Pinknic & Beach Bummin’

This weekend was a best weekend. So much so, that I have no choice but to link up with Katie for my first Marvelous in my Monday post in a while, because, well — my weekend was nothing short of mar-vel-ous.


I’m talking jam-packed from start-to-finish with all sorts of wonderful people & events & activities & food & fun. I honestly can’t think of anything I’d have rather done this weekend than exactly what I did. Riding that high pretttyyyy nicely this Monday morning.

When the boy arrived on Friday evening, we set off for our first highly-anticipated weekend adventure: a dinner date trip to Pokeworks, a casual Hawaiian poke place near Bryant Park, where we took our food and had a lovely little park date dinner.


This build-your-own poke bar was such a stellar choice, and we quickly agreed we’d be back soon (and often). He had a Pokiritto (White Rice & Seaweed Wrap) with ahi, salmon and shrimp, and I chose a salad option with ahi, salmon, and so many yummy toppings (ginger, wasabi, scallions, garlic, mango, seaweed). I could seriously eat this all.the.time. His only gripe was that it didn’t fill him up, but that’s easily fixable — two orders next time for the boy, please.

We also stumbled upon a nice little surprise at the nearby wine store in the form of this hard-to-find-in-NYC bottle for which we’ve been looking for months now, popping into every wine store we pass to ask if they have this cab sav we stumbled upon at a West Village speakeasy this winter and really enjoyed: Owens & Vaughn.


So happy this actually exists in NYC! We somehow managed to refrain from drinking it this weekend (you’ll see why in a moment), so I’m already looking forward to enjoying it upstate at the lake next weekend.

Thanks to a quiet Friday night, I pumped out a felt-so-good 8-mile run on Saturday morning (woot!) before we dressed up in pink & white and met our friends for a full day double date at NYC’s first Pinknic at Governor’s Island!

This was my (and Ty’s) first time to Gov Island, which is literally a 5-minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan. It was so fun to see all the pink & white clad pinknic-ers festively gathering to drink rosé and lounge around all day. After all, isn’t that what Saturdays in Summer are designed for?


This was the inaugural event, and we were glad we went and had a wonderful time drinking allll the sparkling rosé and playing Phase 10 (do yourself a favor and buy that immediately if you don’t have it) and picnicking to our hearts content. We all felt that the event could really benefit from making some organizational changes in future years, however. The line to get in was an absolute nightmare and they clearly needed a lot more people working the entrance to expedite that process, as we stood in line for about 45 minutes; there didn’t seem to be enough pink blankets spread out for everyone (although we found one easily, thankfully); they ran out of sparkling wine toward the end, and the boys said the wine tables weren’t organized intuitively either. We agreed we probably would just buy our own bottles of wine and recreate this in a park next year, but we had a blast and are glad we experienced it.

Sunday started with another morning run for me, a 4-5 miler this time, before we set out for a day of that beach bum life at the Rockaways. This beach community in Queens is where my mom grew up going, and it was another first for me this weekend that totally did not disappoint. The area was devastated by Sandy and then rebuilt beautifully, with a wide boardwalk and beach bar, and is a haven for surfers. An easy hour subway ride from NYC, you feel like you’re transported to an entirely different world than the one you just left — one much more California-esque than NYC, which we loved.

The highlight of the Rockaways (aside from the beach, of course) is definitely the raddest bar I’ve been to in NYC: The Rockaway Beach Surf Club, which also houses an uber popular taco stand inside it called Tacoway Beach.


This place was everything an authentic beach/surf bar should be, IMO, and I wish I owned it/lived there/lived close enough to make it my regular hangout. We drank frozen watermelon margaritas and ate delicious little tacos (grilled tofu for me, which were yum) and played Phase 10 yet again, and felt like we’d found the bar on the East Coast that best fit our personalities and beach bum dreams. Seriously, I already cannot wait to go back.

So, that was my marvelous weekend in a nutshell! Hope you guys had amazing weekends as well.

Weekend highlight?
Best beach by you?
What’s your ideal bar/hangout? 
Surf bum style for me, all the way!


Thinking Out Loud Thursday

I’m back to posting 2 days consecutively?! I was starting to think this might not happen for a bit, so I’m glad to have surprised myself!

Linking up with Miss Amanda at Running with Spoons for TOLT.


ONE: Rosé all day, anyone? Weather permitting (I’m totally doing a rain dance on Friday night as this forecast looks the woooorst), that’s what I’ll be doing this Saturday afternoon, with the man and two of our close friends. Governor’s Island, an island a short ferry ride from downtown Manhattan, is hosting the very first rosé-themed picnic aka Pinknic (my inner wordnerd gets a kick out of that). They spread the grounds out with pink blankets and we bring our own picnics, and we all wear pink & white and listen to bands and sip rose all day like there’s nothing else in the world we’d rather be doing. I have my pink & white dress all ready to go!


TWO: Continuing on with the rosé theme, my roommate and I finally visited this really cute, off-the-beaten-path wine bar in our neighborhood we’d been eyeing for a while called Ardesia. It was a sold spot; nice patio, large indoor space, good service, fun summer cocktails and very reasonably-priced bottles of wine. We chilled outside with a bottle of rosé champagne and agreed it was a very return-able choice of a local jaunt.


The indoor space is pretty big and has a split-level room raised to the side of the bar, and I love the floating wine rack in the back and the chalkboard mural walls. Really cool vibe.


THREE: I mentioned I started a new job in June, right? Well, I’m happy to report that almost a month in and I’m really glad with the move. Sometimes you need to change things up to find out that life can be smoother, after all. The people are great, it’s an easy walk from my apartment, and there’s a juice truck right outside the building. Boom.

FOUR: Speaking of work perks…I currently have a ginormous television above my desk (trading floor life) and am enjoying watching the France vs. Germany soccer game. Not quite a communal table at a biergarden, but hey…I’m not complaining.

FIVE: For the past 4 months(ish), I’ve been exclusively a Nike runner…and I love it. Although many factors could be at play and I can’t attribute my “running feels oh-so-good-lately” vibe 100% to the sneaks, I definitely believe they’ve played a huge role, and I’m sticking with ’em. Just ordered a new pair of the same ones, in a slightly diff color: Zoom Fly 2, take 2. And add fluorescent yellow.707607_503SIX: Does anyone else eat the skin of kiwis, or am I seriously the only one? I bite those babies like apples. I’m not sure when I decided this was acceptable — sometime within the last year, I think? – but it doesn’t bother me at all. The guy who sits beside me asked me today (upon watching what is apparently the weirdest thing ever) if I also eat bananas with the peel on them. Pretty sure that was rhetorical.

SEVEN: Do you ever just want to post pictures of you and your boytoy because he’s the cutest thing ever and you can’t stop? Plus, festive holiday weekend clothing. Win.


EIGHT: I felt like I had so much more to say today (finally!) but I’m off to drink cocktails out of teapots and Gatsby-style champagne glasses at my new fave Midtown spot, so I’ll just say HAPPY FRIDAY EVE, friends!

Tell me something random from your day?

L’Appart (Restaurant Review)

A little over a week ago, I had what very well may have been one of the best dining experiences of my entire life. I was completely and utterly blown away by every aspect of this place, which just so happens to be located right in my office building at Brookfield Place in the Financial District. There’s a phenomenal French marketplace called Le District on the first level off the atrium, and I was invited (plus guests) to experience their new venue L’Appart during their friends & family soft opening weekend. I jumped at the chance, and what ensued was an incredible evening that blew any expectations my friends and I might have had completely out of the water.

Since they describe this venue so beautifully on their site, I’ll just share that with you:

The design of the dining room reflects that of a “chef’s living room” – sophisticated, intimate and relaxed with modern touches throughout, featuring just eight tables accommodating up to 30 seated guests.  The room mimics that of an open-concept living space with a state of the art kitchen, where guests can watch the buzz of the line over marble countertops while enjoying the aromas of the chefs preparing their meal, flanked by a glass wall with views of the Hudson River.

Tailored to provide the highest quality exceptional fine dining experience each night, guests will select a one-of-a-kind meal based on a multi-course tasting menu of extraordinarily fresh and unique ingredients procured daily throughout Le District’s markets. The menu will change weekly, if not nightly, and feature seasonal ingredients prepared under the direction of Chef de Cuisine Nicolas Abello and George Thomas in the room.

L’Appart, which means “apartment” en francais (you’re welcome), is designed to be just that: a cozy, apartment-style venue where the guests are made to feel welcomed into the host & chef’s home, and treated with the utmost respect and hospitality. It’s an open kitchen layout, so you can watch the chef making your courses as you eat. Loved that.


The space itself is gorgeous. We were also fortunate enough to meet the interior designer, who is the wife of one of the owners, as she popped in for drinks later on in the evening. She was personable and rad and just added to our favorable impression of everything.


The staff is a highlight here. Both the apartment host/maitre’d and the chef de cuisine are lovely, charming, personable people with a true knack for creating a warm, enticing environment that offers everything a guest could want: great service, charming conversation, exquisite attention to detail, and absolutely delicious food & wine. We felt rather doted upon and extremely comfortable, and could not stop talking about what an amazing time we were having (basically as soon as the 4 of us walked in). 🙂

When we entered, we were greeted with a sweet little vermouth cocktail sporting some muscat grapes, which we welcomed happily…


before immediately zipping ourselves into Chef Nico’s personal space. I was not about to miss out on capturing anything from this evening.


You know those moments in life when everything just feels exactly right? When you’re in a lovely place, with the exact people with whom you want to be sharing that moment, and you can linger there indefinitely and feel like you’re precisely where you’re meant to be in the world? That’s the closest I can come to describing this evening. I was with three amazing girlfriends who warm my heart and make me love life, in an intimate, darling place where everything was just right, and none of us would have changed a single thing.

And so, the food. What can I say about the food except that we loved every course and were amazed by how much flavor and detail was included in such small bites. We were served tiny course after tiny course, each entirely different and unique and hand-crafted by the chef from his own personal whims and tastes, and we loved them all. He was also overly accommodating to me and catered to my no dairy/no gluten/no red meat preferences, which is utterly ridiculous for a chef to do on a tasting menu and I was so grateful.

Here’s a glimpse of some bites from our amazing tasting menu, with unofficial descriptions as close as my memory can serve up:


cucumber bites stuffed with poached lobster


beet & goat cheese stacks


goat cheese zucchini bites


avocado bite with cauliflower garnish


tuna crudo (i loved this, right up my alley)


i can’t recall what this was — fish i think? — but it was delicious & these signature plates were amazing


shaved ice topped with cubed pineapple over rum


apricot sorbet over blood oranges


dessert display of mini berry dough bites and this rich sea salt dark chocolate infused with lime

Everything was so unique and so meticulously crafted and so consistently amazing. The other girls had lamb in place of my chicken (unphotographed), and there was rosemary bread, and a course of cheese and bread as well. We also had two bottles of delicious French wine (their Chenin Banc was perfection), and they sent us over complimentary glasses of some wonderful bubbly while we were choosing our wine. Seriously! This place could not have been any better.

The chef came over and chatted with us a bit at the end, which was a sweet touch, and we were able to gush over how much we adored everything and thank him for the wonderful experience (and assure him we’d all be back). And to top it all off, they gave us little boxes of delicious chocolate to take with us when they escorted us to the door, lil souvenirs to remember them by. As if we could ever forget this evening. 🙂


So thanks to L’Appart for such an unforgettable evening. We could not have possibly enjoyed ourselves any more than we did, and we can’t wait to return. It’s perfect for dates, perfect for girls’ evenings, perfect for — well, okay. It’s just perfect.

Thinking Out Loud

Thursdays mean one thing around these parts: a “tell me all your random thoughts” post to linkup with Amanda @ Running With Spoons! I’ve really come to enjoy these bouts of random goodness. In a life full of structure, sometimes ya just need to spill, amiright?


1. Storydangles. I was recently introduced (virtually) to Sharon, the founder and mastermind behind the site Story Dangles, through a mutual friend who felt that the two of us had so much in common and were united by our love for communities built of stories that we just had to connect. With a tag line like “Read stories. Share stories. Buy jewelry. Support literacy.”, what’s not to like?!

Her goal is to create a space where stories can be shared, and she sells “dangles” (earrings) and donates $2 from each purchase to support a literacy organization in Canada. I love when women are driven to turn their passions into ways to help others and was stoked when Sharon asked to feature one of my pieces on her site (and it seemed quite appropriate, as it revolves around the theme of jewelry!): Why I Still Wear His Jewelry After the Love Ran Out. I’m excited to see this site grow and evolve.

2. I posted this on my therapy office’s IG yesterday (@renewcounselingnyc) and like it so much that I have to share it with you guys, too.


I came across this Emerson quote yesterday for the first time and it really resonates with me, the concept of perspective and how we view our circumstances. We have the choice to either focus on the negatives and allow them to become bullies that beat us down and define us by our struggles, or to keep our eyes fixed on our passions and live in constant pursuit of that which sets our soul on fire.

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to think I’m in the latter category of dream-chasers. It can be so easy to let L.I.F.E get to us, but remembering how beautiful it is and how uniquely US we are and how much we have to offer this world and putting one foot in front of the other toward our dreams & goals & best versions of ourselves on a daily basis is all any one of us can hope to do. I fully believe we were created to live passionate lives.

3. I’m on a runlove streak! ❤ Between my legs feeling great and the nicer weather (FINALLY), running has been my best buddy this week. I made it outside this morning for an early 4 miles, and had two decent back-to-back  5-milers the past two days after work. It’s supposed to be nice this weekend, so I’m anticipating a great longer run on Saturday. I absolutely run better in the morning — my stomach struggles with post-work runs and operates a gazillion times better when empty.

4. Since coming back from Maui, I’m seeing pineapples everywhere. Like walking around the Meatpacking district on a Saturday morning in March.


I’ve totally been suffering from the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, or more commonly termed the “frequency illusion.” Every clothing site I visit has pineapple bathing suits or sweaters or socks and I suddenly can’t remember why I don’t live somewhere tropical.

Later the same day of the above photo, we were jaunting around SoHo and passed the Spanish tapas restaurant Boqueria, to which I’d never been — and their sign out front begged “Try our Pineapple Sangria!”

Welp, that seemed like an order if I ever heard one.


To be honest, however, I didn’t really like it. I like sangria, so long as it’s not that sweet, and I was hopeful for this one…but this just tasted weiiiird. I’m blaming it on the mezcal, which I can’t stand, because I like all the other ingredients. NY_Wine_Page_1.jpgI was more into the idea I had to have this than the actual act of having it, since it fit our pineapple frequency illusion. I DO like that Boqueria changes their sangria seasonally, though, so I’d definitely go back and try another one this summer. I’m pulling for peach!

5. I really need a new book (or 10) to read. Any suggestions? The boy and I are going to start this one together soon, which I’m looking forward to — there’s something about reading a thought-and-conversation-provoking book with someone that really makes me happy:


It’s currently on the NY Times Best Seller list and I can definitely use a book that challenges me to think about how I’d live my life if I knew I only had 30 days left to live, so I’m stoked for this. But I’m always looking for other good options so please send my way!

6. I had a dream last night that my brother bought an apartment in San Francisco completely out of the blue — didn’t have a job there or anything — and announced he was moving there, and I got SO obnoxiously envious. Like, I was seething in such a palpable envy that I woke up perturbed about how upset I was and it took me a moment to realize that my brother was not, in fact, moving to SF and living out my California dreams. I’m not sure what bothers me more: the fact that in my dream, I was more jealous about him living in California than upset about him moving across the country; or the fact that I will probably never be able to shake my desire to live in California at some point and just need to give in and move my life to the Pacific Ocean. The struggle is real.

Oh, and I believe there’s an Emerson quote for that, too. 🙂M_26A094_original.jpg

Join in the fun and tell me something random from your week!

2 Things Tuesday


It’s been birthday central in my world lately!

I am such a birthday lover — is there anything more fun than being able to honor and celebrate the people you love most on a day that belongs to them?? The first week of April was a good one for me: my BFF had a baby on April 7th and it was my guy’s birthday yesterday and his mom’s on Wednesday, so forevermore, the beginning of April will be spent full of celebrating some lovely humans, like this amazing boy of mine…


which we did by drinking some sparkling sangria, courtesy of a girlfriend’s baby shower on Saturday that doubled as Tyler’s birthday cheers. 🙂


Maybe next time I’ll remember to ask him to pose with me — whoops. I sadly didn’t take any photos at home this past weekend (other than baby pictures, which I’m not going to reveal yet until my BFF does!), so instead I’ll link you up to the two restaurants upstate at which we dined Fri & Sat night to celebrate Tyler’s birthday weekend (because birthdays always get full weekends in my life):

1. New World Bistro Bar


If you live in the Albany area, you love this place. It’s just a given. We had brunch here the weekend we started dating and both love the food and ambiance, so it was a no-brainer for his birthday dinner. The dinner menu is extensive and offers a wide variety of unique options (his sweet potato & legume veggie burger with hummus was delicioussss), AND they serve my favorite wine, Josh Cabernet, so I can’t say a bad word about New World.

2. Rocco’s on Main St.


I’d never heard of this adorable rustic restaurant until I started dating someone who lived near it, as it’s on the outskirts of the Albany area, and we went for the first time on Saturday night. It was like stumbling into a hidden gem of a country setting that seemingly sprung up out of nowhere. The place was packed, and rightfully so, as the food was great. (I had the salmon and would definitely order it again.) I really loved the atmosphere as well and want to emulate the centerpiece light fixture in my future home (if that ever becomes a thing!): it was a base of wooden planks with various industrial-filament light bulbs that I thought gave the room such a cool character in its simplicity. I should have snapped a photo but the best I can do is steal one from Yelp:


Definitely doesn’t do it justice and I am making a mental note to have one of these made for me one day.

Rocco’s is a bit off the beaten path but definitely worth a drive if you’re an upstate-er looking for somewhere new to dine. I want to go back and sit at the huge bar sometime and just enjoy the atmosphere of being at such a quaint little rustic place in a small town.

Sometimes a city girl just needs a country environment like this to soothe the soul. 🙂

What do you look for in a restaurant (besides good food!)?
Anyone else dined in the Albany area? What places do you like?
Are you a “celebrate all the birthdays” person? What do you like to do??


My Weekend in Verbs

I really hate to say that I essentially live for the weekends, as it’s not entirely true: I live for vacations, too. 😉 I just want to be able to do whatever I want with my days; is that too much to ask?


Like spend a lovely weekend with this one, who has entirely turned my world around in every magical & wonderful way possible in the past 6 months (time flies!):


This was our best attempt at a “let’s take a 6-month-iversary-photo” while having brunch at Mercury Bar (this rather unassuming sports bar in Hell’s Kitchen actually has awesome brunch options) and watching a Formual 1 race (I basically have no idea what that means but I brought a journal and they had John Mayer on so I was happy). 🙂


Saturday: 8 miles outdoors (steady comfortable pace): 5m solo, 3m with T. I was cold (and sore) pretty much the whole time, but it was one of the longer runs I’ve done in a while, so that felt good. I will admit that I’m still mentally adjusting to running with someone, it seems; I want to run with the boy but I sort of psych myself out a bit and always seem to get into a flow better on my own, but I know it’s good to have someone push me & I like working out with him, so I don’t want to stop running with him…it’s a Catch 22 and I need to adjust! Anyone else experience this tension between adjusting from being a solo runner to a couple runner?

Sunday: 4 miles treadmill. The freezing temps and unbelievable wind prompted us to opt for an indoor session yesterday morning, which ended up being beneficial for me, as I decided to take advantage of the chance to do some speedwork. I’m really trying to incorporate this into my routine weekly. I did 4 miles and included intervals of 1-2 minute increases in speed and definitely felt myself working harder and pushing, and it felt great! Must do more of this.


We ventured out to a new (to us) restaurant I’ve wanted to check out for a while called Friedman’s, a homey, rustic spot squatting unexpectedly on 35th St and 10th Ave, an area almost entirely devoid of other cute places to dine. I’ve been wanting to check it out, and as it was, it served as the perfect ending to our Saturday.

Friedman’s entire menu is gluten free (except for two items), and they’re a family-run business who lives by the mantra #eatgoodfood. Well, they certainly lived up to that.

We both wanted the fish tacos & grilled salmon salad, so that was easy: I ordered the tacos, he ordered the salmon, and we shared.



Both were delicious and we already decided we’ll be back there soon. Well done, Friedman’s. I was a happy girl.


The Big Short.

It was great. The cast was phenomenal, the story was riveting, and it was just overall so well done. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never delved that deeply into the logistics of the whole 2008 financial crisis, so this was really important and informational for me. Definitely recommend this.

Hope you had great weekends, friends!
Weekend highlights?
Best movie you’ve seen recently?

Friday Five: Eating Healthy on Vacation

helllloooo, friends! it’s no secret i’ve been MIA in the blogosphere lately, and i’ve had good reason: i was halfway around the world, trying to figure out a way to stay in Maui forever. i maintain that God allows Maui to exist to give us a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. i will absolutely be reviewing my trip at length in upcoming posts, but today, i’m joining up with our DC gals Mar, Courtney & Cynthia for the Friday Five Link-up. since this week’s theme revolves around food & drink, i thought i’d keep it vacation-relevant:


i’m definitely someone who takes my healthy-eating habits on vacation with me and makes every effort to eat as healthy as possible, especially when i’m on a vacation in a tropical place, where i want to be running outside and wearing bikinis every day. the boy and i did really well on our food choices for this trip and i came back feeling great and healthier than ever, and am committed to maintaining these habits!

ONE: all the fruit. i was craving fruit the whole trip, thanks to the endless sunshine & summery days. apples, mangoes, bananas, dried figs, berries — these became staples in our diet, and were so easy to pack on our day trips. eating multiple pieces of fruit a day also totally curbed any sweets hankerings, and a week without chocolate was much easier than i would have thought, especially when all i could think about was mangoes!

TWO: eat the fishies
. every time we went out to eat, i ordered grilled fish tacos or a salad with grilled fish. light, healthy and just the right amount of filling, i consider fish the perfect meal to stick to when on a tropical vacation. i’m sure it goes without saying, but the fish in Maui was sooooo good. Hawaii has a local fish called Ono, which means “delicious,” that lives up to its name. we found the cutest little beachside tiki restaurant called Duke’s just a short walk from our hotel that had great fish tacos & sandwiches, and live music during early evening and sunset. such a gem of a spot.


THREE: easy on the alcohol. because let’s face it: too much is never good! neither of us are big drinkers, and coupling that with the fact that we wanted to wake up early every day to work out before adventuring, we barely drank on this trip — and it felt amaaaaazingggg. no wine with dinner, no random day drinks at the beach — and the few times we did order drinks, i tried to be adventurous and order tropical cocktails that i wouldn’t have at home, of which i knew i’d never drink more than one or two.


Mai Tais are musts in Hawaii, but they really didn’t do much for me, which i guess was a good thing, as i was one and done (and felt great the next morning to run at 8am!).

FOUR: walk the aisles. we were super fortunate to have a big grocery store across the street from our hotel, which we frequented for our breakfast foods and daily staples. not only did we save a lot of $ this way, but we made much healthier food choices and saved time when on the Road to Hana or at the beach by packing snacks. fruit, nuts, bars (Larabars are still my faves), raw veggies, almond crackers, Puffins, coffee — we became experts at healthy vaca snacking!

FIVE: kombucha. this i’m adding as my own personal Maui-specific newbie addition, as i tried a couple of kombucha brands and flavors on this trip and became a believer. kombucha became my new champagne this past week — love those bubbles!

Maui’s Valley Isle Kombucha in Lilikoi (passion fruit) was a refreshing beach day treat,


& i realllllly loved Health Ade’s Power Greens. this hybrid kombucha and pressed green juice concoction was phenomenal. of course, i found this in the San Francisco airport and the local store by me doesn’t have this flavor yet, but i’m hoping that changes soon!

at $6 a bottle they’re certainly not cheap, but on top of being so delicious, they’re good for you, so i can justify this indulgence every now and then.

enjoy your Friday and hope your weekend starts off wonderfully! i’ll be sure to give you the low-down on my trip to Maui soon! 🙂

Best thing you ate/drank this week?
How do you (try to) eat healthy on vaca?

The Garret: West Village Speakeasy

One of my favorite things to do in NYC is explore the speakeasy scene. We have some seriously fun speakeasies spread all throughout the city, each boasting its own hip identity and hidden charm, and I’ve asserted before that I want to make it my goal to hit as many of these as possible.

Well, the boy and I checked another off the list on Saturday night: The Garret in the West Village.


This intimate attic-style libations joint is located on the corner of Bleecker & Barrow (right at 7th Ave), but if you’re looking for a sign, you won’t find one. Instead, you have to walk into the Five Guys burger joint, past the counter, and take a hard left — and find a dark, narrow set of stairs leading up to the bar.


I love when life tucks little gems just out of sight and you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret, don’t you?

We liked the space from first sight: it’s cozy and chill, with massive vaulted skylights that support the whole “garret” nomenclature, a long copper bar, and a little Victorian living room style set-up at the far back (which is where we parked ourselves for the entirety of our cabernet-sipping stay).


The crowd and atmosphere were laid back and unpretentious, and the intimate set-up lent itself nicely to making friends, and conversations flowed across tables quite easily. In contrast to this back section, there were some little wooden two-person booths directly across from the bar, but we weren’t able to snag one of those. Goal for next visit, it seems.

I liked the space a lot; it felt very indie and elemental, with exposed brick walls and lots of wooden pieces, and the skylight and tin ceilings were sweet touches. We didn’t try their cocktails — the cocktail list was the one thing that really didn’t wow me — but we’re both wine people anyway, and were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the one red wine they had on their menu: Owens & Vaughn Cabernet. We hadn’t heard of it, but agreed we’d definitely buy it – so drinkable and easy.

This place was a cute, fun little find, and we both agreed we’d return. It was lively and comfortable and exuded a “stay and hang awhile” vibe, and I think it works well for groups of friends or a date. They don’t serve food, but you can buy burgers & fries from downstairs if you so choose and chow down while sipping your cocktails. This partnership seems to work well for Five Guys, as we saw quite a few people doing just that.

Another win for the West Village in my book.

Saturday Successes

this past Saturday, i did so many things. so many good things, i might add.

for starters, i had what i will consider the first successful run (ahem, jog) in a week or so, in that my leg wasn’t locking up or as painful as it has been, thank God. i was sore (due to doing so many squats/lunges etc the day prior), but it wasn’t painful like it had been. i think it’s safe to say i’m on the up-and-up there. success #1: 7-8 mile riverside run. slow, sore, but steady. i’ll take it.

we then did a little jaunt to Astoria so the boy could buy a car! success #2. i don’t claim to know anything about cars, but i really like this one, and he’s super happy, so it was worth celebrating. we then headed back to Manhattan to brunch. we had no plan, but fortuitously stumbled upon one of the best brunch spots i’ve encountered in a while: White Oak Tavern. located on Waverly & Green St. right near Washington Square Park, this place was such a lucky find and we are already stoked to return. we split the Benedict (minus the sauce, i’m so picky) and the Avocado on Toast, and both were amaaaazing. success #3. i was sad to see the food leaving my plate, it was so good.

White Oak has a rustic-meets-Prohibition sort of vibe, with large-print floral wallpaper and shelves of books and antiques above the bar and along the windows that give it a definite throwback-to-another-era feel — in the best way possible. There are little jars of wildflowers on the tables & heavy drapes & hanging lights & communal plank tables in the middle & a craft cocktail list & just all things country charm. i definitely recommend this place.

photo taken from Yelp

photo taken from Yelp

to cap off a pretty great day, we had a fun date planned for last night: Tyler had surprised me with tickets to Aladdin on Broadway as one of my Christmas gifts! this was one of my favorite movies growing up, and i’ve been saying i need to see the show since it came out, so i was really stoked. it was also his first Broadway experience, which is always fun!

we started off with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, 44 & X. this place is the epitome simple elegance and has a unique, extensive, amazing menu, so i never tired of going here. success #4.

we shared the Mediterranean Chopped salad, and then i went with the Maine Lobster Taco appetizer as my meal, which was so simple and delicious: just boiled lobster and pico de gallo in a grilled soft taco, topped with avocado. it was awesome.


yes i know i need to get better at this food-photo thing. yeesh.

the pinnacle of this amazing day was, of course, seeing Aladdin that night — this was a maaaaaajor success (#5).


Aladdin was one of my all-time favorite movies growing up, and let me tell you — if you liked the movie, you’ll love the show. they add a few Broadway-esque songs and change a couple of things, but overall, it’s very true to the Disney movie and so entertaining. lots of energy, lots of laughs, and more sequins and sparkle than i’ve ever seen in one place in my entire life. oh, and the magic carpet ride & “A Whole New World” part was breathtaking. seriously one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen done on stage.


i realize that i need to get myself to the theater more! i really have no excuses, given that i live in the Theater District and love going to shows. this was my idea of a perfect NYC date night that i hope to recreate again and again.

hope your weeks start off well, friends!

Any theater lovers? Last show you saw? Any specific shows you want to see?
Tell me something good from your weekend!

scenes from the weekend

hi, loves! so i don’t know about you guys, but for me, we’re halfway through the month and i can honestly say that this is totally turning out to be a wonderful, happy, memorable December for me.


for starters, it was 65 degrees and sunny in NYC all weekend…so what i’m really saying is that it’s May. the boy and i went running both Saturday (6-7ish miles) and Sunday (5ish miles) mornings in tank tops, and i was sweating. in mid-December. and i love it.

things weren’t so amazing on the running front this weekend though, unfortunately, which really bummed me out b/c i was so looking forward to having these amazing runs on such glorious balmy days, but it just wasn’t happening. my legs were beyond tired and sore for some reason, and my calf kept screaming at me, and i just couldn’t get it together & had very little energy. i was slow and feeling pretty awful, and not sure i’d have endured 5 miles on Sunday if the boy wasn’t there to run with me.

and so it goes with running: sometimes you’re on top of the world, and sometimes you just don’t have it and everything feels hard. here’s to hoping that phase passes asap, b/c it really bums me out. on the flip side, i’m thankful i was able to cover the mileage i did even while i wasn’t feeling so hot or loving running at those moments. a crappy run is better than no run, right? and i did get in a fairly decent upper body workout at the gym on Sunday before our run as well.

workouts aside, the weekend was absolutely wonderful otherwise. we rode Citibikes and went to my friends’ holiday brunch and had a pre-dinner drink at Terroir Wine Bar in Tribeca on Saturday, which plays great music and has a really chill, almost punk-gothy sort of vibe,


before heading to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Fig & Olive Meatpacking, which just does everything right: amazing food, amazing service, amazing atmosphere. i love this spot.


side note: i’m the worst at taking photos of food, but somehow always manage to remember to snap the wine. i swear i eat… 😉

we also had an awesome brunch at 44 1/2 in Hell’s Kitchen. it was my first time there for brunch and i’ll certainly return, as it was charming and yummy and a new neighborhood fave for me. we dined on the covered back patio which was like a lovely little pink fairy world in the middle of the concrete jungle,

all bubbly lanterns & pink roses & white lights. it was one of my favorite restaurant atmospheres i’ve experienced in a while, and so ideal for a Sunday afternoon in a December that’s posing as May. i really loved it.

we meandered over to Rockefeller Center after Sunday brunch to see the 78-foot-tree, which seemed like a necessary, picturesque NYC-at-Christmastime thing to do,


…except that we were joined by everyone else who happened to be awake in NYC yesterday. holy touristville. we took one look at the crowds swarming 5th Ave and decided the window viewing was absolutely not in our immediate future and we suddenly realllllly needed some wine (is hating crowds part of growing up? i seriously cannot), so we strolled down to the Flatiron District and nestled ourselves into Punch for some nice little chill time in an atmosphere that didn’t make me want to start kicking strollers.


much, much better.

my weekend in #s:
2 beauuuuuuteousss days
2 (so-so) runs
2 great restaurants
2 cute wine bars
2 movie nights on the couch (Hunger Games #3 & Pitch Perfect)
1 gym session
1 massive Christmas tree
=1 pretttttyyyyy perfect weekend with the man

i have no complaints. ❤

How was your weekend, friends? Highlights?
Something you’re looking forward to this week?