Cheers to 28

In my 28th year I learned to say “no”. I realized that staying in was okay to do. Reading a book and ordering takeout on a Friday night became something I looked forward to rather than going out. I drank tea every night before bed. I traveled to Florida, the Bahamas, Niagara Falls, New York City and Las Vegas. I drank a lot of champagne, wine and beer. I tried new foods. I spent more time with my beautiful friends than I have in years. I became even closer friends with my brilliant baby sister. I tried new things. I loved more than ever. I fell in love with barre. I trusted myself a little bit more. I challenged myself. I loved to the tips of my fingers. In my 28th year I was reminded that life doesn’t go as planned and that’s okay.

In my 29th year I will travel and I will love more than I have ever loved before. I will be the best version of me. I will celebrate marriages and babies with my family and friends. 

Cheers to 28. Here’s to my final year of my 20’s (and hopefully the best one yet!)

Xo

Blue apron: meal review

I’ve been seeing a lot on social media about Blue Apron and have been dying to try it. It seemed a bit pricy so I didn’t jump on board until Groupon ran a $39 deal for three meals for two people. Score! We immediately signed up to receive our meals. They do require you to enter a credit card number at the time of registering, even when using the groupon. Make sure to cancel your weekly delivers if you don’t want to be charged $59 a week! 

Our three nights of meals was expected to be delivered on Tuesday 1/19 but due to the unpredictable Upstate NY weather, ours came to us a day late. I wasn’t home when my husband opened the box but he said that everything was packed nicely and it was still fresh! We got to work on our first meal; Cod & Potato Brandade. It was served with watermelon radish salad and garlic toasts. 

The recipe said it would take 15 minutes to prep. I’d say it took closer to 25 minutes. Nothing was too difficult to make and everything was super tasty. Here are our thoughts about our first Blue Apron meal:

-They include the majority of the ingredients except for olive oil. This shouldn’t be a big deal but this recipe continuously called for it. Thankfully we just replenished our olive oil supply or we would have had to substitute. We were disappointed that they didn’t include the amount of olive oil along with the other ingredients. Oh and here’s a tip; if you have basting oil (wegmans brand is our fave), use that for the cod rather than plain olive oil. It will add a bit more flavor!

-The ingredients listed “one large potato”. Instead they sent a few small potatoes. Not too big of a deal but this took a bit more time for us to peel the multiple small potatoes than it would have to peel one large.

-The steps to the recipe were odd. The timing didn’t seem to match up. We were able to make it work and have everything finish at the same time once we re-worked the steps a bit.

-My husband loved the watermelon radish. They were pretty to look at too!

-The serving sizes were generous. My husband devoured his plate of food and felt satisfied. I have been battling a horrible sinus thing, so I ate about half and saved the rest for lunch. 

Overall, this first meal was pretty good! We are excited to have a new fish recipe to make on our own and even more excited to experience brandade. Tonight we are having chicken meatballs and polenta! Review to come tomorrow. Happy Thursday, beauties! Xo

   

Obligatory 2015 post

I am at peace right now. I feel calm, I feel content. My day started with my newest and favorite hobby; barre class. One hour of a phenomenal full body workout. One hour during which, for what feels like the first time in my life, I finally practice what I preach to my clients: mindfulness! I spend that hour focusing on each and every move I am making. It is all about me and it feels great.

I left barre and headed straight to my favorite coffee shop, Recess Coffee. A skim caramel vanilla latte tastes even better with the incredible smell of coffee brewing around me. The book I’m reading is mediocre at best but I am okay with that. 

I have been challenged in 2015. I have cried harder than I ever knew I could. I have quit and I have started over. I have challenged myself to be better. I am stronger, kinder, more thoughtful and honest. I don’t know where 2016 will take me but, if you know me, you know I have plans. 

Cheers to my love, my family, my friends. Cheers to the amazing co-workers and friends I have made in my field. Cheers to success and achieving goals. Cheers to the friendships which have ended and those that just began. Cheers to another year of becoming better. I am ready for you, 2016. I’ll be even more ready when I head over to the bakery next door to grab a champagne cupcake..

  

Food for thought

As a social worker I do mental health assessments. I am the first person to meet with a client and I hear their life story. There are times when I’ve heard more than I think I can handle and I ask myself… Why did I even ask? Of course I did because that is my job. But with each story I hear, my life changes a bit. 

I do this in my personal life too. I ask a lot of questions and I dig until I get my answer. What if the response is heartbreaking? What if there is nothing I can do to help that person or myself? What if I stopped digging? If I asked someone how they were and accepted their “good” response instead of challenging this. Would my life be different? Would I feel lighter and happier?

Has anyone else experienced this before? The thought that sometimes asking questions has caused more trouble and heartache for you than anything els?

Delicious memories

I am obsessed with decorating our home. But I’m sure you have figured that out by now. I have been on the hunt for the perfect picture frames for the past few months for a little project for the kitchen. I came across a perfect collage frame at Marshall’s today for $19.99 and couldn’t pass it up. Even better? While cleaning out my spare bedroom I found a gift card with $9.00 still on it. SCORE!

Five years ago we were lucky enough to have all of our grandmothers at my bridal shower. Each of them filled out a recipe card with their favorite recipe. I wanted to honor our grandmas, especially my Gram who passed away two years ago. What better way to do it than to frame their beautifully hand written recipe cards? 

Here’s the finished product..

  

My mid-week discoveries

It’s only Wednesday and I’ve already learned so much this week about life in general and myself.

  • Wegmans makes a MEAN breakfast sandwich. Maybe I was just hungry but egg whites, turkey sausage and cheese on a whole wheat English muffin started my day off in the best way.
  • Life is too short for cheap liquor. I no longer order a “vodka soda”. I specify my vodka. I’m getting old. Life’s short.
  • I get too excited about the NYS Fair. Something about gyros, beer, “I got it”, wine slushies, fried dough, etc. I just can’t wait. Even the people. I love people watching.
  • My favorite bars are the quiet ones with relaxing music (or none at all), seating and food. Clark’s Ale House all day and everyday. Please and thank you.
  • I have no tolerance for preachy people anymore. I can’t even pretend to care. Don’t waste your time trying to sell me on your lifestyle choices. You bother me and goodbye.
  • Wednesdays are only tolerable because Matt Bellassai posts his weekly “whine about it”. If you haven’t watched it yet, do it. Everything he says is true. every. thing.

Happy Wednesday my friends. Cheers to the week being halfway over, new discoveries and best of all: the Great NYS Fair!

Lessons learned.

This summer is flying by. While fall is my favorite season, the sooner summer ends the sooner winter comes and we all know how I feel about Upstate NY winters. 

This summer started with a weekend getaway to Fort Lauderdale followed by a four night cruise to the Bahamas. It was a new experience; one that we had a blast with, but aren’t eager to go back for more. I’ve been filling up my free time with reading, wine (lots of it), good food, friends and family. Basically living life that a (semi) carefree 20-something without children.

Here’s a quick rundown of the things I’ve learned this summer thus far. 

  • Getting older is awful. I turned 28 in April. Suddenly, I have grey hair. I see an excessive amount of grey around my temples and obsessively ask my husband to search for more. My hair texture changed and my eyes always look tired. 
  • I have diagnosed myself with OCD. When I stated above that I obsessively ask my husband to check for grey hair, I am NOT exaggerating. I have to do certain things so many times before I’m satisfied. And let’s be honest, I’m never completely at ease. 
  • People are rude. Stop asking when I am having kids. Yes, we are approaching five years of marriage. We love brunch, going out to dinner, winery trips and most of all-each other. We love ourselves and our “childless” life way too much. My husband was just gifted a weekend getaway to Vegas for his birthday. He also spent last night measuring the living room to see if a 55 inch tv will fit (it won’t). Let us be selfish and love ourselves, our material items and our experiences. When we want a baby we’ll make it happen, sir.
  • I can say no whenever I want. No I don’t want to hang out. I want to lay on the couch and rewatch the OC. No, No, No.
  • Health insurance will never make sense to me. High deductible plans make zero sense to the married couple with minimal health concerns and no kids. I will never reach the $4500 deductible so I will have to pay $200 for bloodwork and hold off on the Fendi glasses I NEED.
  • I only want nice things. I have always loved Forever 21, h&m and Target. I’m learning that it’s time to grow up and choose quality over quantity.
  • I immediately get upset if the wine rack isn’t full. Maybe this is the self-diagnosed OCD kicking in or maybe I have a fear of running out of wine? Either way, it’s upsetting.
  • Co-workers can make your world a better place. No matter how hard your job is, if you have a fabulous group of co-workers, you’ll survive.
  • Every party should have a theme. Wine and food pairing. Fryday Friday. Anything can become a party theme. Try it. It’s way more fun.
  • I can only have one group message going at a time. Only one. If you include me on another you will quickly learn that I won’t respond. I just don’t have it in me.
  • Life is short, travel. 
  • Naps are golden. Cherish them.
  • Back up cameras destroy any skills one might have had prior to the backup camera. Mine broke over a week ago and I still keep forgetting to use my rear view mirror. I’ve been lucky..so far.

That’s it. That’s all I have. Happy weekend. Xo

New beginnings

Exactly two months ago today I met with my supervisors and I resigned from a job I thought would be perfect for me. I loved working for the company, I loved my supervisors and co-workers, I loved the relationships I built. But, as a person and a social worker, I was unable to ignore something much bigger that was causing severe anxiety and distress in my personal life. I quickly turned into a person my husband and friends didn’t know. I stopped answering phone calls and didn’t leave the house. I spent more time crying than I have ever done.

When I first had the thought to resign I remember thinking that I’d work for my favorite clothing store or work for a winery (amazing, right?). I wanted to do something outside of my field, I thought I wanted to take a break. I reviewed my savings account balance, monthly bills, dumb stupid loans and had the same conversation with my husband 95 times. When all was said and done, based on all of the above, it was decided that resigning was something I could do without putting additional financial burden on our little family of two. During this planning process I casually looked for other jobs. I made a list of places to look into including looking wine cellars, wineries and boutiques. Instead, I found myself right back into my field. I accepted an exciting position doing something I had never done before and I also was excited to additionally go back to my passion, grief counseling.

I’d love to be a person that doesn’t care what others think, but that’s just not me. I’m sure people want to know what person in their right mind would quit a job after three months. Those closest to me know the details and I plan to keep it that way. The past two months have been stressful, as any change is expected to be. In my new position I am often overwhelmed and questioning whether or not I am doing something right, but I am learning.

Going from working a well-paying full-time job to two part time jobs means a significant pay cut. Loans and bills are the only ones who see cash from me! While I certainly miss the financial freedom of going shopping and getting my nails done whenever I want, I would never give up the feeling of freedom that I felt when I left my meeting on March 13. I felt like the world’s heaviest weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. For the first time in my life, I felt proud. I know that eventually I will want to go back to one full time job rather than a couple part time jobs, but for now this is working for me. It is more than just working for me, it has changed my life.

I debated whether or not to include my last position on my resume. Without going into significant details in an interview, I truly believe that my experience taught me a lot and made me a stronger person, personally and professionally. I am excited to continue to build my resume and even more excited to enjoy life as a 20-something should.

job

Day 2: Past two years

Okay, so I already missed a day of  the blog challenge, lame! Onto day 2.

Day 2: How have you changed over the past two years?
Two years ago this May I graduated with my MSW. My professional experience has grown significantly along with my knowledge and ability in the field of social work. I’ve been challenged in my work to do things and go places that are completely out of my comfort zone. I forced myself to sign up, prepare, take and PASS the licensure exam! Yes, I actually passed a test the first time around!

I’ve realized that it’s okay to change plans or not to have a plan. This was a hard thing for me to understand. I am a person who wants a plan for everyday, every weekend, every month, every holiday. When I was recently faced with an emotionally exhausting situation, I decided that uncertainty was far less painful than what I was dealing with. I didn’t have a plan at first and with the help of my close friends and husband, I realized I didn’t need one.

I’ve started saying “no” more and not beating myself up for it.  I finally have a grasp on what a healthy lifestyle looks like for me.I now know (for the most part) what I need to do in order to take care of myself.

My relationships over the past two years have changed quite a bit. As difficult as it is, I’ve started to experience growing apart from some of the  most important people in my life. As much as I’d like to stop that from happening, I’ve realized that it is natural.

In the past two years I have traveled with my husband. I have explored my love of food and wine and discovered new favorites. As a person I have become more insightful, more sensitive (was that even possible?) and more attentive. I briefly lost sight of who I was, but I’m starting to find myself and my purpose again. The past two years have been challenging, but I think, looking back, I can say that I am a completely different person than I was two years ago.

Cheers to changes, both good and bad.

change

30 day blog challenge: Day 1

My husband always suggests that I find a hobby. I’ve gone back and forth with blogging. I go through spurts where I can’t put a book down. My true hobby is shopping but he doesn’t fully support that one sooo.. back to the drawing board.

I couldn’t fall asleep last night, (surprise, surprise) so I browsed Pinterest as usual. I came across a 30 Day Blog Challenge. The challenge lists 30 topics to write about. In an attempt to make blogging my hobby again, I’ve decided to take this challenge. Let’s see if I can do it for 30 days in a row!

Day 1: Weird things you do when you’re alone
I could probably write a book about the weird things I do when I’m alone! For starters, I sing my heart out. I dance too. I talk to my dog, Walter, and get frustrated that he can’t talk back. I often practice interviewing for jobs or having difficult conversations.  I also count…everything. I count my fingers, the tiles on the floor, threads in a blanket. How about you? What are some weird things you do when you’re alone?

30 day blog challenge