It’s Sunday morning, which means only a few hours until my friends arrive!!!!! And I can’t wait!!!!
I kicked off this morning with a delicious breakfast (including my favorite mint & spinach smoothie) and a long FaceTime conversation with my mom. I just can’t believe that my friends are going to be here for a week, and then just two days after they leave, I’m off to Sweden. The prospect of doing so much packing and laundry and work before then is a little stressful to say the least, but it’ll be so worth it.
I have plenty of things on my to-do list today, not just in terms of prepping for my friends’ arrival but there’s also some work I have to get done for my research project (figured I better do it today since there’s no way I’ll be disciplined enough to do it at any point this coming week, haha). Then I have to prepare the vegetarian lasagna I’m making for dinner for all of us tonight, so that all that’s left to do once my friends get here is just to put it in the oven. At least now (after days of cleaning) I finally feel like my whole apartment is clean and in order!
Yesterday’s grocery shopping and the bouquet I put together.
I’ve been thinking a lot about where to take my friends and what to do, since only one of the four of them has ever been to the U.S. before. What should you really show someone, in a country that’s so huge and so diverse, in order for them to get an “accurate” and well-rounded impression of what it’s like here? Hopefully what we have planned will give them some sort of an idea. Tomorrow, we head off to the beach on LBI to stay there for two nights. Unfortunately, it looks like it’ll be rainy and cooler there, but I know we’ll have a nice time regardless. Then, towards the end of the week, we head off to NYC to see the city! There’s another day on our schedule that we have to fill with something, but I’m thinking it’s best to wait and see what the weather will be like and what my friends feel like doing before deciding on anything. Maybe a vineyard in South Jersey?
Anyway, now I have to run and make sure everything is done before their arrival this afternoon! Have a wonderful Sunday!
Guess who woke up with a severe wine-headache this morning?
I suppose the days of being able to drink for an entire evening with 0 consequences have passed. However, I’m not even upset about the headache, because it just attests to the incredibly fun time I had last night.
After an entire day of doing stuff around the apartment (mostly cleaning, since I want the place to be spotless ahead of my friends’ arrival), I took the train into the city to meet up with my aunt, uncle, and some family from Sweden that happened to be there on vacation. I hadn’t seen this side of the family in FOREVER, and it we had such a nice time catching up and just chatting over lots and lots of good food and wine. There’s just something special about hanging out with family members (biological or not, who cares!), and I feel so lucky to have all these interesting and fun people in my family.
Walking around in the city is one of my all-time favorite things. The fast pace, the people watching, the tall buildings; overall, the atmosphere of a big city really invigorates me. Days like these make me wish I lived in the city, and just commuted to school whenever I had to. But then again, considering my budget, living in New York would likely mean living in a cockroach-ridden, closet-sized apartment far out in one of the boroughs with 5 other people… So, there’s that. For now, at least, I’m happy in my apartment and just being able to commute into the city whenever I feel like it. Definitely planning on taking many more day trips like this during the summer!
Today was my last day of work before the week-long vacation I’m taking for my friends’ visit. And I’m so excited!!!
It was a pretty stressful day at the office, with lots to get done before I left and just overall a busy time for HR. I must say — it’s a weird feeling to leave work before time off and feel like I’m worried about how certain things will go when I’m not there. Is this a sign of caring, maybe too much? Feeling this way is a little confusing, especially since the reason I took the job in the first place was just to have a side-gig to make more money while I’m in school (not to have another thing to care and worry about). It’s a strange place to be; somewhere in between being a full-time student and a full-time employee. But as far as I can tell, a pretty good place nonetheless. And I’m happy with the setup, at least for now.
In spite of being a busy day, I managed to leave at 4:45PM sharp and drive home. It’s kind of a great feeling to get home around 5-ish and have an evening to just relax and get things done around the house. And tonight, this was exactly what I needed, since I got a very important package delivered yesterday that needed installing.
A bar cart.
I need to be honest and say that my level of obsession with getting a bar cart for my apartment has been a little over the top. And it’s been going on for the past year, or so. But also, now that it’s here, I’ve built it, and I’ve decorated it, I can see why I was obsessing over it — I am SO happy with it. Most importantly, I am excited to finally have a way to display all the pretty glassware I’ve collected over the past few years; most of it from Sweden, which makes seeing it displayed every time I walk into my apartment kind of sentimental, too.
So long story short, this bar cart made my week. Other than that, I just finished a lovely dinner with my boyfriend who came over after work. Tomorrow, I’m going to start deep cleaning the apartment and then I’m headed into NYC for dinner!
Travelling to Florida over my Spring Break was perfect. In so many ways. A well-needed break in the middle of the stressful school semester, well-needed time spent with family, and some well-needed sun. It was such a wonderful trip overall, so is it strange to say that one of the highlights was definitely visiting the farmers’ market?
Maybe visiting farmers’ markets is a pretty mundane, every-day thing for some people. But I’m not one of those lucky few. And maybe some people just don’t give a sh*t; but that’s not me either. So when my grandma mentioned a U-Pick farmers’ market only a short drive away from their house, I was immediately on board. The day was warm and a little overcast, but knowing my skin I still slathered on lots of sunscreen anyway, and we got in the car to drive over.
And I was in heaven.
What is it about picking your own strawberries straight off the plant, seeing fields of flowers grow, and feeling fresh, sunwarm vegetables? Is it the absence of the grocery store’s fluorescent lights that makes everything look better? Or is there something else to it?
I think the reason why I love farmers’ markets (to what is perhaps a ridiculous degree) is that it all just feels right, in a strange way. It feels right to support local farms and farmers. It feels right to engage with all these products we buy in a natural way — seeing how they grow, appreciating that they require work and patience to be harvested, and seeing the soil they grow out of. It’s just so different from the mass-produced, heaps of vegetables and fruits we’re used to seeing in the store, where we are so far removed from the process… I guess it’s kind of a grounding experience, in a way.
I left the farm ecstatic, and my sister and I had almost eaten all the strawberries we’d picked by the time we got home. Whoops.
But besides this short excursion, the entire trip was wonderful. Which is always the case when I travel to see family. So much laughter, good food, sunscreen, smiles, drinks — exactly what vacation should be like. I already can’t wait to go back; hopefully this winter/early spring next year!