Summer Series: BACK to ACK!

What started as long weekend visits in high-school, developed into entire summers in college and has now become an annual tradition for a week each summer (OHHH the “real world”) – the annual Nantucket trip.  Because my girlfriends and I are somewhat neurotic when it comes to planning, we usually lock down the house around Christmas for our yearly summer extravaganza.  This involves a group of girls (it’s run anywhere from 16 to 6) renting a house and a jeep for a week of beaching, mudslides and al fresco dining… basically my idea of heaven.  Here are some pictures from this year’s trip…

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One of my faves…Steps Beach!

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Gazebo Mudslides…a must.

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Oysters & cocktails at the brewery. Pure heaven.

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Madaket Millie’s for sunset.

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Cru – can’t decide what was better, the food or the decor.

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Also home to the biggest mussels known to man.

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One of many.

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Cru al fresco.

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Tommy Hilfiger’s sweet pad. Anyone remember the show Rich Girls?

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Our sweet ride. Cherry red, just as I hoped.

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And here’s my ideal week or weekend activity list for your next Nantucket excursion…

Upon arrival it’s mandatory to kick things off with a mudslide at the Gazebo,

[the next morning] Pick up a hazelnut iced coffee from Espresso to Go,

Eat a turkey sandy (with cucumber, lettuce, tomato & sprouts…yep.) from Something Natural,

Grab your backpack beach chairs and some refreshments and head on down to Steps Beach,

When you’re sick of the sun (never happens to me but…) grab some snacks from Bartlett and spend your afternoon at Cisco Brewery (Try the blueberry lemonade.),

Take an amazing post beach shower (Does anything beat that feeling?)

Then head to Madaket for sunset and a casual dinner a Milly’s

or if you’re feeling fancy get a sunset cocktail at The Galley followed by dinner at Straight Wharf,

A post dinner drink at Slip14,

And since you’re likely ready to dance at this point… head on down to the Chicken Box for some good clean fun.

Ok, now I’m missing summer already!  But the good news is… tomorrow’s FRIDAY!  Here’s a little treat to get you through…

One more day!

XO

Triathlon Takeaways

Hey ya’ll (Can I say that?) I did it!  Checked triathlon off my list and feeling good!  Because I am now a “triathlete” (jk, jk) I wanted to give you my “expert” advice on what to do and not to do.  Some things were learned morning of… some things were told to me weeks prior… and some I wish I had known (You’re supposed to practice the transition from bike to run? Ohhh.).

Having never done a triathlon before, I can honestly say I was completely terrified as the day approached, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how much FUN it actually was. I know that sounds crazy and some think races of this sort are essentially self inflicted pain, but in reality it was probably the least painful out of the races I have done!  Now I’m not saying it was easy, but I do think if you’re in reasonably good shape, you can run 3 miles and you know how to swim, you can make it work…and maybe even crack a smile while doing so.  So here are my two cents…

1. Practice your transitions

Here’s one I heard time and time again yet failed to listen to.  The transition from bike to run feels a little like running with 50 lb weights attached to each leg.  Fun stuff.

2. Buy a road bike

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I NEVER thought I would see the day of owning a road bike.  Not only was I intimidated by the handles (among other things), but I also figured I would have no idea how to use it, and I’d rather die than be that person throwing out hand signals in the middle of Main Street (Holla South of Main!).  But look at me now, a proud owner of this beauty above and couldn’t be happier.  If you want to buy a bike to exercise on and maybe participate in triathlons down the road, buy this bike.  I’m telling you!  Bry and I both walked into the bike store with all intentions of buying a “hybrid” (basically a multi functional bike that’s good for commuting, leisurely exercise, etc.), and after one little cruise on the road bike, right before we were just about swiping our credit cards on the hybrids, we changed our minds completely.  With a road bike you use just as much effort (or less) and go twice as fast as you would on a hybrid or mountain bike.  And when I was cruising by those poor amateurs on their hybrids struggling up the hills, I couldn’t help but thank goodness I was not them.  (Sorry to say.)

3. Rent a wetsuit

MegBryTriWho looks more ready for it?  Yes, he participated too…sans wetsuit and nerves.

or buy one (cheaper versions start around $200)… whatever floats your boat.

4. Bring a plastic bag

This is one I learned morning of as a nice friend offered me hers.  It’s the key to getting your wetsuit over your feet with ease.  Just step your foot into the plastic bag and then step that plastic-bagged foot into the wetsuit and pull the bag off your foot once inserted fully.  Genius!

5. Invest in Body Glide

Another morning of lesson.  Before putting on your wetsuit, Body Glidebodyglide that bod to slip your wetsuit off with ease after the swim.  Focus on ankles, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists – anywhere your skin might “stick”.

6. SMILE

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(Sorry Court)

Even if it hurts… it will make you feel better.  And something learned day after…they take LOTS of pictures of you on the course. One word: WOOF.

7. Don’t look back

I made this mistake mid-swim when I looked back into the open water and saw about a hundred swimmers coming at me full speed.  Hello panic attack!  Look ahead and keep moving!  It will go by faster that way!

8. [Last but not least] Don’t eat scallops and drink red wine for your pre-race dinner

Yeah, it happened.  Not sure what I was thinking there.  I mean I ended up feeling fine, but just don’t follow my lead with this one.

Ok that’s all for now!  If you want to check out some upcoming Tris in your area – click here!  More on my summer activities to come!

XOXO

Oh HEY!

Did you think I forgot about you?

NEVAH!  But I am very sorry for being MIA for the past MONTH (gulp).  I have been on a whirlwind of work, weddings, and more weddings…and this poor little blog has been suffering because of it.  So I apologize.  To both of you.

Somehow the summer seems to fill up before I even realize it’s started.  And with that, I give you a summer to do list that I will likely accomplish 50% of…

1. Go to Nantucket

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One of my favorite places on the planet. I spent my college summers here waitressing at Slip14 and have such amazing memories.  My girlfriends and I now have an annual tradition to go for a week every summer (see beach babes above).  Some favorite spots: here, here, here & here.  (Nantucket guide to come later in the summer!)

2. Go to Martha’s Vineyard

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Most people are one or the other, but why have one when you can have both?  My mom grew up spending her summers in the Vineyard, so I went every summer for a week or two with my family.  It makes me so nostalgic every time I go, and it’s so funny how certain neighborhoods or smells bring back such vivid memories.  Ahhhh vacation.

3. Eat ice cream

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Err’day…although this is somewhat of a year round to-do for me.  Life is too short.

4. Mini golf on Pier 25

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I mean this is footsteps from my apartment and I still haven’t done it… FOOTSTEPS.

5. Picnic on Hudson River Park

IMG_1856View from my future picnic.  Complete with red solo cups and a paper bag.

6. Complete a Triathlon

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This is one of those cheater to-dos you write down just so you can check it off…because I am signed up for one in two.short.weeks.  (sidenote: this photo makes my stomach drop)

7. Get good at tennis

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And look like this on the court…

Tennis lessons as a youngster have only partially paid off… and there’s a lot of work to be done.  I’m telling you A LOT.  Anyone want to “play” with me?

8. Shop in my own closet

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Because I always seem to find things every year when I break out the summer clothes that I forgot about.  (No, this is not my closet and yes, I would like it to be.)

9. Buy a cute new swimsuit

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Since all of mine seem to be on their last leg and/or not fit me correctly anymore.  Do bodies change that much from age 26 to 27?  SCARE-REEE.

10. Apply & reapply SPF

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I’m paying for my SPF 4 summers in Nantucket…should’ve listened to my mom.

11. Dine alfresco in the West Village

This is so random but I always imagine a perfect summer night of strolling through the West Village after getting out early from work, coming across the perfect alfresco restaurant and sitting down on a whim for a yummy dinner and a crisp glass of rosé‎.

12. Rooftop cocktails

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There are so many rooftop spots opening up in the city and I am dying to try this one at the famous Standard Hotel.

13.  Dance in the rain… in the MoMA

…and pray it stops raining outside. (I can’t take it anymore!)

I mean this is just so cool.  And it’s about time I take advantage of living in NYC (If the fact that I didn’t see the David until the last week I was living in Florence isn’t telling I don’t know what is.).

Oh the joys of SUMMER!  So much to look forward to!

XOXO

(pics 1, 2 & 5 – my own, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

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…

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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!

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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 : )