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Love & Life

Love & Life

Music & Memories

July 9, 2017

Isn’t it amazing how hearing a certain song can transport you to a different time in your life? It’s almost as if music itself is a vehicle for memories. Below are some albums that continue to be nostalgic for me.

Billy Joel, River of Dreams (running weekend errands with my Dad in his old green truck, circa 1997)

Michelle Branch, The Spirit Room (middle school sleepovers taking quizzes out of Seventeen magazine)

The Beatles, One (working at the local ice cream shop as a summer job in a beach town)

Jack’s Mannequin, Everything in Transit (driving to school senior year in a hand me down car with no heat or AC)

John Mayer, Battle Studies (junior year of college, laughing and crying about boys with my roommates)

Taylor Swift, Red (living alone in Cincinnati for 3 months with no cable T.V) 

Taylor Swift, 1989 (moving to my first NYC apartment the week Welcome To New York was released)

Waylon Jennings, The Essential Waylon Jennings (driving out east with Q)

Neil Young, Harvest (falling in love)

 

 

What songs evoke memories for you? I’d love to know!

 

Image from Urban Outfitters

Love & Life

Summer In The City

June 22, 2017

Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy summertime in New York. While the masses flee to the beach, those who stay behind get to enjoy shorter brunch wait times, street fairs, and seeing their street lit up by the setting sun during what I call “magic hour”. Below are some more ideas on how to spend your summer in NYC.

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Love & Life

Dad’s Advice

June 18, 2017

Amid the barbecues and sports games, entertain yourself this Father’s Day with some advice from my Dad, some of it useful, a lot of it funny.

 

“Never take your clothes off for money.”

“When you work hard, things have a way of working themselves out.”

“You can’t move forward while looking back.”

“If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullshit.”

 

Happy Father’s Day to all dads, grandfathers, and other father figures everywhere. Love you Dad!

 

Family photo of myself, my twin sister, and my parents

Love & Life

Berlin

June 3, 2017

I got back from a trip to Berlin about a week ago, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit such a cool and interesting city. Berlin wasn’t somewhere I had on my list of places to travel to, so I’m happy I got to tag along on my sister’s work trip. It turned out to be one of my favorite international cities I’ve been to. Below are some photos from the trip. Enjoy!

All photos by Emily Barbeau

Love & Life

Mom’s Advice

May 13, 2017

To celebrate Mother’s Day, I reached out to friends to ask for the best piece of advice, both practical and hilarious, that they’ve ever gotten from their moms. Enjoy!

“One of my mom’s all time favorite mantras is: Don’t sweat the small stuff”. When I was younger, all I did was “sweat the small stuff”: how my clothes fit, how my hair looked, the pimple that popped up right before school, a pop quiz,  a mistake during a sports game. When my mom used to say those words, I would scream back at her “this stuff is NOT SMALL”. But as I have gotten older and more mature (?) I realized how true her words are. Life is about finding a way to laugh at the small stuff because there is bigger stuff that you will definitely sweat over.” – Kerrin

“A memorable piece of advice from my mom was “Don’t post pictures of yourself dressed like Baby Spice with a lollipop on the internet.” In hindsight, really good advice.” – Lydia

“Clean as you cook.” Instead of waiting until your meal is over, clean the pile of pots and pans in the sink as you go. Take advantage of the extra time in between- when the turkey is cooking in the oven, gravy is warming up on the stove and you’re waiting for guests to arrive. Can you tell I’m excited for Thanksgiving?” –Brina

“My mom always emphasized how important it is to “Get along with your siblings. You only have each other.” It’s so true that we’re born with built in best friends in our siblings. When the unfortunate time comes and our parents are no longer here, we will still have each other. On a lighter note, she is also a firm believer that “Friday at 5 o’clock is happy hour.”Hannah

“Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.” My mom used to sing this song to me all the time when I was little. Making new friends is great and valuable, but don’t forget the friends who have been there for you since day one. My mom modeled this advice by always making time for a phone call with friends, even as she was busy taking care of two daughters. She never burned bridges, and she wasn’t afraid to be the first one to reach out.” – Deanna

And as a finale, my twin sister Elise and I came up with a list of a few of our mom’s gems:

  • “Life is short. Drink out of your crystal glasses.”
  • “Don’t envy the people who appear to have ‘everything’. Their lives usually suck.”
  • “Don’t let people underestimate you because of your size.” (She is 4’11)
  • “Understand that there is no such thing as ‘supermom’. Every mom is knee deep in vomit at some point.”
  • “Use a good moisturizer and you will never have wrinkles.” She doesn’t have any.

Love you mom! Happy Mother’s Day!  

Love & Life

Sustainability, Simply

February 5, 2017

“Living more sustainably” is a broad, sweeping term that feels daunting. We all know that we should care about our planet and our communities, but what changes can we actually make? Isn’t it easier to just not think about it at all?

It doesn’t take an extreme lifestyle change to be more sustainable in our everyday lives. Here are some small changes I have made that serve the dual purpose of simplifying my routine and creating less waste.

Don’t Use Plastic Produce Bags

There is actually no point in putting your fruit and vegetables in their own plastic baggie at the grocery store. I stopped using them out of necessity because NYC grocery stores put them up way too high for my 5’3 self to reach. I just started putting my produce directly in the cart, and then loose in my bag to take home, and you know what happened? Nothing. Those bags are just more plastic that will end up in landfills or blowing across the Belt Parkway. Lose them.

Bring A Tote Bag Everywhere

This is a more habitual shift in behavior, but it has a big impact. Throw a reusable tote in your everyday purse and start declining bags at the stores you frequent. It will cut down on your plastic intake and also might save you money; in many countries and cities across the globe, you are charged extra for taking a bag. And for some added incentive, Trader Joe’s enters you into a raffle to win free groceries if you bring your own tote.

Fill Up Reusable Coffee Mugs and Water Bottles

This might feel like work and you might have to get up a little earlier in the morning to hit the “BREW” button on your coffee maker, but bringing your own coffee to work is a much more sustainable option and will save you big bucks on your monthly expenses. Ditto on a reusable water bottle.  

Bring Tableware To The Office

My office kitchen is notoriously NEVER fully stocked with plates, cutlery, and cups. After having to eat oatmeal with a plastic knife more than once, I finally brought in my own set of utensils, a bowl, and a small plate to reuse and wash. This makes my life easier, cuts down on waste, and actually helps me feel like a real human being while I’m eating leftovers at my desk.

Opt Out Of Plastic When Possible

When you find yourself in need of a new spatula, or broom, or garbage can, pause before automatically purchasing the cheapest plastic version. Items made of stainless steel, wood, and ceramic will last longer, look nicer, and are less likely to live in a landfill until the end of days.

Photo by Emily Barbeau

Love & Life

New Year’s Intentions

January 15, 2017

Sorry for being so MIA lately – these past few weeks post-holiday have been fun, but man have they been busy.

As much as I hate the winter weather (snow! ice! general ickiness!) there is something special about starting a new year. It feels like a chance to start over, get back on track, begin again.

My resolution for 2017 is to live with more intention. This includes making smarter purchase decisions (shopping locally and sustainably when possible) and only buying what I really need. But it’s also about being more intentional with my time. I am the QUEEN of multi-tasking. I can’t just watch T.V – I have to be simultaneously cooking dinner, checking emails, and planning tomorrow’s outfit. So this year, I will do my best to focus on one thing at a time and SLOW DOWN. When I’m at work, I will be 100% at work. When I’m writing my blog, I will be 100% blogging. And when I am curled up on  the couch watching the bachelor drinking wine on a Monday night, I will be 100% focused on the rose ceremony at hand.
Wish me luck for 2017! What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Love & Life

Gifts That Give Back

December 18, 2016

With all of the general hullaballoo that surrounds the holiday season, perhaps the most stressful element is thinking of the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Instead of going the usual route of running to the mall at the last second, I suggest we take the time to be more considerate and thoughtful. And since this is the season of giving, why not take it a step further and purchase gifts that give back to the world around us? 

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Love & Life

My Favorite in New York: Places & Parks

September 28, 2016

Today is the first installment of a monthly series, where I’ll be sharing some of my favorite places, restaurants, and shopping destinations in the city I call home. Enjoy!

The Central Park Zoo

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One of my most cherished childhood memories is of a drizzly fall day where my Dad took my siblings and I to the Central Park Zoo. To a five year old, the small zoo seemed wonderous and huge. I remember munching on a hot dog under a tree in the park afterwards and then being allowed to pick out a toy at FAO Schwartz. Best day ever.

Washington Square Park

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When I lived in the East Village, my roommates and I would often take an evening stroll over to the park, which is truly magical at dusk. As the streetlights start to come on, you can get a perfect view of the twinkling Freedom Tower to the south and the Empire State Building to the north. Often there’s a piano player or jazz musician, and though admittedly there are some shall we say “interesting” people about, that’s what makes it New York.

Cobble Hill Park

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Now that I live in Brooklyn, this tiny park has become my preferred evening stroll destination. When an old grocery store on the property was torn down in 1962 to make room for apartment buildings, locals collected signatures for a petition to create a public park instead. The adorable mews houses that line the southern side of the park remind me of something you would find in a quaint European village.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Hands down the best museum in the city. The exhibits are always changing so there is something new to see with each visit, but my favorite part is still the Egyptian wing. Admission is a suggested donation, so it’s a great place for a cheap date! In the summer you can head up to the rooftop bar and sip cocktails while looking over the treetops in Central Park.

 

Photos from top down: Emily Barbeau, centralpark.nyc.org, washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org, Emily Barbeau, mta.info

Love & Life

Goodbye Summer. Hello Fall.

September 11, 2016

Things I’ll miss about summer:

Sunlight until 8pm.

Salt air breezes.

Brunch / Lunch / Dinner outside.

Living in easy sundresses.

Things that make me excited for fall: 

Temperatures below 80 degrees.

Snuggling with a blanket, tea and a book.

Driving out to the the North Fork with the changing leaves.

Living in jeans and boots.

 

Photo by Emily Barbeau