Live Like a Native: The Spice Rack

We didn’t meet in high school. We didn’t even meet in college. We met as adults – with fully independent lives, including separate homes and styles we’d never had to compromise before. The trend of meeting your significant other at an older age, after you’ve started to build your life, is not uncommon these days. Of course there are immediate benefits here – you “know yourself” better, you’re (probably) not living at home under the watchful eyes of your parents, and you’ve (probably) got a steady job that lets you pay for meals nicer than the dollar menu. But what happens when you decide to incorporate another person into your comfortable, routine-filled life?

Taking the big leap into cohabitation means many things, but first let’s talk about the obstacle that is combining all of the crap you’ve both collected over the years of your established adulthood. As my manfriend and I were both living out our adult lives when we met, we had the obvious essentials for your basic rooms in a home: living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. This meant that we had TWO of everything.  Of course, there were minor conveniences like using my candles in the bathroom and easily choosing his couches over the futon that I pretended was a couch through my many apartment moves prior (bye futon, see ya never). For the most part, combining our things went smoothly with our formula of comparing our duplicates and donating or tossing the older or more deteriorated pieces, but my anxiety loomed overhead – this was going way too well. There had to be something we’d disagree on, right? Obviously.

So what was it that stopped our move-in progress in its tracks? The seemingly useful, yet clearly controversial (for us, at least) spice rack. No joke. We both had a strange attachment to our spice racks. Mine was in pristine condition, with a chrome finish and round shape that fit perfectly in any kitchen (or so I thought, of course). His was hand-built out of wood (he’s a carpenter by trade) and expanded along the back of the counter for more than a foot. It impractically took up too much space in my opinion, but mine impractically had spices that are never used on a daily basis like “Savory” and “Herbs de Provence”. I reluctantly agree – I literally never used those spices. But I held my position that my spice rack was pretty and his was too big. What could we possibly do? Our mutual stubbornness finally took hold after days of compromise over other pieces throughout the home. Why the spice rack? WHY NOW!

We proceeded to debate our points for well over half an hour, both of us holding our ground, neither giving any room for the other to win. So how could we possibly solve this endless circular discussion when we knew neither of us would budge? Eventually we decided to keep both, as we had enough counter space to do so and we agree that eventually we’d have to totally adjust the spices altogether, perhaps moving them to a dedicated cabinet instead. So really no one won, what was the point?

This first move-in disagreement was a wake up call for me. The time of getting everything my way was over, giving way to a time where considering the opinions of someone I loved was crucial for cohabitation. It wasn’t all about me anymore and that was okay because I wanted it to be about us. Sure, this disagreement was ridiculous and certainly not the last, but it made me feel comfortable that we wouldn’t agree on everything always and that didn’t mean I needed to give up my feelings for his. It meant that hearing someone else’s voice in your decisions is just a part of starting a new chapter of 24/7 life with another person. Remembering that it’s not all about you, that’s the point.

Yep, I got all that from a spice rack and you can bet I make it a point to use spices from mine as much as I can even if his does have the salt and pepper. 🙂

 

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Live Like a Native: Raise Your Hand If….

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a roommate. Keep it up if you’ve ever traded your roommate for your significant other. Okay, now keep your hand up if you’ve ever wanted to throw all of their clothes out on the lawn because they left the toilet seat up or shrunk all of your t-shirts in the dryer. I have a feeling I’m not alone here. Life brings you constant change, including milestones that are messy, but wonderful. So reaching the stage of full-time life with my significant other is exciting, even if this change means adjusting a few things.

Contrary to popular belief, or at least mine, I thought living with my significant other would be just like having one of the many roommates I’ve had from college through adult life. This meant we’d have similar style, watch the same cheesy reality shows, and  hide away in our own rooms when we needed space. Well, my man-friend doesn’t do reality shows, has a more masculine style (because he’s not buying a ruffled duvet from Anthropologie), and now shares his room with me. Why I didn’t think about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to sleep spread-eagle in the middle of my bed anymore is beyond me.

It’s easy to say you’re compatible with someone when you live across town or in another city and get to select the times you spend time with them, but I’ve realized that it’s the little things of daily life that you have to consider when you make the move-in decision. Cohabitation requires compromise, compassion, and at times, standing your ground even if it leads to a fight (or as I like to call them, a “spirited debate”). It’s learning to love someone in the bad times and even in the boring ones.

So, as I venture into this new chapter of my life, I invite you to join me as I discuss everything from fun date nights (at cool restaurants of course) to totally botched dinner recipes (and really great, easy ones!) to deciding on home decor to noticing habits I never knew I had. And don’t worry – I will continue to bring you the latest and greatest in restaurants, exercises, travel, and other lifestyle nuggets! Thanks for sticking with me these past few years and I hope that my forthcoming posts will bring you as much entertainment and joy as they always have.

You can find my new series of content on the Live Like a Native page!

5 Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas (Guys & Gals)

It happened again – you had every intention of a well thought-out, expertly executed Halloween costume, but suddenly it’s less than a week before the big day and that party you committed to is THIS weekend. We don’t all have the skills to whip up a costume out of fabric, thread, and glue overnight. Plus, pre-made costumes from your standard Halloween pop-up shop are expensive! But you can’t be that one person that doesn’t dress up at the costume-mandatory party. So what to do? Here are some quick and clever costume ideas for both guys and gals:

For the guys:

  1. Hugh Hefner: First of all, RIP Hugh – all you have to do for this legendary playboy is grab a red (silk or faux silk) robe and a sea captains hat. Top it off with a smoking pipe and you’ll be ready to go all night.
  2. Brawny Man: Let your stubble grow, throw on a red and black plaid shirt, grab packaged Brawny Man paper towels and go. Granted, without the Brawny Man paper towel packaging you might look like you do every other night, so only use your towels for party emergencies (aka wine spillage or a beer bong fail).
  3. Club Bouncer: All black suit, slicked back hair, dark sunglasses, and a padfolio to make it look official. Then be sure to hold your pointer finger to your ear often to act like you’re talking to the club powers the be through an ear piece.
  4. Baby from Baby Driver: All you need is a varsity jacket, white t-shirt, sunglasses and earphones. If nothing else you can keep the earphones in and ignore everyone the whole night.
  5. Jughead from Riverdale: A gray beanie and layers of dark plaid, hoodies and a leather or denim jacket make this costume. If you’re already a sarcastic person, this costume gives you license to embrace it.

For the gals:

  1. Handmaid’s Tale: Have a very of-the-moment, pop culture costume with a red cape and large pilgrim-style bonnet. You’ll be warm, comfortable, and 2017-relevant.
  2. Lorraine from Atomic Blonde: Assuming you already own knee-high boots, embrace your inner international spy with a slinky dress and trench coat. All you’ll likely need to buy is a blonde wig cut in a blunt bob (unless you’ve already got the hair naturally!).
  3. Emoji: Whether you buy a yellow t-shirt and draw your favorite emoji face on it or you decide to take the dancing lady route, most emojis are easy enough to recreate quickly. If you’re going for any of the characters from the Emoji movie, you could be the “meh” face or the princess with a simple yellow t-shirt, leggings, and a crown.
  4. The Morton Salt Girl: Have a yellow dress or rain jacket? Have an umbrella? Have some mary jane-style shoes? Then you’re all set.
  5. A Scarecrow, clown, or Day of the Dead Sugar Skull: If you love doing all of the makeup and leaving your actual attire pretty simple, then any of these costumes will work for you. There are tons of videos out there that guide you through the makeup to-dos, leaving you to pick a plaid shirt and overalls for the scarecrow, rainbow or striped clown shirt/dress, and all black for the sugar skull.