Need to know: 5 must-haves for new puppy parents

On October 28, 2019, our lives changed forever when we met our eight-week-old puppy for the first time and flew him home. Despite having read all the blogs and puppy proofing our Manhattan apartment, there were a few surprised we never could have anticipated. Equally, there were a few tools and tips we absolutely couldn’t have done without. I was so surprised by the lack of “lists” for new puppy parents — and so, dear reader (especially if you plan to put a bow on a new Fido this holiday season) — here is your foolproof list of puppy must-haves:

I’ve seen dozens of advertisements for “nanny” puppy cameras, and hesitated before shelling out about $100 for a Furbo, one of the more prominent brands with top reviews on Amazon and the added benefits of livestreaming video, interactive voice and sound — and here’s the kicker, projectile treats — so you can ask him to sit, and then toss him a treat and tell him “good boy!” Keep an eye out for great deals on one during the holidays.

Chewy is not just another online retailer. I have been repeatedly blown away not just by their broad selection and thorough product reviews, but also (and especially) the top-notch customer service. Not only do they respond immediately, but they’re understanding enough (in my experience) to accommodate even a customer mistake with a full no-questions-asked refund. All your previous orders are archived for quick re-ordering (or repeat delivery at the frequency of your choice, if you prefer) which is inevitable as you discover your pup’s favorite products. Bonus, they also have a hilarious and engaging social media team, worth following on instagram @chewy.

3. MR. SLOTH (or a Mr. Sloth equivalent)
My brother gave our puppy this long legged sloth as a gift when he was young, and it quickly became his (and our) favorite toy. Especially for smaller dogs, a toy that’s easy for mom and dad to dangle while reading the paper or sipping your morning coffee becomes a morning necessity (and doubles as a cuddly tug-of-war as needed). Ours is similar to this one from TJMaxx, under $10.

Dog beds are great and all, but a washable puppy cocoon is essential in the winter months (can you say, bed and blanket in one?) and extremely helpful before your puppy learns to control his messes. At under $20 and easy to find, we love this version from Walgreens.

Like a toddler, when he’s young, your pup’s teeth can be a pain. Ours loves these chew toys from Nylabone, and there are packaged “puppy starter kit” options, this one from Petco, so you can upgrade to the appropriate toy for each stage of his development. Lucky for us, this set of puppy keys (pictured) was his first toy on his flight home.

These are @warrenbuffettdoodle and our 5 favorites — which are yours? Share suggestions in the comments! xx


Last Chance: Delacroix at the Met

This morning we braved the pouring rain and skulked past blocks-long lines to enjoy the most comprehensive retrospective of Delacroix’s work to visit North America (pro tip: line cutting is major perk for all Met members).

Revolutionary French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) came of age after the fall of Napoleon and is renowned as one of the greatest artists of his time. While he is a household figure in France, this exhibit combines and illuminates his many talents and influences; in addition to over 800 paintings and thousands of drawings, the collection features thousands of pages of his journals and ties common threads between his artwork and serious literary preoccupation/inspiration.

Below are a few of my favorite works from the collection. Check them out yourself between now and January 6 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jeune tigre jouant avec sa mère — a young tiger playing with its mother. 

My favorite painting (and among the least violent of the animal set
(of which there were quite a few)

This page features the first known formulation of what would become a credo for Delacroix—that painting is a bridge between artist and viewer, with material advantages over literature:
“When I have done a fine painting, I have not expressed any thoughts. That’s what they say. How simple-minded they are!… A writer says almost everything in order to be understood; painting builds a kind of mysterious bridge between the soul of the characters and that of the spectator.”

A glowing recommendation from Picasso “That bastard. He’s really good.”

Want to learn more? Listen to The Met’s conversation with Ashler Miller on the exhibit:

Fitness, Reviews

Fitness Review: Post-Christmas Pulse at Exhale Barre

Today I met a friend at Exhale Barre (Flatiron) for the first time, for a post-Christmas workout. The studio is pristine and conveniently located near the flatiron building, madison square park and several east and west subway lines, so I was excited to discover a new workout that rivals Physique 57 (my favorite!) in a Physique-location-desert.

Overall: Attentive staff, clean studio, tough workout: I give it 8/10

– Bonus points for friendliness, from the front-desk staff to our instructor, Rachael, everyone at Exhale was kind, warm, and energetic
– The studio was super clean; while I brought a change of clothes and was heading home afterwards, I would have been totally comfortable in their locker rooms and showers
– The barre studio has a beautiful hard wood floor instead of a worn carpet (why don’t more studios do this?!)
– Equipment was in great shape (especially appreciated the high quality foam/rubber mats

– Class was only 45 minutes, which was enough for a workout but would have been even better for a bit longer
– This location didn’t have an Exhale spa
…guess we’ll have to go back!

Learn more and sign up for classes here: https://www.exhalespa.com/locations/new-york/flatiron

Events, New Media, Reviews, Uncategorized

See: To Kill a Mockingbird

I have always been impartial to musical theater, though a series of more serious plays have caught my attention from time to time (in recent years – The Curious Incident, Hand to God, The Cripple of Inishmaan) so when my husband scored preview tickets to see Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird, it was a no brainer.

We all read Harper Lee’s novel in high school, but Sorkin’s version featuring Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch brings new life to the story you thought you knew, in an age when we have all been forced to rethink the storyline’s important undertones about racism, abuse, sexual assault and standing up for what’s right. 

PLAYBILL SYNOPSIS: Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.”

It’s a must see, and a refresher on the nobility and importance of bringing access to justice equally to all people. As a daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece of lawyers, my family never understood my lack of desire to attend law school, and leaving the Schubert after Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird is the closest I’ve come to wanting to take the LSAT in my life. 

For Tickets: http://www.playbill.com/production/to-kill-a-mockingbird-2018-2019


Trees on Demand: Holiday Hack for Busy New Yorkers

While the holidays signify time with friends and family, gifts, relaxation and thankfulness, for some, they also represent an even busier period of take-out meals, skipped workouts, and gifts delivered within the Amazon Prime Now two-hour window.

Help me help you:

This year our tree came from the St. Nicholas of Firs, NYC Trees. For slightly more than your average six-footer, two muscular dudes will drop off your tree within an evening time window, set up the stand, fill it with water, and even add a Santa-themed skirt. We were worried our tree would be less handsome or shapely than one we picked out ourselves, but couldn’t have been more wrong or less pleased.

Trees on-demand

NYC Trees: https://nyctrees.com/

Prices start at 109 and include delivery, stand and setup

Removal starts at $60


Holiday Spirit: Nutella Cafe

Today we checked out the less than a month old Nutella Cafe which had a line down the block — no surprise since according to Eater Over 100 People Reportedly Lined Up for the recent grand opening hoping for a taste, “including bloggers and influencers” (oh hey).

Fortunately, my suave and sharp husband found a way to surpass the line and I’m here to share so you too can enjoy without the wait.

Long story short, it’s worth checking out (especially if you skip the line) and a great destination to take visiting family during the holiday season.

Three tips to make the most of your visit:

  • Don’t jump in line! Approach the front door like you own it, and you’ll be directed inside to sample anything from the same menu of those who jumped in line and never bothered to inquire.
  • What can you expect? Everything you imagined made from nutella (crepes, croissants, and ice cream) and many items you didn’t but wish you had (popsicles, pastries, french toast).
  • Get your items to go. The cafe is nothing special to look at and the sooner you leave with your gelato, the better (it’s the best).
  • Hit the Union Square market while you’re nearby. You’ll find everything you need – from last-minute gifts for them to “self-care” gifts for you.
  • The kicker… Spend $35 and you get a free jar of nutella.


Nerds Delight Continues: The Secret Science Club

For weeks I’ve been on the Secret Science Club mailing list in nerdy anticipation of their next event and my introduction to the underground awesomeculture I always suspected somewhere… like a spectacular back-room-wood-and-leather-barn-like-Brooklyn-bar-space.

Well, yesterday I braved the hailstorm (via the southbound R train) and sure enough I found them… lined up down the street outside of The Bell House, nerd flags waving in the post torrential downpour winds, just beside mine.

Last night Featured Duncan Watts, mathematical sociologist, social network expert, and author of Everything Is Obvious (*Once You Know the Answer). Watts, who also currently conducts research for Microsoft, challenged our societal default to common sense, reacquainting us with the scientific method and a strong reminder for skepticism– we should question everything, and test over and over again until the data proves us (theory) right.

While much of Watts’ presentation hit chords of personal bias– from his own research of Yahoo’s dating site preferences (apparently what users say they want v. what they actually want proves Avenue Q’s theory that “everyone’s a little bit racist) to questioning leadership in the workplace– do we inflate the credentials of the best looking man in the room? Was George Washington the default pundit for our Nation’s forefathers because he was always the tallest guy in the room?

Interesting things to consider (from Watts):

-“We can skip from day to day and observation to observation, perpetually replacing the chaos of reality with the soothing fiction of our explanations”

-Watts’ theory centers around the idea that we draw lots of conclusions about factors that led up to an event… after the event. And that it would be just as easy to draw conclusions why the OPPOSITE outcome had come true. (Example: reasons why the financial crisis happened… if the economy were booming, we could have also found reasons pointing to why).

-Avoid “halos” or generalizing people with a certain characteristic. Just because most of the senior leaders at your company are tall, handsome men in suits, don’t assume someone tall in a suit has leadership qualities.

-Do the hard work– don’t make assumptions based upon one outcome. If you don’t have the benefit of results/data from many outcomes, build strategies that don’t depend upon accurate predictions– like reacting quickly (retailer Zara, for example, demos small runs of each style in-store, and then mass produces the ones that sell most successfully).

The New York Times review of Watt’s book summarizes well: “Common sense is a kind of bespoke make-believe, and we can no more use it to scientifically explain the workings of the social world than we can use a hammer to understand mollusks.” Pick up his book here.

Whether you support or disagree with Watts’ contention of common sense, I’m of the camp that it is always worth asking ourselves the question (and working toward truth).

…see you at next month’s  Secret Science Club!