lifetoast

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!)

 

july 4th surf

Toddler s knowing God 2

Hello friends.

I hope you’re sitting poolside, sipping pink drinks. I shopped at Jersey Gardens yesterday and was like woah. The amount of stores-and people!- was serious sensory overload. I spent the rest of the weekend arm deep in all my things, KonMari-ing the hell out of my apartment. Transplanting yourself to New York gives you a reality check on how much stuff you own.

Now that I’m organized I’m ready to start my residency this week! It’s been nice getting a break but a few weeks in and I’m antsy and bored. I’m heading out to enjoy the rest of the day. Have a great fourth!

Here’s what I was browsing while I was not unpacking last week:

I’m all about antipasto salad.

I’m really into fringe bags right now.

A wonderful way to use your summer fruits.

Some thoughts on my engagement ring. LOL.

Why being yourself isn’t always the way to go.

For Serial listeners, Adnan Syed is getting a new trial.

Women supporting other women via sexting. Kind of beautiful.

I should really try my hand at making my own barbecue sauce.

Need to be inspired? Commencement speeches are the way to go.

You know how you dislike first dates? So do the restaurants you go to.

I’m over make up and into skin care. Here are 15 products that dermatologists swear by.

Summer time always makes me think of childhood trips to Taiwan, especially eating street food like popcorn chicken.

Choosing a school for my daughter in a segregated city. This is the conundrum: do you place your child into a school to better the system or is that an unfair sacrifice to your child?

saturday surf

Pastel

Happy chatter ebbed and flowed from the bars as I walked back to my apartment. I weaved through the Gayborhood’s alleys with ease as passing restaurants and bars lit up memories from these four years. It struck me that I’m going to miss this place.

It’s funny since I’ve been counting down the days to this moment.

Moving to Philadelphia yanked away my security blanket. I could no longer peek out at the world from behind a wall of family and friends. I was terrified.

Let me tell you a secret.

On orientation day, I hid in the bathroom on the second floor when we were dismissed for lunch.

I felt so alone. In college, I had met most of my friends through my best friend. Here, at last, I had to figure it out myself. And.. somehow I did it.

I walked into the second floor waiting lobby, saw a girl sitting alone and asked if I could sit next to her. I silently praised God when she said yes. That girl and I didn’t become best friends. We never talked again actually. But I will always remember her for giving me the courage to keep trying. Even if she didn’t know it.

From then on, it was a blur.

I made friends and lost friends. I laughed a lot. Cried a lot. Most likely drank too much. I explored many a beer garden and many a restaurant. I started doing yoga. I got involved with school organizations and went to Jamaica with one. I travelled with my family abroad for the first time. Then we wandered all along the Northeast coast.

I just.. said yes. To everything. And I loved it. All of it. Even the mistakes.

So I guess what I’m saying in the wee hours of this Saturday is… take a moment. Breathe your life in. Know that there will ALWAYS be something you can complain about but take joy in the bits and pieces. Catching up with a good friend. A bear hug from a loved one. A deliciously juicy hamburger. Breathlessly reading a page turner of a book. Feeling a gentle breeze as you duck under a shady tree, hiding from the summer heat. Those little slips of joy are what make life so precious.

Sweet dreams.

**

And, if you can’t sleep, here are some of the things that caught my eye this week:

When you are not an alcoholic.

A healthy Klondike bar. Gimme gimme.

Lunch ideas involve this bowl and these fajitas.

I am digging this website with free yoga videos.

This is the perfect summer gift. Fun BUT still useful.

Need to review making fresh pasta for a weekend project.

An interview with Constance Wu, the badass/hard ass mom on Fresh off the Boat.

If you’ve caught wind of Brexit but are completely at a loss about what’s what, here are the basics.

I just got a jar of coconut oil. Apparently it’s the new Windex? Look at all these ways to use it! (Anyone get the My Big Fat Greek Wedding reference?)

Promposals? Is this stuff for real? When I got asked to prom, it went like this: “Hey, so, like, do you wanna go to prom with me?” in a stairwell on my way to my next class.

saturday surf

Góry

This past week I stole away to Fire Island for some much needed quiet. Having no specific schedule to follow beyond breathing that salt-dampened air was delicious. Now I’m back in the hustle but, hey, it’s only the beginning of the weekend!

I hope this find you enjoying these beautiful summer days with the windows open to the cool breeze.

Saturdays here are for lazying about, sure, but also for reflection. Sometimes it’s about lifting our heads out of our own lives and taking stock of the world around us. It’s been a heavy month and there’s been a lot of food for thought out there.

Here are the highs and lows, silly and serious, because that’s how the world turns:

On that term radical Islam.

Chilaquiles are my definition of perfection for brunch.

No matter what you do, you’ll marry the wrong person.

Here’s my pick for pudding this week: one savory, one sweet.

A starvation experiment that says: HEY, don’t let dieting take over your life.

This is why when you are arrested you should be quiet and ask for a lawyer.

Is it naive to just believe what people say at face value and just have some empathy?

Women, let’s just talk the way we want to talk. Spoiler alert: you’re damned no matter what you do.

Instagram influencers backing products like teatox saddens me because the products are such scams.

You think you crave your own time away from your kids…until you’re away from your kids. This sweet irony.

I grew up using Allrecipes and apparently it’s more used than I thought! On that note, this strawberry lemonade is perfect for summer.

What is six months to 43 years in solitary confinement? Focusing on the issue: “Suddenly they [most privileged white people] realize the system’s harshness. They realize it’s overly focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation. They realize the system ignores individual humanity and frequently makes it more likely someone will commit future crimes, instead of less.”