30 Things I’m Grateful For in August

August was a pretty awful month. I know, they can’t all be winners, right? I’ve had a pretty bad track record for Angry Augusts so lets just say I am so glad this month is over. Bring it on, September!

  • Spending a day at Storm King Art Center
  • Checking out Wild Bill’s Nostalgia in Middletown
  • Strolling through Elizabeth Park on a perfect day
  • Beers at THS
  • Eating delicious Indian food
  • And eating cold delicious Indian food for breakfast the next few days
  • Getting my creative fix on and designing home magazines and mailers at work
  • Going to a Bridgeport Bluefish baseball game (for free!)
  • The Sinner
  • Getting books in the mail from my mom
  • Trying out Stila lipgloss from Birchbox, a brand I’ve always wanted to try
  • The hilarious Manitowoc Minutes from Charlie Berens
  • “I Don’t” series on The Cut – fascinating articles dedicated to skewering the traditions, expectations, and psychodrama that surround wedding season
  • Rereading my sad, strange, embarrassing blog I wrote back in 2013
  • The Bold Type on TV, my guilty pleasure
  • Discovering a love for Calvin Harris, Sea Wolf, Andrew McMahon, and The Cat Empire
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
  • Finding an earring I lost a few months ago
  • Banana bread and cheese at work
  • Getting nice compliments
  • Mean Girls, Bridesmaids and The Proposal on TV
  • Trying out new recipes and getting pretty good at cooking
  • Getting ready for my best friend to visit for a week!
  • John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo
  • Breaking out my Fall booties
  • Donating old clothes, shoes and books at Goodwill
  • Getting an awesome vintage Dominoes set from my mom in the mail
  • Sleeping with the windows open
  • And feeling Fall in the air
  • Knowing there will always be better days

30 Things I’m Grateful For in July

July was a pretty fantastic month. It started off a little rocky but ended perfect, with my parents visiting the last weekend of July. I was so happy to see them and take them to all of my favorite spots in Connecticut!

  • Salted caramel ice cream from Goody Bassett’s in Stratford
  • Playing card games like Speed and Crazy 8s
  • Modern Family
  • A Fourth of July cookout
  • Coronas on a summer day
  • Gypsy
  • Getting my first Birchbox order and trying out all the goodies inside
  • Celebrating 3 months at my new job
  • Lunch with my bosses at The Grey Goose
  • Paella for lunch from Fire and Rice
  • Cards and books from my mom in the mail
  • A cardboard heart on my car from my secret admirer
  • Homemade BBQ chicken pizza
  • Euphoria by Lily King
  • Scoring two $10 dresses from Marshalls
  • Riding bikes around Block Island
  • Bloody Marys and mudslides at The Oar
  • Celebrating a friend’s birthday at her apartment
  • Cold aloe vera
  • Pretty white lilies
  • Spending the day with my friend Madison, hanging at Stony Creek Brewery and Nellie Greens
  • Pizza at PizzaCo
  • A new printer and French press
  • My parents visiting and bringing me kringle, a suitcase full of books and New Glarus beer
  • Spending time at Grace Farms
  • Taking a tour of the Thimble Islands
  • Hanging out at Gillette Castle
  • Looking out over New Haven at East Rock Park on the most perfect, clear day
  • Lunch at Elm City Social
  • Helping move my boyfriend into his new apartment

30 Things I’m Grateful For in June

June was fairly great, but I’m surprised I haven’t died from heatstroke this month. I’m very grateful that I have central air in my apartment!

With every month that goes by, every month that I’m living in a state I still don’t consider “home,” I’m somehow getting more comfortable with the way I live and who I am. I have the courage and confidence to ask tough questions, questions I might not want to know the answer to. I’m not as timid as I was this time last year. And becoming more confident is a lot to celebrate, as well as these 30 things:

  • Watching La La Land
  • Brunch at Hub and Spoke
  • Playing mini golf
  • Being told I look young (!)
  • Making friends
  • Small victories at work
  • Cool new sneakers from Target
  • And new Chucks from Patrick
  • The Circle by Dave Eggers, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • And watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu
  • Getting a gazillion random likes and retweets on this tweet
  • Seeing my cat go wild with catnip
  • And playing with new toys from Patrick
  • Getting a care package in the mail from my friend Rose, complete with sand dollars from California, an organic t-shirt and banana bread
  • This article and realizing how much I’ve grown by moving halfway across the country almost two years ago
  • Attending my boss’s beautiful wedding at the Shore & Country Club in Norwalk
  • And seeing my boyfriend in a fancy new suit
  • Windsor
  • Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Haagen Dasz ice cream
  • And a coupon for a free Halo Top ice cream
  • Blackout shades
  • Seeing baby foxes cross the road
  • Nexxus Therappe shampoo
  • Discovering creative and inspiring artists like Maja Safstrom, Thomas Danthony and John Holcroft
  • Homemade pizzas
  • Spending an evening NYC to celebrate a friend’s birthday
  • Manhattans at Park Avenue Tavern
  • Seeing a great view of Times Square from a friend’s workplace
  • Yotel’s rooftop bar
  • Writing a blog post about books I’ve had on my to-do list for forever

5 Books That Changed My Life

I’ve always been passionate about reading.

Ever since I was young, when I would fly through Nancy Drew books like they were on fire; when my favorite day in school was the Scholastic Book Fair; when I would crush elementary school reading challenges and get sparkly star stickers like it was nobody’s business; when I would request a couple Jodi Picoult books for Christmas, but only two or three, because they were expensive; when I would volunteer at Cooper Elementary School and my favorite part was helping first graders read and sound out syllables of Frog and Toad books; to now, when I scour thrift stores and bookstores for copies of books that I can pay with with my own money, breathing in the distinct smell of ink on paper and trying to find an old, fat cat in the store, because there’s usually a cat, the best independent bookstores have one or two; and when my favorite part about going on vacation is getting to pick out the special books to take with me on my journey.

So, a few months ago when I had an interview at a publishing company, I was thinking about some of my favorite books, but I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite because I’ve read so many incredible books (I have SO MANY favorite books. Seriously, look at my Goodreads shelf!), so I started thinking about the books that have impacted my life in a big way.

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30 Things I’m Grateful For in May

May was a pretty great month for me. I think 2017 just keeps getting better and better!

This time last year was one of the saddest times of my life. But I also adopted my cat last May, so I’ve had her for a full year already! She’s a handful and I’m very tempted to get her a little brother to play with. Besides my cat, here are 30 more things I’m grateful for this month:

  • Brunch at el barrio in Milford with my friend Madison
  • Wandering around Silver Sands Beach
  • A beautiful bouquet of hyacinths and bleeding hearts
  • Dress weather
  • The Girls by Emma Cline, The Assistants by Camille Perri and Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
  • Playing yard games and drinking craft beer with good friends at Stony Creek Brewery
  • A pretty new tank top from New Orleans
  • Celebrating Mother’s Day with Patrick’s family at Shell & Bones
  • Chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Rediscovering my love for Coconut Records
  • Exploring Five Mile Point Light in Milford
  • Eating ice cream at Short Beach
  • Going to the beach after work
  • DiBella subs
  • Playing tennis with the boyfriend
  • And not having any other players on the tennis court while we play
  • Watching documentaries (I was riveted by Mommy Dead and Dearest and Abstract: The Art of Design)
  • Making a lot of good homemade meals
  • Adventuring around Southport and taking photos for work
  • Working in a shared office where I’m alone most days, getting to play music, open the window, and shut the door (its the little things in life)
  • Not hitting traffic on my way into work
  • Practicing my handwriting at work
  • Cold Lindt Lindor chocolates
  • A cookout and bonfire with friends
  • Postcards from the National Parks on the West Coast from my friend Rose
  • Walking along the beautiful Stratford Greenway
  • Checking out a hidden gem in Stratford, Mellow Monkey
  • Watching The Bachelorette
  • Celebrating Memorial Day with my boyfriend’s family
  • Making overnight oats (this recipe is my favorite so far)

30 Things I’m Grateful For in April

April has been the best month for me this year! A lot of fantastic things happened – I went on two roadtrips with my boyfriend, I got a new job, I read some great books and my Invisalign treatment is basically done! We’ve also had gorgeous weather and I can feel some changes happening. I had a lot to be grateful for this month.

  • Taking a road trip up to Rutland, Vermont
  • And getting our craft beer fix at Hop’N Moose
  • Buying some neat postcards at the Northshire Bookstore
  • Eating lunch at the Spiral Press Cafe
  • Driving through the beautiful Green Mountain and Finger Lakes region of southwestern Vermont
  • Finally getting a library card!
  • And reading some seriously good books: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris and Everything That Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn
  • Watching documentaries (I loved Minimalism on Netflix)
  • And donating a ton of old books, clothes, puzzles and homegoods to Goodwill
  • My boyfriend’s sister who watched our cat while we went on a week-long roadtrip out west
  • Checking out Bill’s Old Bike Barn somewhere in Pennsylvania
  • S-Town podcast
  • Staying in Kalamazoo, Michigan and spending some time at Bell’s Brewery (love me some Oberon)
  • Cheese curds and craft beer at Three Floyds Brewing Company
  • The beautiful pedestrian bridge in Omaha and being in two places at once
  • The old market area and beautiful cobblestone streets in downtown Omaha
  • Our truck plant
  • Hanging out with my best friend in Manhattan, Kansas, where she used to live and work, hanging out in the park, having sushi for lunch, shopping at Acme Gifts and spontaneously trying out for Big Brother
  • Seeing the St Louis Arch
  • Visiting the coolest (and free!) aviation museum – the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton
  • Stopping at World Market! (There aren’t many World Markets near me on the East Coast so I was THRILLED)
  • Starting a job I enjoy at Snyder & Pritchard Homes
  • Pretty daffodils outside my front door
  • Spending Easter with my boyfriend’s family (and doing an Easter egg hunt)
  • Going on a pub golf crawl with some friends in Milford
  • Checking out the beautiful Colorblends House & Spring Garden in Bridgeport
  • Spending a beautiful Sunday painting and staining a front porch
  • My Invisalign treatment being done! And by done I mean my teeth are in the best shape they’ll ever be in and the little dots were taken off. It was a year of wearing the aligners and I’m SO happy and confident with my new smile. I had braces when I was younger but my teeth gradually shifted awry, so if you are reading this and have a nighttime retainer, wear it! Also, I found this article super helpful and informative if you’re interested in Invisalign
  • Watching Girlboss on Netflix
  • Postcards, reusable bags and a pretty blanket scarf that my mom got me while she was traveling around Europe

30 Things I’m Grateful For in March

March has been a repeat of February – mediocre. The weather has been super crummy too. In fact, January was nicer than March! I really can’t wait for the weather to improve and to go on more outdoor adventures. But there were a few things I was grateful for this month:

  • Date night at Craft 260
  • Brunch with friends at Barnum Publick House
  • Checking out the cool, modern Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield
  • Sushi and wine at the StationHouse
  • Giving away clothes and books at Goodwill
  • Sharpening my interviewing skills
  • And former supervisors who have given me recommendations
  • Supportive and helpful friends
  • Working on some freelance graphic design projects for my boyfriend’s company
  • Cupcakes for breakfast
  • The awesome Wadsworth Athenum Art Museum in Hartford
  • And pretty, artsy postcards
  • Celebrating St Patrick’s Day a little early at The Half Door in Hartford
  • Getting Girl Scout Cookies in the mail from my mom
  • And getting cute drawings in the mail from my nephew and nieces
  • My dad for doing my taxes
  • Lots of free time to deep clean my apartment
  • And honing my cooking skills
  • Watching Girls with batcat
  • Nail polish that doesn’t chip
  • The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Pizza and beer with friends at Colony on St Patrick’s Day
  • And partying with friends at their apartment in Stamford
  • Doing a quick yoga session with my boyfriend
  • When batcat sleeps on our bed at night
  • Homemade chicken kiev
  • Watching Sing!
  • Researching fun things to do on a roadtrip my boyfriend and I are taking in a couple of weeks
  • Blessings by Anna Quindlen
  • Hot chocolate with Bailey’s, my drink of choice for the cold weather we’ve been getting