Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The "One Chore a Day" Challenge

Master of the clothing piles!
Recently, the "basic organization" situation in my apartment has become a bit, errrr, dire. Having missed spring cleaning entirely, I now find myself existing amongst a sea of piles. The piles consist of everything from clothing, which I long ago gave up on finding a proper home for (since my dresser and closet require a hazmat suit) to homegoods (where do YOU keep your spiralizer and funky shaped gold flower vases!?) The need for a good overhaul/goodwill deposit is so far overdue that the idea seems like a fantasy (I had an actual dream where my apartment was spic and span which made waking up the nightmare...) This is why I have adopted the "One Chore a Day" Challenge for the month of July.

I once read that the best way to tackle a big project, especially housework, is to break it down into smaller projects that you can complete individually. This gives you a personal sense of accomplishment and progress while avoiding the overwhelmed feeling that a big task can create. Starting on Saturday, I have tackled one small project each day, first removing the piles of laundry from the corner of my bedroom and now organizing my dresser drawers, 1 at a time. This strategy has translated to about 20 minutes of "chores" per day which can easily be managed while on the phone or as a break from work (#WorkingFromHomeForTheWin) 

At this rate, I hope to get through all the tasks on my list in about a month (I'm comin for you kitchen pantry!) and I won't ever have to give up a full day of fun in order to play Cinderella. It's the "One Chore a Day" Challenge for the month of July. Who's with me!?!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Annnd it's Monday.

I do believe we did.
For those of you dying to hear what Dr. H and I finally settled on for our 4th of July vacation (anyone!?!)... brace yourselves... it was a STAYCATION... and it was awesome! I confess, we actually barely "stayed" (I think our waking-hours-at-home grand total was under 4) but that's because we were busy exploring new parts of NYC, day-tripping to surrounding areas, scoring coveted reservations and even went back in time with Dave Matthews. It was relaxing and adventurous, work-less (YAY!) and an escape from my home/home-office fatigue. Here are some of the highlights of our Staycation adventure.

Did you know that you can do some incredible hiking just 1 hour north of NYC!? Growing up on Long Island, I was only familiar with the LI Sound side of Westchester County, but thanks to my Albany-born hubby, I've discovered the beautiful Hudson side and I love it! The riverfront small towns are packed with charm and the Hudson Highlands are a gorgeous place to hike and enjoy some fresh air. 

Not a skyscraper in site!
Cold Spring, NY from above
We travelled about 75 minutes north and got off in Cold Spring. The hiking trails are about a 10 minute walk from town, 15 total from the train station so no car needed!

My cocktail on the left was served in a chili pepper
Dr. H's on the right came in a flask w metal straw!
On Thursday night, we scored an IMPOSSIBLE-to-get reservation at ZZs Clam Bar, a 15-seat restaurant in the Village which I've had my eye on for months! The all-raw menu was out of this world delicious and I tried and loved everything from uni (that's sea urchin!) to oysters (and I never eat oysters!) The cocktails were also pretty outrageous as you can see from my shameless mid-meal photo snaps. Dr. H and I also loved the chic, inmate space which made it feel like we were at a dinner party more than out to a restaurant.

Friday the sun was shining bright and this water-loving girl was in need of some beach time so what's a car-less NYC couple to do? Head to the Rockaways of course!!

The view from the A Train, note JFK airport on the distance on the left!!
THIS IS NEW YORK CITY!!! (GOD I love this place!!) 
It could not be easier to get from anywhere in NYC to a beach that feels worlds away. There are plenty of Brooklyn options as well (I like Brighton and Coney Island is great,  but we wanted to stay away from 4th of July/Hot Dog contest crowds!) but we took the A to the S and in about 75 minutes went from our apt to this spot by the sea. I also highly recommend Playland Motel for delicious seafood and of course a post-beach beer:)

Finally, on Saturday we hopped on another train (man we take a lot of trains!), this time bound for Saratoga by way of Albany (Dr. H's hometown!) to see Dave Matthews Band (with Bela Fleck!!) at SPAC. Saratoga is a charming little town with a massive amount of culture, from shopping and art to the racetrack and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, SPAC (summer home of the NYC Ballet as well as a great outdoor concert venue). 

Just a few people ready for a concert!
Though it's been more than a little while since I thought about a Dave Matthews song (other than when I'm jamming to 90s on 9 of course) DMB did not let us down and the beautiful evening brought back a flood of middle school memories for Dr. H and I (which were funny to share since we hadn't met one another yet!)

So there you have it. A staycation for the ages and everything you need to know about how to travel far and wide in NYC without traveling very far or wide at all!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Let Freedom Ring!

Here's wishing you and yours a sunny, tasty, relaxing, fireworks filled Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First Day of Camp

If you know Dr. H and I, you know that Wet Hot American Summer is our shared absolute favorite movie (independently he goes Sister Act II/League of Their Own (seriously) and I go Sleeping Beauty/Harry Potter). You also may have heard that Netflix is coming out with a "prequel" to this insanely-cast cult classic.

Well... the full trailer for "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" has arrived and it is BEEEEEEYOND glorious. Like grinning at my screen, laughing out loud, officially counting down until July 31st when I plan to binge watch like I never have before glorious. The whole cast is back and the comedy is lookin SPOT.ON. That is all (I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hump Day Distractions.

No way this is Abe approved. (Do you get it?!)
Today is hump day for some, or Friday for others (aka, ME!) No matter what day you're living, here are some goodies from around the web to make it just a little bit more awesome!

* One can never have enough fruit/slushy cocktail recipes heading into 4th of July weekend (AmIRight!?)
* Ladies, are we going to finally be able to say goodbye to plastic applicators (boo environment!) and diaper-esque maxipads?! Maybe...!
* How does your home state rank? (Not too shabby NY!)
* Chrissy Teigen and her tits are awesome (literally. NSFW!)
* Some more red, white and blue outfit inspiration.
* An interesting (and noble) solution to a sports-related transgender question I've been asking. 
* I'm a sucker for simple, open-faced fresh tomato sandwiches.
* You're about to feel very old.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Goldilocks and the 4th of July Weekend

Aren't we all in search of "just right!?"
Dr. H and I have no idea what we're doing for July 4th weekend. As a friend kindly pointed out this morning, yes we know that it is 48(ish) hours away, but alas, we have no plans. We had plans, but unfortunately they unexpectedly fell apart, so now we are back to square one, a location we have not accepted lightly.

Last night, Dr. H and I spent over 4 hours scouring the internet and exploring the globe for a 4th of July destination.  Like Ms. Goldilocks, we are willing to try just about anything, but unfortunately everything is "not quite right". Coastal Europe? Too expensive. Vieques, Puerto Rico? Too much travel to get there. Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota? Not enough time to properly plan. Everywhere on the US eastern seaboard? Booked. Solid.

So here we are, about 36 hours from our first scheduled vacation day and still in search of the vacation that will be "just right". Maybe it'll be day trips to hike/beach capped off with evenings in an empty city dining at all the hot spots normally packed with New Yorkers. Maybe it will be the waterpark capital of the world. Maybe it'll be Mexico. Who knows? Whatever we ultimately select, with Dr. H by my side, I'm sure it will be juuuuust right (awww:).

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mother Nature you Mother *bleeeeeeep*-er

Sunshine Spotted (1 hr before it was time to go home)
Greetings friends and lovers from sunny and temperate New York. So sunny in fact, that one would never even guess that it rained here ALL WEEKEND, or wait, I stand corrected, until about 4pm yesterday... just in time for you to pack back into the car, say "adios!" to your beach-weekend accommodations and curse the weather gods for this unfortunate turn of events. 
(#Bitter #AtLeasttheTriptoTargetwasfun?!)

Because holding a grudge never made anything better (other than being a delightful outlet for my twisted, dark emotions...) I thought we should kick off the week by focusing on the END of the week and the upcoming July 4th holiday. I LOVE July 4th because it's summer, sunshine (hopefully!), BBQ, fireworks... do I have to continue?! Here to kick off our holiday week are some essentials of the red white and blue variety. Enjoy!

This is one of those crafts that's going to get you a LOT of oohs, ahhhs and "how do you have the times!?" but in truth, it's super easy and adorable to look at. Paper cones, cupcake liners and star stickers are the essential items needed to make these adorable patriotic treat cones... plus of course your favorite surprise sweets. Full tutorial HERE.

Is there anything as American as apple pie? (I would argue, yes, absolutely... ever heard of hamburgers and, hello!? George Washington!? I digress...) For those looking to stick with tradition and pie however, click HERE to learn how to make those cute lil pies on a stick and other adorable yet classy 4th themed items.

Like all good Americans, I love potatoes and mayonnaise, so it should come as no surprise that I'm endorsing preparation of a decadent potato salad to accompany your burgers and dogs. THIS bacon ranch recipe looks pretty freakin bananas, but here's the whole darn Pinterest "potato salad" search result because how on earth was I supposed to select just one!?

Since looking adorable is an essential part of your July 4th festivities (and overnight shipping puts the world of patriotic fashion just a click away!) here and here are some great suggestions for getting all chic, red, white and bluey!

I pledge allegiance to the patriotic sangria. Anyone else want to cheers to that!?