Friday, May 30, 2014

five on friday: travel edition!

linking up with darci, april, natasha, and christina!

well, we did it. we're all moved out of our apartment! ack! this morning, after a quick cleaning, we'll hand over the keys and officially be done with this chapter in our life. it's one of those really surreal moments that you know is coming for many weeks and months, and think you can picture what it will be like, and then it happens... and it's all so strange. But exciting! Yes, don't get me wrong. I'm excited! But it sure is surreal to be leaving NYC.

Our flight to london departs monday at 10pm, so in preparation for our crazy two month european adventure, i'm linking up with this five on friday to talk all about travel essentials. and i'd love to know what's on your list!

1. a bag that fits two months worth of your life 
my luggage game was severely lacking before this trip, so i took the opportunity to invest in a really useful new bag. i packed it up yesterday and it's AMAZING. it holds so much, and is really well organized. plus, it's a backpack, rolling suitcase, and duffel all in one. if you're in the market for new luggage, check this one out.

2. a posh passport case
ok, also a passport, but who cares about that "necessity". far more important to have a luxurious case surrounding it so when you hand it to passport control, they know that you mean business. ok, also, they don't care. but anyways, it is a necessity! i love this one. and i think i need it. 

3. a lightweight walking-around-cities bag
no need to lug my tote bag with half my belongings when we're wandering around paris. i bought this really cute and easy to carry cross body bag from the gap to keep the just the basics and leave everything else at our airbnb rental.

4. yes to blueberries cleansing facial wipes
ah yes, the dreaded transatlantic flight. having grown up mostly in europe, i know them well. this time, i'm going to be prepared to step off that plane fresh as a daisy. well, my face at least. these wipes smell so great, and will be excellent to have on hand to clean off a long day of travel.

5. lemon squeezer
no, this is real! not a joke. one of my morning rituals as soon as i wake up is squeezing half a lemon into a mug of warm water and drinking it while i make my coffee. since we'll be in so many new places, i wanted to bring a little piece of 'home' and make sure i built it into my soon to be completely changed routine. so it's in my bag! and it'll get a ton of use. by the way, if you're curious about why lemons are so great for you, check this article out

ok, now it's your turn! what's on your list of travel essentials?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

it's happening!!!

oh, don't mind me. just sitting here, waiting for movers to take everything we own and put it in storage.

hey belongings, see you in LA!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

our (long!) weekend was...

...warm and fuzzy
thursday night, we had a big going-away party and i was blown away by the number of people who stopped by to wish us well on our new adventures. knowing that we have such an amazing network of friends in this city is one of the hardest things to leave, but any opportunity to see what kind of influence you've had on others' lives is a powerful experience. also, it was just downright fun! we hung out at a bar in the east village, and then ended the night with some terrible mexican food. so lucky to be riding off into the sunset with this guy!

...full of boxes
the movers come on thursday morning, and save for our sheets and towels and some kitchen basics, we're ready for them. not gonna lie, growing up moving every two years has made me an incredible packer. see those boxes down there? those were all packed in three hours. and labeled, and entered into our inventory so we know what's in every box. hell yeah. this ain't my first rodeo.

the best thing about nyc on holiday weekends is how empty and quiet it can feel. until you walk over the central park and realize that everyone is hanging out there! on sunday, to reward ourselves for packing, we wandered around and lounged on the great lawn for a bit. by lounged, i mean, did some yoga. 

... the end of an era
we had our last family dinner with friends coming over for a taco feast on monday night, and we pre-gamed on our balcony (aka our favorite "room" in our apartment). love having this little slice of outdoor space and sitting across from this guy. sigh.

what did you get up to this weekend?

Friday, May 23, 2014

five on friday: new kicks, new jams, and a three day weekend

1. the dog stars

ok, i swear i didn't buy this book thinking it was about dog rock stars. though everyone i've mentioned it to has thought that was the plot (someone write that book immediately, please). but holy crap. this book sucker-punched me in the gut. i gasped out loud on the subway so many times, and literally had to close it because my heart was racing during some of the scenes. it's intense, and the author's style takes a little getting used to, but stick with it. major pay-off at the end.

mmm. i love fudge and have amazing memories of making it with my sweet grandpa when i was growing up. but all the butter and sugar no longer agree with me, so check out this ridiculously easy recipe with coconut oil and almond butter. great for a quick and simple chocolate fix. and pretty much healthy too!!

(image via practical paleo)

i splurged on a comfy and chic pair of sandals to traipse around europe in, and so far, they're totally worth it! it's surprising how much more comfortable they are than the $15 pair from urban outfitters that i wore into the ground. hmm.

4. this jam

because obviously.


because obviously.

have an amazing one!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

keep it/switch it ("dining room")

now that you've seen the living room and the bedroom, here's the final "room". oh the joys of nyc real estate... to call this area a dining room is a stretch, but it still deserves some love! it's actually so small that we tried to put a 5x8 rug underneath the table to separate the space a little bit, and the rug was too big. oh well. anyways, here's our dining "area"? is that more accurate?

keep it
  • check out that custom lighting set-up! our apartment was woefully devoid of any built-in lights, so blake and his dad put together this awesome DIY chandelier from scratch. the lights are attached to pulleys, so you can change up the height of each one. we love it, and of course, so does the new tenant in our apartment. being the exceptionally kind people we are, we're leaving it behind for her. maybe our next place will have an actual lamp or two, but i do love the idea of recreating it!
  • we got the mirror at this awesome flea market in virginia, while visiting a friend's hometown. it was quite the trek to get it home, but worth it, since it has just the right amount of aging and character to it. it also does wonders in terms of making the space feel a little bigger. 
switch it
  • see the back of the couch there right up against the chairs? yeah. a little more room would not be turned down.

keep it
  • our table!!!! swoon. our prized piece of furniture. we got it custom made from this guy on etsy, and it's all reclaimed wood from brooklyn. it is the best. honestly, it's the only reason that we're not just selling all of our stuff and starting fresh in LA. we had to bring the table with us, and i hope we have it for many years to come.
  • the chairs are from restoration hardware and perfectly match the hairpin legs on the table. it's all just such a delight. 
switch it
  • nope. none of it. keeping it all. sorry, you can't have the table or chairs. 

one more angle. love having the pass-through from the kitchen to the table, and it's always fun to have a pop of le creuset color. ugh, what kind of yuppie sentence is that? sorry. 

well, that's our sweet little apartment! about to be dismantled and packed up and mostly recreated 3,000 miles from here. pretty sure i'll miss it. a lot.

Monday, May 19, 2014

our weekend was: the sunshine edition

i don't know about you, but i'm continually thrilled and surprised when i wake up and it's still spring! this winter really scarred me. we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent almost all weekend outside! if this is what life is like when the weather is always a delight, then i think LA and i are going to be just fine.

we walked from our apartment on the UES all the way down to the west village, and then treated ourselves and our blistered toes to some chips and guac, and some icy cold rose at el toro blanco. we sat outside and caught the last of the sun, and the food was so so good! highly recommended.

my friend, her husband and their awesome 14 month old recently moved out to bay ridge, which is pretty much the furthest south you can live in brooklyn and still be accessible via subway. we wanted to see them before the big move, so we made the 90 minute trek for a late afternoon brunch. you know how some kids are just kind of meh, but you have to fawn over them to make their parents feel better? their kid is literally the coolest. he's so funny and full of personality. we had such a great time, and it made the trip totally worth it. since we were already out in BK, we then hit up a friend's birthday party at this great outdoor bar called hot bird, where you can bring in your own food, and luckily, it happens to be next door to a BBQ joint. nothing like some pulled pork to top off a sunday evening.

just realizing i did such a great job taking pictures, didn't i? oh well.

two weeks from today, we're hopping on a plane to start a new adventure!! hey, time, go ahead and slow down a bit please...

how was your weekend?

Friday, May 16, 2014

five on friday: nyc bucket list

alright, it's time to face facts. we have just three weekends left in NYC, and one of them (memorial day weekend, of course), is going to be spent packing and getting ready for movers. yikes. so i'm linking up again to do a five on friday post with our nyc bucket list! let's see how many we can get done in the next two weekends...

1. take the staten island ferry. it's free, beautiful, and you don't even have to stay in staten island very long! totally worth it for the views and the photo opps.

2. do a double-decker bus tour. this is one of those activities that, once you move here, fall pretty low on your priority list. the last thing on earth i want someone to confuse me for is a tourist! can you imagine?? the horror. but it's a great way to see the city from a new perspective. why not?

3. one more visit to the brooklyn flea. now that the weather has warmed up, the brooklyn flea is back in full swing. such amazing food trucks, and it's really fun to browse and then sit in the sun and enjoy the people-watching. plus, taking the ferry to get there is an added bonus. apparently, ferries are big on my bucket list.

4. run along the west side highway. i've been a pretty lazy runner the past few weeks (for a number of reasons), and i am a die-hard central park loop runner, so i've only done the west side highway a few times. we're staying downtown for a few nights after moving out, so it'll be a great time to get a few runs in with some heart-stoppingly beautiful views.

5. walk from the UES to the LES. one of my favorite parts of living in nyc is just leaving our apartment and heading off on foot to discover whatever it is we're going to discover. going on long walks the length of manhattan is such a fun way to see what's happening around the city, and making a few pit stops for refreshments along the way makes for an excellent afternoon.

have you done any of these in nyc? if you were moving, what would be on your bucket list?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

keep it/switch it (bedroom!)

ah yes, the only other room in our itty bitty NYC abode! what do i want to recreate in our new LA apartment? to be honest, our bedroom has been the victim of some overzealous "pinspiration" on my part (that's a real diagnosis, btw) before landing on how it looks today. and i do really love it in this current iteration. but first, a little throwback thursday action:

oh yeah! the stripes! i've never felt more accomplished in my life than i did after we finished painting these stripes one sunday afternoon. i was determined to have a striped wall in this apartment, and they had to be navy blue. no room for negotiation. and they turned out SO WELL! i mean look at that wall. but. the issue is, what do you do with the rest of the room when on wall is striped? we kept the rest white, and that combined with the white sheets was just too boring for me. i'd lay in bed and all i could see was plain white. and that grew really old really fast. but then what's next after you paint navy blue stripes on a wall?

we went straight up navy blue, and i absolutely love it. the room is small, and the dark color makes it feel oh so cozy. plus it gives us more to work with when it comes to fun, patterned duvet covers (hello more stripes!) and overall, makes the room feel more put together. here's what i'd like to keep and switch in our new abode:

keep it
  • i will absolutely be on the navy blue train again. i am so all about the coziness factor. 
  • our headboard is one of my favorite things that makes the room feel like a real grown-up bedroom.
  • ironically, those photographs are of santa monica, which we chose long before we decided to move out west! they're so fun and beachy, and i love looking at the ocean right before going to sleep.
  • in more boring adult things i never pictured myself saying, i absolutely love our mattress. yes, it's from ikea, however it's like memory foam but BETTER. i can't bring myself to type any more about a mattress, i'm bored already. sorry about that.
switch it
  • our nightstands are actually ottomans from west elm that are useful because of the storage, but i'd love to get something like these from CB2, and then do some fun styling with actual matching lamps. 
  • speaking of lamps, we've really got to up our lamp game next time.
  • our sheets are really nice, but getting a new duvet cover is such a fun and easy way to switch things up! pretty much anything from west elm is good to go in my book. 

keep it
  • on the wall across from the bed is this fun instagram display! credit to the waspy redhead, who posted this awesome instructional post and provided the inspiration. i'd definitely reinstall this in our new place, it's a really easy way to add some color and cool pics from our ever-expanding instagram libraries. 
switch it
  • originally, our idea was to rotate pics in and out of here, but we never got around to it and have looked at the same pics for six months. i'd love to order more on a regular basis to keep it fresh!
the room is so small, it's hard to get pics of everything, but we also have sad little ikea dresser on its last legs in the closet, so a new dresser is on the list of furniture buys. and it would be great to have a room that's big enough for a chair or a bench at the foot of the bed! a girl can dream. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

thoughts on tuesday: puppies, peonies, and charlize theron

  • for months, we've been planning to get a puppy when we move to LA. it's definitely the carrot on a stick for me to pick up and restart across the country. we can't have dogs in our apartment building right now, so i've been counting down. of course, now that we'll be subletting til december, it's looking like our four-legged friend might not join us til the beginning of next year. but while we wait, we still talk about her like she's real. oh yes, she's a she, her name is mabel, and she's a bernese mountain dog. basically, this was a big long lead-up into me saying we have an imaginary dog. as in, people at work ask me about mabel. which is perfectly normal, right? great. glad we got that out of the way. i don't have any pics of mabel (she's difficult to photograph, you know, what with the not being real), but she looks something like this:

  • did you watch SNL this weekend? charlize theron was the host, and overall the episode was fine, but i absolutely loved her haircut, especially how she styled it for the monologue. i'm taking this picture to my hairdresser soon. so cute!

  • peonies are in season!! nothing makes me feel more like martha stewart than a vase of them on our dining table. that is all. 

  • pro tip: if you're planning on moving away from a city that you love more than you can possibly express in words, think about moving during a hellacious winter, when it's easier to bid farewell. moving during the most beautiful season of the year is somewhat more difficult. thanks for your help in making this transition, new york. 
just hanging out in a disgusting, ugly park while the weather was terrible this weekend. 

hope your week is off to a great start!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

hooray for moms!

happy mom's day to all the lovely mothers out there, but most especially mine. isn't she the prettiest??

may you all brunch til your heart's content!

Friday, May 9, 2014

five on friday!

linking up again for a random miscellany of thoughts this foggy, dreary friday. bring on the sunshine this weekend!

1. donna tartt
have you all read the goldfinch? yes? ok excellent. because every time i go to my kindle, i hope there's a little bit more of it to read. it was truly amazing. i've since then gobbled up everything else by the same author, and right now, i'm reading the little friend and it's just not scratching the goldfinch itch i had, even though i think it's even longer (which is hard to believe). i am about halfway through but can't seem to give up on it. maybe it gets better?

2. silver lake!
one of the most exciting things that happened this week was that we locked down a sublet in LA from a colleague of mine who will be traveling from august til december. it's right smack dab in one of the neighborhoods we wanted to check out, which is the "brooklyn of LA" (i'm rolling my eyes right now in case you can't see), but seems really walkable and full of cool restaurants, coffee shops, and all that good stuff. so relieved to not have a big apartment hunt awaiting us! it will be so much easier to get a place in december while we're actually there, and now we'll have a chance to take this neighborhood on a trial run!

3. mad men
i'm in denial that there are only 3 more episodes left this "season". i seriously can't even talk about life after don draper. that is all.

4. #bringbackourgirls
if you haven't yet signed this amazing petition, take a sec to add your name. it's about to reach a million signatures, which is really incredible. 

5. this gif
enjoy. i can't stop looking at it.

happy weekending!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

wish list: j.crew new arrivals

nothing like some new arrivals from j.crew to get through the mid-week hump! well, that and the fact that it's sunny and beautiful outside sure doesn't hurt.

since my days in LA will be pretty different from my days in NYC, i have to keep that in mind when i buy new clothes. first of all, i'll be working remotely, which means yoga pants and shorts all day e'ry day, and office-appropriate clothing will only collect dust in the closet. also, have i mentioned the weather in LA? apparently, it's delightful. and yes, that is a thought that has kept me going since the middle of this god-awful winter we're finally done with. so let's see... year-round summer + super casual days = these new pieces!

(can't stop, won't stop with the stripes. help.)

(i'll wear this in france and fit right in! right?)

(these are sweatpants. that look like real pants. how has no one thought of this before??)

(i guess it sometimes cools down at night. some sleeves to keep warm on the beach in the evenings!)

(have i mentioned how i plan to become a surfer? i'll definitely need a top like this. once i learn to surf, that is. minor details.)

do you have your eyes on any of their new arrivals?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

keep it/switch it (living room!)

what's the best part about moving? well, for me, it's the chance to find a brand new, totally blank canvas to decorate and make our own. to be totally honest, when we moved into this apartment two years ago, i really thought we'd be staying for much longer than two years. so we put quite a bit of effort into making it feel like a home, and did the big adult furniture upgrade (so long ikea, hello west elm!).

so lately, i've been thinking a lot about what i love about this place and what i'm excited to do over. let's start with the living room!

keep it
  • i really, really love our gallery wall! will definitely be redoing it in the new place.
  • the paint color is coventry gray by benjamin moore, and it's just the right kind of gray - not too blue, not too brown.
switch it
  • our couch is the blake sectional from west elm (yep, guess who picked it out?) in stone, and it is incredibly comfortable and resilient. but it's going to cost $500 to move just that one piece of furniture, and then it'll start to add up in storage. i think we're going to go ahead and sell it and just get a new one in LA. i kind of like the idea of getting a different color, as this one is a little more beige-y than gray. maybe something a little darker, since i hope we'll be getting a pup once we're settled! anyone in the market for a couch?
  • the coffee table situation is pretty terrible. we've had this old leather ottoman as a placeholder for, oh, two years now? would love to upgrade to something wooden and industrial, like this one or this cool tufted one (love me some tufting!). 
  • the throw pillows i can take or leave. i am thinking we'll move away from all of the color we have and go a little more neutral, so maybe replace those with less bright patterns. we'll see. 
  • the rug is this west elm dhurrie, and i love the color and pattern, but think we can use it somewhere else. it's always been a little too small for this space. 

keep it
  • um, this whole tv situation is kind of sad. 
switch it
  • how about a new tv that we could mount to the wall? 
  • this poor little ikea bookcase is ever so durable and flexible, but i'd love to get an actual media console. and maybe one that isn't smaller than the tv? sigh. 
  • yep, let's just switch all of it.

keep it
  • directly across from the sofa are our bookshelves. we have managed to amass quite a collection of objets (i believe that's french for 'stuff') to display on our bookcases. our white porcelain animals are 100% making the move with us. 
switch it
  • i was really going through a colorful phase when we moved in. the green is a little much, so i'm thinking we will probably keep these guys (they will pack flat once we disassemble them), but i'd love to get either some white or wood shelves in the new place. 
what do you wish you could re-do in your apartment or house? 

Monday, May 5, 2014

our weekend was: the beygency edition

from 10am to 5pm today, we did nothing but purge crap from closets, dressers, shelves, and anywhere else it was hiding. with the movers arriving in just under a month, it was a very good use of our time. we donated about 6 garbage bags worth of clothes, shoes, and stuff to goodwill (including some snow boots and heavy coats... see ya later winter! on to year-round summer!), and threw out probably another dozen bags of who knows what. pretty amazing to see how much stuff just piles up around you. it was very satisfying, and i highly recommend it, moving or not!

blake had a class show for his level 3 sketch comedy class on saturday night. there were 7 people in the class and they all wrote and acted in 11 sketches, most of which were pretty hilarious. i'm so proud of him, and considering our whole plan in LA is for him to chase his comedy writing dream, it's always so fun to know how good he actually is (otherwise, it sure wouldn't be as easy to uproot everything in pursuit of it!).

the beards were hands-down best part of this sketch.

we finished up with a family sunday suppa with our best buds out in brooklyn. the last few weeks, we've been trying to squeeze in as much time as possible with our people here, and we had so much fun eating homemade indian food and drinking wine to cap off the weekend. only four more sundays in nyc, which is pretty hard to believe.

this week...
heading down to DC for a few meetings, then blake's parents are visiting from seattle from thursday to tuesday, so we'll have a jam-packed weekend! always fun to have them around.

finally, please tell me you saw the beygency on SNL this weekend. if not, stop what you're doing and watch immediately. that is all. #bowdown

how was your weekend?

Friday, May 2, 2014

five on friday: european travel extravaganza!

linking up with april and friends for a little five on friday action!

for most people, moving across the country is enough of an adventure for one summer.

apparently, we are not most people.

when a family friend posted on facebook about needing a house- and dog-sitter for six weeks in a small town in burgundy (yes, as in burgundy, france), we realized we had a pretty near once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. with no apartment lease holding us down (it's remarkable how freeing not paying new york city rent can be!), our belongings in storage for a surprisingly fair monthly fee, and my ability to work remotely from anywhere, we jumped at the chance.

but why just go to burgundy when you can also spend two weeks flitting about the continent? yes, we added even more, because why not? (if i was still allowed to say #yolo, i think it would fit quite perfectly here, but i'm really trying hard to move away from that). so for the first two weeks of our trip, here's where we're off to!

stop 1: london
staying with some friends in friggin notting hill... could it be any more perfect? we'll ease ourselves into our european summer by hanging out here for about three days, just enough to find a favorite pub and of course swing by for tea with wills, kate, and george. 

stop 2: ohringen, germany
my step-dad is german, and he, my mom, and my little brother spend a few weeks visiting his family each summer. we're going to hang out with oma and take advantage of more free lodging. i expect to gain at least 15 lbs in the few days we're staying with oma... she is famous for ensuring that you're stuffed to the brim at every meal.

stop 3: heidelberg, germany
as a proud graduate of heidelberg american high school (which has now since closed!), i spent my senior year here, and considered it home while i was in college. i haven't been back in about six years, so i'm excited revisit my old stomping grounds and show blake around! and yes, that's the castle at which our prom was held. no, i'm not joking.

stop 4: paris
the last time i was in paris, i was 16, and though shopping at the gap on the champs elysees was the height of sophistication. this time around, we're staying in an airbnb and can pretend we're real parisians. the only thing on my agenda is strolling around and sitting in outdoor cafes, people-watching with a glass of cotes-du-rhone. 

stop 5: semur-en-auxois
our home base for the rest of the summer is this tiny town about two hours from paris. here's hoping my high school and college french comes back (it's a wee bit rusty...). we'll happen to be here during the world cup too, so i'm pumped to root for france from the village brasserie! it'll be slight change of pace from nyc, but i'm excited to check out the great wines and beautiful countryside. 

so yeah, not much going on this summer. once we're back stateside at the end of july, we'll hang out in seattle for a bit (because why not?), and finally make our way down to LA to start our new life at the end of august. i honestly can't decide what part i'm most excited about... but not paying rent for a good three months is definitely up there. 

happy friday!