Party People

This weekend Bry and I had our first big housewarming party. Given we are in the holiday season, we kept it festive and went with a fondue and Christmas sweater theme.  It was a major hit and hilarious to see people’s get ups as they walked into our apartment.  Bry has always had a vision of having a fondue party (His family has a unique affinity to fondue… which I don’t hate.) and it was great to see it in action.  Three fondue pots, 2 buckets of hotty toddies and a keg later… well I would say it was a success.  Here are some highlights from the night (apologies for the terrible photos)!

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We served chips, guacamole and salsa, red and green M&Ms, homemade chocolate chip cookies and of course, fondue with baguette pieces, apples and pepperoni for dipping.  For drinks we made a bucket of hot toddy which was cider and whiskey (something Bry is becoming infamous for…) and a keg of PBR (keepin’ is classy).  Everyone was so generous and brought bottle upon bottle of wine, which we didn’t really get around to drinking… probably for the better.  One friend even brought homemade egg nog, which I don’t think I have ever had and wow, is it good!  I must say, much better than that bottled nonsense!

As the soiree concluded and people started dispersing, the rest of us (only the strong survive!) headed to a local karaoke bar which ended the evening on quite an entertaining note.  I have videos to prove it (sorry guys)…

We couldn’t have asked for a better night or group of people to break bread, eat fondue, drink cider, celebrate a BFFs birthday, admire our Christmas tree, get chatty and embrace our new home with!  Hope everyone is having a merry holiday season and I would highly recommend the fondue party idea!  There’s nothing like cheese and good friends!

XO

Meg

DIY – Calendar Wall Art

As I mentioned, putting things on the wall has been a bit intimidating this early on in the process.  But!  I did make one minor (huge) change in our kitchen.  What was once a blank wall with a random map thrown on it, is now a wall of… well, two of our favorite things: food and beer.  Remember this little gift guide?  I ended up using it for my own boyf last year and purchased this Red Cruiser calendar, which ended up being quite a hit.  However, once a year is over, what’s the use?  Basically calendars are good for nothing upon expiration.  Except… a gallery wall!  Watch and learn my friends…

Here is what the calendar looked like before…

beer and food 2

beer and food

Too cute to get rid of right?

So trim the numbers and days off (I actually kept the month and descriptions)…

beer and food 3

throw those babies in a frame and…

calendar

ta dah!  All you need is an old calendar, scissors, tape, and some Ikea frames.  Cheap and easy!

XO

Meg

(photo cred: Red Cruiser)

Apartment Progress

apt update 1

We did it!  We’re officially unpacked and finally able to enjoy our new little abode.  One thing I have learned to love about our apartment is the amount of space and storage we have.  Especially after our larger than life Costco trip (both jaws dropped at check out), I was a bit concerned about whether we were going to have enough space to fit the lifetime supply of toilet paper, but luckily there was a miniature linen closet that I had never noticed before, which fit those extras in perfectly!  It’s the little things in life!  So now that everything is put away, we have been able to sit down, breathe and bask in the joys of cohabitation!  And also drive myself crazy looking at our bare walls.  Like most everyone has told me, “you have to live in a place” to figure out what you need.  Which is definitely true, but also a challenge for someone like me who wants everything to be done and perfect immediately.  That’s where Bry comes in.  Luckily I have him to tell me to “relax” (quite often) and that we will figure it all out.  But in the meantime, bare walls and all, here are some before and after shots for your viewing “pleasure” (use your imagination here people)…

Living Room

before…

living rm - before

after…

living rm - after

Kitchen

before…

kitchen - before

after…

kitchen - after

Patio

before (with old tenants…)

patio - before

after…

patio - after

patio - after 2

Bathroom

before (that blue tub…)

bathroom - before

after (attempting to hide the blue tub…)

bathroom - after

Hallway

before…

hallway - before

after (opposite angle)…

hallway - after

Bedroom

before…

bedroom - before

after…

bedroom - after

Guest Room

(I realize how obnoxious that sounds but then again we’re in Brooklyn…)

before…

guest room - before

after…

guest room - after

So as you can see there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am trying to approach it in stages.  Right now, is “living with it” stage and pretty soon I will begin the long process of tackling one room at a time… here’s what I am thinking in terms of some upcoming purchases: living room rug, mirrors!, coffee table, patio inspiration, plants, bedroom pillows (or a girl can dream…), art, book shelves, bar cart (Is it necessary? Yes, it is.) and the list goes on…

Like I said… stages…and I am sure my ideas will constantly be evolving, so might as well not jump into anything, right?  One designer who has really caught my eye lately for inspiration is Amber Interiors.  Feast your eyes interior design lovers!

XO
Meg

New Chapter

hello-brooklyn-womens-t-shirt_design

I am so sorry for my radio silence for the past few months, but I have been going through an extremely transitional time so haven’t had time to slow down for a minute, but… all for great and exciting things!  I will spare you the details of the time spent in between – finding an apartment, losing an apartment (The rental market in NYC is as insane as it’s rumored to be!), moving Bry out, moving me out, moving to the suburbs – and tell you, Bry and I are officially ROOMIES and Brooklyn residents!  As you’ve seen here, here and here, I took a bit of a liking to the “other borough” and as Bry and I started looking at apartments, we realized we were both drawn to Brooklyn more than anywhere else.  Specifically, Brooklyn Heights.  There is something very old world charm about Brooklyn Heights and it reminds me a bit of my home city, Boston.  Tree lined streets and brownstones, SPACE, cute little cafes, quiet neighborhoods (Can you imagine!?) and an overall sense of community.  I was sold!  While it took a while for us to get there, we’re officially in and couldn’t be happier exploring our new ‘hood!

Plenty of quality time spent in the Uhaul this month...on our new street!

Plenty of quality time spent in the Uhaul this month…on our new street!

Being one of the biggest life changes I have experienced thus far, moving to a new part of the city with Bry, felt all the more overwhelming and exciting.  Change is such a difficult and amazing thing.  I think of myself as someone who needs change about every 2 years.  Whether it’s a job, haircut, apartment or new part of town, I start to get the “itch” after doing the same thing for too long.  With that said, I am terrible with change, which my mom so kindly pointed out to me last year (yeah, yeah, mom’s know everything).  But I think there is something SO refreshing about starting a new chapter, as hard as it may be.  It’s a way to start over and learn from your experiences.  Bry will certainly attest to learning a lot about me already throughout this marathon of a move (sorry Bry), but like I said, change is tough!  With that said, whether it’s moving in with a significant other or starting a new job, I think change strengthens you and gives you confidence!  If you’re considering a change, challenge yourself to just go for it.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Anyhow, moving on from deep thoughts and on to… decorating!  Can’t wait to get organized and update you on our progress!  If you want to see some of my decorating inspiration photos, check out my Pinterest board here.

Is it Friday yet?

XO

Meg

(pic)

BK Does it Again

It’s Sunday morning with NOTHING on the agenda.  So what’s a gal to do?  Go to Brooklyn of course!  Walking across the Brooklyn bridge might be one of my favorite things to do in the city.  Now once you get over that bridge figuring out what to do and where to go can be trying…unlessssss you are lucky enough to have a boyfriend who has lived across the pond river.  On this particular little excursion we ventured to Brooklyn Heights.  Has anyone been?  Because I.FELL.IN.LOVE.  I’m telling you, it’s a little slice of heaven hidden in the large foreign borough!  The tree-lined streets with colonial style town homes made me feel like I was in Beacon Hill rather than two miles from the concrete jungle.  And the stylin’ boutiques and hip restaurants could give the West Village a run for it’s money!  Look out Manhattan!  Check out some of the sites (pardon the iPhone photos…man, I need a camera)…

First we strolled across the bridge…

And we’ve arrived!  Here was the view from Brooklyn Heights looking at lower Manhattan…

How adorable is this tiny little house?!  I would like to move in now please.

Next we cruised along “the promenade” (that’s Brooklyn jargon guys, write it down).

Then we got a bloody mary (for old times sake) at this local watering hole (FYI: there is a bocce court INSIDE the bar) which were sitting on these friendly coasters.  We subsequently made note that people seem to be nicer in Brooklyn…

coaster

Then we continued on our way and I think I commented on every street/apartment we passed (I’m sure it wasn’t annoying at all)…

The WINDOWS!  The TOPIARIES!

What did I tell you people?  Now walk over that beautiful bridge and take a right and you’re there!  It’s not that far.  And to make you even more convinced… the 2/3/4/5 trains all go directly to the heart of the ‘hood!

XOXO
Meg

Bottoms up!

Ok, quickie post here but just had to [humble] brag about one of the Christmas presents my boyfriend gave me this year!  So remember that fun little beer making adventure a couple of months ago?  Well, check out the finished product!

That’s right ladies and gents – SOUTH OF MAIN STREET BEER!  Can you believe such a thing?  The gift being the beer bottle labels (of course), were made from the amazing site Pinhole Press.  They have tons of great ideas for photo cards, calendars, etc. and make fantastic gifts!  The site is very user-friendly and all you do is upload the image and voilà!  They will show you a sample of how the label/card/calendar will look and you have a personable, easy present from the click of a mouse (and some dolla dolla bills).

In case you’re wondering (I know most of you have probably been losing sleep over this), the beer we made came out great!  It has been so much fun drinking something we made from scratch and it actually does take like real-live-IPA!   If you’re in the NYC area, I would highly suggest checking out Bitter & Esters in Brooklyn as a gift idea or random outing with friends.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Sláinte!

XOXO

Brewing in Brooklyn

Guess what?  I’m posting about Brooklyn again!  Yes, yet another fascinating discovery straight out of the BK!  This weekend, my bf and I are heading over the bridge to brew our own beer!  No we’re not officially hipsters yet, but heck, we’re getting close!  As a little surprise, I was looking into going to the Brooklyn Brewery or City Winery and came across something even cooler!  As much as I enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of an afternoon brewery hang, what Bitters & Esters has to offer, is something I could not refuse!  The package includes three hours of brewing your own beer and hanging out in the brewery where you can BYOB and food to enjoy while you’re on the “job”.  Then, two weeks later you come back for another two hours of bottling.  And you don’t walk out empty-handed!  Following the bottling process they give you 12 cases of your very own brew to take home and enjoy!  How great is that?!  I can’t wait!

Bitter & Esters

They even ask you ahead of time what type of beer you want to brew and within each category there are several options, so they truly cater to your specific taste.  Over the past year, I have to be honest, I’ve become a bit of a beer snob.  I cannot stomach Bud Lights anymore (I think I may have overdone it in college), and I have even moved past the typical girly wheat beer (although I still love them) and onto IPA.  There’s only one person to blame for that, but I will leave him unnamed.  With that said, we decided on the IPA.  And not just any IPA – the Disaster IPA, which they describe as a “delicious, hoppy, British style IPA”.  Yaaahaa!

It’ll be a fun and different way to spend a Saturday.  It is supposed to be beautiful in New York so we may even head over to Smorgasburg afterwards since we will be in the area!  Remember this post?

To kick off the weekend tonight we are going to see Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis.  Have you seen the trailer!?  It looks serious but so good!  What are you all planning to do this beautiful fall weekend?!

XOXO

Smorgasburg!

Listen up Manhattan-ites!  Brooklyn has a lot more to offer than you may think.  The more I read about innovative restaurants, undiscovered neighborhoods, quirky bars and cool parks, the more I realize Brooklyn is where it’s at!  In fact, I have even recently heard about several celebutantes who you’d be surprised call Brooklyn home.  Where would you picture Olivia Palermo to reside?  The West Village?  Central Park East?  NOPE!  Brooklyn baby!  That’s right, there might be something these hipsters are keeping under wraps so that us Manhattan folk don’t take over and raise the rent (the rent is too damn high!).

In the same event, I’d like to introduce you to example #1 of why Brooklyn is cool.  Smorgasburg!  Yes, just as it sounds – a smorgasbord in Williamsburg.  Smorgasburg is a large venue of carefully selected food vendors combined with the famous Brooklyn flea market, which occurs every Saturday (Williamsburg) and now Sunday (DUMBO) throughout the fall.  Both venues are right along the East River which creates a very scenic backdrop for an afternoon of Brooklyn Bangers and Blue Marble ice-cream.

hipsters grillin’ dogs!

Some of the vendors I am most looking forward to are Alchemy Creamery, Cemita’s, Blue Marble Icecream (if you haven’t noticed this is a problem), Granola Lab,  Brooklyn Oyster Party, Red Hook Lobster PoundBite Size Kitchen, and Home By The Range.  Don’t they all have the cutest names?  I love it!  Is your mouth watering yet?

For all of you New Yorkers, have you experienced Smorgasburg yet?  Check it out before it closes November 18th!  The bf and I may even rent bikes and ride over the Brooklyn bridge!  Why not?  Come on people – live a little!

HAPPY WEEKEND!

XOXO

PS – a feel good song for your weekend : )

Have a Ball in the Fall

This weekend is my first weekend in NYC since MAY!  Hard to believe that’s the case, but I am so excited I can barely stand it!  The thought of not having to pack a bag tomorrow puts such a smile on my face.  With this new appreciation for living in the city, I have decided to put together a fall bucket list.  New York has so much to offer and I always find my self saying “I want to do that one weekend!” which usually comes to fruition a year later… if at all.  Hopefully writing these out will motivate me (and you) to take advantage of the fall and all the glorious things there are to do in your own ‘hood!

#1. Bike to the Cloisters

On a beautiful Saturday morning, rent a bike (for around $35/day), pack a bag with some cheese, bread and wine, and take a ride up the Hudson River Parkway to the Cloisters.  It’s a scenic ride along the Hudson River which is about 11 miles starting from Pier 25 (see #8).  The Cloisters is a European medieval art museum, constructed from five French cloistered abbeys, which were then shipped to New York in the 1930s.  It is located on a park overlooking the river with gorgeous views of the city – perfect for a picnic.  Voilà!  A romantic, European afternoon right at your fingertips!

#2. Make this delicious fall soup for a Sunday night football game – recipe here

#3. Go wine tasting in Long Island (again)

My girlfriends and I did this last year and we had an absolute blast!  It was very affordable and we were able to organize a package like this with a car that took us to four different vineyards, sampling 5/6 varieties at each vineyard and they even provided lunch!  The wine wasn’t anything to write home about but hey!  It’s not Napa.

#4. Pick Apples

Growing up, we would always go apple picking in the fall.  It’s something I will always remember and definitely continue when I have a family of my own (crisp New England MacIntosh apple… nothing like it!).  There are plenty of options not too far from NYC, but Applewood Orchards has a great reputation (and they have a vineyard…and conveniently located 20 mins from Woodbury Commons Outlets… just sayin’).  Check it out!

#5. Go to this restaurant – SO fall-ish and cozy!

#6. Hike up Bear Mountain – Get your nature fix on!  About an hour drive from the city and public transportation accessible. (check out that foliage people!)

#7. Run a race in Central Park – so many options on any given weekend – just do it!

#8. Play mini golf on Pier 25 – I live so close… yet still have not done this.  Pier 25 not only has mini golf, but beach volleyball, a soccer field, kid’s playground and lounge chairs for the warmer months.  How much fun would it be to have a cocktail, play a little mini golf, then go to dinner or out for the night?  I’m in!

#9. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and see what the BK has to offer (still a foreign land to me).

#10. Go to the beach in a sweatshirt – one of my favorite things in the world!  (probably with a pumpkin spice latte in hand)

What’s on your fall bucket list?  I know I’m missing something!

XOXO

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