Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September Recommendations

Skimmers, recommendations are in bold. Anything underlined is a link you can click on.

This month some of my September babies take the reins to give you recommendations - Debbie, born on September 1, and Amanda, born on September 25. Enjoy!

1. Drink hot water with lemon in the morning to start your day.  I have found this to be very energizing, refreshing and good for you.  It’s recommended by Dr. Oz too.

2. Say hi, smile or compliment people as you walk by.  You never know who you may meet and just saying hi will make their day.  I do it all the time, but I also have no sense of stranger danger!

3. Go out and have a meal by yourself, whether it’s brunch, lunch or dinner.  You never know who you may meet.  I have met three sous chefs, two mayors, their friends and some very interesting people that way.

4. Take the ghost tours in any city you go to visit.  This is a great way to learn about the history of the city and hear some wonderful stories.  I take them everywhere I go and I have to say San Francisco was the most intriguing and fun!

5. Always accessorize with Debbie Rae Designs!!  Accessories can take an outfit from ordinary to extraordinary!!

Bonus recommendation- to all of the vans out there driving too slowly, mini or pedophile, STAY OUT OF THE LEFT LANE on the highway.  You are in my way and shouldn't be there.  Left lane is for passing, right lane is for lollygagging!!!!

Hello all! Amanda Sannelli here. You might be familiar with my husband Frank who has guest blogged a few times. Steph has been friends with Frank since high school. When Steph and I met five years ago we clicked right away so now she's MY friend that I have claimed in any divorce.  I thought long and hard about my recommendations so hopefully you'll enjoy!

1. The Mindy Project: Do yourself a favor and check out this underrated sitcom. For two years, my brother told me to watch it. Thanks to Hulu Plus, I was able to binge watch the first two seasons while pulling all nighters with my newborn, Eva. I think most sitcoms are total crap anymore. I pretty much watch one or two because they just aren't funny. I loved Happy Endings but that got cancelled. Lucky for me my favorite guy from that show joined Mindy last season. There's something relatable about her and the writing is hilarious.She has a lot of great guest appearances too...Seth Rogan, James Franco, Dennis from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to name a few (sidebar- Always Sunny is the funniest show ever so you might as well put that in your queue as well). Mindy's awesome and I really want to be friends with her.

2. Rockabye Baby! Lullaby renditions of (enter artist here)...: To say Frank is a Pearl Jam fan is an understatement. Don't even get me started.  One of our favorite gifts for Eva was the lullaby renditions of Pearl Jam from his cousin Michelle. It even has a lullaby version of our wedding song on it. Rockabye Baby has pretty much any artist you can think of. If you know anyone having a baby it's a great gift. And it's really not just for babies. I think it's very relaxing and nice back ground music. You'll appreciate the lullaby renditions of your favorite songs, trust me. We also bought the Radiohead one and shockingly the lullaby versions of their songs are far less depressing than the originals. The Beatles, Pink, and the Foo Fighters will be making their way into the rotation this week.

3. Microchipping your pet. Please please please do this. I'm a huge animal lover and can't stand to see posts on FB of people searching for their pets or a pet found and being taken to a shelter because they aren't microchipped. Any vet or shelter clinic can chip your pet for you.The peace of mind is worth the cost of chipping (which is not expensive to begin with).  I never knew anything about microchipping until I adopted my dearly departed Eddie, who came with a chip provided by the shelter. No one expects to lose their pet but shit happens. If the pet is found, any vet or shelter clinic can scan the pet and locate the owner. There are a few stories where pets turn up hundreds of miles away and have chips so they get reunited. Tags are good but they can fall off. They just found a dog from outside of Philadelphia in Oregon due to a microchip. Read the story here

4.  I came across this webpage pretty much by accident and have used it since Eva came home. If you follow Steph's blog you'll remember Eva was a preemie born back in April. Due to her preemie status she was on lock down for the first two months of coming home and even now I hesitate to take her out and about. I really limit her exposure to stores because I just think most are dirty. Frank works long hours so leaving her with him while I run out is not always an option or convenient. All of these things forced me to become an internet shopper, which I actually have come to love. There's a lot more on than diapers, they have pretty much any baby supply and kids stuff too. The bulk diapers are cheap because they always have some promo going on so I get over 200 diapers for about $37 but the best part - free next day delivery on $40 purchases. Diapers at my door step tomorrow for free?? Yes please!

5. Celebrate the shit out of your birthday. Steph has talked about this and I agree a million times. I've always been one to celebrate my birthday. I have never dreaded getting older. Even when people were boo hooing about entering our 30s I thought yes, bring it and planned a weekend away in Baltimore. I've had two people close to my heart die young (18 & 23) so  getting old doesn't bother me. Now I will admit, I am guilty of saying last year, "Wow, 34 just sounds old."  Cut to seven months later...due to sudden complications during my pregnancy I almost went out like Lady Sybil on Downton Abbey and this story almost ended at 34. Suddenly 34 sounded very young. It feels cliché to say things can happen so fast but well...they can. So this birthday I won't be boo hooing that I'm half way to 40 and I certainly won't say, "Wow, 35 sounds old."
1. Read your bills. Both Comcast and Verizon tried to pull shyster-y shit with our bills this month. I spent about 3 hours total getting to the bottom of the bullshit but it was worth it to emerge victorious with credits from Comcast. Verizon, we're at war. I will be showing up at your store every day until you right your wrong. 

2. Make this super simple chicken orzo soup It's really easy, it has spinach, and the tomato paste and broth base is delicious and just a little different. 

3. The Pocketed Waterfall Cardigan from LOFT. I have one in each color (there are only three), it was part of my wardrobe upgrade. You may refer to me as the Cardigan Queen. I wear one most days.
4. Nordstrom. I never used to shop there because I thought it was too expensive/above me style-wise. They actually have good stuff for comparable prices and they run good sales. There is super expensive stuff on there, of course. I just don't buy it.

Thanks to Debbie & Amanda for sharing this month! 
What about you? What do you recommend this month?

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Not Linking up with Kathy for Humpday Confessions but you should.

 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

Linking up with Liz for Fitness Blondie's Blog Hop:
The Hump Day Blog Hop


  1. I agree about enjoying the crap out of your birthday. I actually went yesterday and got a nice massage to treat myself, because I could!
    Also, I just started reading Mindy Kaling's book and it is hilarious. Reccommend!

  2. I total smile and say hello to everyone I pass. Microchipping sounded so barbaric to me 9 years ago but it's not and I will forever have my pets chipped. I need to check out the Mindy project, so many people are talking about it.

  3. I'm getting Steve to get The Mindy Project on SteveFlix, and a friend is letting me borrow her book. I will get around to it. Is Amanda who brie just interviewed for an article? I LOVE how she "gets you in a divorce."
    I hear you on the Read Your Bills. We got a $2k+ bill from a dentist we hadn't been to in over 2 years. Say what?!?!?!!? I was on the phone for 45 minutes with their office manager. Oh hell no.

  4. I've been heavily considering The Mindy Project. I might have to give it a go. I'm guilty of not reading my bills carefully! We have a super high deductible and an HSA to cover expenses, so every time I go anywhere, I get a bill, and I usually just pay it.

  5. Hahahaha she claims you in any divorce!

    I get so tired of reading my cable bill because every month, EVERY. MONTH. it's wrong. Tyson then calls and spends an hour yelling at some cable rep only to repeat the process next month.

  6. i'm also considering the mindy project. she was hilarious on the office so i would assume she'd be amazing in this one too.

    thanks for linking up!
    Vodka and Soda

  7. All good stuff. Celebrate your life everyday, being grateful and realizing all the big and little miracles. Love you three girls!! Love that diaper delivery next day! Lugging a baby and then diapers out of a store and into your house- grueling.
    I was lucky to have help from a great-grandmom and 2 grandmoms so that I did not have to take babies to the store
    and could run errands after work! Priceless. Amen on the Debbie Rae accessories. Love mine!
    Have a happy day!
    Love, Your MOMMA

  8. Snackcake laughing hysterically at "no sense of Stranger Danger." Amanda most everything is dirty & on line shopping is fabulous. Great job women!

  9. YES to ghost tours!!! I've done three, the last one on my recent trip to New Orleans, and it was fascinating.

    And YES to microchipping. Both of my guys are chipped and it's such a sense of relief because they are sneaky little shits who'll escape if we let them.

  10. Awesome recommendations ladies :) I will definitely be getting my kitten micro-chipped when we get one in December >:) I love cardigans and just ordered two with more to come! It's going to be a harsh winter which means: layers, layers, layers! Happy Hump Day Stephanie! -Iva

  11. i really like the idea of just say hi. it gets you out of your comfort zone. i need to do that now. im horrendous at accessorizing. and dressing in general. Thanks for the reminder about bills. doing that like, right now. I LOVE that cardigan!

  12. I always say hello and smile. It's surprising how people stare back at you blankly. I also try to use someones name if they are wearing a name tag... I mean it's right in your face and I think people appreciate it!

  13. I love ghost tours! They are usually cheesy, but such a fun way to get a little history lesson. I took on here in Seattle last year and learned a ton of stuff about Pike Place Market! Yes, yes, yes to The Mindy Project! It's my favorite comedy on tv! I am also almost always in a cardigan. I feel like a lame mom/librarian most of the time, but I don't care!

  14. Good stuff this month! I wholeheartedly agree with accessorizing with Debbie Rae Designs! And I'm totally checking out those cardigans. Those are right up my alley and the ones I have are getting tired-looking. Perfect!

  15. Yup- celebrate your birthday BIG every single year- no matter the age. I firmly believe in that!! Life is way too short and I've lost people who were way too young too. I love LOFT and literally everything they offer- but Jared says I have too many cardigans.... darnit

  16. I heard that about the lemon and water, but wasn't sure about it. So it works? How much lemon do you use?

  17. I am always hearing horror stories about the bills!! I used to do the lemon water every morning but I ended up replacing that with coffee.... not exactly a good alternative.

    Celebrating bdays - I totally agree! I usually freak out at odd numbers. My first fear was 27 cuz I was 'close' to 30 and then again at 35 cuz I was closer to 40 than 20.

    I saw a Groupon for a ghost tour and I was seriously thinking about doing it. What a great idea!

  18. I really need to get on the Mindy train...everyone says it is so funny! And always for chipping my pets! I am always so sad to hear that people don't and then lose their babies

  19. Mindy is one of the only shows I still watch religiously. I love the Rockabye Baby idea- and will definitely be getting some for my friends with babies - hello Christmas presents! The first ghost tour I took was last month, but planning one for my next trip too, because it was so much fun. I'm at war with Comcast- they owe me $50 and it has taken a YEAR+ (and counting) to get my damn money back.

  20. I so agree with most of these!
    Especially the slow vans in the left lane and checking your statements!
    (I said AMEN out loud to both of those!)

  21. oh my gosh, Amanda's line about 34 being old / lady sybil / 34 being young - hot damn that hit me right where it needed to. celebrating the shit out birthdays from now on.
    I was the same with nordstrom - too expensive for me, but they have great sales and their return policy is second to none. i don't shop there often, but i don't rule it out anymore. and eep, going home to check my verizon bill!

  22. Yes to microchipping!!! I love Nordstrom's sales and I love Nordstrom Rack even more.

    Also, the Mindy Project? Freaking awesome! And helllllooooo Danny. Yum!

    I need that sweater from the Loft right now (in every color they have please!)

  23. Great tips! Reading bills are so important. I am so sick of our utility raising prices on us and increasing rates. I have no tolerance for that shit.

  24. I definitely read my bills- and I stare down the grocery cart scanner as it goes and have caught multiple double swipes that way!

  25. I really need to microchip's bee on my list since we got him. And yay for Nordstrom! I used to think the same thing, but they really do have some super affordable and fun items.

  26. I love ghost tours! So much fun.

    And our cat is microchipped!

  27. I always smile at people when I make eye contact... and I usually make a point to make eye contact - you never know when a smile is going to make someone's day!
    I thought about getting JC micro-chipped but you've seen video proof... he will NEVER leave the apartment, hahahaha!
    Nordstrom definitely has good sales but some of their stuff is outrageous! Have you ever browsed the Saks website? It's INSANE what they charge!

  28. Totally going out to eat by myself tonight because I'm all out of food & am about to be leaving for a few days so I don't want to go to the store. I need to find a cute little place to try.

    I always smile & make eye contact...and people that avoid eye contact are a pet peeve.

  29. I loooove Nordstrom! They for sure have both reasonable and extravagant clothing items...I like to put anything I see and like on my wish list and stalk my wishlist for when it goes on sale. My relatives have also been into purchasing gifts for me from my wish list, which is always a plus. I also like shopping Nordstrom online because I feel comfortable purchasing their cute junior stuff online but I know I'm too old to step foot in the BP section in the store, ha.

  30. I'm a little excited to see what happens with Verizon. They should be scared.
    Lord more people should follow the 'stay out of the left lane' tip. SERIOUSLY. MOVE OVER.


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