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  • Our Everyday Life

    This section is mostly for our family and friends who actually care about some of the regular, day-to-day events of our typically unexciting lives. Thanks to the proliferation of social media, Skype, and apps like WhatsApp and Viber, it's now easier to update our loved ones in more personal ways than this blog, and less boring for everyone else reading it! So, not too many new posts here, but there's two years worth of history below!

Category Archives: Our Everyday Life

Coming out of the dark

(Does anyone else think of the similarly-titled 1991 Gloria Estefan hit when seeing the title of this post?)  There are two things I did not expect about my first post since announcing a hiatus from writing. First, I didn’t think it would take me six months to come back. I thought I would be inspired to […]

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I can’t do it all: Part 2

I’ve been putting this post off for at least a month, finding reasons to procrastinate. I hate giving up and admitting I can’t do all the things I want to do simultaneously. I tried to give myself a break when I wrote this post the last time I was feeling overwhelmed, but this is an […]

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Lessons Learned from a Six-Month Home Renovation

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while, you’ll know that Sven and I bought a beach house down at the Jersey Shore in October 2014. The house was a bit of a fixer-upper, but we didn’t have the opportunity to renovate it in time for last summer. Instead, we simply made it […]

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12th Annual Honeybears in Love Day

I’m about to reveal two things Sven and I said we would never publicly admit: 1. We have our own secret holiday called Honeybears in Love Day. It’s the anniversary of the day we first met, because we recall that moment more than when we decided to make it “official.” It’s on March 24, and […]

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Is it his?

On a recent visit to Restoration Hardware, I purchased a few lighting fixtures that weren’t on display in the store and had them shipped to my apartment so I could see them in person before making a selection. I was very clear in my intent to return the ones I didn’t like, which is not […]

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Winter break!

Sven and I are on a weeklong break on the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii. Not only is it our first time in Hawaii, but it’s also the first vacation we’ve taken in three years – since our honeymoon – where we’ve actually chosen the dates, and to an extent, the destination. That might sound […]

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2016 Goals

Happy New Year! Another year, another set of new goals to fail following through on. I’m saying this because I just read my post from last year – my 2015 New Year’s Goals – and I failed to achieve most of them. In the interest of making you feel better for your failed goals, I’ll […]

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2015 Roundup!

They say that the days are long, but the years are short, and it never seems more true than when the year comes to a close. I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made in my blog’s fourth (!!!!) year, which may be modest to most, but I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve […]

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Not feeling the Christmas spirit

Every few years or so, it hits. El Niño.  Actually, I was going to say, “a year where we can’t find our Christmas spirit,” but perhaps El Niño is to blame! Last year, thanks to our excessive Christmas spirit, we bought a perfect tree that was larger than we had planned to buy, hosted a holiday party […]

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Role Reversal

This past summer, I documented our temporary DIY beach house “renovation.” Now, winter is almost upon us, and we are right in the thick of the permanent renovation. It looks like this:               This is our first time renovating anything, and countless people have joked it is a true […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I probably say this every year, but I can’t believe the holiday season is already here! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays – it’s all about food, family, friends, and football – what’s better than that? In the spirit of giving thanks, I’m sharing a few of the things I’m most thankful for this […]

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Paris Top Five

Sven and I have just returned from our first visit to Paris, but it certainly won’t be our last! We already want to go back! There are just so many things to see, do, and experience, that five days was simply not enough. Five visits probably wouldn’t even be enough to experience everything the city […]

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Sven plans a vacation…sort of

The beginning of September usually marks the end of summer, but for us, it’s the beginning of our two-week vacation. Now, we’re in Sweden staying with Sven’s parents on the beautiful island of Skaftö. This weekend, we’re headed to Arvika, Sweden’s only inland fjord (thanks, Wikipedia!) for a wedding. Next week, we’re off to Paris for […]

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Life’s a beach

Life is great. It’s summer, Sven and I have been enjoying our beach house on the weekends, and we’re happy. What more can we ask for? We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary last week, and when I say “celebrated,” I mean we texted each other “Happy Anniversary!” while at work (filled with emojis, of […]

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Happy Pride!

June 26, 2015 marked a day in American history that many of those who believe in love will never forget when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. For those of you who may not have read it yet (I realize I’m slow in posting this), I wanted to share the moving, perfect final paragraph […]

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You’ll never forget a Gemini

Today is my birthday! And yes, that makes me a Gemini, and proud of it. I recently read this ode to the Gemini from elitedaily.com, and it pretty much spot-on exactly describes me. While I realize it’s largely inaccurate to make broad, sweeping generalizations of all folk born in the same thirty-day time span, I’ve actually […]

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The DIY Beach Kitchen Reveal!

[This is the third post in a series of DIY projects Sven and I have been up to as we got our new beach house ready for the summer. Originally the plan had been to gut renovate it before the summer, but life happens, and now we have to live with it until the fall. […]

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DIY Beach House: Dining room

Up next on the Operation: Lipstick on a Pig project is our dining room. Last week, I said it would be the kitchen, which was actually the first room we started DIY-ing, but unfortunately we didn’t finish painting the floors last weekend, so the reveal will have to wait another week. Yes, I said painting […]

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Sven and I go DIY

Last October, Sven and I bought a beach house on the Jersey Shore [insert fist pump here]. We bought a fixer-upper that we thought we’d renovate over the winter and have ready in time for summer. Well, Memorial Day weekend is upon us (finally!), and we still haven’t knocked down a single wall. Long story […]

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The totally weird, unsexy, yet endearing things we do

When you’ve been together for 11 years, you get kind of comfortable, and that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes, it can be fun, and even endearing. Others might call it weird. In the spirit of putting it all out there, here are five “strange” behaviors that Sven and I occasionally engage in: 1. Squeezing […]

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A daily dose of Headspace

One of my goals this year was to develop better routines. I’m terrible at routines. I always try them, but they rarely stick. For example, I tried to stick to a daily vitamin habit – I even bought one of those old lady pill organizers from CVS that have the days of the week written […]

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Gone golfing

2015 has been a pretty hectic year thus far, and I have to admit that my writing has taken a backseat to pretty much everything else on my schedule. I’ve taken on a new role at work that has demanded more of my time, and Sven and I have spent a lot of our free […]

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An historic day…

The title of this post is an inside joke I share with my coworkers, none of who will ever read this because I don’t share my blog with anyone I work with. (Kiiiinda awkward for them to be able to read about my marriage.) However, this post is about my career, a topic I rarely […]

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Procrastinator’s Holiday Gift Guide

This year marks the eleventh (!) Christmas Sven and I are sharing together (and 10 years since Sven first set foot in the United States in December 2004)! Between all those Christmases, we’ve also celebrated 22 birthdays, 16 anniversaries, and 1.5 Valentine’s Days. After all these years and occasions, it can sometimes be hard to […]

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I fucking love New York City

In honor of Thanksgiving this week, I’ve decided to write about how thankful I am to live in the greatest city in the world, New York. Millions of people have left the only lives they’ve ever known to make their dreams come true here, yet I’m lucky enough to have grown up in New Jersey, just […]

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What is a life you don’t need to escape from?

I don’t actually remember where I saw this sign. I think it was in an airport. Or in Sweden. Maybe at an airport in Sweden. Maybe it was somewhere else entirely, but really it doesn’t matter. It’s the message that stuck with me. I’m always thinking about/researching/planning/dreaming of ways to improve my lifestyle. I’m also a […]

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We bought a house!

I’ve been keeping mum about our purchase since we didn’t have the best luck on our first and second attempts to buy a beach house, but the third time’s a charm! We officially closed earlier this month, and we couldn’t be more excited! We’re so glad that we waited and that this house found us. […]

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Country Boy, City Boy: 5 Things I Never Thought I’d Hear Sven Say

My husband Sven moved to New York City in the beginning of 2007 – almost eight years ago! After two years in a long-distance relationship, Sven completed his masters’ program in Sweden and moved here so we could finally be together full-time. While we had no issues sharing space in our tiny little apartment, outside […]

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Does everyone think I’m pregnant?

Over a year and a half ago, I posted about my Office Baby Watch: 2013. To summarize, a colleague and good friend at work announced her pregnancy and was summarily greeted by several coworkers who announced, “I knew it!” (For the record, I couldn’t tell, nor was it on my radar to watch for it.) […]

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We wish our parents taught us to be rich

Sven and I spent out in our twenties (well, my 20’s – Sven is four years older). We travelled a lot, got engaged, married, and had a blow-out honeymoon in the Maldives. As a result, our bank accounts were also blown out, so we resolved to aggressively save during our (my) 30’s. Now that we’ve […]

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Three weddings and an anniversary

First things first, I’m taking a blog-cation and won’t be posting for two weeks. Sven and I are attending three weddings on three consecutive weekends, one in Chicago and two in Sweden, so it might be tough to find time to write! I know you’ll miss me, but on the bright side, I’m in Sweden […]

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The Bitter Taste of Realty

The title is not a typo. Last week, Sven and I dove headfirst into the world of home ownership by putting an offer on a house on the Jersey shore. The process had thus far been so exciting, fun, and impulsive! I’d never seen Sven so excited about anything before (not even our wedding): the […]

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Testing the waters of home ownership

Sven and I have officially started the process towards becoming homeowners. No, we’re not expecting, and no, we’re not planning on moving out to the suburbs. In fact, there was no specific catalyst for our home search – it was an idea that just snowballed! I guess it all started with a feeling that we […]

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A decade-long love affair

It’s official: Sven and I have been together for an entire decade. Actually, we weren’t an “official” couple until sometime in September of 2004, but we’ve always celebrated our anniversary on the day we first met: March 24, 2004. You know, love at first sight or something like that. Or it was just an easier […]

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The summer is over

It’s the first Tuesday in September, which means that Labor Day has passed, and the summer is unofficially over. Everyone always says that the summer goes by way too fast, but this year that seems to be exceptionally true. With that said, some of my friends and family readers have pointed out my lack of posts about what Sven and I have been up to this summer. I thought that Facebook and Instagram took care of that, but I guess I’m not the only one whose apps decide to show me more updates from the guy I met during jury duty than from my own family.

So, as an homage to another summer gone by, here’s a quick roundup of our first full summer as a married couple, mostly in pictures:

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The stress of having houseguests

My in-laws have been staying in our 600-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment for the past three weeks. They returned to Sweden yesterday, but there’s no restoring the peace just yet – one of Sven’s friends and his fiancee arrived yesterday and are staying for a week or two (we don’t know exactly how long because it’s dependent […]

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Sven and I are proud to support gay marriage!

My dear friend Larry Tantay does a tremendous amount of work supporting causes that affect the gay community through his organization APICHA, which specifically advocates Asians, Pacific Islanders, and LGBT individuals living with HIV/AIDS. When Larry asked Sven and me if we would be around to march with him and APICHA in this year’s NYC […]

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Should we really be happy that they didn’t raise our rent?

The big manila envelope from our landlord arrived in the mail this week: the lease renewal contract. Each year, we open the envelope in anxious anticipation for the additional monthly damage to be thrust upon us. This year, a sigh of relief. They only raised our rent by $25/month! We’ll be staying in our cozy […]

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Merry Christmas / God Jul!

Merry Christmas!!! Or God Jul, as they say in Sweden! Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas with family, friends, and lots of food! In honor of Sven’s and my first Christmas as husband and wife, I thought I’d share a few Christmas-themed cultural contrasts: While Americans generally celebrate Christmas on December 25, Swedes […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into love.  – Unknown Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your feast!

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Cheap Date Idea!

After eight birthdays, Christmases, and anniversaries of creative and thoughtful gift-giving, I found it difficult to find some fresh inspiration for Sven’s birthday gift this year. It doesn’t help that his birthday is in the middle of November, which kills the prospect of almost all outdoor activities that don’t involve travelling to another climate. In […]

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History in the making…

Today, we’re at the crossroads of two historically impactful events: Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 US Presidential election. The first whose outcome was heartbreakingly devastating, and the latter whose outcome will be…who knows…? Full disclosure: I somehow lost nearly the entirety of this post due to an inexplicable did-not-save issue, so I will rewrite my […]

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Frankenstorm!

Happy Halloween! Posting this week is delayed due to Hurricane Sandy. Sven and I are doing well, but have no power, heat, or hot water, and we are not sure when we will. However, we feel lucky to have gotten through this storm safe, with only a few inconveniences. We are saddened by the devastation […]

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Sven and I try cupping…

Sven and I have been cupped! What is cupping? Well, as of a couple days ago, we had no clue either. On Saturday, we visited a holistic medi-spa for acupuncture and massages…and ended up trying cupping! After we received our acupuncture treatments, the doctor asked us if we would like “cupping,” and after some initial […]

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Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom’s 70th birthday! She doesn’t look a day over 50! Sven and I hosted a lunch party this past weekend at her favorite local restaurant, Crown Palace (Chinese is her favorite!) Over 40 of her dearest friends and family came from all over the tri-state area to celebrate her big day. Here’s […]

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Two months of married life!

Sven and I have been married for two months today! The time has gone by so quickly that we completely missed our first month anniversary. We’re not doing anything to celebrate, except for the fact that it’s Friday, so we will be doing our weekly Friday dance after work! I do love reminiscing about our […]

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Why the suburbs scare me…

Last week, I wrote about how I was terrified of settling down in the suburbs. I suppose, for whatever reason, I’ve been anticipating that scary phase of adulthood where the number one priority isn’t my social life, it’s my family life…my future. So, in order to calm some of that uneasiness, I decided to think […]

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Where on Earth should we go?

I love to travel, and I’ve always wanted to live somewhere else, yet I’ve never in my entire life lived more than 50 miles from where I grew up. Except, of course, that fateful six months I spent studying abroad in Bangkok, where I met Sven! Now, I love New York, but the reality is […]

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Kids…take them or leave them?

Not exactly a shocker here, but I’m not a huge fan of kids. Sure, I think they’re adorable to observe, from afar, preferably when you can’t hear them. I don’t mind looking at pictures of people’s kids, and I can appreciate a cute, well-behaved child. So why don’t I like kids? Mostly, they make me […]

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