My First Instacart Experience

I just want to start off by saying: this is not a sponsored post. None of my posts are.

Okay, now that’s out of the way. When I first heard about Instacart’s recent arrival in the Buffalo area, I was intrigued, but didn’t necessarily think it was a service I’d ever use.

This week, I decided to give it a try. My husband and I both have a busy week, filled with our day jobs, plus a ton of ‘extracurricular’ stuff (side job stuff, basically). The evenings I’m free, I look forward to going home and being able to relax. I don’t terribly mind grocery shopping, but after working an eight-hour day, the last thing I want to do is go spend an hour strolling the aisles of Tops or Wegmans, then another 15ish minutes carting the stuff home and upstairs. And then you’ve still got to put everything away!

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Two Months.

It’s been two months since my father passed away. The grief is still so fresh, in many ways, and stale in others. I keep finding new ways to miss him, new moments that come up in my day-to-day life that I wish I could share with him.

My father’s death pushed me to quickly consider things like the afterlife. It’s one thing to think about heaven in general; to think about what happens after someone dies. It’s another to lose a loved one suddenly, feel left behind, and wonder where they are now, where their spirit is. There have been moments where I say to myself “I wish Dad could see this.”

In my head, I know, or maybe hope, that he is seeing all of this. That he’s somewhere he isn’t feeling any more pain, that the hacking cough he had for years due to smoking is gone, that the aches in his varicose veins don’t trouble him anymore; that he’s watching us, and will see us as we grow over the years. That he’ll be proud of us, just as he was when he was still physically with us.

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13 Cute Date Night Ideas For Winter

For those of us who live where winter sometimes feels like minus-10 degrees and brings snow up to our knees, it can be challenging to stay creative and find fun things to do for romantic nights out!

Seriously, I’ve read some of these lists and while they’re full of great ideas, some just aren’t… well, practical! If it’s below freezing, sometimes the last thing you want to do is even think about going outside; sometimes it’s enough of a struggle to bundle up in five layers just to run to the car!

So how, on these sometimes frigid days of winter, are we supposed to find fun things to do? (Aside from just staying warm and cozy in bed and snuggling up with your loved one — which is NEVER a bad idea?)

Here are some date-night ideas you might enjoy. Continue reading

Top 60+ Questions to Ask When Renting an Apartment

Almost three years ago, I made the jump from living with my mom to living on my own for the very first time. I was 24, and my now-husband and I moved into the very first apartment we ever looked at. Some three years later, we’re still in that apartment (and likely will be for some time) and we’re happy here!

That being said, I remember that sense of caution, that sense of the unknown, that came with moving into an apartment, especially moving from home for the first time. There are so many variables to consider, it’s hard to keep track of them all!

I’m by no means a veteran, but over the years, I’ve made a mental list of notes and thought I’d share some of my top questions that I think everyone should ask regarding a new apartment/condo/rental/whatever. Some of these are pretty basic, while others are a little more detailed – but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask ANY question! After all, this may be your new home for however long, and it’s important that you know everything you need to about it.

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Slowing Things Down

 Rush, rush, rush. Do this, do that. Check ten things off the to-do list only to add five more later. Oh, and I have to do that other thing, too. Why isn’t this finished yet? I’d better get that done real quick.

Does that sound familiar to you? It does to me. Life can sometimes seem like it’s all-go, no-stop. Sometimes it feels like there’s just no *time* to stop, or even slow down. When you’ve got a to-do list that’s half a mile long, and that never quite seems to get shorter, it can, quite frankly, be exhausting.

Well, a few weeks ago, my body told me to SLOW! DOWN! Or rather, the fact that I slipped on a huge patch of ice and fell, putting three small fractures in my right elbow, told me to slow down. After a trip to an immediate care facility, then an orthopedic doctor, plus x-rays and a CT scan and then *more* x-rays, my elbow should be healing nicely. I’m not in a cast, but I have to wear a sling most of the day.

Between this and losing my dad early in the year, I’ve really been forced to take a step back and slow down. I can’t do things the same way I could before I broke my elbow (on my dominant hand, of course). Writing is better now that I can take the sling off once in a while; same with typing. Cooking is a challenge, and quite frankly, my husband has been great in stepping up to help. Getting dressed isn’t too bad, but I still can’t zip most of my jackets over my sling.

For the first few days, it was definitely frustrating. I wanted to start dinner when I got home from work, then realized there’s no way I’d be able to one-handedly lift a hot pan out of the oven right now. I wanted to get some laundry done, but carting that down to the basement was a no-way, Jose. I wanted to wash my hair, but it took extra effort not to try to use my right arm.

I’ve slowed things down a bit, focused on just doing what I can, and taking it one day at a time. It’s helped, a lot. I’m no brain surgeon, and it’s okay if the laundry has to wait another day or two to get done. It’s okay if it takes me an extra hour to finish this piece I’m writing; my deadlines are mostly self-imposed anyway. It’s fine if it ends up taking me 3 months to read this book because I can’t focus on reading a lot of days. And I haven’t even touched my NaNoWriMo / novel project since last year, but I know it’ll be there when I’m ready to circle back to it.

What am I in a big rush for anyways?

Life is meant to be lived now, not in the ink on some never-ending to-do list.