Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013- Year in Review

January: Had 'Ukrainian Christmas' dinner with old roomie (and her husband and my soon-to be sister-in-law) at Applebees. Busy trip to Pennsylvania where we took the in-laws to visit my parents and we secured all the vendors for the wedding. Cake and Catering tasting. Tried to 'reboot' for the first time this month. Did 3 days and 'finished early'.

February: Tom sent me roses to work for Valentines, and my coworkers were convinced there that Tom was awesome :) Trivia night in the city was ruined by people using smartphones. Tom tries to make tofu taste like something good, but failed.

March: Height of my caffeine addiction, made worse by extreme wedding planning. Trip back to Pennsylvania to deliver decorations and spend time with my maid of honor and my flower girl. Movie night at a theater with Lazy-boys. Created invitations, working on assembling them over several Amazing Race marathons with Tom. Taught Dora to drive.

April: Starting to look like spring! Bachelorette Party in NYC at a karaoke bar and I got to play tour guide to my sister and maid of honor. Found adorable (yet embarrassing photos) of Tom, wondered if it would be inappropriate to use them at the wedding. Humorous cake topper from coworkers. Mailed out the invitations.

May: Met with my Ukrainian bridesmaid and her soon-to-be husband (married 2 days after Tom and I). Tom's nipple was rumored to have been pierced at the Bachelor party (they weren't). Tom's sister stayed with my at my mothers to help me finish up the last minute crafts. The groomsmen almost blew up my mother's house the night before the wedding with fireworks. Oh, and we got married!

June: After returning for a month to live at my old shoebox apartment, we found out we got the apartment we wanted and could move at the end of June. Went on our honeymoon cruise around the Southern Caribbean, and about that time got pregnant. Whoops :) Tried to explain how rhubarb (a vegetable) is amazing in pies, and told my coworkers that I would bring them some green tomato jam from my mom (which they loved). Got wedding photos back, and they looked amazing.

July: Moved! Spent the 4th of July at Jones beach, where I severely burned my feet. Furnished the entire apartment in one Ikea trip. Tom had his 26th birthday, but since we didn't have any candles, he blew out a lit match. Found out we were pregnant, and went crazy. Heard a lot of "took you long enough" remarks. Then realized that we would have to dismantle all the Ikea stuff in a few months to move things around, and laughed since it took us 3 weeks to assemble it all. Went to Maine on wknd on an impromptu 'Lobster

Crawl' where I just looked at the in-laws enjoy copious amounts of affordable lobster.

August: Laughed at the in-laws, who after seeing a raccoon run up on the roof decided to pursue it. Office party in Long Island, starting to fall into a nice routine of dinner at home with husband. Started feeling sick with headaches (pregnancy symptoms?) but then a week later started to bleed a bit. Took some time off work to deal with losing the baby. Tom cancelled trip to do missions work in Puerto Rico and we bummed around for a while. End of the month kind of fizzled, waiting for a conclusion.

September: We decided we should go to Pennsylvania and visit my mom for my 27th birthday. We returned to NYC and a week later officially miscarried, but life went on. Went apple-picking upstate with the in-laws and later I made natural applesauce that got RAVE reviews from the in-laws. They compared it to baby food, which wouldn't normally be a compliment. But it was, so I took it. Decided to take a day-trip to Maryland for some crab cakes where I got to eat along with everyone this time, unlike the lobster crawl in July. I got around my documents to get name changed on Oct 1st...

October: only for the government shutdown that started today to close the social security office I needed to be open for me to change my name. (Today, as I write this, I still haven't changed it). Returned to Pennsylvania (again) for my brother's wedding and to buy some autumn items. Bought my tiny pumpkins and took Tom through a great maize maze, that we wasted almost 2 hours in, and eventually gave up on. Drank a lot of cider. Took another trip to Lake George and enjoyed the changing leaves and saw our first drive in movie together. Surprised Tom by setting up the NES Nintendo games he used to love when he was.... 5? They still work too!

November: Started my new split shift, where I work from home (aka surf the net, answer emails and a phone call or two) from 6am-9am, and then work in office from 2-7. Love the change, and became a morning person. Started making breakfast every morning and waking Tom with coffee, and chatting before he leaves for work. We got pregnant again mid-November, but waited to test until we returned to Pennsylvania (6th and final time this year). Was hoping to surprise mom, but came up negative. We cleaned out all the wedding stuff mom has been holding for us. Caught sticker-pox with my adopted niece and went black Friday shopping. Brought home my old hope chest, which was filled with all the items I no longer needed. Blender from the 70s? Yep. My baby blanket? Uh huh. I explained the history of a Hope Chest, and Tom remarked about how old fashioned of my mom to put my sad dowry in there :) Came home, and had a positive pregnancy test!

December: Did a lot of decorating, cleaning, and stringing of popcorn around the apartment. Spent time with Tom's sister and in-laws. Did not go to Pennsylvania this month. Surprised? Me too. Spent the nights at home, feeling nauseous and getting migraines every morning. I baked a lot and I've gotten better than Tom at playing Call of Duty (half the time, I'm happy with that!) Learned my father-in-law loves cornbread, so I can add that to the approved list of recipes my in-laws love.  Learned that hosting a Christmas party is a lot of work, but it's great to be the official 'entertainers' in the family. Made Jesus a birthday cake, and played dominoes. Got some fuzzy pajamas and lit a ton of leftover wedding candles.

And tonight, on New Years Eve, we are going to Tom's grandmother's where we'll play more dominoes, watch the ball drop and drink some Chardonnay grape juice from Trader Joes. I can pretend it's the real stuff, right?

Happy New Years to anyone who reads this, I hope you all have a wonderful 2014 that is so great that it leaves you sad to leave it next year. That's the dream, right?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday's Letters

Early Mornings-
  I might not have always had a good relationship with you, but... I think I'm falling in love with you.

Dear Twinings-
  Your spiced Chai tea is nasty! I love your other ones though, especially your Irish breakfast. What happened to the Chai though, did I get a bad box?

Dear boots-
  I did get you on sale at Payless, and therefore am not surprised at your short lifespan. But why?? I've become addicted to your comfort, looks like I need to branch out to other stores for durable boots. Sad day.

Dear sick-people-on-the-bus-
  If you need to cough, do like I do. Hold it in even if it means your eyes pop out of your head and you tear up. Really. If I suffer so that I don't get my hands germy (and hold the grab bars) then you should too!

Dear Purell-
  Thank you for all you do.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oatmeal-Banana (ONLY) Cookies.

Our stove has arrived, and is doing splendidly. Right now, potatoes are cooking for Shepherd's Pie for the family coming over. Nice to have people to cook for (and hopefully they like it). :)

But. I wanted cookies earlier this week. So I decided to cristen our oven's insides with this wonderful recipe form The Burlap Bag, where the recipe below is basically copy/pasted from.
They were amazing! I doubled the recipe, and it made 32 cookies. See below pictures.

Banana- Oatmeal (Only) Cookies

Saturday, November 16, 2013

On Becoming a ''Morning Person''

This Tuesday (Monday was Veterans Day), I started a new schedule at work. It involved me waking at 5:45, washing my face and turning my phone on to take a few phone calls from 6-9am. Basically just being awake to answer it. So really, I was a little concerned I would fall asleep from boredom.

I used to work from 11-7pm, waking at 9am and going to bed at 1pm (if I went to bed on time).

I discovered that it is amazing to wake up early! And I've searched the web for the week leading up to it, to search for tactics (because waking up is like war??) on how to wake up early.

I've found a few things.

Drink Tea and avoid TV before bed, and go to bed on time.
  Duh, right? But I did it, and I went to bed sleepy, versus stimulated. And stayed asleep. And woke refreshed.

Wake up to a nice alarm. 
  I changed out my alarm (which was HORRID) to a favorite song. And as it slowly gets louder, I no longer scowl and attack it to save my ears. I actually kind of enjoy it because it's never loud. I have even downgraded from 10 angry-sounding alarms to 4 nice alarms.

Drink some cold water (OJ, etc) immediately.
  It replenishes you since you hadn't drank anything in about 8 hours. That's why you always feel so sick/blah in the morning. Drink some water. And it wakes you up.

Have something to wake up for.
  Apparently, I needed my work to demand an early wake up. I have for the longest time wanted to wake up with Tom, but never have. Now, I get to read my Bible, make us breakfast, put dishes away, play Scrabble on Facebook and read the news in the hour before he wakes. And he's a big fan of eggs instead of Cap'n Crunch, so I get major props for the breakfast thing.

Do something to help you later in the week.
  I accidentally made biscuit cookies my first day in. They were supposed to be cookies made with Jiffy Cake Mix (first day in, keeping it simple!) But, upon removal they appeared incredibly biscuit-like. They were still tasty though . Oh, and I discovered that I can't use my big baking sheets in our 24'' oven :(

Yes, they will slide all the way down..
And those have been my findings so far. I woke up today and couldn't stay in bed. I eventually tried luring Tom out at 8:30 with some coffee, which he sneered at, drank, and then went back to bed.

So, how has your week been? Any suggestions on making this new schedule continue to rock?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

We have a stove! But it is sadly stationed in our living room until we get a hose, an adapter and bust a part of our wall apart. So despite these dire circumstances (considering I want to bake!) I improvised.
And while we do not celebrate Halloween and tend to stay inside the evenings surrounding it (people egg things in NYC on Halloween- no thanks) I did make one concession. I don't think it's a bad one either.
In an effort to enjoy the peanut-buttery goodness of the Halloween holiday (the only part I will partake in), I decided to surprise Tom with homemade Reeses' cup bars. I found the website on Pinterest, and followed the pin here. And then browsed around for along time before I had to close the browser or go buy cookies from the Hot 'N Tasty downstairs. And they have horrible cookies, so I my day would've been ruined if I hadn't pulled myself away from temptation.
I have fallen in love with Pepperplate- the web version and the app. So don't mind me if all my recipe's are copied from recipe on there.  But to get the exact same recipe, click the link below. I didn't change anything, didn't need to :)

From Jen's Favorite Cookies:

Peanut Butter Bars (No Bake!)
An easy no-bake recipe for peanut butter bars with chocolate frosting.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1. In a bowl, melt butter and peanut butter together.
2. Add cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and peanut butter. Spread mixture evenly into a 9×13 pan.
3. Melt chocolate chips with peanut butter in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each, until melted and smooth.
4. Pour chocolate mixture over bars, and frost evenly.
5. Chill for 40-50 minutes until chocolate is set.

Shoulda melted the chocolate more. Coulda took my time cutting. Woulda gotten better photos.

Whatever, they were amazing and I stand by the original recipe and vouch against myself. Bad blogger. Why don't I try harder to get nice photos. Because.... I was about to pop that lil broken piece into my mouth and forced myself to stick it back where it belongs for the photo. You're welcome...

BUT: We did find (in the final row of the pan of course) that the best way to cut and enjoy them were to cut mini cubes and pop em in your mouth. 

And try not to let them get room temperature. Because they tend to soften up- and as much as I love eating candy like a kid on Halloween, I don't want to look like a kid who ate candy on Halloween.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jay-Z and my "You've Broken the Law" notice

I have really weird dreams (can't you just talk from that title?) And while I don't do any form of dream divination or secular fortune telling I do know that I get really worked up during the day and suffer for it at night.

This could I'd what goes on inside my head when left to run amok, when I'm asleep."This is what I imagine Tom has to endure. Poor Bizkit. Usually I don't wake so dramatically.

Part One
I've been kidnapped by Jay-Zs mobsters with a bunch of random people who I don't know (but seem friendly with). Isn't that always the case. We're poking around, wondering why his house isn't all that impressive, and he walks in. He's upset about something, but guess I didn't care because I just kept thinking that he should have at least 2 cars, considering he's such a big deal. Unimpressed.

Part Two

We're leaving Jay-Zs and apparently it ain't no thang, because we never met Beyonce or baby-Z, and we all just say bye.

Upon getting home, my mother -because I'm living with my mother again in my dreams?- told me that there's a letter from The Government. It's a 'You've broken The Law' notice, with a shot of me taken from a surveillance camera, throwing something in the garbage.

"You've been caught throwing recyclable material in the garbage can" it reported. "Also, your coworker expressed concern that while it was 'only a date stamper', it could prove to be a heartwarming souvenir, as all the employees quit in your department and were relocating".

When I arrived at work I got another copy of the same notice. And that the company was relocating all the workers, and I should go buy a date stamper for the girl who reported me to The Government.
I don't think that I did, as I woke up afterwards. And while I was in trouble for not recycling (but wouldn't that go in the trash?) she was willing to steal office supplies. Hm.

Where's did all this come from? 
I went to a work event yesterday and saw a Jay-Z look alike, but creepier and eyeing the candy I had placed out on my table. And then that evening, Tom scolded me about not recycling a piece of paper.

And it seems I fear for the future of the known world, considering it was 'the Government' versus the police.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Raised Eyebrows

I'm all for the brave new world of bold eyebrows (or in my case, creating visible eyebrows since mine are see-through), but who decided that it was a good idea to redesign their shape?

Two girls were sitting across from me and I was captivated (in the worst way). And while I'm not scared to take random pics of people because they have cute shoes // they are in the way of the advertisement I want to photograph // they look like a stuntdouble of my friend/sister/husband and it's hilarious- I'm not going to take mean pics and post them online.

Plenty of people have made posting about bad eyebrows their thing- so you can look here if you're so inclined.

But, if you are interested, these are my renditions.

Way to high/archey, and sleeping fuzzy caterpillars
I have amazing MS Paint skills.

I have embraced the eyebrow pencil and brush, and I really just stick with the 'color within the lines' rule of thumb. As I commuted along this morning, I debate whether or not mine are as ridiculous. I faced the door windows and raised my eyebrows at myself. I'm sure it scared some people on the other side.

And then I realized I was being dumb, sat my butt down and fell asleep for the rest of the commute.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Craving some Baking

I have a seriously frivolous problem. I want to bake (things that I could do without) in our nonfunctional oven. Well it functions, constantly, in leaking gas. We've done everything to fix it but it's time to get it out of our house!

Truthfully, we don't cook all that often. We work odd/late hours, so when we get home we go to my inlaws to eat leftovers. And that's cool. Except for when it isn't. I want to bake bread. I am craving a cake. I want to make a pie, and I have a nice pie plate who has never seen the inside of an oven.

I used to be a baking master. Then I moved to New York where I didn't have a kitchen for 3 years.

I seems it's time to get us an oven ASAP. And with any major purchase, (this is major in your 20s, people)- it requires way too much research. Ovens are expensive though! You have to pay for the window in the front, which I thought came standard.

How much do they really expect me to spend on a 24 inch stove? I've never bought an appliance before, I can imagine how I'll be repeating this when we hit the more expensive section in our life. You know, like kids and hopefully a house.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Post it notes:
     I can't wait to replace you all with my new planner. I get thrilled every time I can throw one of you out, one by one, but there are really just an endless pile of you. Time to Go. Additionally, buying a planner reminded me of getting a new one from high school every year, and how I loved to decorate it. I was a dork.

Dear Husband:
     I take back yesterday's post. I want you to stay. This weather is cold and your warm feet (opposite of women's feet?) were the only thing that sustained me. Oh, wait. Electric blanket. Nevermind :)

Dear TMJ:
    Thank you being less irritable, I sincerely hope we can work this out and once I get the mouthgard my teeth grinding will stop.

Dear weather:
     Um, thanks for the cold weather but wow! Way to jump from 80's to 55 in the morning. Not impressed.

Dear NYC:
     Can you not be so smelly and annoying this morning? And can you not have a lady screaming on Queens Blvd below my work window, and the Cash for Gold guy not block my path as I am on my way to glorious Dunkin Donuts?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Letter to My Husband

Today you're leaving me. The open road is calling, and despite the numerous roadtrips, you need some guy time to nurture your bromance.

It's cool. I get it. And... I'm not exactly heartbroken about it. I will lounge in my PJs, bake some bread, paint my nails and watch a chick flick. Or maybe just sleep in. Or maybe not. My choice.

I initially was a little jealous. I mean, you will get to visit the amazing Uruguayan cafe on Collins Ave. You can grab a cuban espresso where I had my first caffeine overload, or you can soak up the sun. But then I realize, you can do all those things but you have to do them in about a 2 hour period. Because you are crazy and gave yourself only Saturday and Sunday to accomplish this whole trip. And will immediately be flying back home to New York early on Monday.

I love that you want separate guy time, and that you have independent interests and friends. I hate biking, but would go cheer you on in a bike tour. I can't imagine driving to Florida one day, just to fly back the next.

I guess this road trip is really just about the bromance, after all. You both have been biking all over the northeast, attempted and failed many a bike trip, sustained random injuries and basically always come back with a story. So I'm kind of excited to hear the recaps.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pennsylvania Bound: Pumpkins and Corn

Tom and I were blessed with the opportunity to visit my family in Pennsylvania this weekend. It officially was for my brother's wedding, but also allowed us (me) to visit my alma mater, and a surprise trip for Tom to do his first corn maze.

It was awesome. I love this season, and although it was 80 degrees that weekend, the pumpkins and cider and fall colors masked the summer weather.

Top 10 Things to Not Do on the NYC Subway

In the order of  "Annoys Me" to "Puts You In Danger". 

A few of these (#6) might fall into the middle ground of 'Annoying me enough to put you in danger'.
  1. Crack peanuts. Or any food that could fly onto your neighbors. Clipping your nails can fit in this category too. Also, don't eat anything that requires cutlery.
  2. Yell, scream or throw things. I don't need to explain this one, do I?
  3. Sit for one stop. If you're riding the subway for 1 minute, give your seat to the lady with 3 kids.
  4. This is not your home. Please don't put your shoes where I sit.
  5. Play music loud enough for me to sing along.
  6. Litter. And yes, leaving your newspaper on the seat "for the next person" is littering. 
  7. Block the doors /mosey in slowly. If I'm wearing white and the doors are about to encase me in soot, you are going to be pushed inside.
  8. Breakdance. It's dangerous. I've been kicked in the neck before, had my phone knocked across the subway car, seen a stroller kicked away from mom. Plus, you might be awesome, but watch this.
  9. Deny a pregnant, elderly or disabled person their seat
    . Or someone who says they are nauseous. Or drunk. It's common sense really.
  10. Be lost. Big dummy move here. There's no reason to be lost. Ask people for help- just validate the person before you ask. Man with briefcase- yes. 16 year old girl with backpack- no. Many people live here and only know their neighborhood. Also,  plenty of police and MTA workers to ask, and download these apps before you enter the train station.
  11. Not be aware. Don't be a target. If you pay attention, you will be fine. But if you leave your items in the grasp of others or fall asleep without your backpack laced through your legs, you're asking to be robbed. Some additional no-brainers: don't count your cash, or enter an empty train car late at night if you feel something is off. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Pennsylvania:
I am coming expecting 'peak' colors, please do not disappoint.
The first week in October has always been optimal color. For that one week it is perfection, until frost hits and everything turns brown.

Dear I-80, I-280 and New Jersey:
We don't want any trouble.
Dear Route 6:
You need to be more like your older brother, Route 66. Be laid back. Have less trucks going 10 miles an hour. You make me dread the 3rd hour of our roadtrip. Shame on you.
Dear Lady on the Street:
I admire your persistence, but I will never ever want to sell my gold or silver in the shady store next to my work. I just want to get my morning coffee. Stop trying to give me a flyer. 
Dear Pumpkins and Cider:
I am coming for you!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Idea- A "Don't Embarrass Yourself in Public" App

I just can't help myself. I have a serious problem.

deep breath. just say it.

I sometimes take photos of people, places or things etc when they are cool, funny, resemble someone I know. Really, for any reason. And it gets me into trouble so often.

I just did something dumb on my commute home after work. Granted, it's hilarious (will be more so once I transferred off of that train), but it sucks when it happens.

The situation:
I'm been trying to figure out what socks I am supposed to wear with boots. I don't like fuzzy thick socks, and of course when you wear boots you need high socks. Last year I made due with the fuzzy socks I hate, and have this year vowed to replace them with some boot socks. But, what are those??

Well, a girl with a cool sock to boot ratio sits across from me. So of course I attempt to take a sly photo of her shoe situation.

Aaaaaand flash goes my phone's camera. And despite my best "what just happened face" and to point camera at the floor, everyone stared at me. I feel so scummy. Like some foot fetishist, or a really unskilled stalker.

So, right now on this train, I vow that if I ever develop phone apps, I will make a special 'anti- embarrassment camera app'. For fools like me. And foot fetishists. And the unskilled stalker.

Want to hear about my app?

You hit the capture button. But first, a series of prompts:

"Are you ready to probably make a fool out of yourself?"
"Really?  Remembering the girl with the boots and the judging eyes if the strangers?"
"Ok, good luck!"

Because I had to. Questions need to be asked.
Is the Amazing Race going through NYC? Am I Being Filmed Now?

I have to take these photos. It's a long commute home, and I require entertainment. And now that I've transferred to another train it's no longer awkward. Love the big city for the easy anonymity, rite?

And because I'm sure you are all interested, some of my work:

Sometimes I document my horrible commute.
To amuse my boss, who drives to work.
This guy thought to bring his own seat along for the ride home. I had to stand.
I texted this to Tom on a game day.
Told him out future son will have matching outfits on game day with grandpa too.

I shared this with the message
"I'm dismayed that I know what twerking is, but not sriracha".
And.... my lovely sister.
Faking extreme fear while visiting on the NYC subway.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Maryland Roadtrip- Crab, Cakes of Crab, and a Lighthouse

We decided to do something on Saturday. So we went to Maryland because, like the July Maine lobster roadtrip, much of our life seems to revolve around good cheap seafood.

After driving south through Staten Island, NJ, and Delaware, we finally hit the Maryland border. There were hoot and hollers, as we pull up to Faidley's Seafood.


WORLD'S BEST CRAB CAKES. Seriously, just look at their walls for proof. If you want to taste this miracle crab cake, you can order them here. Or diy them here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Letters

this week's photo: kitty nose
Dear Friday: 
     I love you.

Dear Husband:
     I love you too. Don't think because I told Friday I love it first that you come second though.

Dear Coffee:
     I went for it. I sprung for you, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, since you were supposed to be like having an explosion of fall, in ma' mouth. Well. I was not incredibly impressed. Possibly if I didn't have to trek 2 whole blocks to get to you. Dunkin is just downstairs, so I think I'll be returning to my first love.

Dear Coworkers:
     Please stop playing Blurred Lines. It is a nasty song, and I hate having to hear it all day and getting it stuck in my head because it's catchy.

Dear Inlaws: 
     I laughed when Tom came to steal cinnamon from you and whispered 'she's making applesauce' to apparently get you all excited. But seriously, save some for us. And I guess I know what to contribute for dinners now and then, since y'all are huge fans.

Dear Weather: 
     Thank you for hitting my sweet spot. A sweater, no coat yet though. Boots or sneakers with jeans. I have basically worn all my flats and flip flops out. And lets be honest- wearing either of those in large city is both dirty and dangerous. My feet thank you for the wonderful temps- keeping them all warm and safe from people stepping/spilling coffee on them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

We Bicker Because We Are Too Close?

Tom and I have been bickering a bit and while I know it's common when you're newly married/trying to live together for the first time- it sucks.

And it's always over stupid things. Most commonly it's not hearing everything the other is saying.

Last night we had a fight about what I heard him say versus what he actually said.

Situation: He told me he talked with someone at church being concerned about their kid entering public school. I got confused over who said it- I assumed the dad. We continue the conversation for a good 5 minutes, with me assuming this. And then when I said something about him, everyone got confused. Ends up, it was the son who was worried. But I didn't hear him say who. But he said he told me it was the son. But I didn't hear him.

Which led us to wonder- why the confusion? No answer was found, but I assumed it was of the  'we don't yet know how to live so closely with one another' camp. Ends up, that was kind of it.

This article from the Telegraph says that when people are too close with one another, they basically just guess what the other is saying, before or while they are still speaking. It happens to us all the time. And we have to stop it. I know I am a huge culprit, and do it way too often.

For instance- He might mention that I should stop be the grocery store and pick up some staples- I might jump in and say 'like milk, bread, cereal and eggs?' before he gets that far. And sure, sometimes I am right, and he is kind of shocked that I read his mind (it's hilarious when we do it and are right).

But other times he'll say 'and we should get some shrimp for dinner Thursday too' but I already stopped listening because I know what I should pick up, and I'm already mentally making a list. So I then forget the shrimp. And then he asks if I forgot and I say 'you never said shrimp'. And during times like that he probably wants to smack me, because it of course is really freaking annoying.

This article says it happens to close friends as well as spouses, saying:
"Our problem in communicating with friends and spouses is that we have an illusion of insight. Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of understanding more than actual understanding," said co-author Prof Nicholas Epley."
So I guess we (mainly me- him a tiny bit but I'm the main culprit here) need to learn to shut up and take note of what the other is saying, exactly. And pray about how to communicate better, because this just sucks and it's really just a result of never having been this close to each other, for so long before. Because this bickering over what the other person didn't explain, etc is really stupid.

So tell me:

Any of you guys go through this at the beginning? How about still going through it? How did you knock it off and just tell your mind to shut up and listen?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Boulevard of Broken Bones

Tom is a huge bicycle advocate- and loves the idea of bike lanes (being used properly). He often tells me horror stories about how bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians have trouble sharing the road- and showed me this video:

I especially like 1:49, with the jaywalkers. Just like New Yorkers, too prideful to get scared (despite almost being hit) and never even loosing their stride.

Funny thing is, I might have been in this video. I worked 1 block away when this was made, on 28th St & Madison Ave. And that intersection is very bad to cross. And I took pride in never breaking my stride for crazy drivers and bicyclists. Man I was stupid.
This is not uncommon, and I've seen it a lot and only as a pedestrian. Tom has been hit with a car door when someone opened it into a bike lane next to their just-parked car. He's seen bicyclist hit by cars, and has told me there are so many stories about biking in overly-touristic places.

It's either a good (hilarious) story like:
"I saw a tourist in the bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge, taking photos, not aware she was in danger. I may have approached her and then screeched on my brakes, shouting 'I'm going to craaaash!' Of course I wasn't but she ran back into her lane.''
"You know, people have gotten hit by bikers who can't ride properly- putting themselves and others in danger. One person reportedly died from internal bleeding after being bruised by a passing handlebar." Ouch.

Anyway, I'm at work right now. I'm looking out my window at Queens Boulevard, otherwise nicknamed the 'Boulevard of Death' or 'The Boulevard of Broken Bones'. An while the section of the boulevard I look over only has 6 lanes (and isn't impossible to cross), people are going nuts trying to make it across before the 30 seconds are up. I am a little mesmerized/horrified with what I am seeing.

People. There will be another red light. Don't scare me like this.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Como se dice.....

...time to learn some Spanish!

I bought Rosetta Stone Totale in Aug 2012. It is 13 months later, and while the web version has expired, I will be looking into the CDs and setting the computer back up. And seeing as how I have a kind-of immersion experience available (Tom's entire family will speak in only Spanish if I ask. They tend to be kind and accommodate my English only position for the time being). So, really. No excuses here.

Fun Fact- the only substantial thing I learned in that one week I use Rosetta was...
     '¿Como se dice    English word or phrase     en Español?'
          (How do you say ______ in Spanish?)

Up until that point, the only other real phrase I knew was:
     'Yo no habló Español. Solamenté entiendo, un poquito.'
          (I don't speak Spanish. I only understand, a little bit.)

Which has been incredibly helpful. In conveying that I know nothing more than the words I am speaking. And to help Tom's family not get offended when I smile, nod, and basically ignore their question.

I have always wondered how to type the spanish symbols. Found this link helpful.

Alt codes:

Alt 168 = ¿
Alt 173 = ¡
Alt 164 = ñ
Alt 165 = Ñ

Alt 130 = é (e with accent)
Alt 160 = á (a with accent)
Alt 161 = í (i with accent)
Alt 162 = ó (o with accent)
Alt 163 = ú (u with accent)

So tell me:
How did you prepare to learn a new language? Did you have family or a semi-immersion experience available to you?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lobster Crawl- Maine Roadtrip

It was mid-July 2013. Tom and his father decided that they wanted lobster. And hey didn't want to pay the NYC prices to get them.

So, a roadtrip was born. And I had just found out that I was pregnant so I was forced to watch them devour lobster and clam chowder. Well, maybe I had a spoonful of chowder from Tom. Couldn't help myself.

First up- Five Islands Lobster Co.
The best place for Lobster, and sightseeing (and ice cream- since I did enjoy the heck out of that) in Maine.
Personal opinion, of course.
Next up- Shaw's Fish & Lobster Wharf
This place was set up with an indoor restaurant and souvenir shop, but of course we claimed our spot on the deck. It was great because we could watch the boats coming in with their crates of lobster.
And, they had lobster and clam photo props. Of course we did.
The in-laws have a mild love affair with L.L. Bean. They found out we would be near the flagship store, and so we made the obligatory stop. While they shopped, we admired the taxidermied wildlife.

Meet Tom-moose. 
And on the way back, we stopped in Boston to have some of the best Clam Chowder.

Go to the Red Hat, in Boston. I stole a spoonful and cried a little. It was that good. So good I forgot to document it's creamy goodness for posterity.

And Tom suggested we surprise the family with a train ride to visit the home of their arch nemesis- the Red Sox.

They laughed glanced around, and said 'lets get home'. Nuff said.

I did snap a photo of them at the station going back, and then let them see what they were smiling in front of.


 And their reaction to accidentally endorsing the wrong team. 
It was a great trip, and one that we will most likely never do again. Five people in a itty bitty car for a long trip is not recommended. Get a van. I mean it.

So tell me:
Has anyone else had to endure an awesome trip you couldn't fully enjoy? Didn't it suck?!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Crockpot Applesauce

I am learning to love crockpot cooking- not just because it's crazy easy, but it takes the stress out of 'will I burn it because it is actually upstairs in the in-laws oven'. Still can't wait to replace our stove.

Knife to cut apples
Apple peeler or veggie peeler
Apples (number depends on how much sauce you would like)

Cut peeled apples into chunks.
Peel apples (unless you want skins in your sauce... totally delicious too!)
Set aside 1/4 cup of water and 1tsp. of cinnamon for every 5 apples used (more or less to taste)
Add apples, water and cinnamon into the Crock-Pot set on low - apples will get soft
Once apples are soft (test with wooden spoon) you can mash the apples to the texture you prefer (use a fork, pastry tool, etc.)

First- cut your apples.

Then, peel them. 
Or not, because the worst case scenario is that you might have to strain the peels out afterwards. And I'd rather strain the applesauce for 2 minutes than peel them for 10 minutes.

Add the cinnamon, and water. Turn the Crockpot on HIGH. Leave the room.

Return every half hour to rotate the apples, and eventually help smash the big pieces.
They will be lumpy. I decided to let them cool. Then, attack with my immersion blender for like, 5 seconds. 

Perfectly smooth applesauce.

So tell me:
Has anyone else ever used the crockpot for applesauce, or any dessert for that matter?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Apple Picking Roadtrip

On Saturday, we decided to rent a car and pick some apples at Fishkill Farms.

Whenever we need to rent a car, we take the subway and connect to NJ Transit or the PATH train. NJ car rental prices are steals compared to Manhattan/NYC rental rates. I prefer to think of us as going that far out of our way to get a steal, versus us going that far out of our way to get what we should pay, except that NYC overcharges everything so much that we are pretty much forced to get up at the crack of dawn.

After barely missing our bus to Rutherford, we made it to NJ, got the rental, and drove back to Brooklyn. To get the in-laws. And coffee. And phone charger.

And finally, we hit the road! Where I fell asleep, but I promise that it was a beautiful trip, and the perfect day to leave the city behind.

Friday, September 13, 2013

And 30 days after that...

We found out we weren't having a baby.

While this is posted several weeks after we found out, it finally makes sense enough in my head to document on digital paper.

Rough few months right? Well, yes- but also no.

We got married only 3.5 months ago. We went on an amazing honeymoon, explored PA and Maine in several mini-trips. In mid-July we found out we were going to be parents! And we still are parents. We will just have to wait a bit longer to meet our baby in Heaven.

When we first found out, I was asking Tom 'Why couldn't this have happened earlier (and ended before taking the pregnancy test) so we wouldn't have gotten so excited?' Some amazing things have happened because of this knowing.

For one... extensive research. On all thing baby/child/schooling related. Just over a year ago Tom proposed to me, and since September 2012 I have been planning something. First a wedding, then a honeymoon, then a brand new apartment. We had about 1 week of breathing room- and of course I felt the need to research and plan something.

I almost jumped into my Rosetta Stone that's been gathering dust- until we decided to take the test. And then a second to make sure. After that, I found a whole new realm of online mothers and their blogs. Learning how to even be pregnant turned into how to care for a newborn. Then they spawned into how to raise them (biblically) and in God, and then I started researching homeschooling options in NYC (still trying to wrap my brain around that one- how do people grow up in NYC?). Holidays, plans to visit my parents on Thanksgiving every year, and bringing the baby to PR to meet family a few months after being born. Obviously, I have always taken research very seriously.

And then, with the surprise of a underdeveloped baby in my belly, with no heartbeat- that all stopped. 3 appointments over 3 weeks later- and now I am back to dusting off Rosetta.

I'm glad we found out, and had our heart break a little bit. I know God used that month to get us prepared for our lives as future parents- and brought us much closer together. Instead of disagreeing about whether or not we really need to buying pillows, it turned into Tom insisting that he stay home with me when I was miscarrying to take care of me. From trying to just get a routine together, to us learning to talk about the future of us and our families- and where we will be in the new few years.

At lease now I things are starting to return to normalcy. I can sit and think and write some more. And hopefully learn some Spanish :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

20 days later.... We're having a Baby!

Yeah, we're having a baby, sometime in mid-March and we are so happy! And so while I have been missing from this website for a while, I've been busy creating life. You know, I think it's a bit more excusable, right?
Tom and I are thrilled, and everyone who knows so far is too. We told our family and close friends immediately, and are going to our first appointment this next week.

We've even gone through some transitions,pretty quickly. Didn't expect to be surprised this early into being married, so time to get talking about where we're going to be in a year. Talking about what we'll (ahem, I'll) do about work with my boss has been an issue. Not because they were upset- she was one of the most thrilled for us- but because they are going through a high-turnover phase and I'm adding another position to fill. I am absolutely hoping to be a stay-at-home mom, but that's all God's will. Plus, I've been busy researching everything on the internet. There are so many things I am not allowed to eat. Who knew? Not me.

I'm tired, want some lavender ice cream (so bad!) and have to get back to work.

But stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

.... our first married fight?

Getting to know all about you." The King and I definitely mirrored us both last night.
Through Anna, the King learns the refineries and responsibilities of "modern" western civilization; Anna meanwhile comes to realize how important it is for an Oriental ruler to maintain his pride and to uphold the customs of his people. 
I am Anna, and modern civilization was not happy last night.

I found out Tom threw away all my pillows. Because they were old and we should get new ones. Which on it's own is fine. But he is boycotting the purchasing of new pillows.

(We are currently using rolled up towels and spare sheets. It's really sad, and my neck whimpers every morning. And him? The man with constant neck pain who requires daily massages? This can't be good for him, waiting the approx 2 weeks for us to make it to a store to test some pillows.)

Okay! I'm up for it, and volunteer our Amazon cards we got from the wedding. He didn't like that idea, said he wants to go to a physical store and test them out. Plus, he thinks that spending more than $5 on a pillow is nuts. And that we only need 2.
  1. "We'll go test out some pillows in store." This is a problem because we never go to any store, ever. Ever. EVER. And its because of this that Amazon was created, for people like us, with a pretty awesome return policy and hundreds of reviews on Each Individual Pillow. Bam. Pillow bought.
  2. "We only need 2 pillows." Are we asking any guests (and my parents?) to bring their own from out of state, or to use rolled up towels? And I love pillows, and use at least 2 nightly.
Tom is the King in this scenario, and I don't want to hurt his pride. Over pillows. So I let it be and we ate dinner. But I'm thinking of how I can convince him to change his mind.

Our first silly married fight? Nah, definitely a dumb disagreement though. In The King and I, the King gives into modern civilization's standards. And considering my neck is aching this morning, I'm getting a pillow!

Monday, July 1, 2013


After a month of being in the married-but-not-feeling-it limbo, we’re moved!

June was hectic to say the least. Returning home after the wedding, packing for (and enjoying) our honeymoon, returning to work for a week only to then packing and move to new apartment- phwew. It felt amazing last night (in our half-furnished, messy apartment) to sit down and breathe. And, it feels real, not like Tom’s spending the night at my apartment. The old place has only felt like that. My place. Now we live in our place.

So, this weekend has flown by with some interesting realizations.
  1. I am marrying a man who can navigate IKEA without panic attacks, with a purpose, and amazing packing skills! That utility van was FULL. We furnished our entire apartment that day, in one shot. And without his heavy lifting, I know we would be eating off of a milk crate, and sleeping on an air mattress.
  2. Animal slippers are terrifying when discovered on fire escapes. See below.
  3. Dora loved the roach she found. Tom had to wrestle it away from her, to finally flush it to it’s new home. (NYC building are crazy old, and even the cleanest ones will have them, especially if the neighbors in the next building are less than clean). But... ech.
  4. Roaches can survive the toilet. We did some quick internet research, since Tom refuses to hurt even a bug, but finally accepted that flushing would leave him unharmed.
  5. Tom found his 'toy box' and decided to sit down and play. And then jumped back up and played laser tag with me. 
I know, perhaps you could've dealt without the roach information, but it's good to know! Never expect to move to a city with old buildings and not see bugs. I've seen so many ones that never existed in the country since moving to NYC. I never even saw a roach until moving here, so that's something to consider.

Will officially start keeping this up, now that I have actual things to talk about. 
Fueling up, Ikea's restaurant
Dude biking his loot home
AHH! Oh, slipper.

I moved in with a 10 year old by
Tom and his dad- bonding over really confusing instructions.
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