19 December 2014

put on your yamaka... it's time for Hannukah!

It's has been a pretty exciting week here in NYC.. besides the lovely start of Hannukah, packing like a fiend and trying 12 times to get into a locked ipad that finally opened as Apple answered the phone I managed to actually blog twice. I'm sure you are all as impressed as I am.

Tomorrow I am leaving for Costa Rica with work for almost two weeks, and before you say how lucky I am, let me tell you- it is still work. I am very very very much looking forward to my next day off on January 2nd. I plan to sleep a lot that day and drink a bottle of wine. Happy New Year to you too. But I am also looking forward to the warm weather down south and the delicious fruit they will be serving, weird- I don't care.

I'm most likely going to be MIA until 2015 so I'm going to send you all some well wishes now. I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday, gets to spend wonderful time with their friends and family and that you are all safe, healthy and happy. 2014 has been pretty fantastic, it had some rough times, but a lot of really really awesome times too. I traveled to new countries, met new friends, watched some great concerts, ate some delicious food, bought new grown-up things. I started this blog, which has amazingly been more fun than I could have hoped for, and I was introduced to all of you. So thank you, for stopping by, reading, sharing your thoughts, for coming to this space. Here's to another fantastic, if not even better, year!



And to round out what will most likely be the last post of the year, I want to introduce you guys to one of my marvelous sponsors.

first off, her birthday is TODAY! you heard me, birthday = today!  if anything you must go to her blog and wish her a very very Happy Birthday right now. Libby is a pretty awesome person, and I love reading her posts about building a new home with her husband. And she is totally obsessed with Christmas, I mean who isn't- I'm Jewish and it's one of my favorite times of the year! I had a super fun q&a session with her- enjoy the answers below, and make sure to stop by and give her happy birthday thoughts! (plus she loves JT, which mean she also probably loves 'Nsync and if that isn't a girl after my own heart then I don't know what to think...)

If you could travel to any place in the world, right now, where would you go?
Right now, being that it's the holidays an all, it would be New York City. I grew up in Upstate New York and have actually never been to NYC. I'm pretty much obsessed with all things Christmas, so New York City at Christmas time just makes sense. Plus, seeing as I have a thing for huge Christmas trees, it just sort of makes sense that I would want to go visit Rockefeller Center.

What are your 3 favorite posts
Hosting my best friend's gender reveal: http://www.healthloveandfire.com/2014/04/best-friends-gender-reveal-party.html


What inspired you to start blogging?

I started my blog at the same time as I was starting a new job. I was leaving a job that was my comfort zone, where a had made a bunch of really great friends and starting something new and completely different. Starting this blog was a way for me to share about my life and my day, as if I was chatting with a former coworker over tea in the morning. From there, I just sort of got hooked on blogging and on the friendships and connections it provided. It gave me a place to be creative, a reason to drag my husband on all sorts of adventures, and it motivated me to try new recipes and create new home decor. It became a place that was mine and only mine, and I fell in love! 

What is your favorite album/cd of all time?

Probably Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience Album. Because it's Justin Timberlake, and because you get 20 (actually 21 cause there's a bonus track) when you normally only get 10-12 songs on an album. If you haven't seen him in concert, absolutely do it because he's AMAZING! I'm obviously still one of those boy band obsessed teenagers at heart, and I'm okay with that! 


Do you have any hidden talents?

I can memorize anything. But it's usually the stuff that you have no need for. Like I remember exactly where I was when I heard certain songs or the lyrics to a choir song I sang in fifth grade. I'm not sure that my husband appreciates this talent as much as I do. 

What are the best dishes you can cook? (bonus points if you've posted them on your blog!)

Hmm this is big for me because up until a few years ago I would have told you I hate cooking. It wasn't until we bought our own house and I started experimenting more that I really started to love cooking. One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen recently is to can or preserve. I make a pretty awesome pasta sauce (http://www.healthloveandfire.com/2014/07/pasta-sauce-canning.html

Coke or Pepsi?
Well I'm a Diet anything kind of gal really. When coke was doing their Share A Coke with _____ thing, I was all about how fun that was and trying to find my friend's names on them (because we all know they were never going to have Libby on the side of that can). But if we are talking plain boring packaging, both brands having their normal label, I'm a Diet Pepsi gal :) Unless this is from McDonalds, because they have the best soda mix ever! (Clearly I'm crazy and if you give me either I'd drink them!) 

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17 December 2014

Currently...

thinking.. about how much stuff I still need to pack, packing for 3 people to go on a 2 week trip plus all the end of the year holiday parties, concerts and activities is driving me to a point 

making.. tomato and mozzarella pasta salad, easy and delicious

drinking.. some much need coffee

looking.. at the new season of Downton Abbey- did you know it is already out in England?

playing.. nothing, I have no time to play!

eating.. cereal, Crispix to be exact. healthy lunch, I know!

watching.. no time to watch things! but I did finish the fourth season of Gilmore Girls last night..


wishing.. I didn't have to go on vacation with work but could spend time with my family

planning.. more like helping someone else plan a small baby shower for my sister!

enjoying.. that the weather is a bit warmer today, and the very nice pedicure I had earlier, much need break from this craziness!

wearing.. leggings and a sweater dress. perfection.

eying.. that bar cart, still. I think it's haunting me..

loving.. my friends! I had them over this weekend for brunch and we exchanged Secret Santa gifts, I'm pretty sure my gift was the best- I received the Mensch on the Bench, the Jewish version of Elf on a Shelf!


 counting.. down the days until I have off again, January 2nd, just keep repeating that!
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13 December 2014

eBates

can we just talk about, for a second, how awesome it is to get money back from purchases you make? fantastic, right? like the best thing ever? I'm going to shamelessly throw this site at you because a) you will be earning me some money (just being honest) and b) you can get back money for yourself (for reals!)


eBates. They best invention ever. I first heard about it from the lovely Lisa over at Two Martinis in this post and so I signed up. Figured why not? Nothing to lose. And yes I have lost absolutely nothing, no losing but gaining money back for purchases I had already planned on making. Plus a giftcard to Target, for free. yep, for free. I need some new Toms so I went to ebates, searched for their shop, got $5 of a $25 purchase or more plus 10% cash back. They saved me money and then gave more back to me. win win in  my book.

You only get your cash out 4 times a year, via check or paypal, but even if I never buy anything through them again, I'm get money back in a few months. I like it, like it alot.

So go make back some money from that Gap, Target or Sephora purchase.  Do it now!


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12 December 2014

high five for friday

 Friday is a beautiful day! We finally had a little tiny bit of snow stick to the ground this week here in NYC and that was very exciting. There is nothing like the first snow of the year... now I just want a few more inches!

I've been battling a cold all week and trying to start packing for my next work trip. It's happening again. We are heading this time to warm, sunny Costa Rica for the holidays. Anyone interested in doing a guest post? Let me know! 

Besides that, not too much else is going on. I'm having my friends over for brunch on Sunday to swap our Secret Santa gifts and to see some of the new furniture and decorations I've put up. 

And as far as I know they are called Hot Toddys but either way I've discovered drinking hot tea with a bit of whiskey and honey in it and I've fallen in love. Maybe I'm making up my own things. Honestly though on Monday when my throat started hurting I made this concoction before bed, with some chamomile tea, and not only did I feel somewhat better but I slept very well. Winner all around in my book.

you can ignore me now and meet a new friend of mine...




Hi, I'm Llinos, AKA The Lilac Linnet!  I am 27 and I live with my boyfriend and guinea pigs in Cardiff, UK.  My name is Welsh for 'linnet', so paired with my favourite colour, there you have my blog name!  Over on the blog you will find musings on daily life, book reviews, craft ideas and insights into the novel which I'm writing.  I also write about the health problems which I've experienced, such as cancer and depression, to raise awareness of these issues.  When I'm not blogging or working, you can find me reading history books, crocheting a blanket or out for a run.  Nice to meet you!
First off I'm way jealous of this lady because she lives in the UK. Would you like to adopt me? She is a wonderful writer (check out her cute Christmas short story) and has some fantastic book reviews. A woman after my own heart.. and I love this adorable DIY card! Ya'll should stop by this instant and check what shes got going on.

have an awesome weekend!
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10 December 2014

Color Swap Reveal


I'm super excited to reveal all the gifts I received from the totally fun color swap I participated in this month. I actually found out about the swap on facebook and jumped right on it- I love doing any kind of Secret Santa/give a gift, get a gift/surprise thing.

My partner was Hannah from Love Hannah B, we started chatting right away and getting to know each other so we knew what kinds of things to send. It was wonderful meeting another blogger, finding out their likes and dislikes and in general meeting a new person.

Above is what I received from Hannah, lots of goodies- many of which are in the color blue, my favorite color! Surprise, I know. And that is what was the most fun about this swap- it was about your favorite color and sending gifts in your partners favorite color.

Hannah sent me some fun lipgloss, a lot of great notepads plus a planner (always a win with a blogger). The city picture is a pack of tissues (so needed at this time of year). Actually Little J tried to take them from me and tell me they were his.. sorry to burst your bubble munchkin! The mini-clothspins are super super cute and I can't wait to display all the signs. And the bracelets hanging over the joy sign are festive, with a young vibe and soft feel. Winner in my book!

Overall a really great time, a nice way to meet a new blogger and friend and way to get some awesome surprises!

http://www.twomiracles.net
Make sure to stop by Two Miracles and see some of the other Color Swap Reveals!
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09 December 2014

Life Lessons from Rebekah

I can only laugh as I write this post because as serious as it is (oh, it's super serious) it is also really just a laugh.

 A little back story on how they appeared- Friday night I went to a holiday party a friend and his roommates were hosting at their apartment. I was, by far, one of the oldest - if not the oldest, person at the party. And not that I'm old, 27, but when you are in a room with 22,23,24 year olds- you kind of feel old. I had a great time, no doubt, the room was packed with very enthusiastic people, great music. Heineken had even sponsored the party, due to a well timed tweet of a party-goer. But as a I sat on the couch at 1:30 am, with a few delicious drinks under my belt, I turned to my friend and decided I would give her some well-meaning life lessons, things I've learned in my old age.

- Don't pre-game before going to a club with a table and/or open bar. You will get horribly drunk, vomit and still be hung-over to the max the next day.

- Don't take a gypsy cab from the meat-packing district. They will try to rip you off and/or kidnap you.

- Say no to drugs on the street (and in general). It's not cool. Give hugs instead.
 
- Always listen to what T-Swift has to say, as well as her music. That lady gets us.

-If at anytime someone suggests going to Chipotle or buying you Chipotle, the answer is always YES


- When someone is too tall for you to see, kick them until the keel over and stop blocking your view (something I have never done but at 1:30 am sounded like prime advice)

And there you have it- life lessons from an intoxicated Rebekah. Some of which are really not too shabby... maybe there is something to learn from the whole write when you're drunk and edit sober thing..

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08 December 2014

need any emotional shows to watch?

I watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead last night, and I cried a lot. A lot during the show, and then a bunch more during the after show The Talking Dead. Jeez- you'd think a show about zombies were produce ecks and screams, not tears.  It happens though- and it's not the first time. Love it though and wouldn't change a thing.

I had a pretty eventful weekend. On Friday night I went to a friends holiday party- more details on it tomorrow. Get ready to learn exciting things.

Saturday I went to brunch with some other NY bloggers! It was super exciting to meet all of them and despite the horrible rainy weather we were having a decent crowd showed up and we all had a wonderful time chatting. But we were all horrible bloggers and didn't take a group picture! I blame the weather.

After brunch I headed out to Hoboken to spend some time with my sister and my nephew. I gave him some new books for the holidays and then we spent the afternoon looking through some photo albums, cooking and laughing. Later we went upstairs to one of her neighbors house, and my nephew spent a good 45 mins running around being chased by their dog and laughing hysterically. I'm pretty sure my stomach was sore on Sunday just from watching them. It was too too cute!!


Sunday I met up with a new friend for brunch- we went to a favorite of mine Cafe Orlin, and then walked back to Union Square to check out the holiday market. I spent the evening catching up on some tv, snuggling with the cats and reading some more Outlander (just started book 8- so good!)

hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! 
Bella And The City

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05 December 2014

why hasn't it snowed yet?!

Hello Friday! It is so so so nice to see you again. Between doctors appointments and coming off that long weekend, it truly has been a rough one.

I'm happy to say little Phoenix (the cat who had surgery...) has been given a clean bill of health! She is down to just one little eye-drop once a day until the bottle runs out, hopefully that will be soon. And her hair is finally growing back on her legs which means she doesn't look as much like a hooligan anymore.

seriously- look at her, brought her to work so it would be easier to trek to appointment, plops right down on the floor.
I spent a good chunk of last weekend searching online for the perfect rug/bar cart and prints for my walls. After ALMOST buying a cart from West Elm, I stopped myself to hopefully find something cheaper in the future. We will see. I did however finally install some picture shelves on my wall and bought some super cute frames from Homegoods (that place gets me every time!) Along with a much need wine rack. The place is coming together. Only taken me 3 years, but alas it is happening.

Anyways- enough about me. Today I have a fine lady here today who was awesome enough to decide to chill on my side bar for the month. She is pretty sweet- besides the fact that she makes adorable hand-painted wine glasses and jewelry (seriously- check out her shop, the holidays are coming...), she has the cutest little boy and she just celebrated a birthday! So let me introduce you...




If you could travel to any place in the world, right now, where would you go?
Washington, DC. Besides visiting being on my 30 by 30 list, my bestie lives 20 minutes out of the city. I haven't seen her since March, and really miss her face. Plus I really want to go see the museums! 

What are your 3 favorite posts?

Dear Lil Man 
My goal is to write a letter of encouragement to my son on each of his birthdays... he turned four in September and this is the first of many letters. 

Things I've learned about parenting
Being a first time parent is all about learning what works and what doesn't. 

25 beauty tips & tricks
Because makeup sometimes doesn't make sense....

Do you have any hidden talents?

Other than painting wine glasses, which I sell in my Etsy Shop, I have a knack for writing (duh... every blogger says they do...). I would love to write a novel- I actually wrote four chapters of an erotica a couple of years ago- but just don't have the time. I also played the clarinet in middle school & high school, and can pick up miscellaneous things with my toes.


Happy Friday!


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04 December 2014

Gift-Giving Guide for Him

gift-guide for him

I will confess, besides my father and brother-in-laws, it's been quite awhile since I actually bought a gift for guy- but when I think about my friends and family, these all seem like things they would all appreciate and enjoy. Which is why I bring them here, to my gift guide. Honestly I would be pretty okay with some of these gifts for myself as well.. like how fun would it be to make beer?
#Blogmas14

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03 December 2014

Gift-Giving Guide for Her

gift guide for her

In my opinion buying gifts for a female friend, relative, love interest, boss- whatever. It's all about pampering. Purchasing something that they might buy themselves, or might just want to buy themselves but haven't gotten around too. A fun umbrella, cozy robe, some new books or nail polish. Something fun, festive, and that will bring a smile to their face. Now go fourth and buy some awesome things!

p.s I would welcome any of these myself... (except gone girl bc I've already read it- but another book for sure!)
#Blogmas14

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02 December 2014

Favorite Family Holiday Photo

This is by far my most favorite family holiday photo ever/ it's one of the only ones I have in my possession but it's hilarious so I don't care.

It's circa 1991, I'm the little grumpy child front and center. We used to attend the Mickey's Holiday Party every December at Disney and I know there are a ton of these laying around somewhere... eventually they will appear and I can really spread the joy. Until then, enjoy this gem!



#Blogmas14

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01 December 2014

Letter to Santa

I'm really excited to join in with Ash from The Grits Blog and Tay from Tay Meets World for their Blogmas14. I might not participate in every prompt but some of them will be first times for me (like today's!) That's right folks- I've never written a letter to Santa. This is because I'm Jewish, and usually celebrate Hannukah, but hey I don't see why I can't write a letter... honestly as a child I totally believed in Santa. I just knew that he didn't come to my house because we didn't celebrate Christmas and because we were Jewish.

so here we go..

Dear Santa,

hello! It is so nice to finally be writing you! I'm sure you are surprised to hear from me but I figured why not say hi and mention how awesome I am.

I would like to think I've been a pretty good person this year- I donate to friend's charities, give aid whenever possible and am always open to lend an ear.

I am super thankful for my job, my apartment, my family and friends. I am happy to say I am healthy, my animals are healthy and if anything I have health insurance and that is fantastic.

Anyways, since I've been a pretty cool person this year there are a few things I would love to just magically appear in my presence-  with much debate I would not in anyway turn down a camera, a nice beautiful DSLR camera. This blog space is beginning to turn into something and I want to step up my game.

And that super fancy bar cart that I finally tracked down but then turned out to be over $600. I love it, it's way cute but now officially out of my price range. Totally want it still...

Along with that, a new dining room table and chairs could make me really swoon.

So Santa, if you have any extra room in that giant bag of yours, feel free to throw out a bit of love for little ole' me!
#Blogmas14


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