Friday, May 28, 2021

Friday Five 5.28.2021

1. This morning on Dog Beach. It's hard to believe the weather will devolve into absolute shit by this evening. 

2. What better time to experience the latest in a long, long, like 18+ year long line of joint Key Fuckery incidents than hours before the first guests of the season check in? There were many WHERE IS THE DEADBOLT KEY hunts and conversations. One was identified and MFD was quickly off to make 2349802834 copies. Jesus take the wheel. Yes, thank you, we know there are electronic key situations but I'm still looking for one that will fit. 

3. We're as ready as we're going to be for this rental season. Lots of burning it at both ends early in the morning and late at night busting our asses to get cleaning, organizing, re-stocking, personal stuff removing, errands, and touch up paint done this week. We've got our soft opening this weekend and my family is coming in next week for my brother's birthday then we're booked for the season up to Labor Day weekend with numerous projects on deck we're hoping to get done this fall if labor and materials are available. Here we go! I literally remembered to re-up to Hulu Live with no ads seconds before check in time. I hope I remember to take photos Tuesday to update my listings everywhere since we've changed stuff and I never remember to do that. 

4. A week like that has nails looking like this. Mae is concerned because she knows what it means when my nails look like that. After work today I'm planning to paint them and also close the door and windows and lay the fuck down, drink my water, read, and zone out until Saturday morning, not leaving my apartment except to walk B&B. MFD went home to work this morning after all the shit was done and took the old dogs with him. I'm exhausted and Memorial Day Weekend at the shore is a lot and someone staying close to me is playing fucking awful music. Time to recharge!

5. My oldest coworker keeps sleeping on the job all day. RUDE.

That's it for me. Dad & Carol's house officially went on the market today if anyone knows of someone looking to buy in Langhorne. It's in Tareyton Estates and I love it. It's the last house I lived in as a dependent. Picture one of the bedrooms blue with spray painted clouds with silver linings on the wall and one of the bathrooms an under the sea mural painted by KVSR and you have my late teen/early 20s life.

My coworker shared this piece reflecting on the role of war in the world and it was a good read leading up to the three day weekend we have in remembrance of those who died in service to this country.

Happy Friday! Have a safe and restful weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - You pick the place and I'll choose the time

1. First guests check in tomorrow at the shore, the house needs to be cleaned with touch up paint done in several rooms, and last night we lay on the couch watching episodes four, five, and six of Mare of Easttown. What a show. What a character! And she's got her OCNJ sweatshirt on.

2. Of course this meant this morning we were up cleaning by 6:30 and I got a solid two hours in before starting work. After a half hour of cleaning up an epic Gus shit. We at least have a head start on house cleaning since Mark, Sarah, and Harry were down for a few days and they gave it a nice clean before they left yesterday morning. Still, who wants to deep clean a fucking fridge at 6:30 am? Not me. Our cleaning crew couldn't make it before Memorial Day. We clean very few times in advance or post-renter. This is one of those times. FYI I like the Dawn power wash only for bigger jobs, not regular dishwashing shit. 

3. Tuesday night Mark & Sarah made shrimp tacos and we took a super Flower Moon stroll.
4. This was a good porch sitting week. Not a good errand week. I went to the laundromat Tuesday and forgot towels so I put laundry in, went to ACME to exchange water jugs and pick up a few things, picked up CBD for Gus, dropped stuff off and then back to throw towels in. Between that and driving to 8038 stores between Absecon and Egg Harbor yesterday looking for a fucking simple storage bin I ended up getting same day delivered to my brother to bring down with him, it’s been feeling a little like Henry Hill on the day he went down. The only things missing are the drugs and the helicopters. 

5. The dogs were all in Philly with MFD for five nights. I put food on the couch for the first time in years. It was nice to have them back though. Gus is here too, just not pictured.
6. T-shirts this week. Fight racism from Mahogany Mommies, Weird shirt is old. 

7. As we hit the unofficial kickoff to summer weekend...

8. I cannot describe my rage over categorically awful PA abortion bills advanced by the GOP-led House. The way the bills are written, women who miscarry would be fined, forced to file a death certificate, and pay to deal with remains. How to make something extrememly traumatic even more so. Stop voting for people who legislate bodily autonomy. Full stop on that. Can people we pay to work on government fucking stop with abortion already and the same goddamn shit over and fucking over and actually do things to improve circumstances in individual lives and communities? Roe is 48 years old and conservatives have been trying to overturn it for the entirety of those 48 fucking years and making very little fucking progress on literally everything else. Have you fucks ever heard of infrastructure? Jobs? Climate change? Equal rights? Criminal justice reform? Voting rights? Closing the wealth gap? Public education? TAKING CARE OF THE CHILDREN ALREADY FUCKING ALIVE IN THIS COUNTRY? Fuck off out of here with your draconian Gilead goddamn bullshit.

9.'s actually for fuck's sake, but the sentiment can ride.

10. E-cards 

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Fearless by Pink Floyd

Monday, May 24, 2021

TWTW - the one with the forever friends

This weekend my annual girls weekend with the women I met in junior high and have traveled through life with since. I can't describe how much they mean to me, and how I wish everyone had tried and true friendships with people that have seen their good, bad, and ugly through their life stages. It keeps you centered, honest, and humble. It is difficult to forget who you are when other people truly know, and in this life we all need people who know us as we are, ground us, accept us, and love us. We will see each other through the year when we can, but all of us at once is very rare, and we are never all together without husbands/kids/pets save for this weekend so it is treasured time. We don't actually plan or do anything standardly except laugh, come prepared with tons of snacks but end up scrambling for dinner after most places in town have closed, and just enjoy being together as we are. Missing this weekend was the most bitter pill to swallow in the pandemic year, and it was so great to be all fully vaccinated and back almost wetting our pants laughing, popping bottles, talking about nothing and everything, catching up, sharing memories, relaxing, telling old stories, having a personal shopping session from Kim's sunglasses company (shop here: Yunizon Eyewear), and just being together. 

They were all gone by around 2, and I reorganized a closet, made my to do lists for the week, considered starting them, and lay down to rest and finish a book instead. Mark and Sarah arrived and I hung out with them for a bit before calling it a night. 

I look forward to this weekend forever and it's over in a blink. Until next year!

Please encourage friendships like this in your kids - they are life making.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - And there's winners and there's losers but they ain't no big deal

Drinking coffee with both John Benders 

Voting in the primary Tuesday. I have not missed voting in a primary or general election since I turned 18 in 1995. I've voted twice a year, every year, and I wish everyone would. Primary turnout is often poor. ANYWAY I 100% support and believe in mail in voting and any way of voting that makes voting more accessible to every American, but I personally I love voting in person. I'm thrilled Krasner won for DA. I wish people understood that the DA can only do so much to control crime. Investment in communities, opportunities, mental health services, education, healthcare, and the eradication of hunger and poverty are how you truly lower crime rates on the front end. Cut that school to prison pipeline, smash the prison industrial complex, and de-carcerate this place. I saw someone comment on FB yesterday saying they hope everyone who voted for Krasner is the victim of a crime. How big of an asshole are people? How small of a person do you have to be to wish that on people? The sky's the limit, apparently.

Taking sleeping photos as I always do. Mae's face LOL

Picking up orders curbside everywhere. 

Returning Amazon shit to Kohl's and super happy to see everyone I saw inside still wearing masks even though it is optional for vaccinated people. 

Loving the painted doors at the shore, can't believe I considered not painting them this year

Painting so much shit in general. We didn't do any painting at the shore last year and one year of no maintenance shows. Of course there is a shortage of sample paint at Sherwin Williams due to materials so I have to buy actual quarts instead of samples like I usually do for touch up paint. Shocker, the quarts are difficult to find right now too. Sherwin Williams staff and I are BFFs, I have been there five times in seven days. 

Painting nails, too

Cleaning shore floors and bathroom walls with water, bleach, and tide, bitches. 

Jamming on house prep at the shore. All hands on deck, including dogs, as we prepare for first guests Memorial Day weekend. We have one more opportunity after that to address anything other than that we are essentially out of the main house until September  aside from four hours of turnover time every Saturday.

Pulling over to take photos

Wishing Laura's son MBD a very happy birthday today!

Watching  Mare of Easttown, we have finished three episodes. MFD continually comments on the accent AS IF I AM NOT ALSO FROM HERE.

Taking Bruce & Ben to Dog Beach

Counting down to girls weekend this weekend with my BFFs of 30 years, all fully vaccinated and coming at ya. Out of everything that was cancelled last year, this was the most bitter pill to swallow since there's only once a year most years that we are all together with just us and no husbands, kids, other agendas, etc. 

Reading The Serial Killer's Wife from Netgalley. Although I've barely read at all this week. 

What's new with you?

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Little Pink Houses by John Mellencamp

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Books on deck

Happy Wednesday friends!

I was looking over my Netgalley queue yesterday and thought maybe I'd share some titles that are coming out this year that I'm excited to read in case you like these same authors/types of books. If you are not familiar with Netgalley, you can sign up to see if you can get advanced copies of books coming out. There are also read now options on there. Netgalley books are digital copies so obviously I use an e-reader to read them. My favorite is the Kindle Paperwhite (affiliate link) because you can read it in full sun wearing polarized sunglasses and still see everything. No other e-reader will do because what the hell good is something you cannot read in the sun, especially with prime outdoor reading season upon us here on the East Coast?

Obviously so many books come out every month so this is in no way an exhaustive list either of what's coming out or what I'm excited to read, this is just me looking over my Netgalley and pre-ordered book lists quickly and sharing some. Links are to the books on Goodreads if you want to add them to your To Be Read list - yes, we know, the list is already long. If you are going to pre-order any, please consider doing so through an independent bookstore or on to benefit one (mine is set up to benefit Harriett's Bookshop).

Coming out in June 
June 1 - Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid 
June 8 - One Two Three by Laurie Frankel
June 15 - The Maidens by Alex Michaelides 
June 22 - Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Coming out in July
July 1 - Dream Girl by Laura Lippman
July 6 - Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy
July 6 - Fallen by Linda Castillo (this is book 13 in the series, start from the beginning!)
July 13 - The Therapist by B.A. Paris
July 20 - The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller
July 27 - Godspeed by Nickolas Butler

Coming out in August 
August 3 - Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens
August 3 - The Turnout by Megan Abbott
August 17 - Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Coming out in September
September 7 - Friends Like These by Kimberly McCreight
September 7 - Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurlan
September 14 - Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Coming out in October
October 5 - The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman (not on netgalley I have the final Owens novel in the Practical Magic series pre-ordered on Bookshop) 
October 5 - Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger 
October 12 - Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz (not on Netgalley but couldn't resist including)
October 19 - Carefree Black Girls: A Celebration of Black Women in Popular Culture by Zeba Blay (Netgalley friends, this is a read now and available)
October 26 - These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant (I cannot resist Appalachian fiction)
October 26 - Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente (not on goodreads but I have it pre-ordered from Bookshop)
Foo Fans - Dave Grohl has a book coming out in October. 

Coming out in November
November 2 - Everything We Didn't Say by Nicole Baart
November 2 - All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris (not on Netgalley, I have it preordered from Bookshop)
November 9 - Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

Coming out in December 
December 7 - A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Is there anything coming out this year you're dying to read? 

Have a good one!

Monday, May 17, 2021

TWTW - the one with the fam

Thursday We're starting Thursday because I do what I want. It was another hellfire work day. Painted my nails (Essie payback's a witch), got a pedicure (OPI red), and my dad and Carol arrived with my recovering from surgery brother and picked up Boyar's for lunch so I had an excellent turkey club. Dad also did some trim painting up in the house. We ordered Mario's pizza and wings for dinner and Aubrey and the kids arrived just before 6. After dinner we took a nice walk on the beach and they got sea glass and we saw all kinds of marine life. 

Friday was beautiful and we spent a few hours on the beach enjoying it. We spent the afternoon at home where baby Stephen fell asleep in the dog bed. I made deconstructed chicken parm, pasta, and salad. Stephen III stayed home with his mom and dad and Dad, Carol, Lola, and I went to the boardwalk. It was freaking freezing by the time we were on our way home, requiring sweatshirt purchase for Lola. 
Saturday I slept in and woke up to donuts from Drip N Scoop and another beauty of a day. I did some clean up in the apartment, MFD fixed the outdoor shower leak, and There was a playground trip no one was super into, followed by a restful beach afternoon. We had apps for dinner and tried fried pickles from Boyar's which got a thumbs up from everyone. We did the boardwalk with Stephen III and Aubrey this time and met one of the bird handlers on the way home. 
Sunday A little overcast but we did a walk on the beach while my Dad cleaned up. And yes, you have seen glimpses but my brother does have a full and glorious mullet. 
They took off a little after 12 and MFD started outdoor cleanup which was still going close to 9 pm while I went to Sherwin Williams 4203984 times and painted the porch door inside (SW 6675 Afternoon, same color as the kitchen walls) and out (street facing is SW 6766 Mariner) and the inside of the main house door (also SW 6766 Mariner). Aubrey also painted the frame of the powder room mirror using the front door color (SW6606 Coral Reef). I also made rice and chicken olive things for dinner, hard boiled eggs for the week, finished a book, and packed stuff up to be taken back to Philly in between door coats.

Another nice family weekend, more chill than most with both Stephens feeling poorly but we'll take it as it's always nice to be together. 

There is a primary in PA tomorrow - local politics impact your life tremendously. Please make a point to get out and vote!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Making meatless Mondays a thing

There are a lot of people who, even if they see the benefits of going vegan, simply are not going to live a meatless lifestyle. If you can’t be without your bacon, then there’s no shade for you. However, there are big benefits to taking even one day a week to go meatless in your household. Here are some reasons why that might be a good idea and how to make it a little easier.

Picture - CC0 License

It cuts down on processed foods

One of the unhealthiest and most widespread eating habits is the reliance on processed foods. The closer we get to a whole foods diet, the better. The additives and preservatives in processed foods can be legitimately dangerous to your health, including increasing the risk of cancer.

It stops you from wasting food

A well-organized pantry is something we should all try to keep in our home. Aside from making food prep easier, if you make sure that you use everything that you have, you prevent household waste from building up. Most food waste is the fruits and veg we don’t get around to eating during the week. Having a meatless day means you have more of an opportunity to use up all the stuff that would spoil otherwise.

You can boost the nutritional value of your meals

Meat does have some essential nutrients, including easy ways of eating protein, iron, and amino acids. However, without it, we can also make sure that we’re getting more nutrients, minerals, and fiber in the food that we eat. This broccoli cauliflower salad recipe at is a prime example of a meal that both nutritionally dense, thanks to all of the cruciferous greens, yet also relatively low in calories. Even if you don’t go entirely vegan, most of us can agree we need more greens in our diet.

We eat too much red meat for our heart 

It’s not just about eating more of what’s good for us, either. It’s also about cutting on our meat consumption because eating meat every day is not good for you. As shows, foods with animal fats contribute in no small way to cardiovascular diseases, reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious health conditions. The meat-based diet does have big risks and most people eat too much meat for the good of their heart.

It’s good for the environment

We are not the only ones who benefit from cutting down our fuel consumption. The mass production and consumption of meat is one of the biggest causes of climate change, due to both the greenhouse gasses produced by animal farms and the sheer amount of fossil fuels used to transport meat from one place to the next. You might not feel like you’re likely to make much of an impact in this alone, but you’re not alone, as more and more people are reducing their meat intake with the environment in mind.

Ethically, environmentally, and in terms of our own health, there are plenty of good reasons to cut down on the meat that we eat. One day a week is achievable for anyone.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - back fill

Photos from last week - I skipped Thursday Thoughts on 5/13 so this is a backfill for me (as in I am writing it on 5/17 and setting the publish date to 5/13, not written before or on 5/13) and if you enjoy it too, even better. I will blog forever if only to store my paint colors somewhere accessible LOL. 

Shore doors got painted. Main house is SW 6606 Coral Reef and apartment door is SW 6564 Red Clover - this is one of the deeper pinky purple colors I see in hydrangeas at the shore and it is exactly what I wanted.  

Some other pics from the week...
-I remember when I didn't want to move desks in the office because the monitors "knew" my set up. Now I literally pop up a monitor wherever at the shore now that I'm reacclimating to working in my apartment since the summer season is coming. 
-It was a rough beginning of last week so wonton and laying were required. 
-New office chair Aubrey passed along to me! Over a year into WFH and I'm grooving
-My old boy at a Dog Beach trip
-Ben smashed the patriarchy pen so we can only surmise he would also smash the patriarchy
-Gus and Ben in the yard. No Bruce this week but we still have him LOL

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What to do when you're stuck inside

Whether you're stuck inside on a series of rainy days or due to quarantine, you need something to do. I don't think I've ever said I'm bored in my life. As I've aged, I've watched less and less TV/movies and will typically do almost anything aside from that so while we all know watching is an option, let's pretend we've run through the ol' Netflix queue in its entirety and find something else to do. I can always recommend purging and organizing what's left or cleaning, but I can only do those things for so long. And of course there's gardening, but we're just getting into that season. Let's go with three that can be done every day of the year to start. 

Hello, have you met me? Of course the first thing I'm going to suggest is that you take up reading. Think of it as a more active and imaginative version of watching Netflix and other streaming services or TV channels. It’s like watching TV in your head, but you have to imagine it. There's no one telling you exactly how it has to be or how you should see it. Your imagination takes over and it’s fantastic. 

I am firm in the belief that many people dislike reading because they have not yet found the books they want to read, and I'm firmer in the belief that there are books out there for everyone. It will be easier to get into reading if you hold firm to two things: 1. You can put a book down at any point if you are not enjoying it, whether it's 30 pages in or there are only 30 pages left. 2. Just because everyone else loves it doesn't mean you have to and just because everyone else hates it doesn't mean you should. 

Have you ever thought about taking up cooking? It’s a fantastic hobby to have because it means that you can feed yourself and your bank account can have a break from the local takeout. It can also be a lot of fun to learn new recipes such as this ninja foodi baked potato recipe from It might take a while for you to master cooking, but you have plenty of time and you can always keep trying until you get it right. There is no time limit on how long it takes to get a handle on cooking, and even the most professional chefs still get things wrong sometimes. We bet you even Gordon Ramsay gets things wrong every now and again and he probably curses himself out too. 

Working Out
If you don’t like the sound of either of those and you want to do something a little more active, then working out could be a good choice for you. It’s not true that you need a lot of gym equipment in order to complete an effective workout, and in fact you can do a basic one right in your living room. If you want a visual guide then you can use YouTube (I like Leslie Sansone), join the crew at FuelCycleFit for virtual workouts (or in person outdoor workouts if you're in the Philly area), or if you want to follow an online list of what to do check out something like to have a plan that you may want to follow. Whatever works for you, but this can help you release a lot of the stress that you are holding onto. I like Leslie Sansone on YouTube and a few different strength training routines. I am writing this paragraph to encourage myself to get back to both of those. 

In what ways do you occupy your time and refuel yourself? 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Show Us Your Books May 2021

I notice myself reading less on weekdays and more on weekends. My brain is fried by the end of the work day recently, and I like to just sit outside and read or watch nothing. Just be. Or walk and be. These are the seasons of this life right now. It is also a largely kindle season of life as I have a lot of ARCs I'm working through from Netgalley. And an author interaction season on IG as I went back and forth with four authors this month on their books I posted about. Always enjoyable. 

Please hold some space for Jana and her family. - Jana lost her Grandmom to Covid since the last SUYB. As Jana does, her grandmom loved reading so this one's for her! America will not reach herd immunity to protect our vulnerable population - including seniors, our immune compromised who are unable to get it, and the nation's children - as long as people who have not lived through a global pandemic before this insist they know the way and that way is to not get vaccines because it is their right not to get it. I cannot think of anything more selfish. Get the vaccine. Wear masks as appropriate. Err on the side of caution.

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup

Engrossing Reads

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner - Trigger warnings along the #metoo lines. People are crapping on this in reviews but I was engrossed and liked the storytelling around a very fucking delicate, difficult, and serious subject. Good thoughts to the author and her family as her mom died this weekend after a quick and painful battle with pancreatic cancer and she will be out doing press on this book and what a time. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, this book's publication day is today!

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave - I loved this. I devoured it in a few hours. I feel comfortable making a blanket pick it up recommendation on this one as only people who like picking books apart as if they are a book critic or expect every read to be a five star read will find more fault than like in this one. I don't recommend a damn thing to either of those types of readers as they are nearly impossible to please. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, this book came out 5.4.2021

Hush Little Girl (Detective Josie Quinn #11) by Lisa Reganush Little Girl (Detective Josie Quinn #11) by Lisa Regan - If you've been here for any period of time you know we love a Josie Quinn novel. It is not a solid surety to like the 11th book in a series as much as the first but I can only recall one or two Josies that were eh. I solidly love these. Kindle book, own

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker - Duchess is one of the best characters I've read even though she is young and I typically do not find joy in young characters. She reminds me a bit of Polly in She Rides Shotgun. I didn't want to put this one down. hardcover, own, purchased from under the auspices of Harriett's

Passed the Time Just Fine

A Summer to Remember by Erika Montgomery - This was not my typical read, but it wasn't bad. As the category states, it passed the time. I can imagine a lot of people would like to read this on a beach. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, this book's publication day is today!

Finding Tessa by Jaime Lynn Hendricks - This is one of those did I just read what I think I read things that has you re-evaluating everything you have read thus far and trying to re-process information. I enjoy that. This kept me invested. Free advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, this book's publication day is today!

A Deadly Influence (Abby Mullen Thrillers #1) by Mike Omer - This is a perfect example of what I mentioned up top. It took me forever to read this although I enjoyed it like the other Omer books I've read and will read more of this series. Kindle book, own

Not Worth It


Did Not Finish


Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, June 8, 2021
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips
Pin It button on image hover