Life, NYC

Thursday Thoughts #5

Hello team! Happy almost Friday!

As always, here are some of my musings for the week!

ONE

Brian had his 30th birthday this past weekend! We went out to dinner on Friday night, had brunch on Saturday, and then went to a housewarming/birthday party that some friends were hosting. He said he had a great day, and truly he deserves it. He is the best!

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TWO

I am excited for this weekend because I get to see a lot of my college friends at my friend Tori’s wedding! It’s sure to be beautiful and the dress code is “black tie welcome” so I’m going to get glammed up which is always fun. Congratulations Tori and Steve!

THREE

Brian and I got a new apartment which was the craziest turn of events that I never could have guessed. We knew our lease was up soon, of course, and had been checking the internet for possibilities. Unfortunately NYC life is such that you can’t reach out to apartments until you’re really ready to move so we had not connected with any realtors or landlords. Fast forward to early last week and I come home from work to see a sign on the door of the apartment next door to ours advertising a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in exactly the price range we were searching. We texted the woman and saw the apartment this past Saturday. It’s ready with almost no overlap to our current lease, has no fee, and I can’t stress this enough: it’s LITERALLY five steps away from our current apartment, making the move a breeze. We are so excited and, of course, I’ve already started cleaning and purging my stuff for the move.

And that’s all folks! It’s been super busy already this month with the start of the new school year and all of our festivities and a big move approaching, but I’m looking at it as a positive. I have many great family and friends who want me and Brian to be a part of their celebrations. I GET to be busy, and I’m a lucky girl!

Have a great weekend everyone!

❤ LB

 

Life

Book Review: The Siren

Hey book fans and happy Wednesday!

I am back at work today for the first day of school for our students! Since I work in a private school, our calendar doesn’t start until after Rosh Hashanah, so here we are! I’m excited to meet the crop of new students and say hi to my old students, too. Here’s to a low-stress and productive school year!

Today I’m reviewing a YA standalone novel by Kiera Cass, who also authored one of my personal favorite YA series, The Selection series. I have ready so many YA books featuring a love story and I’ve never felt more strongly about who the protagonist should end up with than I did reading The Selection series, so I was excited to try, The Siren.

The story is about a girl who calls out to be saved while drowning during a shipwreck and is answered by the Ocean. The Ocean saves her in exchange for 100 years of service as a siren, singing people to their deaths in order to feed her. The sirens live in a group of girls (all around 17-20 years old) who move from city to city, unable to die, be injured, or speak to humans. The main character of the story, Kahlen, struggles with her duties and eventually meets someone who will change everything for her.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. First, it was super refreshing to read a standalone novel and know as I listened that I would know the conclusion of the story by the end rather than having to wait for another book in the series to be published. #instantgratification Kahlen’s loyalty to her family (the girls refer to each other as “sisters”), her love interest, and the Ocean really resonated with me. I felt immediately connected to her desire to do what is right, but also to do what is best for her – which, we all know is not always the same thing and not always an easy choice.

I listened to this book on Audible since I had extra credits from my Prime membership and, at times, the reader’s voice had distracting quirks, so I think I would have enjoyed the book more to just read it, but it was a fairly quick listen. The main character was easily the most well developed, and the other sirens were at times immature, and fell flat, but the story was cute and interesting. It made me want to read more about the history of sirens in art, music, and culture.

I know I’m not the only adult YA fiction lover out there, so I can imagine that some of you would also enjoy this book! Next up, the start of the “Red” series by Victoria Aveyard.

What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments!

❤ LB

Food, Life

Farmer’s Market Food Fun

Hey everyone!

Happy Monday! As I sat down to write recently, I realized that I haven’t yet told you about the fun I had cooking with the haul we got at the farmers market a few weeks ago. Out on the North Fork of Long Island we got all this cheap, fresh produce that I was so excited to use. It ended up being a lot more tomatoes than I realized, so next time we go, I’ll be making a point to pick up a bigger variety of fruits and veggies.

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Local wine from our wedding venue – yes, please!

First up, as a side dish I sautéed up some fresh zucchini and corn. We had it with burgers (veggie for me) for a quick, easy, summer dinner! I just used a touch of olive oil, salt, and fresh cracked pepper and kept it super simple since the corn was so sweet and yummy!

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That same night I also made a quick fresh tomato sauce. I just cooked three tomatoes on low heat while we ate dinner that night. I added fresh basil leaves that I ripped up and tossed in from a basil plant that I’ve miraculously kept alive to this day.

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Step 4: tossed with fresh zoodles!

I had a fresh peach with honey from our wedding favors every day with my lunch for over a week which was so delicious, and a nice summery departure from my normal “I eat an apple every single day” lifestyle. We also had several caprese salads with the local heirlooms, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Bonus points that I felt like everything I made was a fairly healthy choice when I supplemented with additional sources of protein.

It was fun to bring home produce that was so tasty on it’s own that cooking it was a cinch, and now I’m even more excited to head into fall when different fruits and veggies will come into season for me to cook with!

What have you been cooking lately? Let me know in the comments!

<3LB

Life

Our Wedding: A Timeline – Part 2

Our Wedding: A Timeline – Part 2!

3:30-5:30 – Reading letters, first looks, and photo sessions! When we arrived at the venue, the girls went straight into the bridal suite, opened a bottle of wine and hung out for a bit while we waited for the guys to arrive. When they did they went straight upstairs to the groom’s loft (a converted hayloft in the Northville Barn at Martha Clara).

Brian and I read our letters to each other out loud for our friends and for the wedding video. I burst into tears just LOOKING at the letter from Brian, and barely held it together while I read his sweet note that made me laugh and really feel the love.

 

I had a first look with my dad which was so emotional and both of us were in tears. And yes, our photographers told him to put down his beer for this moment LOL.

When it came time for the first look with Brian, I was a bundle of nerves, but so so excited to finally see him – something I had been anticipating for almost 12 hours. After our first look, which was so sweet and fun, we took a few portraits, and then got the families and bridal parties involved.

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5:30 – Here comes trouble! While we were outside taking formal group portraits, I heard a rumbling sound in the distance and immediately knew that it was the busses arriving with all of our guests. And there I was standing outside, in full view of where the busses were headed, in my wedding dress. Our amazing wedding-day coordinator and organizer, Molly, threw on a poncho and went running at top speed out into the muddy parking lot to tell the busses to make another loop. That woman HUSTLED. Meanwhile, I was huddled against the wall of the barn in literally a full squat surrounded by my family and bridal party. We scurried inside to hide in the bridal and groom’s suites while our guests made their way under the tent for the ceremony. It was just about time to get hitched!

Hiding from the wedding guests!

Stay tuned for part three of our wedding day! We get married and host the most fun party of…ever.

❤ LB

Life

Thursday Thoughts #4

Happy Friday-eve, friends!

Here I am with some super random Thursday Thoughts! I’m going to keep this one short and sweet since I’ve been so busy!

ONE

This week has been INSANE. Truly a crazy start to the school year (I’m extra busy because I’m an administrator at my school so new and old staff are always coming to me with questions)! Our new staff seems awesome and I’m excited to get to work with them and all my old pals. It’s also doubly crazy because it kicks off my crazy September (even though it isn’t September, yet – AH!)!

TWO

Once again, I’m super pumped for the weekend because my sister-in-law gets married to the love of her life on Saturday! Today is the rehearsal dinner and then Friday I’m going to work and then back out to Long Island for the party on Saturday. Brian and I are both in the wedding and we’re excited to support Lauren & Will on their big day! Also – I’ve seen her dress and it is seriously stunning! She’s the only person I’ve ever cried at the wedding appointment during shopping (including my own!).

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The four of us in New Orleans in January 2018.

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THREE

This week, I only blogged twice because Tuesday, I had just too much on my schedule. As a form of self-care and in order to not feel stressed about this blog – which is meant to be something I’m excited about – I decided to skip a post and not rush it. I know you’ll forgive me 😉

Anyways, that’s all for now! Have a fantastic long weekend everyone!

❤ LB

Life

Book Review: Matchmaking for Beginners

Hey everyone! I hope your day is off to a great start! Mine is because last night I finished a book and it was super cute, so that made me happy, and today I get to start a new one. I usually ready on the subway during my commute, so I get about an hour and a half of reading in on a good day. I’m pumped to bring you my first book review!

Let me tell you about the book I finished last night. It was Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson. I said it before and I’ll say it again: it was super cute. I got it for my Kindle using the Kindle Unlimited feature so I paid 0$ for it, which, of course, made me even happier! It was about two women – one an older woman, Blix, and one a thirty-something, Marnie – who meet at a family party and have an instant connection because of their strange “ability” to match people with the loves of their lives. They both go through some terrible things in their lives, culminating in Marnie inheriting a Brooklyn brownstone (sigh…can’t someone leave ME a Brooklyn brownstone?) full of Blix’s friends-turned-family.

This was a quick read, the pacing of the story was fast and kept me guessing at who Marnie would meet and help next. Plus, I just wanted to keep reading to see if this girl could follow the “signs” for her own life! The characters are kooky, but relatable, and you root for them right from the beginning. Most of all this book is about embracing the life we’re meant to have, embracing the crazy, accepting love, and finding fulfillment in the small stuff. I really enjoyed this book, and if you like chick-lit, I think you’ll really like it, too. It’s a perfect, easy, beach read! I’m definitely going to add more Maddie Dawson to my list for when I need something to make me smile!

What I’m reading next:

I’m going to try out some audiobooks (something I don’t do all that often, but I had Audible credits, so they were free). On deck are: The Siren, a standalone book by Kiera Cass, who wrote one of my favorite YA series and The Red Queen, the first book in a new YA series by Victoria Aveyard.

What have you been reading? Send me suggestions in the comments below or to lifewithlaurenb@gmail.com!

Happy reading!

❤ LB

Life

Thursday Thoughts #3

Hey team!

Happy Thursday! Here is a roundup of some of my recent thoughts and shenanigans.

ONE

This past weekend Brian and I went to the North Fork of Long Island and had the best time with his parents! It’s one of our very favorite places in the world. We stopped by our wedding venue for a tasting, went to a couple of cute farm stands and picked up some fresh (and insanely delicious) local produce, and got a chance to relax. It was so nice to take a breather, cook a nice dinner together, and catch up with my in-laws. It was fun despite the rain. Plus, stay tuned for a post on my adventures cooking with local produce soon!

TWO

I am making sure to keep up with eating healthy choices and working out the next few weeks, but also trying to make a point to take some time in each day to really relax. I have an INSANE September (two weddings, a bridal shower, a bachelorette party, and Brian’s 30th birthday in addition to the new school year starting up again), so I’m making sure to get enough sleep and take some time to watch a show or read a book some time each day. I know that when I get stressed, it’s when I’m most vulnerable to getting sick and I definitely wouldn’t want that!

THREE

Summer running is still really getting me down, team. I have been hitting paces on the treadmill that I feel like I’m soooo far from hitting outside and it’s been so discouraging. I sent a text to my running coach who is super encouraging, but I never feel like this when I’m training in the fall and winter. Growing up, I danced year round, but I’m starting to realize that if I wasn’t a dancer I would have definitely been a winter athlete, because summer training is just not for me – and that’s okay. I’m not registered for a race right now, and I’m comfortable with maintaining my fitness so that I can really push myself towards my goals when the weather cools off.

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She’s so supportive!

FOUR

This week, two of my absolute best friends had birthdays! I am so lucky that I have such amazing women in my life and I hope that they both had incredible days! Happy birthday Allyson and Sara! I love you girls.

FIVE

Aaaaand the most random of all is a question for you all. I know a lot of you are on a budget and I am going to be moving in the next few months since our lease is up at the end of September. We are going to need some new furniture when we move. Ours likely won’t survive a move since we bought it cheap and it’s already moved once and is 4 years old. What are your favorite furniture stores and what pieces do you own and love from them? We’ve walked around IKEA and wrote down some ideas, but I just want to know how they hold up – especially the couch that has a trundle that pops up into a bed. I mean, it seems amazing, but it could break after a week and I wouldn’t know. I’ve browsed Wayfair, too, but I’m wary since they don’t have a brick-and-mortar that I can visit to see the quality. Basically, I need furniture help!

Well that’s it for my randomness today. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and I’ll be back here Monday bright and early as usual!

❤ LB