October Birchbox


My parents recently gifted me a six-month subscription to Birchbox for my 26th birthday.  I was really excited because I’ve wanted to try this service for quite a while.  Here’s how it works:  you pay your subscription fee, fill out a personal questionnaire based on what you like, what your lifestyle is like, and what your grooming needs are.  Birchbox sends you a box full of personalized goodies each month for the length of your subscription.  Every month is unique and you get discounts on full-sized products on the Birchbox website.

I picked up my first Birchbox today since the mail didn’t run yesterday.  I was really pleased with the contents:


Billy Jealousy Adrenaline Junkie Energizing Scrub:  smells clean like mint.  I’ll throw this in my gym bag and use it after an early morning grind sesh.

Herban Essentials in Eucalyptus & Lemon:  fancy towelettes.  These are perfect for those times when I need to smell clean and I don’t have the time to actually make that happen.

Cartier Declaration Essence:  really nice cologne.  It smells like a cedar chest and oranges.  Courtney declared it to be “sexy.”

Vitamine & Sea Shaving Cream:  really smooth shave cream.  It smells really clean.

Topo Designs Dopp Kit:  tent-shaped Dopp kit.  Really nice quality.  At $25 this is already worth more than one month’s subscription fee.

All in all, I’m really pleased with what Birchbox had to send me.  I can’t wait to try out my new stuff and put my new Dopp kit to use.  To see what Birchbox had to offer this month, click here.  I would highly recommend this service to other gentlemen who are looking for something new or exciting.



The Best Chicken Soup

Over the summer, the Captain surprised me with Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Good.  It’s a gorgeous book with simple, healthy recipes and loads of new ideas.  I made a notation in my meal planning journal that the very second the weather turned cool, I’d make her chicken soup.  She likens it to “Jewish penicillin” and after making it myself, I must agree.  It’s light, yet filling and it’s so flavorful.  The ingredients are easily interchangeable and I feel it would freeze beautifully.  I changed a few things to reflect what is available in our tiny rural town {finding a leek in Franklin Springs would be akin to finding buried treasure}.

You’ll need:

For the broth:

  • One whole organic chicken
  • 1 rib of celery, quartered
  • 1 carrot, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 bunches fresh Thyme
  • 10-12 cups cold water

For the soup:

  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 bunch Kale, removed from stems
  • Chicken broth {see above}
  • Shredded chicken, white meat only

Rinse the chicken well and remove innards {keep the neck}.  In your largest stock pot, add in all the vegetables and turn the setting to high.  While the vegetables sizzle, add the salt, peppercorns, and thyme.  Then, deglaze the stockpot with the wine.  After that, settle the chicken onto the vegetables and then cover completely with water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for two hours.

Strain and remove the chicken and discard the cooked vegetables.  Pour the broth into a new stockpot and add in the carrots and kale.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for twenty minutes.  In the meantime, pick the meat off the chicken and add into the stockpot.  Once the carrots are soft, serve the soup with crusty French bread.

Do you have a favorite cold-weather recipe?  I think this is our new favorite!





In case anyone missed it, we’re getting a puppy.  He’s an adorable Boxer-Lab mix and we’ve decided to call him Atlas.  All of our pets are named after Greek deities…Atlas is no different.  We named him after the Titan Atlas, forced to hold the universe on his shoulders.  As a bonus, his name is a not-so-subtle tribute to one of our favorite works of literature.  And yes…we’re those unfortunate, cold, strange Libertarians who quote Rand at an annoying rate.

Though I have little experience, puppies must be similar to babies as they require tons of stuff.  As first-time parents, we obviously want our little one to have the best of everything:

DIY project via

Emily at Jones Design Company also has a pup named Atlas.  She has a gorgeous, simple DIY project that features natural-colored drop cloth and hand-distressed lettering.

Bourbon and Boots has a wonderful selection of collars.  I like the gingham one for Baby Atlas and the leather one for 70-pound adult Atlas.  Bonus:  the leather collars are made in Georgia!

$24//available here

$30//available here

These dog food canisters from Ballard Designs are so appealing.  The price is {of course} completely outrageous for the actual purpose of the product.  I’ve saved several of those popcorn containers that children receive at Christmas {you know…the ones full of neon orange cheddar popcorn?} and I plan to give them a coat of chalkboard paint.  Functionality that is aesthetically pleasing makes me giddy.

I love this food/water bowl combo because it comes with lids.

$27.99//Purchase here

I like this harness because it’s preppy and sweet.

$18.99//Purchase here

And it makes sense that his fashion sense matches his proud Papa’s, right?

$10//Purchase here

In addition to watching training videos online, Josh has been reading Water Dog .  It’s sentimental for me because he’s using the same copy that Daddy used to train my beloved Golden Retriever, Catfish Sally.  Both Daddy and Josh highly recommend Water Dog as an excellent training manual and peek into the psychology of a dog.

We’re so ready to welcome our baby home.


As a side note, does anyone have any advice on how to acclimate our buddies to their new brother?  We’re a little nervous about the big transition!