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!

I can't have fun - I'm a MOM!

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When I saw that Justin Timberlake was going to be at the Times Union Center in Albany, I was pretty excited. JT’s newest single “Say Something” was on rotation in our after dinner family dance party playlist, and come on — I’ve loved Justin since his Justified album. *NSYNC was cool and all…but corny. Anyway, the show was months away at that point — 4 or 5 months, I think — but it would likely sell out fast, so we decided to grab some good tickets.

Pre-parenthood, my husband and I would frequent concerts of all kinds, finding excitement ranging from easygoing, chill vibes to wild crowds to some foul-mouthed, annoyed concertgoers bumping into us looking for a confrontation. We’ve battled for front row standing room to see Liam Gallagher in Boston, danced our faces off at John Brown’s Body in Chicago and a few times in California, and Eve 6 in Orange County was quite the experience, to name just a few.

But, as I sat looking at the order confirmation email, I wondered…are we being irresponsible? I had realized I was sitting in the exact same spot in my living room as I was when news of the Ariana Grande concert bombing broke. Cue the mom guilt and anxiety.

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Motherhood, for me, has brought about a certain layer of caution. I think it’s normal, as I don’t go overboard with it. But, while my initial thought was “Let’s go see JT!” — my little mommy conscience started wagging her finger and telling me that going to an arena with thousands of people, where you’re in a confined area was a bit of an unnecessary risk as a parent. To be honest, I’m also not a huge fan of movie theaters unless I’m in the back near the door and this started way before being a mom.

BUT.

If parents don’t do things like this — things that we enjoy and enjoyed before parenthood — we will go nuts and lose our sense of self. And, of course — none of us can live in fear, so there’s that, too. I was conflicted.

As the JT date neared, I admit, my anxiety over the possibilities heightened. I talked about it with my husband and mom who did an amazing job at reassuring me I was just feeling like this because I’m a new mom. My husband logically broke down the security measures with me and then looked me dead in the eyes, held my shoulders, kissed my forehead and said, “If you don’t want to go, we won’t. And, if we go and at any point, you want to leave - we leave. Simple as that." I thought about it for a little while. Then, I told him, “Let’s have fun and where do you want to go for a drink beforehand?” Simple as that.

And, we did have a LOT of fun.

Sigh. Does it get easier?

Best concert/worst concert

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While scanning through my Twitter feed, I saw some tweets about the best concert and worst concert you've ever been to. And, it got me thinking. 

What makes the 'best' concert? Of course, the music - but it's also the vibe, the venue and the people you go with. It seems if at least one of those things is less than awesome, the concert is...meh, at best. Speaking of best:

My BEST CONCERT was -- hands down -- Red Hot Chili Peppers at what is now the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. It was 2003. The RHCPs were soooo high-energy and the crowd was happy and dancing and it was just non-stop fun. Plus, it's RHCP so the actual music was great, too.

Runner-up: Any DMB concert. What would you say? (get it?!)

My WORST CONCERT was definitely Eve 6 at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California. OK, so - a little background: I listened to Eve 6 pretty much every day when I was a teen and I had almost no real cares in the world, but was still angry about something but didn't really know what. So, I would lay by the pool, headphones on, and listen to their 1998 album, and then when Horrorscope came out in 2000, I was HOOKED. And, I had a HUGE crush on Max Collins, the lead singer. Anyway, when I found out they were coming to The Coach House, which was like, 5 minutes from where we were living at the time, I was super excited. 

I blame most of this let down on the venue. It's the oddest venue I've ever been to. It's like a medieval dining hall, with loooong tables that block the stage area and they have very strict rules against being happy and...dancing. They do NOT allow dancing. You read that right. They don't allow dancing at a concert. You can't even stand. You have to sit in your seats, order food (a requirement to be seated at a table) and fight back the urge to dance. While there is music playing. It's torture. BUT...here comes the hilarious drama...

can you see the weirdness of this?!

can you see the weirdness of this?!

So, my husband and I are the kind of people who can make friends anywhere we go - especially when we go to concerts. So, we didn't think anything of dodging the assigned seating rule and snagged two seats at a table in front of the stage where there were like, 10 open seats. There was an older man and woman there, as well as a younger guy and girl in their early 20s. I got the feeling they really didn't like that we sat down but they didn't say anything and I figured we would win them over once the band came out. Music has a way of bringing people together, ya know? 

I was so excited for the band to come on and when they did, I of course stood up to clap and dance but was told to sit down. So, I did, with a hmmpf. Now, as I'm seated, the older woman and younger woman are talking over me, loudly - and truly just ruining the whole experience. So, I ask the older woman if she could switch seats with me or something and she WENT OFF ON ME. So did the younger girl. Turns out, thanks to the younger girl yelling this at me - the older folks are aunt and uncle to the drummer and the younger guy she's there with is his cousin. UM. BIG DEAL. Also, why are you sitting front and center, and talking (yelling over the music) through his band playing, then? They yelled that they had reserved this table and are only letting us sit there. I asked why there were so many empty seats. That didn't go over well. But, I seriously wanted to let them know how lucky they were that this band had fans like myself, who not only care to come to the shittiest venue ever, but also who care enough to break rules to enjoy the music as much as possible. But, I held that back. The older man calmed them down and the younger dude looked at his girl and said, "Seriously? You're doing this again?" 

LOL. Oh, to be 24 again.

Anyway, while I try not to let that crappy venue and dramatic experience ruin my thoughts when I hear an Eve 6 song, it kind of does. It also doesn't help that after that heated exchange went down, I felt like such a bad ass that I...wait for it...stood up to dance! I got about 10 seconds in until I got told by a grumpy bouncer to sit down - three times. Sigh. 

After they were done playing to the seated crowd, I almost asked my two new friends if they could introduce us to the band.

But, I swallowed my pride and I choked on the rinds, instead.

Your turn. What's your best & worst?