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F:  What is the most touching thing that you saw or happened to you this week?

L:  Yesterday I had an appointment with a health care navigator at this organization. I was supposed to bring a form with me to prove I am no longer employed but I wasn’t able to print it out before our meeting and the online system that provided it did not offer an email option. The whole story is extremely administrative and overall pretty boring but the woman I met with was so pleasant during our entire encounter – over half of which she spent carrying her laptop around, trying to find her colleague whose work station she was temporarily looking to use to print out my form.  Our exchange wasn’t particularly deep or profound or personal but it was very pleasant and kind and those are two characteristics that can’t be underestimated.

F:  What do you do to “relax?”

L:  I’m pretty big into the concept of taking a bath.  I don’t have a bathtub though so the frequency of baths in my life is much lower than I’d like.  There’s also this place in Chinatown that offers a 30 min back rub + 30 min foot massage for $30.  It’s fantastic and a totally reasonably priced indulgence.

F:  Are you still painting?  If so, what?  If not, why not? :)

L:  I’m sorry to say that I haven’t painted since October.  With all my moving around it has been hard to feel stationary enough to dedicate space to setting up an easel, bringing out all the materials, etc.  It’ll happen though.

F:  What are your winter essentials?  Doesn’t have to be clothes.

L:  It’s gotten really cold in NYC.  I have two cashmere sweaters that are pretty much the only things I’ve been wearing since Thanksgiving.  This lip balm feels fantastic.  Also, I’ve been making little batches of Suz’s recipe for the smell of Christmas which has been really pretty nice – especially to give away.

F:  If you could manifest anything, what would your ideal year be like next year?

L:  One of love, prosperity, creativity, friendship, joy, ease and security.

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TRYING to drink as much water and green juice as possible before the Christmas holiday.

THINKING about the movie “Wild” and the kinds of journeys that grief will lead you on to find who you are again.  Thinking also about how powerful a mother can be.

BLOWING through so many books!  Right now I’m reading Traveling with Pomegranates, which was recommended to me by Lauren.  Once I am finished maybe we can both do a post on it.

 

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FEELING inspired to go all in on my personal style after watching the documentary Advanced Style on Netflix.

STAYING at home and working my space heaters on this very rainy day in NYC.

PRESSING play on the latest episode of StartUp podcast, which I’d highly recommend!

I’ve been back in NYC for the past week, catching up with friends and eating delicious meals all around town as New Yorkers are wont to do. I don’t think of myself as any real foodie but I just may have taken for granted the amazingness of the food here for the past 12 years. It tastes so good. Almost everywhere you go. In addition to the gourmet-level home cooked brunch I had on Sunday, these are some of the places I’ve been eating:

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Sauce Restaurant - This is my neighborhood favorite!  I will never turn down an Italian meal and the deliciousness pared with proximity to my apartment make it my regular go-to.  The Pecorino Kale salad and soft polenta “Plank” with bolognese sauce make me happier than any meal I can conjure in my mind.

Emmett’s – A tiny and tasty neighborhood spot is one of the only new (to me) places I’ve eaten since being back in New York.  The pizza was great, as was the playlist.

Satsko – If there ever was a bar where everyone knows your name, this is it!  Satsko’s was a mainstay of my early years in NYC and has hosted many boozy nights since.  The sake offerings are phenomenal, as is the Carriegiri sushi-esque roll of avocado, smoked salmon and melted mozzarella with a spicy mayo dipping sauce. Mouth-watering!

LIC Market – I don’t spend a lot of time in Long Island City, Queens, so after my first time at this restaurant, I make it my go-to when I’m in the neighborhood.  This past weekend I was there for brunch and the complimentary pastry plate, complete with mini-chocolate croissants, was just as delicious as the rest of the meal.

Motorino Pizza – Oh, my!  I wasn’t even this full on Thanksgiving!  This pizza is just amazing.  My friends and I split five pizza’s between four people and the flavors are fantastic!  The Cherry Stone Clam white pizza is particularly special.  This is some next level pizza.

And while I haven’t done much by way of cooking since I’ve been back but I did make a friend’s Blue Apron meal with her on Sunday night and it was also so good!  All ingredients, in exact proportion, are delivered right to your door for a really reasonable price.  This is the second Blue Apron meal I’ve helped prepare and I have to say, it’s pretty great.

[posted by Lauren]

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It’s already beginning to feel a lot like Christmas but before the holiday season kicks into full force, I am savoring the unique time in my life that was this fall.  The past few months have been a panoply of experiences and emotion.  There has been devastating loss and nothing short of magical moments.  I have felt intense joy, grief, gratitude, loneliness, inspiration, abundance, anxiety, anger, love, heartbreak, calm, relief, support, jealousy, inspiration, elation, denial, acceptance, freedom and ease.  All of life packed itself tightly into these fall days and with it came an incredible expansion of time.  And limitless beauty.

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[posted by Lauren]

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Recently I’ve made a couple references to our family’s newly established tradition of making each other Christmas gifts instead of buying presents (minus stockings, which by way of compromise, our mother who loves to shop still puts together).  For our purposes “make” is a loose term and can span the gamut from handmade creations to custom ordered goods.  Each person comes up with a unique gift that can either be personalized for every member of the family, or replicated into multiple copies so everyone receives the same thing.  I think we have a $50 spending cap on all production costs; that is also loose but let’s just say the whole thing is meant to be inexpensive.  This will be our third Christmas making gifts and the things people have come up with already have been so thoughtful, creative and fun. So should you be interested in going more of the homemade route this year but can’t think of what you might do, feel free to snag an idea from the things we’ve given each other since starting this tradition:

  • A picture frame with four photos of our backyard at home, one from every season to rotate throughout the year
  • Personalized silhouettes
  • A bound children’s book of a story our dad always told us when we were little
  • Jigsaw puzzles of favorite personal photos
  • Personal domain names
  • An originally designed 2014 calendar
  • White chocolate peppermint popcorn
  • Family Rubix Cube (pictured above)
  • Curated road guide for your spiritual journey
  • Peanut butter buckeyes
  • Coins from our dad’s collection
  • Each person’s first initial made of cut, geometric paper

Have any other ideas for homemade gifts?  Let us know in the comments.  I think I already have my idea for this year but you never know…

[posted by Lauren]

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(image via here)

 

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HEADING back to NYC for a couple of weeks before Christmas and excited to get this Christmas scent going on my stove.

PROCRASTINATING packing for my flight.  I really dislike packing!

LOOKING to sublet my apartment for a few weeks/months starting early January.  Hit me up if you or someone you know is interested!

 

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SPEEDING through Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes, Please and I am just not so sure about this one guys. So far, I might like Bossypants and Not That Kind of Girl much better.

ANTICIPATING some time at home with my family and friends over Christmas and spending quality time with different age groups is always inspiring to me!

INVESTING my time into learning more about my finances, spending and saving. It’s awesome!

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