Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An iPhone for all seasons...

Not my actual stash I swear!!
Today my brain is like bllllaaaaaahhhhh and my body is like meeeehhhhhhh and I'm like "what the heck should I write a blog post about, I just told these people I was going to start writing blog posts more regularly again." Uhhhh... How about this!? A confession! Here goes: I am addicted to buying iPhone cases. 

It's true. I own nearly a dozen cases, some of which are seasonally appropriate (thank you Buddy (ps, I swear I didn't pay $28 for that!)) some of which have more actual functional purpose (the Rifle Paper Co.'s "inlay" cases make your phone noticeably heavier/bulkier, but they also really protect it). The way I see it, our cell phones are our most used and viewable accessory so I think it's perfectly reasonable to dress it up or down depending on where you're headed and the time of year! Some favorite shops for iphone cases include Society 6, Rifle Paper Co., C Wonder, J Crew, Kate Spade (sale bin for all 3 of those!!) and Etsy. Shutterfly also has a wonderful collection of customizable cases which would make the perfect gift for a loving parent or grandparent come the holidays.

So next time you think about dressing up your phone in some drab old case, consider showing a little love to your most useful accessory. (ps- there's always THIS!)

Monday, September 29, 2014

What I'm watching...

The end of September is here which means we can all stop watching re-runs and Netflix and the bottom of the barrel shows left on our DVR and focus on the new and returning shows about to re-stake their claim on primetime. HOORAY! Being the tv junkie that I am, I thought I'd give you a little Fall 2014 TV lineup. What are you watching!?

New shows that have caught my eye:
As we all know, August and September means seeing an influx of marketing for all the network's new shows. Some will be awesome, most will be cancelled. Here's a list of the shows that have caught my eye
* How to Get Away with Murder - ABC Thursday @ 10pm
Another drama from hit-maker Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy and Scandal), this show about a criminal law professor and her students has definitely grabbed my attention. The first episode (last Thurs. was good, but I'm not totally sold yet).
* A to Z - NBC Thursday @ 9:30pm
I'm always on the lookout for a decent 30 minute comedy (I miss you Office and 30 Rock!) so this uniquely structured romantic comedy about an entire relationship is definitely going to get a chance. 
* Manhattan Love Story - ABC Tuesday @ 8:30pm
This show gets a look purely because they've been filming it all over my neighborhood. The premise seems cute enough though, a budding romance in NYC with voiceovers sharing what's actually going on inside each characters mind. Let's see...
* Marry Me - ABC Tuesday @ 9pm
I love Ken Marion (since his Wet Hot American Summer Days) so this comedy featuring him and the show's writer's real life wife (Casey Wilson of Happy Endings, a show that never did much for me) is worth a shot. A couple in love but vexed with silly complications!? Maybe.

And coming back for another season...
* Parks and Recreation - Left us with a big jump forward in time at the end of last season. Excited to see what this season has in store.
* Parenthood - This is one of the better shows on tv that not nearly enough people are watching. Coming in for it's final season, this complex family drama is totally worth getting caught up on.
* Scandal - Though I worry that this show's schtick may be getting a bit tired, I'm not nearly ready to give up on Olivia and her band of gladiators.
* Nashville - A prime time soap opera with live country music, the mom from Friday Night Lights (love you Connie Britton) and a surprisingly impressive Hayden Panettiere... highly entertaining and a good filler for my otherwise available Wednesday night!
* New Girl - This show wavers for me, but when it's funny, it's really funny. The show is at its best when the ensemble feeds off one another, but especially scene stealing Nick and Schmidt. Watch for a laugh.
* Homeland - Enough said.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wellness Week Day 4

Now that we have cleaned up and caught up and scheduled those outstanding "to do's" I think it's time to take a step back from the digital devices (ironic for a blogger to be saying to the person reading this on a device I know, but stay with me...)

Wellness Week Day 4 - Disconnect.
Today is one of the holiest Jewish holidays of the year (L'Shana Tova!) which means a few hours in synagogue with family and a lively and delicious festive meal. It also means several hours in no-phone zones and for that I am extremely thankful. Sometimes being literally unable to check email, send texts or peruse social media is just what you need to realize how out of control being plugged in 24-7 had become. So today, go for a walk and leave your phone at home. Shut the laptop, walk away from the tablet. Get outside, soak in the tub, pick up an old fashioned book... However you do it, spend at least 1 hour in a totally device-less state and just enjoy the peace and quiet. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hump Day Distractions

awww hey lil buddy!
Because even a productive Wellness Week requires a little distraction, here are some goodies to get you through to the other side. Enjoy!

* Gosh I love this gal...
* Not sure how I feel about THESE. I think I love them, but, hmmm.
* These banners would definitely add some sass to your next party!
* The person who came up with this tasty idea is clearly a genius.
* A powerful ad from Budweiser.
* Classy and pretty easy to prepare. My favorite dinner party combination.
* Waterslide tester!?! I didn't even know to dream about being this!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wellness Week Day 2

Welcome Autumn!
How are we feeling today my merry friends? Are you with me on the road to a clearer mind (and full heart... can't lose!) Yesterday's mission of making an appointment is one and done on my end, and hopefully you too. Are you ready for our next Wellness Week task?

Wellness Week Day 2 Clean up & Catch up
Two of the things that really make me feel out of sorts are when things get messy and when I feel out of touch with my loved ones. Thankfully accomplishing both of these things at the same time is totally doable and who doesn't love a lil multitasking!? So today, plug your cell into headphones (two hands free for maximum productivity!) and tidy up your closet while you call your mom... go to the grocery store and catch up with your girlfriend. Chatting with a loved one while doing these slightly less than glamorous tasks makes the chore go faster and your heart gets a friendly dose of lovin too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

There is such thing, as too much of a good thing…

In the past 6 weeks I have travelled to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Louisville, Kentucky, Charleston, South Carolina, Portland, Maine and New Orleans, Louisiana. I have eaten some of the tastiest meals and drank plenty to wash them down. I’ve done a lot of dancing. (And in my spare time I left the company I worked at for over 5 years and started my own business…)

I have eaten (quite) well and travelled (very) often, potentially maxing out my own life’s motto of “une view a plein bord” and now it’s time to reset. I need to get back to some sort routine, or figure out a new routine as the case may be (perhaps each work-from-home-day should still start with brushing my teeth!?). I need to start taking better care of myself including making time for eating right and exercise (because I’ve blown through my entire supply of elastic waist-band pants). And because taking on any daunting task is better with a buddy… I’m bringing y’all with me. Welcome to Wellness Week my friends, where each day we are going to commit to do 1 thing we’ve been meaning to do that’s good for us.

Wellness Week Day 1 - Schedule those Appointments
We’ve all got the health appointment we’ve just been “too busy” to schedule. The dentist or dermo or orthopedist to check out a nagging pain... well the delaying stops now. Today, commit to making that call and scheduling your overdue checkup. Make it a priority. I promise, your body will thank you!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

And the beat goes on...

Me right now...

Sometimes the only way to get through another day of an insanely hectic week is to look at some adorable animal pictures and gifs. There, I said it. I have no shame. Get more of this cuteness explosion HERE.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hump Day Distractions

Just another day in another week and another chance to hump it right! In case you're practically sleepwalking through today like I am, here are some distractions to lessen the pain... enjoy!

* A very sad potential explanation for why most Disney characters don't have moms...
* Willing to move in with any of these folks. Anyone will do really:)
* Probably going to need to own THIS given that it's 40% off today! (also, THESE are the best leggings on the planet as long as you're sale shopping) 
* What oil can do for you
* Well don't you just look so healthy and delicious!
* A sassy mani perfect for fall.
* I am a chronic run-late-r. THIS was clearly written for me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The elephant in the room...

I see you mister!!
Friends. As many of my more regular readers have likely noticed, recently I've been a bit less regular than usual with my Seek to Be Merry postings. Once priding myself on "5 days per week, never missing a day!" for the past few weeks (since starting my new job) missing a day has become more the norm than not.

When I started this blog nearly 3 years ago (whhhhat!?) it was because I was desperate for a creative outlet, because I have a passion for writing and talking (#truth) and because I had quite a bit of spare mental energy at the end of each day (#energyismymiddlename). For better or worse (but almost entirely for better) I'm not nearly as creatively desperate or overflowing with spare energy anymore. "Real life" has picked up in ways I could never have imagined when I started this blog and sometimes that gets in the way of being the blogger that I love to be. But do not despair! This space is so much a part of me now and continuing to post is a job I take as seriously as the "full time/real life" gig that pays me. With each day that goes by, I become more comfortable with the routines and demands of my new job and that will allow me to find the right balance for all things merry...

So if you don't mind, stick with me. I promise I'm not going anywhere and I promise I still have plenty to write and share. And finally, a big thanks for reading and making this blog something so special and worth holding on to!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Watch & Read.

Reading and Watching, my favorites!
As many of you know, I like to read and I like to watch tv (#LoverofLeisureActivities). And sometimes the universe delights and sends me a funny new television show or an "I can't put it down and go to sleep (even though it's 1am)" book and I'm over the moon about it. This summer, the universe sent me both (WOOOO!!!) so I thought "I gots to share with my merry friends!" Happy watching and reading (and happy Friday!) (#Iuseparenthasistoomuch)

* TV Show - You're The Worst
This show employed a brilliant strategy from the get-go: debut in late Aug-early Sept when there is absolutely no interesting scripted television to compete with. Found on FX Thursdays at 10:30, You're the Worst is an honest, raunchy, laugh-out-loud-while-cringing, comedy about 30 somethings falling in and out of love and finding themselves in the complicated "adult" world. And I promise it's not corny or contrived, it's good!! Filled with breakout stars from the leads to the supporting characters (my personal favorite is sassy best friend Lindsay played by Kether Donahue!) this new series is definitely the best thing I'm watching on tv right now (and the New Yorker likes it too which makes me feel very justified in this rave review!) Next week is the season finale (fingers crossed it gets picked up for a second!) so head over to your OnDemand screen and get caught up soon!!

* Book - Big Little Lies
Nothing beats finishing a thoroughly enjoyed book and Big Little Lies was just that. It was juicy while having a little depth, it was long but not terribly heavy and the pages flew by. Big Little Lies by Laura Moriarty is a good read!! Focused on the varied lives of three women living in Australia, BLL begins with a murder and then backtracks, all while delving into the psyches, pettiness, gossip and real-life struggles of being the parent of a kindergartener in a small wealthy town. The characters have more depth the more you read and what I assumed would be all fluff turned into a much more substantive plot with lessons to be learned and surprises from several characters. Not only would I highly recommend Big Little Lies as your next book, but I'm off to download Moriarty's previous tome, The Husband's Secret to keep the "I don't sleep I lay in bed and read" train going. Who needs sleep where there's a good book to be read!?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hump Day Distractions

What's a week without a hump!? Let's get over it together with these goodies from around the web. Enjoy!

* Get ready to salivate
* For anyone you know that's in the market for a wedding dress (eghm, Sis!)
* I might have to take a trip to London just to see THIS in person!
* Is it better to go fast or go far when you run?
* I want to wear you.
* This kid does not give a damn about meeting the President of the United States. You do you kid. 
* The truth behind a perfectly manicured Instagram life
* The perfect picture is all about the moment you go "click"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's Tailgate Time!

Are you ready for some football!? With the start of the college and NFL football seasons these last two weekends, all my summer sun lounging outside days have devolved into "what time is kickoff?/where is the game on?" love affairs with my television. Tis the season!! Here to make sure your tailgate snacks are as game ready as your team (hopefully!) are some new game day recipes to take for a whirl. Game on!

THIS recipe claims that quesadilla glory is just 10 minutes away. Black beans and corn, salsa and seasoning, this is a game time or tailgate snack anyone can manage to pull off and it's sure to be a hit! (Pin it HERE)

While we're hitting the mexican-theme munchies, HERE's another "put it in a bite size cup" recipe for Mini Mexican Pizzas. An easy to follow recipe with just a few ingredients, you can do all the prep in advance and then pop these into the oven just before halftime for a mid-game treat! (Pin it HERE).

Has there ever been a more unexpected match made in culinary food heaven!? Avocados wrapped in bacon - easy, healthy(ish!?), bacon-y and delicious all at once. Check out the simple recipe (via Necessary Clothing of all places!) HERE (Pin it HERE)

So that pizza bread right there? How delicious does that look!? The full recipe for make-your-own-dough is right HERE or if you're like me and love the idea but hate the mess/effort/time involved, pop over to your favorite pizza shop and ask if they will sell you a pizza's worth of dough (many will!) Then follow the recipe from there. 

And of course there will be times when your team draws the early game and breakfast eats are called for, which is why there is THIS Breakfast Casserole w egg whites, bacon, spinach and smoked gouda recipe. It's time to up your kegs and eggs game my friends. (Pin it HERE)

Click HERE for a really easy and cute tutorial on turning your table into a football field!

* For all of Seek to be Merry's past football foodie posts, click HERE *

Monday, September 8, 2014

Travels and Headline News

Wanderlust 4 Eva
Hello hello and welcome back to the merriest corner of the internet! After a little hiatus from blogging for some friend-filled travel and celebrations last week, I'm back to tell you where I've been lately and why you need to go there too.

First, Charleston, SC. Have you been? I visited Charleston over Labor Day weekend, staying at a rented house on Isle of Palms (one of the beach communities just outside downtown Charleston) and had an absolute blast. Charleston has beautiful homes, lovely beaches and a down south chill vibe that made it an excellent vacation destination (including for our family's little kiddos). I highly recommend renting a house near the beach (with a pool, it gets HOT!) and letting your days be a relaxing mix of beach, golf, swimming and the occasional trip into town for shopping (Charleston has awesome shopping of the boutique and designer variety) and eating (we went to Hominy Grill one night and loved everything from the shrimp and grits to the pie for dessert). There was a ton of history and exploring we didn't get to do this trip, but I guess that just means I need to go back!! A short flight from NYC, consider Charleston for your next family vacation, romantic getaway or even a bachelorette or girls trip destination!

View from Munjoy Hill, where our rental house was.
Second, Maine... Like the whole state, but this time around, specifically Portland. I have now vacationed in Maine twice (Bar Harbor last time) and I think it might be my exact-opposite-of-NYC-can-I-have-a-home-here-too favorite destination. Portland is another short trip from NYC (just a 50 minute flight) and the crisp air, gorgeous ocean/bay views and out of this world seafood make it the most refreshing place on the planet to visit. Again we rented a house (sensing a theme here!?) and I fell in love with everything from our multi-story old house, to paddleboarding on the bay, outrageously good lobster mac HERE and the general adorableness of a small city meant for exploring and enjoying on foot. I've already got plans to be back in Maine next summer and  I think this is a tradition I could get used to!!

And finally, HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS!? Thanks to an "I-just-opened-my-eyes-and-saw-your-email" from my beloved (parent)thetically speaking, I learned this morning that the royals are expecting another bundle of joy. While I wish first and foremost for Kate and Will a healthy bitty baby, I wish secondly for myself and the world for a little princess because after closely following George's adorable clothing swagger, I'd love to see what a royal lady baby would do. Congrats to the parents-to-be!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Random Ranting...

Thinkin and doin.
Since yesterday's post was all grown up-serious-life-decisionsy, I thought today we needed a healthy dose of ridiculousness. Here's what's on my mind:

Random Thought #1
What the heck is up with Facebook Messenger!? Facebook is getting super pushy about downloading their new messaging App and I am having NONE of it. Not only does the app get terrible reviews, but I only rarely communicate via Facebook message so I have no need for a separate app, especially since my iPhone is already perpetually out of storage space (thanks to my photo hoarding). So why can't I just say "no thanks" and move on with my life you ask!? Because I keep getting a pesky little red (1) notification on my iPhone home screen and Facebook has now blocked my ability to read any Fbook messages I do receive on my phone unless I download the App. Well I won't. I will defy your little red notification and the messages will just have to wait until I'm at a computer. HA.

Random Thought #2
Fashion Week in NYC is about to kick off and that means it's time for the invasion of the models. This invasion is no joke. On the subway or strutting down the sidewalk, fashion week brings an insanely noticeable influx of giraffe-esque/all-legs/when-was-the-last-time-she-ate(!?) women to my city and this raises two issues for me: first, I feel like I should be walking around handing out cheeseburgers and second, where is my invitation to a fashion show?

And finally on a lighter note... I had to pop into Banana Republic this week to make an exchange and I noticed that they are straight up killin' it with their new fall line. I recommend you check it out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On change.

Are you sure!?!
Recently, I've had a lot of change in my life. For the first time in my career I switched jobs and not only that, but I went from a large company in an office to working for myself at a desk in my living room. Everything about my day to day is different and I haven't yet identified what my new "normal" will be. So naturally, when the paperwork (we'd been expecting) about the expiration of our apartment lease arrived, I completely freaked out. I'm talking "should we move somewhere where I can have a home-office?/but I love this apartment/but I want a dog/what about cost/houseguests/babies/neighborhoods?" full on Melt.Down. (Dr. H is a lucky guy huh?) The entire episode was not exactly my finest moment.

For me, change is good, but it is also hard. While I consider myself a fairly adventurous and open-minded person, what I crave is usually variety, not change. Lots of little options and opportunities, but nothing that causes a major upheaval. And the challenge when you're a little "change-averse" like myself, is knowing when to push yourself vs. accept the fact that "I am who I am".  How much change should I be forcing myself to cope with? Maybe if I just started a new job I don't also need to move to a new apartment or maaaaaybe if I muster up a little courage, moving to a bigger apartment will make my new job easier. I don't know!! 

So that's where I'm at. A tiny pit in my stomach and a nagging confused voice in the back of my brain. Change is good, but it is also hard.