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28 May 2014

sunshine and rainbows

golly- it's been a long week and it's only Wednesday! I hope everyone had  a great three day weekend- I did not because I work basically every holiday but I am taking off on Friday to attend my 5-year college reunion. It seriously weirds me out that it has already been 5 years since I graduated. Freaky.

Besides having to work on Monday, I did have an entertaining weekend. Saw a cool band play on Saturday night called Air Traffic Controller, who reminds me a lot of another sweet band I like called The Good Mad.

Air Traffic Controller
Hurry Hurry by Air Traffic Controller on Grooveshark

Sunday was spent with my super awesome friends- we brunched in the morning and then lounged in Central Park for a few hours playing with cards, paddle boards and just relaxing. We all ended up eating dinner together and played a game called Balderdash.

I worked on Monday, took the kids down to Union Square Park to wander around the Green Market and pick up some plants for their garden. We played in the park for a while, getting our feet wet and running around. Monday night was spent at a welcome back dinner for a good friend of mine at Carmine's. Delicious food and drinks all around.

and fun surprise.. I came home yesterday to a rather large box from my Mom. She had told me she was sending a package and I was going to love it and it was just so cute. And also my sister's had said it was cute, the woman at the post office had said it was cute... I was a bit unsure of what was happening and weirded by "cute" being the describing word, but she made me these super adorable pillows with blue giraffes on them in honor of the blog! I'm in love, seriously!! Thank you mom!!

Thankfully the week is flying by!! Also don't forget to enter that great giveaway I've got going on right now, only a few hours left!!!

Check my review post here!
The Hump Day Blog Hop

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23 May 2014

you should all read more

Obviously books are amazing. Recently I've just been re-reading some of my favorites because why not. In my opinion if you have not yet read any of the following you should start on it pronto, but that's just me...

My Top Five Favorite Book Series:

1) Harry Potter: I'm pretty sure I cannot ooh, ahh, and rave about this series enough. It's just brilliant in all aspects.  Every time I read them I laugh, cry, and almost always find out something new. I was reading some weird google search thing the other day (sorry that was vague) and someone asked "Why is it okay to be a Harry Potter fan but not a Twilight Fan?"  Now I've read Twilight and while it is an entertaining and easy read it does not grasp the detail and depth that Harry Potter contains. HP is well written, beautiful and there is something in it that everyone can relate. If you haven't read it or tried to read it in the past but didn't like it- I encourage you to try the story again. The first few chapters of the first book are a little tough to get through at first (my opinion they are kind of boring ) but once past that you are golden. And if you truly do not like it then that's okay too (not really though, jk, but no really).

2) A Discovery of Witches: I'm sensing a theme here... whoops! This is a great first book to what will end up being a trilogy. (book two is called Shadow of Night, it is also fantastic!) Diane is historian studying alchemy. She is also a witch- who refuses to use her powers. After she calls a mysterious book from the Oxford library the town is overrun with other witches, daemons and vampires. On a journey to figure out what this book is, while also learning what her powers truly are, she ventures ,with the aid of a vampire, into a expedition of discovery. The third book is due out this July!

3) Outlander: If you like history, romance, and adventure- this is a series for you. First off, each book is huge and there are like at least 6 already published so they will certainly entertain you for awhile. It is about a woman, Claire, who trips over some rocks while on a honeymoon with her husband in Scotland and is transported back in time 200+ years. Where she has to learn to manage her surroundings, the obvious time change and the locals. The series branches in many wonderful directions full of some fun characters and changes. This is coming out as a Showtime/Starz? show sometime this summer/fall- crossing my fingers it's as good as the book!

4) The Hunger Games: I know that at this point everyone in their mother has read this one, but it's for a good reason- the comparisons to our own society really makes you think with this one. Is this our future? Is this us now? Are we already sacrificing our children? Katniss is a character to root for, to love, to hate, to want to be. The third book (Mockingjay) was very mixed for me the first time I read it - but as I continue to re-read the series (often) I have to grown to enjoy it more and more each time. This series has also seemed to spur on the whole dystopian/futuristic society genre we have had an influx of in our libraries and bookstores. and I'm totally fine with that...

5) A Song of Ice and Fire (i.e Game of Thrones): Also popular now and has enough material to last you for weeks. George RR Martin has created an incredible world filled with so many details I'm not sure how he keeps track of it. Basically, as the first book is called- this is a series about the game of thrones. What does it take to be a leader, how do you get into that positions and what kind of chaos is caused by it. This is a fantasy series that takes place in a realm similar to what we think of as our medieval times. There are mythical beings, a million people to keep track of, and the one thing I have learned in reading them is to never get attached to a character. They have done a marvelous job with the tv show- if you are watching them, it follows the book very closely. But you should still read the books!!

Clearly I seem to have a theme of history and fantasy. What can  I say, I like to jump into other worlds. 

Eyes Open by Taylor Swift on Grooveshark

Happy Friday!

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And don't forget about this awesome giveaway going on! 

Check my review post here!

22 May 2014

Confession: My Thighs Touch

True Life: While I may not be an extremely large person, I am a person who carries a bit too much weight on their skeleton (some doctors would even say obese but I disagree). Weight is such a weird thing, because in reality I wear tops that are size S/M and typically pants in size 6/8. Which is by no means a big size.

When I graduated from college I was on the verge of buying size 14 pants. (this is one of the major disadvantages of being short, gaining 5 pounds= chaos.) Senior year I had surgery on my foot over Christmas break and between not being able to walk, partying up my last semester and eating whatever I wanted I gained a lot of weight.
Graduation May 2009

After moving to NYC a lot of this weight fell off but I still hold some and let's be honest- my thighs touch. If yours don't I applaud you because as much as I love dresses and skirts, they are not that comfortable when your thighs touch. Your legs chafe and become uncomfortable. It may sound gross, but it's legit. And it's not just us ladies with a little more to love- this happens to runners, pregnant woman. There are not many options out there, and the ones that are around only last for a few hours or it's adding another layer of clothes on a hot day. No thank you.

Let me introduce: Bandelettes 

These absolutely amazing things are seriously changing the way I dress, making me more comfortable and finally giving me the ability to wear dresses and skirts all year long.

I love dresses but wearing them in the summer was never really an option because I used to have to wear bike shorts or spandex underneath them. Or only wear the dress for a limited amount of time. At some point this gets super hot, uncomfortable and not realistic in 90 degree weather.

Now you may be asking, what are bandelettes? Bandelettes are bands of lace and silicon that are worn around the thigh (they also make a solid version for runners and athletes). Think bike shorts without waist and butt coverings. Think panty hose or high thigh tights without the leg and crotch.  They stay up with two rows of silicon and you don't even realize you are wearing them. The best part- they retail on their own for $14.99!
The bands are lightweight, breezy and solve every problem I had with wearing dresses. If someone does see them, it's a hint of sexy lace. You can even wear them under shorts...

You buy them according to your own size- by measuring your thigh, where you will wear them. This is different for everyone- you may also like it a bit tighter or looser so measure accordingly.

AND Bandelettes is oh so nicely giving away two pairs for my readers! I know all of you may not have a need for this, but if you have someone in your life that might, please make sure to enter them in the giveaway or pass this post along!

* Bandelettes did not ask me to write this post, I purchased these on my own and am oh so in love I needed to pass the word onto others- they are very very generously sponsoring this giveaway though, so join on in!!*

Happy Little Friday and Lovely Thursday!!!

The Grits Blog

Lovely Thursdays
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20 May 2014

when was the last time you cried?

I mean like a hard cry- not tearing up in the touching commercial or the few tears that ran down my face as I watched The Book Thief. I mean a real cry. Mine was several weeks ago.

You might remember me blogging about the hellacious behavior Big J was having last month. It lasted for about two weeks and I cried on at least 3 occasions. Now, I know I have never birthed a child, and by all means have no idea what it is truly like to be a mother, but.. I do care for and treat these children as I anticipate I will treat my own one day. Honestly many times on the streets and at the activities we attend people think I am their mother.

Back to the point though, Big J was acting crazy and I cried. Never in front of them (the Js), of course, but it was what I think to be one of the worst cries of all- the frustration cry. The stressed cry. The cry that never really gives you any relief. It's the "I am so fed up with what is happening that I will either hurt myself, someone else, or a big wall" cry. An overflow of emotion that doesn't even make you feel better, but almost worse because you are crying. At least that is what this cry felt like to me.

I was frustrated the behavior has happening, upset that it wasn't stopping, disappointed that nothing more wasn't be done to help. This is where my job can be very difficult. Because I'm not his mom. I'm not his dad. And at some point my authority can only go so far.

The one thing I have truly learned from taking care of children over the years (besides that it is literally the best birth control out there) is that children thrive with consistency and routine. Parents and caregivers must be on the same page, you cannot disagree in front of your children (I've seen it happen, and its ugly) and just like it works for adults, waking up and going to bed at the same time really works wonders.

I'm hoping to not have a cry like this again anytime soon. Weirdly enough though in my years of full-time nannying I think it actually may have been the first time I have truly cried. I've been crazy frustrated before and definitely on the verge but this may have been the first time a kid made me cry. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing...

When was the last time you really cried?

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19 May 2014

This Weekend I Cleaned a Window

Yep, you heard that right. I cleaned a window- well the inside and outside of the bottom half of one window. Baby steps.

Be proud, it has been at least 3 years since that window was even touched. I cleaned a bunch of other random things too- mostly because a) I had some people over to look at the apartment (I found a roommate!) and b) I somehow couldn't stop. You ever just get into a cleaning mood? No? Just me? Okay.

Sunday I spent a fabulous day working a wine tasting with my sister and lots of other wonderful people. While we poured a ridiculous amount of wine for some cool judges to taste, my payout was the two cases of free wine I was able to bring home. I mean I guess I earned them from the work I did but it was way way more than worth it. It should last me a week or two, haha, jk, but really.

And I finally watched the Veronica Mars movie! I was a huge fan of the show back in the day and am happy to say they did a great job with the movie.  Way cool that the movie was made with fan-raised funds. 

I'm also super excited because I qualified for another super awesome VoxBox from Influenster. The Go VoxBox is filled with all sorts of healthy and active goodies. I've already checked at a few items and hope to do a review in the next few weeks.

On another note my spending freeze has been very interesting.  I did manage to not buy any coffee from Starbucks on my way to work, but made my own. I brought lunch to work everyday but Wednesday (Chipotle day, of course).  And only took a cab home yesterday with my two cases of wine. Even so, I've still spent some money... I mean some savings is better than none, right? And I've worked at creating better habits for the future! Woo-hoo!

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

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16 May 2014

What is Life?

Yesterday, on Facebook, an acquaintance of mine posted one of those lists about what people born in the late 80s are currently experiencing. (Check out the whole list here
The last point really hit me - 
17. Slowly recognizing that you’re no longer developing into someone, but you’re identifying the someone you’ve developed into. TC Mark
Wow, way to take my brain away. Because yes, although I am still changing and learning and forever experiencing new ideas and things, I am no longer developing into a person. I am a person- I am now me, and probably have been for the last few years. 
I still expect to grow and move with whatever life throws my way as I get older, but in reality I am now able to identify who I am and how I developed. I can recognize the significant moments of my youth that made me who I am. I am able to understand (for the most part) the ideals and wisdom and character my parents instilled into me as a child. I can name my strengths and weaknesses, be okay with them and accept that this is me. 
Walking home the other evening I had a "wow" moment about this extraordinary planet we live on. (This happens to me now and again.) That somehow, unbeknownst to us all, the perfect combination of position, atmosphere and proximity created this earth. That we (the human race) evolved and excelled, and that life in general (plants,animals, the ocean) are here and surviving everyday. So many things could have stopped this from happening and yet I'm alive, breathing, and starring at the stars each night. 
Honestly I cannot say if I believe in g-d or not, I like the idea of religion and was raised in a Jewish household. I am happy with what that contributed to me and I think it can be healthy to have that outlet. But even so I am here, and I'm here now. No one knows what happens when we die, and as easily as that can happen I want to be able to live for each moment I do have. 
I know New Years has passed but I want new resolutions, new goals
1. To smile more
2. Spend more time with my friends and family
3. To take risks
4. Slow down
5. And let the anger go
Not that I'm particularly anger but in general I want to stop wasting my time being angry. 
And to end my interesting spiel on a fun note here are some life quotes to live by
              "This is real,This is me, I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be now"
- Demi Lovato ( Camp Rock!)
" I wish there was no language, and we could all dance"
- Big J (the precocious 4-yr old I care for)

And now let's dance...

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15 May 2014

Barbados was Delicious!

While I was in Barbados last week I was somehow in charge of picking out places to eat- which is totally fine with me because I love food. I used to find all the places we went to, I like reading others reviews and it is helpful to see menus, if kid-friendly or not, and how close everything was to the hotel.

The first night there (Thursday) we just ate at the hotel, which had okay food- they were doing a themed dinner and I had this delicious bajan chicken. I wouldn't necessarily recommend going to the place if you weren't staying on property though. We stayed at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion on the West Coast. Most of the places we dined out were 10-15 minutes away.

The next night (Friday) we went to a restaurant called The Tides. It was one of my favorite meals of the week- first off the restaurant is right on the water and has all these old trees growing throughout it. Kind of makes you feel like you are in a tree house. I had their Calamari Fritti Salad to start with and I seriously just could have eaten that all night. For my main course I had Pan Seared Scallops- which had a middle-eastern theme to them. Also incredible. They did have kids menus and coloring pages to entertain them. The front part of the restaurant is also an art gallery so it was fun to look at some local art work when we went in.
This photo of The Tides is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Saturday night we went to a place called Cariba- it was more of a thai inspired dishes. I started with the apple salad and then had their coconut chicken as my main. I thought both were okay, but the kids devoured their food and both bosses said they liked their meals better than The Tides so we went back to this restaurant again on Tuesday night. The second time I ordered their noodle dish (what my bosses had the first time we went) and it was amazing. I'm glad we went back for the second trip. The places was cute, and very kid friendly, but also nice for a couple.

On Sunday we found ourselves at The Beach House. This used to be an old hotel and the restaurant takes up the whole back deck. Great views and tasty food. I started with their crab spring roll (very yummy) and had their sauteed shrimp for  my main. My only qualm about them was that they only had one kind of pasta available for the kids (linguini) which isn't the best for them to eat on their own.  I would go back though.

This photo of The Beach House Restaurant & Bar is courtesy of TripAdvisor 
Monday night we ate a bit furthur away at a place called The Fish Pot. I really loved this place- it is attached to this super cute inn and literally overhanging the beach. The kids and I watched crabs scuttle around before we ate and the food was superb. I had this almond-crusted goat cheese dish to start and then this perfect roast chicken that came with basil mashed potatoes for my main. drool.

This photo of The Fish Pot is courtesy of TripAdvisor 

The last place we ate at on our adventure was the most local of places called Island Plates. If you travel to Barbados this is worth the trip. They only serve dinner once or twice a week, and do have a limited menu but it's family run and oh so quaint. You eat under the stars and cherish every bite. I started my meal with this amazing homemade eggplant tapenade and pesto. For main dish I had jerk roast lamb with a sweet potato hash- practically licking my plate, seriously. I'm pretty positive they are open for lunch most days.

I hope to go back to Barbados again someday soon- and with my own family/friends. Then we can venture to some of the other local sites and trek a bit further to some other restaurants and places. Everything was super tasty though and some of these places are on my list to visit again!

Linking up with Ashley for Little Friday! 
The Grits Blog
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14 May 2014

Anyone Want to Move to NYC?

Ahh... the joys of finding a roommate in NYC. When I first moved to this crazy place I had the opportunity mostly because one of my sister's roommates was moving out and she had an opening in her apartment. I was lucky enough and extremely grateful to have a place a stay and an option to do so... an option which I definitely took. I lived with my sister and her college roommate, who is basically another sister at this point, for about two and half years. But then they both decided to be grown-ups and move out- my sister to Philadelphia to start grad school and our friend to get her own place.

This led me to the fun adventure of finding new roommates. I decided to stay in our apartment because, thankfully, our rent was relatively cheap and it's much easier to stay in one place then pay for a new apartment deposit, movers, etc.

Since then I've found several roommates and stayed in my humble abode. Roommates have moved out to move in with significant others, move back across the country, to become superstars and more.. I've been grateful to meet some awesome people. And I'm on the hunt again.

These days I use craigslist as my roommate finding tool. I post an ad and hope that a lot of crazies don't respond. When I first started my searches I did use a roommate matching site but never found anyone, honestly all roommates have been craigslist and all have worked out extremely well.  It's interesting how you can a feel from a person just from the first email they send.

I'm currently on the hunt for another roommate and finding the process just as stimulating as always. Here's to finding a roommate! Anyone want to move?

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13 May 2014

Sir List-a-lot

I like big lists and I cannot lie..

Seriously though, lists are the b.o.m.b Without them my life would be utter chaos. Here is a list of things I like to make lists of... exciting, I know

1. Packing Lists- this is pretty essential to any trip I take with children, which at this point in my life is like 90% of my trips. Otherwise I forget the little things like diaper cream or sunblock.. whomp whomp

2. Grocery Lists- these come in all shapes and forms, and I find them just about anywhere I look. Scraps in my pockets, found in last years winter coat- why I wanted a papaya in December, I do not know

3. Baby names- Future unborn children, your names have been sincerely thought out since the day I turned 11. I would nicely try to imagine that every female does this, but if you don't/haven't/not even one in your head?really?  I guess I can understand-ish

4. Birthday presents- because who doesn't want to start planning their birthday gifts as soon as their birthday is over?! I'm adding a good pair of chopsticks to my birthday list this year btw.. keep that in mind.

5. The Bucket List- the oscar in the world of list making, this one is always evolving and hopefully as I grow into my old age, gets shorter with every step I take... sigh. No really though, if you don't have one, you should think about it- it's nice to have some goals, no matter how ridiculous they are. ( But after watching Gravity on the airplane to Barbados- I will now be taking off going to space for forever. no thank you!)

Linking up for Listed Tuesday's because lists are clearly the best inventions ever. And out.

Erica Jacquline
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12 May 2014

Is it Monday already..?

Welllll.... I'm back! Barbados was beautiful and I hope I get to go back sometime on my own, and not with work. The weather was fantastic though and thankfully I was able to get rid of my pasty-white legs without having to expose them to all of Manhattan.. just in time for this lovely disgusting weather in the 80s.

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, and HARD-WORKING Moms out there.  You are all amazing and talented. Thank you for everything you do!!

I had a nice weekend unpacking and getting back into the swing of life, Phoenix and Sadie were ridiculously ecstatic to see me and spent every moment they could clinging to my side. This may have made sleeping a bit tough but who needs sleep?

I spent a wonderful Sunday with my sister, wandering around the streets of nyc- enjoying a tasty brunch, perusing a street-fair and embellishing an online dating profile. I'm thinking of doing a fun blogging series... 30 dates in 60 days? hmm thoughts, comments, concerns? It will definitely be interesting.

Here's to Mondays! 

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08 May 2014

Currently I Am...

- lounging in the sun, drinking a mojito, and loving the weather in Barbados. Very sad we are leaving tomorrow but also happy to go home.

- trying to find a new roommate via Craigslist. Anyone want to move to NYC?

- wishing the weather wasn't going to be so warm next week.  I know , I know I'm chatting about sunning but warm weather in manhattan is just gross. To me at least. 

- looking forward to reunion at the end if the month! Which is also the next time I have non-weekend day off from work. 

- wondering why Harry being bitten by the basilisk in the chamber of secrets didn't destroy the horcrux in him. Huh? Why? I need answers! (Even though I actually already have them with Fawkes crying on him or whatever.) 

-  excited to have so many new readers! Sorry I've been MIA- work vacation calls..

- trying out this blogger app for a post. We will see how it goes!


05 May 2014

10 Favorite Things About Traveling!

I write this post as I am traveling with work.. and as much as the work aspect sucks I do love to travel! Brianna, over at Endlessly Beloved, has come up with a great topic for this month's 10 Favorite Things. And so my 10 favorite things about traveling are...

1) Exploring new places! I've been fortunate enough to be able to travel to several states and countries and I love exploring and learning about different places.

2) Meeting new friends- one of my favorite things about traveling is meeting all the new people. Others who also might be traveling, as well as the locals (who always have the best recommendations)!

3) Seeing old friends! Sometimes traveling involves visiting old friends, or running into them randomly on the streets of Scotland, Rome or Israel (all of which has happened to me)!

4) Shopping- like duh! I don't know what is better about traveling and shopping, preparing for your trip and getting to buy new things? or.. shopping on the trip and seeing what the town/city/country has to offer. Hello souvenirs!

5) History- I love learning about the history of places and I think one of the best things about traveling is going to historical homes and places and getting to see everything hands on.Williamsburg is a favorite place of my family's to travel, and my favorite thing about studying abroad in London was the history of the city and country.

6) Staying in hotels- it is so nice to stay in a hotel where they make your bed everyday, you always have fresh towels and you can add that super expensive room service for the night you are feeling lazy, or for breakfast. and did I mention the fun travel size shampoo/conditioners you can steal use..

7) FOOD- what could be better than trying new foods, and drinks! I love tasting the local cuisine or trying that hip restaurant on the other side of the country. Traveling gives you the experience to do this and enjoy it! I'm going to Paris at the end of August and I already told my family that I plan on eating cheese, bread, and chocolate, with wine of course, the entire time I'm there.

8) Relaxation - Traveling can be stressful, but it can also be very relaxing. You can take your time to explore, eat, sleep. Add an extra day to lay by the beach or just picnic in park.

9) the Experience- the experience of traveling is what makes us stronger, more educated and cultured. It helps grow our passions and voice. You are able to learn another way of life, lifestyle, and open your eyes to new and different things. The memories you receive are life-long and incredible.

10) Adding to my passport- I love filling up my passport and receiving a new stamp when I entry a country. It is a fun thing to look at when you are home and remember entering the new country, or coming home. It also reminds me of the crazy airport experiences, lost luggage and all sorts of other shenanigans that go along with travel.

All in all - I love to travel and hope that I have the opportunity for my entire life. Whether it is seeing someplace new, or exploring a town I've been to several times-there is always something new to see, learn and try!
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04 May 2014

Let's have a Sunday Social!

1. Who do you call when you need to vent? My mom and sister

2. Where do you go when you need alone time? My room/apartment, sometimes I walk around the city if the weather is nice

3. What is your favorite alone time activity? Reading and watching Disney Movies

4. What is something we should all stop and read right now? Living in Yellow's Secrets Anonymous post- an eye-opening post that can also bring us all together

5. Who do you wish would read your blog that doesn’t already? Family? Celeb? Hmm- that's a tough one. Celebrities reading my blog would totally be cool- but I wouldn't care who, maybe Miley Cyrus?!
Sunday Social

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