Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #30

Today I am thankful for the #BeThankfulChallenge. There's a number of different reason why I decided this was the best thing to be thankful for today. Today is the last day of November (obviously), so it seemed very appropriate to be thankful for something that greatly shaped my month. I have never blogged this much. I won't say that I enjoyed every moment of it; however, I am very proud of myself for accomplishing it. This challenge has pushed me outside my comfort zone. Any time a challenge is met and beat, I think you feel a sense of achievement. This challenge has also allowed me reflect on many of the wonderful aspects of my life. In a often pessimistic world, it's nice to be reminded of all the positive things in my life (little and big). The most important reason I am thankful for this challenge today, though, is because it's OVER! I am very excited to not blog (at least for a week or 2.... I might even miss it!).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #28 & #29

I know that I missed posting yesterday, but I kind of did it on purpose. Today I am thankful for my Mom and Dad. When I was thinking about it, it was just too hard to explain why I was thankful for one of them without the other. To me, my parents have always been a team. I have always been a Daddy's girl, but he wasn't always around when I was young because of his work schedule. My Mom was the one who taught me morals, punished me, and managed my daily schedule. Now that I'm older and they're apparently finished trying to fix me, my relationship with them is a lot more fun. My Mom is the one I tell about my day or go shopping with. We even have a girls' night out sometimes. My Dad is fun to share my medical horror stories with and I've enjoyed getting to hear some of his med school tales as I went through similar things. I'm very grateful for my parents for getting me through my childhood and teenage years relatively unscathed, but I enjoy them much more now and look forward to our next adventures.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #27

Today I am thankful for my sister. Karin and I have had a number of different evolutions of our relationship. She is seven years younger than me, so we definitely didn't always see eye to eye. When I was a teenager and trying to be cool, she was copying everything I did and annoyingly trying to be just like me. Then when she was a teenager, I was in college and not really interested in teenager problems and drama. Now that she's older, it's so much fun. We are very similar people, yet have entirely different personalities (if that makes any sense). Every time we're together we have some kind of fun. She's in college now, so she can drink me under the table. Also though, she's fun to shop with, travel with, or go to a show with. I'm so excited that she's become such a wonderful person and friend.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #26

Today I am thankful for friends. I know this is kind of generic, but I have so many wonderful and different friends that it would take close to a month to give them each their own day. I love how they keep me young and fun both near and far. It could be as simple as going to dinner or a bar or to see a band. Sometimes it's more elaborate like getting me to travel to new places. Mostly though, I'm thankful for how unique each one of them is. I truly feel that each one is a different reflection of some part of my personality and therefore makes me more rounded as a person. Your family is who has been given to you, but your friends you have chosen. The best way to judge somebody's character is by who they choose to keep company with. I'm very confident that I have somehow managed to find some of the best and kindest people in the world.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #25

Today I am thankful for sleep. As is I really need some. I plan to partake in this wonderful activity in a few minutes. For me, its almost always a good thing if I'm lacking in the sleep department. It usually means that I have so many fun activities going on that something has to suffer, and sleep gets cut. It's important to note that I love sleeping, so pretty much the only things that can beat it are fun. If something is not fun, I will pick the extra sleep over it. The last few days have been full of (drunken) family/neighborhood/high school reunions. The best one was yesterday when we had ALL the kids from the old neighborhood together for the first time in at least 5 years. When that happens, boys vs girls flip cup trumps going to bed because I have work in the morning. Now that all the festivities are finished though, I am really excited to crawl into bed tonight. Right now nothing could beat curling up in the nice cool sheets under my snuggly comforter in bed. I'm hoping to sleep for some completely unreasonable amount of time, like 12 hours.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #24

Today I am thankful for family. Now I love all my relatives, but today I am thankful for the family that my life has created. Growing up with relatives far away, we couldn't get to see them very often. However, when I was very young we moved to a new neighborhood that ended up shaping my life. There were three other families that all moved in right around when we did. I grew up with those kids, grade school through high school. They are as much my cousins and their parents my aunts and uncles as anyone is. I love how different we all are, yet we still love each other and make a point to get together even though its no longer as easy as walking next door. We still get together every holiday, so I'm going to go enjoy Thanksgiving with my "family" now.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you enjoying it with whomever you consider family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #23

Today I am thankful for sweatpants. I truly believe that I'm not really relaxing unless I'm in sweatpants. They are so warm and fuzzy; they are just wonderful. I come from a family of cuddlers and huggers and sweatpants are kind of like a cuddle from a fabric, so maybe that's why I like them so much. One of the best parts of my daily routine is when I get home from work and put on my sweatpants. So thank you sweatpants for being wonderfully comfortable.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #22

Today I am thankful for my computer. I love Macs. I love how compatible all apple products are together; my Macbook, iPhone, and iPod get along so nicely. It's also very easy to figure out how to install, run, or manage any program on an apple product. This post though is also a bit of a memorial service for my Macbook. Soon I believe it will have to retire. They have actually stopped making programs available for it. I called customer support the other day because I was having problems trying to upgrade to iCloud. The technician I was talking to starting looking up the specs on my computer he saw when it was purchased. I believe his exact statement was, "2006?... Wow." Yes, my computer is from my college years. Shortly after that he discovered the problem and told me, "You know Christmas is right around the corner." The end of the story is that my processor (Intel Core Duo) is too outdated to support the new operating systems (Lion OSX) required for the new programs (iCloud). I am extremely thankful (and impressed) that my computer is still running. I love it, but I believe in order to continue to have a functional computer shortly after its 6th birthday I'm going to have to replace it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #21

Today I am thankful for the small kindnesses of strangers. I know this sounds a little weird, but think how your mood can change by someone holding a door open for you or simply smiling at you. This thankful moment was inspired today by the wonderful cop who did not give me a ticket. I don't know that this qualifies as small but I definitely appreciated his kindness towards me. I was less than a mile from my house on a back road apparently going 48mph in a 25mph zone. For the record, I've never seen a speed limit sign on this road and the road is windy so I'm not sure I could actually go 48mph but I was definitely not watching my speedometer so I wasn't really in a position to argue. After checking my license, registration, and  (perfect) driving record, he let me off with a warning. He saved me probably $100+ and multiple points on my driving record. So thank you Lincoln Park cop. I'm sending some good karma out into the universe hoping some reaches you and makes you smile today.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #20

Today I am thankful for sales. Let me tell you about the awesome sales I have hit this month so far...

  1. I really needed work pants. I love The Limited, so after months of clearance rack shopping I finally decided I was going to just have to deal with the cost. I walked in and it was buy one pant get one free day. What are the odds. I found a style of pant that fit well (hard to do) and got one of every color.  That only took me to five, so I got an extra black pair since they were free. With the help of three coupons, the day's final total was $230 for six pairs of pants and three sweaters!
  2. I got a flyer for a Macy's one day sale. For some reason I decided to look through it and saw that luggage was on sale. I really needed some new luggage as mine literally has holes in it. I stopped by on my way to work and ended up getting a beautiful teal Diane Von Furstenberg 3-piece set. The final bill was $205 for $720 worth of luggage!
  3. We (the family) finally picked out an awesome birthday present for my dad - new skis! Except now we had to find and pay for nice new skis for him. We have all been checking out different ski shops and decided we would be paying about $700 or $800. Then today, I went to one last local place. I found the same exact skis we had picked out but for $450! 

So often stores have sales that I find it really hard to buy anything at regular price anymore. On the rare occasion I do buy something full price, I almost always have a coupon so that doesn't really count either. So I'm thankful for the sales I've hit so far and am hoping I can continue with the good luck for my Christmas shopping.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #19

Today I am thankful for take-out/delivery food. I love good food. I hate doing dishes. The solution: take-out! I can get delicious food that doesn't involve dirtying pots or pans or plates. That is awesome. It is especially awesome on a Saturday after I've worked all day and am not feeling particularly well. So thank you Tiff's Grill and Bar for my delicious dinner tonight.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #18

Today I am thankful for coffee. It makes me feel human in the morning. In the winter, a hot cup can warm my soul. In the summer, an iced coffee is so refreshing. The type of coffee I like really depends on the day. I like both Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. Sometimes I want a flavor, sometime regular, and other days a latte. It all is delicious. I think my favorite cup of coffee though is a fresh cup brewed at the lake house that I can enjoy out on the deck on a crisp morning with a book. Perfection.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #17

Today I am thankful for my slow cooker. Whoever invented this was genius. It takes a little preparation time, but then you turn it on and you're finished. I can come home to a cooked meal! This is a marvelous concept for someone who lives alone, because otherwise there is no chance that there will be a prepared meal waiting for me. Today I made chili. I had a number of fresh ingredients to use from my CSA, but in particular I had gotten cranberry beans and the best thing to do with them is definitely chili. So thank you slow cooker for making me a delicious dinner... now could you please clean yourself?

Be Thankful Challenge Day #16

Again, I'm a little late. Although I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised by how well I've been doing overall with posting daily. This week has been rough though. Finally (as it happens pretty much every year), the sick little monkeys that I take care every day got to me. I get sick very rarely, but when I do I tend to get it bad. I have congestion, cough, fevers, sinus pressure, no voice... just overall suckiness. So last night I got home from work and went to bed (after a hot tottie of course) without blogging. But in that spirit, yesterday I was thankful for my health. Getting really sick always reminds me how lucky I am that on a daily basis I'm healthy. I try to eat healthy, get my sleep, and exercise to promote a healthy lifestyle, but I think I have to give some credit to good genes as well. All four of my grandparents made to their 80s, and three of them are still counting higher! So tonight I will drink my tea, get a lot of sleep, and look forward to the day that I can breath and talk again soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #15

Today I am thankful for Hot Totties. Herbal tea, honey, and a little whiskey... nothing beats them when you're sick. Truthfully, when I was young I would sometimes try to convince my mom I was sick to have one (it never worked). Two days ago, all of a sudden I got really congested and my throat started hurting. Not really a surprise since I deal with sick kids all day long. Now after two nights of Hot Totties, I'm starting to feel much better. The hot tea helps steam and clear your sinuses, the honey soothes the throat, and the whiskey knocks you out so you sleep through the night. Oh, and it tastes delicious. Perfection. I might have another tonight.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #14

Today I am thankful for the cutest little puppy in the world, Duke (although I might be biased as he's mine).

When I come home from work he always so excited to see me. He jumps up and down while trying to kiss me and wag his curly, fluffy tail. He can make any day a good one. It's especially wonderful after a long chaotic Monday in the office. He is also an excellent cuddler. He loves to be touching me, either right on my lap or next to me. Thankfully, he's only 15 pounds so he fits very easily on your lap. So now it's time for a short walk and then cuddling up for bedtime.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #13

Today I am thankful for football. First off, what girl doesn't love watching athletic men run around in tights. I also do truly enjoy the game. There's something in the way that a football game is broken up (maybe the first downs?) that makes it continually engaging. I, of course, have my favorite teams (New England Patriots), but most of all I just love a good game. A blow out game, even when my team's up, is never as good as one that comes down to the last seconds. This years been especially interesting coming from a family of Buffalo Bills fans as the Bills have actually decided to play this season. All kidding aside, it has been really fun to watch the Bills develop their team and win some games (except when they beat the Patriots). Now, I better get back to watching the Patriots beat the Jets (hopefully).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #12

Today I am thankful for home cooking. Nothing beats the smells wafting out of the kitchen while things are roasting and simmering for dinner. Today my parents and brother came over for a meal of roasted filet mignon and winter squashes. It was delicious. It smelled delicious in the hours before dinner while it was stewing. Most importantly though, it meant that I had a kitchen full of cooks and a couch full of football watchers. I think its true that food really does bring a family together.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #11

Today is an easy day for me to figure out what I'm thankful for because today is my brother's birthday. So...


As brothers go, mine is pretty awesome. Of course I love my brother, he's family. He has the regular awesomeness that comes from being part of a super cool family. He graduated from the University of Pittsburg with an accounting degree (which I will never be able to understand), went right into a job at JP Morgan (a huge company thats really hard to get a job with), and is now 3/4 of the way toward getting his CPA (taking tests that make you want to kill yourself). But I also really like my brother. I feel that this fact is even better than loving him. I had the opportunity to live with him for 6 months about a year ago and I'm so glad. We hung out and watched football and drank beer. It wasn't anything special; it was just the first time I really got to know him as an adult and not an annoying little kid. Now he lives right over the river in NYC and it's never more than a month or so since I've seen him.

As a side note, today is Veteran's Day and of course I'm thankful for all the past, present, and future military personnel who risk their lives to protect my freedoms and lifestyle, especially both my grandfathers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #10

Today I am thankful for chocolate, specifically Gertrude Hawk Chocolate. If you're not from northeastern Pennsylvania you probably have no idea what I am talking about, but let me tell you, you're missing out. It's delicious. They have many varieties like any good chocolatier, but most importantly they have Smidgens. Smidgens are delicious little morsels of chocolately goodness. Realistically, they're about the size of a mini Reese's. Of course, my favorite is the milk chocolate with peanut butter filling, but they come in all kinds: white chocolate, dark chocolate, raspberry or caramel filled. Also, to make them even more fun they're festive. They come in many designs depending on the season; bunnies, pumpkins, hearts, santas.

photo courtesy of

So today I took an extra moment to enjoy my melt-in-my-mouth chocolate/peanut butter Smidgen.  It was heaven.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #9

Today I am thankful for fall. Hands down fall is the best season. It's warm during the day and cool at night, perfect for a cozy sweatshirt. The leaves change into these beautiful deep hues of reds and oranges and the bug population drops dramatically (yes, the bugs are a factor in determining the best season). This week has been the best fall week. The weather has been perfect, reaching the 60s everyday. Also in Jersey, the leaves have really just finished changing which means they'll probably be on the ground by the weekend because it never lasts long. So for now, I'm going to be thankful for the beauty that is all around me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #8

Today I am thankful for having the opportunity to be involved in Community Supported Agriculture. Tuesdays are our share pick-up days so seeing all my new, delicious vegetables reminded me that I'm very lucky and thankful to be able to participate in this program. First, receiving a set share of vegetables every week has definitely broadened my food horizons. Before this summer, I never knew what mustard greens were or that there were multiple varieties or that a thing such as romanesco cauliflower existed. Also, it is wonderful being able to support my local farmer. Hopefully, I'll be able to continue this new adventure next summer, but for now I'm enjoying the last few weeks of this season.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #7

Today I am thankful for my job. This seemed appropriate to be thankful for on Monday, the beginning of the work week. For anybody who has talked to me in the past year, this also may seem intriguing as I tend to bitch about my job a lot. However, let me take a moment to say I truly love what I do. I get to hang out with kids all day long and help to make them feel better. It's awesome. I will not pretend that I always agree with the business decisions or the office politics, hence the bitching. What it comes down to though is that every day I get to do something I love. In an economy where simply having a job is a blessings, I am so thankful that I enjoy my work everyday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #6

Today I am thankful for laughter. Life is better when laughing. Whether it is with new friends or old, laughter is definitely good for the soul. I understand that we can only truly appreciate the good if we have weathered the bad, but I think that makes it even more important to cherish the good times when they do come. So even if it's the little things, or myself, that I am laughing at, I'm going to continue to truly enjoy it.

(And if you notice the time stamp for this post I barely made it in time, but I did make it for today so I think that means I'm getting better.)

Be Thankful Challenge Day #5

So obviously we need the time machine again. Apparently I'm not so good at blogging daily, but the positive side is that I still have pretty much the whole month left to keep practicing. Also, the thing I'm thankful for today is also part of the reason that I didn't make my post yesterday.

Today I'm thankful for wine. First, it is delicious... red or white, I love it (pink does NOT count as wine). It can also help to calm your nerves after a stressful situation, like driving in New York City.  Most importantly, it is an excellent addition to a friendly gathering.  It was definitely the highlight of my Saturday night catching up with Christen Donovan (and Angelique)!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge Day #4

November 4th (for real!)

Today I am thankful for snow. I know this is a weird thing to be thankful for so early in November, especially after the terrible nor'easter that hit this past weekend. The reason I'm thankful for snow today, though, is because tonight is the New Jersey Ski Council's Annual Ski Jamboree. I'm super excited to go and get information on local ski clubs and it also means the ski season is just around the corner!

Be Thankful Challenge Day #3

November 3rd! Wow this month is really flying by; it feels like days went by in minute (lol- I know, bad joke). Anyway, I'm almost caught up....

Today I'm thankful for my amazing Vera Bradley planner. This year's planner had gotten so messy with cancellations and reschedulings that I went out and bought a new one today.  Thankfully (again), the 2012 planner is from October 2011 through December 2012. This planner is wonderful because it has month views but also daily breakdowns.  Plus, it has pockets and it's a 3 ring binder so I can add my own stuff.  It was almost cathartic to sit down and transfer my plans into my new one.

Be Thankful Challenge Day #2

It's November 2nd! I bet you didn't know that I had a time machine, but...

Today I am thankful for Disney Princess Movies. Now all the Princess Movies are wonderful especially such classics as Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid that helped shape my childhood, but today I am particularly thankful for The Princess and the Frog. It kept me sane at work today. Instead of freaking out over my crazy patient schedule, I was singing and dancing around the office enjoying my day.

Be Thankful Challenge

So I know it's not November 1st, but let's pretend. I saw that a couple of my blogging friends have started an online challenge where every day in November you say something that you are thankful for. I don't really understand these "hashtag" things, but still it sounds like fun. For all of you who follow this blog, this is like a double challenge for me because it means I'll sign on and post EVERY DAY this month! So, to start off....

Today I am thankful for my Deltas (and honorary Deltas) who keep me young and hip. They're the reason this blog exists and very patiently introduce me to things like blogging, tweets, and hashtags.