Life

My Favorite Podcasts

June 21, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

It took me a while to get into podcasts even though I’ve seen a few lovely bloggers sharing their recommendations. I listen to podcasts that I can relate to because they talk about topics and issues that I care about. Now that I never listen to the radio anymore (hooray!) I can actually choose what sort of content I can fill my ears with!

Strong Opinions Loosely Held – This is the first podcast that sort of got me interested in listening to more of them.  I like it that in each episode they cover a variety of different topics and address things that affect women. I also felt like I could relate to a lot of the topics that they discussed, such as not being obsessed by the Kardashians and the pressure to look good on Instagram. The best part is that these episodes are pretty short, so listening to it while on a quick commute is rather convenient.

Call Your Girlfriend – This podcast addresses serious issues mixed in with day to day stuff that women are facing these days. These episodes are around an hour long, but they are so captivating that I can’t help but listen to them when I’m cleaning or doing dishes. I really like the hosts too, they are such smart and funny women.

Ted Radio Hour – This is probably the most educational podcast that I listen to. All of them are so interesting, I feel like I learn so much after just one hour. There are a lot of incredibly interesting people that they have on the show, so if you want to learn something new and expand your horizons a little bit I recommend this one.

Millenial – This podcast gets me, all of the topics that are covered in it I feel like I’ve experienced myself. Primarily about being a recent grad and really struggling with figuring out what to do with my life. It’s comforting hearing other people talking about their challenges and successes because I feel like we don’t talk about it enough.

Are you into podcasts? What are some of your favorites?

Life

Currently

June 6, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’ve been sort of absent on this blog for a little while and I feel that making posts for each separate thing would be too much so here is my first ever currently post. That way you can catch up on all of the new and exciting stuff all at once. Let’s pretend like we’re sitting on that bench in the park just chatting about our lives.

Watching: Bloodline season 2 is on Netflix so Alex and I have been watching an episode a night. That show keeps getting crazier and all of the mistakes that the siblings are making are very painful to watch. I would have been a better liar, jeez! Also The Bachelorette, but you already knew that I was all over that. Major drama on there with Chad being all crazy and violent, but anything goes when it makes for good TV. Are any of you watching The Bachelorette?

Reading: I’m getting back into reading more and now I’m on Everything I Never Told You, which is an awesome book. So well written that I cannot put it down and I’m actually going to be done with it shortly. I’ve also decided to start mixing in more classics into my monthly reads because I need to get diverse with my books. Reading purely thrillers every month is fun but I need something more. Any recommendations?

Working on: Finding a job! Good news everyone, I finally got my work authorization so now I’m job searching 24/7, and I’m so excited about all of the opportunities out there. Please keep your fingers crossed for me so that I find one! Thank you! Also, if you have any work finding tips please let me know!

Excited about: My mom is finally coming to town! Well actually she’s coming today so I’ll be on the bus to LaGuardia to pick her up. It’s her first time in NYC so there will be lots for us to do and to see. I haven’t seen her since November when I got married, so it’s been the longest time that we were apart.

Improving: My biking skills, I took a street skills course and it was so much fun. Since I got a bike I’ve been really trying to learn to bike in the city with all of the traffic so that was very helpful. I’m going to take that class again just because I want to be completely comfortable before venturing out on my own. Also there is a yoga studio around the corner from where I live so I finally went there and it was a great experience. I’m back to being a wannabe yogi :)

What’s new and exciting with you?

Products

All In One Shampoo Review

May 31, 2016
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I’m pretty picky when it comes to shampoo, and I only buy the natural stuff. So when Influenster sent me this L’Oreal shampoo to sample I was a bit iffy about it. So let’s see what I thought!

The Pros:

This shampoo is a 6 in one, which is super convenient. It claims to cleanse, condition, treat, detangle, soften, and add shine. You have to apply this stuff all over your hair and leave it on for 5 minutes, rinse, and you’re all done. My hair felt very soft and smooth after, so I really liked that. Another great thing is that this shampoo is sulfate free, which is a big plus for me too.

The Cons:

Since this shampoo has so much stuff in it the texture of it is very creamy (like conditioner) rather than regular shampoo. I think it would work very well for thick and frizzy hair, but on my thin hair it was difficult to wash it out. Normally I only apply conditioner on the ends of my hair, so having to apply this stuff all over didn’t work out well for me. Also, I don’t like purchasing drugstore brands like L’Oreal because a lot of their other products have sulphates and other sketchy ingredients.

Overall, this is a good option if you don’t like spending too much time in the shower applying a variety of products to your hair. However, if you have fine hair this might be too heavy and difficult to wash out.

What shampoo have you been using?

 

Books

What Are You Reading?

May 20, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’ve been trying to read more this month, and my main focus has been on the NetGalley books that I’ve acquired but haven’t got around to reading. My review percentage on there is pretty low so I really have to catch up and make myself appear like a responsible reviewer! Here are two books that are both from NetGalley.

Just Fall is a book that seemed incredibly intriguing before I picked it up. Right now I’m sort of getting into the swing of things and I feel like there is way too much going on and I don’t really know what’s up. Every new chapter either jumps back in time, is in the present, introduces a new character, or is from a random person’s point of view. I’m all for different points of view, but I don’t like it when things jump around so much that I can’t figure a book out. At this point I’m planning on toughing it out and finishing it up.

Some Possible Solutions seems like a fun collection of short stories. I’ve been loving the short stories this year and I’m planning to continue on with that. This book takes some strange ideas and takes them way too far, which is great because I like books that are so out there. It’s too early for me to give my verdict but I can’t wait to read more.

What are you reading right now?

Life, New York City

What I’ve Learned In NYC So Far

May 17, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I won’t mention any groundbreaking stuff here, and it’s definitely not scientific, but I feel like after living here for a few weeks (almost a month) I began noticing some things that I haven’t noticed before. If you haven’t been to NYC before maybe this will be helpful if/when you do visit :)

Subways

kramer-subway-o

The GIF above is from Seinfeld, the episode is called Subway because all of the characters have a questionable subway experience. However, it’s a pretty accurate depiction of subway rides here. I think the biggest thing when it comes to subways is not to mix up whether you’re planning to go uptown or downtown because that’s essential. You always have to look on the sign at the subway entrance to make sure you’re going to go in the right direction.

Also, I’ve had a couple of “sardine” experiences when the  subway was so packed that I didn’t have anything to hold onto, which was not fun. But people here will try to squeeze onto the subway no matter how packed it is.

Walking

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This is a biggie because walking is such a huge part of living here. I’m not gonna lie, I’m slowly but surely getting more and more impatient with people on the streets who don’t use common sense when strolling along. I think the most important thing is to always keep walking and if you need to stop you have to stand off to the side to not block the way for everyone else.

Often times someone will be walking and then they will stop in their tracks causing the person being them to slam into them, that’s no fun. Also, day dreaming at a busy crosswalk when the light turns green is not cool either. People here are notorious for crossing the streets when the light is red, which I now do too because it’s super easy on one way streets ( which there are a lot of). Some people do it on busy streets too but I’m not that adventurous yet!

Dining

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Reservations are key, is what I’ve learned after only living here a short while. Some place even require reservations weeks in advance, and we’re not talking about super fancy joints either. In other cases you just have to wait around between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Because of this we’ve grown accustomed to casual dining (like pizza slices, deli sandwiches, and tacos) all of which are pretty tasty if you ask me. Street food game is also great here, and it helps that there are constantly food fests going on where you can get some delicious grub.

Delivery is another big thing, but it’s kind of new for us because we never really had food delivered to our home before. We did get takeout but being here we want to go out more than we want to stay in. One of these days we will for sure crack under pressure and unitize Seamless which is super popular.

So I guess that’s it for now, I feel like I’ve shared enough wisdom with you! Please let me know if you’ve planning a trip to NYC any time soon, I’d love to hear about it.

Have you noticed any of these things when you were in NYC? 

Life

Living The Green Life

May 10, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Don’t let the title of this post fool you, the only reason why I’m living “green” is because having a car in the city is a total pain in the butt. But I’ve always liked biking and since we now live in a city where biking is super popular I figured that it was only right that I rekindled my childhood flame – biking.

There are a lot of different bike shops to choose from, and pretty much everyone and their mother rides Citi Bikes, so when we first got there I knew that it was just a matter of time before I got a little bike of my own. Alex already had a bike so we brought it with us, so we were only one bike away from being able to take glorious rides on the Greenway.

At one bike shop there was a little blue beauty that caught my eye, and after a test ride I knew that it was a match made in bicycle heaven. It was an adventure getting it back home on the subway, but we succeeded! Later on that evening we decided to take our bikes out for a spin, and I provide photo evidence.

Birch Juice Blog

Birch Juice Blog

I’m super nervous about biking in the city with all of the traffic, but going to parks and areas with bike lanes is hopefully going to help me get used to city riding. So if you have any city biking tips please let me know!

Do you have a  bike? How often do you go riding?