just for fun

The Case for Snail Mail

We live in a world where so much is fast, quick, and digital. We feel disconnected, rushed, and at times out of sorts from the frenetic pace. We wish there was something that could slow down the speed at which we go through life. In this go-go-go life, there is one thing that is still pretty slow…the mail! Typically, we don’t get excited about the mail. We walk to our mailbox with dread, knowing that it will be filled with junk and bills. However, every now and then we receive a card, note, or package addressed to us puts a little skip in our step. Today, we would like to make the case for snail mail.


Why go old fashioned when we’ve made so much progress?

As society moves forward, we advance the way we do things in many ways. Sending an email can be an efficient way of sending a time-sensitive message. It allows us to communicate the things that need to be said with expediency, but it lacks a personal touch.  When we send someone a hand-written note, letter, or even a card, we are able to communicate in ways that we simply cannot do on a computer screen. We let someone know we spent time thinking about them. It’s very special! Sure, email is great for the quick message that’s longer than a text message, but it cannot replace an old fashioned letter.

Why go paper when you could go digital?

The challenge many of us run into is determining what to do when sending out something to many people. What about the birthday parties, graduation parties, bridal showers, and baby showers? Wouldn’t it be easier to just use an electronic invite program? Sure, they have cute designs, but is it ever exactly what you want? Chances are you find something that “works” but maybe doesn’t quite capture your event. We can admit how much we love to receive a beautiful invitation in the mail. Even more when someone takes the time, with their own hands, to fill it out just for us. The level of thought and care it takes someone to select, design, and send does not go unnoticed, but that extra step of finishing it by hand makes a huge difference.Maybe next time you plan an event, you will take the extra step, too?


Are you looking for quality paper goods?

Look no further than Basic Invite. They have an almost unlimited color palette and 40 colors to choose from for envelopes. Plus, you get a free sample of your design! Creating an invitation or piece of stationery on their website was like a dream. As if that wasn’t enough, they even have an address capturing service to help you let your friends and family know you need to update your address book. Simply share the link on social media, and they compile the data for you. THEN, they’ll address the envelopes at no additional cost to you. Finding a service that provides what you need, does it well, and at a great price is a rare gift.

Why choose Basic Invite?

I am the admitted queen of snail mail of this The91Rewind duo. I will send a card to say “thank you”, “I’m thinking of you,” “I miss you,” “I’m sorry you’re having a bad day/week/month/year,” or to invite you to a fun shindig at my crib house. Even though I am the queen of snail mail, I still struggles with finding the perfect stationery. Last spring, I spent hours choosing and then designing the perfect invitation for my friend Stephanie’s baby shower. Everywhere I looked the designs were mediocre at best or they were overpriced. Despite my best efforts, I eventually designed an invitation as best I could and found a decent(ish) place to get them printed. IF ONLY I would have known about Basic Invite then. They currently have an invitation almost IDENTICAL to the one I made, AND I could have adjusted the colors to match the baby shower theme. Basic Invite would have saved me so much time, and anxiety in designing the perfect invitation.


We have a deal for you!

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% with the coupon code 15FF51 to the readers of The91Rewind. Simply design your perfect invitations for graduation party, polaroid graduation invitations, or even inviations for a bridal shower or baby shower. Best of all , you’ll save while you do it! We were so happy to order and receive some “Adorable Badass Cards” from Basic Invite, and we are certain you will love your order too. Let Basic Invite take the stress out of your stationery designing, and send the perfect piece of snail mail as soon as you can.

As an added bonus to our readers, we would like to send you a gift too. To one lucky reader, we will send a pack of adorable badass cards and a note to share some love and encouragement. Leave a comment on this post or send us a message about why you want to start sending snail mail (or begin again). The lucky recipient will be chosen on April 22nd.

*This blog post is sponsored by Basic Invite, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. We would never recommend a product or service that we have not or would not use. The small profit received for this piece is so that we can continue to create great content for you, our beloved readers (rewinders).*

just for fun

so many girl dates

An exciting thing has happened. My calendar is full of dates! Not like romantic dates, but friend dates, with my girlfriends. As I get older, it seems I have to work harder and harder to find time for friends. Life is demanding, and most of us spend the majority of our time at work, or several different “works” if you’re like me. With the time we spend not working, we have to manage a lot of crap. Not crap, life. We have to manage the entire rest of our lives when we aren’t at work. It makes me tired to even think about, but it’s exactly why I feel this excited to have so many girl dates.

First off, I call them “dates” because

I write them in my calendar…in pen. I use bullet journaling to stay organized and I notice when I’m really excited about something, I write it in PEN (and usually add a little doodle.) This is significant because it’s a sign of commitment! If I think something may get cancelled or moved, I will write in pencil. There is nothing I hate more than a scribbled-out bit of text in my notebook.


I’m noticing that dates with my girlfriends usually involve a new experience.

Sometimes this is on a small scale, like trying a new recipe, running a new trail,  or tackling a workout class I’ve never been to before. Sometimes it’s on a large scale like going to see a band I’ve never heard of or traveling to a new part of the world. Hanging with my girls introduces me to so many things. (Thanks to Jessica for my love of Tempeh, Kat for introducing me to Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and of course to Amy and Heather for helping me fall in love with Lawrence, Kansas!) My girls and I crave adventure. We love to connect with one another and value the experience of learning about each other and with each other, in new situations!

Speaking of learning about each other,

it seems like spending time with “the girls” brings out our similarities. I can see a bit of myself in each of the women in my life and it encourages me to be a little stronger, a little kinder, a little more better. A good conversation with a gal pal can even help you feel more connected. Back in 2016, I went through some pretty hard times. My bestie Crystal would call me twice a week and make me tell her things I was thankful for. Some days it was hard to come up with something to be happy about, but she wouldn’t let me off the hook until I did. It was a simple gesture and may seem insignificant, but to me it was love.


Women face so many unique circumstances every day.

It can get overwhelming, especially in today’s climate where the word “feminist” is synonymous with radical extremism. When we get the girls together to share stories and try new things we see just how alike we really are. We tap our inner strength and become more resilient. We can face challenges with more gusto because we may just know someone who has been through it too.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of organizing a girl date extravaganza.

I managed to convince 15 of my adventurous gal pals to try handstands with me at a special yoga class. (Note: there was a man in attendance, but that’s not what this article is about.) Just like any host, I was concerned that everyone would have a good time, but we got along famously. It was such a joy to see my friends trying new things and having fun. I didn’t realize how important this event was to me until I saw all these beautiful strong women in the room. They were trusting me to show them a good time, and by gosh, I was going to do it! We laughed, we cried from laughing so hard, we listened to old school hip-hop, and we lived it up.

Girl dates help me realize

that no matter how tough life gets, I have amazing magical unicorn girlfriends in my life…these and other strong women like my mother, coworkers, lifelong friends etc, are helping to light my way. When we bond, we become stronger. When women connect and elevate each other, the whole world gets better.

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Sharing quality time with people you care for is always a treat…

but spending time with your girlfriends is like a whole birthday cake! If you want to live your best life, you have to get a girl date on your calendar! You’ll have fun and probably learn something, cuz girls are wicked smart!



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food + drink, just for fun

Out & About in Raleigh: Mother/Daughter Date Night

A few weeks back my mother celebrated her birthday, and as Sur La Table…Mother/Daughter Date Night.usual I was having trouble deciding on the perfect gift. I have had this day on my calendar every year for many years now, but every year it’s a scramble to decide what to get. It’s not that she is difficult to buy for, it’s that she never really wants anything. This year, I wanted to do something different. After much investigation and deliberation, I finally decided on a cooking class at

This was something neither one of us had done before…

so at the very I know I’m a damn good cook. We both love to remix recipes on the fly because those are just suggestions anyhow! This venture would likely be a challenge because we had to follow instructions.

least we would share a new experience. The funny thing about this gift idea is that both my mother and I can throw down in the kitchen. She has taught me everything I know, and

We arrived at Sur La Table for our class a little early…

and the staff kindly lets us know it would begin promptly at 7 pm. They also shared we were welcome to shop the store or go next door to purchase “beverages” to enjoy during our class. What? Cooking class is BYOB? This was a game changer! The menu theme was “Everyday Mediterranean” which to me, sounded like a misnomer. In my experience, this type of cuisine required a lot of TLC, so I was intrigued at how anyone could make it every day. The spread included a variety of clean, plant forward dishes that reflected seasonal produce. They even had a little warning that some ingredients may be swapped out depending on what was available. For a locavore like myself, this was great news!

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When it was time to begin, Chef Rebecca, our instructor for the evening, ushered us into the kitchen

as her assistants handed out aprons and showed us to our cooking stations. There was a bounty of beautiful ingredients for our meal of baked snapper with harissa, chilled chard and noodle salad with salsa verde, and blistered green beans with tahini sauce. The meal still sounded pretty fancy for weeknight and I was skeptical we would get everything completed in time.

Chef Rebecca opened the lesson with the best 2-minute cooking basics tutorial I’ve ever heard. Just as casually as you’re reading this, Chef explained how to safely hold a knife; chop, dice, and mince; as well as walking us through the primary cooking utensils and equipment we’d be using. Even though I cook all the time, this little how-to was still a nice refresher. We teamed up with our neighbors; another mother and daughter enjoying an evening out and went about cooking our first recipe.

The thing that was so nice about this lesson was working in teams.

Everyone chose a different task or two to help complete each dish. We were able to divide and conquer without feeling overwhelmed. We still needed to communicate about timing, amounts of ingredients, and order of operations, so this encouraged conversation between everyone in the group. We were all working together and chatting having a great time. A little less than an hour later we’d mixed up the salsa verde, prepped the cold noodle salad, and had our fish ready for the oven.

At this point, Chef told us we’d be taking a short break

to allow the assistants time to clean up a little and get our fish in the oven. Wow, this was definitely worth the money. FYI-cooking is super duper WAY MORE fun when you don’t have to shop or clean 🙂

We went wandering aimlessly through the store as the kitchen was magically tidied up. The place is full of stuff you didn’t even know existed yet would instantly make your life easier. Giving you a few minutes to look around after you’ve been playing with all the gadgets in your cooking class is a pretty great way to make sure people buy something.

After some time we were herded back to the kitchen to finish our dishes.

To my surprise, the handful of steps needed to complete our green bean dish actually taught me something new. I make blistered green beans all the time in the oven, but I never parboil them. I just throw them on in after rinsing and trimming. Chef suggested that parboiling the green beans first would ensure maximum caramelization and even cooking. Ah-ha!

Once the beans were appropriately blistered, we assembled our plates with the fish, the green beans, and the chilled salad. The salsa verde had been quietly melding in a ramekin since the beginning of the lesson, but as we spooned it down over the chilled salad, I knew it was going to be the star of the evening. As the time came to dig into our “Everyday Mediterranean” dishes I could hardly contain myself. They were really delicious, AND the fact that we didn’t have to clean up made the whole experience that much more enjoyable.

My absolute favorite recipe of the evening was the chilled noodle salad with salsa verde , which is just a genius raw sauce to have in your cooking arsenal. Salsa verde is a mix of vinegar, oil, citrus, and fresh herbs…you could add in any other fragrant tidbits like capers or shallots you have on hand. It’s perfect for fish, veggies, grilled naan, or roasted potatoes (I’ve actually made it three times since I went to the cooking class because it’s THAT good).

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Simple but effective.

That was really the theme of the whole evening. Simple techniques, flavorful ingredients, and an effective recipe that turned out what I can only call a “weeknight masterpiece”. Sur La Table gave mom and I an opportunity to enjoy creating a meal together while making new friends and learn a few new cooking techniques. The recipes were delicious, but more than that, they were practical and approachable.

The instructor, Chef Rebecca had an inclusive teaching style that allowed each participant to embody their own level of experience. She gave general directions, but offered one-on-one assistance if you had additional questions. If you’re new to cooking, this class will provide a chance to learn in a welcoming and playful environment. If you have some experience, you can really put it to the test! If you’re looking for a delightfully low maintenance culinary adventure, sign up for a cooking class at Sur La Table.  You and your best gal / mom / partner / neighbor / WHOMEVER will have an excellent time

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just for fun

The Depth of My Love

Music has long been an important part of my life. It’s hard to pinpoint when the love first hit, but there are two moments that stick out most…I was about five years old when my grandfather gave me this itty bitty AM/FM radio. As a child, I thought I was hot stuff having my own radio! My station of choice? WCVE 88.9 when they were playing classical music.This is not what most kids would want to listen to, but I LOVED it.  A couple of years later during my elementary music class, some musicians from our local symphony came to talk to us about different types of instruments. It was that day that I fell head over heels in love with the violin. I came home and told my parents that I desperately wanted to play it, but I don’t think they quite understood the depth of my love.


In time, my desire to play the violin became a reality.

When middle school electives were to be chosen, please believe that orchestra was my first choice. While other students look forward to the new found freedom of middle school, I was most excited to FINALLY get my hands on a violin. Instruments are expensive, but thankfully the school had a violin available for me to borrow. Over the next few years, I would spend countless hours in class and in my free time learning to master the violin. When things were too easy in our orchestra class, I would fill my time with learning a new instrument. First, it was the viola and then the cello, but none of these could take the place of my one true love.

As I grew older, I hoped I could pass this love of music onto my children…

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to do it, but I was determined nonetheless. Lucky for me, our local Richmond Symphony helped make this easy. They have a LolliPops series just for kids (and kids at heart) to introduce them to the wonders of the symphony. Each performance is prefaced with an instrument “petting zoo”, activities for the kids, and some general fun for all who attend. I’ve had the privilege of going three times with my oldest (VHP), and she LOVES it. After our last visit to LolliPops, she said the words I had been longing to hear: “Mommy I want to learn to play music too.” I am crying a little bit just writing these words.

So she wants to learn to play an instrument.

As her music-loving mama, who am I to say no? Fortunately, we found the opportunity to try out some music lessons online through Care2Rock. This seemed like a swell option, as we could try things from the comfort of home without scrambling to be somewhere else with squirmy little sister in tow. Before we could book a lesson, however we needed to settle on which instrument to play.  

Whatever will she choose?

When talk of instruments came up, VHP would mention the piano, violin, cello, and trumpet; but none of these options seemed to really excite her. We took a trip to the music store because sometimes it’s better to just get your hands on some instruments to see what you like. There, we learned kids her age (she’s only four) typically begin with the piano, violin, or flute.

After our visit, VHP thought and thought about what she wanted to do. After several days of deliberating, she declared she wanted to play the piano. Not only did she want to play the piano, but she REALLY REALLY wanted to play the piano. So off to facebook I went to get piano recommendations from friends. One friend had all the details on keyboards (if decided to go that route), one had a piano we could have, and another had a keyboard we could borrow. BOOM! Everything was falling into place.

The time has arrived for highly anticipated piano lessons

through Care2Rock. They are done online, but they are interactive. Using a computer with a web-ready camera, much like you would have a Skype call, my daughter will learn to play or sing or read music from the comfort of home. (For a parent, this is AWESOME! No traffic, no childcare arrangements, no stress!) Like most music teachers, many Care2Rock instructors are skilled in teaching multiple instruments (violin, piano, guitar, drums, and many more). We opted for a teacher who was able to teach a few of the instruments that VHP had expressed an initial interest in learning.

How are the lessons going?

My daughter told me it was good and that she liked. In typical kid fashion she hasn’t elaborated much, but being a mom I pressed to know more. She mentioned that she liked her teacher which was a good sign! I asked if there was anything she didn’t like, to which she said, “piano because it’s hard to play.” This sparked a little concern and led me to ask if she wanted to continue learning, and the response was an emphatic yes. Now, whenever she walks into our office she’s ready to start another lesson and thinks it’s readily available since it’s over the computer.

As a mom with musical talents, I believe this is a great way for kids to get started. My daughter is on the younger side, but this virtual music education program is ideal for anyone interested in learning to play an instrument.

Care2Rock is more than just music lessons.

Care2Rock is not just a music education program. Each of the Care2Rock instructors agrees to serve as volunteer music mentors for a child in foster care every week for up to a year. My daughter’s music lesson is not just providing her an incredible hands-on learning experience, but it’s making this same experience accessible to children who really need it.  How cool is this? If you still don’t feel warm and fuzzy inside; first check your pulse and then head over to the Care2Rock success story page and bring your tissues.

Today on The91Rewind, we would like to share this love of music with you and/or your child.

We have partnered with Care2Rock to get you started on your music learning journey. They are giving away a keyboard or guitar to every one of you who participates in the Sounds of Summer Club! Here’s what you get if you participate:

$39/month = 1 lesson for 12 months
$69/month = 2 lessons for 6 months
$99/month = 3 lessons for 3 months
Already have an instrument? Buy 3 lessons and get one free for $96!

Do you have a deep love for music? Do you play an instrument?


*Please be advised this is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. On The91Rewind, we will never promote a product or service that we would not honestly use or recommend.*

food + drink, just for fun

Out and About: Scott’s Addition

We have a new series here on The91Rewind, Out and About, where we will take you on an adventure with us in Richmond, Virginia or Raleigh, North Carolina. Both cities hold a space near and dear to our hearts, but Richmond is where our roots began and seemed like a fitting place to kick off this series. Today I am taking you out and about in Scott’s Addition, a neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia.

I had the great opportunity to have an afternoon with my husband… 

while my mom watched our two girls. This was our first day date, and this most certainly will not be the last. Choosing where to go out can sometimes be a challenge for us, but I can almost guarantee it will include delicious food and drink. Today’s featuring outing was no different, and thankfully my we had a friend recommend checking out Lemon, and claimed it was the best Indian food in Richmond. We’re not sure it’s THE best, but it’s definitely a strong contender. Their lunch menu is ON POINT and includes a soup or salad, a main dish, a side dish, naan, basmati rice, and a dessert. The soup, salad, side dish, and dessert vary based on the day and what the chef has in mind. On our visit, we got really lucky. The side dish was something new, and it was AMAZING. It was this corn dish with cream, fennel, coconut, and other delish but unknown flavors. Just  thinking about it has my mouth watering and wanting more. I wish I had a photo to share, but it didn’t last long for either of us. Not only was the food scrumptious, the service was phenomenal, and we are already planning our next trip for more grub. If you like Indian or want to give it a try, get in your car and go get some great food!

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After we finished lunch we decided it was time for… 

an adult beverage (or two) since we were free of little people interrupting our fun. We decided to check out Black Heath Meadery, which had been on our “to visit” list (an ever growing list if we’re honest)  for quite some time. Maybe it’s because of Beowulf, but there’s something intriguing about drinking mead. My husband and I have tried a variety of meads over the years, including some made by friends, but the recurring problem is the sweet factor. Why must mead be SO SWEET?! Thankfully we were able to find some that weren’t over the top sweet or that were well balance in flavor and sweetness. Thanks to Black Heath, the tides may be changing in meads favor now! By far our favorite mead was their Aw Shmucks strawberry mead. It was like drinking the best summer strawberry jam. We most certainly bought a bottle, have already finished, and I’m hoping they still have it so we can get some more. If you like mead or want to give it a try, get in your car and go get some Aw Shmucks (but not too much so there’s some left for me)!

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Once we had our fill of mead, it was time to hit one more place…

before heading home to our girls. Because of where we were, our next stop was an easy(ish) choice, a brewery as there are no shortage of craft breweries in Scott’s Addition (let alone Richmond). Choosing which brewery to frequent is a tough one for us (we like almost all of them), but we decided to hit up one that was new for me… Vasen. I’ve been to the brewery multiple times for Mindful Mornings, but I’d yet to have their beer. This was probably our most laid back stop on our outing, as we both grabbed a beer, a comfy seat (there’s LOADS of seating in and outside of the brewery), and we savored our final moments of adult time. Our first round was pretty good (I had the Golden Sauvin and the husband had the ….), but the second beer my husband picked (Norse Pale Ale) was the best. We were totally wishing we ordered it from the start, but were grateful we ended our visit with this tasty brew. If you like beer or want a great place to spend time with friends (who like beer), get in your car and go to Vasen!


Once we were done with our beer, we knew…

it was time to be responsible parents and head home. BUT as we were walking out we got distracted. Stella’s Grocery (https://www.instagram.com/stellasgrocery) now has a Scott’s Addition location, and we had to check it out. We were somewhat disappointed we were so full from lunch, because there were SO MANY delicious options. If you are looking for good food, made quickly (but well), or something easy to grab and go then this is your place. There were giant grain bowls, sandwiches made to order, and DESSERTS. We couldn’t resist getting one of the giant cookies, and let me tell you it was YUMMY.

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If you’re looking for something to do in Richmond…

please head to Scott’s Addition and check out one (or more) of the many great restaurants, breweries, and local businesses. We’re regulars down that way, and cannot wait to head back. Where are you headed out and about this weekend? Is there somewhere you’d like us to check out next?



just for fun

we have some news

It’s only April, but 2018 has brought a lot of newness and great opportunities for us both on the 91 rewind. We are so grateful to have you whether you’re new to us or a longtime follower (back from the HebrewDawn days). No matter when you joined us, we are excited to have you along for the ride! With that being from said, we have some news to share…

  1. I am now a contributor on the Richmond Moms Blog. You’ll still hear from me on motherhood occasionally, but I’ll share some of my motherhood and parenting specific thoughts over there.  We’ll be sure to share a link to those posts with you all. If you are a Richmond area mom or dad, you should definitely go check out the blog…and not just when I am posting! Posts on Richmond Moms Blogs are often Richmond focused, but most of it is great stuff to carry us as we navigate parenting whether in Richmond or not
  2. You can now find Erica’s yoga schedule here on our site! If you’re looking for a yoga class and live in the Raleigh area or will be visiting the Raleigh, then you should go to one of her classes! Erica is someone who is naturally a great teacher, but she’s also a joy to be around (as her best friend I MAY be biased). For starters, ask her how to make downward dog less taxing and be the restorative pose it’s meant to be…
  3. We have a NEWSLETTER coming and our first edition is coming your way later this month! Make sure you sign up so you’ll stay in the know about all things 91 rewind. You’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, receive special gifts, and stay informed of anything you may have missed here.  Sign up here.
  4. We have a new series coming soon, called “How did you get here?” Through these posts we’ll share the stories of people who have been transformed, folks who empower us, and those who just plain have moxie! We cannot wait to introduce you to our first rock star. If you have someone you’d like to see featured, send us note.
  5. You are now able to begin scheduling us for your events! Are you looking for a retreat or event speaker, particularly focusing on self-care? Looking for a pop-up yoga event instructor? Read something here that piqued your interest, but want to dig deeper into the topic? Then we’re your gals. Reach out to us via our event request page or send us an email. We love being able to connect with you all, especially in person!

Thank you for being on this path with us. We hope you’ll find the 91 rewind to be your place to hit pause, catch your breath, hit rewind and try again. 




just for fun, taking care

valentine shmalentine

I have to admit that I’m not much of a romantic. I refuse to watch The Notebook and try my best to avoid any books, movies, and shows of that particular genre. I do not consider myself to be cold and unfeeling, but I simply do not believe it is healthy to indulge the notions proffered by these stories. In my experience, love is unpredictable, painful, and complicated, with romantic love being the most wild variety.  AND if we choose to measure the “love” in our lives by romantic heteronormative relationships, we stand to miss out on a LOT in life—a lot of LOVE that is. 

I am strongly opposed to the way we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. It irritates me to no end that couples fight over this arbitrary milestone. It troubles me that people are made to feel “less than” because they don’t have a special someone. I have a hard time believing that the only people who deserve happiness and love are those “in a relationship” on social media.  It seems like the unwavering mission of Valentine’s Day is to remind those of us lacking romance that life just isn’t as good. Like we are alone and broken.

The true origins of this holiday are widely debated, but without a doubt they have NOTHING to do with romance or love for that matter. Let’s not forget that this “holiday” was rebranded in the early 20th century to do little more than stimulate the economy.

I wasn’t always so bitter and jaded. There was a time when the fleeting nonsense of Valentine’s Day didn’t make me bristle up with tension.


Flashback to elementary school…as a young child, I LOVED Valentine’s Day for two reasons: first, because my mom and I would make Valentine’s for my class and there was always extra candy, and second because it was the only day where it was acceptable to wear pink and red together.  Plus,  even in the early 1990s, teachers mandated a progressive equivocal approach to this holiday. The rule for exchanging Valentine’s in class was that you had to have one for everyone. You would come to school with treats to share and end up with just as many to take home. The world seemed fair and just, and quite delicious. These were simpler times.

Flash forward to my mid-late twenties…I finally had a steady Valentine, but some ideological differences kept us from celebrating this or any other holiday. His family wasn’t into gift-giving or celebrations, so it was no surprise he too, saw them as a waste of time and money. Things I took for granted, like birthday parties and summer vacations; things I thought everyone just sort of did, were foreign to my partner.  Like many things in our relationship, he and I just were not on the same page here. I tried a couple of times to make it special without spending money, but he would only get upset. Valentine’s Day, and all the other holidays, became a dreadful reminder that a gifting is a two-way street. It isn’t enough to give a gift, it has to be received, in order to be truly meaningful. 

Ironically, our five-year relationship ended, due to irreconcilable differences, a few days before Valentine’s Day in 2013. It was messy untangling our lives, and I moved in with my parents to get back on my feet. The morning of Valentine’s day came and I was still a bit raw from the death of my relationship as I headed to work. I did not realize what day it was as I sat in the daily production meeting,  absently staring out the window.

I noticed a car pull up in front of the building—well I heard it before I saw it. To my horrified astonishment, it was a car I recognized. My ex appeared and proceeded to decorate my tiny Fiat 500 with bows and hearts, flowers and candy, a stuffed animal. It was as if he purchased the entire Valentine’s Day crap section at Walgreens. The commotion garnered the attention of others in the meeting, and we sat together and watched as this desperate man made a last ditch effort to save our relationship on Valentine’s Day.

I was beyond mortified, but more than that, I was damn mad. In the years we were together, this dude could not even produce a Valentine’s Day haiku. Now after a pretty volatile break-up, he thinks $40 worth of themed garbage is going to make everything right? No. Just, NO! How dare this guy come to my office and make a spectacle of me? I couldn’t believe it.  

After he drove away, I marched out there, collected all the stuff, and walked it right to the garbage. And of course, I had to entertain questions from my coworkers for the rest of the week about what happened and how I felt about it. To make matters worse, most of them thought I was frigid for rejecting what they perceived to be a sweet gesture.  Appearances can be deceiving, am I right? 

After hearing about my theatrical day at work, my wonderful parents did all they could to salvage things. Mom and Dad got me a sweet Valentine’s Day card and ingredients to make home-made pizzas after work.  We celebrated the “day of love” as a family and had such a super fun time that I forgot all about my embarrassing morning.

Every year since then and probably each year from now on, they are my sweet Valentines. It’s accurate, I mean, they are the people I love the most, and in my eyes, the people most deserving of my appreciation and affection.

There are as many different types of love as there are reasons to celebrate it.  We love our families and friends. We love our ZUMBA instructor and our favorite hoodie. We love the way that one guy at Chipotle is a little heavy handed with the guac. All of these instances foster good feelings within us. They make us feel a little special and help us treat others with more kindness.

Devoting an entire holiday to focus on one specific kind of love seems a bit exclusive. Truthfully, it wasn’t until I didn’t have a “valentine” anymore that I began to appreciate all the different ways I experience love in my life. Deepening the relationships I hold dear and learning to love MYSELF brings me more joy, warmth and fuzzy feelings than any date I could go on. 

Valentine’s Day should be about sharing love! Not just with a particular type of person, but with all the people. Just like elementary school, if you’re not prepared to share with everyone, keep it to yourself. 

just for fun


Now that the holidays are over and we’ve returned to the daily grind it may seem like a long haul until our next break. The days are short. It’s cold out. For those of us in the Triangle (NC), we are digging out of an sort of unexpected winter storm. Things look pretty bleak. How on earth are we supposed to get through these less than exciting times until spring gets here? 

Quarry Vista Duraleigh Road Raleigh, NCQuarry Vista Duraleigh Road Raleigh, NC

Quarry Vista Duraleigh Road Raleigh, NC

I think we celebrate the small milestones. I think we cheer the victorious conclusion of each week with the knowledge that time is marching on and it won’t be winter forever. Think about it, we are already one month in? What’s another eight-ish weeks? 

With that in mind, I’d like to propose a toast to Fridays, or #FriYAYs if you will. Fridays are rapidly becoming my favorite day of the week. They are a celebration of what HAS happened and a gateway to the weekend. No matter where you are in life, you can and should take a moment to appreciate the conclusion of one week, and the beginning of another. To me, that’s what FriYAY is all about.

What’s that you say? Isn’t Sunday supposed to be “that” day? The day of rest? The final weekend day? I don’t think so…Arguably, Sunday can be considered to be the big kickoff day of the week.  (HA! a football pun!) Who can say?

 At any rate, even if you work weekends (as I have since what feels like the dawn of time), there is definitely a change in the “vibe” from weekday to weekend. Saturday and Sunday just feel different for some reason. Maybe it’s old fashioned, but there’s something just a little more laid back about those two days.

It is for these reasons that I believe wholeheartedly in the #FUN of #FriYAY… I dare you at some point today, to  stop where you are, amidst your busy #FriYAY, and do a little happy dance. Shake your groove thing; you can make it subtle if you need to. Maybe you #treatyoself to a delicious juice? Maybe you have dinner plans with friends to look forward to? Maybe you have an entire evening of watching Netflix with your cat!?

Whatever it is, you DO YOU on #FriYAY and enjoy it to the fullest!




just for fun

cheers to you!

The year has just begun. It is full of possibilities and adventures and we are really looking forward to all that 2018 has in store. Not long ago we posted this little message:


To that effect, we would like to re-introduce ourselves as The 91 Rewind


Don’t worry! We are keeping all the content you enjoyed on HebrewDawn, but this time as a joint project between two friends who’ve known each other almost forever. We appreciate all of your support so far and we look forward to bringing your more stories, pick-me-ups, and good vibes.

Crystal and I became friends in 1991 when I moved to Smoketree South. We have been besties since then, and although we have both grown and changed, a lot is still the same. When someone knows you like you know yourself, it can help you stay grounded. When the road gets rough, connections like these can help you get back to your authentic self.

Crystal and I are very different but we are both honest to a fault. Our friendship has endured the test of time; probably because we have always kept it real with one another. We continue to help each other see the best in ourselves, accept what cannot be changed, and find the motivation to keep going on.

We started this blog as a way to share-with everyone-the little pep talks, comic relief, and good conversation we have been sharing with one another for years. If our friendship has taught us anything, it is that sometimes sharing your story with someone else helps to lighten the load.

The 91 Rewind is our version of a digital treehouse. It’s a place to get away for a moment, catch your breath, and find silver linings. If you need a refresh, a reset, or a “rewind and try again”, you’re welcome here. Come on over for a bit. Listen, share, but more than anything, just be yourself! We’re happy to see you 🙃



just for fun

new year newness


If you’re a longtime reader of HebrewDawn you know that things have evolved over the years. Initially this was a personal blog for Crystal sharing funny things that happened (*ahem* is this Keisha?), foot surgeries, and the birth of kids. Then this site evolved into what it is today. A place for people to come and find words to encourage on the journey to being our most authentic selves. During this site evolution, Erica came on board, and the dynamic duo of two best friends brought HebrewDawn to new heights. As time has gone on, HebrewDawn has grown, and new prospects are on the horizon we, Crystal and Erica, we realized this site needed a new name. This site hasn’t been just Crystal’s for quite some time, but HebrewDawn is not reflective of both of us. We thought of waiting to share this news with you once all the details are ready (logo, site rebranding, etc.), but we wanted our faithful readers to know sooner than later. You’ll notice that some fonts have changed on our site already, today our Instagram handle is changing, a new logo is coming, and so much more.

We are excited to share with you about our process as we go, but we want to assure that the only real change you’ll notice is our name. The content type will remain the same, but we dare say the quality will continue to get better. We are super excited for 2018, continued growth with you, and seeing what’s in store for….