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.

Delivery!

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.”

“Hike”

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

“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.

ghost of uncle joe’s 2020.

I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.

What a nightmare.

The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.

UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!

Because it WAS that.

If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.

As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.

I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.

The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.

Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.

That’s all I got. Sorry.

fall weekend upstate.

This past weekend I went “upstate” to West Kill, NY to peep leaves and do other upstate shit and it was everything I’ve ever wanted from a fall weekend upstate.

“Upstate” is kind of like a “scene” and it’s fine because I’m totally into a “scene.” But I would say it seems like more of a “scene” now that everyone has escaped from Manhattan/Brooklyn and turned it into Manhattan/Brooklyn 2.0. But that’s okay! It’s Manhattan/Brooklyn with leaf peeping! And hiking! And the possibility that you might see a bear! The possibility is really real, I swear!

And who knows, maybe it’s been like that forever. I only went upstate for the first time 2 years ago.

I’m no expert. But they did go there in Dirty Dancing (there are a ton of books I now need to read at that link) and in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. So I guess it’s been a scene for a while.

Anyway, here’s my fall weekend upstate.

the outfits.

I’d like to start with the outfits. I didn’t get a lot of pics but many people I saw had some really great outfits. They ranged from like a “hiking chic” look to a “unnecessary hat” look to a “canoes on my boyfriend cardigan” look and everything in between. I greatly enjoyed outfit-watching.

I did my best to not be a creep so I didn’t get many pictures. But as you may know it’s very hard for me to NOT be a creep so I did get some.

Look at this couple! They were perfect! I mean it’s mostly the guy with his cloud sweater and matching pants and sunglasses, but the gal also gave it her all. They looked awesome when they were standing and walking together. Just reigning over the outdoor dining area at Phoenicia Diner.

Another fun spotting at Phoenicia Diner was this gal in the canoes on her boyfriend cardigan. You may have thought that was a joke when I said it up there but it was REAL. AND IT WAS AMAZING.

I didn’t get pics of any other outfits except my own, but just know that there was plaid and army green and hats and beanies and boots and sweaters and it was all a very cozy fall catalog vibe.

Here I am in my own unnecessary hat.

And again in the unnecessary hat but WITH PLAID.

I think it’s fair to say that the proper outfits are COMPULSORY for a fall weekend upstate.

the cabin.

My pal married into owning a cabin in West Kill and it’s freakin badass.

The cabin is in the middle of nowhere, kind of up a mountain, and that’s exactly where I wanted to be. It is quiet, quiet, QUIET and you don’t have to listen to anyone’s shit. You can’t even hear a car. At this point in the year the bugs are even quiet. And because it takes so long for the sun to come out the birds seem lazy and therefore quieter in the morning. It was peaceful AF.

I JUST WANTED SOME PEACE AND I GOT IT.

Their cabin is really super adorable and cozy. They decorated it like real experts and the record collection is off the chain. When my other friend and I pulled up on Friday night it was around 8pm and all of the lights were on outside and it just looked so perfect and welcoming. I couldn’t get over it.

It was really, REALLY nice to wake up in the morning and sit outside in an Adirondack chair and drink coffee and think about nothing. I really wanted to see a bear but I only saw a bluejay. But it was a lovely bluejay!

The bed I slept in was very comfortable and the house was warm but not TOO warm and I slept with the window open for fresh air. It was really the perfect scenario. I think “fresh air” was my number one wish for this fall weekend upstate.

That’s my airbnb review, you heard it here first.

the food.

So the food was a big part of this trip. It always is, for me. Food is very important. Especially recently because there is nothing else to live for and I’ve gained 20lbs. I don’t really know what else to tell you about that. It sucks that none of my favorite clothes fit but it’s also been delicious.

When we first arrived my friend had made us a CHEESE PLATE. It’s like, SHE ALLOWED US TO STAY AT HER HOUSE, and she ALSO made us a cheese plate! Can you believe our luck?!

Ugh it was so good.

After the cheese plate we did some grilling! By “we” I mean “she” did the grilling and I ate it. I don’t know how to grill, are you nuts?

The next morning, my other pal made us eggs for breakfast. Best eggs I ever had. I felt a little bad because she’s a mom and she kinda went all-in on mom mode and was like, “I’ll make us all eggs!” And I was like, “Well I’ll def eat them…and I probably can’t help much because I’d get in the way, so I’ll just sit in this Adirondack chair and drink coffee.” And I felt like a child or a dad, not doing shit. But the eggs were edible and incredible and I don’t regret a thing.

Next up we went to a farm market which will be explored in another section. But when we got there a lady at one of the stands was like, “Free Bread Alone bread!” And since it was free I took some. It ended up being really good! We had it with a cheese plate later that day.

As far as food goes our next stop was Mama’s Boy Burgers in Tannersville. I got a grilled cheese and butternut squash fries. I had never had butternut squash fries but it seems like such a great and obvious idea! Especially for the fall. They had a bit of a sweet seasoning on them, like cinnamon, that paired well with the chipotle mayo dipping sauce I got.

Mama’s Boy ALSO had a TON of ice cream and I was obviously into it.

I got chocolate peanut butter soft serve, their special of the day, with Reese’s Puffs on top. I haven’t had Reese’s Puffs since middle school and it was a happy reunion.

On Saturday night we went to Urban Cowboy, which is a “scene” all its own, and we had Roberta’s pizza. Roberta’s is 200% worth the trip to Bushwick and it was also worth the trip to Big Indian, NY because that shit is INCREDIBLE. We got a Bee Sting, my personal fav because you can never go wrong with sopressata and hot honey, and a White Guy to mix it up a little.

The free Bread Alone bread returned to our collective consciousness back at the cabin when we put together ANOTHER cheese plate with some cheese from the Farmer’s Market. Cheese plates are so important, you guys.

Our original plan involved making ‘smores outside but it was very cold and also a lot of effort to build a fire. So we (by “we” I mean my two pals because I’m terrified of fire) made a nice fire in the woodstove. I think that’s what it’s called. A stove-like box made of metal and you put wood in it.

I was fully committed to the ‘smores because I have a serious problem with sugar addiction so then I made ‘smores in the stove thing.

THEY WERE DELICOUS.

The next morning my mom pal was back with more eggs to serve me again and I am forever grateful.

On the way home we went to Phoenicia Diner and since it’s a diner I had to get a tuna melt and fries. Like come on.

I liked the way this place was set up, you ordered from an Airstream trailer and then sat down and a lady called your name when the food was ready.

I think that maybe pre-COVID there wasn’t any outdoor dining and you probably had to wait in line for a while at this place to get a table at that time of day, 11:30am on a Sunday when everyone is heading home the same way.

But it’s not the case now because people eat their food pretty quick and leave because they’re cold.

SILVER LININGS OR WHATEVER.

the drinks.

It’s fall. It’s the weekend. It’s a fall weekend upstate and you should probably have a few drinks. Okay well, I drank a ton, as I considered this to be a vacation weekend in addition to a fall weekend.

It was!

First drink was in the Bronx. I was in the Bronx because I was meeting my friend up there to get on the road as she was coming from Long Island and I was coming from Jersey City. I took the green train (4,5,6) to Mt. Eden station. I have no idea what part of the Bronx that is and still have no idea. My Bronx knowledge is limited.

I exited the subway platform and found the first bar/lounge/whatever I could find. I sat down. I ordered a mango mojito. OMG I could not wait for this mango mojito.

The waiter brought the mojito. I sipped it. IT WAS VERY SALTY. In my mind I thought it was SUPPOSED to be salty for some reason? Sometimes on the street in NYC I see ladies selling mangoes with like, chili powder on them? I think that’s what it is. So I tried my best to think that the mojito was along those lines. I took a few more sips and then the waiter came out and was like, “LOLOL sorry I used salt instead of sugar!” and took it inside.

I was fully ready to drink an entire salty mojito and not even complain because I wanted to be respectful and I need you to know that.

That evening with the cheese plate we had rose and also this delicious beer I only just discovered there in their fridge, Zero Gravity Green State Lager.

The next morning as we prepared for a hike we packed another of these beers at my host pal’s suggestion. “It’s fun to crush a beer after a hike!” (I’m paraphrasing but I did indeed “crush” said beer after the hike).

Saturday afternoon we went to West Kill Brewery and that’s getting its own section so please read on.

Saturday evening at Urban Cowboy, scene of a scene, I of course had a cocktail but I forget what was in it. The bar it was served from was very intricate and beautitful and I felt not worthy of it.

Last memorable drink was the adult milkshake I got a Phoenicia Diner. OMG it was so incredibly good. It was called Sugar Shake Shack and I don’t know what was in it so you’ll have to go there to find out.

the farm market.

Saturday morning was rainy but we still felt drawn to the Lexington Farmers’ Market. It was the last one of the season! It couldn’t be missed! I’m not even being sarcastic, my friend did have to stock their freezer for the winter with $100 worth of meat. It was an impressive undertaking.

As I mentioned we got the free bread here.

I also got some Xmas gifts DO NOT TELL. But I may have gotten them from Arc Ceramics and all of their stuff was really beautiful so it was hard to choose! They also had a sale on a bunch of stuff so that made it easier. To choose.

There were a number of farms there and I got some cheese and chapstick from Heather Ridge Farm.

Mushrooms are proven freaks and creep me out but if you DO like mushrooms they had many different kinds available as seen below. I think if you like them this is a pretty cool situation so I’ll let you have that for now.

We got some coffee cake here too but it wasn’t our favorite. We’re sorry.

Great farmers’ market overall. Keep up the good work. I guess not until next year when you open again. Keep it up either way.

the hike.

We hiked to Kaaterskill Falls and holy hell this hike was insane. “A hike” is a defining component of a fall weekend upstate and of upstate life in general. Everyone be hiking.

At first we tried to park right by the top of the falls and there was a line of cars waiting for other cars to leave the lot and a guy down the street charging $20 to park at his house. This really rubbed me the wrong way, the $20 guy.

Either way there was no way in hell we wanted any part of waiting for hours or paying $20 so we found a different (free) parking lot and entrance at the Kaaterskill Rail Trail.

The hike started tame enough as it was simply along on old rail trail. Hence the name, the Kaaterskill Rail Trail. It was flat and simple but there were a lot of roots/old railroad woods and I kept tripping. Eventually I got my shit together and luckily I did because WTF THIS TRAIL GOES TO THE TOP OF A WATERFALL THAT IS HUGE.

As with most waterfalls you can hear Kaaterskill Falls before you see it.

Once you can kind of see it through the trees, there appears before you a viewing platform that at this point in history you must wait in line to stand on. We joined the line and waited.

During this wait I left the line to walk on the edge under the platform and get a look at the falls from there. I easily could have fallen to my death. This place is terrifying.

During the wait we came across an informational sign and it said there used to be a hotel at the top of the waterfall. WHAT KIND OF INSANE IDEA IS THAT?! It’s not there anymore but allegedly some of the foundation remains. The idea that there was a hotel here chills me to the bone.

What was even MORE chilling was the fact that once we got our chance for a photo op on the platform, and timed ourselves for the 45 seconds that we thought were acceptable according to an unspoken social contract, we headed up a small hill where you could JUST WALK OUT TO THE TOP OF THE WATERFALL. You could walk down some rocks, and you could STAND RIGHT ON THE EDGE.

The full drop to your death is right where the water is flowing in the lower left corner.

WHY WAS THIS ALLOWED?!

The whole time I was feeling weird and like I was tempting fate but I was also really enjoying the leaf peeping from this height so I went along with it. There were a TON of people, most of them the youth, inching ever closer to the edge for the perfect photo. I attempted to talk myself out of feeling weird and tell myself that it had to be fine, since we were allowed to be here and it wasn’t restricted in any way.

Turns out we were NOT allowed to be there and on the way out we climbed over a little part of a fence surrounding the area that had been knocked down. OMG ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS TOP OF WATERFALL ACTIVITY. Before the hike we had discussed how people have died there (omg watch the drone vids at that link, terrifying). And I was like, “Psh how do people even die there?” BUT I GUESS THIS IS HOW PEOPLE EVEN DIE THERE.

I CRUSHED my packed beer very soon after.

the beer.

Speaking of beer, West Kill Brewing is amazing and deserves its own section.

Also I just realized I can embed Instagram posts and I may have overdosed on it. For example look at this brewery cat! I saw him there but he was working so I didn’t want to bother him. But he’s truly a beautiful beast.

Omg wait, HE has an Instagram I MUST follow him.

West Kill Brewery is seemingly in the middle of the woods, like everything upstate. The brewery building is up on a hill and in front of it is a clearing. People park in the clearing BUT ALSO since it is COVID time everyone was kind of hanging out outside lounging around on the hill/clearing. It was great! They had a food tent too but we already ate.

Additionally they had some really fun merch that was IRRESISTIBLE. We all got beer coozies and two of us got a really cute long sleeve shirt that I wore constantly for the following 2 days.

As far as the beer, it was good! I’m going to go ahead and admit that for me beer is beer. Like, it’s fine. I got this Buck Fever lager pictured above and below. I’ve been a strictly Pilsner drinker lately but the Pilsner ran out. WERE THEY MESSING WITH ME?! Maybe. But the lager was fine and I really liked the art on the can. All of the cans had good art!

It was a super cool place to hang out. There were a ton of dogs and even some small children on the run. We couldn’t figure out who they belonged to but also we didn’t really care. Let ’em run, I guess. Some were even climbing trees! I don’t know, it was kind of weird. Not the brewery’s fault though.

They had an outdoor fire pit that was VERY NICE to sit next to and we all really enjoyed smelling like fire the rest of the day. Not sarcasm, WE LOVED IT. You could also see into a kind of valley and PEEP THEM LEAVES.

Loving the parking lot.

I wanted to stay longer but we had things to do.

the night time.

After the brewery we headed back to the cabin to change into night time outfits.

I was probably the only one concerned about a “night time outfit” but my friends kindly indulged me and that’s why they’re my friends.

After a glass or two of rose at home, we headed over to Urban Cowboy.

Urban Cowboy is the kind of place that I’m surprised they even let me in. It’s just so lovely and beautifully decorated and perfect. How does a place look this great?! I don’t know how they do it.

But like, look at this bar. WITH TREES GROWING NEXT TO IT. THE BEAUTY IS MIND BLOWING. I CANNOT.

We got some delish cocktails and went out and sat by the fire. My one pal is pregnant though and asked about a mocktail and was met with some…I don’t want to say disdain but it wasn’t the most encouraging response. Maybe I’m just used to the mocktail scene in Jersey City because they love making some mocktails, even with CBD! I don’t know if pregnant people can consume CBD but it’d be a lot cooler if they did. I was momentarily annoyed by the bartender’s seeming mocktail aversion/disregard but now I forget what even happened. I hope she got the mocktail. Maybe she got a lemonade or something? Unfortunately I forget because I was too busy looking at this taxidermy bear with a hat on that I really regret not getting a picture of.

Outside by the fire we lounged and drank drinks and it was lovely and quiet. Until some random guy started talking to us. I think he had also been drinking some drinks, likely a considerable amount of drinks as he was also on vacation so like why not. I don’t remember what he said but I do remember that we were like <eye roll>. Eventually he and his gf headed off to dinner and we were left with another odd couple. I actually think they were probably fine I just don’t like strangers.

We headed inside to get some Roberta’s pizza before it closed for the night and it was INCREDIBLE. I haven’t had Roberta’s for a while! It hasn’t really been feasible to travel to Bushwick, and the Mad Sq Eats food event outside my work where I usually get it has also not been happening this year. BECAUSE COVID. So it was great to really relish and enjoy a Bee Sting. Because it is everything I love about the world of pizza.

They also had a ton of merch at this place and I lost my mind and got this bracelet.

So that’s it! That’s the trip! Although the trip was the time of my life it took me days to write this blog post so good riddance. I don’t know why my brain doesn’t work anymore. I blame COVID for that too.

Do you ever enjoy a fall weekend upstate? Do you even like to go upstate? Where do you go? Where do you stay? What do you like most about it? What do you like least about it?

K see ya there on the scene.

ghost of uncle joe’s dress rehearsal.

Last night we attended the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s “dress rehearsal” at Corgi Spirits and we had a grand evening.

In 2020 we have lost a lot of the good things left in this sick sad world and I was scared that the annual Ghost of Uncle Joe’s event would be one of the fallen. But lucky for us the ol ghost is back in a big way this year, despite COVID and social distancing and the overall downfall of our society.

Ghost of Uncle Joe’s is going to happen over two weekends this year! There’s a Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tonight! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tomorrow! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Friday! And a cherry on top Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Saturday on actual Halloween!

I’m obviously going on Halloween.

Here’s the schedule for your informaish:

But in addition to these future Ghosts they did a little warm up Ghost last night.

The cover bands were Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, and Green Day. There were also “special guests”advertised but I didn’t stay the whole time so I don’t know who that ended up being.

And I’m sorry.

I mostly went for Janis Joplin because I LOVE singing Janis for karaoke and I was pumped to see another group of folks be excited about pretending to be Janis and her band.

And I wasn’t disappointed! The Janis cover band was great! I made a ton of Instagram story videos and tagged my mom in them. Just because.

Corgi was set up safely and comfortably with tables spread out and Adirondack chairs. I haven’t been spending enough time sitting in Adirondack chairs these days and that’s a real problem.

They make gin at Corgi and that’s pretty much all they serve so that’s what we were drinking!

I enjoyed a couple of Raspberry Beret cocktails (gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white) but then switched over to Cafe Arancia cocktails (gin, espresso, coffee liqueur) and those were AMAZING. Super into coffee in cocktails these days.

It was a really fun Thursday night and it made me very happy that we could hang out and drink and watch live music safely and responsibly.

Check out the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s, by Dancing Tony, this weekend and next weekend at The Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetary! You can get tickets here.

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 💕

MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES AS THE GREAT LAURA INGALLS WILDER SAID, OR MAYBE IT WAS HER DAD, AND I WORE MY COWBOY BOOTS DAMMIT.

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.

decorations.

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!!!!

games.

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.

BECAUSE GAMES ARE FOR KIDS.

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.

foods.

THERE WERE SO MANY FOODS AT THIS PARTY.

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.

harvest moon.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t know why. I was like, half awake and something was bugging me, preventing me from sleeping.

I realized today it was the harvest moon, streaming in the window! Well, it was the ALMOST harvest moon because the actual harvest moon is happening tonight.

The harvest moon is always exciting because it’s a “fall thing” like pumpkin spice and Halloween and dancing naked around a fire in the woods with all of your best witch friends.

The harvest moon is just a full moon in the fall. That’s it. It’s a Farmer’s Almanac thing, which always impresses me because they made that shit up years ago before they even really knew about science. They definitely didn’t have the internet or even computers so I’m still not sure how they did it. I’m afraid to find out because it probably involved stupid math.

This particular moon is so incredibly full and bright that farmers can harvest their harvest by moonlight. Because we all know how long it takes to harvest a harvest and frankly there aren’t enough hours of daylight. Personally I’m exhausted from all of the harvesting I’ve already done today.

And because the harvest moon kept me awake last night.

I love animals and nature and shit and I’d like to say I know all about the moon but I actually know nothing about the moon. Any time a moon thing happens I have to look it up. I leave it to the moon professionals. It’s one of those things where there are too many specific facts to remember and I have no pneumonic device to grasp for so it just falls out of my brain. I DO remember the meaning of the harvest moon and “blue moon” though. AND THEY ARE PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT MOON THINGS.

But I also don’t really have the authority to decide which moons things are most important because I don’t know anything about moon things.

Sorry I guess.

There was a time in my early 20s when the Neil Young song “Harvest Moon” would make me cry any time I heard it. I’m still not sure why. I think it felt nostalgic to me in some way, and it made me feel like I wanted to go back to the way something once was but I had moved too far into the future to ever go back. But as you may know the “things that once were” only become positive in your mind as you move away from them through time, and shit actually sucked back then.

That’s maybe too much thought to put into a song but here’s a remix I enjoy IMMENSELY, not for crying or even really thinking about at all, but for CELEBRATING.

Celebrating the harvest. Or whatever.

And the harvest moon.

Harvest moon happens tonight. Look up in the sky NOW. If you’re lazy or it’s cloudy, you’ll have the next day or two to get a peek. Mars is also hanging out next to it this year, looking for attention. JK sorry Mars I know you’re just living your life <sunglasses emoji>.

I just went outside to see it and I couldn’t see anything so…no pics. There was a pretty sunset though.

sunflower szn.

These are just some pictures I took of sunflowers.

Sunflowers make me happy because they look like they’re smiling and I really appreciate that about them and relate to it, most days.

They just have a big round smiling face and you can’t help but stare into it happily.

Part of what is so great about them is their versatilty.

They can grow in the middle of urban areas, often like the proverbial rose from concrete.

Or they can grow in the country, in someone’s yard or on the perimeter of a corn field.

THEY CAN DO IT ALL.

LIKE HANNAH MONTANA THEY ARE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.

The time of year that sunflowers come out is indisputably the most beautiful and comfortable to be outside time of year in the Northeast. Don’t even try to contest that because I’m not even listening.

It’s kind of “harvest time” but a little bit BEFORE “harvest time” so sunflowers are a nice “pre-harvest time” treat. Sunflower season is technically still summer in the garden state but it’s the END of summer so everything that has been soaking up the sun all summer long is ABOUT TO BURST WITH LIFE.

And then just as quickly die.

BUT FOR NOW IT IS ALIVE SO LET’S LIVE IT UP Y’ALL.

Also it’s almost October at this point so maybe I’m a little late on this. Sorry.

crafts and carafes – thanksgiving edition.

Last night I returned to Porta Jersey City for Crafts and Carafes! I freakin love crafting. We made Thanksgiving centerpieces.

I made Thanksgiving centerpieces at Porta’s Crafts and Carafes last year as well, so I was pumped AF for round 2!

Last year we used old liquor bottles and painted them, but this year it was all about the little glass jars. We had ribbons and straw and burlap and lacy stuff to put around the jars.

I selected 3 jars and some fall colored ribbons and burlap. Personally I didn’t like the sillier ribbons with pumpkins on them. I wanted to keep it very grown up and tasteful.

I’m an adult.

I didn’t get any of these beans because I believe some children ravaged them and threw them all over the place. Heathens. I don’t really like most children unless I’m related to them or a close friend is. There I said it.

My friend and I made a new friend who was kind enough to let us use her heavy duty hot glue gun. This was a DEWALT HOT GLUE GUN. LIKE THE TOOLS. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?!

Omg do you see the glue gun back there?!

I drank a 20% off house white carafe and didn’t drink enough water. I think you know what I’m getting at.

In process.

(Headache).

In addition to the crafts and carafes I also got this acorn squash with ricotta. It seemed like it was a good way to get some vegetables. Sneak some in. Just put some cheese on them and they’re acceptable.

As usual our hosts Chandra and Mallory were super helpful and efficient at running the whole Crafts and Carafes shebang and also doing some crafting/having fun (perhaps carafing but I can’t be sure) alongside us.

Totally pumped to bring these home to my parents’ house next week for Thanksgiving!

Fin.

Have you made any Thanksgiving crafts? Do you plan to? While we’re on that, what are your plans for Thanksgiving?! I am so excited for Thanksgiving I can’t even stand it.

PS – we’re going to start a book club with the new friend we met at Crafts and Carafes and that’s a story for another day but I’m ECSTATIC about that.

tripod tuesday.

I had a very long and tiring day today with all the voting and some other fun stuff I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

But for now I’m just going to reflect on the awesomeness that is my tripod. WITH BLUETOOTH REMOTE. If you want to know what pure happiness is, it is when you want a photo of you taken and you do not have to ask ANYONE to take it. You do not have to associate with a SINGLE HUMAN. It’s just you and your tripod. And that’s beautiful.

I’m going to go ahead and create a new category called “blatant narcissism” to file this one under.

I’ll also include some outfit notes/links/whatever in case either of these lewks inspire you and you’d like to poke around the Internet.

Other than that it will just be the Shan Show. Omg that’s my fav show!

Lewk 1 – Dress, Free People. Necklace, Old Navy. Bracelets, Alex and Ani, ban.do, and Stone Cooper. Boots, H&M.

Feeling okay about a braless, lawless life.