I always claim that we are a Manhattan family that spends more time in Brooklyn. For whatever reason, there are so many different activities and adventures to go on there! Last Friday night, we went to the Brooklyn Drive In Movie Theater, Skyline Drive In, and I cannot wait to go back again! It was a super fun adventure for everyone in the family (although I am a rookie at the drive in game, and need to step it up next time with what I learned). Skyline Drive Inn is located right on the East River in Greenpoint with killer views of Manhattan (if it is not foggy….) and plays two different movies on two screens — one current film and one old school film that changes daily.
Skyline Drive In.
As a die hard roller skater, it made me so very happy that NYC opened up its first Roller Skating Rink, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, this past weekend. So sure enough, the kids and I ventured to skate and dance on opening day. It was such a great hour and I cannot wait to go back — pure simple family fun. Located in the heart of Manhattan at Rockefeller Center, it is a great place to people watch and soak up the energy of the city.
Smack dap in the middle of the city! So much fun.
For the few of you who don’t know about WORDLE, I feel like I need to tell you about it. It is a word game that gives players six chances to randomly guess a five-letter word. If your letter is in the right spot, it shows up as green, and if it is a correct letter but in the wrong spot, it shows up as yellow. So you figure out which letter is in the word and if it is in the correct spot. You have six chances.
The hardest part for me is to try to figure out which five letter word to use….In general, I am not very good at wordle, and am much better at the mini crossword and at Spelling Bee.
This past month I have listened to a plethora of podcasts. Here are my favorite episodes this month. They are all MUST listen to and all have major take aways.
1. Ten Percent Happier: Self Compassion Ain’t Always Soft, Kristin Neff
A must listen to. I started Kristin Neff’s book and I can’t wait to read it all. So much to learn.
In the past month, I have had a lot of screen time (even more than normal pandemic increased screen time). Here are the movies and shows that I have enjoyed watching.
1. The Blind Side
A MUST WATCH WITH THE KIDS! I saw this movie ages ago (when it came out) but we watched it as a family this past week and it was hands down a winner for all of us. A must watch.
Every Wednesday, I drive several hours to visit my sister-from-another-mister for the day. Despite my distaste in driving, I absolutely love and cherish our time together and wouldn’t miss this time in the world. Therefore, I have begun to embrace the time spent in the car. During these hours in the car, I have renewed my love of podcasts and cry / laugh / feel while listening to them. Here are my recent podcasts I have listened to and have *thoroughly* enjoyed. It is never too late to listen to them, they are all so good.
Truly family. I feel so fortunate that our family members are all bonded and glued together and the love is deep. There have been moments when all four of us are on separate calls with each of them — all at the same time. So my weekly drives to visit are essential, a no brainer, and worth every second.
Going old school and needlepointing! Over the weekend, after watching movie number 2 of the day (it was raining), I decided that we needed to bring needlepoint in to our lives. I grew up without a television and a very artistic mother, so at a very young age, my brother and I cross stitched. I have fond memories of us camping and sitting by the fire and cross stitching. So, we piled in to the car, and drove to an embroidery store (The Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT) to get the supplies. I really don’t have a clue on what I am doing, but I taught Cruzzie, too, and it is theraputic, frustrating, and extremely rewarding. I can’t wait to finish our first project and then start another one. They are so addicting!
There is a basic stitch that is easy to learn and then you just do it. We spent hours on the couch stitching….
I have a lot of time on my hands. A lot. It has been hard to focus on anything other than homeschooling and the news, but I hope that as things become normal (or the new normal), I will have more concentration / strength / willpower to read. Here is a list of books I want to read during this isolation period!
Like everyone else in the US, I can’t stop watching and talking about Cheer — the mini series on Netflix. It is a highly addictive 6 part series that follows around nationally ranked 40-member Navarro College Cheer Team as they prepare for the Nation Cheerleading Championship in Daytona. Five of the members lives are highlighted and you get insight into what makes them who they are — and you will fall in love with Jerry, as I did. You will laugh, cry, cringe, and binge watch the show. I guarantee you that if you start watching the show, you will finish it in a matter of days. I highly HIGHLY recommend it and can’t wait to discuss with fellow watchers.
Part Friday Night Lights (Tim Riggins, #33, I love you), and part Real World.
A New Year and a new commitment to listen to more podcasts instead of music. I love music and therefore listen to it on every run, workout, errand, subway ride, basically anytime I am in the house or walking somewhere out of the house. And although I love this, I also want to become smarter and interested in other things. Several years ago, I was a dedicated podcast listener, but then, I fell off. So now, it is time to get back on the podcast train! Here is a list of my go-to-podcasts as well as ones I want to start listening to more frequently.
1. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
Every person Oprah interviews, no matter if I am interested or not, I leave feeling smarter and more informed. Yes, everything Oprah touches is gold to me, but this podcast is my ultimate favorite.
Recently, I heard a lot of chatter about the Magician at the NoMad hotel and how amazing the performance was. So, since I am on a big kick of entertainment-is-better-than-dinners-out, we went with some friends on Friday night. To say HOLY SMOKES is an understatement. It was absolutely incredible and a must see. HOLY SMOKES! Amazing, ridiculous, smart, and oh so magical. It was unclear what to expect, but I knew that the Magician, Dan White, is widely respected, and therefore, I was hopeful for a good show. And indeed, it was a good show. And has left me thinking about it since the performance. Regardless of how Dan makes the magic happen, he is a genius and oh so smart.
Not only brilliant, but also funny, charismatic and compelling. A+ performer. Would go again in a heartbeat.
In all my free time in Oregon this summer, I have devoured tv shows, music albums, and books. These three are my top three thus far.
TV Series: Fleabag
Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote and stars in this two season series. She is BRILLIANT. Beautiful, funny, raw, and original.
For the past year, my favorite board game has been Rummikub. It is the perfect game for kids, families, or even adults to play. It is easy enough to play with kids, but also challenging and smart enough for adults.
Family game — that you can also put in a bag and travel with. We took it over Winter Break and it was the perfect downtime activity.
Since my next marathon is 11 days away (but who is counting?), I am compiling motivational songs to help my runs and overall energy. Here is my latest running playlist. Enjoy!
Me running, or pretending to run. Looks like I am on Mars, but I am in Utah. We just returned from a short belated 10th Anniversary celebration. Stay tuned for full details!
Here we are in the final stretch of February…a little odd because we are just in the middle of February, but because of the short month, it is near the end (#MathTeacher). Here is what I am currently loving this month.
1. Katy Perry ‘Chained to the Rhythm’
I first heard this song at the Grammy’s where she performed live with Skip Marley, and it instantly got stuck in my head. Now, we play it on repeat and everyone in the family dances along.
Katy Perry. What is not to love about this song? Everything about it — the lyrics, the beat, the tune, everything just makes me so happy and makes me want to dance, dance, dance to the distortion.
If you need a good movie to watch over the remainder of the holidays, I highly recommend the documentary Twinsters available on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. It is a highly emotional, heart warming film about Samantha Futerman and her unexpected reunion with Anais Bordier, the identical twin sister she never knew she had, 25 years after their birth in Korea. It is fascinating, pulls at every string in your heart, and gives you good insight into the life of adoptees and siblinghood.
Eugene, Oregon; home to the Oregon Ducks, elite athletes, homeless teenagers, and hippies stuck in the 1960s. One of the best random activities in Eugene is the Saturday Market (which takes place on Saturdays, obvi) where the perfume of choice is BO (and weed), white people serve a variety of ethnic food, wannabe musicians perform, and there is tie dye everywhere. What is not to love?
And if you go to the Saturday Market and want to fit in, then you OBVIOUSLY have to wear tie dye. And birks. (This is the closest I will get to “dressing up” in a costume).
Maybe it is because I am becoming older and more “mature,” but recently, I’ve been craving books instead of TV (or maybe it is because I need more TV shows to watch). I know, crazy… I am a full-fledged adult. Here are my top picks for this Fall and Winter! Perfect as you gear up for Thanksgiving travel..
Although it is still somewhat cold in NYC, it is actually Spring. So, although I am not training for a marathon anymore, I still need music to keep me active and energized at the gym or on runs!
ALLEZ!!!! (Sorry, still feeling overjoyed from the whole marathon-completion!)
Spring 2013 Workout Playlist
Fall Down (Miley Cyrus and will.i.am)
Midnight City (M83)
5 O’Clock (T-Pain)
The Fighter (Gym Class Heroes)
Beat It (Sean Kingston)
Bugatti (Ace Hood)
Thrift Shop (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis)
Cruise (Florida Georgia Line)
Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)
I love it (Icona Pop)
Mirrors (Justin Timberlake)
Call it what you want (Foster the People)
Just Give me a Reason (Pink)
If you are on Spotify, you can click here to listen to the shared playlist (or click here for the Fall 2012 post/link). Unfortunately, Spotify doesn’t have rights to all of the songs, so some are missing, and some are covers. Still a great mix!
And don’t forget to stretch! (Something that I *HATE* doing….but it makes such a difference.)
Happy running! Happy exercising! Happy ripped muscles! Happy sweat! Happy week!
P.S. If anyone needs some first marathon tips, I feel like I have a long list of pointers, advice, mantras, that allowed me to complete my first marathon! And thanks so much to the many friends and strangers who gave me tips throughout the journey!
P.P.S NYC Marathon 2013 or 2014 anyone??? Trying to convince Ken to do it with me. The more the merrier!
Am I still on a France kick after the marathon? Guilty!
If you have a staycation or at-home date night planned with your Josie Guy this weekend, I highly suggest ‘Rust and Bone‘, a great French movie I just watched. Released almost a year ago, this French film beautifully captures love, struggle, beauty, strength and heart. Watch it TONIGHT! It is not to miss.
Rust and Bone.
Unbelievably passionate, strong, and touching.
The film is directed by Jacques Audiard, starring Marion Cotillard (babe to the max) and Mattias Schoeaerts (hot damn). The story is about an unemployed single father who falls in love with a killer whale trainer. The film received rave reviews. Both Cotillard, known for her fashion (always chic) and her Oscar nomination for ‘La Vie est Rose,’ and Schoeaerts are incredible.
Marion Cotillard. Super model.
TEARS! This scene makes you cry like no other.
Matthias Schoenaerts, the new Belgian Brad Pitt, gives a breakthrough performance in this film. The New York Times T Magazine calls Schoenaerts the new American sensation.
I am the parent of a toy-obsessed son. Although an avid reader (for a 3 year old), he loves playing with things more than anything (like, say, eating food or going on a walk). Currently, these are his (and my) 5 top rated toddler toys!
(1) Indoor teepee/tent
Indoor tents seem to be all the rage for toddlers during the Winter months. It is a playground inside a home. Not that there is a slide or anything in the teepee, but it is a place to run and hide in, and an escape from the rest of the world. And the parents.
I think I am more in love with this teepee than Cruzzie is. It is beautiful, artistic, handmade (sold on etsy by a company called House in Habit), neutral, and oh-so-fun to hide in!
(2) Magna Tiles
Building blocks, creating puzzles, being creative… the sky is the limit with these magnetic tiles. Fun for kids and adults, too!