mdw picnic inside.

This year we had to have our annual MDW picnic inside and I was PISSED. I hate the inside. I’ve really been enjoying the time that we’ve all been spending in the outside over the past year and a half and I really didn’t want to spend this thing inside either.

But we had to, it was raining and we didn’t have an appropriate covered outdoor environment, ugh.

We only just realized today that we didn’t even get to have a picnic AT ALL last year because it was during the terrifying stay in your house and don’t leave unless you’re going grocery shopping time of COVID. So I guess this was better than THAT, but still made me sad.

My mom set up the house like it was actually a picnic on the inside. We had all the stuff!


Beach chairs!

Games for people who like games! (Not me).

Photo booth props! (I love photo booth props).

So we hung out inside and played music and sat in beach chairs and drank beer and had a picnic. It was the best we could do.

We had burgers and hot dogs and chips and ice cream and DEVILED. EGGS. So all of the food was taken care of and that was most important, if you ask me.

Fortunately we carefully watched the weather radar app thing and the raining stopped for a little bit and we put on some boots and hiked back to the river.

It’s really so beautiful back there and I’m outraged it was raining but we did see a great blue heron and a juvenile bald eagle so that part was good.

Just a little report on the picnic. It seems it was possible to have an indoor picnic in effectively the same way we have outdoor ones. But I did miss the sunlight LIKE A LOT.

Hopes are always high for MDW because it’s supposed to kick off the summer right! The summer is here! And now! And it should be summery.

And hopes are always dashed. Because it’s not.

It’s been consistently raining Memorial Day weekend and the first weekend in June for like the last 10 years, at least that’s how I remember it. So sometimes an MDW indoor picnic is necessary I guess.

miles: a tribute.

This is going to be a tribute to my parents’ dog, Miles. Also my dog! The family dog, although he moved into their house when I already was living on my own.

On Monday, Miles had to be “put down,” as they say. He was 11, old for a large dog, and his back legs didn’t work well and it got to the point where they didn’t work at all and he couldn’t walk or even live. My parents had to make the terrible decision that pet parents must make every day – it was better for him to be guided by science into a peaceful eternal slumber than to live another day feeling scared, confused, hurt, and unable to do anything he loved.

The death of a pet is a nightmare many of us know too well. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my mom and dad, I’m sorry for me, I’m sorry for all of you. Animals like cats and dogs do not live nearly long enough. Birds can live like 80 years and turtles like 100…but not cats and dogs, our closest animal companions.

You KNOW I love birds and turtles (tortoises?). But this is a tribute to Miles. So here goes.

We got Miles in Spring 2009 and he was very small and cute. AND SOFT. I just love puppies and I feel like I don’t get to hang out with enough of them.

I don’t know if it was the day we got him or just the first time I met him, but we went into the “back field” behind my parents’ house and he was running around after us on his little puppy legs and we loved him so much. He instantly was very sweet and kind and cuddly and fit right in with all of us.

Miles was a dog that loved people and always needed to be around people or he’d be sad. Not even mad or agitated, just sad. Crying and howling and jumping out and breaking our kitchen window one time, cutting himself on the glass so he needed stitches. This was how desperate he was to be next to us. There is not a love so pure anywhere else in the world.

Miles was cuddly if he felt like it, but not too cuddly. You may be aware I dislike cuddling overall so he was the perfect dog for me. He would sit right next to me on the couch and be cute but not smoother me with himself. Unlike my sister’s pitbulls, who are cuddly in the way that they seem like they want to be INSIDE of you, acting like fully merging their bodies with yours so they can FULLY BE A PART OF YOU is their only goal in life.

It’s fine, they’re still cute.

Another characteristic common for large dogs is just like…fear? They’re very big but somehow they’ve evolved to be terrified of certain things: fireworks, thunderstorms, the sound of an NFL game on the TV because they know their dad might yell. Miles was really very scared of many things: he had a thunderjacket for storms and patriotic celebrations, and he would hide behind my mom and I when the sports game was on. He also got really scared of gunshots or the sounds of trucks in the distance when we were walking in the woods and we would have to reassure him.

I always thought it was so sweet that he would look to us for comfort and he would usually accept our reassurance. He was a good boy.

Miles loved walking and running in the woods and breaking off his leash to chase deer and rabbits. He did this a few times and he was in BIG TROUBLE and then he was not allowed that kind of leash freedom again. We didn’t want to lose him!

Although he was part lab, he wasn’t much of a swimmer. He preferred to occasionally wade in the river to cool off and take a drink, but he certainly wasn’t jumping in and swimming around like a true lab would. If we were out in the water he liked to stand on the shore and whine until he got tired and went to lay down in the shade.

Miles really was a big baby. A great dog! But a baby. He never wanted to be away from us. I already said that but like, HE REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO. We were his reason for existing and if we weren’t around or not paying attention to him he was beside himself.

Over the years I made a ton of silly videos of Miles barking at me while I was babysitting him. He would always bark NONSTOP and I don’t know what he was trying to say but it seemed along the lines of “HANG OUT WITH ME I MISS MY MOM I HATE YOU I LOVE YOU,” over and over again. It made me NUTS when I was trying to work or get something done or take a nap. But eventually I figured out that if I hugged him in the same style as his thundershirt he would calm down.

What a weirdo.

He often climbed up onto couches or chairs next to us and would paw at our arms to get us to pet him. He wasn’t much of a “fetcher” but he would bring a toy over just for a little toss so he could engage with us for a minute and then sit back down, curled up happily with the toy. He loved his squeaky blue football and had it for many years.

Everyone loved Miles, and he loved everyone. Every visitor that ever came over was his friend, even if they sucked he still liked them.

He loved to go out to eat and calmly sit under the table at outdoor restaurants. He love, love, LOVED the All About Downtown Festival in Jersey City and attended it like 5 years in a row. It was his favorite day. I know because he told me.

He spoke to me, he spoke to all of us.

He was such a good dog, and we love and miss him so much, and I just wanted to think about him for a minute, so thanks for listening.

Miles is survived by my mom and dad, my brother and sister in law and niece and nephew and their dog Leroy, my sister and my brother in law and their pitbulls Apollo and Ziggs, and Finn and Smee the goats, and Pony the pony, and Jax the horse. And my boyfriend and our 4 budgies Elvis, Birdie Sanders, Blondie, and Franz Birdinand. And me. Also, his closest companion and partner in crime Guinness, the oldest dog alive. He has a big family and he made many people and other creatures happy and we love him so much. That’s all I wanted to say.

So now, at the end of this dog obituary/eulogy, I invite you to think of the pets you have lost over the years. And think about how great they were, and how much you miss them. And know that it’s okay and normal to miss a pet and still think about them, years later.

Because I say so.

Rest in power, Miles. But like, also in peace. I hope you’re not too scared without us there to hug you. </3

what to wear during your holiday break vol. 2.

One of my favorite posts to put together last year was “what to wear during your holiday break” and now I’m back for more.

As you may know this year was a completely different year from last year and we all spent a ton of time sitting around our houses on our asses. We’ve been wearing lazy clothes while hiding in our houses this entire year and we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

Overall I’m not really a proponent of lazy clothes. I like to “look cute” and “get dressed up.” I really, REALLY miss wearing black tights and dresses and makeup and real shoes. This is really, really hard for me.

But I thought it would still be fun to celebrate some lazy clothes because I got quite a few new lazy clothes this year and they’re kinda fun!

So here we go.

what to wear during your holiday break while you’re reading a book.

Yes I’m reading Home Body. Every single one of a certain kind of gal is currently reading it as we speak. I guess I’m just that kind of gal.

The kind of gal that likes amazing poetry without really knowing that much about poetry. But it’s amazing.

My outfit is from ACTA and it’s my favorite new lazy outfit. It’s really soft but not TOO soft. I love the material. I have a code for ACTA if you have any interest. Click here to go to their site and use code SHANIMAL15 for 15% off.

If not, move along.

what to wear during your holiday break when you want to fret over the impeding apocalypse but in a onesie.

This is a leopard onesie.

I guess it’s kind of intense and I think it’s a size too small because it’s not as comfy as I hoped.

It’s from Old Navy. The small size isn’t their fault, it’s just my assumption that I can still wear the same size I could wear back in March.

Which is an untrue assumption.

what to wear during your holiday break while protecting your bird from certain death.

Here’s a sports bra option for when you have to turn up the heat all the way for your bird and it’s too hot to live with a shirt on.

My tropical budgie pal Elvis needs to be protected from a draft at all costs. If he feels the slightest chill you can see in his face that he is terrified of his swift imminent death.

He needs to stay warm so we keep him warm. That’s what we do in this family. Even if human family members have to take our shirts off in the middle of winter. Bra top is from Free People.

what to wear during your holiday break to look out the window and feel sad because you miss your friends and family.

When it’s cold and I don’t want to deal with being outside but it’s still sunny and I need sunlight, I love to sit by the window.

I love to sit by the window and stare at the street and think about all the fun I’ve missed, Santa baby.

This year has been shitty. We all know it. A lot of us won’t see our families. I’ve been quarantining to see my parents and sister for Xmas but I won’t be able to see my brother and his family. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m choking on it. So is my mom.

So I’ll just sulk here by the window in my cropped “Jersey City” sweatshirt from JaneDO and tie dyed pants from Old Navy because like what else to I have to do?

what to wear during your holiday break while you adult color and/or reenact a preschool school photo.

I need to get back into adult coloring. It is fun, soothing, passes the time…all good things.

Adult coloring really relaxes the mind. For a long time I thought it was a hoax and a trap but my sister got me this adult coloring book a couple of years ago and it just feels good to do.

This also looks like a photo of me that I have from preschool that I’m going to try to find when I go home this week. STAY TUNED.

Oh PS the whole outfit is from Old Navy. I love the thermal top because it has moons and stars on it. A VIBE.

what to wear during your holiday break while wrapping presents but only a couple at a time because it really hurts your back.

I got this sweatsuit in the fall and I do love that it’s a like a MATCHING SUIT.

It’s also nice that it’s red so it’s festive and if I put on a green headband it’s red AND green and THAT is a beautiful thing.

Sweatsuit is Old Navy again. 85% of this stuff is Old Navy. As I said, I’m not usually a fan of lazy clothes but now that I pretty much wear them every day I like to have a lot of options and Old Navy has cheap but quality options. It may be cheap but it’s also soft and comfortable and I AM INSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

Also, wrapping presents really, REALLY makes my back hurt and I’m not sure why but if you have any tips plz share.

what to wear during your holiday break while you get in bed and wait for santa.

Oh shit did that sound sexual? It’s not, I just meant wait until it’s time to open your presents.

The time goes slow when you’re stuck inside, so it’s nice to be comfortable while you wait.

This is another full matching sweatsuit but it’s not very flattering so I’ll just reveal the top half. Some things remain sacred.

Best wishes for cozy holiday outfits for every single one of you, my friends.

thanksgiving at home.

Just a quick little recap of a Thanksgiving at home.

Or, a Thanksgiving without really going anywhere.

I was really stressed about deciding what to do for Thanksgiving. But in the end I decided not to risk it and to stay home at my own house.

Unfortunately I am far from having the culinary skills to prepare an entire Thanksgiving at home.

Luckily my mom was nice enough to prepare send all of the food to me! Via socially distanced delivery boy, which is my dad. I don’t think he likes to be called “delivery boy” even though he was one in this case. Sorry Lexx.


We woke up on Thanksgiving morning and had a leisurely biscuits and gravy breakfast.

After breakfast I insisted that we dress up because I always dress up on Thanksgiving even though it is mostly inside and I wear slippers the entire time.

Dressed up. Slippers out of frame.

Slippers were certainly worn for Thanksgiving at home.

At the last minute I decided to set the coffee table up like a real “table” and I felt really proud of it. I mostly didn’t think I had enough “home items” to make a cute little table but I DID.

We drank Irish coffees and mimosas and got pretty drunk before the meal, a time honored family tradition.

When we were ready I warmed up the food my mom sent and it was TIME TO EAT.

Before warming.

Cheesy bread, turkey, stuffing, 3 kinds of potatoes, green beans, etc. ALL THE HITS.

After we ate I demanded we go to Lincoln Park for a “hike” because at my parents’ we usually go into the woods behind their house for a “hike.”


It was a successful “hike” because we spotted a hawk!


When we returned home I ate some cookies I made and pumpkin pie from Edible Underground and then it was time for bed.

The end.

the thanksgiving dilemma.

In April when all of this COVID stuff started and people were sad about not being able to get together for Easter, I was like “HAHA TOO BAD, EASTER SUX ANYWAY!” But now that it’s November and one of my favorite (although admittedly problematic) holidays is here, my mind and heart are consumed by the Thanksgiving dilemma.

The Thanksgiving dilemma is this: do I or don’t I go home for Thanksgiving?

A simple decision, of course.


I spent the better part of last week in a complete and utter frenzy. I only referred to it as a “frenzy” so it sounded fun and quirky to my boyfriend. It was actually a full on, days long panic attack.

It was incredibly difficult to decide what to do, as there were many factors and considerations and sources of information.

I was lucky enough to go home a ton of times over the summer and into the fall, when the “numbers” we’ve all grown to obsess over were down and things were a little calmer. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to do this, you don’t even know. Okay I’ll tell you: it was heaven on earth to go home all those times. I love home!

Yes I still refer to my parents’ house in Milford, NJ as “home.” Sue me.

So in considering if I should go home for Thanksgiving, one of my thoughts was, “I’ve already been home so much and it’s fine!”

But like…is it fine?

Then I decided I was going to get some COVID tests. We have them for free in Jersey City and I think it’s a great thing! And they should be free everywhere! MAKE THEM FREE NOW.

On Thursday last week I got a test, and I was planning on getting one on Tuesday 11/24. That seemed like enough time! Everyone I know that has gone back to work in person, mostly people who work in TV, get COVID tests weekly and then they are cleared to work. In my mind if a negative test was good enough for them and a green light to work, then it was good enough for me and a green light to go home.

BUT IT WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. As the days went by I saw more info graphics and articles shared and more memes about killing one’s grandma and I started to panic. I’m going to spare you and not share them here, but you can find them quickly if you look. Apparently even if you get a negative test it is NOT an “all clear” to go party with high risk people, like my grandma and uncle and my parents and my pregnant sister.

A few weeks ago it was my birthday, and I invited some friends to have outside drinks. One friend replied with, “We’re laying low until Thanksgiving so we can see my grandparents.” Of course I respected and honored their choice and would never mock it, but I did feel like it was unnecessarily cautious. The get together was on November 14th and Thanksgiving was so far away!

Narrator: Thanksgiving was NOT far away. Here comes the Thanksgiving dilemma!

In order for you to not catch COVID and not give it to other people, it’s recommended that you stay in your house and self quarantine for at least 14 days before getting together with people indoors. I think you can probably go for walks but you definitely can’t go out and have drinks, even if it’s outside. And you probably shouldn’t be going to workout classes, as I’ve been doing.

My friend was wise, and I totally blew it. Mostly because I’m bad at math.

The CDC actually says you should quarantine if you’ve been “in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.” But like, if you’re out in the world, HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW?!

So this realization coupled with the realization that a negative test isn’t a green light and compounded by all of the “you’re gonna kill your grandma” memes really set me over the edge. Like, pushed me to the brink of my very sanity. I was not well. In my mind. But like who is?

My main concern, as always, is NOT being sick myself, but in making someone else sick. OR, finding out I’m sick after I’ve been around people and then having to TELL THEM and have like a “SERIOUS CONVERSATION” about it. I want to avoid that at all costs. That sounds like my worst nightmare.

The fear of me getting it myself is far less than the fear of infecting someone else. THAT is the shit that keeps me up at night. And always has.

Maybe I shouldn’t bring this up but I guess I will for what I think is a valuable comparison: I say “always has” because when I was single and dating and out in the world or whatever there was always the specter of STDs lurking in the background. And you had to have “the conversation.” And it was sickening and annoying.

(Side note: Don’t even get me started on how STDs are stigmatized and pretty much social suicide in our society for no good reason other than Puritanism and sex shaming and THE PATRIARCHY and if you get a cold or something and give it to someone there isn’t ANY social stigma and that doesn’t seem right. Like in both versions you got sick and someone else got sick from you. Either be okay with it or don’t be okay with it but please choose to give people a hard time about both illnesses equally if that’s what you’re gonna do. But that’s for another time.)

And if we didn’t have “the conversation” it would still be hanging over me, stressing me out, making me feel weird, causing me many sleepless nights. I really let the rumination get to that level. It added to my obsession with going to the doctor. I got so many tests and so frequently that my insurance company had to ask WTF was wrong with me. It was in a letter, I threw it out.

What I’m saying is, if you don’t have sex you won’t get STDs. It’s that simple. Of course there are ways to protect yourself AND YOU SHOULD but the risk is always there. But with COVID, there’s no way to truly get away from it if you’re just trying to live your life at a very basic level. There’s not a specific activity you can identify that’s going to give it to you. You know what is a higher risk and a lower risk, but it’s still everywhere and you don’t even have to touch anyone to be exposed to it.

Like, I just want to go outside, go to workout class, drink a beer with pals. I’ll wear the mask, I’ll do the sanitizer, I’ll stay away from people. AND I DO. But it’s still not 100% safe unless you hide in your house for the ordained amount of time and that’s just the way it is.

Now that COVID is a part of life it’s often necessary to have “the conversation” with the people around you. Like, “Have you been outside? Have you been inside? Have you taken off your mask? Did you go to an indoor party? Have you been tested? WHEN WAS YOUR LAST TEST?“

I find “the conversation” just as terrifying and annoying in a COVID context as an STD context. I will DO IT but I will not LIKE IT. Beyond just collecting the facts, in subtext it calls into question so many abstract, subjective things. Gray area things, like your “morality.”

Who is to say what is actually “moral”?! Perception is reality! I hope I’ve made it clear that I don’t care what anyone thinks and I never have and never will. No one can tell me what to do or judge/shame me into doing or not doing something. I cannot be stopped. But in this case, I was a little worried. Maybe not so much because I cared about people’s opinions, but more because it was important to me to be seen as a good example and someone who believes in science and is responsible. I was concerned about the COMMUNITY OVERALL AND MY CONTRIBUTION TO IT.

Also there’s no way I could have happily shared a Thanksgiving with my family on social media and avoided SOME type of persecution. And if it’s not on Instagram it didn’t happen so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

And so it went, for days on end, back and forth in my mind. Agonizing and struggling over the decision. Afraid to talk to any of my friends about it because if they had an opinion one way or another I felt it would stress me out more.

In the end, my mom made the call and ended the Thanksgiving dilemma. She was also going back and forth, but I think she felt like someone needed to make a decision, so she did. AND I AM SO GRATEFUL.


My mom graciously volunteered that she would still make the food and my dad would come drop it off. If that is not the most mom thing ever, I don’t know what is. But I DO know that I am super excited to eat the food!

Of course it won’t be the same, eating the food alone in my apartment with my boyfriend. But I guess it’s the best I can ask for this year. I think it’s okay to say that I’m still disappointed. Because I am. I’m not going to pretend that it was easy and I’m also not going to pretend that I feel 100% okay about this choice.

But a choice was made and I’m going with it. And I’ll just drink a ton of Irish coffees and mimosas tomorrow AS IS TRADITION and won’t let it make me too sad.

AND I won’t have to watch football because my dad won’t be in charge of MY TV. Yesssssss.

Please know that I support any of your Thanksgiving choices…I think. I know it was a really hard decision for me and it took days to really make peace with it. The Thanksgiving dilemma was easy for no one. So my heart goes out to you, whatever you and your family have decided.

Happy Thanksgiving, stay happy and healthy. I’ll delve into the issue of whether or not I want to eat turkey next year. Because it’s a big one.

outdoor baby shower.

Hey look it’s us! Of virtual bridal brunch fame! We’re back with an outdoor baby shower!

This past weekend we had an outdoor baby shower for my lil sis. The same lil sis we had a virtual bridal brunch for back in April.

We really wanted to have a gathering with actual people that were actually physically together. It felt important.

Of course we followed all the social distancing rules. Like why wouldn’t we? But that meant we had to have the shower NOW while it’s still warm enough for people to hang out in the outdoors and before there is a huge fall spike in COVID cases, as predicted.

So we had to have the shower a bit early. My sister is due at the end of February, and usually a shower for that would happen in like…December? I don’t really know. But I do know it would happen a little later because most people look very pregnant in their shower pics. That’s really all I have to go off of.

My sister only looks kinda pregnant. Like you can tell she is but she’s not waddling around yet. That’s the usual shower look. BUT NOT AT THIS SHOWER BECAUSE WE HAD TO GET THAT SUCKER DONE BEFORE THE WORLD PRESUMABLY SHUTS DOWN AGAIN.

Cutie 💕


Cowboy boots.

So we planned it out, and by “we” I mean my mom and my sister’s mother in law, and I think we did okay. I THINK WE DID GREAT.

These things are always difficult and complex to wrangle, even when you’re not in the midst of a global pandemic. There are just so many moving parts. At one point I thought I’d be good at this shit because I spent so many years “producing”…aka literally orchestrating other people’s lives like they were my own personal marionettes.

Gift haul.

But it’s still hard. It’s a lot of planning! And plotting! And pondering! JEEZUZ I AM EXHAUSTED.

Anyway here’s what we did.


The baby is a girl, so as far as decorations we had some pink things like plates, tablecloths, and balloons. Beyond that it wasn’t overly cutesy.

Nicest deck ever.

The shower was held at my sister’s mother in law’s house (my mother in law, in law?) and she did an awesome job of decorating with hay and pumpkins and scarecrows.

It was seasonally appropriate! And adorable! I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the little scarecrow babies.

There were also pumpkins there that they grew in their own backyard and as you can imagine I was PUMPED AF about that. Pumpkins in their own backyard?! Wahooo!!!!


Okay I’m going to be honest about this. No one likes games. No one wants to play games at a baby shower or at any shower or party overall across the universe.

I’m sorry I had to be that direct. But no one likes games. I personally despise games but I made an effort to infuse some games into the party and was met with a flaming pile of disinterest.

We did play one game where people get an ice cube with a tiny plastic baby bottle inside and the first person whose ice melts screams, “My water broke!” and then they win a prize. Luckily one of the kids present won the game and the prize.


Do kids even like them?

(Not the kid that won)

Anyway after one game I decided we wouldn’t do the second game because no one showed much interest in the first one.

I was proud of my ability to read the (outdoor) room and pivot on a moment’s notice.

You’re welcome.



Our mom made stromboli, which is my most favorite thing that she ever makes. I ate like 5 pieces. I’m sorry.

My sister’s mother in law made meatballs and stuffed cabbage. I meant to try the stuffed cabbage because I’ve never had it! But I didn’t get to. I really blew it. Hopefully she makes it again at a future family function FINGERS CROSSED.

There were a ton of desserts and I ate two of each. I was saving up my full week of dessert consumption, 6 days worth of desserts, for this party. I didn’t feel well afterwards but it was worth it.

Look at these cute little net tents to keep flies off the food! Perfect for an outdoor baby shower, if you ask me. And you’re here, so you did.

notes to baby.

There is all kinds of baby shower stuff online and you can’t do a “baby shower stuff that doesn’t suck” Google search without coming across something like these.

These little lists are cute and give prompts and require minimal effort, a perfect combo! We passed them out to the guests to fill out while it was present opening time so they had something to do besides gawk at my sister and her husband while she opened presents.

Look at this awesome handmade quilt!

As far as present opening during the party, I don’t know that everyone does that anymore? I think it’s your choice but not required. Either way choose your choice and feel good about it. I give you permission.

caramel apple bar.

My mom and I were most excited for the caramel apple bar and I’d like to say my sister also liked it best. She’s usually a big sweets-head like me, but she hasn’t been feeling so great in her first months of pregnancy and moved away from the sweets. Frankly she moved away from most foods overall. But caramel apples still catch her eye and make her glad so that’s why we made the bar!

If you look up “caramel apple bar” online a whole bunch of shit comes up. Go ahead, try it.

Some of the articles/blogs/pins/whatever said to cut them in slices or soak them in vodka or stand on one foot while you dip them in caramel. There are many methods.

Our method was to stick a popsicle stick into an apple and dip it in caramel, then dip it into whatever toppings the recipient wanted. I say “recipient” because I was preparing the apples with gloves on and I was the only person touching the toppings. We tried to keep it COVID safe.

Overall no one was interested in the caramel apples except my sis, sis in law, niece and nephew, my mom, and me.

Whatever, the rest of them don’t know what they’re missing.

Also when I was done making my apple and sat down to eat it my 6 year old nephew told me “Don’t go and take a cute picture with your caramel apple now <eye roll>.” So then I did. He’s not the boss of me.

dudes were there too.

My sister requested that my brother in law’s pals be there too. My dad was there, and some husbands and at least one uncle, my Uncle Tom who gave my Grammie a ride. Some of them said it was the first baby shower they attended and they liked it and I was glad. It’s a party after all, the more the merrier. I mean we were eating and drinking and making merry, baby stuff just happened to be there.

I think it’s a nice move to include the dudes. As an experienced baby shower-holding professional I say go for it.

So that was the outdoor baby shower! It went great! We were all very proud of the turn out and glad to get it done before it gets too cold or the world shuts down again.

I already said that, but the doom is upon us and will arrive eventually and we must prepare ourselves.

diy wedding field trip.

My sister is getting married and they’re leaning toward doing a DIY wedding. As maid of honor, I feel it is my duty to research DIY weddings to the fullest extent so today during my lunch break I went on a DIY wedding field trip to Michael’s on 6th Ave.

Below are photos and a narrative of what went through my mind during the DIY wedding field trip. The narrative was written after the fact but I’ve tried to stay as close to reality as possible.

So here we go.

diy wedding field trip to michael’s.

This is Michaels and I am here. I am only going to LOOK. This is a DIY wedding FIELD TRIP I am just here to get INSPIRED on my lunch hour very quickly and then I’m going to go read my book club book for 20 minutes. In and out, in and OUT.

holiday stuff on sale and repurposed.

HOLY SHIT ALL OF THIS XMAS STUFF IS 80 PERCENT OFF. Do we need any Xmas stuff? No! Ugh no we don’t, shut up. You don’t need Xmas stuff for a June wedding. Knock it off. But there’s ribbons! Don’t we need ribbons? Not those colors. Ugh. Stop.

OH MY GOSH THIS LANTERN. It is an Xmas lantern, but beyond being labeled as “Christmas|Noel” (whatever they hell that means) it doesn’t look Xmas at all. It is 80 percent off! It is gold to match things we already have. Omg I’m texting Melissa. <texts Melissa>. Omg she loves it. I’m getting three. One tall and two short! It’s the only way. Okay cool now I’m going to carry these around the store with me so no one else takes them. THEY ARE MINE.

These are for cookies and they have hearts! For love! Will we need to serve cookies…OF LOVE?! I feel like we will! Ugh no nevermind. They’re not the right colors. And they’re silly. Back away. Plz leave.

WHATEVER THESE THINGS ARE THEY ARE 90 FREAKIN CENTS GIVE ME AT LEAST 30. Okay, let’s take a closer look, omg they are plastic hollow ornaments and you can ADD YOUR OWN STUFF TO THE INSIDE. We can add ribbons and twine and beads and buttons and glitter and sequins and seeds and beans and air plants and tiny colorful erasers and ACTUAL LIVING LIGHTNING BUGS and dried mealworms covered with flavorful powders (like the ones I ate at the Jersey City Oddities Market) so people can have a quick little protein power snack. And once those things are added we can string them all together on a rope and make a banner or we can hang them in a small tree or bush or we can put them on tables. There are really so many options for these 90 cent treasures.

HOLD UP. They sell these things in bulk and they’re also on clearance?! Well I’m going to take at least two and also carry them around the store to ensure no one takes them even though there are a ton. YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO SAFE.

buckets, boxes, beads, and baubles.

We’re def going to need buckets. We’re def going to need GOLD buckets. I don’t know what we’re going to need them for but I just know we’re going to need them. They can hold flowers, they can hold straws, they can hold ice, they can sit on the tables with cute pretty shit in them or they can sit in the ground with lights in them and illuminate an as yet untold path or they can be hung on those little hooks to be a few feet off the ground and illuminate an as yet untold path. Children can carry them and they can be full of flower petals. They can hold napkins and utensils. We need them.

Boxes too. Not as many uses for boxes as buckets but we still need them. I’ll admit I don’t know what for. I just feel the need in my soul.

Chains! Gold chains to add accents to the gold buckets! So the buckets don’t look like regular buckets and the look like DIY wedding buckets. So they look SPECIAL.

Omg but here are BEADS! BEADS that can be added to the buckets or boxes or jars or other things. Dangling down. We could put them in the ornaments with the lightning bugs! It’s a whole glam little habitat. They have the beads in so many colors. So so many colors not pictured here. This necessitates a return trip.


Here are some wood letters we will def need wood letters SOMEWHERE. An “M” and a “T” AT LEAST. Not a huge fan of any of the fonts presented here but a good reminder we’ll prob need some. Also I personally hate the wood words because I think they’re corny but if Melissa wants them I will get her one of every word and SHE WILL HAVE THEM BECAUSE SHE IS MY LITTLE POP.

While we’re in the wood section I’m going to tell you about something, and hear me out…BIRD HOUSES. We could do all kinds of shit with birdhouses. Paint them crazy colors, stick the beads to them, hang them from trees, hang them to the ceiling, stuff them with lights, sprinkle them with glitter, put them on tables, the list goes on.

Wait are you sure you’re not into the birdhouses? Okay we can talk about this another time.

Little wooden boxes. Little box of treasure. Special treasured DIY wedding day! I don’t know, I just liked these because they were cute and I wanted to put stuff inside of them. Like M&Ms or something. WITH PICS OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM ON THEM DUH.

SIGNS. WOOD SIGNS. SQUARE SIGN HEART SIGN ARROW SIGN. Gotta give people a “welcome,” gotta tell them where to go, gotta list the names of the cocktails and mocktails, gotta make a little sign with some kind of quote on it. We need one of each thank you next.

Chalkboards! Of all shapes and sizes! For menus, for directions, for instructions, for seating arrangements, for place settings, for those cocktails and mocktails again, and the list goes on. Still not sure how “crack is wack” is a “joke” that the youth still write on stuff. Way to disrupt my DIY wedding field trip, scribbling youth of the Flatiron District.


Gold plates! Gold platters! We’ll need plates and platters! But maybe not these plates and platters I think we can rent some. Shit we have to look that up.

Unnecessary Buddha fountain! We need it! We need it for the Bride and Groom table!

JK that was just a joke I said in my head but this fountain would look nice with flower petals in it next to a huge cheese and charcuterie board is all I’m saying. Like that is like cruise buffet level decor and I am fully on board.

Metal stuff 30 percent off! It’s galvanized!

I don’t know what that means.

But look at these things! They could hold bread or cupcakes or lobster claws or lobster rolls or apples or bananas or homemade biscuits. Anything hand sized and close to round could go in here and people could grab it out. These things are perfect. And they have GILDEDDD EDGESSSS.

Omg look! Another bucket option! And with GILDEDDDD EDGESSSS.

flowers, ferns, and feathers.

These are fake flowers and we’ll probably get real flowers. But WILL we get real flowers? I kind of like these flowers.

Oh my gosh look at these pink flowers I love these pink flowers. Pink isn’t one of the colors though ugh knock it off.

Ferns?! There are ferns and leaves and ivies?! We could straight up turn this wedding INTO A JUNGLE. NO ONE WOULD EVEN KNOW WE WERE IN NEW JERSEY. We could just cover the whole place with these plants from top to bottom and growing all over the tables and chairs and play animal sounds and pump in moisture with a humidifier and make it like it was raining like at Rainforest Cafe. THINK ABOUT IT.

Feathers! I always love feathers. Just plop a feather into anything and it will look great. The colors are blue and green and…PEACOCKS ARE BLUE AND GREEN. JK I actually think peacocks would look weird in this particular DIY situaish so I’ll pass for now.

WREATHS. YOU GUYS. These can be covered in ribbons and beads and lights and crushed up lighting bugs. Jk about the lightning bugs. But these are useful. Hang em on the wall, dangle them down from the ceiling as a wreath chandelier. Omg wait I JUST thought of the wreath chandelier. Like it’s flat and has ribbons or twine that hold it up and then lights are wrapped around it omgomg this is going to happen SO HARD.

In my recent “DIY Wedding” googling I have come across these adorable “baby’s breath balls” and I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind. We could make these balls and hang them all over the place. So many that it would look like lovely snow drifts were collecting. But it wouldn’t be snow because snow sucks. I spent too much time looking at this fake baby’s breath. I don’t think it will be sufficient for the balls. NEXT!


Okay but seriously. I got a bunch of shit for under 50 dollars. I saved $126. This was a victory for maids of honor everywhere. I will now request that you salute me and kiss my (right hand) ring. Thank you.

the oldest dog alive.

Guinness Popov is the oldest dog alive.

JK I don’t really know if Guinness is the oldest dog alive but today is her birthday and she is 16!

Sweet gal ❤️

16 may not seem like much if you know some old cats or old smaller dogs, but Guinness is the oldest dog alive because she is a 16 year old LARGE dog. 16 years is a lot of years to be galloping around the world like a small horse and leaping into the river because you’re half lab (and half border collie) and enjoy aquatic sports and jumping up onto the kitchen counter and eating bagels that were put out for your human sisters to eat before cheerleading practice.

Guinness loves my brother LOTS.

16 is also pretty old because Guinness had 5 brothers and sisters and they have all since passed away, I think before they were 10 years old. She was part of a “6 pack” of dogs, because there were 6 of them, so they were all named after beer. We didn’t change her name because 16 years ago we all really liked beer. I guess we still mostly like it.

Guinness having a nice lounge.

Guinness, the oldest dog alive, was once a very small and cute little pup, the runt of her dog family and the last to be adopted. When we arrived to meet her at the Hunterdon County farm that was fostering her, she was alone in a little enclosure outside and jumped up like, “Pick me! I’m the last one!” But not in an intense or annoying or desperate way because Guinness always keeps a low profile.

Guinness on the left, when she was taller than Miles.

We went as a whole family to check her out and as soon as we saw her we knew we had to take her home! But for whatever reason we hadn’t brought any puppy transporting materials like a crate so the foster man hesitated to hand her over. Nevertheless we persisted and Guinness was ours!

Guinness (on left) in the Delaware River.

She’s always been a very sweet and laid back and relaxed gal. She is affectionate but doesn’t jump and slobber all over you. She stands next to you and supports you but does not push you to do anything for her, like throw a ball or a stick. She’s happy just being around you, in your presence, although she does appreciate an excessive number of treats.

When we brought Guinness home 16 years ago, we still had another large dog named Nanu. Nanu was a purebred black lab and he was very smart and loved to swim in the river but he was very, very needy and thought that he was also a human. We loved him dearly but Guinness is not like him. She loves to be a dog and she’s glad she’s a dog and she doesn’t demand that you recognize that she is also a human because she knows that she is not.

“Excuse me, I’m napping here.

When her big bro Nanu passed away she of course was sad for a while. Then she became overwhelmed by too much attention from our family. She became nervous and embarrassed when we paid too much attention to her, it was the weirdest thing. She crumbled under the pressure! One dog gal can only do so much and she never tried to pretend she was human! She didn’t understand why we were putting so much on her little shoulders!

Big sis Guinness and little bro Miles.

So after we got Miles, who like Nanu thinks he is a human being on the inside, and started giving more attention to him, Guinness got more relaxed again and really enjoyed the decrease in our demand for her attention.

(This is more than 7 years ago)

Guinness had many years of playing outside in the fields and forests, I’d say about 12 or 13 years? But now she has retired to the home and yard, and takes many happy naps. We’re so glad she’s still around and that she always has a happy face and a wag of her tail to offer, even if she’s having a bit of a tough day. Sometimes she seems to get a little confused, she is a senior citizen after all, but she’s still able to get around and she is still comfortable and happy.

I love Guinness a lot and I wish her a happy sweet 16, as the oldest dog alive.

Look at that smile! 🤗❤️

Do you know an oldest dog alive? How old are they? What kind of dog are they? Why don’t dogs just live forever, or at least as long as people?! ANSWER ME!

xmas eve brunch.

Yesterday I was too “tired” from Xmas Eve brunch to write this so here it is now.

In my family we do Xmas Eve brunch! For many years it was at my Grammie’s house, but recently my cousin has started hosting it and it’s LIT AF.

These things are always there and they’re not my fav so I don’t eat them but the important part is that THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE. Also a sighting of the hostess in the background!

I don’t usually describe things as “lit” but this Xmas Eve brunch is LIT LIKE AN XMAS TREE, DAMMIT.


First there is a coffee and hot chocolate bar. A FULL HOT DRINK BAR. With coffee, hot chocolate, whipped cream, marshmallows, etc.

Hot drink bar!

Then you have the option of putting Bailey’s and/or Creme de Cacao in it. AND WHY WOULD YOU NOT?

Hot drink alcohol mix ins!

I chose the option of hot chocolate, coffee, and Bailey’s. And it was grand.

Hot drink close up!

Second there is a bar, bar and the main feature of that is MIMOSAS because this is BRUNCH, you guys.

Third we ate a ton of food which I did not take a pic of. But delish spinach dip, meatballs, lasagna, and baked Brie were involved.

Enjoying the foods.

Fourth were presents but I was v involved with passing those out so also didn’t get any pics. Additionally there weren’t any (actual) children at this particular Xmas eve brunch so there really wasn’t anyone to observe being truly silly and joyful.

JK we are obvi silly and joyful.

Then the desserts were put out and we consumed them.


We also took fun photobooth-like pics with props! This was my favorite part. I love photobooth-like pics with props!

They are my everything.

Stockings hung…
…by the fire!

So that was the big activity for the week, Xmas Eve brunch. The rest of the days will be sent sitting around. And loving it.

for me, it’s xmas.

What month are we in? December. So what holiday are we celebrating? For me, it’s Xmas.

I will begin with this reminder, you’re allowed to have Christmas still. I’m not trying to take that from you. But I am asserting my appreciation and ownership toward a December holiday. And for me, it’s Xmas.

“Christ” is taken out of Xmas. It’s not necessary for Xmas. Xmas is not about a dude being born, or the stuff he did, or the people he was good to, or even the sheep in the manger even though I’m super into the sheep.


But, I have let the camels go and I now fully embrace Xmas. My very own atheist, capitalist, narcissist, secular holiday. All wrapped up with a pretty red bow. For me, it’s Xmas.

Xmas isn’t all bad. I mean if you think “atheism” and “capitalism” and “narcissism” are bad things…it’s not ONLY those things.

It’s not really even bad at all, because perception is reality and I perceive that it is great.

The alternative December holiday of Xmas is about getting together and eating delicious foods with your fam and friends. Drinking mimosas and Baileys in coffee at the same time, one in each fist. 


I don’t think anyone should be blamed or shamed for reacting to a deep and all encompassing sadness they felt when they were 12, as ridiculous as it may have seemed at the time, BUT THAT IS JUST ME.

During this holiday of Xmas you can freely wear fun clothes with glitter or sequins or ribbons or any number of embellishments, furs, and most DELICIOUSLY – VELVETS.


I thought so.

Xmas is about doing fun silly shit like decorating an Xmas tree. Why we feel we have to dominate and overpower the tree and chop it down and drag it into our house only to discard it on the curb a month later is still beyond my comprehension. But I like trees and hanging things on trees and a tree in my house and the way that a tree in my house smells so consider me an enthusiastic supporter of Xmas trees and Xmas tree related behaviors  now and forever.

Wreaths? Garlands? LOVE EM.

Xmas LIGHTS also have a special place. Because it is incredibly and unbearably and offensively freezing outside already by this point in December, i.e. the very beginning. The lights play some kind of mind trick where they make me think of warmth. I think I feel significant warmth coming from them. This is an illusion. I am insane. But the lights look so nice, set up everywhere, looking warm and welcoming.

Hmmm what else, OH COOKIES! I like to bake now and it’s fun AF to put on my silly as hell Xmas apron and make some delicious cookies with Xmas appropriate sprinkles.  If you’ve had these cookies then you know, they are the answer to all that ails us. Shit I have to order the sprinkles.

And gifts! I love to get gifts! I love to give gifts! GIFTSGIFTSGIFTS my 2nd place love language is gifts. Plz give me some.

As they say Xmas is for children so that part is cute too, watching the children I like get super pumped about everything going on around them.

Overall, Xmas gives us all a time to slow way down and reflect on the year. Most people take off for a few days in December, if not all the days up until the week after New Year’s Day (me! I do that!). And you don’t even have to like make it a “thing” and “reflect.” You can just binge Netflix, or binge drink, or binge literally any noun. It’s self care. And you earned it, baby. It’s nice to wear pajamas and take a rest. We work too hard sometimes, my friends.

I took from Christmas the things I liked, and ignored the things I didn’t. And I arrived here. Ignoring things you don’t like always makes them go away. It’s science.

In conclusion, I guess maybe I stole your holiday and I made it my own. But I think it’s a good one. Even without the camels. I realize I’m not the only person that feels this way about Xmas being a different thing than Christmas and it isn’t some groundbreaking announcement. But maybe another Xmas-head needed to hear this. Fellow Xmas-heads, I salute you.