I typically do in a weekend, but the house always feels so stuffy in the winter between all the dry heat and the lack of fresh air, plus I figured I should take advantage of the long weekend.

6:30 PM: Decide to call my progress “good enough” for now, and head downstairs to finish dinner. I round out the meal with a side of garlic parmesan cauliflower rice. Jeffrey comes downstairs and we sit down to eat.

7:15 PM: After cleaning up the dinner mess, I pour myself a glass of red from the bottle I opened last night, and we settle in for some TV. In bed by 10.

 

Digging

Happy New Year, friends! Here are some things I’m digging this January…

My bathrobe: Jeff and I gifted each other hotel-style white terry bathrobes for Christmas this year, and it’s been a real game-changer, at least on my end. I use that sucker every single day. Our bathroom is freezing cold, so I wrap myself in my warm, fluffy robe every single morning while I get ready for work, I wear it after every shower (I don’t know how I’ve lived so long without this), I curl up in it on weekend mornings. I’d love to do a staycation night where we open a bottle of red, curl up in our bathrobes, watch movies, and sleep in the guest room.

My YMCA membership: This hasn’t actually happened just yet, but I’m SUPER excited about it. I’ve fallen WAY out of my fitness routine since the wedding (to be honest, I fell out of it BEFORE the wedding – I’ve been saying I’m the only bride in history to have GAINED weight before her wedding – ha!), and I’ve decided to splurge on a YMCA membership in favor of my work gym this year, due to several factors. First of all, my office has been relocated – my company owns two buildings a few blocks away from each other, and I’m being moved from one building to the other. However, my parking assignment will remain in my current building (bummer), and a YMCA branch is actually located right smack between the two buildings, so it’ll be right on my way from one building to the other. Plus, my work gym is located in my current building, so I could see myself using the fact that it’ll be in a separate building as an excuse not to go. The second largest factor is that I was planning on joining a local pool this summer, which isn’t cheap, especially considering that it would only be open 4 months out of the year. My YMCA membership will include a really nice outdoor pool facility minutes away from my house, which will eliminate the need to join a separate pool. Plus, the YMCA just offers more amenities than my work gym – of course, it was nice to have the opportunity for free personal training through work, but I ended up deciding that it wasn’t really for me anyway, and the Y offers more classes than my current gym. I’ll stopping in tomorrow for a tour, and I’ll sign up from there…I’m hoping to add swimming to my weekly workout schedule!

Amazon Echo: I was skeptical of this before owning one, but I’m an enthusiastic convert! Jeff gifted me an Echo for my birthday this year because my previous bluetooth speaker had fizzled out on me, but I didn’t see the point of the Alexa feature – it just seemed kind of lazy and pointless to me. Boy, was I wrong! It’s SO nice to be able to control the speaker from inside the shower, or if I’m making dinner and have dirty hands…or even if I’m just sitting several feet away. Admittedly, it may be a little lazy, but it’s SO convenient (and neat)! I primarily use it for music/podcast listening, but it’s also handy if I have a cooking question (“Alexa – how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?”), and we have it set up to control our home’s thermostat (which I admittedly haven’t found use for yet – I still walk over to the thermostat and change it manually. But it’s still neat!) The sound quality is top-notch as well.

Frozen Christmas Cookies: I gift cookies to my family and friends every Christmas, and unfortunately (ha) had the foresight to freeze my extra cookies this year – I usually throw them away several days after returning from my family’s house after Christmas. But they retain their texture surprisingly well being frozen, and there’s nothing more delicious than dunking a frozen chewy ginger cookie into a hot cup of coffee – it softens just to the point of chewiness, instead of falling apart like a room temperature cookie would. It makes for a delicious (and too frequent) afternoon snack.

Living Proof: I had heard several good reviews of this line (primarily via Podcast advertisements) and finally gave in and bought the travel kit of their “no frizz” line to take on our honeymoon. I’m rarely very impressed with any specific hair product – best case scenario, I find them all pretty similar, worst case scenario I find them TERRIBLE. Living proof has been a game-changer for me. I have a lot of hair, but it’s fine and has a crappy natural wave – it’s curly underneath and flat on top, making it impossible for me to wear it naturally without looking like a lazy slob. While I still feel the need to blow dry and straighten my hair (I probably always will), this line almost completely tames my tons of flyaways and broken hairs, makes my ends look smoother and healthier, and seems to keep my hair looking good longer, while being light and allowing my hair to feel smooth and bouncy. It also smells great (it has that “fresh from the salon” smell to it). I recently bought the full-sized bottle of the “No Frizz” finishing serum, along with a style extender cream and hair oil, and I think they’re keepers.

Tocca Eau de Parfum in ‘Stella’: I purchased this on a whim during an Anthropologie tag sale, and I think it just may become my new signature scent. I’ve been trying to convince myself that I like more masculine, musky scents (I guess I’m trying to be more mysterious/sexy? haha), but I’ve reached the conclusion that I almost always prefer more classic feminine floral scents. This has the perfect mix of light floral notes with just a little bit of citrus.

Diorskin Forever foundation: For the past 5+ years, I’ve been trying to settle on my ideal foundation, and have waffled between a ton of different brands, from drugstore to more high-end brands. This foundation is a bit of a splurge at $50, but just a little dab provides plenty of coverage and I haven’t found anything that works as well. I’ve struggled with my skin on and off my entire adult life, and although I’d love nothing more (seriously) than to be one of those women who’s comfortable going fresh-faced or just wearing a dab of mascara every day, I just feel more comfortable wearing foundation. This stuff is super light but provides good, buildable coverage, it looks ridiculously smooth and natural, and I’ve found that my skin condition actually improves when I wear it (lots of other foundations suffocate my skin and make me break out).

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Digging

Here’s what I’m digging this week…

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$3 apothecary jar from Target!

Money Diaries: I’m obsessed with this feature from Refinery 29. They interview a huge variety of women (usually in their 20s or early 30s) living in different parts of the country (some are actually living abroad), with varying salaries, and have them list out everything they spend money on during a one-week period, diary style (they also have special editions where they document longer timespans). I think it’s fascinating to read how other women around my age spend their money – it also makes me feel a little better about the amount of money I spend on a weekly basis (sometimes I feel like I’m throwing fistfuls of cash out the window, when everyone else is stacking piles in savings). Plus, I’ve always been a major voyeur/snoop, so I love reading pretty much every detail of someone else’s day. What can I say, I love the mundane!

Halloween Candy – Especially the Reese’s Cups that have Reese’s Pieces in the center?!! I had never tried them before, and now my world has been changed. Ugh. Oh, I also bought the bulk of our candy to hand out from the dollar store this year like a goddamned genius – I rarely think to wander into the dollar store (I know, I know – it’s like a religion to some people), but this year for whatever reason I did and saved a TON of money. We hand out a combination of full-sized bars and snack sizes (for when the big boys run out), and I scored a huge variety by buying the full sized bars individually instead of in a variety pack this year (I usually buy a variety pack from Target that has Snickers, Reese’s, Twix, and Hershey bars) Last year has been the only year we’ve had a decent amount of trick or treaters (I blame the fact that we live across the street from a school’s soccer field, meaning there are no houses on the opposite side of my street – plus our house is set back from the road)…but last year, we ran out of candy, so it looks like word may have gotten out that we hand out the good stuff. My dreams of being the witch from Hansel and Gretel are coming true!!

Target’s The Dollar Spot – I’m not sure if they still call it that, but I’m talking about that little section by the entrance with a bunch of inexpensive odds and ends (I think everything used to literally be a dollar, but it’s not anymore). They’ve really stepped this section up recently. In the past few weeks, I’ve purchased a beautiful tan plaid blanket scarf (I don’t remember exactly how much I paid, but it was $5 at most), several brown apothecary bottles that I’ve been using as vases for $3 each, 3 mason jars with copper closures for (I think) $3 each (I use them to hold ground coffee and Jeff’s Stevia packets), and some chalkboard labels for like $1. This section used to be full of, basically, crap (little junky toys and candy, mostly), but now there’s tons of seasonal decor and crafty stuff…I never pass it by these days.

Jessica Seinfeld – Yep, Jerry Seinfeld’s wife. “Eh?” you say? Well…She. Is. Wonderful. She’s super cute and witty and self-deprecating, she seems like pretty much the nicest person on earth, you’d never know she has about 17 billion dollars (I do know that Jerry Seinfeld has always been described as one of the most down-to-Earth celebrities out there), she does tons and tons of charity work, and she just re-launched her website , which is full of delicious, beautiful, healthy, easy recipes. I’m so smitten that it’s causing me to write in insane run-on sentences.

Plantain chips – Yum.

This Is Us – This show was a bit of a slow start for me – I LIKED it at first, but it was just a tad bit too sappy for my taste. That said, I NEEDED something to fill the void in my TV viewing life left by Parenthood a couple years ago, so I kept watching, knowing that most shows start off a little slow and get better as characters and storylines develop. Well, boy was I right. This show is effing wonderful. Jeff’s even into it, and he is definitely not big into sap (although he weirdly tends to enjoy shows and movies made for teenage girls?) I’m also very into Divorce with SJP, which I thought was going to be a drama but is actually hysterical.

 

 

Digging

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Here’s what I’m digging lately…

Novels – I was a voracious reader growing up (and when I say “voracious,” I mean my parents literally had to pry the books out of my hands for fear I would ruin my eyes from constantly having my face shoved in a book). Since my early 20’s, I shamefully haven’t had the attention span to read as much…I blame the Internet. But, when I did read, I tended to gravitate towards non-fiction (quite a departure from my novel-loving younger days). I still do love a good memoir or comedy book (or even a well-written cookbook), but I’ve been getting more into fiction recently – I just devoured The Girl on the Train, among a few other thrillers, which has been my genre of choice of late. Jeff is overjoyed – he’s a huge reader himself, and almost exclusively reads fiction. He read The Girl on the Train immediately after I was finished, and we’re going to see the movie tonight – so excited!

Onion & Chive Cream Cheese – Random, I know. I’m a huge fan of breakfast in general – it’s probably my favorite meal of the day. I eat the same thing almost every day at work – oatmeal from my work cafe’s breakfast bar, topped with berries, toasted coconut, a little brown sugar, and a spoonful of granola. I usually stick to yogurt at home on the weekend, but yesterday on a whim I picked up a package of plain bagel thins and an assortment of whipped cream cheese spreads, mostly for Jeffrey. Let me tell you – that onion and chive cream cheese really hit the spot. My yogurt may just need to take a backseat for a while.

Wine – I know, #basic. But, after months of emails promising enticing deals, I joined a monthly wine subscription club (Bright Cellars) last month – at $38 for my first shipment of 5 bottles, it was just too good of a deal to pass up, plus I’ve been wanting to keep more wine on hand instead of just buying a bottle at a time. It’s normally $68 for four bottles, but they have a referral program where you get a free bottle for each person referred (I’ve referred two people so far, so I’m up to 2 free bottles)…plus my first shipment was delayed by some kind of vendor issue, so they gave me ANOTHER free bottle for that (their customer service has been top-notch so far – I emailed them just because I thought my shipment may have been lost in the mail…I wasn’t even complaining)! I figure I’ll keep it going until all of my free bottles are used up, and by that time I’ll have quite the wine collection and I’ll stop the shipments until I’m running low (Jeff doesn’t really drink wine, so I don’t go through it super quickly). When I signed up, I took a short test to determine my taste, and you can choose to have only whites, only reds, mostly reds with a white thrown in here and there, or a mix of both, and then you rate each bottle you receive to help them choose the best wines to send for your personal tastes. The first bottle I opened – a tempranillo, my favorite! – was on point, so I’m excited to try more. If you’d like to give it a shot, you can use this link to receive 50% off your first order.

Fall TV – I love this time of year, when all of our favorite shows come back (even though a lot of what we watch these days is on Netflix or another streaming channel). We’ve been enjoying New Girl, Superstore (SO funny), and of course SNL, and I’m loving a few new shows (The Good Place is super cute, and I’m determined for This Is Us to fill the void Parenthood left in my life). I’m also anxiously anticipating Sarah Jessica Parker’s return to television in Divorce.

Cooking – I always love cooking, but I tend to hit a slump during the summer – I’d just rather be out and about, and it’s not as fun to me to cook lighter summer dishes as it is to cook hearty fall meals like soups and braised dishes. As I previously mentioned, I love to put on a podcast and take my time cooking a yummy meal. Of course, I also love baking this time of year – last weekend I whipped up a batch of frosted pumpkin cookies, and I’m itching to go pick some apples and use them to make all kinds of goodies.

Shoes – I’ve always been more of a clothes girl than a shoes girl, but I’ve been developing a bit of an addiction recently. I’m kind of obsessed with sneakers – I want a pair of New Balance in basically every color (these are a crazy steal right now and I REALLY don’t need them, but I mean…an extra 40% off!), and I just added these classic black Nikes to my collection using a Zappos gift card I had laying around. I’m also really digging block heels – especially in cabernet or navy suede (like these and these).

Leggings – Ah, the most wonderful time of the year. Well, actually, let’s include all manner of slouchy, lounge-y pants – my favorite sweats I found on a random trip to Banana Republic outlet have been getting a lot of action these days as well. I ordered a pair of leggings from Girlfriend Collective a while ago – have you heard of them? It’s this startup that’s ethically manufacturing bomb-ass leggings, and they’re giving away one pair of leggings to each customer for the cost of shipping. I’m anxiously anticipating their arrival sometime in November.

Relaxing – I’m really soaking up the post-wedding life. I feels so great to not have anything to plan or decide or coordinate, and my weekends have been filled with a lot of lounging, tidying up, and catching up on blog reading. I want to get back into home projects soon – I have big plans for our master bedroom – but for now, I’m chillin’ out max and relaxing all cool.

On liking your job

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Bouquet I made during a company-sponsored networking event.

I’ve never been what I’d call an ambitious person. I’ve always had very good work ethic and it’s always been important to me that I excel in whatever I do, but I’ve never really had much in the way of career goals, or desired to “work my way to the top.” As shameful as it can feel these days, I’ve always felt that I’d be 100% fine with being a homemaker. But then again…I’ve always hated my job. Until recently.

To be fair, I didn’t hate the position I worked directly before my current position (I was previously responding to written communication from customers at a large bank, and I’m now working in social media for the same company). The position provided a good deal of freedom and flexibility (which is probably number one on my list of priorities), but it was pretty unfulfilling and tedious. I wouldn’t say that I’m working my dream job now…honestly, I’m not 100% sure that exists for me…but I also don’t dread going to work in the morning. My current position still provides a huge amount of freedom and autonomy, but it also requires a good amount of creativity and forces me out of my professional comfort zone on a regular basis.

It’s a weird feeling for me not to detest my job. Ever since I decided I wanted a family, I had dreamed of the day when my husband (still feels weird to say that!) would earn enough money to allow me to stay home with our hypothetical children…but now, I can see a future in which I continue to work after starting a family (maybe part-time, maybe full), a future in which we can provide our children a lifetime of experiences I never had growing up, a future in which our family is able to travel and see the world. Or, who knows – if children aren’t in the cards for us, a future in which my husband and I embark on great adventures together. I’ve realized that I value time at home so much more when I’m out and about all day, and while I always imagined myself running around once we have kids, I think I’d probably go a little stir-crazy being a full-time stay-at-home mom. I know that the women I know who stay home pretty much unanimously say that being a stay-at-home mom is a way harder job then whatever they previously did was, and I believe it.

Not only do I not hate the actual work I do, but my company’s perks are so good that it’s almost literally impossible to leave. We get a crazy amount of paid time off each year (with the option to buy more during benefit enrollment), our 401K match is pretty great, we have an employee stock purchase program that comes with a 15% discount off of our company’s stock, and they just improved our already above average family leave program – women now get EIGHTEEN WEEKS fully paid maternity leave with the option to take additional time either unpaid or using saved paid time off, and men get eight weeks with the option to split the time however they choose (my husband works for the same company, so that’s major). We get free, 100% confidential career counseling by a third party company who will help you achieve your goals either within our company or elsewhere. My position allows me to work from home basically whenever I choose within reason, and I pretty much make my own schedule.

I don’t know what the future holds, but for now it feels great not to spend all of Sunday with a sense of dread knowing that I have to go back to a job that I hate on Monday. I don’t think I’ll ever be a workaholic, and work-life balance will probably always be the most important aspect of my career for me, but it feels pretty damn good not to be miserable with my career (or lack thereof). I guess what I intended this to be is a professional “it gets better.” If you work hard, stay positive, and maintain a good attitude, you can end up with a career that doesn’t make to want to cry every Sunday evening.  Thumbs up.

Autumn Weekends

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Whew, what a year it’s been (and continues to be). Not only was I wrapped up in planning my own wedding, but I’m also in a close friend’s wedding in less than a month, and I transitioned into a new position at work a couple months ago. The good news is, my new position requires more creativity (yay!) and less actual writing, which means I may be more inclined to update the old blog (we’ll see).

As everyone is WELL aware, fall leading into the holiday season is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE (in fact, I usually resume blogging this time of year, only to drop off once the winter doldrums hit and I lose the will to live – ha.) And autumn weekends – forget about it. Absolute bliss. I even actively enjoy cleaning my house this time of year – everything feels so fresh and crisp.

I thought it would be fun to take you through a typical fall weekend day around here. Here goes:

Sunday, 10 AM: Wake up slow (and late!) Jeffrey will have gotten up hours ago (Grooby doesn’t allow him to sleep in, but won’t accept me as a substitute…DARN) and will most likely have run out to Dunkin Donuts for morning coffee and possibly a bite to eat. We have a coffee setup at home (a pretty great one, actually – the Ninja Coffee Bar is dope as hell), but he’s hopelessly addicted to Dunkin’s blueberry coffee syrup (gross). He always picks something up for me…sometimes he’ll come upstairs to ask me what I want, sometimes he surprises me. My typical order is a plain macchiato, but today he just brought me a black coffee – I have my pumpkin spice creamer in the fridge, and I’ve been requesting plain black coffee to add it to (of course, I could just make it myself – but I mean, he’s going out anyway, right?) No Dunkin food today, so I scarf down some greek yogurt while catching up on my weekly blog reading. Jeff has cereal.

12 PM: I remember I have some bloody mary mix in the fridge that I picked up last weekend on the way home from a bridal shower – score! I enjoy a bloody – with bleu cheese stuffed olives I have left over from beer school at Whole Foods – while messing around online – I’m on the hunt for a hex wine rack (like this one) and some new glassware.

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12:30 PM: Contemplate going for a run. It’s a nice temperature outside (under 80, which is pretty cool around here for mid-September), but it looks like it might rain. I don’t want to get caught in a downpour, so I decide to wait to see what the weather does (excuses!) I decide to do some reading instead – I’m currently reading The Good Girl. It’s pretty decent so far, but I just finished The Girl on the Train (I know, I’m super late to the party on that one), so pretty much anything is going to pale in comparison and I’m having trouble staying focused. I can’t wait for  the movie version of The Girl on the Train to come out!

1:00 PM: I decide to get started with some cleaning/organizing. Yesterday we took a trip to Crate & Barrel to pick up some gifts we received from the wedding – since we did a honeymoon registry, it was up to us to either pick up any physical gifts that our guests had purchased or have them shipped. All the better – it gave me an excuse to poke around Crate & Barrel’s gorgeous Thanksgiving displays and pick up a few additional essentials. I unpacked everything yesterday, but our kitchen could use some re-organizing. I also throw our sheets and duvet cover into the washer and do the vacuuming.

3:30 PM: House clean, fall-scented candles lit; I hop into the shower (unless I’m going somewhere, I tend to shower around mid-day on the weekend – this way, if I get all grimy cleaning or decide to do something active outside, I don’t feel like I need to shower a second time).

4:30 PM: After my shower, I have some time to kill before I need to get started on dinner. I join Jeffrey on the couch to watch some football and mess around on my phone. I couldn’t care less about the sport, but the sounds of football this time of year make everything feel even more cozy (ask me again in January how I feel about football – and Jeff is only a fair weather fan).

5:45 PM: I decide to get started on dinner. Tonight, we’re having eggplant rollatini. I realize that I forgot to buy…well, the eggplant. To remedy this, I run up the street to the Food Lion to grab a few of the purple veggies. A year ago, I would’ve made my own marinara, but I’ve since discovered Rao’s arrabbiata sauce and now I’m hopelessly addicted. It’s so good, I’d seriously eat the stuff with a spoon like soup. It’s a little pricey at around 8 bucks a jar, but it makes anything you put it on taste like it came straight out of the most authentic Italian kitchen you can imagine. SO worth it. While I cook, I pour myself a glass of wine and put on a podcast – in anticipation of the Gilmore Girls reboot coming out in November (eeeeeeekkk!!!!), I’ve been listening to the Gilmore Guys podcast. I adore cooking, especially on lazy Sunday evenings – I love to take my time, relax, and listen to a good podcast or some music while the kitchen fills with delicious smells. That’s what home feels like to me. Usually Jeff will appear in the kitchen at some point during the process, and he’ll take a seat at the island and read quietly while I cook and listen to my podcast. This is what it’s all about, if you ask me. (And sometimes I’ll be making some way over-complicated opus of a recipe that doesn’t even end up tasting as good as something way easier and the kitchen will be a huge mess and I’ll be ready to pull the hair out of my head and Jeff will come in and try to have a conversation with me over the podcast while I’m trying to do 5 things at once and I’ll want to throw the bottle of wine at his head and jump out the window. It’s about balance.)

7:15 PM: Dinner is ready. Jeff and I typically eat at the kitchen island, with Grooby either watching pitifully from the floor, or sitting up on the stool opposite me like a fluffy white little human. We probably shouldn’t let him do that, but…it’s just so damn cute.

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8:00 PM: After the dinner mess has been cleaned up (I clean as I cook, so usually all that’s left is to rinse our dinner plates and load them into the dishwasher, and clean off whatever pan I’ve served dinner from. Since I’m always the one to cook, Jeff cleans up after dinner. It’s a pretty great deal, if you ask me), Jeff and I retire to the living room to watch some TV before bed. We still use an actual TiVo (we’re too attached to stop, even though it’d be cheaper to just use a DVR from Verizon), and it was literally completely full after we returned from our honeymoon. This gives Jeff a legit panic attack, so we’ve been working to clear it out. Pretty much all we have left at this point is a bunch of @Midnights (which, luckily, was on a hiatus for part of the time we were gone – Chris Hardwick got married exactly a week before us!), which is good, because fall TV is about to resume. I’m super pumped for New Girl and SNL to come back, and I can’t wait to check out the new show This is Us – it looks like it might be a good candidate to fill the void that Parenthood left in my sad, empty soul.

10:00 PM: Bedtime! Although I live for weekends and am sad to see another one go, I actually don’t mind going back to work on Monday – it’s a bizarre feeling for me, because I’ve historically hated most jobs I’ve had.

There you have it – Sundays are typically less eventful than Saturdays – I tend to get anything major that needs to be done out of the way on Saturday, so I can have Sunday to straight chill. Weekdays are pretty routine – Gym (ideally), work, home, take Grooby for a walk or go for a run depending on whether or not I actually made it to the gym that morning, dinner, TV, bed. Repeat. What do your weeks look like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitched.

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We did it! I’ve officially been a married lady for about three weeks now. Everything was more beautiful and perfect than I ever could have imagined (with a few perfectly imperfect details that made the whole thing real, of course!) I don’t have many pictures yet, but I’ll share a few favorites once I get them back. I’ll also share some highlights from our amazing honeymoon to Spain sometime soon. For now, I’m just soaking up married life and enjoying the return to normalcy. Hopefully I’ll be popping up a lot more!