Snow day

Oh, New England. Today is my Dad’s birthday (happy birthday, Dad!) and as I was saying to him earlier this morning, his day is unique as it can either be a beautiful, 70 degree day — or a full-on blizzard. 2017 decided to choose the snow. I’m hoping that spring will come rolling through any day now. In the meantime, let’s [try to] enjoy this weather.

There are some comforting things about a snow storm. For one, you don’t have to feel guilty for hanging on the couch all day. After all, the Governor told us to stay home. It is also a great opportunity to cook up a delicious breakfast and/or dinner you’ve been wanting to make but haven’t had the time.

Here are some other great ideas for your snow day:

  • Relax with a bubble bath
  • Find a new book to indulge in
  • Complete those small tasks you’ve been putting off, like making a Dr. appt. or scheduling your pup to get groomed
  • Do a face mask
  • Make a fire, have some hot chocolate and watch a movie you’ve wanted to see

I’ll be working from home during the day’s storm. But, will definitely be doing some of these things afterwards. What are you planning on doing during today’s snow day?

Favorite show of all time

“But the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

The one, the only: Sex and the City.

Freshman year of college, I couldn’t STOP watching. I have all six seasons on DVD. I’d lay in bed for hours and hours in my dorm room watching episode after episode.  It never got old. I’d laugh, and cry. It is often still on E! sometimes, and I will always drop what I’m doing and watch until another show comes on.

I attribute my love for writing to Carrie Bradshaw. After the first few times watching the show, I began writing – in a journal that no one would ever see. The more and more I watched the show, the more and more I’d write in my journal. It was just a few years ago that I turned my writing digital, but don’t know that I would have ever written at all if I had never fallen in love with SATC.

A few years ago, my brother and sister-in-law lived just a few blocks from the apartment that they used to film as Carrie’s apartment. In the show, Carrie was said to live on the upper East Side but filming took place in the West Village at 66 Perry Street. They took me to her apartment and I literally cried. There was a chain hanging before the steps, with a “No Trespassing” sign, but Carrie herself taught me that you don’t always have to follow the rules. I just pictured her running down those stairs in her expensive shoes, Big waiting for her in his car. All the feels.

nyc

While these ladies were not exactly the best role models (except probably Charlotte…) they were real. So real. I found that mostly anything I was going through in life, there’s an episode for. No matter what, they always made me feel better – about anything.

Every New Years Eve since the SATC movie came out, I always listen to “Auld Lang Syne” by Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis and picture Carrie running through the street over to Miranda’s house through the snow, just as the clock is about to strike midnight. It makes me cry EVERY. TIME. This song reminds me every NYE that people in your life matter more than anything else, and knowing that one fact will ensure a beautiful year ahead.

satc

#TeamAidan

Subscription addiction

I don’t know when I became addicted to subscription boxes, but it happened and I can’t let go. There is just something about getting a box of happiness delivered to your door that is so gratifying.

pop

Currently, I have three recurring subscription boxes: Stitchfix, Foodstirs, and Popsugar Must Have. I’ll talk about these later because they’re obviously my favs to still be welcomed to my door (& wallet) each month.

I have tried: Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Little Lace Box, and Le Parcel.

Okay guys Le Parcel was the WORST. That box is supposed to make ladies “time of the month” happier by sending you tampons/pads, chocolate and a gift. Well, it never arrived on the correct week, the chocolate was pretty much always melted and the gift was super cheap/tacky and something I’d never use. Also, I got the same hideous pair of sunglasses twice. No.

Little Lace Box was cute. Their boxes were sent bimonthly, and had a theme that each followed. The gifts in the boxes were always thoughtfully picked and I was typically happy with everything in there. They chose themes like fairytales and old-age love stories, sooo I wouldn’t really understand them. Maybe I would’ve paid more attention in Literature class if my teacher told me I’d one day get subscription boxes based off these novels. I did enjoy this box, and ended up quitting it because they make their own beauty products/lotions/etc. and would always throw some of that in there, and I didn’t love that. But I did get a super cute vase from them, and they even included a gift card to a flower company so I got a “free” bouquet to put in the vase … that was my favorite.

Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are liiiiterally the same thing. I got Blue Apron twice, and Hello Fresh once. I really enjoyed both of them. If you aren’t familiar, they send you meals with fresh, local ingredients, and step-by-step instructions on how to cook it. They include pretty much everything in the box, except any eggs/EVOO/salt/pepper that they’ll assume you have. I was iffy on Hello Fresh, since I had never really heard of it before, but will admit that they were great! They were up to the same standards as Blue Apron, which I’d assume is the most popular meal subscription. For someone like me who is a terrible cook, both of these boxes make you feel like someone should marry you NOW because you’re just the best housewife that ever was. It’s like “yes, I made this beautiful dish with all of these vegetables I’ve never heard of before, and yes, it was easy.”

Let’s get to the one’s I LOVE:

Stitchfix. I’d say this is probably one of the better-known of all subscription boxes. For $20, Stitchfix sends you a box of five cloth items per month. You can try them all on, and send back whatever you don’t want. The great thing is they make it so easy to send things back, they provide you with the postage bag and all you have to do it stick it in a USPS box. Whatever you keep, the $20 goes toward that, and if you keep all five items, you get 25% off (which is worth it if you’re keeping three or four, to just keep all). They have the best jeans. I despise trying on jeans in a store – they never fit. Stitchfix has magical jeans. They also recently got into sending shoes too, and I’ve found that I have loved the shoes they’ve sent me! I typically always keep at least one thing, to make my $20 worth it, but on occasion [like this month], I’ll keep the whole box….

Foodstirs. This is new for me, and I just got my first box this month. Very similar to Blue Apron & Hello Fresh, but for baking! Also $20/month, you get a box full of something to bake. Like the other food boxes, they send you everything you need except eggs/EVOO. This month is Halloween, so the box is mummy cupcakes. I haven’t made them yet – but will share when I do next week. I am excited to start baking more. I looked at some of their past boxes and they’ve sent cookies, pancakes, brownies, cake-pops – and they all look so cute and yummy!

Saving the best for last…. Popsugar Must Have. This one is on the expensive side at $50/month, but I am obbbbbsessed. [They also have a Must Have Mini at $15/month] Pretty much all of my favorite things I own, came from this box. Each month, there are themes, such as “comfy, detox, organized” and they send you five items (and often throw in some extras) that go along with the themes. It always includes a beauty product, some type of snack, and realllly cute items that I’d never find on my own.

Cheers!

All fall everything

It’s officially here, my favorite season: fall. I have already had a few PSLs (which aren’t as good as I remember them to be…), switched out my clothes from tanks to huge sweaters, bought pumpkins, went apple picking and made apple crisp.

This is just the BEST time of the year in New England. While I spend most of my days dreaming of somewhere else (which is a really terrible thing to do), I have to say that I feel very lucky to live in New England this time of the year. In just a few weekends, I’ll be heading up to Vermont, which will be beautiful with the foliage. And then, mid-November, jussssst when it’s becoming TOO cold, I’m escaping to Florida for a long weekend.

Until then, I am going to enjoy every. minute. of this perfect season.

fall

Cheers!

When you lose everything

Five days ago I knew absolutely nothing about Cantor Fitzgerald (CF). When my Professor referred to it in my night class, I thought it was a person’s name. In the past 48 hours, I have been constantly thinking about CF. I am taking a speech writing course for grad school, and one of our assignments was to watch the documentary “Out of the Clear Blue Sky.” It wasn’t OnDemand or Netflix, so I thought about doing what my undergrad-self would do, and just not watch it. But I’m so glad I went the extra step to rent it from Amazon, and stream it. I couldn’t look away from the  2-hour documentary. It tells the story of CF and its CEO Howard Lutnick, who lost 658 employees on 9/11. It was interesting to see 9/11 in the perspective of a company, especially a company who lost nearly everyone.

In our next class, we had a guest speaker — someone from the CF Boston office. Tom (I changed his name as I didn’t ask permission to share his personal story) was just about 30 years old on September 11, 2001. He had been working at CF as a stocks trader since he graduated college. He always knew he wanted to work on Wall Street, and when he made it there — it was everything he hoped it would be. He explained to us that throughout his 20s, he had everything. A great job that paid him LOTS of money, which allowed him all the “fine” (so he thought..) things in life. He spent all of his weekends hanging out with his buddies in Manhattan, spending weekends in the Hamptons, going on vacations, buying whatever he wanted. He got married in 2001. He had it all.

Then 9/11 happened, and he seemingly lost it all. He was in the Boston office when he heard the news. He knew 200 of the over 600 employees that CF lost, including two of his best friends. As a guy being a guy, Tom didn’t know what to do in the days that followed. He was grieving but he didn’t know how. He thought, one of my buddies loved tequila, so I’ll go to the bar and take a shot for him. The other loved Corona so I’ll have one of those too, in remembrance of them. He continued going to the bar — day after day. He became an alcoholic. But that wasn’t enough, he was still hurting. He brought cocaine into his life and became addicted to that as well. After months and months of drinking and drugs, his wife of two years now finally decided she couldn’t take it anymore, and left him. He was glad she left, now there would be no one to nag him about getting his life back together. He could drink more now, and do more drugs. Even though CF was still struggling to get back on its feet after their loss of nearly all of their employees, they noticed Tom’s behavior, gave him a drug test and fired him 2 days before Christmas. Tom’s job was everything to him, it was his identity. Now that he lost his job, he thought he had two options: he could take all of the money he had and go down to the Caribbean and open a bar, or just sit at a bar. Or, he could try to straighten out his life and pick himself back up. Luckily, Tom went with option 2. He went to a bunch of AA meetings, and eventually ended up at a rehab facility for 2-3 months. He got clean, and then went to get help on ways to deal with his sadness, anger, and depression in healthier ways such as breathing, meditating, exercise. CF noticed that Tom was bettering himself. They understood, as they, too, had to deal with grieving over the past years. They called Tom up and offered him his job back.

Tom still works at CF now, got remarried, and is living a healthy, clean life. As he was telling us his story, it was apparent that it was not easy for him. He wore a pin on his jacket of the Twin Towers. His emotions were there. His hands were shaking, he looked vulnerable, and hurt. He isn’t a professional storyteller. He is a man who had everything and lost it and had no idea how to cope with that. He explained to us that if you have the opportunity to see a clear perspective on what is important in life without it coming as a result of a tragedy then that is the best thing you could do for yourself. It’s so important to realize what matters, and what does not, before life tests you on that.

I had to hold back tears listening to Tom’s story. He thinks of his life as two different parts: the one before 9/11, and the one after. Tom explained that his story isn’t more important or special than anyone else’s. He said that we will all have a tragedy in our lives and they are all equally important. We need to learn how to grieve and express sadness and hurt in healthy ways. Putting the things in your life into perspective before life makes you do that, is vital. It’s also a good reminder that you never know what people are going through. My Professor first came in contact with Tom because he noticed Tom sitting by himself all the way in the back of a 9/11 vigil a few years ago in the Boston Common. It was the first 9/11 since Tom had stopped drinking and drugging. He didn’t know what to do with himself that night, and thought he needed to be in a place where other people would be remembering. He found in the newspaper that there was a vigil in the Common, and decided to go. I’m so glad that my Professor connected with him that night, which allowed him to share his story with us all of those years later.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Plato