Category Archives: Life

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Couches in the Winter

This past winter was no joke here in the Northeast. It’s nearly Memorial Day and I am just now reaching a place where I even feel comfortable discussing it.

We got a lot of snow. Like, a lot, a lot. The MBTA shut down. We flat out ran out of places to put the snow, especially in the city. It was cold. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad winter.

Naturally, we bought a house just in time for said horrible winter.

 

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it’s like vacuuming the driveway

 
Despite the horror, we managed to make it through mostly unscathed. We had some roof leakage in our breezeway, and a small ice dam that caused a ceiling stain in my office, but nothing too major. Our two car driveway was reduced to a one car driveway once we realized the snowbanks on either side were too tall for both our physical abilities to lift and throw shovels full of snow over our heads and our tiny snow blower (which is electric, by the way. It needs to be plugged in. WHO INVENTED THIS? It’s the worst. However, it was also free.)

 

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back door, which clearly we had no intention of using

  
Just before all the snow started, we bought new couches. It was a Sunday. “We’ll deliver them on Wednesday” they told us. Great. Can’t wait. We’re so excited.

Huge blizzard on Tuesday. Delivery delayed. Not a problem, we can wait.

Huge blizzards continue. We dig out the driveway and the side door that we always use to get in and out of the house, ignoring the front door because we don’t ever use it. Then, once there was a good three feet of snow on the ground, we realized the new couches wouldn’t fit through the side door, into the breezeway, around the kitchen island, and through the doorway into the living room. They would have to come in through the front door. The front door currently blocked by three feet of snow. We call and push back the couch delivery as long as they’d let us, figuring the snow will surely melt enough by March.

Oh, how naive we were.

  
We found ourselves spending a solid week digging a big enough path from the front door to the street so the guys from the furniture store could deliver the couches. Do you know what it’s like to try to dig through a snowbank composed entirely of snow that plows have been condensing on the side of the road for months? Not super fun. But we did it! And it turns out shoveling burns a ton of calories! And the couches look great! And finally, finally, the snow did melt.

  

  

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Monday Musings | Resolutions

I hadn’t planned on making any resolutions this year. I have everything I could want and need in life. That’s true. I’m not saying it to brag. I honestly feel like this is the first time in my life I haven’t felt like I was waiting for something to happen or that something is missing from my life. It’s a fantastic feeling. I am lucky and grateful and #blessed to feel this way. So resolutions seemed unnecessary this year. I just wanted to sit back and enjoy things.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Instead of focusing on things I want this year, I’m going to focus on the things I have and work on making them better. My theme for the year is “less is more”. Less time worrying and more time enjoying. Less time complaining and more time appreciating. Less frivolous spending and more money for experiences. Etc, etc. Usually at the New Year I feel as though it’s an opportunity to become a whole different person. This year I’ll be skinnier. Or, this year I’ll be more organized. This year I just want to become more like myself. I plan on keeping the things that make me happy and spending more time focusing on those things. I’m going to let go of things that don’t work for me. I want to simplify. I just want to live in that delightful middle area where you don’t feel as though you’re a complete waste of oxygen and you also don’t feel like you’re living someone else’s life. I want to live in that sweet spot where everything is just right and can only get better.

I have had this feeling lately that really big, wonderful things are headed my way this year. When they get here I want to be ready and waiting with open arms. I feel like if I lay the right foundation now, every little positive thing I do, every time I choose to be happy and optimistic instead of depressed is one step closer to building the best year ever. Like begets like, positivity begets positivity. This I have absolutely found to be true. So I’m heading into 2015 feeling good and seeking happiness. I hope you all try to do the same and that it brings you everything you could hope for.

Happiest of New Year’s to you and yours!

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Monday Musings | Another Year Over

As is typical before the New Year, I find myself reminiscing on the one that is coming to an end. 2014 was a weird, tumultuous, long year. It was a year of big changes, and leaps of faith, and mistakes, and some of the best times ever. It was a year of growth, that’s for sure.

The beginning of the year was rough. I was unhappy with my life, frustrated that it wasn’t moving forward, and unsure of what to do to change things. Then I got a new job. I left my comfortable, mostly safe, yet painfully boring, job at a company I had worked at since college. I was excited! This was going to be great! It was an opportunity I never thought I would have! And it was all of those things for a little while. Then the shine wore off and the truth presented itself and while I am super grateful I took the leap and I do truly believe doing so has set me on a path to somewhere I’m supposed to be, I’m still struggling with that part of my life.

It’s really been the last three or four months of 2014 that have been some of the most spectacular months of my life so far.

I’ve made some new, truly wonderful, amazing, weird-in-the-best-possible-way friends. It has been such a pleasure getting to spend time with these ladies on a regular basis and talk to them constantly. I had no idea I needed a tribe so badly until I found mine.

And the biggest most bestest thing to happen in all of 2014 (probably my whole life to this point) is N and I buying a house. Good golly I still can’t get over it. It’s been a challenge, and so damn expensive, but worth every moment of stress, extra penny spent, and pile of dishes washed. Plus I get to do it all with my best friend and love of my life which makes it even better. Even if he does leave his smelly snowboard boots right by the front door so that odor is the first thing I smell upon arriving home. He’s still the best.

Mostly at the end of 2014 I am feeling incredibly and overwhelmingly grateful and thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. The outpouring of generosity we have seen, and love and encouragement from family and friends, has been truly wonderful. Not a day goes by where I am not grateful for this life I get to lead and all the people who help to support me living it. And yes, this includes everyone who listens to me whine and assures me I’m not as crazy as I feel.

So for 2015 I’m hoping to continue on this positive path. I’m opening my sails and heading off to wherever the year may take me. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

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The Magic Hour

The temperature has been steadily becoming more crisp in New England for the past few weeks and as much as it pains me and fills me with deep guilt to say this – I ain’t mad.

Summer is my favorite. I love the heat. I love the beach. I love wearing as little clothing as possible.

But man, there’s just something about fall, isn’t there?

The humidity goes away, the air is crisp and fresh, the leaves start to turn colors. Suddenly, all I can think about is cozy sweaters, and pumpkin, and pie, and cooking everything in the Crock Pot.

Fall has always felt more like the start of a new year to me than January. Spring and Summer are all about getting out there, having fun, going on trips, forsaking all kinds of responsibility. Then Fall comes along, and I pretty much say “Welp, it’s almost. Better get my shit together.” So I do all the fun, cozy, nesting sort of things – I bake, I buy “Autumn Walk” scented candles, I wear sweats that are five sizes too big, I take long bubble baths – but I also tend to get a serious urge to re-organize my whole life in the Fall. Probably a leftover side effect from my school days, but this time of year just makes me want to sort everything into neatly labeled boxes and purge all the crap I don’t need or want anymore. It’s refreshing.

This summer in particular was uber busy and stressful and all over the place for me (more on that in a few weeks), so I am seriously looking forward to life winding down this Fall. I have lots to look forward to, and I have a good feeling that everything is going to fall nicely into place and I’ll finally be able to breathe a bit easier.

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Harry Potter Forever

Harry Potter is having a bit of a resurgence in my life right now. Actually, he seems to be having a bit of a resurgence in general. Myself and two of my friends all decided within the last few months, completely independently, to re-read the entire series. Truth: I’ve done this several times since reading the first book when I was 11.

They never get old to me. They’re as enjoyable on the 10th read as they were on the 2nd (but let’s face it, NOTHING compares to the first read through of any book, let alone a series as universally beloved as Harry Potter). I watch the movies regularly as well. ABC Family makes it easy because they have Harry Potter marathons pretty much every weekend (and they air deleted scenes, you guys!). I have a Pottermore account, which goes largely unused until recently, when J.K. Rowling posted new material about where our favorite Hogwarts alums are now in the form of a Rita Skeeter article that was supposed to be focusing on the Quidditch World Cup, which took place this year (spoiler alert, Bulgaria won, with Krum out of retirement as seeker!).

I’m sure there are lots of articles and blog posts ruminating on why Harry Potter has such staying power, why the series is loved by children and adults alike, so I won’t go into that here. But I will talk a bit about why I think Harry Potter still means so much to me.

I grew up with Harry and the gang. The first book came out when I was 11, the same age Harry was in the first book. I remember very clearly sitting in my living room and my dad handing me this book he said he had read about in the newspaper. At this point I was old enough to think that whatever my dad thought might be “cool” probably wasn’t at all and I was also not yet old enough to think anyone could find anything of interest in a newspaper.

I didn’t want to read it. I started reading it anyway. And I was immediately hooked. What 11-year-old doesn’t dream that perhaps they are really a prince or princess or maybe they were switched at birth their rich, famous parents could show up any minute to whisk them away into a life of luxury? (Still waiting on that, actually.) Point being, the idea that poor Harry had a half-giant show up and tell him “Hey, you’re a wizard and you can do magic and you’re going to come with me and live in this magical world and have an owl for a pet” was extremely appealing. HOW COOL.

I then spent the next ten years of my life beholden to the publishing schedule of these books. I waited YEARS between some of the last ones. I went to midnight book releases. Then, they started making them into movies. This wonderful, magical, imaginative world that I was so enamored with was being brought to life. I stood in line for midnight showings (but I did not dress up. I had to draw the line somewhere). And don’t even get me started on Harry Potter World in Florida. (I DID wear Gryffindor colors for that visit…)

And then, when I turned 21, it all ended. Coincidentally, I suppose you could say the books ended when my childhood did. (When you can go to a bar and legally order a [butter]beer that basically means you’re an adult, right?) It was the weirdest feeling. Like someone died. NO more Harry? But…what? That’s probably when I decided to re-read the books for the first time.

They’re always there for me. The books are kind of like a security blanket for me. Nothing to read? It’s ok, all seven books are on my Kindle and I can read them whenever I want, complete with my favorite lines highlighted. I also have all eight movies on DVD, in case it’s a rainy weekend and for some weird reason they’re not on ABC Family. I have the Harry Potter theme music on my phone, as both a ringtone and the actual song, just in case I need a touch of magic during my morning commute.

I have all these things, and I enjoy them, because they take me back to when I was 11 and finding Harry for the first time. Nothing can compare to the original time you read a book, but every time I start the Sorcerer’s Stone (“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much”) it takes me back a little bit.

When life is rough or in some kind of flux, I turn to Harry. Because he doesn’t change. He always makes it out okay in the end. And whatever is going wrong in my life at the time prroobbably isn’t as bad as an evil wizard constantly trying to kill you. Perspective.

They stand the test of time. There’s nothing in these books that dates them. No pop culture references to make it obvious when they were written. The stories themselves never seem trite or immature, even reading them as an adult. They were enjoyed by people of all ages when they were originally published, and I don’t see that changing.

I can’t wait to read them to my children someday and share the magic with them. I can only imagine that the next best thing to being able to read them for the first time again is getting to see a child experience them for the first time. Lord help me if my kids don’t like Harry Potter. I”m sending them back.

I don’t know how J.K. Rowling managed to create this amazing global phenomenon. I mean, she jotted down the original idea on a napkin, and it somehow grew into what it is. Still, nearly 20 years later, Harry Potter is A Thing. Rowling is still giving us some original material via Pottermore. They’ve just expanded The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. It truly is magical.

So obviously, J.K. Rowling is a witch.

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90 Days

I have what I like to call Veruca Salt Syndrome. You know, the girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory* who doesn’t care how, she wants it now? Yeah, that’s me. I have a hard time understanding why when I decide I want something I can’t have it right away (i.e. house hunting). I enjoy instant gratification. I want those shoes, I buy those shoes. Very little effort is involved. So when i come up against something I want but can’t have right away, I immediately become frustrated, angry, and sink into a deep pit of despair.

It’s not a good habit. I’m working on it, honest.

It’s a habit that has also made me lazier than I am. And I’m pretty lazy to begin with. When I identify something I want but can’t have right away, or may have to put in a lot of work into getting, or just plain don’t know how to get, I get overwhelmed* and just give up all together. I’ll just stay in this crappy place, thanks, because I’m too lazy to figure out how to fix it. Or if it’s going to take longer than I thought or be more effort than I originally planned, I just end up quitting. I find myself in an endless cycle of try try try! and then give up spectacularly. It’s ding dang exhausting. For myself and for everyone I complain to.

So instead of complaining all the time, and feeling frustrated all the time, I’ve decided to do something about it.

It really all started when, as usual, I find summer approaching and I feel like a pale, jiggly, blob from a winter of staying indoors and eating ginger snaps obsessively (sooo goood). As standard for me, I immediately jumped into a 24 day cleanse, clean eating, continuing to work out at my beloved barre studio, and then burning myself out and immediately dive bombing into a plate of nachos with a side of beer. Thus getting nowhere in my battle against the bulge that is my muffin top. “Why isn’t this working?” I’d moan. “I was sooo good for like, three-ish days this week!” I’m not that stupid. I get that consistency is my problem. I know that one bad meal or a few rest days won’t make me fat and out of shape, but it’s never one bad meal or a few rest days. It’s multiple bad meals and multiple rest days.

So it was time to face the facts. What I’ve been doing isn’t working. It’s time for something new. So instead of making a grand plan for changing my body and my life as fast as possible, I’m taking a new, slower approach. I’m setting relatively small goals for myself and they working on achieving them. Slowly, one step at a time. I am trying to focus on the long game rather than an immediate payoff. It’s more of a mental shift more than anything, and I’m hopeful that it will bring a sense of clarity and peace to my life that I find myself lacking more often than not. It started as a quest to get into shape, but I can already feel it morphing into so much more.

I’ve arbitrarily set a 90 day time period for me to get this endeavor off the ground. That brings me to the end of June, essentially the start of summer, because I want to start my favorite season off in a happy and healthy place. Mentally and physically.

My goal for the month of April is consistency.

Consistently make good choices when it comes to eating, consistently work out, consistently wash my face and floss before bed (I know, I’m gross, but I never consistently do those things), consistently make the choice to feel positive and happy instead of letting negative thoughts get me down. I know we’re only 10 days in, but I’m already feeling good about this. It’s not about being perfect, just about making the best decisions I can every time I have the opportunity. Small steps that will hopefully lead to big rewards.

Also, just because that got a bit too serious for my liking, I plan on teaching myself to juggle this month. Just because I need a talent and I just recently read somewhere that literally anyone can learn to juggle. So there’s that.

 

 

*The original, not the creepy one with Johnny Depp. Sorry Johnny, I love you, but no.

*”I know you can be overwhelmed and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?” “I think you can in Europe.” Name that movie!

 

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Grand Budapest Hotel

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N and I had ourselves a nice date night consisting of dinner and a movie this past Saturday and we went to see Grand Budapest Hotel. We’re big Wes Anderson fans (N got me into his movies when he forced me to see The Life Aquatic and I ended up liking it far more than expected) and we’d heard good things about this one, so we were really excited.

We also smuggled wine juice boxes into the theater which may or may not have had an effect on our excitement level.

Anyway, we loved it. It was hilarious and, of course, completely beautiful. The colors! Oh Wes, you know how the internet feels about your color schemes. This movie is suddenly making all those pink tiled bathrooms we keep seeing on our house hunt look really exquisite. I highly recommend this one, and I hate going to the movies.

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The Thrill of the Hunt?

N and I still house hunting. I have a feeling this is going to be a slow and frustrating process. We were thrilled to find out we could afford more than we thought, but our bigger budget hasn’t made the hunt any easier.

I was SO EXCITED to start this chapter of our lives, but it is totally not as fun as I thought it would be. Turns out when it comes time to make your dream into a reality there’s a lot of anxiety involved. It doesn’t help that this dream of ours is also going to cost more money than either of us has ever spent in our lives. So it makes sense that we’re being super picky, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

We went to a few open houses yesterday, but nothing was speaking to us. We both want to have a feeling when we walk into our future home, a this is it type of feeling. We did, however, both agree that if the house containing this wallpaper had been The One we would have kept it. As N said “This is so bad it’s come full circle to good again.”20140324-113635.jpg

After the disappointment that was yesterday’s open houses, there was really only one thing to do. Go buy Frozen on DVD, a giant bottle of wine, and head home. We watched Frozen (I’m completely obsessed, along with every other small child in the world), drank the majority of that bottle of wine, and then made a delicious stir fry for dinner. So Sunday turned out to be a pretty ding dang great day after all.

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Looking Back: February

I almost forgot to do this! Not much to report for Februaries throughout the years. It is a short month, after all. It is the month I started blogging though, so this recap goes back to 2010. Not that 2010 was thrilling in the least, apparently. I have a lot of fun looking back though. So glad I have even this small record to remind me of the little things and how far I’ve come.

2010

My first blog post! I would say 2010 was probably the year when it occurred to me that life is fricken hard. Every other post from this month was short and stupid.

2011

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I did a 30 for 30 challenge! This was fun and I considered doing one again, but I already feel like I don’t wear all the clothes I own nearly enough. Been toying around with the idea of attempting to wear every item in my closet to see if I actually like any of this stuff. We’ll see. Anyway, for my first outfit I wore a shirt with a stain on it. I just don’t know sometimes.

I had my first (and so far only) story published! This was so exciting for me.

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N and I went away for valentine’s Day and stayed at this lovely hotel in Maine that is one of my all-time favorite places to stay.

2012

I wrote up a little post on how to pack for plane trips with only a carry on. Honestly you guys, there are very few instances where I feel you need to check a bag. If I’m going away, the last thing I want to do is spend any time hanging out at a baggage carrousel. And when you look deep down inside yourself, don’t you usually only wear half of what you packed for vacation, anyway?

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I went snowshoeing while N was snowboarding and got minorly lost in the woods. The woods filled with signs warning me of moose. And bears.

2013

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Nemo happened. I’d take Nemo over the winter we’ve had this year any day.

I did a January recap and apparently lost 5lbs last January. Good for me! This year isn’t going quite as well.

Apparently February has been a historically taxing month in my life. Good thing it’s so short.

Apparently I won’t have anything to look back on from February of this year because I didn’t post. It was a pretty good month other than the bitter cold and snow! I’d like that to go on record.

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Daydreams

What if I decided to pack up all my worldly belongings and toss them in a U-Haul trailer and drive off into the sunset? I’d drive and drive until I could once again feel the warmth of the sun on my shoulders and a breeze in my hair.

I would throw away all my pants  and fill my wardrobe with dresses. Every morning I would get up and put on a dress and not have to worry about a jacket, or mittens, or a hat. I’d leave the house with wet hair, my waves being dried by the wind as I drove around with all the windows in the car down.

My bathing suit collection would have all the prime real estate in my dresser, instead of being tossed and tangled in a bin in a dark corner of my closet for ten months out of the year.

I’d smile more. My skin would glow. I’d go to yoga as often as I always say I’m going to. I’d walk everywhere. I’d live someplace where I can walk everywhere. I’d go to the farmer’s market and spend long weekend afternoons sitting outside of a little hipster coffee shop, reading and writing and dreaming. I would have friends over and we would sit in the tiny backyard behind my tiny bungalow cottage and we would drink and tell funny stories and eat tacos.

My job would be amazing. It would be fun, and challenging, and creative and I would be paid just a little more than enough. Enough so I was never wanting but not enough that I was exorbitantly rich. I would sleep in on Saturdays and spend all day Sunday at the beach. Maybe I’d finally finish that novel. I’d write it while sitting at my kitchen table, a ceiling fan lazily spinning above me. Then I would go for a run just after sunset but before it got dark. Twilight. I’d run further than I ever had before.

I think I would be really happy.

It was eight degrees this morning. It’s supposed to snow again Thursday.

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