Long Weekend Plan

Emerson

My plan is to do as much of this as possible in the last unofficial three days of summer. You?

Image by Joshua Ommen

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The Kitchen Sink

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Certain scents and fragrances always trigger a special remembrance–of a person, an occasion or a time in our lives. When I smell green Palmolive dish soap, I am always struck by a wave of memories of my Mema’s house. My great-grandmother lived in a little house with a dirt basement and a beautiful rock garden across the street from my great-uncle’s greenhouses. My cousins, my sister and I spent hours together sitting with her and doing puzzles on her board by the window, playing dominoes with the old stone set she only took out sometimes, watching Jeopardy nightly, and playing game after game of cards.

When we weren’t too busy playing, we were eating meals together in a dining room covered from floor to ceiling with ornamental tiles that Mema had received as gifts. They had proverbs or just pretty scenes from places people had visited. After dinner, the kids would always have dish duty, which was really fun (even if we’d never admit it).

We’d use too much soap, look out the window over the sink, and end up sopping wet and giggling after bubble fights or getting a little too aggressive with the rinsing. Now, when I get a whiff of that detergent, it brings me back to those moments playing with my cousins in the kitchen sink.

Image by Tasha Lutek.

2014 Was a Busy Year

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Welp, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted, and all of my time hops lately have reminded me of how much I miss it. It has been fun trip down old post memory lane. And after a long hiatus, it’s time to get back with it. Just to catch us up, here’s what I’ve been doing since we last talked.

  • I conquered my fears (with the help of a couple tequila shots) and sang live band karaoke
  • I started a new job that I totally love
  • I had more freelance work than ever before
  • My two of my best friends got married, and I was a maid of honor and a bridesmaid
  • My cousin tied the knot
  • I hosted a HUGE Halloween party
  • I made the most of the East Coast snow with my season pass to Stratton
  • I filled a life-long dream of attending the New Year’s Rose Parade in Pasadena
  • I planned a weekend long party for one of the brides in San Juan
  • I rang in 30 at Coachella

Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it all! But I am getting back into my normal rhythm again, and the posts here should too. I’ll be scaling back to three posts a week. Thanks for coming back and reading again!

Sunglasses That Will Tell You If You Lose Them

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Generally, I am pretty responsible with my belongings. I’m not the girl who is always losing or breaking her phone, but if there is one item in life that I am always losing (or breaking) it’s my sunglasses. Those babies just have a way of going missing. They fall off my head when I get carried away in a big hug. I I have tossed them in my purse, but I missed and threw them on the floor. They are sucked into the magical recesses of deep couches, and crevasses next to car seats that claim so many other mysteriously lost items. Or, at least this is what I imagine happened to them, because in reality, most of the sunglasses I have lost have never been found again.

This nasty little habit has led me to buy lots of cheap sunglasses, never wanting to spend too much, since I will inevitably misplace them. Even though I want nice sunglasses, I just can’t be trusted.

However, technology has come to my rescue again, in the form of a technologically savvy shade that will text you when you get too far away from your sunglasses. If you’re one of those people who often loses their phone in the same place, this might not be your solution, but for the rest of us it’s pretty handy. The Tzukuri sunglasses are Bluetooth-enabled, and come paired with an app that will give you notifications on your phone when you are 16 feet, 32 feet, and 50 feet away. If you manage to get farther than that from them without noticing all of these alerts, you can look at the app’s map to find them geographically.

The only catch? They’re a bit pricier than your average pair at $350, but if you pre-order now, you can get $100 off the regular price. And they have 100% UV protection, and are handmade with 8 quality control checks – more than you can say for your $5 sidewalk sunglasses. The Japanese brand also practically guarantees they will flatter your face by analyzing thousands of faces to create six designs in three sizes that will “fit harmoniously with a broader range of face structures.” You’ll not only feel good for never losing your sunglasses again, but you’ll look good too.

Kissing is Good for Your Health

smoochTrapped inside with this latest polar vortex (and the 6-12 inches of snow it’s bringing with it)? Well, make sure to invite your sweetie over, and you can pick up some serious health benefits from a good old fashioned make-out sesh while you’re stuck indoors. CNN recently reported that kissing has all sorts of health benefits that in sum, mean that you should put it on your list of new year’s resolutions as something to do more often. First, kissing can help to reduce your blood pressure by increasing blood flow and heart rate. It can soothe aches and pains by dilating blood-vessels, a reaction that will help headaches and cramps particularly. Smooching fights cavities by increasing saliva flow that will wash away more plaque on teeth, and it can make you look a little younger by tightening and toning facial muscles. And it can contribute to your overall fitness toning goals by burning calories. While it’s not equivalent to cardio on the elliptical, it’s a good start! You can burn up to 16 calories per kiss.

In addition to all of the physical benefits, kissing can have mental perks as well. It leads to a rush in feel-good chemicals including serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, making you feel happier. And, while this one is kind of obvious, it can make you feel more loved and connected to the person you care about. These feelings can boost self-esteem, which can lead to greater happiness overall, increased productivity, and even potentially greater success. So use this snowstorm as an excuse to stay in and smooch – it’s good for your health.

10 Things I Love About Spring

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While growing up in upstate New York made me love all four seasons, and the different things each one has to offer, there is something about spring that always seems a little special. Here are 10 things I love about this season we’ve just stepped into.

  1. It’s acceptable to drink iced beverages again: Ok, full disclosure – I drink iced coffee all year round. Unless it’s a latte (and even then I have to be in the mood), I just don’t like hot drinks all that much. After the first bout of really nice weather hits, people finally stop giving me the side-eye for walking around with an iced coffee in my gloved hand. Thank goodness!
  2. Open toed shoes: Though it’s always a little painful to start out after months of your feet being coddled in cashmere socks and boots, once I’ve built up the between the toe calluses and toughened those puppies up a bit, there is nothing I love more than letting my toes out in the fresh air. I can show off my pretty toe polish, and finally break out the bejeweled sandals.
  3. There’s excitement in the air: Everyone is REALLY PUMPED that winter is finally over, and all the cold that goes along with it. People get to wear their pretty spring dresses, and are generally just a little nicer.  I can officially start planning Oceanside picnics, trips to amusement parks, and outdoor happy hours for book club.
  4. It means summer is around the corner: The author of an article I read yesterday pointed out that spring temperatures last a total of 30 seconds in NYC, and then it hits the excruciatingly hot markers of summer. But that just means that swimming, concerts in the park and outdoor movies are just.around.the.corner. Yay for that!
  5. It’s my birthday season!: Read: I have an excuse to plan fun activities, get presents, eat cake, and buy myself fancy things. What could be wrong about that?
  6. The prettiest flowers are in bloom: So maybe the early-blooming flowers just seem a little extra special after months of barren winter, but the blossoms popping up in April are some of my favorite all year. The little known ranunculus (a close sister to the buttercup) is at the top of my list, coming in a rainbow of colors with impossibly thin petals. I know the season is changing when they start popping up on street corners around the city. And who doesn’t love a magnolia tree?
  7. Black turns into Rainbow: There is a generalized wardrobe shift in warmer temps from shades of black and gray to pale pinks, light greens, oranges and yellows.
  8. Sunrise and Sunset are Earlier and Later: It’s the sweet spot in the year when it’s cool enough in the mornings, and the sun is rising JUST early enough to fit in a jog before work, AND the sun goes down just late enough that I can fit in some fun in the post-work daylight hours.
  9. Puppies everywhere: I am that stranger in the park who will pet your dog. In the spring everyone seems to have new puppies, and is taking them out to show them off. Dog lovers who don’t own one yet (like myself) love that.
  10. Better Fruits and Veggies: The farmer’s market has been a little drab for the past few months, and quite frankly, I’m getting a little sick of root vegetables and citrus. Now that things are starting to grow again the surrounding areas I can look forward to fresh ramps, fruits and berries!

And what’s more? New York City is totally on board! They’re having fireworks TONIGHT at the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park to celebrate the season.

What’s your favorite part about spring?

How to Get that Last Little Bit

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If tossing out your favorite hand creme without getting every last drop really drives you nuts, the Every Drop Beauty Spatula is bound to be your new best friend. It’s only $5 from The Container Store or Amazon, and it’s tiny little head and angled tip make it more than worth it. It will get the lotion hiding in the farthest corner of the bottle, and save you the frustration if shaking, tapping it on the corner and wishing would just slide to the bottom. You’re welcome.