Episode 6: Happy Fourth of July, America!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s the Fourth of July, and in episode six, we discuss all the patriotic traditions you can expect to experience if you’re in the US on the ultimate American day. From cheeseburgers and hot dogs, to s’mores and fireworks, the Fourth of July is all about celebrating this great country and spending time with loved ones.

Listen to Episode 6 Now!

With summer in full swing and holidays and vacations happening left and right, we know how difficult it can be to stick to a daily routine. We all try so hard to be consistent about working out, eating well, spending time with family and friends, getting enough rest, etc. but it can all be thrown off as soon as the weekend hits or you take a summer vacation. When you find yourself slipping out of routine, here are some tips we use to stay on track:

  • Write a to-do list on Sunday evening
    • By writing down what you want to achieve for the following week, you will be more likely to stick to a routine, and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off on your list! By creating a visual of your week, it will also seem more manageable. Write things down like when you want to go grocery shopping and which workouts you’re planning on doing, as well as blocking off time to speak to and see friends and family.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you have a lazy day
    • It happens to us all: we inadvertently sleep in later than expected, we turn on the TV and all of a sudden it’s 4 p.m. and we’re still in our pajamas bingeing Netflix. It’s ok to have a lazy day every now and then, and it’s important not to feel bad about it. Enjoy the day, recharge, and then get back to your routine the next day. Try not to let one lazy day creep into two or three, otherwise getting back into a routine will be more difficult.
  • Schedule time to connect with family and friends
    • Our lives get so busy, but by having a consistent schedule in which you know you will see your family on a regular basis will help in spending that important quality time with loved ones. If you’re lucky enough to live close by, grab brunch once or twice a month, or if you’re further away from family and friends, make sure you’re FaceTiming often to get that much needed one on one time.
  • Practice self-care daily
    • It can be as simple as committing to taking your makeup off every night and cleansing your skin morning and night, but taking a few minutes daily to practice self-care will help instill these healthy habits as a daily must-do. We are excited to try out The Jade Roller from Mount Lai, as we hear the benefits are endless in rolling this wand across your skin daily. From reducing fine lines and wrinkles, to eliminating puffiness and under eye circles (tip: place the roller in the fridge or freezer for added cooling benefits!) and draining the lymphatic system, this is a must-try tool for great skin.

What are some ways you stick to a schedule and daily routine? Let us know in the comments below!

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Episode 5: Motivation

Listen Now | Episode 5: What Motivates You?

In this weeks episode, we are discussing motivation and we are sharing ways we stay motivated in our careers, with fitness, our relationships, and throughout life in general. Everyone goes through periods where motivation is at an all time high and you feel unstoppable, and also those times when a lack in motivation strikes.

What we have found in talking about motivation is that it is easiest to stay motivated when you are passionate about the task at hand. If you love your job and are satisfied in what you are doing, your motivation will be higher and easier to come by as opposed to someone who is not happy with their position, the company they are working for, or the people they work with. Yes, a job is a job and not all days will be sunshine and rainbows, but if you feel excited about your career the motivation will come easy. It is much easier said than done, but we all owe it to ourselves to find a job we love. If that means taking a big risk and venturing out on your own as an entrepreneur, go for it! You’ll regret not taking the risk in the long run.

Oftentimes we get overwhelmed with juggling so many tasks on a daily basis that our motivation quickly disappears because it seems impossible to get everything done. In these times, it always seems easier to give up than try to tackle what’s in front of us, but try writing down everything you need to get done. By putting pen to paper and having a visual of your tasks, they may seem more manageable than simply thinking about it all. We suggest prioritizing your to-do lists as well, don’t try to tackle everything at once, instead, take on one task at a time depending on what is most urgent.

Motivation is often bolstered by some type of reward. If you know you’re going to get a good bonus if you hit certain sales goals, your motivation to crush it will be high. Why not add rewards to our everyday tasks as well? Treat yourself to a fancy coffee if you finally tackle that annoying chore you’ve been putting off for so long, or get a mani-pedi, you deserve it! By celebrating the small wins, our motivation to continue along that same road will be high.

If you ever feel like your motivation is lacking, don’t worry about it, simply take a deep breath and try again the next day. There’s no use in stressing out over not feeling inspired or motivated, it will only add to the weight on your shoulders. Writing down positive affirmations and placing them where you’ll see them regularly will help in maintaining a positive attitude and also in maintaining that motivation.

What are some ways you stay motivated? Let us know in the comments below!

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Episode 4: Wait, We Have to ‘Adult” Now? Real Talk About Life Expectations

Listen to Episode 4 Now!

Expectations, they’re all around us, about life, family, relationships, career, etc. The list goes on, and there’s no doubt this is a broad topic which is why expectations will be a recurring theme in many episodes to come. In episode four, we have an open and honest conversation about how life expectations kick into overdrive the moment you turn 18 and the questions start (and never really stop):

  • Are you going to college/university? What are you studying?
  • What will you do with your degree?
  • What job will you get?
  • Where will you live? Are you buying a house?
  • How will you afford to live the life you want to?
  • Are you in a relationship? When are you getting married? When are you having babies?

It all starts when you finish high school (US)/senior school (UK) and are expected to go on to college/university.  This is obviously not for everyone and while we were talking, we realised that in the US, the expectation to move on to college is far greater than it is in the UK. That said, there is the added pressure in the US to decide which major you pursue as that will eventually determine which career path you take. It is so different in the UK, unless you want to be a doctor or lawyer, the type of degree you undertake is often overlooked, as it all comes down to your final grade and the fact that you have a degree on your CV.

Didn’t go to university? Guess what, that’s ok. Graduated college but still unsure of what you really want to do for your career? You’re in the 99% of people that still have no clue what they truly want to do, and that’s ok. There will always be pro’s and con’s to every decision we make in life, and the big ones seem even more daunting, but trust your gut and know whichever decision you come to is the right one for you at that time.

It’s important to try to focus on what’s best for you, and try to silence the expectations you may be feeling from others (or yourself) and remember that life is a long journey, and making mistakes is part of the game. How about we all throw some expectations out of the window and put our energy towards doing what makes us happy.

Episode 3 : Self-Care, Anxiety and How to Stay Positive

Episode 3 of Pond Between Friends is all about maintaining a healthy mind and we discuss topics we are sure so many of you can relate to: dealing with anxiety, staying positive and prioritizing self-care.  Over the past week, two well know celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, tragically took their own lives due to depression, and we wanted to keep the often difficult, but immensely important, conversation going  about mental health. In this episode (link below), we discuss the different ways in which we deal with anxiety and negative thoughts, and some tips on how we stay positive.

Episode 3: Listen Now!

*Disclaimer: These are own own thoughts, we are not medical professionals and are simply having a conversation about ways that we remain positive. Take it as you wish.

The main takeaways from the episode are:

  1. Toxic Friends: you don’t need them, so cut them

This may seem harsh, but surrounding yourself with supportive and positive friends will in turn ensure you remain positive. If you have someone in your life that makes you feel negatively about yourself, or you feel judged by, you don’t need them. Life can be tough, everyone is dealing with and going through different problems in their lives and what we need are friends that will lift us up.  If you have friends that are negative or don’t act as the support system that you need, it may be time to distance yourself from them.

2. Social Media: Spend less time on social media and understand that real life is very different from what is being portrayed through your phone

So much of our time is now spent on social media and it is easy to forget that people only post “perfect pictures” with filters and the right lighting, a far cry from reality in most cases.  We often find ourselves deflated and feeling down after scrolling through Instagram, comparing our own lives with what we have seen in those little squares.  Make it a point to put your phone down and enjoy what is happening around you, life goes by too fast to care about what others are putting out there on social media.

3. Exercise: Find an activity that you enjoy

This word is scary to some and a joy to others, but the endorphins we experience after a good sweat session are key in helping combat those dark feelings that can come creeping in.  Whether it’s a 5 mile run, a brisk walk getting out in the fresh air, or yoga, the same endorphins are released around your body and will immediately make you feel better and you’ll have a more positive mindset. Try out different exercise routines and find one that you enjoy so you stop seeing it as a chore, but rather something positive you are doing for your body and mind.

4. Self-Care: Make time for you

Whether this be a luxury bath with salts, candles and your favourite book, or treating yourself to a pedicure or massage, making sure you’re carving out time for self-care. Meditation is an effective tool you can practice daily and ensure your are focusing time for yourself. There are so many apps out there to grow your meditation practice, some that we are going to try include Headspace, Simple Habit and Calm.

A final note.

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Episode 2: Our Weddings

We were so excited for this episode because we love any excuse to talk about our special wedding days which took place within 6 months of each other. If you haven’t listened yet, check out the episode with the link below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/176636/719901-e02-we-re-talking-weddings-ours-others-and-everything-in-between.mp3?download=true

When we recorded this podcast we realised how many difference there are between British and American weddings and were quite surprised.  Some of the main differences were:

  1. GUESTS – Over in Britain, it is customary to send two different wedding invitations, one for all day wedding guests and the other for evening only. There are many reasons for the two invites, it may come down to cost (it is obviously a lot cheaper to have evening guests than all day guests) or the number of people that the venue can seat for the wedding breakfast (the British way of saying the meal after the ceremony). Family and your closest friends are invited as all day guests and often, work colleagues and your remaining friends are typically who are invited to the evening celebration. The evening guests join the celebration after the meal for the wedding cake cutting and party.
  2. GIFTS – In the US, there are bridal showers ahead of the wedding where the bride and groom register for gifts and these gifts are then brought along to the shower. At the wedding, guests usually bring a card with a monetary gift. In the UK, guests will either buy something off a guest list/registry or give money in a card, both of which are given at the wedding.
  3. COST – In 2018, the average wedding in the US costs $33,000 (which roughly converts to £25,000) compared to £17,000 in the UK.

Our Weddings were slightly different in the fact that Nicole got married in a Church and Laura got married in what they call a civil ceremony in the UK, where a registrar comes to the wedding venue to marry you.

Laura and Sam’s Wedding

We got married in December 2015 at Gosfield Hall in Essex, England.  As soon as we walked into this venue, we knew it was the one. People kept telling me ahead of the wedding that it will be the best day of our lives and that it will go by so fast.  I can say with absolute honesty that it was more than we could have ever imagined and our photographer, Ashley Paton Photography, captured the day so beautifully. I have a few pieces of advice to all future brides:

  • Firstly, make sure you both live in the moment of the day and make time to have a breather just the two of you to take it all in. Sam and I snuck off to enjoy a glass of champagne together after the ceremony which was so special as no one had noticed that we had gone, but we got to really enjoy that special time just the two of us right after becoming Mr. and Mrs.
  • Secondly, it is really hard to get round to seeing and speaking to all of your wedding guests.  I used the time between courses in our sit down meal to go round the room to all the different tables and mingle with the guests.  It means that you can interact with 10 people at a time and everyone feels like they got to see you.
  • Thirdly, I would highly recommend a videographer. We were lucky enough to have our photographer, Ashley’s husband, Tom Paton film our wedding and he created a six minute film which perfectly captured our day. We just love watching it and it brings us right back to that very special day.

Here are just a few pictures from our wedding. – L, xx

This is one of my favourite photo’s from the whole day, Sam had just said something really funny but it looks like we had staged this smile. Lucky for me he hasn’t stopped making me laugh/smile in this way since we got married.
Laura and Sam
The behind the scenes glamour of getting the newlywed photos in a bridal gown and heels while walking all over the venue trying to avoid the rain
Laura and Sam
The horror on Sam’s face when the photographer asked him to pick me up and spin me round, think he was worried for his back although he put on a good cover up smile!

Nicole and Brian’s Wedding

Brian and I got married on June 4, 2016, in Westchester, New York, which also happens to be my grandparents wedding anniversary. They were celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary as we were saying “I do” and flew in from England to be with us and were a large part of our day. Our ceremony took place in Sacred Heart Church, Brian’s family church, and our reception was at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. We had an incredible team of vendors, but a special shoutout has to go to our wedding planner, Kerri-Lynn of Stella Day Events, and our photographer, Philip Anema, from Christian Oth Studio who captured our day as well as videographers from Dideo Films. Our wedding was hands down the best day of our lives and we love having our beautiful pictures and wedding film to relive every moment. Laura’s advice is spot on, and I’ll add:

  • Photography/Videography: Yes, you will have sticker shock when you find out how much photographers and videographers charge to capture your day, but if you are going to invest heavily in one part of your wedding, let it be your photography and videography. At the end of the day, this is all you will have to look back on your day, so choose your photographer and videographer wisely (make sure you like them as people, they will be with you the whole day!) and that you choose the style of photography/videography that suits you as a couple.
  • Wedding Planning: Keep it FUN! There will undoubtedly be stressful moments, but remember to take a deep breath and enjoy planning the best day of your life. Also, don’t let planning take over your lives, every conversation does not have to revolve around your wedding for six months, a year, or longer depending on the length of your engagement. It may be taking over your life, but your friends and family really don’t want to hear about how you’re conflicted about choosing between peonies and garden roses 😉

We were lucky enough to have our wedding featured on Brides.com, take a look and enjoy for some more details about our day.

https://www.brides.com/story/westchester-county-wedding

Here are a few pictures from our day! – N, xx

Nicole & Brian Farrington
Moments after we left the church we jumped in this vintage car and our photographer captured what has become my favorite picture from the day.
Nicole & Brian Farrington
I felt like a princess in my Hayley Paige dress and sparkling gold Jimmy Choo shoes!
Nicole & Brian Farrington
Before our guests arrived for the reception, we took pictures outside of Sleepy Hollow Country Club, or what I called our mansion for the weekend!
Nicole & Brian Farrington
Heading down the stairs to our reception, oh happy day!
Nicole & Brian Farrington
We kissed A LOT that day 😉

 

EPISODE ONE: Now Available!

Episode one of Pond Between Friends is officially available in iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

LINK BELOW TO LISTEN

https://www.buzzsprout.com/176636/711934-e01-meet-nicole-and-laura-why-a-podcast-and-long-distance-friendship.mp3?download=true

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We are so excited to officially kick-off this journey and in this episode you’ll get to know us, your hosts, Nicole and Laura, and we explain why we decided to start this podcast. You’ll also get to hear the story of how we met and how we’ve managed to keep our strong friendship going for over 22 years across countries and time zones. Mixed in we discuss our top goal for year one of the podcast (spoiler: it involves a beach in the Maldives) and we remind everyone about #CommutingRules. Listen, laugh (we certainly did in recording this) and we hope you enjoy!

What you’ll hear on episode one:
→”We look very official…we have microphones, we have headphones…one day, we will record our podcast from the beach in the Maldives” (00:23)
→”We both have reached 30…and you realize we are all at different stages in life…and that’s ok…as long as people are happy where they are” (00:58)
→”So many others can probably relate, we wanted to create this podcast and a community…to have those hard and candid conversations” (1:56)
→”We will pretty much say it how it is” (2:39)
→”Maybe one day we will have Meghan Markle as the Duchess of Sussex and the President of the United States” (3:46)
→”You’re so invested in the characters…you just have to find out what happens” (4:42)
→”This guy who was irritating me the whole way…he went to me ‘what did you think?’…I hate people being nosy like that” (4:50)
→”Commuting rules” (5:38)
→”We were 13 and I don’t think we quite knew what it meant to have a long distance friendship” (8:13)
→”They don’t know it yet, but we’re hoping to invite them on the podcast at some point” (11:08)
→”Oh, we’ll need wine!” (11:22)
→”With social media, is it a lazy way to think you’re staying in touch with someone? Is that still a friendship?” (12:56)
→”I’m doing all the spending I possibly can in order to come over on air miles” (15:48)
→”We speak all the time, and now everyone can hear our conversations!”(17:54)
→”He got a direct flight on British Airways…now I’m a last minute travel booker because it opened my eyes” (19:09)
→”You almost take some relationships for granted” (20:32)
→”We always try to live in the moment, don’t we” (20:43)
→”Find friends that communicate the same way you do, and also know and respect the way that you communicate” (21:00)
→”Challenge everyone who is listening to, reach out to someone who you may not have spoken to in a while and we’re sure it will put a smile on their face” (23:04)

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Instagram |@PondBetweenFriends
Facebook | Pond Between Friends Page

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate us and leave a review! Doing these little things will help us more than you know!

BONUS EPISODE: Royal Wedding Recap

We’ve got an exciting bonus episode for you and we’re breaking down the Royal Wedding. We discuss what it was like watching at 4AM from the west coast of the US and what the atmosphere was like in England. What did we think of Meghan’s dress(es), and who wore it best: royal wedding guest edition. Find out who we thought stole the show: spoiler, it was not Meghan, and what our favorite parts of whole day were. We even extend an invitation to a certain new Duchess to join us on Pond Between Friends as she is now across the pond from her family and friends…gals can dream, right?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN NOW!

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What you’ll get on the bonus episode:

• “Britain in the sunshine, there is no place like it” (2:04) • “She looked like a beautiful modern princess” (2:30)

• “I think that’s Meghan, that’s her showing that she’s a feminist, that she can do this on her own, showing her confidence…Britain were with her all the way” (3:34)

• “Being an actress definitely lent itself to this role” (4:50)

• “I love that it was a nod to British fashion…that was a great touch” (5:33) • “We can’t go on, before we discuss her priest…” (5:52)

• “Meghan was able to bring in her culture…I loved the modern twist on it” (6:22)

• “It brought two families together…you almost forgot for a second it was the royal family and it was just a wedding of two cultures and two people coming together” (7:20)

• “I love the Queen, I love the Royal Family, I’m typically British in that way” (7:52)

• “I guess it’s something we’ll just never know…as the fairytale is happening we will say that seat was for Diana” (8:41)

• “If anybody took it away from them, I’d say maybe Princess Charlotte” (9:27)

• “Jessica Mulroney was stunning…she’s had her Pippa moment” (9:53)

• “Hello, who doesn’t like a Bank Holiday!” (10:34)

• “It fell on an FAA Cup Final…Britain was just in such high spirits…an all day celebration” (10:51)

• “Lady Kitty Spencer…she looked beautiful” (12:30)

• “We invite her to hopefully discover Pond Between Friends…so, Duchess of Sussex if you want to chat with us…I’ll even come and meet you for a cup of tea at Kensington Palace” (13:13)