Happiness in the Form of Sweatpants

I’ve been very busy lately gearing up for the NYC marathon this Sunday. Not only am I managing Robin Hood’s team of 100 runners again this year, but I’m also running. It has been crazy busy the past two weeks and as a result I’m feeling a little under the weather today.

Nothing helps fix that better than a package from my sister. Especially when that package contains a sweet nike top and the most comfortable, oversized mens sweatpants.

I opened the package 5 minutes ago, put the sweatpants on 3 minutes ago and starting feeling better 2 minutes ago.

Thanks, Abby, for always knowing exactly what I need!

Welcome to the Neighborhood

When I was about four years old, my family moved into the house that I spent the bulk of my childhood in, and where my parents still live. When we first moved in, there was a family living in the house across the street who had a boy about the same age as my sister and me. Unfortunately, they moved a few years later and the house remained empty for four or five years.

Our neighborhood had a lot of other familes, including two of my best friends Tracy and Lindsay. Even though Lindsay’s family lived on the street behind us, I actually met her at Sunday School. I know — you are shocked to hear that I went to Sunday School. Let me be clear, I think we went a total of six times before swim meets, soccer games and various other sporting events starting getting in the way. Thankfully, during those six Sundays, I was able to meet Lindsay and form one of the best friendships that would remain with me all the way through eighth grade.

Lindsay and me - 1993
Lindsay and me – 1993
Another year, another soccer team
Another year, another soccer team

Early in our friendship, Lindsay (or her mom) introduced me to the family that lived down the street from them, including their daughter Tracy, who was the same age as Lindsay and me. And then there were three.

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Here we are doing our best Sandy impression before the 7th grade sock hop

We spent many weekends and day throughout the summer riding bikes around the neighborhood and “playing” at each other’s houses. I remember going over the Lindsay’s house to catch frogs in the swamp in her backyard, playing basketball (a sport that I was horrible at, and Lindsay was great), carpooling to soccer games in her parent’s van, which had a tv and video console, and making totally inedible food in her easy bake over. At Tracy’s house, I remember jumping on her trampoline, playing Sonic the Hedgehog on her Sega System (more accurately, watching since I was horrible at video games) and making apple crisp with her mother and younger sister. I also remember countless birthday parties including one where we camped out in a giant tent in Lindsay’s front yard and another where we got to play dress up, put on make up and have a tea party at Tracy’s.

Here I am all dolled up at Tracy's party.
Here I am all dolled up at Tracy’s party.

They were great neighbors and amazing friends. I can’t imagine living near anyone else.

When I was about  12 or 13 years old, someone finally moved into the house across the street. It was a younger family with a 2 year old girl. I remember being so excited to get new neighbors. One morning, my mom, sister and I made monkey bread to bring over to our neighbors. In our household, we made monkey bread on Thanksgiving, Christmas morning and sometimes for birthday mornings. It was essentially the nicest gesture that we could think of. I remember wrapping it up, walking across the street and ringing the doorbell to introduce ourselves and welcome the new family to the neighborhood. It was very “Americana” and I loved it.

Matt and I have lived in our new apartment for a few months now. We haven’t really made many new friends and no one has brought us monkey bread.

Well, after the last four days, we’ve made our presence known… at least to our neighbors on our floor. Since Sunday, we’ve had multiple people come by our apartment to tell us that our utility closet was flooding. Every time we take a shower, a large pool of water has been seeping our of the utility closet and into the communal hallway. The maintenance crew has set up “wet floor/caution” signs and large fans to try and dry out the area. Unfortunately, the flooding continues to happen.

The best thing about living in an apartment building is that when something breaks, you can call someone to come fix it and you don’t have to pay a thing. The bad think about living in an apartment is when something breaks, your neighbors know and are annoyed with you.

Do you think we will be getting any “welcome to the neighborhood” gifts soon? Maybe new plumbing?

Bursting with Flavor

Tonight’s dinner is a good one for anyone who wants to use up some leftovers and/or for anyone who goes a little overboard at the farmers market on tomatoes.

Thanks to Carrian over at Oh, Sweet Basil, I was able to make this yummy, and relatively healthy, meal for dinner.

Easy Garden Skillet

Ingredients

6 turkey meatballs, cooked and chopped
1 small to medium zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup sugar sweet or sunshine tomatoes
3/4 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1 heirloom tomato, chopped
1/3 cup marinara sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
olive oil and salt and pepper
*basil, chopped, optional

Directions

  1. drizzle a little olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium heat. add the zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper. saute for one minute and add the meatballs, tomatoes and sauce. cook until the tomatoes are big and bursting, zucchini is tender and everything is hot. sprinkle with cheese and add the lid to help melt the cheese, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. serve with fresh basil and more salt and pepper if needed.

The dish was great – I probably added a bit too much sauce. Just stick to the recipe. You won’t regret it.

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Oh, and can someone please let my husband know how lucky he is? Thanks.

 

How to Treat a Case of Boredom

When I was younger, I hated being bored. And my mom hated it even more.

“Mom… I’m bored. What can I do?”

So in order to keep myself entertained, I would spend some time thinking of things that I could potential be doing. This list would contain things like:

  1. Read for 30 minutes
  2. Rearrange the furniture in my room (this one was a favorite of mine, but didn’t always make my mom happy)
  3. Clean out my clothes
  4. Hold a lemonade stand
  5. Write a story
  6. Bake cookies
  7. Ride my bike around the block
  8. Make a mixed tape
  9. Make greeting cards
  10. Go outside and weed the flower beds (I never actually did this, but I would put it on the list)

Once I had a sufficient list, I would put write them each on small pieces of paper and put them in a jar. I would then pull them out and start doing each activity, one by one. Yup, I turned making to do lists into a game… at the age of 8.

This past weekend Matt and I literally had zero plans. We went out with our friends who just moved to Brooklyn on Friday night and then basically did nothing the rest of the weekend. I loved it… Matt was bored. So he started making to do lists for our apartment.

Now anyone who walks into our apartment would probably think it looks pretty good. The only thing you might notice are our lack of chairs around our dining table or the lack of pictures on the walls (which you would soon realize are all on the floor behind the couch). Well, apparently Matt is was SO bored this weekend that he decided to point out every little thing that we need to get done. That didn’t bother me too much. What bothered me was that he then wanted to cross every single thing off the to do list, within the next 5 minutes.

Here is the list he created:

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Main Bedroom

  1. Buy a bed
  2. Hang photos
  3. Purchase two IKEA rast dressers, and update them to look like this for bedside tables (please ignore the face that this one is in a nursery. Yes, I have the same taste as a 6 month old).
  4. Buy a rug, or rugs

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Living Room/Kitchen

  1. Buy an oversized piece of art for the living room
  2. Buy a bar cart (like this one) and accessorize it. Ok, Matt didn’t want to accessorize it. I’m not even sure he knows what that means.
  3. Buy chairs for our dining table. I want these but I can’t stomach the price. Anyone know where I can find similar ones?
  4. Determine if we want another bookshelf in the living room
  5. Buy new couches, coffee table, and rug (long term)

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Second Bedroom/Matt’s Office

  1. Hang pictures
  2. Buy a duvet cover for the comforter
  3. Buy a floor lamp
  4. Move bedside table from main bedroom into this room once the new bedside tables are done
  5. Buy a rug

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Molly’s Craft Nook

  1. Hang pictures
  2. Accessorize desktop (again, my addition, not Matt’s)
  3. Buy a new computer (I’m torn between a desktop and a laptop).

Hasn’t he ever read Young House Love? They get stuff done but in a well thought-out manner. They aren’t rushing around trying to get everything done in one weekend.

Thankfully Matt compromised and just told me that I needed to get two things crossed off the list.

We had a few other, non-apartment things on our to-do this, so at the end of the weekend, we had accomplished the following:

  1. Purchased two rugs for our main bedroom
  2. Purchased a floor lamp for the second bedroom/Matt’s office
  3. Hung up some pictures in both bedrooms and my craft nook
  4. Made attempt number #1 at an apple pie with a lattice crust (part of my fall to do list). Unfortunately it didn’t come out that well… looks like I will be trying again next weekend
  5. Planned 3 dinners for the upcoming week and purchased everything from the grocery store

And finally, Matt booked a vacation for us this November; a post-marathon celebration. I guess it pays to keep him bored. I end up with a trip to Mexico and the apartment starts coming together! That’s a whole lot better than the 75 cents that I would raised at my lemonade stands back in the day.