Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

Tricks & Treats for all!!!
One of my favorite things about Halloween (besides the dressing up, and the candy, and the decorations, and the parties???) is seeing witty/super creative costumes. Once I ventured onto the witty side (devil with a blue dress on) but that's nothing compared to some of these pros:

Celebrity Jeopardy genius.
Buzz Light Beer of course.
She's a brick.... house.
50 shades of grey anyone?
Dunkin' Donuts!!!
And last but not least... Stevie Wonder Woman.

Wishing you a most fantastic and Happy Halloween, be sure not to eat too much candy!!
one too many treats...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hump Day Distractions

Perfect costume for your favorite ginger?
You guys.... YOU GUYS. I'm pleased to report after yesterday's post that you absolutely must read The Book Thief (if you haven't already) and then see it in theaters when it comes out November 15. The story is touching, the cast, cinematography and score stirring and the lead actress 13 year old Sophie Nélisse? Flawless (loved Geoffrey Rush as well). It's gonna be an awards season contender, I promise. And other than that... guesss whhhhattt dayyy it is!?? Guess what day it is!? Here to help you hump the day is a heaping pile of internet distractions. Enjoy!

* THIS is Disney-tastic, Chicago-lovin, absolutely freakin BRILLIANT. 
* Made it, ate it, loved it. Merry Meri and Dr. H tested and approved.
* Do you live in the state that matches your mood. Apparently I'm best suited for... gasp... Georgia!!!
* You've heard of Elf on a Shelf, but how about Mensch on a Bench!?
* So THIS looks completely terrifying...
* Dressing to impress really matters don't you think? (via CapHillStyle)
* Sad, true, eyeopening. A powerful ad campaign brought to you by Google and UN Women
* I'm really into these bags (via CupofJo)
* The celebs are Halloween-ing in full force. Who do you think dressed to impress?
* THIS guy. OMG this guy.

And with the big day being TOMORROW, here are a few last minute ideas to get yourself Halloween ready.

A Bloody good manicure!
Pin it HERE; full site HERE

a "handy" craft for the kiddos
Pin it HERE; full site HERE

Monster Apples, Creepy Chili, Spider Web Soup, Spooky
Smoothies and other Easy and Fun Halloween Recipes
Pin it HERE; full site HERE

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Have you Heard About..?

What's the buzz about!?
I thought it was high time that we predicted the future of cool again so here for your "always ahead of the curve" pleasure is a quick installment of "Have You Heard About?" (For evidence of my past predictive powers, click HERE).

* Humans of New York
Have you heard about the sensation that is "Humans of New York"?! It earned a brief mention (in a Hump Day Distractions post) over the summer when I first ordered the hardcover book, but since the book has arrived - and jumped to the top of the NY Times Bestsellers List - my enthusiasm for the project has gone through the roof. Originally a blog and then a Facebook page, Humans of New York started as a "photo census" of NYC and quickly evolved into a beautiful collection of photos and quotations (captured by the insanely creative and talented Brandon Stanton) from residents of my most favorite city. Captivating, interesting, addictive and now trendy, Stanton captures the essence of people in his images and I promise you won't be able to look away. Click HERE to follow the daily posts on Facebook or HERE to order your own copy of the book (and get the hardcover! These images were meant to come alive on real paper I promise!) PS- new life goal: get photographed for HONY

*Elbow Patches
patch it.
Move over grandpa, there's a new elbow patch wear'er in town and it's everyone!!! Whether it's DIY, heart shaped, or on your man elbow patches are the trendy, easy and fun look to wear this fall and winter. Have a little fun with sequin or leather options like these, or keep it classic paired with tweed.  

* The Book Thief
Another book suggestion, but also a movie... and you know how I feel about books that get made into movies (thanks Mom!). One of my favorite ladies who works in the publishing industry is taking me to a screening of The Book Thief tonight and based on everything I've read online 1) if you haven't read this book yet, read it now; 2) the movie is going to be awesome. Originally slated for a January 2014 release, the movie is now coming out in November so as to be eligible for the 2013-14 awards season. I'll let you know what I think so you can say "you knew it" first!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Actual LOL

Laugh it up
What better way to start off the week than with a laugh!? Though I cannot personally attest to the effectiveness of this product, 1) I'm certainly intrigued, and 2) this ad is the bees knees. 

Big ups to Sis for sending this funny my way!

And for those of you still in need of a costume, today's 31 Days of Halloween (sourced from the lovely Diana over at ExPress-o) brings you the 10 Best Last Minute Halloween Costumes. You're welcome :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

On Frogging

It isn't easy being green.
Dr. H and I are currently embroiled in a bitter night time a war. In truth, the war has been waging for years, with periods of relative peace marked by sudden and unpredictable uprises. It is the War of The Frog. The frog, for those unfamiliar with it, is the sleeping position in which the sleeper, on his/her side or stomach, keeps one leg straight while the other is bent, tucked under and slightly to the side (very much like a sitting frog <--). "Frogging", as we affectionately refer to it, is the preferred sleeping position of yours truly and recently Dr H has been going through a bit of a frogging phase himself. But that's not what sparked the war. The war is the result of each of our preference for frogging toward the middle of the bed and inevitably, going "over the line". Dr H gave me a stern warning the other morning that I'd spent much of the night with my frog leg on his side of the bed. Somewhere around 2am last week, I physically shoved off his frog, to remove it from my hip (viewed as an act of unprovoked aggression by my bed-mate). 

So are we supposed to get a bigger bed (you know I've considered a bigger bed..!) or are we supposed to lay down each night and jigsaw puzzle piece our way into sleeping position leaving to chance the possibility of an over the line infraction in which someone takes a knee to the gut (or groin, sorry!) during the night? We are not the biggest people, we should be able to manage in our generously proportioned queen size bed. But with my right frog and his left frog refusing to back down, for now, the war wages on.

PS: 31 Days of Halloween
Just in time for the weekend, click HERE for full instructions from Simple As That to make these absolutely adorable Halloween crafts. The kiddos are gonna LOVE 'em. (Click HERE to Pin It)

PPS: "Feed Your Football Face" Recipe of the Week Pepperoni Cheese Stick Roll Ups
I think the picture says it all folks (especially since the Pin doesn't link to anything!!) but just in case... Buy the pre-packaged dough, some pepperoni (or turkey pepperoni, which FYI is delish) and cut your polly-o's in half. Roll, paint on a little olive oil, sprinkle w garlic and bake til brown. Don't forget the red sauce for dipping!!

PPPS: A truly heartwarming thanks for the lovin I got in the comments section yesterday. I guess my need for inspiration was a bit reflective of my uninspired mood and holy cow was it uplifting to hear from some of you. Thank you thank you and have a wonderful weekend my merry friends!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

This is the beginning...

This has turned into one of those weeks when I feel like some inspirational words are in order...

take time.

Have Courage.

there is no never.

be wonderful.

And then, of course, we have our 31 Days of Halloween to attend to!!
How awesome are these creepy, crawly spider chocolate chip cookies!? The brain child of Hungry Happenings (full recipe HERE), these spider treats are super easy to create and totally awesome to see. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hump Day Distractions

Good Hump Day my merry friends! Today is one of those chilly "don't forget that winter is coming" sort of days in NYC and it took a trip to Duane Reade for tights (which I'd opted not to wear this morning) to fully clothe myself for the day (doh!) Wherever you are today, I hope your apparel is sufficient and your Wednesday is speedy.

* What does your drink of choice say about you? (via CupofJo)
* One of the things I look forward to most about having kids is making them look ridiculous.
* These photos are stunning and also delicious (still on a fromage kick over here!) (via CupofJo)
* Is America ready to go green?
* Do I need this blouse? I think I need this blouse.
* And while we're shopping, these shoes.
* So apparently I'm super late to the party and THIS is a viral sensation. What does the fox say?
* Kinda like Sleep No More, but possibly even more amazing? (wish I was headed to LA sometime soon!)
* The season of slow cooking is upon us and THIS looks yum.
* It's a little bit nuts how many of THESE I can relate to.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 days of Halloween

Just 9 more days until Halloween!!
Stopping in real quick to throw some Halloween goodies at ya... it's been a nutty morning. I think I'll blame it on the 10 minutes I spent preparing and chugging my lemon water :) Either way, Happy Halloween-y Tuesday!

So these are kinda gross looking, but also really awesome. Unfortunately the pin doesn't link to instructions, but I'm going to deduce that they're something like "slice a raw hotdog as seen in the picture; wrap in stringy strips of pre-made crescent dough; bake until light brown." Seems about right..! I think your kiddos need some mummy dogs in their life this Halloween!!

Another seasonal item perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving and everything in between. These adorable acorns are super easy to create and make for a bite sized autumn treat! Click HERE for full instructions from Gracious Rain or HERE to pin it.

Isn't this mustache o'lantern just the cutest thing? Even easier than carving, click HERE for full instructions from The Swell Life or HERE to pin it. (PS- where can I find white pumpkins!?)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Healthy Habit of the Month X.

So bright. So refreshing.
This post is the tenth installment of SeektobeMerry's "Healthy Habit of the Month" series. Sourced from my bff's at Weight Watchers, online articles and my own efforts to keep fit and trim, throughout 2013, I will attempt to integrate one new healthy habit into my life each month. Join me!

Another month gone by, another chance to check in and see how healthy we're feeling. For me, this is always a difficult time of year - as I pull out the warmer (bulkier) clothing and gravitate towards hardier meals, I also seem to have less free time for exercising (fall is always so busy!) and less motivation to "make the right decision" when it comes to what I eat. October's lack of focus leads to November's holiday feast and then before you know it we're surrounded by holiday party booze and h'ordeuvres reaching without thought for another round of peppermint bark (yum). With so much going on, I thought we'd benefit from a super easy and (supposedly) highly beneficial new daily habit...

Healthy Habit of the Month #10: Rise & Shine with Lemon Water
Once upon a time I incorporated a cup of hot lemon water into my morning routine and while 
it lasted (errr... 2 weeks?) it was good. You see, lemons are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber and research shows that consuming some lemon right after waking up is really good for you: "This is the best thing to consume upon waking, as it flushes the kidneys and the liver and alkalizes the blood. It also allows you to tune into whether or not you're really hungry." Lemon water has also been shown to de-bloat you, flush out the toxins in your body (by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver), improve complexion annnnnd aid with weight loss!!! (because of pectin fiber's presence in lemon, lemon water has the effect of reducing your hunger). Is this not the easiest and most wonderful idea? This month, vow to start every day with a glass of lemon water and get ready to feel like a brighter, lighter you!! (More information and sources for my factoids HEREHERE and HERE).

Be sure to check out past "Healthy Habit of the Month" posts here: 
Month 1: Adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal
Month 2: Schedule a workout
Month 3: Find an accountability buddy
Month 4: Keep track (of your movement)
Month 5: Challenge yourself
Month 6: 1 Perfect Week
Month 7: Sleep on it
Month 8: Pack a Snack
- Month 9: Drink up!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Have a colorful weekend!!

Guess who is TOTALLY PUMPED that it's Friday!? THIS gal!!! I am so so (so) excited to have survived this post-vacation beast of a week and I've got an awesome weekend ahead so it doesn't get much better than that. I hope you have something special planned too :) Here to take us into the weekend is a mess of goodies from around the web. Enjoy!!!

Rock on.
The new Pearl Jam album, Lightning Bolt, came out this week and it is a solid outing from one of my favorite rock bands. Though it's nothing revolutionary, it's track after track of brooding musicality and thoughtful lyrics. I've got a date with Eddie and the rest of the band at Barclays tonight and I won't mind hearing a few of these newbies mixed in with the 90s/00s Pearl Jam I fell in love with.

More about those totally fly rainbow sheep (straight from Pinterest, because I believe everything I read on the internet): Freshly dyed sheep run in view of the highway near Bathgate, Scotland. The sheep farmer has been dying his sheep with nontoxic dye since 2007 to entertain passing motorists...

And because I know I owe you at least two 31 Days of Halloween goodies from this week:

So easy and absolutely adorable as Halloween party decor, all you need are some white and orange balloons and a sharpie to pull together this crafty creation!

Autumn nights...
If you're looking for seasonal decor that's more on the classy side and all-fall-long friendly (these would look awesome at the entry to your home for Thanksgiving!) try this DIY from Design Mom (link to full instructions HERE) for apple votive candles. I love the idea of floating the fruit, 'a la bobbing for apples, too!

And lastly, because it's Friday and pigskin seasons is officially in full swing....
"Feed Your Football Face" Recipe of the Week: Buffalo Cauliflower*
*brought to you by Persnickety Plates
Tailgate food is not typically healthy food and no one wants to be the chick that brought the veggie platter, but this creative recipe seems to really deliver the best of both worlds - classic tailgate taste, none of the post-pig out guilt.
head of cauliflower
For the batter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
dash of Frank's Wing Sauce (or Frank's Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried onion (I use Tastefully Simple's Onion Onion)
For the buffalo sauce
1/4 cup Frank's Wing Sauce
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
pinch of salt

- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray (I always use olive oil spray) and set aside.
- Wash your head of cauliflower and cut into pieces. I made a variety of sizes.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients. It will be fairly thick.
- Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter just hardens.
- In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients.
- Once the cauliflower are done, remove from the oven and brush with the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.
- Put back into the oven and bake for a few more minutes (I think 5-7 minutes was my range), until  the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy.
- Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy! (dip in Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing!?)
Click HERE for the full recipe (including printable version) or HERE to Pin it!

Check out previous "Feed Your Football Face" recipes HERE.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

24 hours in DC

This post brought to you by the fabulous 

You know how nothing else will ever taste as good as your moms _______ (insert comfort food here)? And that's probably because her version was the first version you ever tasted and because there are warm, fuzzy, wonderful memories associated with that dish? And even if the fanciest, classically trained chef were to make that dish for you, you'd still prefer your moms?

Well, Washington, DC had the same effect on me. No city will ever compare to it, in my eyes. Its the first (and only, I guess) big city that I've lived in. The neighborhoods, the restaurants, the culture, (the history, for pete's sake!) - it suited me perfectly. I moved back closer to home (starting a family might do that to ya) after living in DC for almost 5 years. In a couple of weeks, I get to go back for the 2nd time since leaving 3 years ago. So I'll have 24 hours to relive a bit of my past. And I will be eating nonstop! (I know you all plan trips based solely on the location of delicious food and are already thinking about the next meal while still eating the previous one!) 
I thought I would share with you my short list of likely destinations during my abbr. trip (mostly restaurants). Now, I know that this list will not knock your socks off with trendy and see-or-be-seen power spots (check out the Bitches for the real scoop)...but, it is a list of spots that make a transient city feel like home, so there.

*Matchbox DC (the apple pear salad is my favorite salad from anywhere, hands down)
*Founding Farmers ( My go-to dinner spot with one of my besties.
*Cone E. Island
Ice Cream (yours truly spent a summer scooping up some tast e. treats there) Get the fantasy bar - as a topping or a whole bar. You're welcome.
*Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe (get the Goober Pie for dessert. Just do it, don't ask questions)
*This little cafe down the street from my old office (they have an iced chai latte unlike any I've ever tasted)
*Chop't (yeah, yeah, chain-shmain, soooo good though)
*Georgetown Cupcake (cliche I know - but, but...I'd been going there since almost day 1 - their tiny store was right around the corner from where we watched football games on Sundays). While in Georgetown, do yourself (and your closet) a favor and go shopping.

What would your list look like (for any city)?

For previous posts from (parent)thetically speaking, click HERE.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hump Day Distractions

Guess what day it is you sassy pink fellow you...
"I can't wait to go home and arrange these gords in our new basket!" - Thing I actually said last night. (#decorativegordseason). It's Wednesday... not Friday. Good lord someone get me to Friday. But in the meantime, let's get our hump on.

* Gloria Steinem absolutely shuts down the lame Miley Cyrus debate going on.
* Oh Restoration Hardware... you so silly.
* This seems like a craft project that just might be worth the effort (tassel-tastic!)
* Going through a bit of a skull phase... diggin this necklace.
* I own more than a few of THESE life-changers and I absolutely agree (lookin at you SodaStream!)
* From black and white to color... very cool.
* This kid is my hero. My food loving, poop-chatting, hero.

And for today's 31 Days of HalloweenHERE are 25 adorable kiddie costumes (some of my most favorites below).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

730 Days

When you put it that way, 2 years doesn't seem like very long does it? But somehow, in just 730 days, I've completely abandoned life as "me" and wrapped myself wholeheartedly into a "we" with Dr. H. 

After two years of marriage, we've found our rhythm as a couple and settled into a partnership that is inextricably a piece of who I am. I define myself, without a moment's thought, as half of a "we" and though that may sound corny, when your identity is defined in part by your love for and life with another person, the future feels filled with endless possibility. Because I know that my own strength is limited and that my ability to dream big is confined to only my vision of the world, but with Dr. H as my "we", I have someone whispering words of encouragement in my ear and broadening my perspective on what's out there to experience. Whether it's something small like motivating me to keep peddling up the giant Loire Valley hill or something huge like fantasizing about buying a home and starting a family, there is no me anymore without my "we".

So dearest Dr. H... my Peruvian hiking partner and fellow Brazilian beach bum, my Portuguese co-explorer and French biking buddy... here's to the 730 days behind us and the thousands of days of love, support and adventure ahead. You are essential to the definition of me and I wouldn't have it any other way. Happy Anniversary. (#babeitup)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Une vie á plein bord.

Bonjour my merry friends and a most sincere apology for leaving you all on your lonesome at the end of last week... I had fantasies about finishing up the last two F.I.T.S. posts once connected to wifi abroad, but vacations sometimes need to be vacations from everything and sitting at a computer was just not part of my itinerary. I hope you can understand :)

Today I'm back, and struggling, I think as we all do, to put vacation behind me and a normal day-in-the-life Monday in front of me. I miss the French countryside air, spending hours each day on a bicycle, that magical Parisian elegance and also... where is the fromage?! After 8 nights in France I can tell ya a thing or two about good fromage. #insanelyluckygirlproblems

As I dive back into the ordinary and reflect on my time away, a quote I discovered at the Rodin Museum in Paris (Rodin being a most favorite artist of mine) really stands out. He said, "une vie á plein bord" which translates to "a life full to the brim". I think this is an apropos mantra for a girl who writes a blog focused on happiness and really for any of you out there who also "seek to be merry". I think, if we make it our goal to fill our lives to the brim, hopefully with wonderful things, but also with struggles and hard work, we can finish each day with a unique sense of contentment and personal pride. Our victories will be more joyful, our power to overcome challenges more obvious and our love for people and places more fulfilling. Because to me "full to the brim" isn't necessarily about a jam packed schedule or constant thrill seeking, but more making sure that at the end of each day you know you threw it all on the table. Maybe all Rodin was saying was the Frenchy elegant version of "give it your all", but whatever, I like it and I'm in. 

More pics and a full run down of the Dr. H and Merry Meri Tour de France coming soon, but for now let's get back to our 31 days of Halloween!!! It's a Q-Tip Skeleton!
Click HERE for the full instructions from Alive & Mortal on this simple and kid friendly holiday craft!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hump Day Distraction (singular)

And because I really do love you, here's your daily 31 days of Halloween delight:

These shadow puppets are perfect for some festive Halloween decor (taped to the outside of a candle they'd cast awesome shadows on the wall!) or for the kiddos to play with. Click HERE to Pin it or HERE to go directly to ChezbeeperBebe's site for the free printables.