Thursday, July 30, 2015

Have you heard about (aka, what I'm currently obsessed with...)

Listen up people!!
My level of absolute obsession with the two (completely unrelated) things I'm about to share deserved more than just a plain old "Have You Heard About". If you've been anywhere near me in the past month or two you've probably heard me talking about these obsessions (sorry, not sorry!) and that's because they're just straight up awesome. So what are these Merry Meri wonders you ask? Well, have you heard about...

* Adult Coloring Books
A masterpiece from my beloved Secret Garden coloring book.
In June, I walked into Barnes and Noble and was immediately drawn to a display table covered in complex, ethereal, beautifully illustrated coloring books. I simply had to have one and ever since I can't put the thing down! Armed with a fresh 50-color box of Crayola colored pencils, I'm a coloring machine, spending hours at a time lost in the tiny details of each beautiful page. I find the activity soothing and rewarding, requiring deep focus, but somehow not at all the kind of focus that feels like work.  And turns out I'm not alone, adult coloring books are currently 6 of the top 20 selling books on!! “I think it probably speaks to people’s enjoyment in doing this kind of relaxing hobby or distraction from everyday life,” Sarah Deaver, president of the American Art Therapy Association, says “It creates an object of focus, and it creates something that’s beautiful and that’s satisfying.” Amen to that!!! So get yourself an adult coloring book today and don't worry about staying inside the lines, the best thing about being an adult is that you get to make your own rules:)

* ClassPass
Gym memberships can be pricey in NYC and for me, committing to that cost would have meant cutting out favorite workouts like SoulCyle, YogaVida and small group training sessions in the park. Enter ClassPass. ClassPass allows you to pay 1 monthly fee (in NYC it's currently $100 but going up to $125 this fall) and membership includes access to literally 100s of fitness classes (including open gym time!) throughout any ClassPass city! You can take as many classes as you want, with up to 3 per month at the same studio and sign up is as easy as opening the app and seeing what's near you that's about to begin! Through ClassPass I've discovered a love for high intensity interval training at Kore, adventures in indoor "surfing" at SurfSet (super unique and cool) and fallen in love one stroke at a time with Row House. As someone who needs variety to stick with exercise, ClassPass has been PERFECT and there's never a time when I can't find something interesting to try. (The downside? My beloved SoulCycle is not a member of ClassPass. Thankfully Cyc has proven a worthy substitute). Considering what I was paying in individual studio fees before, I'm coming out way ahead with ClassPass and working out all the time. So what are you waiting for!? Sign up!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hump Day Distractions

Car Humor.
Are you sweating yet!? Is it hot enough out there for ya!? For those not residing in NYC, you should know that we're currently enduring a bit of 90+ degree heat here which goes perfectly with pavement and steel skyscrapers don't you think!? Here to help you pass the time while you hide in the air conditioning are some delightful distractions from around the web. Stay cool my friends!

* The always lovely Reese Witherspoon has launched a clothing/home goods brand called Draper James. I want everything. EVERYTHING.
* What if we covered teaching the way we cover sports? This sketch is pretty damn hysterical.
* This grilled corn salad recipe is actually making my mouth water. May have to whip it up this weekend!!
* How to get a soft, stretched braid from my go-to DIY hairstyle video source, Small Things Blog.
* Some great tips for dining out with tiny humans.
* Mark your calendars people, Broadway Week is coming (that means 2 for 1 tickets!!!)
* Toronto, you are amazing (ps- sorry if I shared this already, I can't remember. I blame the heat)

Monday, July 27, 2015

in sickness & in health.

This is the easy part...
We have all heard the traditional wedding vow, that moment in the ceremony when the husband and wife to-be promise to love and support one another in sickness and in health. The promise is quickly made, for most a distant thought in that moment of love and celebration. For me, there was no contemplation of the depth of this promise or to how it would extend well beyond my husband to also include "his people", all of whom were about to become "my people" by marriage.

And then last week, Dr. H flew to Florida to be beside a beloved one of "his people" who was ill. Though the prognosis was optimistic, nothing is for sure when you're 88 years old and suffer a heart attack and a fall. Dr. H's Nana, my Nana, needed support and love, optimism and distraction. He went and I soon followed, to do our best navigating this uncharted territory, invoking that (fortunately) little needed portion of our vows. 

Today, Nana is without question on the mend and Dr. H and I are one "life's challenge" deeper into our journey as husband and wife... I saw a new side of my fierce love for my husband and we both discovered a new dimension to how we compliment one another. Most importantly though, we learned just how much we're there, in sickness and in health, for each other and our people. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hump Day Distractions

I'm sorry, but fart jokes will NEVER stop being funny.
Hey-oh Hump Day adventurers, how are you livin? It's a bit of a grind over here this week so I'm going to get straight to the good stuff. Happy clicking!!

* Brings new meaning to "playing with your food"! (via exPress-o)
* Relieved to hear I'm not the only person that occasionally forgets to apply deodorant and that there's an on-the-go fix that doesn't involve stopping at CVS!
* The guy from Let's WhineAboutIt might be my new favorite human. 
* Spotted in the West Village: Merry Meri's dream house (the light, those floors, that bathroom, that kitchen... I swoooon!)
* 2 ingredient pancakes? Innnnteresting....
* Thoughts on the off-the-shoulder trend?
* Watermelon makes for an excellent summer party decor theme don't you think?
* The most adorable twinsies you ever did see.

Monday, July 20, 2015

You're never too old for something new (to eat!)

I really like cherries, who knew? (not me!)
How often do you try a new food or re-try a food you've always written off as something you don't like? I am always happy to taste something brand new, but I've also made it a habit to regularly revisit foods I "don't like" to make sure that I still don't like them! This may sound strange, but it's important to try foods over and over again because science has shown that our tastebuds actually change over time!

I was first amazed by this tastebud evolution in college... My roommate "introduced" me to strawberries (how was there ever a time that I didn't LOVE strawberries!?) and the little lady I used to babysit was responsible for my "discovery" of delicious broccoli ("if you try it, I'll try it" she said. So we both did, and we both liked it!!) In recent years, I've shed my "picky eater" skin, eating mussels, lobster, brussels sprouts, almonds, cherries and countless other foods, all thanks to re-trying them. No luck yet with peanut butter, but perhaps there's still hope that I'll enjoy my first ever PB&J someday? So next time you go to pass on a food you think you dislike, consider giving it another chance... the results may pleasantly (and tastily!?) surprise you!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Adults who scoot.

Dude. You're embarrassing yourself. 
This may turn out to be a controversial statement, but I'm going to make it anyway... Today, I am taking a firm, public stance against adults who scoot. That's right, I am anti-adults-on-scooters.

In NYC, scooters are a common mode of transportation for children, whose parents, I assume, need them to move along the sidewalk with more speed than their tiny legs can operate (add wheels and your 5 year old actually travels at a reasonable pace). While I have plenty of judgment I'd like to pass on the safety of this activity in a bustling city (for the kids and the people walking around these tiny terrorists on wheels...) I won't, because kids on scooters are at least a natural thing. But you know what's not natural? Adults on scooters. Adult men and women, often dressed professionals, scooting down the sidewalk en route to who knows where. To my scooting adult audience, please know this: you look RIDICULOUS. Adults on scooters seems about as natural as an adult climbing into one of those baby bucket swings with the leg holes and trying to explain it away by saying that it allows them to swing higher. Is scooting faster than walking? Sure, but that doesn't mean there aren't some activities that should be left to the kiddos. 

If you are an adult who scoots, I apologize if I've offended you, but I think this was important to hear. As the saying goes, "if you're old enough to have(/touch) some hooters, you should not travel about on scooters." 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

From best coast, to west coast and back again!

Be a diamond baby.
Hey-o my merry friends and a happy Thursday to you! This week has been an insane adventure and a genuine test of my ability to function without sleep... I endured 3 consecutive 4:45am wake ups (in 2 different time zones), spent 21 hours in LA (only 30 minutes of which were spent sleeping!), scarfed down my first ever In-N-Out Burger (then seriously contemplated ordering a second) and rocked to the Foo Fighters at Citi Field (Dave Grohl's "throne" (and Grohl in general) were awesome).

Hype Deserved.
Double Double Animal Style. STFU. 
LaLa Land.
There was actual work involved in this trip I swear.
Rock N Roll baby!!
So now that I've picture-blasted you with an excuse for my absence this week, here are some goodies from around the web that I'm excited to share. I've also got a list of great topics to chat about soon, like scooters, coloring books, an ode to wireless speakers and cherries. Stay tuned!!

I don't think I've been this excited about the word "suffragette" since the day I figured out what the zany mom from Mary Poppins was actually singing about.

I got my hair done for the event I had out in LA and was thrilled with the beachy, casual-yet-polished final result. To see my inspiration and 15 other perfect-for-summer braided looks, click HERE.

These "fix your clothing" hacks are about to blow your mind. Seriously.

Friday, July 10, 2015

They say it's your birthday...

I love emojis!!
... well maybe not your birthday, but MINE! Yaya! I love birthdays and even at the unexciting and definitively adult-ish age of 31, I'm enjoy celebrating another year hear on earth, doin my thang.

30 was a freakin hell of a year for me. I made a ton of professional changes that at times nearly sent me off a cliff, but I came through feeling so much stronger, happier and confident about what I'm capable of accomplishing. 30 also proved, more than ever before, that I have the most incredible community of people around me, cheering for me, encouraging me, supporting me and lifting me up when I need a boost. To my amazing friends, my family and my beloved Dr. H, thank you. Thank you for making 30 so damn good. 

So here's to another year. Here's to the challenges I know I'll face and those that will come out of no where. Here's to laughing with my husband and hugging my best friends. To delicious food, family celebrations, growth, acceptance, love and fun. Cheers!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

This, that and another thing...

This is BooBoo. SIS!!! CLICK HERE for more BooBoo!!
Today is gloomy and grey in NYC and it's the kind of humid out that makes you feel greasy and frizzy the moment you step outside. Other than the subtle coolness to the air that this morning's rain shower provided, it's gross. 

Stop. I'm blogging about the weather. #ThisIs80?

Anyways, I've got a few interesting tid bits for you today.

First, you must read this book. The Luckiest Girl Alive is not a literary masterpiece, but the story is gripping, the language is fast and I've been glued to it since I started reading 3 days ago (and for me to read more than 5-10 pages a day when I'm not on a vacation means the book is GOOD). I first heard about the now super-hot summer read from Reese Witherspoon's Instagram (if you don't follow her, you should. She's adorable and has admirable work-hustle!) because Reese's production company has apparently optioned the book, but now everyone's talking about it and I know why. The Luckiest Girl Alive's vapid, twisted, glamorous, accurate, scary, sad, tale will grip you. I'm almost to the end and counting down the minutes until I can ditch work and get back to my book (#shamelessbookworm) Read it!!!

Next, check out this interesting short video on why sticking your feet out from under the blanket is scientifically proven to help you fall asleep. I'm particularly fasincated by this bc one of my three nearly-mandatory pre-sleep routine positions is "frogging to the left" with my left foot sticking out from under the covers. Science. Whoa.

Lastly, speaking of IG, you really should be following the adorable account I recently discovered, @miniperspective. It's just little Lego guys in all sorts of places in witty poses. It makes me smile every time it pops up in my feed and smiling is the best so follow them!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hump Day Distractions

You should probably send this to someone you love today...
Homies. It's Wednesday. I'm bouncing here and there and everywhere so no time for small talk, let's get you those links! Cheers!!

* Rainbows, upon rainbows, upon rainbows. Yay!
* In case you haven't seen these bodies, holy crap take a look at these bodies.
* ... and here are some really great positive-body-image quotes to enjoy as a side dish with your hot bods sandwich!
* Because I love summer and I love candles (and I kinda love all things Lauren Conrad too).
* Some really interesting data on the positive impact being a working mom can have on your kids (daughters and sons!)
* Nothing says summer like a tasty lobster roll. Here's how to make your own like a pro.
* OMG I must go to this place. Must.Go.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The "One Chore a Day" Challenge

Master of the clothing piles!
Recently, the "basic organization" situation in my apartment has become a bit, errrr, dire. Having missed spring cleaning entirely, I now find myself existing amongst a sea of piles. The piles consist of everything from clothing, which I long ago gave up on finding a proper home for (since my dresser and closet require a hazmat suit) to homegoods (where do YOU keep your spiralizer and funky shaped gold flower vases!?) The need for a good overhaul/goodwill deposit is so far overdue that the idea seems like a fantasy (I had an actual dream where my apartment was spic and span which made waking up the nightmare...) This is why I have adopted the "One Chore a Day" Challenge for the month of July.

I once read that the best way to tackle a big project, especially housework, is to break it down into smaller projects that you can complete individually. This gives you a personal sense of accomplishment and progress while avoiding the overwhelmed feeling that a big task can create. Starting on Saturday, I have tackled one small project each day, first removing the piles of laundry from the corner of my bedroom and now organizing my dresser drawers, 1 at a time. This strategy has translated to about 20 minutes of "chores" per day which can easily be managed while on the phone or as a break from work (#WorkingFromHomeForTheWin) 

At this rate, I hope to get through all the tasks on my list in about a month (I'm comin for you kitchen pantry!) and I won't ever have to give up a full day of fun in order to play Cinderella. It's the "One Chore a Day" Challenge for the month of July. Who's with me!?!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Annnd it's Monday.

I do believe we did.
For those of you dying to hear what Dr. H and I finally settled on for our 4th of July vacation (anyone!?!)... brace yourselves... it was a STAYCATION... and it was awesome! I confess, we actually barely "stayed" (I think our waking-hours-at-home grand total was under 4) but that's because we were busy exploring new parts of NYC, day-tripping to surrounding areas, scoring coveted reservations and even went back in time with Dave Matthews. It was relaxing and adventurous, work-less (YAY!) and an escape from my home/home-office fatigue. Here are some of the highlights of our Staycation adventure.

Did you know that you can do some incredible hiking just 1 hour north of NYC!? Growing up on Long Island, I was only familiar with the LI Sound side of Westchester County, but thanks to my Albany-born hubby, I've discovered the beautiful Hudson side and I love it! The riverfront small towns are packed with charm and the Hudson Highlands are a gorgeous place to hike and enjoy some fresh air. 

Not a skyscraper in site!
Cold Spring, NY from above
We travelled about 75 minutes north and got off in Cold Spring. The hiking trails are about a 10 minute walk from town, 15 total from the train station so no car needed!

My cocktail on the left was served in a chili pepper
Dr. H's on the right came in a flask w metal straw!
On Thursday night, we scored an IMPOSSIBLE-to-get reservation at ZZs Clam Bar, a 15-seat restaurant in the Village which I've had my eye on for months! The all-raw menu was out of this world delicious and I tried and loved everything from uni (that's sea urchin!) to oysters (and I never eat oysters!) The cocktails were also pretty outrageous as you can see from my shameless mid-meal photo snaps. Dr. H and I also loved the chic, inmate space which made it feel like we were at a dinner party more than out to a restaurant.

Friday the sun was shining bright and this water-loving girl was in need of some beach time so what's a car-less NYC couple to do? Head to the Rockaways of course!!

The view from the A Train, note JFK airport on the distance on the left!!
THIS IS NEW YORK CITY!!! (GOD I love this place!!) 
It could not be easier to get from anywhere in NYC to a beach that feels worlds away. There are plenty of Brooklyn options as well (I like Brighton and Coney Island is great,  but we wanted to stay away from 4th of July/Hot Dog contest crowds!) but we took the A to the S and in about 75 minutes went from our apt to this spot by the sea. I also highly recommend Playland Motel for delicious seafood and of course a post-beach beer:)

Finally, on Saturday we hopped on another train (man we take a lot of trains!), this time bound for Saratoga by way of Albany (Dr. H's hometown!) to see Dave Matthews Band (with Bela Fleck!!) at SPAC. Saratoga is a charming little town with a massive amount of culture, from shopping and art to the racetrack and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, SPAC (summer home of the NYC Ballet as well as a great outdoor concert venue). 

Just a few people ready for a concert!
Though it's been more than a little while since I thought about a Dave Matthews song (other than when I'm jamming to 90s on 9 of course) DMB did not let us down and the beautiful evening brought back a flood of middle school memories for Dr. H and I (which were funny to share since we hadn't met one another yet!)

So there you have it. A staycation for the ages and everything you need to know about how to travel far and wide in NYC without traveling very far or wide at all!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Let Freedom Ring!

Here's wishing you and yours a sunny, tasty, relaxing, fireworks filled Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First Day of Camp

If you know Dr. H and I, you know that Wet Hot American Summer is our shared absolute favorite movie (independently he goes Sister Act II/League of Their Own (seriously) and I go Sleeping Beauty/Harry Potter). You also may have heard that Netflix is coming out with a "prequel" to this insanely-cast cult classic.

Well... the full trailer for "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" has arrived and it is BEEEEEEYOND glorious. Like grinning at my screen, laughing out loud, officially counting down until July 31st when I plan to binge watch like I never have before glorious. The whole cast is back and the comedy is lookin SPOT.ON. That is all (I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hump Day Distractions.

No way this is Abe approved. (Do you get it?!)
Today is hump day for some, or Friday for others (aka, ME!) No matter what day you're living, here are some goodies from around the web to make it just a little bit more awesome!

* One can never have enough fruit/slushy cocktail recipes heading into 4th of July weekend (AmIRight!?)
* Ladies, are we going to finally be able to say goodbye to plastic applicators (boo environment!) and diaper-esque maxipads?! Maybe...!
* How does your home state rank? (Not too shabby NY!)
* Chrissy Teigen and her tits are awesome (literally. NSFW!)
* Some more red, white and blue outfit inspiration.
* An interesting (and noble) solution to a sports-related transgender question I've been asking. 
* I'm a sucker for simple, open-faced fresh tomato sandwiches.
* You're about to feel very old.