Recommend a date night spot

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Being back in the 518 after 5 years means I’ve become unfamiliar with new restaurants and bars that have opened in my absence. I keep hearing people talk about The Hollow on North Pearl. I haven’t been yet, but like the idea of local music. Usually if I’m in that area, I’m at dp’s for mussels, pommes frites and their delicious cocktails.

And, now that I’ll have more opportunities for a date night with my hubby (thanks for the free babysitting, mom!), I’m itching to discover new places in our hometown.

So, HIT ME.

Also, happy Friday! Get your snow shovels ready.

Tell me your favorite + I'll tell you mine

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Online shopping site/app? Currently loving Hannaford’s To-Go curbside service. For non-food, I have to say I’m a fan of the Target app because I can make a shopping list there, even if it’s something I don’t get at Target. Also, I love the ‘pick up in store’ option.

Brand of boots? Hunter, currently.

Store for kid’s clothing? Carter’s doesn’t fit Owen well at all, and never did, thanks to his broad shoulders. So, we’re typically at Macy’s for labels like Ralph Lauren and other generous-sized brands.

Type of flower in a vase on your table? Hydrangeas, hands-down.

Thing you’re most looking forward to for warmer weather? Watching Owen run around in our backyard, and getting him a playground set.

Way to end an argument? “OK.”

Snack — savory or sweet? I usually reach for savory/salty — cheese + crackers or chips/pretzels with spicy mustard.

Music — band/album/station to leave on as background noise? Mine is currently “Alexa, play coffee house music” because it’s a mix of tunes I like to think I’d hear walking into a cool coffee shop.

Nail polish color? Asking for me, I’ve hit a wall with black and reds.

Brand of lounge/yoga/jogger pants? Also asking for me — I need a refresher.

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Slippers? I’m obsessed with these Dearfoams Ballet Slippers (photo above, obvs) my mom got me for Christmas. I feel like I’ve been searching for years for the perfect slipper because so many of them feel chunky and I don’t like feeling I have bear feet. So, these are literally like wearing ballet flats but even more comfortable. I want more. TIP: If you do get these, I recommend going a size down because they stretch slightly. I’m normally a 7.5 and the Medium (7-8) were too big after stretching and the Small (5-6) are perfect. Go figure.

Movie to watch more than once? I’ve watched A Simple Favor three times, now. I read the book and loved it — and while the movie is not exactly like the book, I have to say that Blake Lively is chic as f*** in this movie.

Meal to make? I’m into Crockpot dinners — so for winter my faves are stew or a rump roast with carrots and rice.

TV show? Right now, I’m obsessed with I’m Sorry on truTV/Netflix. It stars Andrea Savage as a hilarious, vulgar, self-deprecating but also know-better-than-you mom and I cannot get enough. Season two starts 1/16 so catch up!

Bad weather activity? Also asking because I need ideas. Bonus points for a local recommendation!

Owning it

gimme those keys!

gimme those keys!

After years of renting (approximately 15), I’m getting used to the idea of being in a single family home that we actually own and where we don’t share walls or ceilings/floors. We were the type of tenants landlords could only dream of. We treated each place like our own, notified them right away of any issues that could have turned into bigger (more expensive) issues, and didn’t cause any damage. Now, the freedom of being in a home we own is amazing, as well as an adjustment for daily life.

Such as:

There’s something special about being able to belt out whatever song pops into your head without wondering who can maybe hear how horrible it sounds.

Being able to go up and down stairs a few times without thinking your neighbors might be wondering why you’re on the stairs so much. It’s also nice to not hear anyone else going up/down stairs.

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Also music-related: Being able to play music at whatever level and have a dance party without worrying about anyone else caring or seeing..

We can paint walls whatever color we want, whenever we want!

I can’t smell the cuisine our neighbors are cooking and it doesn’t linger in the stairwells for days.

Shopping for home decor/furniture is much more important now, because it’s going to be around a lot longer, and won’t have to be moved by movers, increasing the risk of damage.

If/when Owen is screaming in the middle of the night, I won’t feel soooo rushed to quiet him in case a neighbor complains/shoots me dirty looks when they see me next.

Not hearing parties in the street at all hours. Although I did think the Diwali celebrations in our Jersey neighborhood were quite beautiful. So, I’m mainly talking about random drunk folk passing through.

Not sharing garage walls with a neighbor who thinks it’s OK to work on their car with lots of stinky fumes in their garage.

Not sharing walls with cigarette smokers.

Those are what I’ve noticed so far…and so far…it’s glorious.