Art Envy: John Meyer

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  And an even better leftover Turkey sandy day(s)…

My family and I went down to the Cape to visit my aunt, uncle and two cousins and the newest member of the clan, baby Demi.

photo 2

Are you in love yet?  Obsessed with her!

My cousins, Kerry and Justin, had a very unique upbringing as they were born in Johannesburg, South Africa and resided in Kenya, until they were five and seven years old, when their family relocated back to New England.  One of the many perks (apart from their Kenyan accents) that their family brought back from Africa, was their art collection from John Meyer, one of South Africa’s most renowned artists.  John is a personal friend of my aunt and uncle from living in Kenya and they have even come to the Big Apple to see his exhibits.  One of the most memorable pieces from my childhood is the amazing, almost life-size family portrait that he painted for them below, at their home in Kenya.  You know when certain, typically random, things will bring you right back to childhood? This portrait transports me to the living room in their old house in Massachusetts and to this day has a somewhat regal aura about it.

carven fam

Just look at the detail!  And those sweet little shoes…

detail

And two more beauties…

meyer 2 meyer 3Aren’t they amazing?  My iPhone certainly doesn’t do these paintings justice, but you can imagine what they’re like in real life!

Bry and I certainly won’t be buying any John Meyer‘s soon but it does get the wheels turning on the future of our blank walls…

Heading back to the big city soon!  Wish Thanksgiving would never end!

XO

Meg

PS – Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!  Love you.

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

Color Collective

As I was thinking about what to wear to dinner (here) last night with my girlfriends, the only thing I knew for sure was that I was going to wear my new red Kenneth Jay Lane earrings.  Trying to picture what to wear with them, I thought, black? No. White? Too pale.  And then, aha!  I remembered, Color Collective.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, get involved!  It is an extremely creative and unique blog (the only I have come across) strictly devoted to color pairings seen in fashion, art and the like.  It’s not only a place where you can go for a little daily eye candy, it’s also a place to find inspiration for your style, interiors and beyond.  Here are just a few of my favorite images from the site:

Now, like I said I had picked out earrings and was not willing to give those up.  So after looking at this pairing with my earring red (and some chilly weather):

I thought about what items in my closet I had in the paired colors… and here’s the outfit I came up with!

Color Collective
(Zara jeans, Enzo shoes, Leather jacket from Italy, Forever21 scarf, Kenneth Jay Lane earrings, Rebecca Minkoff Nikki bag, Forever21 shirt)

See?  Inspiration right at your finger tips!  I am learning about color in my interior design course as we speak (remember ROY G BIV?), and it’s been very interesting to hear about the effects of color on mood and self-confidence, and how much culture affects perception of color.  I tend to be very drawn towards vibrant colors, which may be because of the positive effect it has on my mood.  And there are certain color combos that really repel me.  Black and red?  YUCK!  I don’t know why, but I just can’t do it!  What colors are you drawn towards?  What colors to you tend to avoid?

Hope everyone is enjoying the week!  Is it me or has every day felt like Friday this week?

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

Pumpkin Lovin’

What is it about pumpkin that makes every female freak?  I don’t know the answer but I do know that I am obsessed with pumpkin anything.  Pumpkin beer, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin seeds – I’ll take it!  In the spirit of fall/Halloween/pumpkin season, I thought I would put together some ideas on how you can incorporate a little more pumpkin in your life – don’t deny your love.

Pumpkin Vase

Martha Stewart

Carve out the pumpkin, throw in a highball glass, water and some flowers and you’re done!  A pumpkin masterpiece! (Remember, EmSull?  Hats off to her for giving me this fab idea!)

Pumpkin Name Placers

Pumpkin Beer (with a cinnamon sugar rim. obvi.)

Whenever I go to a bar in the fall, I always order pumpkin beer and have yet to be disappointed.  HOWEVER, if you want the best of the bunch, pick yourself up a six-pack of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale.  To make it even tastier, coat the rim of your pint glass with a mix of cinnamon and sugar and enjoy!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

While you’re carving your jack-o-lantern save the seeds, throw them in a pan and toast those bad boys!  Official instructions here.

Dinner Party Decor

Pumpkin Smoothies

pumpkin pie smoothie 5036   Creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for Two + An Advertising Update

Oh She Glows

Recipe here.  I have all the ingredients for these and plan to make them this weekend!  So excited!

Pumpkin Chips (yes, they really DO exist!)

I recommend you purchase these at your local Whole Foods (or health food store) ASAP.  They are out-of-this-world.

Are you tired of looking at orange yet?  Or are you on your way to get a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks now?  Lucky for us (assuming everyone reading this is on the same page), pumpkins have health benefits!  Pumpkins provide vitamin A and fiber, while also improving your vision, heart health and skin.  I’ll drink to that!

Do you have any good pumpkin recipes?  I’d love some more ideas!

XOXO

Back to School

NY Times

Last night was the first class of my interior design course!  Because I was semi-nervous (no idea why), I made sure to leave work nice and early so that I would be there in time to find my classroom, get situated, etc.  When I arrived 40 minutes early (something very uncommon in my life) I realized I may have over estimated the timing a bit, so I decided to walk around the neighborhood and pop into a few stores for some “back to school shopping”, naturally.  One store I went into was Roberta Freymann which had the CUTEST stuff.  Roberta Roller Rabbit tunics were everywhere this summer, but I had never been in the actual store and totally think it’s worth checking out for scarves, jewelry, tunics and sweaters this fall!  When I got back to the classroom, I had about 20 minutes to spare and so I sat and watched girls filtering in every few minutes, awkwardly taking a seat.  No one, I mean no one, was talking.  Everyone had their heads down on their iPhones probably pretending to be texting while perusing Facebook.  It was funny.  Even though there was not one girl under 25, everyone had the first day of school jitters.  It made me miss the excitement of school and going to class so much!  In the college years you just don’t appreciate it enough.

When the teacher began, he had everyone go around the room and say their names, what they were doing now and why they were taking the course.  It was SO interesting to hear the different jobs and reasoning behind taking the class.  The room was filled with everyone from a model-esque twenty-something working in fashion to a women in her fifties who had been working in human resources her whole life and finally decided to take a step towards her actual passion.  Seeing the older woman who waited this long, really put things into perspective for me.  There was a lawyer who spent all of her free time looking at interior design blogs (sounds familiar), an executive assistant to an unnamed celebrity chef and a woman who had just moved from Hong Kong with her family and wanted to learn how she should renovate her new apartment, which she planned to gut entirely.  I found comfort in the fact that I was not the only one with a finance background and no design experience.  In fact, the teacher himself admitted to starting his career as an accountant of all things!

The main purpose of class last night was to understand the average measurements for furniture, space requirements, ADA regulations, etc.  While it doesn’t sound that interesting, I had the BEST time and was fascinated to learn about everything from traffic flow to the ridiculous amount of money people spend on toilets like this.  $6,400 for a toilet?  Personally, there are a lot of other things I would prefer to spend money on (like a Roberta Freymann scarf).

We were also assigned our project which we will be working on for the next six weeks – designing a one bedroom apartment.  I am SO excited for this project, because, as I will post about soon, my roomie and I are moving into a one-bedroom (converted to two), in just a few weeks!   Art imitating life!  Kiddinggg (kind of).  Each person in our class of 12, will create their own one-bedroom based off of the same floor plan provided by our teacher (shown above).  On top of determining color and decor, we can use our creative freedom to place walls in different places and move rooms around, so no single apartment will be the same.  We can also chose the style of apartment, which is something I am struggling with!  Do I want to design a TriBeCa loft or a nice West Village one-bedroom I could never afford?  Decisions, decisions.  I am anxious to see what everyone’s first week of work looks like!  And I will definitely make sure to post about my progress in the coming weeks!

How is your Tuesday going?  Do you have a passion or interest you may consider taking a class on?  Coming from experience, it’s a liberating feeling!  Remember, there’s no time like the present :  )

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 leisurely weekend…

Happy Friday everyone!

I woke up with a smile on this morning simply for the fact that it is Friday.  All week I have been dreaming about what I wanted to do this weekend and here’s the list I came up with (can you tell I love lists?):

1. Go for a run in Central Park

This is one of my favorite fall activities.  In the summer the park get’s so hot and crowded, but in the fall it is a much better scene, with crisp clean air and foliage that you unfortunately don’t get in many other places in the city.  Although I don’t live close to the park, my bf does and therefore I make a point to hit it up any weekend I’m up there.

2. Drink iced coffee and read the paper…outside.

via

Most likely the style and travel section, but it’s still the PAPER.  And there’s nothing like having your morning coffee al fresco.

3. Rent a bike and ride up to the Cloisters (remember the fall bucket list??)

National Geographic

Yes, I am finally doing it (and yes, I will look this cool riding my bike)!  We’re thinking Saturday afternoon so cross your fingers for nice weather!

4. Go to Eataly and make an Italian dinner

Eataly

I studied abroad in Florence when I was in college and my bestie from home and I still make one of the meals we would also prepare for dinner when we lived there.  The meal consists of:  butternut squash ravioli with walnut sauce (Eataly is the only place you can find the sauce),  fresh tomatoes and mozzarella with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a french baguette… and obviously some red vino.  AMAZING!

5. Watch Homeland (lots of it)

The bf and I just started getting into Homeland and we are beyond obsessed!  Anyone else?  We’re only on season one though so we have a lot to catch up on…

6. Make my mom’s chicken pot pie for Sunday football…the best chicken pot pie ever (recipe below).

Martha Stewart

I have such a weakness for chicken pot pie (CPP for us regulars)

Recipe:

– 1 package of frozen pie crusts (ok so it’s not totally homemade, but trust me it’s delish)

– 1 can cream of chicken soup

– 1 cup frozen peas

– 1 cup slices carrots (cooked)

– 1 cup diced potatoes (boiled)

– 1/2 can chicken broth

– 2 chicken breasts with bones

Line a pie sheet with one of the thawed pie crusts.  Cut chicken in half and saute in a frying pan with olive oil and cover.  Add chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove the chicken off the bone and cut into small pieces.  Place the chicken meat, liquid from the frying pan, veggies and cream of chicken soup in a pot and heat thoroughly adding spices and a dash of milk for thickness (can also add chicken bouillon cubes for added flavor).  Pour mixture into pie sheet and cover with second pie crust, pressing the outer edges to mend both crusts.  Bake at 325 – 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes (depending on your oven), until golden brown.

7. Watch the Sunday Morning Show in my PJs

For anyone unfamiliar with this show, take note – it’s the best.  The style is very old school and it takes a little bit of getting used to…but you will learn to LOVE it.  Great, simple, feel-good story lines for an easy Sunday morning.

And that is all!  Soooo basically all I want to do is cook, eat and watch TV.  GOOD!  But sometimes you must have weekends devoted to r&r!  What are you all up to?

XOXO

Local Watering Hole

I’ve always wanted to have a “go-to neighborhood bar” but have never seemed to be able to commit.  Maybe I am too curious and always want to try something new or maybe I just haven’t found the right match yet…

Tonight my gal pals and I are going to explore the neighborhood and I am so excited!  Whenever I walk home from the subway or elsewhere and take a different route I always walk past places and think I need to come back here!  Yet time and time again, when I try to remember where those places were or what they were called, I go blank.  Either I am losing my mind or it’s a common problem amongst others living in the city.  Anyone?  Hopefully it’s the latter.

There’s something magical about having that local watering hole where you know the bartender by name and you can always rely on it for those winter nights when it’s too cold and snowy to leave the ‘hood.  Even though I have lived in my area for going on 3 years, I still tend to go to the West Village or some other area to explore and find new bars or restaurants, and I happen to love where I live!   Not to mention, there are endless possibilities in and around my apartment that have yet to be discovered!  So tonight, my gfs and I are vowing to change that!  We are starting at Terroir, a cute little wine bar tucked away on Harrison Street and going from there…wish us luck!

I can’t wait for a glass of vino, some candlelight, a sweater and my galpals!  I LOVE FALL!  Do you have a go-to bar in your area?  Do you love a dive bar or do you prefer a swankier scene?  I am dive bar gal all the way!  Stay tuned, tonight might be the night where I meet my match!

XOXO

PS – a helpful bar guide from Time Out New York

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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