I love coming home to presents. I signed up for Birchbox a while ago – basically every month you pay $10 and get a small box full of sample sizes of random products – kinda high end stuff but at least you get to try it out and see if you like it, then buy the full size. It can include make-up, skincare, hair stuff, fragrances, even nutritional type stuff like Lara-bars. For $10, it’s a manageable splurge for me, and who doesn’t love getting mail that’s not bills?! I probably have spent more than $10 in the months that I have been trying to figure out make-up etc anyways.

I’ll review what I got in my Birchbox at another time – frankly I am zonked from the drive to and from upstate NY. Beautiful country, but after a while the drive gets tedious. Luckily Trista and her hubby have moved down within 4ish hours of us, which makes for better and more frequent opportunities to meet up. The big bash was at her parents’, which is a solid 3 hours away from them even. It was a great time, great food and great company!

We were almost to Rochester, in the area known as the Finger Lakes.

It gave us a lot of food for thought for where we would like to end up long term. I am going back to my Master’s in Special Education and Sig-O needs to get a few more years in as a supervisor before he can realistically look for a new job. Not saying we want to migrate to upstate NY, but we discussed that we could feasibly do Central or Western Massachusetts, like somewhere north of Worcester or Springfield.  We’ve discussed New Hampshire and Maine as well. It’s all beautiful, wide open, similar to upstate NY and the cost of living is cheaper than down here in SE Massachusetts. Only drawback is finding jobs, but we can figure that and other details out the closer we get to being more serious about a big move. I’ve always thought of myself as a beach person and I need to live near the ocean, and I’d still like to have access to it within a couple hours, but really I think the necessity for me is to live near water; lakes, rivers etc.

Blackstone River Valley, Quabbin, Montachusett, Connecticut River Valley…they all look tempting!


I go back to work tomorrow, boo hiss – I hate the beginning of the year because it’s so chaotic and lacks routine even though that is what you are trying to settle into, if that makes sense. Tomorrow is set up and then the kiddos start Tuesday. The bonus is that we get this Friday and the following Monday off – I like how they are easing us in a bit!



I am off to make some Honey Beer Bread from the folks over at Gimme Some Oven! I figured Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin would be a nice selection to use and we just happen to have a few leftover from before we left for NY. Yum!

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