Saturday, December 30, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 12.30.17

I can't believe it's the last Saturday of 2017! I'm totally thrown off as to what day it is, since my main employer is closed for the week and I'm just working full time at Athleta-though of course, that doesn't translate into Monday-Friday.

Reading: I read the Princess trilogy by Jean Sasson and have mixed feelings. It's certainly fascinating, and a valid look into one person's experience, but it seems to be generalized a little too much. Just make sure you take it with a grain of salt, but it's worth a read!

Listening: Code Switch, as always, has been fantastic. 

Watching: I went with Dad & Lucas to see the new Star Wars movie, of course! We really enjoyed it, though of course Lucas and I had to pick it to pieces a bit. 

Have a very happy New Year! Stay safe, have fun, and do you :) 


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

I'm spending the morning with my dad and brother, then we're heading out to the Cape to see some of the extended family. Last night we went to the Christmas Eve service at the First Unitarian Church of Providence-we loved the candlelight one! Hope you're having a peaceful and joyful celebration.

Merry Christmas, y'all!


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 12.23.17

Just 2 more days till Christmas! I'm ready-gifts are wrapped, stocking stuffers are gathered, menu is planned...just one more day of work at Athleta until I get to head down to Providence to celebrate. Lucas flew in yesterday so we should have a pretty festive time! I've been waaaaay in the holiday spirit, so I've been 

Reading: I just finished The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and really liked it-the end wasn't my favorite, but overall it was a really great look at complex relationships-my favorite topic!
Listening: Michael Bublé's Christmas album-I don't listen to him the rest of the year, but he's on repeat at this time!

Watching: The Santa Clause-all 3 are on Netflix right now! It's a blast from the past, as the German Club in high school watched it every year on the bus to Chicago for the Christkindlmarkt. 


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Feeling Festive

Hey all! Long time no chat...I've been totally swamped with Christmas stuff at my main job plus working quite a few hours at Athleta, as well as trying to get all my personal Christmas tasks done! I'm essentially done with gifts (I just need a few more stocking stuffers) and have 3 more Christmas cards to write, so I'm in the home stretch.
I had the most festive day this weekend, from Providence to Stoneham. I would highly recommend all the following activities! :)
On Sunday morning, I went with Dad and Georgina to pick out our Christmas tree. Henry's Christmas Tree Farm has a gorgeous selection, both already cut and out in their fields. They also have wreaths and other greenery-we always pick one up for our door!
This time, we decided to take the ride out to the field and pick out our own. We had a great time walking through them all, even if my toes froze a little bit!
When we got home to put it up, I decided (of course) we needed a Christmas movie. We lucked out and Miracle on 34th Street was on TV! It was perfect to have that on while getting the tree settled (and enjoying some desserts, of course).
Later that evening, back in the Boston area, I picked up Elly and we met Michelle at Stone Zoo. They have ZooLights every year, and it is a blast! It's pretty small, but definitely worth the $10 admission. We made friends with a monkey and wondered just how badly we would be mauled should we cuddle the black bears...
I do feel uncomfortable with zoos, particularly ones with small/unnatural enclosures (which this one appeared to have some of), so there was a bit of cognitive dissonance of course.
All in all, though, there's still time for festive things-get out there and take advantage! Just 5 days till Christmas!


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 12.2.17

It's December! (Not that you didn't know that...) but now it is 100% ok to listen to Christmas music, get my decorations up, and start writing those cards...

Lately, I've been 

Reading: I just finished The Romance Reader's Guide to Life by Sharon Pywell. So good, so entertaining! 

Listening: Did I mention I love Christmas music? Pentatonix, of course, has some lovely selections and I have forced all my family to listen, ha.
Watching: I had my annual Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer viewing with Mom, Lucas, and Alvan on Monday night...ah, tradition.

Now, I'm off to a girls' night-though I have to head out early before a big day tomorrow! Plenty of rest is required for managing 8 11-13 year old girls at their first 5k race...wish me luck!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday

While I didn't quite feel qualified to post about all the sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (though I did my fair share of shopping!) I definitely do feel up to talking about Giving Tuesday!
I've donated to a few so far today, and probably will continue, especially as I see causes posted to Facebook by my friends.
The two I'm really working for are Camp Casey and the American Cancer Society (specifically, Relay for Life).
Camp Casey is an amazing organization based in the Detroit area I was lucky enough to volunteer with before I moved away last summer. They do a variety of things to serve youth with cancer and blood disorders, but what I mostly did was Horsey House Calls. They are a blast-basically, you show up to the door of a child (and their family/friends) going through something terrible WITH A HORSE. They get to ride, learn about horses, do crafts and play games, and of course have a pizza party. It is a beautiful experience for everyone involved and these have been some of the most meaningful times of my life.

The American Cancer Society does amazing work to contribute to cancer research, awareness, and support. I began doing Relay for Life, a (usually) 24-hour relay walkathon, when I was a young teen after my friend Meagan was diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor. I have continued to do it nearly every year in her honor, adding more friends and family along the way as they are diagnosed and fight their own battles. Last year, I did it with my friend Danny after his cancer diagnosis. He passed away just under two weeks ago and I will be continuing to do it in his honor-as well as having donated today in his name (Daniel Polovich).

Please consider where you will donate-I know the shopping weekend took a lot out of my budget too, but every dollar here makes a difference!


Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy birthday, Mom!

When booking tickets for Thanksgiving, I decided to extend my trip a bit to get to spend Mom's birthday with her. Lucas decided to do the same, so we are finally all together for it! It's really wonderful to have family that actually all enjoys spending time together. 
I write similar sappy things every year, but it's true every time-I am so grateful to have my mom. She has been so supportive of every major choice I've made, change I've undertaken, and experience I've gone through. She cares so deeply for her family, friends, and the world and is always trying to make it a better place. 
She loves me even when I make her listen to Christmas a cappella music...and go shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving. I take it as a compliment every time someone says we look or act alike-the cliché of growing up to be your mom is a pretty darn good one here.
I love you, Mom, and am so so happy to get to celebrate with you!


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 11.18.17

I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week! I'm slightly comforted by the fact that it's early this year...but still mostly terrified that Christmas will be here so soon. However, I also cannot wait to be in NC visiting my family there, getting all the hugs, delicious food, hot baths, and puppy snuggles I have been missing.

In the meantime, I've been cooking up a storm, snuggling with Triss, and

Reading: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg. Written after the sudden death of her husband, it is a look at how to recover from such a loss and continue to live life. She doesn't advocate for "getting over it", but looks at how and why people are able to continue moving forward in their lives after this and other tragic events. Powerful and helpful.

Listening: The Dinner Party Download had their thank you episode last week-the last one will be December 1st. I've listened to it for a long time, so I'm going to have to find a new source for fun facts! The hosts have a book coming out, Brunch is Hell: How to Save the World by Throwing a Dinner Party, which of course I want to read, but I must say that I do love brunch...

Watching: The last season of The Mindy Project is here! Thanks to Mom for continuing to have Hulu Plus so I can finish a show that has been so funny and heartfelt over the years :)


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 11.11.17

I feel weird saying "happy Veteran's Day!", but I must acknowledge it. We need to honor our veterans, not just with a day stating we do, but by taking care of them. The lack of quality health care services, particularly mental health services, that is easily accessible to veterans is appalling. The lack of follow up, follow through, and accountability regarding sexual assault and abuse in the military has to change. We must continue to advocate for the necessary changes in legislation to provide support and services to all veterans.

On a more cheerful note, one of my coworkers had the kids writing thank you notes to veterans the other day-apparently there were at least 10 that were addressed to veterinarians! She was baffled by all the gratitude for saving cats and dogs until she figured out the confusion...

This week, I've been

Reading: Startup by Doree Shafrir. Another fun and interesting novel-I couldn't put it down!

Listening: Thirst Aid Kit is a new podcast by Bim and is fantastic! While a podcast about women's attraction to men might seem trivial, it really isn't-it's fun but also necessary. It is still seen as masculine, slutty, etc. for women to openly express sexual attraction and this helps to normalize it.

Watching: I went to see Thor: Ragnarok last week with Dad, Michelle, and Georgina. I knew it would be in the style of Guardians of the Galaxy (and was a little concerned they were just hopping on the bandwagon) but oh my goodness it was hilarious! We couldn't stop laughing.
Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When in Nashville...

One of my lovely friends Julia turned 35 this year-and wanted to do it up with a big celebration. Y'all know I always love to celebrate the people in my life, so of course I was on board for this! She decided on a girls' trip to Nashville, a place I had never been but have been hearing more and more about in recent years (especially as a bachelorette party destination, but what can you do). I had to do a slightly abbreviated trip, but it was 100% worth it!
I took an Uber directly from the airport to meet the ladies for brunch at Americano. Thank goodness I managed to schedule my flight in time for this all-important meal! I'll do a separate post, of course, on all the food I ate while in Nashville, ha.

We then made our way to Nashville Boot Co., where we all tried on a few pairs and I had to remind myself that it was unlikely I would wear them regularly.
Next up: the Bluebird Cafe. It's been famous for a long time as a small venue with some big-name performers (they stop in on occasion), but the TV show Nashville definitely played a part in upping the long lines. We got there plenty early to ensure we'd get in-a long wait, but worth it in the end. As someone who is not a fan of country music in general, I actually loved it. Not every piece was to my liking, but enough were (those that were more in the folk-bluegrass-country style) that I really enjoyed the music overall.
We went back to our home base to get ready for a night out on the town-I unfortunately had definitely not planned for it in my packing, but the ladies were able to help me out with the loan of a dress and doing my hair for me. We did the touristy thing and went to the Coyote Ugly bar-it is, shall we say, an experience-before wandering around in search of live music. I headed back a little early, as I was wiped out from my early morning flight.
The next morning I got up fairly early and went for a run around Nashville-it's such a great way to see a city, especially on such a beautiful Sunday morning. The view from the pedestrian bridge is just gorgeous.

We then cleared out of our lodging, wandered around the neighborhood a bit, and headed to lunch. Throughout the day people began to head home, whether it was driving or to the airport.
Julia, Cheryl, and I were all leaving on Monday-Cheryl and myself at an ungodly early hour and Julia after a relaxing morning-so we spent the night at Julia's hotel pick, the Opryland Hotel. It was astounding and we spent a good amount of time Sunday evening walking around the hotel itself. We were all pretty exhausted from the weekend (and I had to go to work the next day straight from the airport) so we had an early night.
What a weekend-thank you, Julia, for including me, and happy (far belated) birthday!


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Entertainment Weekly 11.3.17

I cannot believe it's already November! I had a blast celebrating Halloween with the kids at work and with my friends on the weekend-1/3 costumes being creative is actually pretty good for me, ha! I did my classic Holly Golightly for my friend's party (I worked until an hour before it and had no energy to come up with anything else) and rocked the unicorn onesie on the actual day, but for our Halloween party at work some of us dressed up as Candyland characters, which of course I loved. Hope you all had a Halloween full of awesome costumes and your favorite candies!
I also had my one-year Bar Method anniversary on Halloween-it's hard to believe I've been there a year already. I am so grateful to have found a workout I love enough to stick with, and a lovely community to go along with it!
Reading: American War by Omar El Akkad-the story of a second Civil War taking place in the not-too-distant future. Depressing, intriguing, heartbreaking-and I couldn't put it down. A truly dystopian novel for adults.

Listening: Spotify's Top 100 Classical playlist has been keeping me company as I do the (seemingly endless) amount of paperwork and emails I have every day. I really appreciate being exposed to new pieces and renditions of ones I already know!

Watching: Black-ish just keeps being amazing. The episode this season about postpartum depression was fantastic-in all populations it is a topic that is not discussed openly enough. Amongst African-Americans, treatment for any mental health concern is not as welcome as it is in some other populations. The writers, actors, etc. did a great job of portraying the realities of both the challenges and necessity of seeking support.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Maybe you can go home again... (Part 2)

The last of my summer vacation in Michigan...
After spending the first part of my week in Ann Arbor and Detroit, I had to head up to Michigania-the Michigan alumni family camp. I grew up going there with my family, as my dad was a faculty speaker for a number of years, and then got to teach horseback riding (and take out lots of trail rides) for three summers and change. I don't know many of the program staff anymore, but two of my closest friends are a part of the administrative team, so I had to get up there to visit them! Plus, camp had a very special family there this year-BJ, who was on staff when I was a kid, came back with her family to direct the riding program this summer.
Honestly, most of my time up there was spent simply relaxing. Obviously my friends had to work a fair amount of the time, so I spent some time just reading and walking around. It had been quite a while since I had no responsibilities and I didn't quite know what to do with myself! It was pretty chilly, so I didn't go in the water-at all-but it was still a wonderful week!
Julia and I got to belatedly celebrate her birthday with a lovely afternoon tea at the Inn at Bay Harbor-and to go to the fair! We didn't do much there, but it's always fun to experience the feel of a classic, small town, county fair.
I also briefly went out with James and the entire crew who was up for Jack & Kelly's wedding the next day-there's a new brewery, Beards, in Petoskey that was pretty good! I was almost persuaded to stay an extra day, but I knew I had to get back to the East Coast.
I also did manage to get in a fair amount of riding. Leslie and Michael (and her family) happened to be camping the same week I was visiting, so we got to do some of this riding together, which was just like old times! She was the director at riding my first summer, which was truly life-changing. She first paired me with Layla, the horse I worked with for the entire time I was at camp. Layla started out bucking when you asked her to canter, and now they can put kids on her! It's pretty awesome to see how she's continued to improve...proud "mama" over here, ha!
It's hard to believe that this was already several months ago...I'm happy to be where I am but reliving this definitely made me miss my home state! Hopefully I'll get to go back in the spring...until then it's all family-related travel with the holidays coming up-and we've all abandoned the Mitten State ;)