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Ciderfeast 2015

On the sunny banks of the East River, from the producers of Pig Island, the NYC Hot Sauce Expo and Brisket King (and Queen) of NYC, came Ciderfeast! The event featured select regional, national and European ciders from more than a dozen brewers pouring over 30 beverages. The sweet summer refreshments were also paired with tons of hot dogs and live folk music.

The alcoholic libation, made from the fermented juice of apples, is most popular in the United Kingdom, but has been having a bit of resurgence in the states! (I say resurgence because our founding father, John Adams, began his days with a draft of hard cider. A common habit among Colonial America.)

Everyone knows the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While the factuality of this statement could stand some prodding, it is true that cider has some research-backed health ben­e­fits from its high level of antioxidants. So, perhaps I went to Ciderfeast for my health? How responsible.

The real reason I loved going to Ciderfeast (while pregnant and unable to sample the wares, nonetheless) is because my husband is gluten-intolerant. For those with a sen­si­tiv­ity to gluten, Hashimoto’s disease or celiac disease, cider is one of the most delicious drink options out there. From dry to sweet, sparkling to flat, most of the brews are wheat, barley and hops free!

We sampled:

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Put a Bird on It

At the expense of becoming a punchline, and already made fun of by the fine writers of Portlandia, I still believe birds can be used in functional, non-ironic decor. Just as shells have been coopted as the pattern-du-jour for beach houses, birds can usher in a tropical, modern feeling.

These toothless, egg-laying vertebrates come in myriad forms. Biologist estimate that ten thousand different species, an extraordinary variety, exist today. Think of the difference between an ostrich and a stork. A hen and a condor. A penguin and a hummingbird. Each of those different forms and colors can lend itself to a different style of home decor and clothing.

“It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.” – Aesop

Put a Bird on It, clothing featuring birds via Tory Burch, Minted, Rochas, Nordstrom Rack and more.

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I’m Pregnant

I am 20 weeks pregnant. That’s roughly halfway through my pregnancy. It’s officially been 17 weeks (but who’s counting?) since Mike and I were witness to one, two…seven positive pregnancy tests. Totally incredulous; I just kept peeing on sticks. Little life is about the size of a mango and weighing in at 10 ounces – or the heft of a Coke can. Between week zero and 20, there have been approximately 62 bags of Salt and Vinegar chips, 9 pints of chocolate sorbet, 4 gallons of lemonade, 6 boxes of Trader Joe’s “Gone Bananas!” Chocolate covered bananas, and countless worries.

Although we immediately told close family, and could rely on them for support, the time prior to the 12-week mark is completely nerve-wrecking. Every small hiccup, every bit of nauseousness, each stomach-grumbling, each muscle ache — all are cause for small panic attacks. Everything is new; and nothing feels normal! My body, although very much my own, and doing what it biologically knows to do, is also on auto-pilot. It’s in flight without input from a co-pilot and navigator. Cravings? They seem not my own. Brain? Fuzzy, not the one to which I’m used. Sleep habits? Those of a newborn kitten.

My mom, mother of three, and sister, mother of two, are like having a built in cabal of maternal wisdom and obstetrics knowledge. However, there are certain feelings you have that are so crazy, so strange, and so personal that sometimes it’s better to reach for a book. I learned that using Google as your midwife is unsafe.  There is so much misinformation regarding healthy habits, gestation, diet and childcare on the internet. Everyone has their on absurd theory on what is “safe” during pregnancy. Imagine weird tales of herbal teas and the dangers of tight pants. Somehow everyone, regardless of degree or experience, believes they are an expert.

Hearing about how much I was “over-googling,” my mom bought me What to Expect When You’re Expecting. The series is relatable and non-sensationalist. The book has now had a record-breaking 600+ weeks on New York Times Bestseller list. Meaning, at 40 weeks full gestation, the title itself could have had 15 children during that timeframe!

Baby Veisblatt Toledano Waves Hello

Baby Veisblatt Toledano Waves Hello with His/Her left hand!

My favorite part of the series is that, in general, I tend to always convince myself that my pains and pangs are abnormal. The books helped me to realize that during pregnancy, “normal” is a very large net. Furthermore, it’s been super fun following along week-by-week as to what’s happening inside all of that distant amniotic fluid. Some weeks the baby is practicing swallowing for the first time and in other weeks the eyelids are forming! I even remember consulting the book for advice on something as banal as “safe bath temperatures”.

In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for favorite nursery decor, photos of “the bump,” and my upcoming Babymoon to Portugal. Uh oh. Does this make me a mommy blogger? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.