Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hurricane Sandy – How to Help

I had a post all ready to go with a yummy recipe for quinoa stuffed peppers… and then Hurricane Sandy showed up. Nothing quite like a natural disaster to put everything into perspective, eh?

Trees and power lines down in just one area of town

My family was lucky – while we don’t have power, we are all safe. Not everyone is in the same boat, and as the East Coast figures out what to do next, there are lots of things you can do to help – even if you are far away:

  • Make a donation to the Red Cross
  • Donate blood, if you are able, to help emergency services. Find out more here.
  • Donate time to a local shelter – check your town’s website for more information about shelter locations.
  • Donate clothes to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
  • Bring canned goods and other non-perishable food items to your local food bank.
  • Offer to foster pets whose owners are in a shelter, or volunteer time at a local animal shelter.
  • Look into local volunteer resources through your town/city hall.

What will you do to help? Leave a comment!

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Ah, 27!

It’s official – 27 is “late twenties” (at least according to me). With everything on my plate in early September (between work and busy weekends and travel), trying to make plans for my birthday stressed me out so much that I quickly decided that I was going to cancel my birthday this year. I made it clear to everyone that if there were no celebrations, I would not be the least bit offended.

That all changed when Korea was cancelled. Suddenly, I had two relatively free weekends with no plans. Wait, a free weekend? What IS that? After some thinking, I un-cancelled my birthday – it was back on! I didn’t want anything crazy, but 27 was a great excuse to drag bring Chris over to Westchester and do something new.

For years I have been talking about checking out the mansions along the Hudson in Tarrytown but we’ve never made it over. With spare time, I figured this was the perfect excuse to make a day out of it. (Also, there was an enormous craft fair at Lyndhurst Castle on my birthday so the timing couldn’t have been better.)

Lyndhurst Castle is a REALLY COOL Gothic revival mansion on a 67-acre estate right on the Hudson River. Former occupants of the mansion include former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. (I really don’t know what “Gothic revival mansion” means other than it looks super badass. I also am not really familiar with these people other than they have famous names. Full disclosure: I borrowed all of this information from the Lyndhurst website which has way better pictures).

Lyndhurst, in all its gothic glory

We walked around the grounds, checked out the mansion and I picked up a couple of gifts at the fair. After nibbling our way through the food section (fresh salsa, sweets, dips, and more), I enjoyed looking at pretty, expensive hand-crafted things that are not at all Cooper-proof.

After that, we ate at Red Hat on the River, a yummy spot that’s situated, wait, you guessed it… right on the river! It had been cloudy on and off all day, but the rain held until after we finished eating, and during dinner the cloud cover made for some breathtaking views. We rounded the day out with a stop at Carvel (Brian – if you’re reading, this is proof that I don’t force-feed Chris healthy food, despite what you may like to believe).

That’s pretty glorious.

So far, 27 hasn’t been so bad or scary. I feel like we’ve hit a nice stride in our lives and good things are happening all around – our friends and family are happy, healthy, and celebrating weddings, babies, and more. As it turns out, we’re not the only ones to hit a stride in our late twenties – check out this article from The Awl about the magical age of 27…

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