Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NYC, Part 2

Get ready for a marathon post on the second half of our New York trip... Check out part one, if you want to catch up on the first half.

Sunday morning was brunch with the girls at Spitzer's Corner, then I headed out to meet Jeff at his college roommate, Paul's NYC apartment.  Adding to the millions of other reasons why he is such a great husband, Jeff woke up early to stand in line at the TKTS office for discount Broadway tickets, even with just a few hours of sleep!

{girls at brunch... photo courtesy of Amy}

After checking out Paul's amazing Union Square apartment, complete with rooftop views of the Empire State building, we took a cab out to Times Square.  It was so crowded, but we had the perfect amount of time to check it out before our show started.


Jeff's early morning payed off with incredible orchestra seats at the Palace Theatre for West Side Story.  I absolutely loved it!  I can't even imagine the choreography that goes into all of the 'fight' scenes... plus it felt nice to see a classic on Broadway!  Jeff didn't enjoy it quite as much, but he was a total trooper for taking me without much complaining!



After the mid-afternoon show, we set off on a huge self-guided walking tour!  We saw Saint Patrick's Cathedral (packed for Sunday evening mass), FAO Schwarz, and One Bryant Park, along with tons of window shopping.

{Jeff outside of Saint Patricks}

And, of course, a quick ode to my New York idol (or alternate self?) Liz Lemon...


We headed back to the apartment in time to grab dinner at a great, authentic Italian restaurant just a few blocks over with Paul.  Even Jeff, who is not much on going out for pasta, loved the food!  The night ended back on the rooftop, taking in the nighttime views of the city.

{daytime apartment view}

Monday morning we were up fairly early to start on my list of city sights.  We started with the Tribute World Trade Center Visitors Center and walking around Ground Zero.


{Japanese paper cranes for peace at visitors center}

Then walked over to Battery Park to take the ferry to Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty... Until we saw the line that had already formed before lunch!  Definitely should have made this our early morning stop.  We decided to just take in the view from the park, especially since tickets for the crown were already sold out for the day.


The rest of the morning consisted of walking through Chinatown, which ended up being my least favorite part of the city... And finally an authentic New York style pizza lunch at Sal's in Little Italy.


Our afternoon was made up of a failed trip to the Met.  It is closed on Mondays... Although we did fail at planning, I have a feeling that we would have run out of time to see everything else, if we had gone in!  Plus now it's saved for our next New York trip...


then a walk around Wall Street and the NY Stock Exchange...


the incredible New York Public Library...


{the reading room}

and heading to the top of 30 Rockefeller Center (which we were told by multiple locals was the best view of the City)...




Tuesday morning came quickly, after dinner at Wildwood and a few drinks with Paul.  Our flight was late-afternoon, so we took advantage of the morning to squeeze in a few more activities.

Including strolling through NYU's campus (and of course, asking Jeff if he thought I could go there for my Ph.D)


and lunch at the famous Katz's Delicatessen... where the 'I'll have what she's having' line in When Harry Met Sally occurred... 


We had such an incredible trip, and it was the perfect way to spend my first visit... Now I'm just trying to figure out when we can go back!

Breaking Bread?

A quick poll to my lovely blog readers (yes, all 10 of you!)... Has anyone used a bread machine before?

With logic that I am sure Kat will appreciate, Jeff recently read an article about how much money a bread machine will save you in the long run... I don't remember the details, but just think about multiplying the $3-7 per week spent on bread by 52 weeks in a year.  It is a lot of dough (sorry, I couldn't help myself...)

{via Amazon}

While the cost of a basic model bread machine can be around $60, I still wonder about the costs of wheat flour, yeast, flax seeds, oat bran, dry milk... Everything it would take to make that low cal, high fiber, wheat bread we all love.

I like the idea of having homemade bread every week, but am wondering about logistics (especially for just two of us!)  Any thoughts?

Guest Post: Sister Sister Sunday

Obviously still feeling a little delayed, even after a productive weekend... But I was fortunate enough to guest post with my sister-in-law, Kelly, on her sister-in-law Mandy's blog, Kuzak's Closet, on Sunday.

I love reading her blog, especially the updates on her amazing job as a professional organizer!  Every week Mandy and her sister Ashlie co-post on their favorite things for Sister Sister Sunday.  Luckily for me, they invite other sisters to guest post, and I was so excited to be included with Kelly!   

With fall and football season quickly approaching, we featured our favorite tailgate recipes!  I have to admit that most of college was spent tailgating with chips & Bubba burgers... So I modified a new-to-me recipe from Sarah and was so happy with the results! 


Not for the health-conscious tailgater... but really, is that the point of enjoying drinks, friends & football?  Definitely not!

couldn't resist... old school photo, at a Carolina game with my roommates

Friday, August 27, 2010

T-Minus

My birthday is 3 weeks from yesterday… not that I’m dreading it counting or anything. We are hosting an engagement party that weekend, but are also hoping to find time to have a mini-mountain-get-away to celebrate (I know, like we really need more travel!)

But just in case we don’t and you find yourself looking for present ideas (hint-hint to the hubs), I am currently loving…

Cord Toms in plum… perfect for fall feet.

Garmin Forerunner… I might not be going far (yet) but I love the reviews for this and my non-working iPhone apps just aren’t cutting it.

Oh, and I'll also take one of these iPhone arm bands.

Nikon D40 was going to be a list addition… Then I googled it… and looked at the prices for a refurbished camera… and realized I could never own one and be married to Jeff.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let's Hear It...

for Newww Yooork!  Yes, I realize that I am a terrible blogger and should have posted my New York trip recaps last week... But this is the way it goes sometimes!  I'll make up for lateness with enthusiasm.

Day 1:  We arrived to JFK airport after what I would call one of the most relaxing flights I've ever been on (and that says a lot with my major fear of flying).  Jeff shared a cab from the airport with the girls, then headed to his college roommate's NYC apartment for a guys weekend. 

We checked into our amazing hotel, the Thompson LES, and kicked off the celebration with some champagne!  And, of course, exploration of the room...


Yes, I was incredibly amused by the no-door nob, just hole in the frosted glass, in the bathroom...

First up was a stop at Spring Street Natural for lunch... Delicious!  Then we spent the day walking, walking, walking... And I loved it!  I think I could spend weeks just walking around the city and taking in all of the people, buildings... and of course, the shopping.


I am still not really familiar with exactly where we walked, but I think we hit most of the Lower East Side (and tons of amazing vintage shops, like Screaming Mimi's) and the higher-end shops in SoHo... Then a stop at Washington Square Park for people watching and reminicing about when Sally dropped off Harry ('that's too bad, because you're the only person I knew in New York'... no one else obsessed with the 80's flick?  okay, moving on...)



We had late dinner reservations at Son Cubano, and I could not recommend it more!  The atmosphere was perfect for a fun night out, complete with a live band for salsa dancing... and the service was outstanding!  The place was packed, so our table wasn't quite ready yet, and the manager bought our round of drinks while we waited.  Then we got to the food... amazing!  I had the mango salmon, and Amy called the arroz con pollo the best rice she's ever had.



Day 2:  We woke up early (my husband, the ultimate early bird, would be so proud) on Saturday morning... and hit the gym!  Our hotel had a pretty nice, although very small, gym... but it was a great way to start another day of indulgence!

The first order of business was shopping (hmm, notice a pattern?)  We hit the jackpot with the Young Designer's Market... The cutest little flea market on Saturdays & Sundays on the Lower East Side for independent jewelry, handbag, and clothing designers... as well as people selling vintage items.


One of my weekend highlights was finding a locket at one of the jewelry stands engraved with a 'W' on the front.  Sarah asked the woman about it, and she said that it was a vintage find (I think she said from the 1940's)... Then I flipped it over, and it was engraved with 'HW' on the back!  Despite feeling like it was meant to be, I walked (the seller wouldn't budge on the price).

We all left with tons of other goodies... And as we walked away, Sarah commented, 'too bad that you didn't get that locket Catherine'... 'because I got it for you!'  Yay!!  The surprise brought New York street tears & hugs!  It was so thoughtful and sweet of her... and I wore it for the remainder of our trip!


The afternoon included my first New York subway ride and a picnic lunch in Central Park.

Who brought the hand sanitizer?!


Saturday ended with another great dinner... This time at Sushi Samba with Sarah's college roommates (now NYC residents).



The rest of the evening has been omitted to protect the bachelorette innocent... but it ended like this...

 
Lot of love to our bachelorette! 
  
Whew! What a recap so far... Look forward to the rest of our trip in posts to follow!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

For Your Blog Roll

Perhaps I'm one of the few that hasn't heard of the amazing talents of New Dress A Day's Marisa.  She is nearing the end of her personal challenge:  365 days, 365 'new' outfits, $365.  Laura blogged about her last week, and now I am totally obsessed!

She decided to give up all traditional shopping in favor of creating her own designs using only $1 per day and only vintage/Goodwill/used clothing... The results are incredible! 

Before:

After:


I would without a doubt wear all of the 'afters'!  Only adding more to my desire to learn my own way around a sewing machine... Although I have a feeling that creativity like hers can't be learned!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beach Birthday

We are back from another weekend out of town! This time it was a fun-filled weekend at the beach to celebrate Sarah’s birthday and see The Avett Brothers at the House of Blues.

A huge thank you to Sarah & Ryan for hosting such a great beach weekend, and for allowing us to bring our fur-covered baby, Ellie. It was her very first beach trip, and I’d say, based on how tired she was when we got home, that it was a success!


Amy’s pup (and Ellie’s best puppy friend) Raleigh was also on the trip… I couldn’t resist sharing this quick video of the two of them sprinting down the beach early Saturday morning! Bonus: Garden City has a no leash needed before 9 am law!

video

Even our water-averse puppy splashed around in the waves for her tennis ball.

video

Saturday afternoon was spent relaxing on the beach, before hitting the road to Myrtle Beach for the Avett Brothers. I absolutely loved the concert! It was packed… with some very hardcore fans I must add. But I think it added to the feel… although the Avett Brothers definitely did not need any help upping the energy in that place!


Now it’s back to the routine for the week… Until Jeff takes off for Miami on Friday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Post-Vacation

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program soon… Sorry for the delay in posting!

Sarah’s bachelorette party was so much fun, and I loved being a tourist in the City for a few more days with my hubby!  I seriously can’t wait to go back… like tomorrow would be nice.



Detailed post(s) to come soon… But life is a little hectic post-vacation!  I came back to work yesterday to an Outlook that wouldn’t open emails, which there were a lot of!

On a positive note, my summer school grades have been posted… continuing towards my goal of straight A's in grad school!  Just another reason to justify the whole lotta this from NYC...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New York State of Mind

I'm heading out to see the Big Apple (for the first time!) this weekend... Helping Sarah celebrate her last fling, before the ring!


Isn't it funny the way you always want to buy some new things to wear on vacation, but also plan to shop while you're there?  Just me?

Well I'm resisting all urges to invest in some 'trendy' NYC gear... Hoping to save my pennies for a little shopping while I'm there!  I feel certain that Sarah will know all of the cute, vintage shops to take us to!

But, if I was going to invest in pre-trip shopping... Rompercute tote... Hello NYC!