30 Things I’m Grateful For in October

October has always had a great track record for being an awesome month in my life and this year it did not disappoint! This month, I celebrated my two year anniversary of living in Connecticut and six month job anniversary at Snyder & Pritchard Homes! I also started a new waitressing job. I’ve always loved waitressing, and working banquets at this restaurant has been awesome so far. I’ve really lucked out with great coworkers and bosses, which is what I’m most grateful for this month.

  • Hanging out with my friend Madison and eating tons and tons of chowda at Chowdafest
  • Finally checking out Stew Leonard’s, the wackiest grocery store ever
  • Mango smoothies
  • Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
  • And getting a reply on Twitter from the author himself
  • Lindt chocolates at work
  • Getting seven items instead of five in my Birchbox this month
  • Picking pumpkins, taking pictures by sunflower fields and going through a corn maze at Jones Family Farm
  • And unwinding with Sunshine White wine after
  • Getting a pumpkin for my stoop (that’s about as festive as I get)
  • And brightening up my office with little baby pumpkins
  • This Is Us, season 2
  • Discovering Kilkenny Cat art
  • Finding pants in the first store I went into (trying to find jeans that fit my long, gangly legs is a literal nightmare. Target, you never let me down)
  • A New Day clothing line at Target
  • Hanging out with my bosses at the Horseshoe in Southport
  • Delicious leftover brownies from a banquet
  • Apps and websites like LetGo, Venmo, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and AptDeco for giving me outlets to sell the furniture in my apartment
  • My awesome bosses who will visit apartments with me, vouch for me and even try and set me up
  • Writing in a brand new, pretty journal
  • Blanket scarf weather
  • Bonding over my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail
  • Fall in Connecticut. There’s something so magical about Autumn in New England that I have never experienced in the Midwest. Maybe it’s the little pumpkins sitting on stone walls, cruising along windy roads below trees and falling leaves, old Victorians and picture-perfect Colonials dressed up for the holidays, but I’m telling you – Fall in Connecticut is something special
  • Seeing my friend Ian, an old friend who I haven’t seen in more than two years
  • Pumpkin pie for breakfast
  • People who tip well
  • Lazy, rainy Sundays
  • Watching parts of the Addams Family Values nearly every day
  • Catching the Badgers game at work
  • Checking out Vintage Garden with my boss one afternoon

30 Things I’m Grateful For in September

September has been a very healing month. I spent a lot of time with friends, went into the city twice, and got a lot of much-needed me-time. I can tell I’m happier, more confident and less anxious than I was for the past few months. Also, I am l-o-v-i-n-g this weather. I think Fall might be my favorite season! With the changing of the seasons, here are 30 more things I’m grateful for:

  • Spending some time with my best friend Rose (and Billy!) who came to visit for a week
  • Exploring the Mystic Seaport and checking out the Charles W. Morgan ship
  • Buying a really cool edition of Moby Dick
  • Taking Rose and Billy to NYC for their first time
  • Checking out the beautiful Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Walking around Battery Park and watching the sailboats and ferries
  • Eating cheap street food
  • Seeing the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues
  • Wandering through Chinatown, Little Italy and the East Village
  • Trying Korean food for the first time
  • Billy, who killed a giant house centipede
  • Getting an awesome t-shirt from Rose’s company, The Grasshopper’s Mermaid
  • Trusting my gut, knowing what I want and what I don’t want, and not settling for anything less than what I deserve
  • The sounds of Saint Motel
  • Bonding with strangers over books
  • Whitney Port’s I Love My Baby, But… video series on YouTube – I’ve been a fan of her and her videos give a truly fascinating, real, and raw glimpse into what motherhood is really like
  • Meeting up with my mom and two family friends I haven’t seen in forever in New York City
  • Self-serve beer on a beautiful day in the Seaport District #seaportsummer
  • Walking along the pier and seeing the Brooklyn Bridge up close
  • Clean public bathrooms in NYC
  • Watching movies on TV like That Awkward Moment, Unfaithful and You’ve Got Mail that make me fall in love with the magic of New York City
  • Attending the wake of my former landlord, giving my condolences, and remembering all the memories I had of him. He was one of the first people I met when I moved out here and was by far the best landlord/across-the-hall neighbor I ever had
  • Clark’s Botanicals Radiance Cream
  • Lunch on the beach with an old coworker
  • A BLT from Spic and Span in Southport, my favorite deli
  • The feeling I get from donating old books, Christmas decorations, clothes and jewelry to Goodwill
  • Broad City returning for a 4th season
  • Getting a $12 mirror set for $1 at CVS
  • A free chocolate Starbucks iced drink at work
  • Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

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)