teeny tiny space entertaining.

There’s a lot out there about “small space hacks,” for everything from storage to decorating to entertaining. Let me tell you though — when you’ve been living in less than 700 square feet for over two years with a 6’2″ man and all of your combined stuff, this idea of “small space” starts to feel a little like an understatement. We are so blessed to live in such an amazing apartment, but it is definitely cozy, and as happy as I am to have been able to stay here into a third year (who wants to deal with a move???), there are days when it feels like the walls are closing in on us a bit, because no amount of obsessive cleaning and organizing (guilty!) can stop your life from growing over time — which is what it’s supposed to do!

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Even with the limitations of our teeny tiny space (yup, I’m not even calling it “small” in this case), I absolutely love opening up our home to friends and family. We’ve actually hosted people here at the apartment four of the last five days! Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up to help make teeny tiny space entertaining easier and more fun:

  • Get through your backlog of dirty dishes before your guests arrive. Whether you have a dishwasher or are the dishwasher, make sure you’re starting with a clean slate of plates, cups, and cutlery before your friends and family walk in the door. If your teeny space is like mine, your sink is practically IN your living room, so the more you can do to avoid an overflow situation at the end of the evening, the better off you’ll be. Plus, you’ll free up dishes to use, so you won’t have to wash as you go!

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  • Food-wise, don’t try to do it all. Even in an average-sized kitchen, serving your guests appetizers, a main dish, sides, and a dessert is a hefty undertaking — so don’t expect to do it and make it look simple in your smaller kitchen. I like to focus my hosting plan to make prep and clean-up easier, and to avoid running out of room in the apartment! Earlier this week, we invited friends over for fresh berries, homemade whipped cream, and champagne. Last night, I simply put out meats, cheese, veggies, and a tray of frozen Trader Joe’s appetizers (guys, these are lifesavers — and even if you pride yourself on your cooking, there’s no shame!). One of my favorite things is to invite people over for a simple bagel breakfast. Don’t do too much!
  • Keep it casual. When you’re moving furniture around to accommodate extra bodies and squeezing past each other to find a seat, you get over the formalities of entertaining pretty quickly. Early on, this kind of embarrassed me, but I’ve now embraced it! I find that it makes my guests feel comfortable in my home really fast, and I love that my friends feel free to grab their own glass from the cabinet or to kick their shoes off at the door without asking me first.
  • Consider a solo clean-up. always appreciate it when my guests offer to help pick things up after we’ve spent time together, but given the size of my kitchen, I’ve realized that it’s often easier to gracefully turn down the extra set of hands and just handle it myself. When my apartment gets too cramped with people trying to tidy up (as nice as that can be!), it tends to get me a little overwhelmed and stressed out. (I’m also a control freak, so admittedly, this may just be a weird personal preference!)

Do you have any tips for entertaining, regardless of the size of your space? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

…and don’t forget to enter this months’ giveaway! The prize is a Charcoal Cleansing Bar from Beautycounter, a product I’ve been loving over the past few weeks. Even with so many guests in and out of the apartment recently, I’ve been totally makeup free! All you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post. I’ll be drawing and announcing the winner on Tuesday 5/30, so get those entries in ASAP!

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seventh month recap.

Happy Monday, friends! Whether you celebrate Passover or Easter, I hope you got to enjoy some quality time with loved ones over the last week. Matt and I were traveling to see family for the weekend, but just like that, it’s back to the grind today! Saturday marked seven months since I left my job in corporate America, and since I was busy watching my sister’s college team kick butt on the lacrosse field, I’m sharing my monthly recap today instead (you can check out the last recap here).

Check out some of this month’s developments below. The spring weather (and blooms!) has really given me a new outlook on work, life, and everything in between. I’m loving it!

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  • I’ve been switching up my routine. Initially, I was more or less sticking to my old 9-to-5 schedule: get up and out of the apartment early, get to the gym, then switch into office mode for the rest of the day. In the last few weeks, I’ve sort of naturally changed things around, and I’m really liking the way it’s flowed. I’m still up and moving by 6:30 or 7 at the latest (I’ve always been an early riser, plus Matt is out the door by 6:30, so I’m usually awake, anyway!), but instead of getting right into my workout, I’ve been doing an intense hour-ish of work — and usually in bed. I know, I know… I was pretty high and mighty early on about “never working from bed,” but I find that if I can get the bulk of my administrative work and emails out of the way first thing, it gets my day started on a really productive foot, and if bringing my laptop under the blankets with me from 6:30 to 8 makes that easier, then why not? Lately, I’ve been getting to the gym for a workout (usually a run, since the Brooklyn Half is just a few weeks away!) sometime between 11 and 1, which is a nice way to break up the day.
  • I’m feeling healthy again. After the holiday season, I found myself in a bit of a rut with my exercise and nutrition. I was struggling to control my sweet tooth, having trouble finding ways to eat healthy during the day, and generally feeling icky about myself — and the lack of Vitamin D certainly didn’t help things. Over the last week or two, I’m finally starting to feel back on my game, and I think that changing up my schedule has had a lot to do with it. As much as I love to stick to one consistent ritual, I’m realizing that making small adjustments can totally change my outlook and state of mind.
  • I’ve started taking advantage of outdoor workspaces. I can definitely admit that this is a luxury of working from home, but I’m happy to say that in the first week of spring weather, I indulged in it — enthusiastically. Who knew that so many of the city’s outdoor spaces have WiFi? Over the years, I’ve struggled a lot to figure out if NYC is the right place for me, and I’ve been finding that when I have more opportunities to explore it in the fresh air, I feel a lot more at peace with being a New Yorker. Pretty soon it will probably be too hot to bring my laptop outside, so in the meantime, I’ll enjoy this fun little season of afternoons working on rooftops and in Bryant Park!
  • I’m having to say “no” to things. It’s hard to believe that seven months ago, I was practically begging for any gig I could get my hands on. I still have a long way to go in building out my writing career, but there have definitely been periods lately when I’ve had to force myself to politely turn down new projects, or press pause on hustling for new opportunities. It’s a delicate balance between stalling the growth of my business and letting things get too out of control, and figuring out that balance seems to be an ongoing process!
  • Money is finally feeling less stressful. My natural state is to be frugal, so I don’t think I’ll ever be totally comfortable financially, but seven months in, it feels like my income is now reliable (knock on wood, right?). In the beginning, I often thought to myself, “There’s no way I’ll be able to earn money like this again next month,” and I’m finally starting to believe that my work is paying off in the form of consistent paychecks. It’s important not to get complacent, but it does feel good to be able to take a deep breath and relax about money… and to treat myself to a new pair of shoes every once in a while : )

On to month eight! Thanks, as always, for being the best cheerleaders out there!

two years in brooklyn.

Two years ago this week, we moved into our cozy little Brooklyn home. I’d fallen in love with the apartment’s exposed brick and coveted outdoor space — not to mention its convenient location directly above a Vietnamese restaurant that served (so we’d heard) the best bubble tea in the borough. We had a long list of things we wanted to do to the apartment, and we’ve had varying success in accomplishing them. I have the gallery wall I always wanted in our front hallway and an (almost) full wall of bookshelves (that is now nearly at capacity) in the office, and we somehow managed to squeeze Matt’s much-desired oversized sectional into the main room. I don’t know that we’ll ever quite get around to achieving our lofty goals to “landscape” the back porch, but I’m sure we’ll put up another good effort this summer — for the first few weekends, at least.

More important than all of that, though, is the fact that this apartment has been an amazing home for the past two years. We got engaged smack in the middle of it. I planned our wedding from that oversized couch and spread my many DIY projects throughout (literally) every room. Matt carried me over the threshold after we got married. I started a whole new life from this home office. Even though it can sometimes feel like we’re bursting at the seams in this place, it really is our home, and when I think of anyone else living here, I can’t help but feel sad. After switching dorm rooms on an annual basis in college and living in a few different apartments when I first came to New York City, two years in one place feels like a really long time, and I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to put down these kinds of roots in a place we love so much.

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In honor of our two year “Brooklyn anniversary,” I’m also sharing a list of some of my favorite spots here in the neighborhood, in case you ever visit (and when you do, you better let me know!). This Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens/Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn area is really pretty magical, and I could go on for way longer with all of my recommendations.

  • Ample Hills CreameryThe best ice cream I’ve had in New York, plus they have an amazing roof deck at the location on Nevins Street (yes, a roof deck at an ice cream shop!) with some great skyscraper views. This is one of our favorite outings for a summer evening. Go for a scoop of Snap Mallow Pop!
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park: This one’s sort of obvious, but it still deserves a mention! Sometimes, I feel like our whole social life in New York revolves around eating and drinking, so it’s nice to have a place like Brooklyn Bridge Park to explore when you just want to get outside and move around. They have picnic tables and BBQ pits down there, too… maybe we’ll finally get around to using those this summer!
  • Lavender LakeWhen I think of spring and Brooklyn, I think of this place. It’s sort of a hole-in-the-wall tucked into a street off the beaten path, but it’s always crowded because anyone who discovers it becomes obsessed (like me). They have a huge outdoor space, and I love to spend afternoons parked at one of their tables with a glass of rosé and some yummy plates to share with friends.
  • Lemongrass Grill: Nothing fancy, but it’s a definite go-to in our house, and if you like Thai food, it should be on your radar! They have super fast take-out, a great lunch special, good food, and a dangerous BOGO happy hour.
  • Bar TabacThis little French bistro is quite literally on our corner, but we don’t get there as much as we should. They have live music there a few nights a week, which is always fun to hear when we’re out and about! Bar Tabac also holds a special place in my heart since it’s where I treated myself to wine and French fries when I left my corporate job to start freelancing.
  • LoboGreat margaritas, fresh Mexican food, and a great back patio (are you noticing a theme here? we love the back patios!).

Ugh, Brooklyn, honestly, you rule. Happy two years, my sweet little borough.

Also, please take a second to shop this link before the end of the week! Twenty-five percent of all proceeds will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand and their efforts to cure and treat childhood cancers, plus you’ll get to take home some super cute accessories or grab an early gift for mom. I really appreciate that my own mama is teaming up with me to make this happen for a cause so important to me. Check it out! xo 

a love letter to nyc.

This weekend, I played host to my sister Katie and her best friend, who were visiting Brooklyn for the day to celebrate Katie’s 18th (WHAT! when did that happen?) birthday. My family hasn’t had a chance to explore my neighborhood very much yet, so I love any opportunity I get to show them some of my favorite places. Matt and I took the girls to check out the amazing views at Brooklyn Bridge Park (plus Jane’s Carousel), we had (a very un-memorable) lunch (sorry, Katie) near the water, and then we hopped over to check out the indoor Brooklyn Flea Market, which is currently set-up in a super cool old building with a ceiling so beautiful that I couldn’t stop staring. We finished up the day with (in my opinion, anyway) the most delicious hot chocolate EVER from One Girl Cookies and a few hours of holiday-themed cooking shows in our apartment.

I had such a fun day with these two amazing girls, who are both in the middle of all of the senior-year-of-high-school craziness that is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Experiencing Brooklyn with them reminded me of all of my own visits to New York City when I was a teenager, and the way I was so dead-set on building a life here for myself one day. Sometimes, it’s still hard for me to believe that it actually happened. In other ways, my life is entirely different than what I expected, but I did manage to get (and stay) here, and that feels like a big accomplishment.

New York City gets a bad rap, and believe me — I get it. Most people who are visiting this town only get as far as Times Square and the theater district, and I have pretty negative feelings toward those areas myself. Add that to the widespread stereotype that New Yorkers are nasty (i.e. the woman who kicked me out of Panera a few months ago), and I don’t really blame other people for steering clear. What you learn when you live here yourself, though, is that everyone ends up with their own version of New York apart from the crowds and tourist attractions — and I have to say, I think my version is pretty great.

New York City — You’re not always easy to love, but maybe that’s what makes me love you a little harder. This is the only place where I know a life that’s all my own, and that life is one filled with incredible people, constant learning experiences, and delicious food. I’ve fallen in love so many times here — not just with Matt, but with the friends I’ve met who continue to make this place so special. I don’t know how long I’ll be a New Yorker — there are days when I wish I could just get out, and other days when I can’t imagine living anywhere else — but I promise to stop saying mean things about you. You’re pretty amazing. — AHK

With the end of the year coming, I’m obviously feeling a little extra reflective : ) So, to cap off my little tribute to NYC, scroll down for a few of my favorite pictures from my New York experience these past four-plus years. I had so much fun looking through old photos to pick these out, so thanks for bearing with me!

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My first holiday season after moving to the city. Matt would take the bus in from PA to visit me.

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I lived about as far east as you can get on this island (and about as far away from anything convenient) with these two.

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Thank goodness for NYC for reuniting me with my journalism camp bestie. Seriously — thank goodness.

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Nights were (and still are) the most fun with my two middle school loves.

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Getting ready to run my first Brooklyn Half Marathon!

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I have so many amazing memories of exploring this city with my mom. Here we are with my favorite cupcakes at Molly’s in the West Village.

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At my old apartment, we had a cat neighbor who would sit in the space between the wall and the open door and watch us come in and out. I thought it was the cutest thing ever.

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Sometimes, my fellow suburban transplant and I like to pretend we are housewives shopping for home goods back in PA.

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The night we got engaged, right here in Brooklyn!

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The night we signed the lease to our new apartment.

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Our first night in Brooklyn! What you see on the counter is pretty much everything we had ready to move in at this point.

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Hosting my precious high school family for boozy brunch. Who says you can’t fit lots of people in a tiny NYC apartment?

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Trying on my wedding dress for the first time! Even as a little girl, I always imagined I’d buy my dress in New York.

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Another holiday season with one of my oldest and most special friends.

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At home, in my element.

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The first (and possibly last) time I successfully convinced Matt to run the Brooklyn Half with me.

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This is NOT a cute photo of me, but my bestie was such a beautiful bride, and here we are together on her wedding day, in this weird little place we both call home. (Photo credit: Lauren Gibson Photography)

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A few of my beloved NYC girls squeezed into one photo. Always grateful to this city for my friendships, most of all. (Photo credit: Bri Cibene Photography)

 

 

nyc workspaces.

Honestly, I would love to use this post to rant about the TWO hours I just spent (that’s right, TWO HOURS) circling my little Brooklyn neighborhood to find a parking spot for that car we were so excited to buy (whose brilliant idea was that? oh right, I think it was mine…).  I’m grateful to have a car in the city, but keeping it safe (and keeping parking tickets to a minimum) can be a nightmare.  Now that my schedule is more flexible, I’ve taken on the responsibility of moving the car based on the timing of street cleaning.  So far, I’ve had two VERY bad experiences doing this, and I’m hoping to get the hang of it soon.  After two hours of effort today, the best I could do was a metered spot a few blocks away, which means that I’ll still have to venture out in a little while to give it another shot.  If any of my fellow city dwellers/car owners have tips about how to keep your sanity in check AND your car parked, I would totally welcome them.

BUT, I will resist the urge to spend more time on that because I wanted to write a little today about some of the experiences I had this week working in spaces outside my home office.  I’ve talked about this a little bit in the past, but since I logged more time out in the world over the past few days, I thought I’d share it, especially as it relates to being in New York City.

This city tends to get a bad reputation.  I think that people who haven’t spent a lot of time here assume that New York is filled with nasty, impatient people who don’t have the patience for nice conversations, and that as a result, the whole island feels cold and unwelcoming.  Like anywhere else, we certainly have our share of difficult personalities, and perhaps the difficult New Yorker is a BIT more challenging to deal with than a difficult person in another place.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, NYC is also home to some of the warmest people I have ever met.  I think most of us have an implicit understanding that we’ve all opted to live in this completely overwhelming, sometimes challenging, and often wonderful place, which gives us the “we’re all in this together” mentality (cue the High School Musical— it is Friday, after all!).  Even if they’re not the warmest right off the bat, New Yorkers do look out for each other, and when you find your community here, you totally forget about all of those mean stereotypes from movies and TV.

I had two marathon writing sessions this week outside of my usual work space, and they totally reflected the extremes of NYC personality.

  1. On Tuesday, I spent the afternoon writing at a Panera Bread in midtown.  In high school, Panera was a cool place to hang out, and I’ve always liked their food, but I’m not a regular customer.  I know plenty of people who LOVE bringing their work there, so I figured I would give it a try since I had a long list of pitches and posts to get through and I was in the area, anyway.  I set myself up with a chai latte and a corner table and minded my own business.  Later on, I looked up to see a store employee staring me down.  With zero attempt at being nice, she explained that they like to enforce a 45-minute limit, and since she’d “noticed I’d been here for about four hours,” I needed to leave to make room for dinner customers.  I looked around at the DOZENS of empty tables around me and said in my nicest Pennsylvania-girl voice, “Do I have to leave even if there are spots open?”  She glared at me and nodded, and watched as I packed up my bag to leave the restaurant, as if daring me to stay.  So, to the woman who kicked me out of Panera, I would just like to say: Maybe you thought you were just doing your job, but it wasn’t necessary, and your attitude is the reason the rest of us New Yorkers get a bad name.  
  2. I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but my friend and former roommate and I have this fun new routine where we meet up to work together, since she can also work remotely in her job.  Yesterday, we went back to 61 Local, which happens to be around the corner from my apartment.  Matt and I have always been big fans of going there for dinner and drinks, but I may be an even bigger fan of using it as a workspace!  The owners have set it up to encourage people to work there for hours at time.  It has a really laidback and friendly vibe, and although it can sometimes be so busy that you can’t find an empty seat to work in, there are also no limits to how long you can stay (ahem, Panera lady, ahem).  They also happen to serve delicious peach tea, which is a nice perk!  Even though I’m mostly happy to be alone in my quiet home office, it’s good to get out every once in a while and be surrounded by the buzz of other people working, and I think 61 Local is going to become my go-to place.  Plus, if you’re in the area, you should definitely stop in for a peach tea (or Bloody Mary if it’s brunch-time!).

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As my assignments pile up, I’m definitely finding it helpful to switch up my surroundings and work in different places.  Any thoughts you have on spots that inspire you or make you feel extra productive would be much appreciated!

 

a brooklyn wedding weekend.

One of my best friends on the planet got married this weekend here in Brooklyn, and being part of this wedding was so magical that I just have to share it on the blog today!

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Katie and I met in eighth grade at Eyer Middle School in Macungie, PA.  I was the new girl, and even though we didn’t fall into the same circle right away, I could tell from sharing classes with her that she was funny, creative, authentic, and kind– some of my favorite qualities in a person to this day.  She blew everyone away at the end of that school year in her starring role in the musical, and by the time we got to high school a few months later, she was already a superstar in our theater department.

As juniors in high school, we were both lucky enough to land in a homeroom/first period class working on the student-run TV news program– ETV.  We were chosen as part of that class for both junior and senior year, and the rest is pretty much history.  Something about the chemistry in that small class brought a group of us together in a really special way, and ten years later, my ETV friends are still some of my closest.

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Katie and I on our last day of high school! (June 2008)

Fast forward to 2012, and Katie and I had both moved to New York City, where we fell in love with each other all over again.  Simultaneously, I was falling in love with Matt (another Eyer Middle School grad!), and she was swept off her feet by her (now) brand new husband, Sean.  Katie and Sean live about fifteen minutes down the street from us here in Brooklyn, and having them as neighbors feels like having family nearby.  Reconnecting with Katie and becoming “grown up” best friends has been one of the biggest blessings of my life here in New York, which made it all the more meaningful when we got to share our engagements and wedding planning over the last year and a half.  Katie was a bridesmaid in my wedding in June, and I was thrilled to stand up with her this weekend, too.  Her special day was so beautiful and so perfectly Katie, and I was thrilled that she gave me the OK (all the way from her Hawaii honeymoon!) to share a bit about it on the blog.

As we knew she would be, Katie was a drop-dead-gorgeous bride.  Seriously, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone look more like a movie star in real life.

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Katie and Sean’s fabulous friend Samantha Sleeper designed her stunning custom wedding dress.  It was the perfect blend of high fashion Cinderella, magical mermaid, and glam city bride, and I loved how much it reflected my friend’s personality.  We couldn’t take our eyes off of her, especially on the sidelines of her iconic bridal portrait shoot at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

After photos, we were whisked off in a trolley (with music provided by Sean’s groomsmen) to The Bell House for the ceremony and reception.  After months of swapping wedding plans with Katie, I knew she had assembled something special, but she really outdid herself and exceeded all expectations.  The whole scene felt enchanted, with bistro lights and Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling and creeping vines down the aisle and around the room.  Katie and Sean were married (!!!) in a deeply personal ceremony, and within an hour the room was transformed into a mega-cool party, featuring amazing live music, fried chicken served family style, and a make-your-own-ice-cream-sundae bar.  We danced until our feet hurt, and it felt so good to be reunited with my old friends for such a fun occasion.

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I’m really grateful for these wonderful people, and the way we’ve continued to support each other through major life changes and celebrations.  One of my favorite things about this wedding was the way it made me feel such a sense of community, and I feel lucky to be a part of this community of friends still going strong after a decade, a community that now includes significant others who have learned to appreciate our sense of humor and high volume.  I also felt a strong sense throughout the day of my community here in New York City, and of the community that happens naturally when you meet people who love the same people who you love.  All told, it was a day full of warm and fuzzy feelings, and I am still overwhelmingly happy that I had a chance to be part of it.

These sneak peek photos from Katie’s wedding photographer Lauren Gibson Photography capture the glamour and Brooklyn edge of the whole day.  Honestly, have you ever seen anything cooler?

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Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Hutchy.  Wishing you many years of the same vibes of love, happiness, and community that surrounded all of us at your wedding.  I love you to the moon, beautiful friend!

gratitude diaries #1

Happy weekend, everyone!  It’s a cloudy Saturday here in New York, and even though the temperatures have suddenly dropped in a way that doesn’t make me entirely happy, I’m kind of loving the way it is so perfectly marking the start of October.  This is a low-key weekend for us, stuck right in between a few weeks of traveling and weddings, so the bad weather is just an extra excuse to stay home and relax.  So far, we’ve been watching some bad movies (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising— I know, I have no one to blame but myself) and reading some good books (in my mission to re-read my way through Harry Potter AGAIN before I get around to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I recently started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and it’s bringing me endless joy even in all of Harry’s angst).

I’m starting something new with this post, and calling it Gratitude Diaries.  When I was growing up, my mom (you can check out her blog here) always encouraged me to regularly take time to jot down a few things for which I was thankful.  For the last twenty-or-so years, I’ve come in and out of this practice, but it’s always been one of my favorite tricks to keeping a journal, and has always been close to my heart.  Since I’m no personal development expert, and there’s a lot more to me than just learning to be my own boss, I’m kickstarting this series as a way to share other little bits of happiness and sunshine happening in my life.

Sooooo, here is my very first edition of Gratitude Diaries.  Here are a few everyday things I am currently feeling grateful for…

  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup.  This is the first thing that comes to mind, because we whipped it up for a quick late lunch today and it made my little fall-loving heart so happy!
  • J.K. Rowling’s imagination.  As I mentioned above, I am in the process of working my way through the entire Harry Potter series for the fourth or fifth time.  As I get older and come back again and again to these books, I am (a little) less amazed by the magic of Harry’s world, and a whole lot more amazed by the person who created it.  I am grateful to live in a time when these books have been available to me since I was a little girl, so I can appreciate them both as a reader and a writer.
  • The Brooklyn Brainery.  I checked this place out for the first time yesterday, and if you live in the NYC area, I would encourage you to do the same!  About a week after I quit my corporate job, a friend passed along information about a Freelance Writing Bootcamp hosted at the Brainery, and the timing was perfect.  I always get a little first-day-of-school-style anxiety in those situations, and I had never been to a “continuing education” class, but it was productive and inspiring.  The bootcamp, which lasted almost six hours yesterday afternoon, was a great opportunity to sit in a room surrounded by other people trying to navigate their way through this freelancing life.  I got a lot of great ideas and information, and feel like I’m not the only one figuring all of this out as I go!
  • Social media reconnections.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, but I just have to put it out there– how cool is it that, thanks to social media, we have the chance to get another shot at friendships with people from our past?  As my life has TOTALLY changed in the last few weeks, I’ve found myself reconnecting with several high school classmates who have been amazing resources and cheerleaders for me.  I’m grateful to have the chance to get to know them better now as an adult, when we are all so much more secure in who we are and have even more to offer each other.
  • New NYC work spaces.  In the second half of last week, I started venturing out of my home office to get a change of scenery and to force myself to focus in on writing work for a few hours at a time.  I took a little trip to a coffee shop near Astor Place on Wednesday, and met with my friend and former roommate for some co-working time at a restaurant around the corner from my apartment on Thursday.  It’s fun to have an excuse to check out new little spots, and I think I am going to learn a lot about tea as a writer trying to get out of my apartment!
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Wednesday morning’s office, with a perfect view for NYC people-watching.