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 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 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 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.