Friday, August 28, 2015

My current favorite tv show

August can be a tough month for tv lovers... most shows are on hiatus and there aren't even many live sports options (don't you dare suggest golf. Don't. You. DARE.) Thankfully when cruising my OnDemand menu recently, I discovered the GREATEST SHOW ever invented. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you Drunk History (#IfYouDontKnowNowYouKnow).

Based on a hit web series, the Comedy Central show has a simple premise: someone gets absolutely wasted and tells a famous historical story. The stories are 100% accurate, but told with all the "color" that a completely sh*tfaced narrator brings to the table.

And to make everything even more hysterical, the stories are acted out, completely via lip synching (of the drunk person's narration), by famous actors and comedians (and the casting is seriously impressive). 

This show is a history lover such as myself's dream and probably the way all history should be taught... it's that engaging and entertaining. Each episode is 30 minutes and tells 2-3 stories. With all of  season 2 on Comedy Central onDemand (for free!) right now, I think you know what I'll be doing all weekend :) 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hump Day on Delay...

Seen it before, but it's just so funny!
Any day is a good day for some distractions right!? So without further adieu, here are some goodies from around the web. Enjoy!

* This dog is exhibiting the definition of "making the best of a bad situation"!
* Everything about this house is amazing: organized, chic, eclectic and unique. When can I move in?
* Meet Shrek, the most badass sheep on the planet.
* In love with these soft and summer (free!) downloadable tech gadget wallpapers.
* The only thing that would make this letter from Joey Fatone to One Direction more awesome was if it was real:)
* If you've got a green thumb, your herb garden is in full bloom by now. Click here to turn those herbs into delicious cocktails (because that's totally what you were growing them for right!?)
* Yes, Yes, YES! NYC NEEDS THIS!!! (because farts will never, ever stop being funny, no matter how old you are.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two fall trends I'm super psyched about...

It's so haaarrrrd... to say goodbyyyyyeeee...
I absolutely love summer. To me, everything from the blazing hot sun, tan skin, slower pace and easy, breezy outfits is just divine. And even though I find fall beautiful as well, I have trouble letting go of my favorite season. Which is why I try to lean on another love, fashion, to get me excited about the change. Though I may shed a tear as I think about tucking away my flip flops and sundresses, I confess to being a smidge excited to break out my wedge booties, burgundy "leather" jacket (thank you Forever 21) and some Oxblood nail polish. I also love seeing what trends the fashion industry is pumping out at the start of a new season, in an attempt, as always, to convince us that what we wore last year is no longer cool and we need to replace and replenish. For this, I am a sucker... savvy (I like to think) but a sucker. But this year there are 2 looks I'm especially psyched to see in stores and 100% going to be investing in.

* Bell Bottoms & Flair Jeans
For hippies and everyone else!
I have always loved this style pant. As someone with a booty and thick-ass thighs (actual name) skinny jeans have never made me look... errr... skinny, but my beloved flares and bells certainly do. This trend is popping up everywhere and it's one every body type can pull off. Your best fit is going to be snug through the waist and thighs and then flared between the knee and mid-shin to whatever size "bell" you feel comfortable with. And unless you are a long-legged goddess, pop on a comfortable wedge or heel (which is covered by the bell) to create the illusion of longer-then-reality stems. Not sure about the trend? Start off with an inexpensive pair from somewhere like American Eagle (this place is actually my go-to for all jeans and I've rocked a great pair of flairs from here for years). Another perk of inexpensive options? You can buy more than one, at different lengths, to suit your different shoe heights:)

* T-Strap heels

I don't know why, but I love the throw-back, vintage-y look of t-strap shoes. As a high heel, a t-strap creates the illusion of a long and elegant foot and overall, the look manages to seem trendy and fashionable while still classic and mature. I spotted these lovely guys in the Nine West window a few weeks back and resisted the urge to buy them seeing as the last thing on the planet I need are more heels, but I'm still thinking about them and my resolve is weakening... 

Not sure about the t-strap? I'm seeing a whole lot of Mary Janes out there as well. Whatever your preference, this fall I think it's going to be all about the strap-on (hehe) heel. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

just chillllll (and the winds of change).

Hey guys!! How ya doing!? Is anyone still reading out there!? I hope so. I've missed yous!

Last week I took a vacation to Maine (again, (and again) I am in love with that state) and instead of trying to get all my work done and schedule posts before I left, I decided to just chilllllll and left Seek to Be Merry silent. That's kinda been the theme of my summer actually, just chillllll - it's something new for me and it's been wonderful.

That said, I woke up this morning feeling a touch anxious and it was more than just a case of the post-vacation-Mondays (though that certainly did not help!) I feel like I'm living in the movie Mary Poppins... things are really good, but the winds of change are stirring. In the very near future work will pick up again, Dr. H and I will move (where Brooklyn at?... or rather "where the hell in Brooklyn will we be at?!!!?") and I might even be lucky enough to welcome a 4-legged friend into our family (game over, I win). Feel those winds a-blow'in AmIRight!?!! Thankfully I still have this little corner of the internet and plenty of merry musings and random internet goodness to keep me centered. Starting with THIS (#goals) xox!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Shade Balls (news with a name that sounds like an insult)

Balls awayyyy!!!
Have you heard about the "shade balls" in Los Angeles? Thanks to my daily issue of The Skimm (an easy-to-read, short news email perfect for staying on top of current events; you NEED it; subscribe HERE) I learned about the crazy invention being utilized to combat the ongoing California draught... Shade Balls (actual name):

According to the NY Times, the balls float on top of the city's reservoirs, help block sunlight and UV rays that promote algae growth and prevent evaporation, which drains the Los Angeles water supply of about 300 million gallons a year. And on top of all these practical uses, the California reservoirs now look like goth-themed ball pits that I desperately wanna jump in:
Brings new meaning to "Watching the Ball Drop."
By the truckload!
Looks like a theme park ride!
Whoa. That's a lotta balls. (hehe)
Amazingly, this sounds like one of those crazy ideas that's so simple, it just might work. It also sounds like an insult you'd hurl at a friend who was being super sketchy (e.g., "Dude, you're acting totally shade balls right now"). Regardless, best of luck from NYC to Cali with all your shade balls (pun intended).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

1 Year Later

I am lucky.
One year ago today was the last day I worked as a lawyer at the only company I'd ever worked at. One year ago today I was terrified and exhilarated, standing at the precipice of a new career which would change my life in ways I wasn't even able to predict.

In the past year, I have experienced some unbelievable highs and some dark and scary lows. I gained a bunch of weight and shed a bunch of tears. I spent countless sleepless nights worrying that I was in over my head, that my relentless determination to succeed at work was letting down friends and family and that at any moment, I was going to fail. But you know what happened? I didn't fail. Sure, I made mistakes and I struggled with the lawlessness of working from home and I didn't accomplish all of my goals and so many other "didn'ts/couldn'ts/wish I'ds", but here I am... One year later... Alive... still in business... and as sure as ever that my decision to jump was the right one. 

I am still very much on an open-ended journey and I'd be lying if I said I was no longer afraid. I am. A low level of anxiety buzzes in the back of my mind with each new challenge or opportunity and I still worry daily that I'm somehow going to let down the many wonderful people who have entrusted me with their work... but I'm surviving. I might even be thriving. I'm leaning in as hard as I possibly can ( and I'm refusing to surrender even when I know new challenges lie ahead.

They say that everything gets easier with time and that no activity is as scary as the first time you try it. Here's hoping that that's true and that even if it isn't, I'll continue to have the courage to figure it out as I go!

Friday, August 7, 2015

If you buy one thing this week...

... buy this mayonnaise. 
It's chipotle flavored and it's amazeballs. It will change your life (or at least your turkey sandwich). 

And how awesome is Sir Kensington's packaging!?
Buy it on Amazon here (and btw, I think I like their ketchup more than Heinz!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hump Day Distractions

I hate being chased by worms.
Today has been bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S (ooooh Gwen and Gavin...) so without any lolligagging, here are your hump day distractions. Enjoy!

* Is it cold in here? (Not for men apparently!)
* I've been spending about $12-15 a week on iced coffees which kinda kills me. Anyone have first hand experience with THIS product? (Since I only drink iced coffee all year long, this could be a worthwhile investment, yes?)
* Minion on the loose!!!
* Curvy girls rejoice! The reign of the skinny jean has ended!!
* This updo is freaking adorable.
* I sure am going to miss you Jon Stewart.
* So apparently Lenny Kravitz split his pants over the weekend... and his dong fell right out for everyone to see. If, like me, you're kinda curious, click HERE (note: this link isn't graphic unless you "click to reveal" on the page. And to answer your question, yes I did.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Beauty Routine: Drugstore Edition

Make me up please.
I have a seriously basic daily makeup routine. Since I like a natural "look", my routine consists of about 5 products and takes about 5 minutes to apply (and in summer I do even less thanks to the natural color my love of the sun provides!) That said, my simple beauty routine is still important to me feeling confident each day (for better or worse) and I know I look best when I take a few minutes in the morning to put myself together. Which is why when I recently found myself without my makeup case for a week (and not wanting to plunk down $$$ for unnecessary duplicates of my favorite brand name products) I ventured to CVS to try to get my beauty routine essentials on a budget. And since I was super happy with the products I purchased, I thought I'd share!

I selected this product for a few reasons. First, it is meant to be applied by rolling it on and then blending it with your finger. No brush needed = score 1 point for team simple! I  also liked that I had just 3 color options: light, medium and dark. I went with medium and hoped for the best.

Review: I really like the light consistency of this product.  It doesn't look cakey or gather in the creases of my eye. The roll-on application is great because you don't have to worry about squirting too much out of the bottle (happens all the time with my usual MAC concealer). Though the all-day wear wasn't as good as my usual concealer, the lightness of this product was so great that it seemed like a fair trade.

I have always been intrigued by creme/liquid blushes so I figured an inexpensive brand was the perfect way to try one out (plus, more points for no brushes required!!) I was once again attracted to the limited number of color tones to choose from (just 3) and how easy it would be to apply a light coating if I didn't love the tone I selected.

Review: I still love my Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer by Too Faced, but this product was a great alternative. Lumi has a slight shimmer which creates a beautiful summer glow and my skin didn't feel greasy to the touch once I rubbed it in (which was my fear when considering a liquid). I actually loved the product even more as the day went on and it became even more "natural" looking. My only criticism is that with Sun Bunny I use my brush to lightly dab color in places beyond just my cheekbones (neckline, blend with under eye concealer, etc) and with Lumi that isn't easily done (though I think this would be true of any liquid vs. powder).

CoverGirl was my go-to eyeliner brand until Sis gifted me an amazing Urban Decay set of pencils which converted me to their products. This was the fastest "new product" selection  I made at CVS because I just grabbed one that looked like what I'd used before.

Review: I think I'm switching back! I LOVE not needing a sharpener (this product twists to "refill") and the thin tip of Ink It!'s pencil allows you to get a smooth, thin line every time, not just after a fresh sharpen. There's no more getting stabbed by the wood of the pencil when the point gets low (something that seemed to happen weekly with Urban Decay 24/7) and I think the longevity of each application is only marginally shorter with the drugstore brand (and since I apply the product in my eye on the lower lid, my expectations for longevity aren't high to begin with). Ringing up at $6 vs. $20, CoverGirl is the clear winner here.

If you do not use this product, throw away whatever you're using and go get yourself a tube of LashBlast RIGHT NOW. This was the easiest product from my standard arsenal to replace because it is part of my standard arsenal! CoverGirl's LashBlast Volume mascara applies without clumps and immediately makes your eyes pop wide open! The thin brush helps separate and elongate lashes so they look striking, but not overly done or fake. Ranging in price from about $5-8 depending on where you buy it, there's no deal in beauty better than this mascara. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Light & Tasty

I'm like 99% on board with this quote.
This summer, after nearly a year of terrible eating and exercise habits, I've finally managed to re-commit myself to a healthier lifestyle. Through regular exercise (thank you ClassPass!) and cooking more meals at home (where I can control ingredients and portion sizes) I've finally gotten back on healthy habits bandwagon

Since it's easy to get bored with your go-to dinner options and variety is the spice of life, here are a 3 creative(ish), simple and new (to me) meals I've been preparing recently. They aren't exactly Julia Childs caliber and nearly all require something pre-made or packaged, but if I can make it fast and keep it healthy, in my opinion that's a meal worth sharing!

* Sausage, Sautéed Broccoli & Shirataki Noodles
If you aren't familiar with Tofu Shirataki noodles, it's time to get with the good stuff! This delicious pasta alternative comes in all sorts of shapes (angel hair, fettuccine, spaghetti...) and though they aren't going to be mistaken for that carb-tastic pasta we all love, it's an awesome and infinitely healthier substitute (a half bag is 10 calories, 0.5g fat and 3g carbs, aka ZERO Weight Watchers points so go ahead and enjoy a bag, or 2!) 

I like to prepare the noodles in a pan which I've lightly coated with Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray. I add fresh garlic, salt and some crushed red pepper and heat them slowly. In another, larger pan, I heat up some sliced pre-cooked sausage (options I love HERE) along with broccoli, adding a little olive oil and seasoning as I steam the mixture with the lid on. At the end, I combine everything into the sausage/broccoli pan to really mix the flavors and then I serve with grated parmesan cheese. It's all the Italian flavors you love at a fraction of the hit to your waistline!

* Spaghetti Squash Boats - Mediterranean Style
I love preparing spaghetti squash all sorts of ways (our household favorite being with grilled chicken parm melted on top like THIS) but adding all that sauce and cheese can detract from the healthy effort. For another tasty and slightly healthier option, try sautéing shrimp using a pesto-powder mix and just a little water and olive oil (much lower in fat than traditional pesto) along with chopped onions, spinach and tomatoes. (While you're doing this on the stove, bake the halved spaghetti squash like THIS (note, I usually skip the water and just lay the squash flat on a baking tray covered in tin foil bc I'm lazy like that!)) Once the squash is done, shred the "spaghetti" and mix in some salt, pepper, garlic powder and maybe a little more of that pesto powder. Next, load your pesto shrimp/veggie mixture into the top of the squash and top with low fat feta. On a baking sheet cook the "boats" for another 10-15 minutes and then serve.

* Asian Veggie Patty Burgers with Corn on the Cob (and sweet potato slices)
This is a new favorite for when I need a meal real fast, but I don't want to indulge in takeout. These MorningStar Asian Veggie Patties are delicious and can be popped in the microwave while you're toasting your Light English Muffin (I dare you to claim you can tell the difference between the light and regular!) Delicious plain or with a little ketchup, my favorite is a dollop of sweet chili sauce on the "bun" (for those feeling adventurous and up for something with a bit of kick!) And since nothing says summer like fresh corn on the cob, grab an ear and pop it in the microwave (2 minutes per ear with a thin layer of husk left on to create a steamed effect).

Lastly, if I'm feeling very hungry (aka, always), I'll add a sweet potato to this meal. I like to prepare it by creating thin, circle slices which I swipe with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper (and maybe some cajun seasoning) and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your slices). Enjoy plain or dipped in some of that zesty sweet chili sauce!