A Weekend Work Day

Today was rainy and the perfect day to stay inside and do nothing but eat and hide under blankets. I did this all morning, but  at one point I had to get dressed and carry my broken umbrella through the rain because I had an appointment. Today, I had to checkout the butterfly conservatory at the Natural History Museum. My job (my paying job) often requires me to review child-appropriate activities in the city, like looking at butterflies.

blackbutterfly copy

 

It wasn’t easy to get excited about spending my rainy relaxing day reviewing a new exhibit, but once I was actually there I felt much better. Turns out that every single New York family goes to museums on rainy Sundays, who knew? I’ve never seen a museum so crowded. I was happy I had the luxury of taking my time. I also had the opportunity to get a pass to the new frog exhibit!

whitelippedpp brightgreen

THESE were definitely my favorite!
THESE were definitely my favorite!

The frogs were cool. I had a nice time checking out the tiny neon colored poisonous ones and the huge African bullfrogs. I was mostly thrilled because they were all alive. The Natural History Museum is mostly full of dioramas depicting animal scenes throughout history. All of the stuffed fake animals look too real to me and I can’t help but feel like I’m in a zoo of dead animals. I much prefer the real ones…although the fact that they are trapped in aquariums is a little depressing.

Whatever, the butterfly conservatory was awesome and the exact opposite of depressing!

conservatory

 

Thankfully, the museum only allows you to enter the conservatory if you have a special ticket (bought separately) for a specific time, so it can’t ever get too crowded. The conservatory must have had a million butterflies! I don’t think one person can walk through without having a butterfly land on them at some point. They had butterflies and moths of every shape, size and color. One was at least 12 inches wide.

eatingflutterbyes camobutterfly bigblue

 

While snapping some photos, I heard a woman behind me tell her son, “look a butterfly is on that lady’s camera!”. I looked down, and sure enough a little flutterby decided to take up residence on my lens! He hung out with me for about 15 minutes until the swoosh of someone’s ponytail scared him away.

butterflyoncamera

I spent a little extra time roaming around before picking up Starbucks and hopping on the bus home. When I got on the bus I was embarrassed to learn that there was no money left on my MetroCard. I sat there digging through my purse for change while the driver glared impatiently. At that moment, a man with an adorable toddler (they even had on matching shirts) came over and kindly swiped his card for me. I was SO grateful to not have to stand there in shame anymore and be forced off the bus, back into the pouring rain. Thank you friendly Dad on the M86 bus, you are a lifesaver!

So, I did have to spend part of my day off “working”, but after the butterflies, the coffee and the friendly bus rider I felt pretty good. Plus, I had the whole evening to relax and catch up on life. Good day.

Cheers!

Everything is Changing

This week has been painful. It all began with me discovering that I am indeed NOT pregnant (when I really thought/knew I was). I have wanted to be a Mom for…well, for as long as I can remember, and now that we are finally financially ready and stable enough to become parents I just cannot wait. It is probably my fault because I have been obsessive, and stressing myself out this month thinking about finally having a baby. I know it can take time, and that it’s important to relax (blah blah blah), but it sure seems like everyone single person on my Facebook newsfeed has gotten knocked up this year. So tell me fellow Facebookers, what’s your secret?

I was so certain that this was the month that I had planned out exactly how to tell everyone the news. It all began with treating Husband to breakfast at one of our favorite diners and spelling out congratulations with whip cream  on his pancakes. I had already planned EVERYTHING. The planning should have been my first indicator that things would not workout my way. But, how on Earth do I keep myself from planning or getting my hopes up?! My mind is completely consumed with all things baby.

Other than that huge disappointment….it is our last week in our NY apartment. I have tried to prepare for this week for the last month, but with 3 guests and Husband being out-of-town for a couple of weeks it’s been difficult to get it done. We have a couple of days left to get everything packed into cardboard boxes and get all those teeny nail holes spackled. I am so excited to get into a real house with real rooms, but it’s still sad to say good-bye to our first and only New York apartment. In the last two years, we have had about 40 visitors stay with us, approximately 400 dinners delivered and only one mouse.

Since, we are moving out of our apartment, I will be moving into my Grandma-in-law’s apartment for the next month. Thankfully, she is willing to let me stay at her place while I finish up my last few weeks of work, but how on Earth do I pack for a month? In the last 3 days I wore a tank top with a skirt, pants and a coat, and rain boots with a raincoat. The weather here seems to be bi-polar. Do I need my heels? My cowboy boots? A bathing suit? Silver jewelry? My straightener? My coffee maker? A month is just a little too long for one suitcase.

The worst part about all this moving is that Husband is leaving for Tennessee a month before me. I hate when he is out-of-town for just a week. Now he will be moving into our new home, and Belle is going with him. I know I will be lonely without him here, but I will also be a little scared. Even though, my panic attacks have been scarce the last few months, I felt safe knowing that Husband is around to console me if needed. Just the idea of being alone for a month makes me anxious. Who is going to remind me that I am not dying? Anyone want to be my roommate for the next month?

On the bright side? Well… I can still drink coffee without fear of hurting a fetus. Grandma’s apartment has an elevator, laundry in the building, a bathtub AND cable! Staying at her place will be like staying at a resort this next month. And, even though I will miss Husband, I won’t miss unpacking and fixing all the little things in our new house. By the time I arrive, the most annoying tasks will be complete. (Right, Husband?)

Wish us luck as we start our new adventure, find new jobs and hopefully expand our tiny family!

Cheers!

The Nephew

I had very good intentions of writing to you all weekend and sharing my memories with my new nephew with the world, but somewhere between getting my flight canceled, traveling for 20 hours and then holding my nephew for the first time, I forgot. I spent the entire weekend with my beautiful nephew, and never even left my parent’s house. (Luckily, a few of my friends were willing to make the trip out to the “country” to come see me.) I only got two days to make a good impression on this beautiful little miracle, so I did my best to teach spoil him and teach him a few valuable lessons.

I gave him a few new outfits and this adorable hand crocheted octopus from Le Zoe Musings and Amanda Jo Crafts. Thanks ladies!

octupus

I taught him all about reality television, beginning with the Kardashians.

eyes

We napped together…

asleep

Woke up together…

yawn

And we enjoyed the beautiful Texas spring weather.

meoutside

Every moment with him was a pleasure. It was also amazing to see my sister and my brother-in-law as parents. I never doubted they’d be great parents, but actually seeing it is awesome! My sister seems so natural as a Mother, and happier than ever. Geez, I’m a little teary eyed just writing it.

micahcouch

What a great weekend! Now, if  I could just get home. Once again I am stuck at the airport with a long flight delay…I’m so ready to see my Husband; it’s been two weeks too long. Oh well, I managed to get a free pass to the Admiral’s Club this time which is very snazzy.

Excuse me while I go refill my free coffee and snack plate.

Cheers!

Must. Have. Coffee

Last night I did not sleep. Like, at all. I put on Sabrina assuming I’d drift off to Audrey’s pleasant voice and dream of attending culinary school in Paris. I did not. Next, I put on season 4 of Boy Meets World…which played until my alarm went off. At one point, I started to drift off, but dreamed that our apartment was infested with rats (the big kind that live in the train stations). I woke up terrified and positive that rats were crawling across the floor. Needless to say, I made my coffee extra strong this morning.

No day is easy on little to no sleep, but working with children is excruciating. How is it that every child has unlimited amounts of energy!? My job is more or less to exhaust them. It never works. The only person panting and running for the water fountain at the end of an hour-long intense cardio-type class is me. My zombie state today mostly consisted of me pretending to be excited and full of energy. At one point I started singing “Good Time” in order to hold my eyes open and thankfully my class of 5 year olds quickly joined in and sang along.

The sleepless night left me with a migraine and a twitching left eye as well. I wear many hats in my job which means I run from place to place all day long on a strict schedule. I was so delirious today that I showed up late to 3 classes and went to the wrong class twice. Thankfully, everyone at my job is either understanding or oblivious.

I keep saying I am going to cut back to one cup of a coffee a day, but today I didn’t even feel guilty when I ran across the street to Starbucks for a midday iced coffee. As I ordered coffee with a friend from work we decided to eat lunch and drink our coffee outside because it was 80 degrees outside. 80 DEGREES. We took our shoes off, rolled up our yoga pants and within minutes a few more co-workers joined us and we sun-bathed through our entire lunch break.

Wow. What a difference some vitamin D makes. After lunch, every one of us returned happier, warmer and energized. I think I forgot what warmth felt like; this has been the longest winter ever!

So, the cure to a sleepless night: iced coffee and sunbathing. It does a body good.

Tonight, I am going to bed with the windows open, some sleepy-time tea and a good book. Let’s see if this works!

Cheers!

*If you read the post before I updated it, then you probably noticed that I’m so sleepy I couldn’t even insert the link to the video correctly. I give up. Good night!

We Bought a House, Not in NY

Remember that blog I wrote about making my biggest adult decision? I wrote about how I always make plans, how those plans always change and how our newest plan is to buy a home in New York City. Well, as you all have figured out now, our plans changed again.

We have had lots of trouble finding a home here. The apartments are either too expensive, too small or too far away. After months of frustration and terrible realtors Husband said words I never thought I’d hear him say…”Why don’t we look in Tennessee?” I was shocked, but excited because I have been secretly looking at houses in Middle Tennessee for months; not because I didn’t want to live in New York, but because I knew we would move back eventually and I just liked looking at what was on the market.

We  agreed to keep looking in both places, but Tennessee kept looking better and better. Over spring break I flew to Nashville to look at dozens of houses with our new realtor and my in-laws. I was supposed to look alone because Husband was in Boston, but fortunately he was flown in to work and had the day off my last day there. We spent this day looking at the house that was my favorite. We spent HOURS in this house discussing, planning, crying and debating.

Choosing a home is HARD. We want the home we buy to be as close to our dream house as possible because we want this to be the home we raise a family in, the home where we stay. This home has to have plenty of space, a big yard, outdoor seating areas, lots of windows, a good school district, big closets and character (no cookie cutter homes please).

The house we looked at that last morning has almost every one of those qualities, and where it’s lacking, it makes up for in potential.  After a few hours of discussing every possible pro and con we put an offer on the house, just minutes before I hopped in the car to head to the airport. I was so sick to my stomach when I landed in New York that I made the taxi driver roll down the windows even though it was 35 degrees outside. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and would vomit at any moment. Also, I wanted to soak in every bit of the city possible. I know Husband and I will be happy no matter where we live, but how do I know if this house/move is the right decision for us? For our family?!

The next day, while waiting in the airport for my friend Sara, I got the call that our offer was accepted, and I stood in the middle of the airport with my jaw on the floor because excitement and terror hit me like a train. We get a house. We get a real home with real rooms and bathtubs, closets, dishwashers and a laundry room. We get to start a family. We will be so close to family and friends. BUT, we have to leave NY. I have to quit my job, the job I love. We are going to settle down. We are going to live on 3 acres where no one will deliver Thai vegetarian duck at 2am!

All week I have had dreams that my teeth are falling out or that I’m in a pageant and I have no makeup on and my hair is a mess. My face is breaking out. I cry because I feel too blessed. I cry because Central Park won’t be 5 blocks away. Then, I spend an hour pinning home decor ideas on Pinterest. I’m pretty sure this means I feel unprepared and that I deal horribly with change. I am really very excited to move and start a new life, just a little sad to leave too.

I cried when I told my boss, but feel better now.

I want to tell you all about the house and share pictures, but we still have inspections and whatnot to go through before it closes so there is still a little chance something terrible could be wrong with the home, but let’s hope that’s not the case. Once everything is said and done, I will be thrilled to share many many more details. (Like the fact the most adorable little coffee shop is right down the road and they make the best lattes!)

Anyways, send us lots of love, luck, prayers, and positive vibes until then. Nashville….looks like I’ll be seeing you in June!

Cheers!

My Daily Ritual (Giveaway)

I walk to and from work everyday, and take the subway often. Living in New York I am ALWAYS around hundreds of people (or so it seems). Since I am anxious 99% of the time, this is often overwhelming. I don’t like listening to everyone around me (unless someone is the middle of some really good gossip), I hate when strangers touch me (even if it is an accidental bump) and I feel like I need to be doing something to separate myself from the crowds. Sometimes I read, but most often I jam out to Pandora or one of my playlist. It’s my daily ritual.

If I accidently leave home with my headphones I feel like I must run to work, get there as fast as I can to avoid the lonely, yet crowded, walk to work. The gym is even worse! It’s virtually impossible to workout without good music, how did anyone workout before mp3 players or group fitness classes?!? I use my headphones so often to escape from reality that Husband thought I should invest in a pair of wireless headphones…lucky for me, Outdoor Technology agreed.

tags

Outdoor Technology is the same super cool company who brought us the Turtle! Now they’ve created these wireless earbuds with bluetooth to take with you everywhere.

wireless

So let me give you the pros and cons of these fancy pants headphones. They have lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (I don’t even know why “lithium-ion” is important, but apparently it is). This is fine and easy, but also easy to forget. I have never had to charge my headphones before and you can imagine my shock and disappointment when they died not 20 seconds after I walked into they gym. Won’t make that mistake again.

coffeemug

The headphones pause and playback when someone calls. There is also a microphone so you can answer and talk while wearing the headphones. It will work up to 30 feet from the connected device and last for about  6 hours. It was really easy to pair with my iPhone and I assume would be easy to pair with anything that has bluetooth. The sound is soooo good! I have always used the headphones that come with Apple products, so I was a little disoriented when I used these and couldn’t hear hardly anything around me. They are isolating headphones and they work very well.

withphone

My favorite part is that they come with different sized earbuds! I have abnormally small ears and have always had a problem with earbuds falling out or hurting my ears after wearing them for too long. They also come with ear clips…that’s probably not the technical word, but that’s basically what they do.

pieces

Now, my favorite thing to share is that Outdoor Technology is hosting another giveaway here! Yay! Like always, it’s pretty darn easy to enter:

1) Follow my blog.

2) Follow me on Facebook.

3)Leave a comment below. Tell me your guilty pleasure music or what you had for breakfast. I don’t really care, just leave a comment!

I’ll randomly pick a name and Outdoor Technology will send you your new Tags!

*Winner will be chosen on Thursday, April 18th!

Good luck ladies and gents!

Cheers!

Day Trip to D.C.

While my friend Sara was staying with us we decided to take an overnight trip to Washington DC, because why wouldn’t we have a 24 hour road trip during her four-day NYC vacation? Sara and I had many many road trips during our year together in Albania, which are some of my fondest and most ridiculous memories. (Like the time we found 20 puppies at the Montenegro/Albania border and stopped for an hour to play with them….Or the time we went caving and discovered the most beautiful blue stream.) I have been anxiously awaiting another adventure!

Puppies!
Puppies!
The Montenegro/Albania border
The Montenegro/Albania border
The start of our hike...
The start of our hike…
The end of our hike
The end of our hike

Plus, the main reason for the visit, the only reason really, was to meet up with another friend who we met in Albania! Our friend Meghan was in the Peace Corps in Albania and is now living in DC. We took a 5 hour bus on Friday morning and arrived to our Nation’s Capital with just enough daylight to checkout DC’s most popular attractions. Also, one of Husband’s friends from high school (they haven’t seen each other in 11 years!) lives in DC. Husband’s long-lost friend was nice enough to pick us up at the train station and act as our tour guide.

The Capital Building
The Capital Building
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument
Mr. Lincoln
Mr. Lincoln

I tried telling the friendly men with guns that I had a coffee date with Michelle, but no one took me seriously…Sorry Mrs. Obama guess we will have to have coffee in New York!

Husband and I in front of the The White House.
Husband and I in front of the The White House.

For dinner, we met up with our friend Meghan and had Albanian food and alcohol at a new Balkan style restaurant! It was not only freakin’ amazing food, but so nostalgic. AND, I ATE SALMON. I have been a vegetarian for almost 5 whole years, but lately I have been seriously craving fish. I don’t know if it was the Albanian rakia or the excitement of the whole day, but I gave into temptation and ordered salmon for dinner. I was sick all night, but it was SO worth it.

3 different flavors of Rakia
3 different flavors of Rakia
Bacon-wrapped prunes
Bacon-wrapped prunes
Of course the meal had to end with an espresso
Of course the meal had to end with an espresso

It was the most fun night I have had in a long time. Husband and I shared a couch that night, but I made sure to get some snuggle/girl talk time in the morning!

IMG_5852

 

We were back on a bus to NY by 10am. It was a quick trip, but worth every excruciating minute on the bus. Cannot wait until our next reunion!

Cheers!

Nashville…The City and The TV Drama

Whew…my 4 days in Nashville have been a whirlwind of emotions. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing getaway. It was more of a hectic, stressful, exciting, very busy business trip. I would love to share every detail of what is happening that is making me so stressed and crazy, but it’s just not the right time. And, NO, we aren’t pregnant.

Between the crazy moments there were some great moments. I got to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. We had so much coffee and junk food, which was perfect for every stressful moment. I got to spend some quality time with my beautiful cousin-in-law. I celebrated Passover, got a surprise visit from Husband  AND, I got to visit a dear friend who I had tragically lost touch with over the last year. She now has a beautiful baby and we spent an entire afternoon catching up, reminiscing and starting off right where we left off.

Mommy with her sweet baby girl!
Mommy with her sweet baby girl!

photo-1

 

After my girlfriend date, another business-like dinner and exactly 400 emails and phone calls I decided to take a break and visit Husband at work. He didn’t actually fly down to see me…He was flown in to work on Nashville (the TV show), my being there was just an added bonus.

I LOVE visiting Husband on set, any set. Working in film is not near as exciting as it seems. The workers mostly sit around and wait all day. The days are very long and not very exciting. (Not that they can complain, they get many fringe benefits too!). Visiting someone who works in film is exciting. I like to be able to visit, pick up some snacks and coffee at craft services, watch the actors for a bit, wear headphones so I can hear the jokes everyone cracks back and forth between takes and then leave when I get bored of seeing the same scene for the 400th time.

nashville

 

I didn’t want to be one of those people snapping photos and looking like I don’t belong, so this is the best pic I got. (Don’t tell anyone, but I have yet to actually watch an episode of Nashville… However, watching this dramatic scene over and over got me hooked and I would like to see the outcome now!)

This particular scene was being shot on location at a home in Nashville. It was freezing outside and most of the crew had to be out there for 14 hours. When I arrived there were people either huddling in front of space heaters, eating catered Bar-be-que, powdering Connie’s nose, or texting on their phones. It was just all so glamorous.

I’m already back in NYC, it seems like I just left. I have a friend coming to visit me tomorrow who haven’t seen in almost two years! Can’t wait to tell you about our adventures. With this particular friend wild times are sure to happen!

Cheers!

A Lovely Way to Adorn Your Plain Ol’ Boring iPad (Giveaway!)

Like my good friend Lorelei Gilmore, I like to make ugly things pretty with a little color and sparkles. As a teacher I get to put sparkles and bows on everything without any criticism, it’s basically my job to make everything look like it was invaded by fairies and unicorns. I also like to carry this over into my personal life. Husband isn’t a fan of glitter or anything kitschy, so I must come up with other ways to beautify my life and inanimate objects. Take my iPad for example…in less than three months I have gotten 4 iPad cases.

First, was the Juicy snake-skin case as a Christmas present from Husband. Next was the beautiful hand-made leather iPad case from Uncle Kelly. Then, there was the eco-friendly elephant case from Concrete Mode.

threeNow, friends I have another beautiful iPad case. This one comes from Herschel Supply Co. Brand. (The finest quality)

herschel

 

I think it has a nice clean look…not too cheesy. It also goes with most of my bags…obvious plus. The inside is lined with a super soft furry lining.

ipadsleeve slideout type wallpaper

 

Not only is the case nice, but the company is nice and generous and wants me to host a giveaway! Yay for you!

latte

 

To win an identical case to mine simply follow my blog and comment below! Tell me why you want to beautify your iPad, tablet or nook OR tell me your poison at Starbucks!

Good luck to all! *Giveaway will end Tuesday, March 19th.

Cheers!

 

Monday Funday

You probably know now that my weekends consist of Sunday and Monday. I actually had to go to work both Sunday and today (only for a couple of hours), but that didn’t ruin my weekend. Husband has been out-of-town, as well as sister-in-law, so I decided to use the weekend for some much needed relaxation, organizing and cleaning. Fun right? I had a great brunch yesterday with several relatives and spent the rest of the day shopping (only for necessities of course…yes, Husband, Sephora is necessary).

Today, I had a doctor appointment,  a little work, but the rest of the day was glorious. I woke up to snuggles from my love pup and a very sunny city.

photo IMG_4852Belle and I took a nice walk, searched for new homes, played with her new toy (Petunia the porcupine) and bought some Gerber daisies to brighten up the desk.

IMG_4850 photo-1

 

 

After I left the doctor, I rewarded myself with Starbucks, a great phone conversation with one of the best girls I know, and a coffee date with another good friend.

IMG_4861

Got to love the trains.
Got to love the trains.

I also got to snuggle my cat-nieces to death today. I’m the best sister-in-law ever and I’ve been cat sitting for Zoey for the last four days. These cats are super needy, but I still love em’.

IMG_4893 IMG_4892

 

Now, I’m home eating delicious delivered vegan food (“chicken” and avocado sandwich, fries and a butterfinger “milkshake”) and watching the worst guilty pleasure, The Bachelor. Belle is busy being a Diva and hogging my favorite pillow.

IMG_4891 IMG_4863

 

It’s been fun, but I can’t wait to see Husband tomorrow!

Cheers!