Archive for Fun

Aaand We’re Back!

Hello, friends!

For the last two weeks, while I’ve been on vacay from work, I opted to just relax.  2013 was a wonderful year that seemed to just fly by.  When you’re constantly running around, you can forget how nice it is to just lounge around and catch up on movies you’ve wanted to see and eat banana bread.

I’m glad to have entered 2014 feeling refreshed and energized!

Winter Break |

Joe and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve at his parents’ house and wonderful Christmas day at my parents’ house.  Both were filled with a whole lot of family and an overabundance of delicious food… though neither of these photos really illustrate that.  Probably because I was so busy stuffing my face and spending time with family we don’t get to see all the time.

Winter Break |

Winter Break |

For New Year’s Eve, Joe and I have continued our tradition of having a nice dinner at home and relaxing while we wait for the ball to drop.  This year, we feasted on stuffed mushrooms, stuffed shells (with tofu and basil instead of cheese), and chocolate covered popcorn.  We may have gone overboard on the chocolate… but it was totally worth it :)

Winter Break |

By the time the snow storm hit on Friday, we were a little stir-crazy.  After all, I had painted seven plaster buildings for our village and we had watched what felt like every movie on Netflix.

Winter Break |

Rather than stay cooped up for our final days, we opted to go for a nice long walk and spend some time at the Staten Island Zoo.  It’s something we’ve always talked about doing so it was nice to finally check that off our list.  It isn’t a large zoo by any means, but there are plenty of animals to check out.  Plus, most of the exhibits are indoors so it’s was a welcomed break from the cold.

A perk of going after a snow storm is that it was basically empty.  That meant we had the whole place to ourselves and could really linger where we wanted (like with the bald eagles, an overly friendly puffer fish, and the Galapagos tortoises).

Winter Break |

All in all, it was a wonderful vacation and a perfect way to start the new year!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, too!  Were you able to relax like us or did you use the holidays to travel?

Posted in Christmas, Fun, Holidays, Seasonal | 1 Comment

A Whole Lot of Planes

After leaving Charlottesville, Joe and I started the long journey home – except that it wasn’t long because we planned to visit our friends Dave and Rose (whose wedding we went to a little over a year ago!) in DC.  On our way, we decided to stop off at the National Air & Space Museum at the Udvar-Hazy Center.  Basically, we had seen the DC Air & Space Museum last year and wanted to explore the larger museum this trip.  Again, the conversation was “Hey Joe, do you want to see the space shuttle on our way home?”, to which he replied “!!!!!” (to be fair, I really wanted to see the shuttle, too).

It did not disappoint – but how could it ever disappoint two history geeks?

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

You walk in and there are planes everywhere.  I’m not exaggerating either – they’re on the floor but there are also planes that are hanging from the ceiling.  Not to mention that there is a whole lot of variety.  There are planes from before the 1920′s, from WWI and WWII, the Cold War, modern planes – heck, there are even unmanned planes.  Basically, you will be able to find at least one plane you like.  My favorites were the shiny, the bright, and the stealth.

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

I would love to tell you all about the planes in the photos, but that’s Joe’s area of expertise.  I’m more the type of person who is amazed that these things can actually fly.  The entire time we were there, he was telling me bits and pieces about each plane while I was snapping pictures.  Roughly 100+ pictures if you’re looking for particulars.

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

The big star of our trip was the Discovery Space Shuttle.  It’s sort of amazing.  It’s also pretty popular.  So popular that getting a photo of it without a large group of tourists was no easy feat, let me tell you.

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

When Joe and I walked into the room/section of the hangar, we were upstairs so we got a great view of the entire shuttle.  It was pretty empty up there (I’m not sure everyone knew how to get up to our level) so we were able to linger for a little while and snap photos.

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

Of course, we finally made our way downstairs.  That’s when it really hits you how big this ship is.  It’s not as big as I imagined it would be, but it’s still pretty large.

After pulling ourselves away from Discovery, we headed over Dave & Rose’s.  We got settled and then headed out for a late lunch/early dinner.  After eating a whole lot of guacamole, we headed out to explore the town.  Dave & Rose were great tour guides, pointing out a lot of awesome thing around DC.

One of the first stops was at Old Alexandria.  There are a bunch of cute shops so Rose and I were in our glory, while Dave and Joe were very patient husbands.

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

[Dave & Rose, our wonderful hosts]

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

After walking around for a bit, Dave and Rose brought us to a park (I believe it was Gravelly Point Park) with killer views of DC.  You can see the Capital building above and the Lincoln Monument in one of the photos below.

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

Dave and Rose brought us here because it’s a pretty darn cool place.  You’ll just be hanging out and then a plane comes and basically flies over as it’s about to land.  It’s terrifying (note Joe’s face) and so cool (note my face).  Sadly, the four of us were the only ones amused by this – we laughed the entire time.  Everyone else was too cool to react to it.

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

Popcorn on the Stove | Washington, DC

Our last stop was to the Pentagon to see their 9/11 Memorial.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to see it, the space was done so tastefully – very beautiful and serene.

After our mini-tour of the DC area, we all headed back to Dave & Rose’s apartment to relax.  It was so nice getting to see them, and the perfect way to wrap up our trip.

So, that about wraps up our trip!  Have you gotten to see one of the Space Shuttles yet?  Anyone else love planes?  Who else’s favorites are the shiny ones?

Posted in Fun, Travel | 7 Comments

Summer Vacation

This post took forever to get together because I took a ridiculous amount of photos (trying to narrow them down was a real nightmare).

Last year, Joe and I headed down to Richmond, VA for our Summer vacation (with the added bonus of meeting Ashley and Jesse!) over the Fourth of July weekend.  We liked Virginia so much that we decided to go back for our vacation this year – except this trip had us headed towards Charlottesville.

Prior to even heading out there, we used Kayak to book a hotel.  Joe ended up accidentally booking an extra night so he had to cancel it.  When you cancel reservations on these sites, they don’t immediately happen so he was unable to re-book the hotel so I jumped in. I, being the cheap thrifty lady I am, I hopped over to Expedia and found a nicer hotel for $10 less than the hotel we originally booked (and ps – this hotel was about $40 more than the original hotel when we first looked)!  Basically we were really excited about being so clever because that meant there was more to spend on food.

But then, we had to wait.  Side note:  doesn’t it feel like forever when you’re counting down the days until a vacation?

Finally, the day came and we got into the car at like 7AM and started driving.  Joe does all the driving on these trips because I immediately fall asleep.  Don’t worry – I planned ahead and wore my maxi skirt so I would be cozy for the drive.

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Charlottesville, but it felt like they had the bluest skies I had ever seen.  Maybe it was my rose-colored vacation glasses, or perhaps I’ve been living in NYC for too long.

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

After getting to C-Ville, Joe and I checked in and dropped everything off in our hotel room.  We also had a killer view that we took advantage of it that night for the fireworks.  The hotel we were at was right off the Downtown mall which meant we had tons of shops and restaurants to explore.  We were not disappointed with the food.

I guess it’s time to get the cat out of  the bag…

We loved Charlottesville so much that we bought a house!

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

Juuuuuust kidding – that’s Monticello (a must see for both Joe and I).  My favorite part about this photo is that Joe and I are both accidentally dressed patriotically, which matches the bunting.

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

Since Joe and I are both history nerds, I didn’t really have to do much persuading to visit.  I think I said “Hey, would you want to see Monticello while we’re in Charlottesville?”, to which Joe said “um, yeah”.  Neither of us cared that the tickets were $24 each because getting to finally see this place was pretty darn awesome.  After all, I’ve been hearing about it for so long (I first learned about this building in my senior year of high school).

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

On a more serious note, Monticello is amazing.  It’s literally dripping with history, all while you’re up in the mountains with these beautiful views.

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

There is a garden area that’s still maintained.  It’s filled to the brim with things like corn, basil rosemary, tomatoes, artichokes, and different types of lettuces/cabbages.  Those were the biggest I’ve ever seen (hence my feet in that shot so you can get a sense of how big everything was).

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

Oh, and there are also some grapes for the wine.  Can’t forget that.

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

After the tour inside the house (photos aren’t allowed), you’re able to explore the grounds some more.  We found a kitchen under the house – which makes sense because I didn’t notice one during the house tour – and a bunch of fun items like that camera obscura.  I felt compelled to take the photo of Joe taking a photo of me.

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

Guys – this was Thomas Jefferson’s view from his side porch.  I nearly died when we walked out there because, again, there were amazing views.  Immediately, I imagined T.J. hosting many dinner parties with guests enjoying some leisure time out there.

What a rough life.

Popcorn on the Stove | Charlottesville, VA

Overall, Joe and I loved Charlottesville.  It’s definitely a place we can see ourselves living – and if so, I would get the yearly Monticello pass so I could hang out there every day.  There are mountains nearby for hiking, lots of historical things to see, and its’ still near some major cities.  Also, the houses are adorable and everyone there was so friendly (three people said hello to Joe one morning when he was out for a run).

Have you snuck away this Summer?  Maybe explored your own city while enjoyed a staycation?  If you could buy and live in any historical home, which would you choose?

Posted in Fun, Travel | 12 Comments

A Weekend of Birthdays

Well, after a weekend of technical difficulties, it’s time to get down to business.  It feels good to be back.

I think the best way to play catch up is to go backwards.  That’s normal right?  Either way, let’s just run with it…


Last weekend, Joe and I headed up to the Catskills to celebrate his birthday and my nanny’s 92nd, as well as have a mini reunion with my mom’s cousins, and meet the baby.  Basically, we were covering a lot of bases here.


Immediately upon arriving, I got to hold baby H.  When I tell you that he was the perfect baby, I am not exaggerating (though I know I may seem biased).  For the seven hours that we were there, baby H cried for a total of two minutes – if that.  The rest of the time, he was just sleeping and snuggling.  Keep in mind, that when my family gets together, we are not quiet.  There is a lot of laughing and talking loudly… but nothing would upset baby H.

Amazing, right?


PS – It doesn’t get better than seeing your nanny holding her first great grandchild.


The weather was beautiful so we decided to walk down to the lake.  It’s a nice walk there, and the lake is very serene (though I refuse to go anymore in because the bottom feels slimy courtesy of the algae).  When we were younger, we used to come here for the 4th of July to watch the firework show that was put on by the people who lived in the giant houses on the other side of the lake.


The entire day was spent relaxing (and eating).  Since we were up in the Catskills, it was actually kind of chilly so I got to break out a fun sweater and my moccasins.  Basically, I’m counting down the days to Fall now.


All in all, it was a wonderful day.  It’s always nice to get together with my mom’s side of the family… and I’m not just saying that because we ended up with five desserts (three of which were yellow cake and chocolate frosting).


And thanks to my mom, the joint birthday cake had a photo of Joe and my nanny – which was from our engagement party.  I know this because my mom casually mentioned that she had to cut me out of the photo since it wasn’t my birthday weekend, too.

Do your family gatherings involve about half a dozen desserts, too?


Posted in Fun, New York | 7 Comments

2014 Ikea Catalog!

Hello, friends!

I know I have been MIA this week (it’s been hectic and I’ll explain soon) but I wanted to pop in and spread the word that IKEA has just started to share the 2014 catalog online – and you can find it here!

I’m currently crushing on basically everything in the Stockholm collection (seriously – everything I want to buy is from that line – starting with that green couch!), but I’m also digging the Varmdo Rocking Chair and the Cirkustalk Tent.

What are you crushing on??

Posted in Fun | 4 Comments
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