• Instant Classics Get Me Every Time

    by  • July 18, 2014 • 0 Comments

    carshow3While I know very little about classic cars and I wouldn’t even go so far as to say I’m interested in learning more, I did attend a classic car show recently. It got me thinking, not about classic cars, but instead about the phrase “instant classic.

    carshow4

    See, the cars on display seemed to have withstood the test of time. They’ve been labored over and loved. Treasured and kept in pristine condition. Passed down between generations and restored to their original glory. They define what it means to be a classic.

    carshow2

    But an “instant classic” doesn’t stand for any of that. Is anything so great that it should arrive and instantly be given such a title? Sure, things are “instant hits,” “instant sensations” or “instant favorites.” But “instant classic?” Shouldn’t we reserve that title for something more deserving?

    To prove that it’s overused, I’ve found some recent examples:
    - Dana Carvey’s Choppin Broccoli (funny, sure. instant classic…. jury’s still out.)

    - Advertising during this week’s all-star game (c’mon, I work in advertising and don’t even think it should be labeled “instant classic.”)

    - Melissa McCarthy’s Jet Ski Story (so, wigs make everything better?)

    - This stupid picture (what grade are we in?)

    Really. How can any of those ever live up to the standards and glory and beauty of a 1957 Chevy? Will “Choppin Broccoli” be searchable in 60 years? And will anyone really want to search it? And should that be what is known as a classic from our generation?

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    I’m not here to provide any further answers or insights. Just to say that “What really is an instant classic?” is a question we can all put some thought to, I suppose.

    A Baby Story Gets Me Every Time

    by  • July 16, 2014 • 14 Comments

    MyBump“Your baby’s not normal.”

    It’s not exactly the words that first-time expectant parents want to hear at 8am on a Tuesday morning during what should have been just a routine ultrasound. But that’s what the radiologist said with no more bedside manner than that of a butcher.

    It’s been 141 days since I heard those words and they still ring shrilly in my ears. Here’s the short version of our story.

    At our first appointment (9ish weeks) where they listen for the baby’s heartbeat, it wasn’t heard, but there was no need to panic. We were to go for an ultrasound the next day where they would just confirm viability. And we weren’t worried. There could be a million reasons why the heartbeat wasn’t picked up.

    The next morning, the heartbeat was there! But the radiologist also told us about something else that was there—a fluid buildup on our baby’s neck.

    Initially there were a lot of questions, tears and prayers. Let’s also put out there that Dr. Google is no longer covered by our insurance. (That’s also why there are no links in this post… don’t go searching. Just don’t.)

    What the ultrasound showed was a septated cystic hygroma. It’s a pocket of fluid on the back of the baby’s neck that can sometimes be life-threatening in utero. We are fortunate ours was not fatal. It’s also extremely rare. We’re talking 1% (or less) of pregnancies. That’s like a 1 in 6,000 chance or something. So, unless you know more than 6,000 pregnant women, it’s not surprising that you haven’t heard of it.

    There can be many causes of cystic hygromas, about 50% of the time they appear because of chromosomal disorders. We did some initial blood work (10 weeks) that came back negative for some common disorders. We chose not to do any further DNA testing (14 weeks) because it would not affect the management of our pregnancy. (Even if we found out about a certain disorder, there’s not much we can actively do, except worry, until the baby arrives.) We have continued with regular ultrasounds and we had an echocardiogram (20 weeks) as some cystic hygromas are associated with heart defects.

    At this point we know that our baby has a bilateral SVC (20 weeks). (Everyone has a right SVC and our doctor said that as much as 20% of the population could have an extra left SVC and just not know it.) It’s not a problem on it’s own unless a person needs bypass surgery later in life.

    At this point we know that the cystic hygroma has resolved or (that the nuchal translucency) is no longer larger than normal (24 weeks). We also had an MRI and a second echocardiogram done around this time that showed no further heart anomalies and what the doctor’s called a “boring*” looking brain.

    At this point we know way more about fetal diagnoses and ultrasounds and echocardiograms than we ever wanted to know. (see weeks 9 – present) We still have a few more extra ultrasounds and appointments to get through, but we’re keeping a positive outlook.

    And at this point (30 weeks) we know September will be here faster than we could imagine.

    So readers, I’m sharing this here not because we want your sympathy, but because writing about difficult things helps me process them. Because writing this here might help some other young family that’s in a similar situation.

    One thing you may not know is that I am a religious and spiritual person. And I believe that the prayers we’ve made and those made on our behalf have helped strengthen us and our baby. So thank you for the prayers thus far and if you have any more prayers or positive thoughts you want to send our way, we will certainly take them.

    Sorry for all the words. But thank you for reading and being part of our family’s journey.

    *Boring has never looked better.

    PS… I’m not a doctor, so my stats or explanations are not exactly scientific. This is just my version of what we’ve gone through. If you are in a similar situation, please speak to a doctor or counselor.

     

    All the Podcasts Get Me Every Time

    by  • July 15, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Morning Walk Daisies | Gets Me Every Time

    Remember a few weeks ago when I was trying to figure out how to keep up with all the reading I want to be doing? Well, now you know all the reading includes throwing in a baby book or two, which makes it even more difficult to get to the “just for fun” reading.

    Enter Podcasts. 

    One of the things I’ve been trying to do the past few months is get in a daily walk. For a while walking and listening to music was fine. But a couple weeks in, I was getting bored with the same songs, same route, same, same, same.

    And then I remember someone telling me they listened to the Jess Lively podcast while at the gym. So, I thought I’d give it a chance. And I liked it.

    I liked it so much I had caught up on all the episodes and needed something else to listen to.

    Well, this spiraled into a iTunes search, a web search and a lot of downloading podcasts to my phone.

    Here’s what’s in my current playlist:

    The Lively Show
    Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! (NPR)
    The Solopreneur Hour
    Elise Gets Crafty
    After the Jump (Grace Bonney, DesignSponge)
    Your Kick-Ass Life
    The Accidental Creative

    Oh, and the best part… these are all free. And there are hundreds and hundreds more where they came from.

    Are you on the podcast bandwagon? What should I be listening to?

    A Magic Number Gets Me Every Time

    by  • July 14, 2014 • 7 Comments

    Three. Three decades on earth. Three years of marriage. Three members of our family (four if you count Louise, and we do, of course.) Yes. Three.

    Baby1

    I guess three really will be a magic number for our little family this year, specifically, come mid- to late-September.

    Baby2

    And while most of my readers probably already know this news, I think there are a few of you who don’t.

    Baby3

    So, sorry for the lack of posts recently… we’ve been a little busy planning, prepping and praying.

    Baby4

    There is a lot more to this story that I need to share with you guys. But I think this is enough news for one day, Internet.

    (PS… as for the questions. No, we don’t know the gender. Yes, we’ve narrowed down names. No, we won’t tell you. Yes, I’m feeling good. Yes, we’re so excited/freaked out/scared/in awe. No, you can’t touch my belly.)

    A Century Gets Me Every Time

    by  • July 8, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Nana100

    My grandmother would have been 100 this past weekend. That’s her, second from the left above. The one with her eyes closed. Clutching a doll. She was the fourth of five children. A good-looking group, if you ask me.

    While she didn’t make it to 100, she did live 94 very full years. And when I think about all she lived to see, I’m sheerly amazed: Prohibition. The Great Depression. World War I. World War II. Space. Vietnam. Korea. Computers. The 80s. September 11th. The list goes on and on.

    She was a teacher and a dancer. And a crazy intelligent woman. She swam and walked daily into her 90s. She did crossword puzzles, loved the Pittsburgh Penguins and played a mean game of Boggle.

    Her birthday got me thinking about what life must have been like back when she was born, so I did a little digging. According to TheCostofLiving.com, a home cost about $6,000. A car, about $500. And the early calculator, known as an adding machine, debuted at about $125. I imagine the pace of life must have been so much different. People didn’t travel the way we did. Obviously they didn’t need to check in on Instagram or Twitter or anything. They didn’t have all the stuff we have today. They didn’t eat all the processed crap we eat today. It all sounds so simple. Like a place I’d like to vacation to.

    What else happened in 1914? The Boston “Braves” won the World Series. The first scheduled airline flight lifts off. The first successful blood transfusion took place. They danced the foxtrot on a NYC rooftop. These things are so ordinary today. I can’t help wonder what “firsts” from our lives our future generations will look back on as just “everyday life.”

    Nana would be 100 now and I know she would be as bullheaded as ever. I hope to live as full a life as she did and to enjoy Oreos and swimming and hockey until I’m a ripe old age too.

    Choosing What To Read Gets Me Every Time

    by  • June 26, 2014

    Book with a heart made out of pages Valentina_A via Compfight

    I love to read. I wish I dedicated more time to it. I like to read magazines, books, newspapers, websites and, of course, blogs. Many times, though, I struggle to keep up. My feedly account is constantly overflowing. My email inbox has subfolders of newsletters and deals and more. My Amazon book wish list is a mile long. And I constantly swipe mags from work that I end up recycling.

    How do you keep up? I need to know. How do you prioritize what to read?

    Here are the blogs I’m currently obsessing over, in case you were wondering:
    Yes And Yes
    The Every Girl
    The Happiness Project
    &Jess Lively’s podcast (I listen while commuting)
    And, of course, internet faves, Design Sponge & Design Love Fest

    Your turn. What are you reading that I should read? What blogs are on your must read list? AND, how do you prioritize it all. Tell me.

    Closing Time Gets Me Every Time

    by  • June 25, 2014

    tealhippo2It’s been real. And it’s been fun. And it’s been real fun. But at times, it’s also been a real headache. Managing an Etsy shop is a lot of work. A lot, a lot, a lot of work. It’s also pretty rewarding. It’s fun to see your items pop up all over the web. It’s cool to see them on coworkers’ desks. It’s exciting when you get a request for a HUGE order. I started my Etsy shop about 2.5 years ago. And today, I’m making the announcement that I’ll be closing up shop. (keep reading or scroll on down for the part where I give you the coupon code.)

    redcow2Why you ask? Because running an Etsy shop the way it should be run is time-consuming. I’m sure that it varies for each shop owner, but the shop I envisioned, with multitudes of animals in myriads of colors that are customizable is just too much for me right now. The making I love. The sales and shipping I love. But dealing with taking photos and editing photos and the Etsy backend is just too much for me right now. I’d rather be in my backyard enjoying the sun than inside setting up a product shoot.

    giraffenecklace1I have learned SO much from this venture though. I do love making. I do love selling. I loved doing a craft fair. I loved being proud of shipping out a big order. I have great friends and family who helped me out with all of the above and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support over the past couple years. I honestly could not have succeeded without them.

    limezebrapencil2I’ve got a notebook full of other ideas and projects that I want to make and share with the world. And I also still have some “unaltered” toy animals that will need a home too. So, is this “good-bye” to Etsy forever? I don’t think so. Just think of it more as a “so long”. There might be a pop-up around Christmas. Or a new concept of Gets Me Every Time on Etsy sometime down the road.

    But right now, help me close down the shop with coupon code “ClosingTime20″ at checkout and save 20% off everything in the shop. (*I should mention that all sales are final and I can’t offer any substitutions or alterations… what’s there is what’s there and what you get is what you get. xo)

    Life Lately Gets Me Every Time

    by  • June 18, 2014


    lately5I know. I haven’t been here much. But springtime is busy time you guys. We’ve been cleaning, painting, mowing (not me), organizing, celebrating, thrifting, yard-saleing and enjoying the cool sunny days we’ve had. Here’s a look. (I’ve also started a small wildlife refuge in my backyard, see below)

    lately11lately10
    lately9lately4lately7lately12lately8lately14lately3lately6lately1lately2lately13Now, I’m not promising that I’ll blog more often, but I do have a few unfinished drafts that I’ve been meaning to post. Check back soon, lovies. Soon.

    Friday Links Get Me Every Time

    by  • May 30, 2014

    I’ve been researching all types of diet fads recently (not for weight loss but overall feeling better) and this documentary (trailer above) on all the added sugar in our food caught my eye.

    No matter what aspect of you or your life you’re looking to improve, here is the secret to getting feedback you can actually use.

    These toasted ravioli look like an easy and tasty appetizer for an Italian dinner party.

    I love birthdays. And countdowns. Bam. This is both.

    I’ve recently been participating in a “100 day writing challege,” more on that soon, and this daily writing prompt site and ebook of 365 daily prompts seems like it might be two good sources to go to any time I feel “stuck” with writing.

    Here’s hoping your weekend is fabulous. We’ll be celebrating love at a friend’s wedding and doing some stuff around the house. Go out and do something fun, will you?

    Three Years Get Me Every Time

    by  • May 29, 2014

    Wedding1

    Today, I’m raising a toast to three years of love, growth, smiles, tears, laughs, moves, friends, family, travel, hugs, kisses, Boston, marriage and Mr. GMET.

    Three years ago we were saying “I do.” Three years ago we were enjoying a HOT spring day. Three years ago we were eating burgers, fries and chocolate chip cookies.  Three years ago we were toasting our marriage with OKC-style lunchboxes. Three years ago we were dancing the night away.

    Thank you to each and everyone of you who has made the past three years so very special. Here’s to many, many, many more with the whole gang.
    wedding2PS. photos by the wonderful Bob Perachio.

    Burgers & Fries Get Me Every Time

    by  • May 20, 2014

    fries5Here is my confession. This was supposed to be a post about Burger #18. And that’s the burger right there. Sitting on my gluten-free lettuce “bun.” But I have since forgotten about the burger. Sure, it was tasty. But what was in it is beyond me anymore. That’s because, on this night, I was all about the fries.

    fries2

    I picked up a bag of these Alexia Straight Cut Fries because I had a coupon but they quickly, we’re talking two fries in, became my new favorite fry fix. I found that they got and stayed crispier than most store-bought oven-baked fries. And the texture was right on for me.
    fries4And they look so pretty next to that burger, right? I think it might have been a “fajita burger” with some sautéed red and green peppers thrown in there, but who can remember when the fries look like that?

    fries3I promise that I will give you the real burger #18 soon. (We’re almost to 20!) But for now, do yourself a favor and make these fries. Then, do me a favor and invite me over to help you eat them.

    PS. I wasn’t paid or perked to mention these fries. I really just love them and think you should try them.
    Don’t forget the ketchup!

     

    Writing Gets Me Every Time

    by  • May 19, 2014

    CraftHouse1

    All blog posts are for you, my dear, sweet readers. But some are more for friends in far off places. And others are more for other bloggers. This one falls into the latter category. This is a blog post written by a blogger for other bloggers.

    It’s part of the “Blog Writing Process Tour” that my friend Emily took part in last week. Basically, I answer a few questions about how I write, then I tag a few blogging friends to do the same.

     

    NYwork2

    What am I working on?
    More like, what am I not working on?! Right now, the list seems endless. From finishing some painting in the house, to getting some more listings in my Etsy shop, to just trying to plan out our weekly meals and stick to making them. Writing-wise, I’m trying to be a better storyteller.

    How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    I’d call my blog a “lifestyle” blog, but I think I err on the side of personal blog more than I do lifestyle. I’m not able to tell you the latest styles or trends for my lifestyle or any other. I’m not out and about on the town either. I’m posting about my life to give friends and family who live so many miles away a chance to see what we’re up to.

    Why do I write what I do?
    I write what I do for me. That’s why I started this blog in the first place—as an outlet for me to write what I wanted. Since I’m a writer by trade, I spend my days writing for others. A mentor/friend mentioned I might improve my professional writing by writing in my own voice too. You know what, he was right.

    How does my writing process work?
    Maybe there should be some more structure around how and when and where I write, because there is really none. Sometimes, I write blog posts on my phone. Sometimes, I write during my lunch break. Sometimes it’s on the train and other times it’s on my couch. My writing process is as sporadic as my posting schedule. I do keep a list of post ideas in a notebook though and I refer to that when I get in the mood to really write a few posts at once. Once writing, I just try to tell you guys a story like I would if we were chatting on the phone.

    And now, I’m happy to pass this little chain on to three new bloggers. I do hope you’ll click over and check out each of their blogs too!

     

    Beckie @ Cubicle57
    Beckie and I are (old) college friends who happened to live in the same dorm and share a love of t-shirts and crafts and dancing. She now lives in New York where she writes about her fabulous life. She was one of my inspirations for starting this blog and finally meeting up with #BostonBloggers.

    Alaina @ SoAlaina
    Alaina is one of the many fabulous bloggers I have met through the #BostonBloggers group. She always seems to have the happiest of dispositions and her writing is so genuine and honest. Plus, Alaina is a new mom, so if you hop to her blog you get to spend some time looking at her cute little nugget.

    Alex @ Literally, Everything
    Alex is another blogger I met through #BostonBlogger group. If I say Alex has had a big year, I wouldn’t be doing her accomplishments justice. Let me just say that girl ran the Boston Marathon and got married in the same month. So, go read about her year and see some pretty wedding pics.