Thursday, August 31, 2023

August 2023 reads

That's it this month, that's the whole post. 


What have you been reading?

Monday, August 28, 2023

snippets of the weekend 8.28.2023

Friday we finally went to lunch, which I've been wanting to do for months. It was a cluster with no money for tip and no MAC cards and we had to go back twice LOL. But it was good! Solid weather day. I strolled Asbury for a bit after while MFD drove home to get the forgotten MAC card and cash. An afternoon layabout and reading, and an evening walk down to the bay rounded it out.
Saturday was our last official summer season checkout (two rentals in Sept) and we were the cleaners. Friends, it was a fucking crime scene. The End. Fam arrived as we were finishing up. Tomato sandwiches and beach soon after. 
Sunday I did some walking chores to the hardware and corner store, and it was a slow and easy start. An earlier beach day, a delicious Sunday dinner a la Mindy and Maureen with lovely company of Patty and Ray, and a ride down Ocean Drive with views of our wedding spot clear as day from the bridge.

The destination was Sea Isle, where we remembered my mother in law in the place she loved the best, where we all spent a lot of time with her. Her best friend supplied the roses and bubbles, and it was a beautiful night. 

We were treated to a gorgeous sunset on the way home, and we closed out the day with ice cream cake from A La Mode for Aly's 18th. Happy birthday Aly! 

weekending reels on Instagram - current favorite weekend look back mode.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Things to Arrange before getting a puppy

A puppy is a wonderful addition to a family but any animal can be a handful at any age. Before you bring home a new puppy and add one to your family, you need to make sure that you can commit to the responsibility of owning one. It’s a lifelong thing, and while you won’t have a puppy the entirety of your life, you’ll certainly be there for all of their lives. 

It’s a big deal to welcome a new animal to your household and there are unwanted animals left behind every single day. You have to be very sure of what you’re doing before you invest in a new pet, and there is plenty to be arranged before one comes into your home. It’s not something that should be an impulsive or last second decision, but something you should do as a family. So, what should you arrange before you get a puppy?

Image source: Pexels

  1. Create a safe and cozy living space. Setting up a quiet and safe living space in your home where your puppy can safely stay is important. They need somewhere to get used to their new environment and you should ensure that this area is far from anything dangerous. There should be a soft bed, food and water and a few toys to keep them mentally stimulating.

  2. Make sure that they have somewhere comfortable to sleep. A comfortable sleeping area should be accessible and ideally, away from children in the house if there are any. Your puppy will need to feel comforted and safe and this should include soft, dry bedding without being too hot or too cold. No radiators or air conditioning units should be close by!

  3. Read up on nutrition. Some dogs thrive better on a raw food diet but the best thing that you can do is speak to a veterinarian about what to feed your puppy. They can teach you all about adequate nutrition and ensure that your new puppy has a balanced and comfortable diet. You don't want to deal with the fall out that comes with a sore stomach, especially not in an animal that’s still learning how to relieve themselves outside. 

  4. Consider training. Socialization is important for your puppy, but so is training. Companies like All Dogs Unleashed can help you here! You want your puppy to learn young about good behavior, how to walk on the leash and what behavior means. You can sign them up for a reward-based program or choose something else, but either way you should pick something that’s both effective and humane without being painful or unpleasant. 

  5. Think about exercise. Your new puppy may not be able to go out right away, but you can fit your dog’s exercise into your routines so that they are easily exercised and get the movement they need for a healthy body. There are so many benefits of exercise for your puppy and it’s important to understand how exercising comes into the equation for your dog to grow healthily.

This post was written with Life According to Steph readers in mind

Monday, August 21, 2023

snippets of the weekend 8.21.2023

Friday I did the stupid thing I sometimes do late in the summer season and run errands by car when I fucking know better. Post office, grocery to pick up like three things, library. Are people unaware you can not ride bikes side by side on a street cars are also traveling on? Jesus Christ. 

Saturday turnover was easy, as one of our favorites was leaving and they always leave the house in great shape. Plus Melissa had done turnover while we were gone so overall the house was in great shape! Beach afternoon.

Sunday I did not feel well. I barely left the couch and from 11 pm - 3 am I threw up everything in my body including what felt like its inside lining. Absolutely brutal. 

weekending reels on Instagram - current favorite weekend look back mode.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Miscellaneous shit from the past few weeks volume four-ish?

The last time I wrote something like this, it was 34 days until our trip to Europe. Today Europe's been and gone and it's not coming over here from Instagram. I did a feed post every day with 10 pics and some text reactions that will help me remember each day, and if we are personal friends on Facebook you saw that there as well. There's also a corresponding reel of the day that I put into a highlight or that you can just access via my Reels page if you're interested. Our itinerary was Zurich, Munich with a day trip to Innsbruck in Austria, Venice, Florence, Naples with a day trip to Capri, and Rome. People said it was too much and could not be done and it was a lot but we did it and we did it well together for there being six of us of varying ages, thresholds, and personalities. I know that type of trip is not for everyone but I loved it and am so glad we did it. 
Carol of course turned 60 while we were gone, and we were celebrating that and my brother's 40th still. It was nice to be away together.

Admirable sticker and fuck the fascists graffiti throughout.

I will think about eating that folded pizza on a hot night in the street in Naples for the rest of my life. It was amazing. All the food here tastes fake and old now. It Italy specifically they do not allow the chemicals we do in America, largely eat what is local and in season there, and it tastes fresh as fuck. It's also more filling and I ate less throughout the day every day despite doing so much more walking. Even their packaged food was less greasy and gross. 
I didn't find the crowds as bad as people said they were, and we truly lucked out weather-wise. It was hot but not like it's been. Thanks to this solar umbrella also good for rain, Megababe body dust top to toe powder (I do not fuck with the roll on thigh rescue, the powder is far superior), and these Duluth boxer brief underwear for women  - they double as shorts under dresses to eliminate thigh rub, are cool and don't stink no matter how hot it is or how much you walk, and was also quick dry for sink washes. I've always worn shorts under dresses since I started working in Center City in 2008 and these are just superior. I like the regular underwear also for travel. I did this on Instagram already but might as well come clean here - I am sorry for all the times I ripped on Birkenstocks and how ugly they are. I walked over 224,000 steps in Europe, all day every day in these birks except for two days. Those two non-birk days were the days I felt the walking in my body. The rest of the time no pain in my feet, knees, hips, back from walking all day long on unforgiving surfaces. This is my third serious pair (non EVA) and I'm never stopping. I've got the Bostons on order for the winter. 
A lot of you had trip-related questions I might have meant to answer upon returning and lost the threads to so if you did and I didn't answer, feel free to ask again. In general: yes for this trip I booked it all myself/no travel agent etc., yes book early, yes you an do it in a small suitcase and a backpack, do not book attraction tickets through third parties like Viator (i.e. booked direct with Vatican and direct with Colosseum to avoid markup), map everything out on google maps to see what is doable in a day, make sure the must sees are taken care of first, and do not spend a lot of money on your accommodations because when you do a trip like this one you are never in them except to sleep or do a quick load of laundry. For Europe I usually start with then book direct if possible. If not, through there is fine. I also used VRBO for the apartment in Florence. 
I didn't buy a ton but love and will use what I did buy - a small piece of artwork in Venice that got me a hug from the shopkeeper and is already hanging on my wall at the shore, two frocks for my Mrs. Roper era-collection in Venice, some bookmarks from Librairie Acqua Alta in Venice, a few food items and a leather bag I haggled for at the market in Florence, some soap from Florence and Rome (everywhere I go), a magnet from Capri, a Christmas gift, and some handmade jewelry from a shop near the pantheon in Rome. 
The floors, the doors, the windows, the walking, the ease and accessibility of public transportation, the mid day slow down/pause. I miss them and wish everyone would travel and experience them to see what is possible so we would collectively push for the transportation options and pause here for a healthier life, more connection and community, and better work-life balance. 

Bruce's birthday was two days after we got back and it felt like a sad one this year. There were still birthday cheeseburgers of course, but only two dogs at the dog birthday party felt wrong. Mae's absence seems more pronounced upon our return. The vet called me in Zurich to let me know her ashes were in and I picked them up on Monday. 
The Bruce Springsteen concert my brother and I were taking my Dad to on Wednesday was postponed along with tonight's show due to illness, so I'm anxious to get that new date! Since that was cancelled I came back to the shore Wednesday night with Bruce and Ben to the apartment being the cleanest it's been all year. This shit doesn't run here without a backup and one of my forever friends and her crew held it down here for the two turnover weekends. Thank you thank you thank you Melissa and framily!
And thank you thank you thank you to Vincent for holding it down in Philly with Bruce, Ben, and Billy. It takes a village to travel and we appreciate ours so much. It removes a lot of the worry associated with being away from home.

Pre-trip, I was thrilled to see my BFF Kim while she was down visiting her parents, the same day I got my hair done by Kristi. I was also in the city that week for work, and that meant a solid appointment with my acupuncturist and I did my massage with Sarah at Blossom before I left too. 

I also managed to eke out my July books read list but did not do a post on it, and probably won't circle back to do so at this point. If you want to discuss any of these, let me know. I read four books and started a fifth while we were gone, that I'm still muddling through. Jetlag is not for night readers. 

This week I had Ben at the vet (nothing wrong, just having a bit of a depressive time due to Mae dying followed by us being gone), did all the trip laundry, returned some shit, returned my overdue library books, and am getting regular life shit going again. I'm thankful I was gone at a downtime at work. While I was away, my 15th anniversary with my company hit. The last time I went anywhere without my computer was over 15 years ago. The freedom from the act of sitting in front of a computer for two weeks was amazing mentally and physically. I posted trip updates daily mostly to have for myself because I knew I wouldn't come back and do a blog trip wrap up - but was also largely off of social media and that was also amazing. Happy birthday if you had one, cheers to the good, peace for the bad. 

Loving seeing all the kids move into the dorms around this time. Hugs to the parents going through it!

Happy Friday and happy weekend!

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