June 29, 2015

5 ways city living has improved me

It's hard for me to believe that this time last year, Sean and I were packing up our suburban apartment in preparation for moving into our first Baltimore City. Both of us are suburban born and raised, and had never before entertained the idea of city living (on top of that, I'd been terrified of Baltimore for years, but that's a story for another day).

Just weeks away from closing!
Naturally, changes have come about with the transition, and I'm happy that with change has come personal improvement. For instance:"
  1. I walk more. Most work days, I enjoy going outside for a lunchtime walk . There are things within walking distance from home as well, and of course, getting a dog mandates walking, too. Outdoors + exercise? Double positive!
  2. I can now parallel park. Our house has a parking pad which became Sean's as he is a lot more confident fitting his small sedan there (vs my small, but bigger than his car, SUV). That means I parallel park. Thanks to interventions our first week in town, I no longer worry about this.
  3. I'm better at directions. In the suburbs, nothing irritated me more than turning on my GPS and hearing "head East on ...." What the heck? I don't know where East is! Left or right, lady!? I don't really know what changed, but I'll say it's the typical grid layout of most cities. I pretty much always know which direction is which these days, and I no longer sweat missing a turn or taking a wrong one because I know how simple it is to get to where I'm going.
  4. I'm more involved. I never showed up to community events or meetings before. These days, we know when our monthly neighborhood meeting is, we communicate with our neighbors via online networking, and we attend more events in general.
  5. I'm no longer a city-phobe. I still don't love noise or crowds, but I remember a time when I would get tense the minute our car entered a city. I remember being nervous walking around to find places. Now, I can relax and enjoy what different cities (Baltimore included) have to offer and explore (responsibly) without getting stressed about my whereabouts  because, well, #3. On my recent New York trip with my mom, I took off to find a place to eat lunch and it was so much more enjoyable not staying on one street out of fear!

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June 17, 2015

Hopping to the Tune of June GIVEAWAY HOP!

In just a few more days, it will officially be summer! That means vacations! Allow me to help you look your best with a grab bag full of beauty essentials worth at least $20! Then, check out the other giveaways below! No limit on how many you can win. Good luck!

Tune of June

Tune of June
Welcome to the Hopping to the Tune of June Giveaway Hop, brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers & Up All Night Blogging!
Hosted by
Mama Smith’s Review Blog & Women And Their Pretties
Co-Hosted by
Momma Jez Bargain Bin, Reviews by Clo, I Love Family Travel, Dorky's Deals, Chelsea's Mommy Experiencing New Things Loving Life, The Mixing Bowl, & Joyful Gifts by Julie
Each blogger participating in this hop has a giveaway with a prize value of at least $15 – and some are much more than that! Be sure to scroll down the whole list and visit them all – there is no limit to how many prizes you can win! Good Luck and Have Fun!


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June 15, 2015

revolution: saving more than our oceans

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Informative media has the potential to change lives, communities, and generations.

I remember watching Whale Wars with Sean and being horrified at the mass executions happening in our oceans. I remember watching Forks Over Knives and being shocked at the scale of fish farming (and equally glad that I'd never been one to eat seafood).

When I was offered the opportunity to screen Rob Stewart's award-winning environmental film Revolution, I knew I'd once again feel shocked and appalled, but I knew I cared too much about our environment to say no.


Part nature film with stunning cinematography of both land and sea, part documentary with footage from environmental protests and conferences, Revolution is Stewart's second environmental film (he also made the film Sharkwater) and offers sobering data far beyond just the decline of ocean life or melting of our glaciers.

soft coral scene2.jpg

In fact, there is a much bigger picture which only makes sense. Our environment is a whole, and if one component suffers,  it is only natural for suffrage in other realms to follow. It is dangerous to observe the extinction of some species and think that as humans we can act and live as we please without being at the same risk. Critical issues including ocean acidification, deforestation, climate change, and overfishing are all exposed for the threats they pose to the earth and life upon it.

Brazillian Rainforest.jpg

Revolution is a stunning view of our world, a devastating wake-up call to the fact that it could be lost, and thankfully, an encouraging call-to-action reminding us that we still have time to act in order to reverse the anticipated bleakness.

Just as Forks Over Knives motivated me to continue my vegetarian diet to improve the health of my body and the environment, Revolution has the capacity to inform viewers on the true state of the environment which is the first step in acting towards necessary change.

Starting is simple; watch the film for yourself below. Revolution will donate $1 of every film purchased online (only $5.99) to the World Wildlife Fund. You'll be informed and acting!

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June 13, 2015

Tackling Mommy Problems with Humor: Odd Mom Out (+$20K giveaway!)


I'm not a mom. I always thought I wanted kids, but between life happening and medical issues, they've been off our radar for awhile.

Paired with all the nightmarish things I've been seeing in the media lately about cops being called and kids being taken away from parents who dared to close their eyes for a minute, I often find myself thinking "I'm so glad I don't have kids."

Don't get me wrong. Kids are fun and they are a blessing. If one comes along, I'd be thrilled. But in the meantime, I'll watch Odd Mom Out and appreciate the fact that my level of stress is nowhere near that of the moms on this show (and all moms).

Seriously, have you seen the show yet (you can view an Odd Mom Out trailer here)? I'd been hearing tons of buzz and didn't think I'd relate to the show...then I watched the first two episodes online and couldn't stop snickering at it's satirical approach to so much more than parenting!

As part of Bravo's V.I.M.s Perks Program (Very Important Moms), we will be encouraging readers to Download Bravo’s mobile app – The Daily Dish – available for Android and iPhone via your mobile store.

Through the Daily Dish app, not only can you catch up on your fave Bravo-lebs, but you’ll also be eligible for exclusive VIM discounts from partners.

The best thing about the Odd Mom Out premiere? Viewers have an opportunity to win $20,000 in each of the first 4 weeks of premiere episodes (starting 6/8 – 6/29) through the Tune-In to Win  Sweepstakes. Just  tune in live at 10/9c on Mondays (6/8-6/29) for the secret hashtag and tweet it out to @BravoTV each week for your chance to win!

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June 12, 2015

Vegetable Gardening Update

I may have gotten in over my head this year. Starting from scratch took a lot of time and effort. We're finally done (except for my poor homeless tomato seedlings that likely won't make it this year)!

Out front: Zucchini and Cucumbers (and jasmine)

Out back: Sean's labor of love, a DIY vertical pallet garden that was a lot more time and labor intensive than we would have guessed.  3 rows of peppers, radishes, lettuce, onion, and carrots.

Now to hope they live and are fruitful! (vege-ful?)
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