If you are a cat lover, but are severely allergic like I am, I highly recommend Allerpet! I am allergic to both cat dander and saliva so whenever I go home upstate to my family (and three cats), I bathe my favorite one, Alffie, in this solution so we can play with no issues! If you are dilligent about applying the solution to your cat and do some cleaning, you can severely reduce the amount of cat allergens floating in your house.
I’ve been using Allerpet on Alffie since 2007 and she doesn’t mind it as much as in the beginning for sure. She’ll run away to lick herself, but then come back to play in a few minutes. Without it, I get a rash, itchy eyes, and sneeze!
I always purchase through Amazon Smile so that a percent (though tiny) of your purchase will go to your charity of choice—of course mine is Apex for Youth!
From the site: “Allerpet For Cats cleanses the hair of sebaceous gland secretions (Fel d1), saliva and dander, the prime causes of allergic reactions to cats. Allerpet is non-oily and will not leave a residue on the coat to attract other allergens. It contains no fragrance. Allerpet is completely safe to use regardless of how frequently a cat licks its coat, even if it does so immediately after having used Allerpet.”
Here’s a list of my current top thought starters, which I think is especially relevant for young professionals who love to live it up, but sometimes feel a bit lost (friends, I’m talking to YOU).
Disconnecting from Social Media. Do it.
The Innovation of LonelinessAn awesome short video that everyone in today’s age should watch for some perspective (4 min), explaining the loneliness of social media and “sacrificing conversation for mere connection”.
Think like Afrojack–inspired by Afrojack’s Ultra 2014 Set and Next Album, Forget the World. Here’s a quote from a recent Rolling Stone article to get you started: “It’s basically a message not just to my fans, but also to myself, to always remember to keep following your heart, keep following your path, and never try to let the things around you get you down.” He then goes and talks about social media changing our behaviors and to do things for yourself and not others.
Re-Organize Your Life and Thoughts and Don’t Get Caught Complaining.
“Life will be uncomplicated one day when you’re married with kids, you have a house in the woods, and your priorities have shifted…enjoy the complexity and uncertainty now“. My colleague Dulce said this to me in the car just over two years ago and it still rings strongly. We don’t have to have everything figured out right now.
Are you doing everything you expected to be doing at 25? With most of our friends in the same stage of life where we aren’t sure what’s next, I find a lot of us just venting our confusion. Let’s bring it back to re-prioritizing. See my old blog from about two years ago where I re-evaluated my roles in life and explained Covey’s quadrants to re-prioritize. If you are feeling ambitious and really lost, try 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook by Stephen Covey – an all-time favorite for people of the Covey era, but unfortunately not very popular among our generation (probably why we are all so confused about what our next steps are).
Get out of Your Comfort Zone! For me this was swimming in the ocean for the first time in ten years last month (I know this is sad, haha!) and re-attempting yoga in January. I’ve gone to 25 classes at Yoga to the People and I’ve never been so relaxed. Without the extremely uncomfortable initial 4 classes of falling over and kicking a neighbor, I would have missed out!
YOLO – You Only Live Once. Why not live a little and relax a bit when you feel like things are out of control? (Remember Avicii’s “I Could Be the One”!) Also, let’s be real–you’ll probably laugh in ten years at how dramatic you were when you were 25.
Don’t Forget Your Social Conscience and Where You Came From
Feel good about watching Upworthy. Yes, it’s for-profit and one of my friends says “it’s just another way for people to pretend they know what’s going on in the world and pretend to support it even if they aren’t actually doing anything”. Fair point, but doesn’t the conversation and culture change have to start somewhere? And what about the huge power of making something relatively unknown super popular? And the for-profit bit–at least they are sustainable. Hey, yes, you can fairly say you are actually doing something when you are inspired to think differently and more socially and encouraging others to do so as well.
Take care of your friends. Don’t let them do drugs or take unnecessary risks.
“Friends, we’ve got to take care of each other. If you’re on the inside, you get it. This music + its people can take you to the moon. Don’t put yourself in danger. Let the real magic get you there.”–Kaskade
How do we start the step-change to get people to just enjoy the music?
Stop and take notice when something is beautiful. With our go-go-go lives we forget this sometimes, but here are some interesting things in design I’ve been thinking about (a lot less heavy than the above!):
Duarte - Story-telling. I sat through an 8 hour class that went 50/50 between how to organize a story and also how to deliver it graphically from a design perspective to have the greatest impact. It’s an incredible way of breaking down about pitch you are presenting to someone! Also, check out Diagrammer - an awesome resource for all of your diagramming needs :-).
Helvetica - a movie about Helvetica, a super common font that we don’t realize is everywhere. It’s from 2007 and you can find it on Netflix.
I always hear New Yorkers bicker about their favorite foods and how there can only be ONE pure variety of anything: Laduree for macarons, Magnolias for cupcakes, Dominique Ansel’s cronut, Levain’s cookie, blah blah blah, and eventually someone will say something like ESS-A-BAGEL for bagels. What? Ess-a-bagel? Wait, you’ve been in New York for how long?Ess-a-bagel is GREAT. A very delicious Manhattan bagel with multiple and accessible outposts. They’ve benefited from word-of-mouth marketing. I admittedly go there when I’m craving a bagel and have sent multiple people on the mini-pilgrimage to the so-called best bagel of NYC. Service is always kind, rushed, and follows everything by the New Yorker way.But obviously these Manhattanites haven’t been to Bagel Oasis (or haven’t had a friend kind enough to bring them one). I hardly go there, if not for my best friend requesting when I come to visit her in Grenada to bring New York bagels.
I’m a bit biased because like every other New Yorker I have grown up on THE BAGEL–my idea of perfectly delicious and always consistent chewy soft circular bread with a layer of crust. This bagel is from Bagel Oasis in Fresh Meadows. Yes, this coming from the girl who hates bread. I used to eat it “Chinese-American style” with roast pork from my Great Aunt’s restaurant Fan Fan right down the block.More objectively, I can still say I think this is the best bagel in New York. Not only is it perfect when you buy it fresh and room temperature, but also when you toast it (which I can’t say for Ess-a-bagel).
If you have any friends who drive or feel like taking a detour on the way to JFK, totally stop by Bagel Oasis.
18312 Horace Harding Expy
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365
(718) 359-9245 | bageloasis.com
I’m not sure if NY’s supposedly best sushi restaurant is actually the best. Everything is GREAT. Nakazawa, the man himself, has an incredible personality, fish is freshly sourced from our two coasts and Japan, and service is spot-on. However, I still prefer Sushi Yasuda which certainly isn’t as hard of a reservation–you’ll need luck getting a reservation at Nakazawa now that they have four stars from the NY Times.
The whole sushi bar is seated at the same time, and omakase service mostly starts together. If one person is very late, likely the whole service will be a little behind (that was me, whoops!).
Whenever I don’t know something about Asian culture, I always get a “you didn’t know that?” Hey now, I’m actually an ABC (American Born Chinese) and you can’t possibly expect me to know everything.
My latest discovery are the different (weird) stuffings for mooncakes. A group of Chinese Americans brought me to Kwong Wah Cake Co.; to their surprise I bought one of every flavor with full shock-and-awe exclamations and they had each only bought a snack for the day. Whoops!
Kwong Wah Cake Co. is a petite bakery on Grand St and Mott, just a stone’s throw away from Di Palo’s, my favorite deli.
They have a few flavors (which all also come in a salted yolk option–it looks like a hardboiled egg yolk in your mooncake):
Black bean – a sweetened black/red bean, not those funky fermented ones that come with your Chinese takeout black bean sauces
Coconut – a shredded coconut with nuts that is only barely sweet by comparison to your typical American coconut dessert.
Mixed nuts – a semi chewy composite of coarsely ground nuts (though my Grandmother remarks that they should have been whole nuts, that probably would have broken her teeth!!)
Mixed nuts with ham (photo above) – the same mixed nut moon cake with some additional pork
Lotus seed/White Lotus seed – I’ve been told this is the most authentic and luxurious. The funny thing about demand is that now this filling is also mass produced and is easily found in Chinese supermarket boxes.
Kwong Wah Cake Co.
210 Grand St # A
New York, NY 10013