Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unknown Pet Peeves

As I may have told you in a previous post about Mr.B and my budgeting habits, the hubby and I keep a detailed written list of everything we spend. This lists helps us to keep track of exactly how much money we have to spend, and what we are spending our money on. Being so hands on helps us to keep a close eye on where our money's going, and not go over our budget.

Recently Mr.B and I updated our written sheet together, and low and behold a little pet peeve he possesses, which I had no prior knowledge of was revealed. Let me set the scene: Mr.B and I were cozied up to the desk, he was reading the charges from our bank's website and calculating the deductions or credits, and I was writing each one down on our list. All of a sudden, I looked at the sheet and noticed how each time I wrote another line item, my numbers got further and further towards the center of the page. We were very delinquent in the updating of our sheet, so it was easy to see how everything angled towards the center. "Wow, look how slanted my writing is," I said, thinking it was nothing but amusing. "Oh my gosh, I'm glad you said something, that drives me CRAZY," Mr.B replied! HA!

Who knows what drives our spouses a little nutty some times? I personally know that Mr.B can think I'm a bit scary (lord knows why), and doesn't like to point these things out, but personally I would like to know so I can try to change them! Just like I like to point out how it's a huge pet peeve of mine when crumbs are on the kitchen counter, hoping he'll clean them up after making a sandwich, or how it drives me nuts when someone puts a roll of toilet paper on the tank instead of replacing it on the roll (still holding my breath for those).

What are some of your pet peeves? Does your spouse have any pet peeves about stuff you do? Dish! XO. SB.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Things You Find on Craigslist: Part II

Since I've been completely slacking recently due to the hectic nature of my current work schedule, I thought I'd provide you all with a chuckle with another instalment of "The Things You Find on Craigslist." I personally was skratching my head, and giggling when I came across them, and I hope you enjoy them just as much! Again, I apologize to anyone who covets and owns these items.

Beautiful Porcelain Center Table - $50
(peanut gallery comment: I really wish I could see the rest of this person's home, it must be magical)

(peanut gallery comment: I don't think the bowl is all that ridiculous (maybe that says something about me), it's the price of $95 that blows my mind!)

"Bear Cub" coffee table - $50
(peanut gallery comment: I almost want this table! It's so adorable, and would make me feel like I was Snow White calling out the animals to come help me clean or something. Again, I wish I could see the rest of these peoples furnishings.)

Furniture plus misc items for sale
(peanut gallery comment: what is this? I think the price was something ridiculous too! Really?)

Bumper Car - $700
(peanut gallery comment: Ummm....FUN! What do you do with this? Child's bed?)

Ok, I should really be working. Ho hum. Hope to post more fun stuff soon! XO. SB.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ok, Ok, Ok...

...I know I've been a terrible blogess the last week or so, but works been busy, and just insert any other plethora of excuses here. I do vow to return shortly with a great trail review, book reviews for some fabulous reads I've been devouring, the tale of my attempt at creating art for our living room, and complaints and whining galore about my frustration about a many number of things. All things for you lovely readers to look forward too!

For now I will leave you with a song I've been a bit obsessed with since the closing show of summer tour (Phish tour that is). I always try to remember that I am blessed in a lot of ways, and focus on the positives in my life(even though I usually do the opposite), and this song is a good reminder to do that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Because my FAVORITE author Philippa Gregory's new book is waiting for me at home!!! Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law!

I'll have to rush and finish the book I'm currently reading (and obsessed with) quickly so that I can get to it!

Sorry for the short posts this week, works been busy! Thanks again MIL! SB :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Don't Like Mondays

My father sings me this song every Monday morning (yes I speak to my father every morning).

Enjoy! SB.

Friday, August 20, 2010


This week I decided to subscribe to "Better Homes and Garden" Magazine. When I told my wonderful single lady friend that I was excited to have subscribed to my first magazine since 17 magazine, she of course followed up by asking me what I subscired to. Upon my reply she laughed and told me "you're so cute." Does cute mean old and boring? Was she expecting Cosmo or Rolling Stone perhaps? Not sure how I should be taking this. Maybe I need to subscribe to something more hip (I'm guessing only "cute" people say the word hip) as well. SB.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Holy Exhaustion

I'm apparently not cut out for late nights any more! Went to the last show of Phish tour out on Jones Beach last night, and I am W-I-P-E-D today! Definitely not as young as I used to be! I don't even think we got home that late!

These past few weeks, I've somehow reverted back to my do something every night of the week schedule, something I used to maintain very well back when I was just out of college (and single). I've been waiting for the effects to catch up to me, and boy do I think it's hit me today like a brick wall!

The kicker is I'm totally doing something tonight as well! Actually, I have two sets of plans! One of my friends may be coming over for some much needed catching up, and due to the lack of food in our house we also desperately need to food shop! I sometimes wonder how my calendar seems to just fill up sometimes, I don't even feel like I have to many friends in the area, and then BOOM, I wind up seeing them all in a 2 week stretch!

I'm really looking forward to our weekend relaxing at the beach! Here's to hoping I don't fall asleep at my desk today! SB.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Art, Art?

I'm off and away on my design kick, and quickly becoming frustrated! Frustrated with lack of time, frustrated with budget constraints, and frustrated with the big clash I've discovered in Mr.B's and my own styles! It's going to be some big compromising on all fronts!

First compromise, art work! I suggested we blow up some of our cooler photos into canvas prints for the main focal point over our couch. BIG VETO! He was so not into it! At least not for the main focus of our room. What he does like is a more abstract type art that I might be able to deal with, depending on what it was.

We browsed Etsy.com last night, and both agreed that we liked something like these:

We also discovered that I apparently like anything with a tree in it.

Admittedly, I do think I would prefer an arty photo or more neutral or soft tones, so I guess we'll have to continue looking. My other thought was to commission my best friend to paint one of our more arty photos in a more abstract or colorful way then it's truly depicted. While she's more of a realist, I think if I got the concept across right it could come out pretty perfect.

My other idea was that Mr.B and I just buy a few long canvases and some paints in the color scheme I would choose for the room and go to town! Thoughts?! ;) SB

Monday, August 16, 2010

Big Girl Choices

As some of you may know from my gripping in earlier posts, Mr.B and I put our apartment on the market earlier this year. It's been about 5 months, and we really haven't gotten any action. Our realtor has been sending emails with articles and statements which I'm not sure how I should interpret. Topping it all off, she recently told me that unfortunately your first offer is usually your best offer, and our first offer was $40k under our asking price, and is definitely something we are not prepared or willing to take. So last week Mr.B and I started discussing the possibility of taking it off the market, and committing to spending a couple more years in our lovely apartment.

At first the question came up as just that, a question, a thought, what's the rush? Do we want to stay? Why not? It was one week ago that I sat across from my other half at dinner, as he gushed about how much he loved our place, and confessed he wouldn't mind staying. He also threw into the mix that if we did stay, and committed to spending a few more years en casa, we could do some of the renovations I've been longing for. Hence, I've spent the week in quandary over this big kid decision we're faced with.

My biggest concern for staying put is the fact that in the next few years Mr.B and I will probably start a family, and a one bedroom apartment with a newborn to two year old was not really in my game plan. That being said, there are a lot of steps between here and there, and I hear those baby things take some time to cook, which would leave us time to make some more big kid decisions about our housing situation. Friends have also assured me that these alien creatures sleep in your room for at least the first few months, and while it may not have been an ideal situation the one bedroom thing is workable. So with my biggest concern put a bit at ease, I am starting to really feel like why not?

If we stay put, I have full reign to start renovations and redecoration immediately! I've been dying to get my sticky fingers on the place, but because we were planning on moving it didn't seem worth it. I moved in with Mr.B right after we got engaged, and while I wasn't completely opposed to the arty Grateful Dead and Phish posters that decorated the walls when it wasn't our permanent residence, I have to say 2 1/2 years later, I'm ready for an upgrade and a more adult space. I think one of the reasons I was so ready to move into a house, was so I'd have the ability to decorate and make a space that was ours, so with permission to do that in our current living space I feel no rush for a house.

So considering I subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens today, I've started picking out my new decor accents online, and I'm starting to research new kitchen cabinets, I think it's pretty safe to say that I've decided our apartment should be called home sweet home a while longer. I've also been extremely frustrated with the whole selling process, and I'll be happy to be in a place we both love, with the ability to continue saving for our eventual down payment on a new home, while paying down our mortgage even more, so really it's all for the best.

Anyone have any tips for how to tackle a complete apartment revamp? Any tips are greatly appreciated! XO. SB.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trail Review: Mt. Greylock State Reservation

Now without further ado, here is my review of our most recent hike!

Trail Specifics (from AMC's Best Backpacking in New England)

Highlights: The highest Mountain in Massachusetts
Distance: 11.0 miles round trip
Total Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,050
Trip Length: 1-2 Days
Difficulty: 3 Stars
Recommended Map: AMC Northern Berkshires Map, AMC Books

We drove up to Massachusetts on Friday evening, and arrived at the trail head at approximately 11:00 pm. Now I do not recommend this, because walking the trail to try to find the camping area in the dark is not a good idea. Mr.B had been under the impression that the camping area was directly at the head of the trail, when it's actually about 0.3 miles from the parking area. Left with the choice of sleeping in the car, or braving the trail in the dark however, we decided to try to walk the 0.3 miles and wound up confused and scared in the dark. We wound up sleeping in a really nice field:

Unbeknown to us at the time, it turns out we were not at the actual camping area, and while we were in a nice open area, if we had slept a bit later we would have been right next to a day hiking trail that is highly used, and we left this awful impression in the field:

That kink aside, we started the next day fresh and early. We actually lost our topographic map somewhere between the car and where we camped, but it wasn't an issue as the trail was extremely well marked. I also highly recommend the hiking book we have (mentioned above), as any time we were slightly confused about which way the trail went, we were able to follow the excellent descriptions in the book.

As the book recommends this is a 1-2 day hike, and while we chose to camp out on the trail overnight, we both agreed that we definitely could have completed the trail in one day, especially if we didn't have our big packs. This was actually my first hike with my big back pack, and I will admit it took some getting used to. The mountains had many side trails that we could have taken and explored as well.

Mr.B and I both agreed that this was a very enjoyable trail, and it wasn't too strenuous. My only complaint about this trail would be that you cross a few roads, because it's possible to drive to the top, so it's not as secluded as it could be. It's also a little crowded at parts for this reason, but even though this is my biggest complaint, it was really a small issue and didn't affect our hike much at all.

Here are some great shots we got at the top of the mountain:

Monument at the top:

We camped the second night at the Pecks Brook Shelter, which was about a mile detour off the trail, and is located on a very nice water source. The actual shelter was actually occupied, however there were plenty of flat spots around for camping. We were one of 5 groups camping at the site, but it didn't feel to over crowded. One of the groups that was at the sight was a family of 5, the parents had decided to try out their first hiking trip with a 4, 2, and 1 year old in tow. While the father seems much more optimistic and less cranky then the mother, we were both impressed and relieved to see that life doesn't stop after you have kids!

When we go on a backpacking camping trip, we usually stop in at one of our favorite camping stores, Campmor in Paramus, NJ, for some dried food. On our menu for the evening was Pad Thai and Veggie Lasagna. Basically you boil water and pour it into these lite, very easy to carry, zip lock packages, let them steep for 10 minutes, and wallah:

Instant dinner! While it may not look appetizing, it was actually delicious! I'm thinking of buying them for home to save time on dinner! Just kidding, they are a little pricey but we think worth it for backpacking. For breakfast we used the same type of food, and had granola with blueberries and milk with broccoli and cheese potatoes.

This hike was beautiful, fun, and very do-able for even inexperienced hikers. The level in the book was a 3 star, but we thought the difficulty level was really low. I know that we're becoming more experienced hikers, so perhaps our views are a little jaded, but I really think this hike is assessable for almost anyone. Especially if you're looking for a day hike on any of the smaller trails the mountain has to offer. We had a great weekend on Mount Greylock! I'll leave you with some of my nature photos from the hike, hope this encourages all of you to get out at hit the trails! SB :)

Detour to Hopper Falls:

Pretty Butterfly (yes I actually took this photo, and yes I'm impressed with myself):

What do you call a mushroom that buys everyone a round of drinks? A FUN-GI!

Lake with old pump house (good marker to know you're back on track after returning to trail from Peck's Shelter):

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Things You Find on Craigslist

I've been into browsing the antique section of Craigslist.com for furniture and other good finds a lot recently, and thought I'd share some ammusing items I've come across. I cannot however guarantee that you will also find them ammusing. I also apologize in advance to anyone who covets these items or owns them currently, kudos on your interesting and unique style!

(peanut gallery comment: I'm trying to decide if this is a toy or not, very patriotic either way)

(peanut gallery comment: really?)

(peanut gallery comment: I think my Great Grandmother owned this at some point)

(peanut gallery comment: this doesn't look very comfortable)

Musical Crib Toy, circa 1940s
(peanut gallery comment: would you give this to your child?)

Vintage 1940's Japanese Woman in Bath Celleloid Figure-Check Out - $40
(peanut gallery comment: someone has the gall to ask for $40 for this suvenier?)

Hope you're giggling a bit! Maybe I'll post more later!


Do we really ever grow out of it? I mean it's a strange chemical thing in our brains right? I thought I had long since trained myself to focus, but recently I'm giving it another thought! I can't concentrate on work to save my life!

Perhaps my past "learning disability" has reared it's ugly head in response to the fact that I'm not happy at work? Who knows, all I know is that I could use some Aderol, or whatever they're giving the kids these days!

Anyone else have trouble with childhood woes still? SB.

Monday, August 9, 2010

U by Kotex

I apologize for this post to any of my male readers, but I am absolutely in love with Kotex's new ad campaign! How original and clever!

Check out this commercial:

Between their new commericals and their awesomely adorable bright colored tampons and pads:

I was sold. So I picked up some of their regular tampons at CVS the other day, and they live up to the hype! They were priced well, are comfortable, and are just as cute as they look on TV! An extra bonus that I don't think you would hear about anywhere else, the wrappers are made of great plastic that make it really easy to reinsert the applicator into the packaging after usage. Something mom never told you would be a pain in the rear end, and you'd need to do to keep squeamish husbands innocent eyes from having to see tampon applicators in the trash!

P.S. You can grab some free samples at http://www.ubykotex.com/. Cheers. SB.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kitchen Cabinets

I've been really into all of these "Do it Yourself" blogs recently, including one of my favorites Young House Love, and all of them have really inspired me to want to do some projects of my own. If you've been a faithful reader, you know that our apartment is currently on the market, and all about my frustrations with said market. I don't think anyone has come by in over 2 months! Hence, I've decided that if I'm going to be living in what was my hubby's bachelor pad for a while longer, I'd like to make some improvements that will make our abode feel more like the home I want it to be, instead of accepting it's faults until have have a house to decorate to my hearts content!

Enter kitchen cabinets!

Now, I could have just posted a picture of our actual cabinets, but when you google ugly 70's style cabinets that appear in tons of unfortunate peoples homes across the entire US, it's very easy to find a picture. In all seriousness though, I really dislike these cabinets.

Now if these cabinets were wood, no problem I'd do them myself in a heartbeat! Even with them being laminate I'm tempted to give painting them a try, but with Mr.B not wanting any involvement in home improvement projects (he says we work to be able to write a check for those), and the scary laminate daunting me as I stare at it day after day, I'm a bit intimidated.

I've read about how the job is done on the Internet, and I'm just worried about whether or not the end result will be worth it. My father is a contractor, and every time I bring the idea up he points out how it wouldn't be very expensive to replace just the cabinet doors (not helpful with the confidence boosting). The other problem is, when do I have time to tackle such an enormous project? Between work and being busy almost every weekend, how will I ever accomplish what everyone else makes look so easy?!

Have any of you redone your cabinets? Any Do-it-yourself nightmare stories? Votes of confidence?! S.B.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Lucy and I were chatting on AIM and when I complained about my job she said, "yeah, but you should be really proud about what you do." I teared up then and I'm tearing up now to hear that my younger sister, whom I feel so inferior to at times is actually proud of me :)


To hold all of you active readers over until the much anticipated trail review of Mt. Greylock is posted, I thought I would sprinkle in an additional post about something I've been thinking about a lot recently, my sisters. Now, as I get older my sisters continue to do so as well (duh!), even as much as I keep telling them to stop! Our dynamic as sisters continues to change as we all face different stages in our lives, but one thing that never really changes is that we're sisters and we love each other as fiercely now as ever (oh, did I not mention this was going to be a super cheesy post?).

There are a lot of things I could talk about in this post, growing up and watching them grow up, the way our relationship has changed as we all have gotten older, etc, etc. There are also a lot of different ways I feel about being the oldest of 3 girls, but what I actually want to talk about in this post is my actual sisters.

The middle in our family, nicknamed Lucy, has always been our wild child, stubborn, pain-in-the-ass, but very lovable and fun sister. She's always been infuriating, never backs down in an argument, is always right, and is very ambitious. So of course in May she graduated from law school, just took the Bar last week, and landed an awesome job! I must say that I am so extremely proud of her and the woman she's become, and the poise and maturity she's displayed these past few months in all her hard work and preparation. I must also say that I'm thrilled that she's finished so I can finally see her again!

Our baby sister, nicknamed Rabbit (why I can't remember), is about 5 years younger then I am, and I am so happy that as we've gotten older the years have closed the gap between us, and we've gotten closer and closer. Now that she's graduated from college (and a semester early I might add), she comes to visit all the time and we have a great time just hanging out! She's currently applying to Med School, and living at my parent's house, and I know she's just itching to get out and get started in her medical career. She's an EMT already, and so impressive with all her knowledge of the human body. I hate watching her struggle to find her footing as she applies to schools, and the stress I know it puts on her, but I'm so proud of her for all her hard work and ambition.

Basically this post was just about gloating, because recently I've just been "kvelling" as we say over the both of them! I've always taken on a "mother hen" type attitude with my sisters, and as they become lovely women it's hard not to feel pride when I talk about them. I just had dinner with the two of them the other night, which is something that hasn't happened in a really long time with all the Bar studying Lucy has been doing, and I couldn't have had a more enjoyable evening. It's sad that as we get older and our schedules pull us in all different directions we don't see each other as often. If you don't have sisters it may be hard to understand, but there really isn't anything like the bond between us. No matter what happens between us, I know I'll always have 2 best friends in them.

OK, enough cheese for you? I <3 my sisters! SB.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gone Adventuring....

We're off for the weekend to Mt. Greylock, the highest point in Massachusets! We'll be hiking, camping, and connecting with nature for the next 2 days! Stay tuned for trail reviews!

Book Review: "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger

Like most avid readers, often seek out books written by authors whose work I've previously enjoyed. So, when I spotted "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger (author of "The Time Travelers Wife") on the shelf at Borders, I figured I'd give it a try. It was another quick read, which I finished in 3 days, and it wasn't because I spent the weekend I bought it at our cabin with no TV. Obviously since I'm taking the time to review it, I enthustically recommend it, ok no joke, I loved it!

The book is about Julie and Valentina, twin sisters, whose Aunt passes away and leaves them her flat in London. This wouldn't be considered odd by most peoples standards, however the girls have never met their Aunt, who is also their mother's twin, and they must adhere to two rules: 1) They must live in the flat together for a year before they sell it, and 2) Their parents are not allowed to step foot in the flat. Julie and Valentina move to London, next door to the Highgate Cemetery, and we follow them as they develop relationships with their new neighbors (all of whom have eccentric quirks), explore the city, test the boundaries of their relationship, and make a few spooky discoveries. The book has twist and turns that made me gasp aloud, and characters you will fall for no matter their faults.

I will admit that the book does devil into the supernatural, which is usually not very believable for all of us. However, with all the Vampires and Werewolves wandering around the pages of our books these days, there is no reason we can't be sympathetic to ghosts as well! It's a very well told story, and if you liked "The Time Travelers Wife" I think you'll love "Her Fearful Symmetry!"

Now get reading! XO. SB.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm in Love....

...with a coffee table!

Since it appears our apartment may not sell for a while, Mr.B has agreed to fulfill some of my house wish list items. Since my wishes have been granted, I've been scouring the Internet for a suitable coffee table. Mr.B likes glass topped tables and I could go either way, but wanting something that would please both of us. So, I have been trying my hardest to find something with a glass top that I like, which apparently is easier said then done.

Alas, my search appears to be over! Although Mr.B quite nicely pointed out the rather pointy edges of this table, which means if we have kids in the future (and trust me this coffee table will not be replaced any time soon, so lets call the future from now until 10 years from now), the table may be a hazard. So do we sacrifice our dream coffee table for our future non-existent children's possible accidents with said table? Or do we buy the table and deal with it later?

All I can say is, I love that table. SB.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Recipe For Disaster?

Recently hubby and I decided that we were going to start making some new recipes to add into our usual dinner repertoire, which got me to thinking about how I wanted to store and organize the recipes. I am a paper person, so I was thinking something along the lines of a recipe box or book:

Something cute and personalized, and above all organized. I feel if not in my home, at least at work I am probably one of the most organized people on the planet. I color code, excel spreadsheet, and post-it note it until the cows come home. So why not bring some of that organization into my home in a fun and easy way to keep all of our new deliciousness sorted?

Mr.B however is much more into storing our recipes in a data base on our computer (surprise, surprise). He argues that it's somewhere we'll never loose them, they can be easily sorted, and can be found at a moments notice no matter where you are. For instance, if I wanted to run to the store after work to grab so ingredients, I wouldn't need to come home first to get a physical recipe from a book or box. So I'm thinking that as dorky as it is, a database works. I can't however help wanting the physical written recipes in that cute, personalized recipe box.

How do you store and keep track of your recipes? Have any good ones to suggest? SB.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Party Like A Rock Star....

....really? This past weekend I spent our Nation's Birthday in Washington DC with my best friend and one of our closest girl friends from college, and drank 3 nights in a row! I didn't even get a hang over! Ok, maybe I had a small one on Sunday morning, but nothing to write home about. I was shocked and amazed that I was able to keep up, and when Sunday rolled around I definitely thought I wasn't going to make it, but boy did I rally!

It had been a really stressful week at work, and I hadn't been drinking in preparation for what was promised to be a party filled weekend. So, when I arrived on Friday night after driving for 4 1/2 hours, and BFF offered me a glass of wine I certainly didn't refuse. She has these amazing wine glasses, that are enormous, and well I drank a bit to much wine because before you knew it I was very nicely buzzed. It was a mellow night in, and we had a great time catching up, but by the time we picked up our friend from the airport I was almost in a wine coma. The head nods were in full effect, and shortly after I took my little wino self to bed (aka couch).

If you live in the North East (or at least NYC or Washington, DC, not sure about the other parts of the NE), you know it has been hot as hot can be this past week, and Saturday was no exception. We spent most of the day relaxing by the pool, but the evening turned into a big beer fest. We started the night with a back yard BBQ at BFF's brother's place on Capitol Hill, Frisbee, Ladder Golf, and beer drinking ensued before we headed out for the night. Destination: One of DC's newest attractions, a German Beer Garden (anyone actually know the name of this place?). BFF, GF, BFF Husband, BFF Brother, and multiple other friends all gathered with our enormous (liter) beer steins filled with yummy cold beer, and hovered over people until we got a table. When I say these beer stein were enormous, I'm not joking, we were all trying to figure out the best way to hold them since they are so heavy! We laughed, we drank (a lot), and we were disappointed when they ran out of hot pretzels! We were all feeling very nice when we headed out of the Beer Garden, and headed over to a little place called "Sticky Rice" for some tatter tots. Yes, a sushi place that serves late night tatter tots, and man were they good. I had expected that this was some sort of dining establishment on our walk over, and was pleased to discover that it was actually a bar, with music, and dancing on benches. Dancing on benches is my favorite (actually I think it was the only not to crowded to dance part of the bar), and my GF and I became Dancing Queens! Overall it was an A+ night.

Sunday, July 4th, our Independence Day, I think we were all feeling our beer a bit. I've always been blessed with minor hang overs, and that day was no exception, but I could have really used a Gatorade! The kickers was, that Sunday was supposed to be our biggest party day, with a Bar Crawl on the schedule. This was BFF's Hubby's annual 4th of July Bar Crawl, complete with a new theme every year, and this year was golf. Luckily, GF's a pretty big golfer, and she brought us polo t's galore to choose from! BFF also dug up some pretty cute argile knee socks that rounded out my outfit nicely. We had a great afternoon/evening roaming around Adams Morgan with our golf clad crew trying to make "par" at each bar we stopped at. The evening was capped off with a wonderful DC fireworks display, before we were all ready to head home and pass out.

Overall it was an awesome weekend with great friends, and lots of fun partying. Just what the Dr. ordered you could say! I love a good party weekend, and don't get them so often anymore so it really did hit the spot. I was however able to realize, that I'm OK with the fact that I don't party every weekend (or let's face it weeknight) anymore. While I definitely enjoyed the alcohol fueled weekend, I know that most of what I loved about going out was having a blast with my friends, and quite frankly flirting with boys, which now that I'm married has lost it's appeal. So while I'm happy to be the life of the party (ha! So I'd like to think), I'm perfectly OK knowing that these occasions are now few and far between.

Do you miss your old party girl selves? XO. SB

Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova

I literally just finished this book (in under 3 days I might add), and I have not yet stopped crying. Lisa Genova's novel, "Still Alice" is a beautifully written and gripping first person account of Alzheimer's Disease. The main character Alice is a world renowned expert in linguistics, Harvard Professor in Psychology, mother of three, and a wife, who we follow from her realization that something is amiss, to her acceptance of the disease which is Robbing her of her memory, and beyond. To top it all off she is only 50 years old, and still in the height of her career when the heart breaking diagnosis is delivered.

It's hard for me to know where to start in this book review, because while I think anyone could really enjoy the book, I think I was so moved by it due to my associations with the disease. Not only did my grandfather on my mother's side have Alzheimer's, but my grandmother on my father's side had early onset Alzheimer's just like the character in the book. While reading the words on the page I was forced to also dredge up memories of my own grandmother, picturing her unable to speak or communicate what she needed from us. The book also touched on the genetic mutation that leads to Alzheimer's disease (and it's 50% chance of being passed on), which caused me to think about the possibility, or probability of my parents inheriting this heinous disease, or even myself and my siblings. In fact as soon as I finished the book I immediately sent an accusatory email to my Aunt who lent me the book, saying that I loved it but how could she let me read something that would touch so close to home, and then called my father hysterically crying.

Now, I know that this may sound like I'm not encouraging you to read this book, but oh cont-rare! I LOVED this book, it drew me in from the minute I started reading it, and couldn't put it down. I was immediately connected to the characters, and my heart broke along with Alice and her families as she lost sight of things that were once so familiar to her at a rapid pace.

I also think it was also important for me to read, because even though it's fiction, I feel like it helped me understand what it might have felt like for my loved ones to fight such a horrible illness. It also made me aware that I don't focus enough on it, and finding a cure. Why do I donate and participate in the fight for a cure for so many other diseases when this is the one that has the potential to tear my family apart the most? So I also emailed my family and decided to participate in this year's Memory Walk:


The books the main character once says that if she could she would trade this disease for cancer, and while the thought is a terrible one, I can't say if in her shoes I would disagree. How many of us would rather be robbed of our mind instead of our body? Please look into the walk and consider participating.

Read the book with a box of tissues close at hand. SB

Friday, June 18, 2010


So overdue with my next Africa post, but my computer literally died as I was putting on the finishing touches the other night, and I didn't want to leave everyone hanging!

Anyway, we are headed up to Saratoga, NY this weekend to relive Rob's youth and favorite past time Phish tour! We'll be camping out and jamming out all weekend! Not to mention getting wasted and making fools of ourselves (my favorite past time, j/k)!

I can't wait to get up there and get the party started! It's going to be a great weekend of music, friends, and fun! I'm really looking forward to being outdoors all weekend, escaping the stress of work, and letting my mind be distracted by amazing tunes. Wow, I really sound like a dirty hippy(but I'm thinking you guessed that based on my blogger name)!

I plan on making jello shots tonight, and since there will be plenty of them to go around they will be on sale for $1 each!! What's your favorite flavor jello shot, or favorite weekend activity that takes you back?


Friday, June 11, 2010

Our African Adventure Part II

One of the main reasons Mr. B and I travelled all the way to Africa for our vacation was to go on safari, and what a safari we had! We spent two nights and three days in the Serengeti, one of the countries largest game parks, where we camped among the wild life exposed to the unknown, saw amazing animals in close proximity, and drove around in pop-top Range Rovers with the wind in our hair. Not to mention the amazing, breath taking scenery you're looking at with Zebras, Elephants, Wildebeest, and more in the foreground! Here is the view of the park from our great lunch spot!

We happen to be lucky enough to be in the Serengeti during the great migration, and because of that we saw thousands of Zebra and Wildebeest! Someone joked with me that they had become the deer of Africa before we left, and that's definitely how we felt. At first we were all extremely excited by them, and made our guide pull over so we could snap tons of pictures, but by the time we left the game park we were unfazed by them. Even though we did see a lot of them the zebra are beautiful creatures, and they always made me smile.

Our guide explained to us that zebra and wildebeest travel together because zebra have good eye sight and a bad sense of smell, and wildebeest have terrible eye sight and a good sense of smell. Basically they work together to stay safe from predators. We also found out that zebra are very defensive animals, and often found them standing like this:

On our first night of camping Mr. B was very nervous about wild animals being so close to us, while I'm usually not phased by such things. However, on our way to our tent from dinner I had noticed an Ebok (deer like creature) a few yards from our tent, so when I had to use the facilities (and they tell you not to venture all the way to the toilet at night), I was careful to scan the area behind our tent for any near by creatures. As I stood there with my head lamp scanning the bush, some sort of animal (I'm guessing a warthog) let out a snarl that sent me running back into the tent as quickly as I could! We found out in the morning that others in our group had water buffalo munching grass behind their tent all night, and that a hyena had run through our camp site early in the morning! If that's not a safari experience I don't know what is!

Here are some more of the amazing animals we saw on safari, including some rare sights like cheetahs!

Being on safari was so freeing, I felt completely exhilarated the entire time. Camping out always relaxes me, and really takes me away from all my cares and worries. I can definitely say while I was in Africa I was really able to let go of life at home and all my usual stresses. Being out in nature I didn't think about work, or any thing else really, my mind was a blank slate. It was just what I needed! More about our final leg of the trip later! SB.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Committing to a Triathlon

While I'm definitely far from done with our African Adventure story, I think it's important that I keep you up to speed on some current events in the Blue house hold. Mr. B and I decided on Monday that we would compete in our second triathlon next month! The only problem, it's only about 4-5 weeks away(July 11)!!! With other previous social plans we have, and the seriously short time period, I'm a little worried about our trainging schedule!

Our triathlon, in Up State NY, is a what's considered a "sprint" or "beginners" tri, in other words we will have to swim a 1/4 of a mile, bike 14 miles, and run 3 miles. Luckily this is a tiny bit shorter then the previous triathlon we did 2 years ago (maybe 3?), so we're hoping it shouldn't be a problem to finish. What we are worried about though, is that this triathlon has a 2 hour time limit!

Since I did so well in my last 5k race, I'm determined to try this tri (sorry I couldn't help myself, I had to use the triple t's) for time (4!), while Mr. B is just trying to finish, and using the race as an excuse to get in shape. So we've started our schedule of swimming, biking, and running, and getting in tip top physical form! Of course the tempatures have cooled down this week, which make swimming in our unheated outdoor pool a bit harder, but we're giving it our all!

Another thing I had forgotten, was what a big time commitment training for a race like this was. I usually find my week loaded up with plans with friends, work commitments, or errands, but there's no excuse now for not working out unless I want to crawl over the finish line in 4 weeks! Hence, I apologize to any friends or family who may find themselves neglected in the next month due to my rigorus athleticly inclide schedule!

I'll keep you posted on our progress! Here's to avoiding injuries, getting in the best shape of our lives, and the sweet (or should I say sweat?) taste of accomplishment! SB

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our African Adventure

While I know I said I would share some journal excerpts with you from our recent Africa trip(I know I've been an extreme slacker about posting), after trying to decipher my hand writing from the bumpy overland trip I've decided it would be better to just give an over all review of the trip over a few posts. I will begin by saying that this was yet another incredible journey I've taken with my wonderful husband, and if you are of an adventurous spirit, and can occasionally conform to a "go with the flow" attitude (something required in Africa), I highly recommend doing an African overland trip.

Our trip was a total of 13 days with travel, as we left our apartment for JFK Airport on Thursday, May 13th and returned on Tuesday, May 25th. I must interject here, that I now believe that travelling mid-week is the much preferable option (I returned to work on a Wednesday of a short week, as it was Memorial Day Weekend, and I definitely couldn't have planned it better). We flew into Nairobi, Kenya, by way of Zurich, Switzerland, and flew back to New York from Dar Es Salaam airport via the same route. From the map below, you can see that Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam are a 12 hour drive from one another, and we spent our most of our vacation in some form of vehicle seeing the country.

While travelling this way could be exhausting, and you may be thinking that your idea of spending your first vacation in a year and half is not in a huge truck

I must say that it was honestly the most amazing thing to look out the window and see this unique and colorful country go by. Small children would wave and run after our vehicle, extremely excited to see Westerners, and I would be lying if I said it didn't warm my heart every time to see their smiling faces. As Mr. B would say this was a country where they may be poor, but you couldn't feel the poverty, they were poor but that was just how they lived. I couldn't agree more with that statement, and I was continuously intrigued as we drove by the small villages and the witnessed the way life was lead. It was amazing to me to think of all the things us Westerners deam necessary to survive when I saw the way the African people throughout Kenya and Tanzania lived. I found the landscape and the people to be extremely beautiful, and overall the trip was extremely eye opening.

Our trip was organized by a group called Nomad Tours(www.nomadtours.co.za, which we booked through a lovely woman named Nicky at www.africanoverlandtours.com. The group was a total of 12 people from all around the world (literally), and we were led by a tour guide and a cook. Mr. B and I went the more budget route, and were on the camping tour, and we stayed at some great camp sites and the tents were the nicest I've ever seen. We began our trip in Nairobi, where we met up with our new pals for the next 10 days, and headed towards Arusha.

The trip to Arusha consumed our entire first day of the trip, but as I said earlier I was alert and excited as I gazed out of the window at all of the sights. I kept missing pictures because we were driving, and either we went to fast or the road was to bumpy to capture what I was looking at, but here are some images of what we saw as we drove along.

The roads in Africa were something else as well! We would be driving along and you'd see something like this:

(picture courtesy of AR from our group), and you'd be off onto a dirt road on the side of the main road until eventually you found a paved road again. It was really wild, and really bumpy! They also threw stones along the road in place of parking cones, something I found highly amusing.

After a full day of travel we arrived in the town of Arusha, which didn't really seem like much of a town, but it was more populated then the villages we had passed, and had a Shop Rite super market, so I guess it could qualify. There was time to relax for the evening at our pretty campsite, where we had a delicious meal (I stayed veggie with the hubs for the trip) made by our chef, and got ready for our excursion to the Serengeti which we would leave for in the morning.

More exciting posts about Africa later. Sorry for being MIA! SB.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So obviously I've been a bit MIA the last 2 weeks, and I realized I never posted that I'd be on vacation for 2 weeks! That's right, vacation, an alien word I'm not used to using since I hadn't had one in a year and half, and it was much needed! Mr. B and I went on an amazing trip to Africa, overlanding from Nairobi, Kenya down to Dar Es Salaam/Zanzibar with a Safari into the Serengeti. It was an incredible trip, and I plan to share some excerpts from my journal in the next few posts! So, that's why you've been missing me, I'll be in touch now. :) SB.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Like My Profile Picture??

Check out my amazing best friend's paintings at http://www.pochetti.com/portfolio/index.htm. She is incredibly talented, and does custom murals, and commissioned paintings. Check out here website, you won't be disappointed!