lifetoast

coffee talk

Family 39 of 170

Hello! I’m broadcasting today whilst nestled in a cardigan and nursing a hot coffee with almond milk and collagen. (YES, I hopped on that bandwagon. We shall see if it is as life-changing as the media has been saying.)

Let’s catch up, yes?

Today I discovered a crack on my phone screen which means (1) Even the Otterbox cannot protect my phone from me. (2) I will never hear the end of this from my sister.

In other electronic failures, my laptop has been forlornly collecting dust because the WiFi card stopped working. The genius at Apple told me the easy fix would be to get an external WiFi antenna. Well..the first didn’t work with the router, the second didn’t work with the laptop, the third didn’t work because my laptop doesn’t have a disc drive to download the needed files! I am borrowing a laptop until I can drag myself to Best Buy in the hopes that someone knows what my laptop needs.

But enough technical gripes!

November was a month of experiences: I went to my first soccer game (NYC vs. Toronto for the MLS Cup Playoffs Match). I also went to Six Flags in NJ where way too many curse words flew out of my mouth due to sheer terror. With age amusement parks are less amusing and more terrifying.

I’m now counting down the days until my mom comes into town. I’ve been planning places to eat, things to do and generally preparing my apartment and life so she can see I am a fully functioning adult that eats enough vegetables.

I’m also counting down the days until our whole family is reunited in January! I last saw everyone in October when I went to North Carolina to see their new home. It’s a gorgeous place and getting away from crazy New York was nice. Still, I think I’ve become a city dweller because I found the pace possibly…too slow!? Who am I!?

I’m going to try and spend the rest of the day cleaning and meal prepping and basically avoiding being a degenerate.

I hope you’ve been having a great Sunday!

**

An idea for breakfast spaghetti?

I love reading predictions of wellness trends.

Rescue goats are a thing? Future hobby emerging.

On my weekend to do list: scallion pancake challah.

New York has an underground park that I have to check out.

I love the idea of a cookbook club! If you know of one in NYC, hook a girl up.

A collection of bodyweight exercises by Gina who always comes up with real burners.

I have been craving gingersnapsThese chai snickerdoodles have also been calling my name!

I am unashamed to admit I purchased a bar of Kerrygold after reading this butter taste test. It was delicious.

Purchases Black Friday weekend included J. Crew Chelsea rain boots (40% off purchase) and a Glossier balm (20% off everything + free shipping).

tuesday surf

The Seed Church 1

I know it seems I haven’t been cooking much. It’s been a stream of what I’ve being reading. I’m still puttering around in the kitchen but I haven’t been cooking anything particularly new. The highlights are that I am currently binging on arugula salad and have developed a dangerous love of kombucha. I will be back soon with a recipe-or two-I’ve been tweaking. Not today though! I’m off to sleep for now because tomorrow-today for you,reader- I am traveling the skies before dawn to North Carolina where I hope it’s warm enough so I can enjoy a snow cone. Have a wonderful Tuesday, loves.

By the by, to browse at your leisure:

My pick for a fall skirt. And cardigan.

All I need is the pasta to make this dish.

This post about being a great mother/father. HAH.

butter churn needs to be added to my appliance closet.

The answer to preventing recurring incarceration is education.

Make your kids less entitled by letting them engage with the world.

Current read: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It is intriguing but baffling.

Here are two financial websites that you should check out, especially those of you with debt: One + Two.

Yesterday I watched the first two episodes of Westworld and am now terrified of A.I. and disturbed by humanity.

monday surf

Cutesy pet grooming shop has been established in 2000and our quality services made us reach the top 1 grooming shop all over New South Wales We take care of the pets like our own feeds them and plays with them We also do theadoption to h

In the time since we last spoke, a month has passed in a blur of good eats, crazy experiences and excellent company.

I finally got a bloody mary in SoHo at Jack’s Wife Frieda, went for a family-style dinner at Mission Chinese, and read blissfully while dining in the cathedral of Bluestone Cafe. I’ve visited Amelie TWICE now for happy hour wine flights-always a crowd favorite- and enjoyed some cheap college-style happy hours at Jake’s Dilemma and Ace Bar. Last week I consumed much too much cheese at Raclette and FINALLY made it to Trader Joe’s wine shop for some $3 wine bottles.

September also brought me Adele in concert, where I fell in love with the fast talking, loudly cackling Brit, and my first Soul Cycle class. There was also a very up close experience with the New York strip club scene for a bachelorette party..

I saw some of my very favorite people this month, like Keyla-who is now MARRIED!-and my world traveling bestie Won-Joo who, after much schedule orchestration on both our parts, I was able to see TWICE this weekend. And, of course, my beloved Jin Guo, has now joined me in the tribe of Texans now in New York.

September treated me very well. I feel blissfully content and am ready for October.  Here’s to the first Monday of the month!

The Internet, through my eyes:

Tips on how to rest post-workout.

Sheet pan meals for this week’s prep.

Some ways to use a not-so-good tomato.

This article. The real issue is police culture.

Being a restaurant critic seems dreadfully lonely.

Let’s think about what being happy really means.

Perhaps a dinner option this week is pesto pizza.

A video showing you how to get awesome Anh Co Tran style hair.

Customized online prescription for anti-aging and acne is the new wave.

I’m on the hunt for good snack options: this looks like a savory possibility.

friday surf

FRIDAY SURF

This week has been a drug-induced doozy.

If you’ve seen me within this past year, you may have noticed this growing bump on my foot. I had been getting more involved with doing high intensity circuit workouts and was not taking rest days between them. Result? A stress fracture and  a multi-lobed ganglion cyst. It’s nothing malignant! Still it was causing me a lot of pain when I wore shoes and has been preventing me from doing anything too active. I was hoping it would just… go away. A “time heals all things” attitude! Unfortunately, it didn’t apply here. I bit the bullet this past Tuesday and got a surgery for it to be excised.

I’ll be honest, this was my first surgery so I was anxious. Then the anesthesiologist gave me “a little cocktail” via IV and… I was back in the recovery room. HAHA. I don’t remember a single thing and I LOVE THAT. Drugs are an amazing invention.

Although the surgery wasn’t extremely invasive, I still need to be off my foot to heal. I’m slowly getting stir crazy SO I’m heading to Fire Island today! The plan is to lie out in the sun, read and enjoy the weather.

So lesson for today is resting is as important as working! Have a lovely weekend!

Here’s my week on the Internet:

Kanye West is Tracy Jordan.

The inspiring Elizabeth Smart.

Let’s learn from each other’s mistakes.

Boxer braids are in the books for next week.

I’ve been hearing good things about this blush.

Apparently I need to check out the Whole Foods in Williamsburg.

Have you ever heard of a hummingbird cake? On the to bake list.

If you’ve got the love and resources, it’s never too late to start a family.

I’m a forward planner this year and I’ve got my eye on this necklace for my niece’s birthday.

I watched Spotlight this week and it was…terrifying. Here’s a good article on the story the movie is based on. Sum up? Question authority. Value, respect and support investigative journalism.

On that note, this is a very long- but intriguing- read about life inside a private prison.

saturday surf

Saturday Surf 1

Morning, sunshine!

Today’s all about self-love. I’ve been feeling those rainbow vibes while reading Jen Sincero’s book this week. So here’s the deal: carve out time for yourself. Book that facial. Do your nails. Pamper yourself with a new ‘do. Treat yourself to a nice lunch. Soak up those rays while your body relaxes to the rhythmic pounding of seaside waves. Those are my Saturday plans. What’s yours?

If you’re not too busy surfing the seas, let’s surf the web:

Bam Bam, an always present song of summer.

Yes, Cassey is doing workout printables again!

Chef suggestions for pimping your frozen pizza.

Guides like this make me want to visit Nashville ASAP.

The skinny mirror controversy. The debate cracks me up.

A Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg collab? I’m all over this.

Here is a potential weekend lunch+coffee spot in the East Village.

When my niece is old enough, I’m getting her a subscription to Kazoo. I love the mission!

Sometimes a drink isn’t necessary. Summary: sobriety is an uncomfortably necessary eye-opener.

Have you heard about Flixtape? It sounds cool conceptually but.. I don’t see it having as much practical use.

An interview with Winona Ryder, the unrelenting mom who knew her son wasn’t gone from Stranger Things. 

saturday surf

SATURDAY

Are you hiding from the heat like I am? Today’s heat index was 110 degrees and terrifying. The heat was reverberating from the cement when I was walking back from the matinee. And it was only 12! So now the AC is blasting, Netflix is on, and here’s what I’m surfing on the web this week:

A street shoe I’ve got my eye on.

All beaches should have a library.

Making bakery worthy bread at home.

This week I learned about microblading.

Considering this home for a weekend trip in the fall.

Ruth Reichl gives the how-to on a classic: grilled cheese.

I finished Stranger Things yesterday and loved the nod to the eighties.

Have you ever heard of the Wild Thing toy? I’m thinking about getting it for Zooey’s next birthday.

For all you post-grads, the Pied Piper is coming. The number one question: how much do I owe in student loans?

summer reading list

Read 1 of 1 2

I like commuting via public transportation. There’s a huge stigma against it but I think of it as the perfect time to energize yourself in the morning and decompress in the evening. It’s mandatory time for yourself! Typically, I will download a This American Life episode while I get ready so I don’t have to worry about signal issues underground. (I’ve also heard good things about the Invisibilia podcast from my roommate if you’re looking for something to try.) If not, I will usually read.

As much as I like the heft of a book in my hand, I don’t have the space in my small room to store them. It’s why I LOVE that you can now rent books from the library online.

I used to use Overdrive on my iPad but when I read too long I got some serious headaches. When my sister got a new Kindle, I stole her Kindle Keyboard. (I’ll be honest, I have never looked into the differences between the many generations of Kindles. They are on par with iPhone generations where the differences are minutiae I don’t want to pore over.)

I’ve mentioned it before in a previous Saturday Surf, but, if you’re in Boston, check out the Minuteman Library Network. My sister has a library card there and it’s AMAZING.* You can rent eBooks and send them to your Kindle! There have been a surprising number of recent books so I’m obsessed.

Now let’s read together!

WHAT I’VE READ

1

  • Bossypants by Tina Fey//
    It’s a mix of sassy zingers, childhood stories and motivational speeches. The book isn’t particularly fluid but it’s light and entertaining.
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes //
    Rom-com gold that’s a terribly easy read. I finished it within the day.  All I have to say is.. it’s realistic. I liked it well enough but wasn’t particularly moved by the story.
  • Crazy Rich Asian by Kevin Kwan//
    A ridiculously hilarious book about super elite Asians in Singapore. The books are akin to a People magazine: heavy on names, brands and gossip; low on depth. I got tired of the name dropping and wished the footnotes were at the bottom of each page instead of the end of the chapter. STILL, I liked the book enough to read it AND China Rich Girlfriend, the second book in this trilogy. And, yes, I will read Rich People Problems. Part I AND Part II.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo//
    I went into this book whole-heartedly skeptical after reading an excerpt where she advises me to talk to my things and thank them for their work. Though the idea of ONLY keeping things that “sparked joy” seemed a bit far-fetched, I found myself inspired to whittle down my things and got rid of NINE garbage bags worth of things. If that isn’t life-changing magic, I don’t know what is.
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff//
    This book rages with a deep burning melancholia because relationships aren’t all that you imagine it to be. It’s about underlying motives and how perspective changes everything. Fates and Furies was extremely good but also terribly depressing. I’m not a huge fan of the stream-of-consciousness writing style but Groff did a great job in developing rich, complex characters.
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed//
    Strayed writes this memoir when she travels the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) following her mother’s death. I have to admit: I didn’t love the book. It was extremely tedious to read. Although I love her column Dear Sugar, Wild focused too much on the PCT for my taste.

WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt// It’s not what I expected going in but the book has me enraptured. The characters are such full fleshed beings. At times I am so entranced that I will read as I walk to work from the subway stop.

WHAT I’M NOT FINISHING

Yes Please by Amy Poehler// I LOVE Amy Poehler on Parks and Rec but the book was all over the place and the jokes lacking.. I just couldn’t do it.

WHAT I’M GOING TO READ

1

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

To Rise Again at A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

*Yes, I too have noted that I’m a willing second-hand receiver from my sister. No shame whatsoever.

a weekend getaway from nyc: fire island

Fire Island 32 of 51

With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, here’s a getaway to consider: Fire Island.

I spent a week there earlier this summer, staying in Fair Harbor. Fair Harbor is a sleepy town lined with boardwalks paths and dirt roads. This is my second time out and it’s great because there are no cars on the island so everyone bikes around or walks, toting little ones in red wagons.
Fire Island 48 of 51

We spent our days lying out on the beach, kayaking in the bay and collecting these ebony black seashells drifting in on the tide. If we had forgotten an item for dinner, we’d walk to the local grocery store. There isn’t much else of note in the little town except for a seafood restaurant, corner store and ice cream shop.

Deer, unlike stores, are plentiful. They happen on you oh so casually. Rustling in the dense grassy patches. Ambling across the lawn with knobby kneed fawn in tow.

Fire Island 28 of 51

In the evenings, we’d head to the dock and watch the sunset.

20160613 NYC 1 of 1 2

It’s a perfect getaway from New York!

If you ever happen to visit, here are a few things to note:

  • Bring your own food and liquor. There aren’t many dining options and, although there is a grocery store, it’s not the largest. Also, prices can be significantly steeper.
  • Bring games and books. There is internet on the island but it’s weak: good for surfing the web but too slow for Netflix.
  • Don’t forget to check out the other towns! Ocean Beach, for example, is a walkable distance away. It is larger and has more bars and restaurants. However, the village is much stricter. There are rules like “you can’t be without shoes anywhere outside” and “you can’t ride your bike on weekends and holidays or in any commercial areas.”

How to get there from NYC: Take a LIRR train from Penn Station to Bay Shore. Walk/take a taxi to the ferry.

sunday surf

SUNDAY

Hello, friends!

I’m on serious vacation mode right now. Last week I visited my family in Boston-for the last time!- and went on a mother-daughter road trip to Quebec. There was a lot of croissant eating. The next two weeks I have a rotation which is giving me lots of free time aka allowing me to keep very up-to-date on my Instagream feed and, when I’m feeling productive, to read on my Kindle.

I’m prepping for the week by doing laundry and tidying my itty bitty room. I’m rushing it though because hellooo Sunday is still the weekend! Let’s not forget that and enjoy it! I’m going out in a bit to picnic in the park and watch everyone scramble to catch Pokemon. Have a good Sunday, ya’ll!

By the by, here’s what’s been crowding my browser recently:

This ring!

Sorry, not sorry.

Life outside of prison.

This aqua fresca looks SO good.

How God created animals. Teehee.

I’m always down for a good BLT salad.

My next buy for lips. (I’m thinking Crush.)

The story of why you need a fuck-off fund.

A shake up in your health and fitness thoughts.

If you’re in Manhattan, here’s something you should get delivered for lunch this week.

Apparently those food products at TJ Maxx aren’t completely random! I wonder if the same thing applies for Marshall’s…

saturday surf

Saturday Surf

Week one of residency is complete! I celebrated last night with co-residents drinking frozen margaritas and belting 80s and 90s hits. Today is all about recovery and doing those errands you can’t ever do in the work week. The bank and post office need later hours forreal.

NYC has been feeling hot and humid but yesterday’s thundershowers is making the afternoon breezy. Sending you good vibes for the rest of your weekend.

Here’s what’s I’ve been looking at this week:

This is why I’m pro-uniform.

Our country is better than that.

Perfect summer escapes from NYC.

Let’s learn how to empathize versus sympathize.

I can’t wait to check out this new NYC park open July 19.

My financial issue this week: should you contribute to a 403b or an IRA?

How to be a better ally: an open letter to white people. Really, all people.

The season finale of OITNB was craazy. Here are some fun facts to tide you over until its return.

Looking for summer whites? I recommend wearing these bad boys (if you’re willing to pay the AUS shipping!)