Once

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Brett and I had quite the spontaneous date night on Tuesday when Once tickets became available through friends. We grabbed Pret for dinner (fancy, I know) and smuggled candy into the theater for dessert. Our tickets were in the mezzanine, with a great view of the stage and an even better view of a few empty seats in the front row. Obviously we sneaked down to those seats for the second half and, omg, they were amazing. The show doesn’t have a pit orchestra, so we were literally inches from the stage. A really amazing show (no matter where your seats are!) that I highly recommend.

CitiBike!

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I finally tried CitiBike yesterday for the first time! Brett has an annual pass, and uses it almost every day, so it was about time I checked it out myself. Our first trip was to Bed, Bath & Beyond – 6th Avenue was a little busier than I would have liked, but I survived and it was fun! Also 10x faster than walking, which is especially important when you are trying to minimize your time spent outside due to the heat (oh, summer in the city). We ended up walking home because we had errands on the way (BB&B –> Anthro –> Whole Foods), but used the bikes again for an emergency paint run (we painted a wall yesterday, and underestimated the amount we needed…more to come on that!) and then rode to my apartment and back later that night. Trips within the East Village were really fun and super easy – we even got to speed down 11th street between 1st and 2nd, which reminded us of playing Cops & Robbers on bikes growing up : )

Don’t think I’ll be using CitiBike for my morning commute any time soon, but they are definitely a fun addition to errand running!

Immersion

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MIT just launched a new tool called Immersion that uses your email to create a visual representation of the personal connections in your life. Mine is above! Each dot represents a person – the bigger the dot, the more you communicate with them (via email). It also creates clusters by social group – the purple and brown clusters are my kickball teams, the blue cluster is my college roommates, red is my best friends from high school, green is family, etc. Way cool, right?

Create your own here.

The 4th!

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!

Brett and I spent the long (so long!) weekend up in the Berkshires with his family. Even though I missed my own family, the weekend was just about perfect. There is something about lake living that gets me every time: Lake Life > Beach Life in my book! I am very much looking forward to our Michigan trip planned for August, which is really lake living at its finest.

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Like my trip to New Mexico, our weekend was the perfect mix of activities and relaxation. We spent some time each day at the lake down the road where we read in the sun, played with babies in the shade, ate cheese and the best nectarines (plus drank Peronis and wine out of mason jars), and went for dips in the lake when the heat was just too much to handle. Speaking of babies, Wyatt and Elizabeth are just about the cutest, sweetest, yummiest little ones – full of smiles, leg kicks, and drool! The best babies. Seriously.

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Moriah organized a horseback trail ride for us on Friday morning that was one of my favorite parts of the trip. My horse’s name was Fancy and I somehow managed to stay on top of him the entire time… even when he trotted (terrifying) and when we had to ford a river (Oregon Trail style…except it was a creek. But also terrifying.)

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We also fit in a run and a bike ride in the neighborhood (both were short, but we broke a sweat so I think they still count), and one itty bitty hike.

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On the night of the 4th, we went to Tanglewood to hear Jackson Browne play, and then watch fireworks. Unfortunately, there was a bit more traffic than we expected, so our seats weren’t great and we ended up leaving before fireworks even started to beat the rush out. So no fireworks for us, which I know is very un-American! Oh well.

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Aside from lake time, our adventure on horseback and our trip to Tanglewood, we cooked, ate, drank beer and Jack, watched Country Strong and What Lies Beneath, and wore red, white and blue pretty much the entire weekend… so I think that’s American enough! Oh, and I wore my Abercrombie & Fitch jean shorts, so that’s that.

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More to come on what we cooked, because the treats were too yummy for a quick mention – they need a full post.

Happy Birthday, Robbie!

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Happy Happy 14th Birthday to my not-so-little-anymore brother.

I still remember the 4th of July when you were born like it was yesterday (and how mad I was at you that I had to miss fireworks!) Can’t believe how fast fourteen years flew by — fourteen! Ahh! Crazy.
Love you to pieces 🙂

RA3

Happy 1 Year, B!

Brett and I celebrated our 1 year beanniversary (that’s “anniversary” in beantalk) on June 16, but we just finished celebrating last weekend. I know, I know, I’m spoiled.

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Part I of our celebration was a trip to the Metropolitan Opera House to see the American Ballet Theatre perform “Le Corsaire“. New York was having an apocalyptic rainy night, but we rallied our way to the Upper West. Good thing too, because the show was amazing. One dancer in particular really blew our minds (and had the entire audience gasping!)

Brett surprised me with a picnic in Central Park and tickets to Shakespeare in the Park (“The Comedy of Errors“) for Part II. New York was considering having another rainy night, but the weather cleared up beautifully. Brett packed some of my favorite foods (plus champagne!) for our picnic on the Great Lawn. The show was hilarious – and especially entertaining because Jesse Tyler Ferguson was one of the leads! Funny man.

And finally, I had my turn to treat Brett to a little surprise last Friday night for Part III. I made dinner for us at home (which I’ll share later), and then we headed up to midtown for a magic show in the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Might sound a little cheesy, and maybe it was, but Steve Cohen pulled off some tricks that we can’t even begin to figure out. It was magic, I swear.

Thanks for an amazing first (but really eighth) year, bean! Can’t wait to see what kind of surprises we come up with to celebrate the next 60 ; )

BA

Memorial Day

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Can you believe that Memorial Day came and went, just like that?
Official Summer Solstice isn’t until June 21 but it seems to have finally arrived in New York. (Which means that the streets are steamy, the subways are steamier, and there is little to no point in attempting to tame the hair due to the frizzfactor.)

I had wanted to get away for the weekend, but sometimes it’s just easier to board a home-bound train. Or, in this case, a boyfriend’s parent’s house-bound train. Brett and I headed to Cherry Hill Friday afternoon looking forward to a sunny weekend by the pool…turned out being quite the cold and rainy weekend (one last wintry weather hurrah!), so the lack of Memorial Day Weekend plans turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We met my mom and Barry for dinner at Parc Friday night, drove up to north Jersey to visit my dad and Carolann on Saturday, and then spent Sunday hanging at the house and enjoying the bit of sun that decided to finally come out with his little sister, Moriah, and the pups (and cats). We made really yummy fish tacos on Saturday night with a kale-slaw (get it?!) that I will post a recipe for separately. And we tore through a couple bottles of wine and one bottle of bourbon…cause that’s what long weekends are for. Brett made the executive decision to head back to New York earlier rather than later on Monday; we took advantage of the weather and had a picnic in Stuy Town (with homemade sangria!) and some time in the park.

Hard to believe June 1st is this Saturday, but I’m happy with my summer kick-off so far.

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Make It Count!

You know sometimes when you’re in a gym class and the instructor tells you to “make it count” – something about how you’re in the class for a reason and only you can push yourself yadda yadda yadda. This usually has about a 50% success rate when it comes to me pushing myself harder. Sometimes I just don’t want to turn that resistance knob a little bit to the right, I just don’t. On days when I get out of work at a normal hour but still don’t make it to the gym, however, I have a much higher success rate at “making it count.” Last night was one of those nights; I forgot my gym clothes at home, so planned to run on the river after work, but it was so hot and humid and I just couldn’t…but I made it count. I popped in my laundry and went to the grocery store for the ingredients I was missing  to make granola bars. Once the bars were in the oven, I swapped the laundry then got set cleaning the kitchen (it was my roomie task from two weeks ago that I hadn’t done yet… woops!) Soon enough: sparkly kitchen, clean laundry, and ganola bars. But it’s not over! I made it count, remember? By this point, Nais and Stina were over and we were popping bottles (well, we unscrewed one bottle of wine). Sami grabbed us all Beyond Sushi on her way home, which is our recent obsession so we inhaled it. Obviously. After girltime, I hopped in a cab to meet my brother and sister for a quick drink, then finally headed home to bed. A quick goodnight call from Brett and it was off to dreamland for this girl. Made it count!

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Granola Bar recipe here!
*Make sure you put enough sticky ingredients in (ie butter, honey, brown sugar)…I didn’t quite have enough honey and my granola bars turned into chunky granola when I tried to cut them. Still delicious. But not quite bars.*

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There’s Just Something About Gold Polka Dots…

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That get me a little giddy! When I saw the note-cards above online last year, I simply couldn’t resist. I added them to my cart and had them purchased faster than you can say OnlineShoppingIsDangerouslyEasy. And recently, gold polka dots have been creeping their way back into my life, and I don’t mind it.

Creeping Incident #1: The Case of the DIY Tumblers
Look at this DIY Gold Foil Tumblers and tell me you don’t want to drop everything you are doing, go to Michael’s craft store, and start crafting… I won’t believe you. They’re so freakin cute I need them in my life. (I’m picturing them on shorter glasses, but the tall ones are still presh.) Need.

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Creeping Incident #2: The Case of the Up In The Air Somewhere Etsy Shop
Like seriously just hold the phone for a second and take a look at the White and Gold Dot Dish. Major swoon! And, I know this is about polka dots and all but stripes are their best friends and I also need that Gold Zag Tray in my life.

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Creeping Incident #3: The Case of the Polka Dot Love Me Print
My sister is the greatest (and coolest, prettiest, smartest) sister around and hooked me up with this Polka Dot Love Me print. Ob.Sessed. It arrived today at work and I can’t wait to bring it home, hang it up, and show it off.

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Gehrie Botanica

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How pretty is this? Like…really pretty, right?

I saw this hanging in Brett’s sister and brother-in-law’s (aka the parents of Elizabeth Rebecca) apartment and it was love at first sight. The color! The texture! My oh my! Turns out Adam’s mom is a crazy talented artist and it was a print of one of her pieces. Even cooler.
But wait…it gets better. When Adam’s mom came into town for Elizabeth’s naming ceremony, she brought me a print of my own. I just may be the luckiest girl in Manhattan, huh? Brett framed and matted my new baby for me, and we hung it up in my apartment last weekend. Totally in love. (With the print…. oh, and the boyfriend.)
It’s hanging right next to the Fork, Spoon and Knife print that I blogged about a few months ago. (Brett actually got me both of those prints for Chrismakkuh, but we still need to find a home for that too-cute top bun!)

Visit Cynthia’s Etsy Shop to see more!

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