Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Friends, it has been awhile! I love how I said in the beginning of the year that I would be better about blogging regularly... of course, it's always easier said than done. Life has been extremely busy, but I do really want to make time to reflect and save these memories on this little blog. One of the biggest life changes thus far has been our engagement! Ben proposed in Washington Square Park on March 28, and our sweet friends Christine and Andy captured the moment in the photo below. Our families also came in for the weekend to celebrate, a surprise that brought me to tears. I'm so thrilled to be marrying my best friend. Bring on the wedding planning!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

a weekend in Hudson, NY

Hi friends! Boy, does time fly... I can't believe we're already half-way through February! This winter has been really rough (and long), so Ben and I decided to make the most of it by renting a car and driving up to Hudson, NY this past weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day and take a break from the city. We stayed for two nights in a bright, loft-like Air Bnb apartment right in the center of town on Warren Street and had a great time exploring dozens of antique shops and restaurants. Here's a recap of our little getaway...

Hudson is a cozy little town known for its historic architecture, over 50 antique shops, and creative people. It's only a two hour drive up from Manhattan, but we really felt like we were far away, which was a nice reprieve. Some highlights from our trip include visiting a sweet farmer's market inside a church, snagging a great deal on 10 gorgeous vintage frames at White Whale Limited (our favorite antique shop), and walking up and down Warren St while the snow gently drifted around (it was actually really romantic). While planning for our trip, we found the Design Sponge Hudson Valley guide especially helpful -- you can check it out here. If we had one more day, we would have loved to check out Olana, but we'll probably visit another time when it's warmer. 

As for food, Ben and I did a ton of research and ended up going to Daba and Hudson Food Studio for dinner, Swoon Kitchenbar for lunch, and Bonfiglio & Bread for breakfast (which was my favorite). We also went to Cafe Le Perch for coffee, which is another great option for breakfast. Everything was delicious - I was so impressed with all the restaurants! In between antiquing, we stopped by the Spotty Dog, which is a charming bookstore that also serves coffee and wine. 

Hudson, we had such a fun trip! Thank you for a wonderful weekend! Ben was glad to drive again, and we both had a restful, rejuvenating weekend. We highly recommend Hudson as a fun getaway to all city-dwellers and plan on visiting again in the summertime!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Karen's breakfast casserole

One habit that I'm really happy to bring into this new year is cooking at home more often. I've been trying out new recipes with Ben and friends, and feeling increasingly confident and excited to be in the kitchen. I'm also newly armed with some thoughtful foodie Christmas gifts like my beautiful Anthropologie apron (courtesy of Ben) and the perfect beginner's cookbook, How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food (courtesy of Ben's mom Karen). So to kick off the new year, I'd love to start sharing recipes on the blog. First up is Karen's amazing and super simple breakfast casserole recipe, which I tried out for New Year's Day brunch and was a huge hit -- I received tons of compliments! Thanks Karen!

Recipe: Karen's Breakfast Casserole 

What you'll need:
32oz. bag of frozen shredded (or cubed) hash brown potatoes
Your choice of vegetables (I used mushrooms, onion, pepper)
Your choice of meat (I used sausage and ham)
7 eggs
1 cup of milk
Shredded cheese (As much as you like, cheddar is best)

How it's made:
Pre-heat oven to 425F. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish (you can use butter or oil). Lay the potatos and veggies in the casserole dish and bake at 425 for 20 minutes, til the potatoes start to brown a little on the bottom. After that's done, mix the whole veggies and potatoes combo with meat. Then, pour in whisked egg and milk mixture and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Then, add shredded cheese on top and bake for 10-15 minutes. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving, and bon appetite! (Feeds 12-13 people)

(Image source of similar breakfast casserole via

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014, it's been a pleasure!

It's the last day of 2014, and I can't believe it! This year was the fastest year of my life, but also the best year (or so I often feel during end of year reflections!). I met Ben in January, ran my first 10K (photo above!), bought a bike, started a 9-month theology fellowship, and traveled to the Bahamas, San Francisco, Nashville, Chicago, and recently Buffalo for the holidays. While this year was filled with love, travel, and spiritual growth, I also have a few things that I'm hoping to work on in 2015, mostly learning how to better balance my time (between friends, personal time, and a relationship) and making more of an effort to cook and exercise. I'm especially looking forward to blogging and writing more, which I really missed the latter half of this year. Hope you have a wonderful new year, friends, and see you in 2015!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Master List: Top 25 Cyber Week/Black Friday deals!

Friends, it has been FAR too long since I've posted--wow has this fourth quarter flown by. I'm looking forward to catching up on the blog (for real) after Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness, but wanted to share some of the best online deals for Cyber Week, since that is my world lately working in e-commerce retail! So without further ado, here are some of the top promotions going on now until Cyber Monday.

30% off at Asos with code TGIBF (11/27 to 11/30) and ILOVEMONDAYS (11/30 to 12/2)

50% off at Ann Taylor (11/30 to 12/3)

20% off Athleta with code FIT20 (11/28 to 11/30)

50% off 1 full-priced item at Banana Republic with code BRFIFTY or 40% off sitewide BRFORTY (11/27 to 11/28) 

Take $15 off $75, $35 off $150, and $65 off $250 at Beauty Bar with code BBCYBER14

Up to 50% off select items at Bloomingdales

30% off cashmere styles at Club Monaco (11/28)

15% off sitewide at DvF with code FRIDAY 15 (11/28) and CYBER15 (12/1)

40% off sitewide at French Connection with code FC40BF (11/28 to 12/1)

50% off sitewide at Gap with code BLKFRIDAY (11/27 to 11/28) and 40% off sitewide with code GIFT (11/29)

30% off at Jack Wills with code THANKY (11/26 to 12/1)

30% off select full-price styles and additional 40% off sale + free shipping at J.Crew with code HOLIDAY (11/26 to 11/30) and code MONDAY (12/1).

50% off at J.Crew Factory with code THANKS (11/25 to 11/30)

30% off and free shipping at Kate Spade with code DEALME (11/26 to 11/30) and code OHWOW (12/1)

Get extra 20% off almost everything at Lord & Taylor with code THANKS (11/25 to 11/30). Plus, get 25% off fine jewelry and up to 50% off women's boots.

25% off your entire purchase at Madewell with code GIFTON (11/25 to 11/30)

25% off sitewide at ModCloth with code CYBERMONDAY (11/30 to 12/3)

Take up to 40% off select product at Nordstrom

Take up to 50% off at Old Navy

30% off sitewide & 40% markdowns at Piperlime with code CYBERSALE (11/30 to 12/1)

Take 15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000 at Shopbop with code GOBIG14 (11/25 to 12/1)

Lots of Black Friday deals at Target, including an iPad Air 16GB for $399 w/ a $100 Target gift card gift with purchase

20% off at TOMS with code CHEER (11/27 to 12/1)

Take $15 off $75, $25 off $100 and $50 off $150 at Urban Outfitters (12/1)

Up to 25% off West Elm with code SUPERSALE (11/26 to 12/1)

Happy shopping and happy Thanksgiving! xoxo.

(Photo via pinterest)

Friday, September 19, 2014

life lately: end of summer reflections - so thankful!

It's already autumn, but I'm still not quite over summer. (Still trying to sneak in some sundress + denim jacket outfits!) It was such a great season for so many reasons, but I'm particularly thankful for the weekend adventures and family visits. Also, living in New York in the summertime is just the most glorious experience ever-- it's my seventh summer this year and I still can't get enough. Will the giddiness ever fade? (I hope not!) Here are a few fun things from July and August...

Andy and Christine's wedding in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I cried buckets at Ben's best man speech, which was so sweet and genuine. What a wonderful, creative couple and dreamy wedding ceremony. Congrats again Andy and Christine!

Ben and my first trip together to Chicago! We liked Chicago, but loved its food even more; we had some incredible dinners at Publican and a great BYOB Ruxbin-- and we also discovered our new favorite red wine, Menage a Trois. I'm grateful for our little long-weekend adventure, B.

Biking everywhere. Now that I have my own bike, we've been biking almost every weekend.... along the Hudson river to and from the Cloisters (a whopping 26 miles!), along the beach and woods in Sandy Hook, and of course, out and about in Manhattan.

First rooftop urban garden experience at Brooklyn Grange! My mom and sister came to visit, and we had a great time exploring the urban farm, with its chicken coops, countless veggies, and the best heirloom tomatoes I've ever tasted.

And of course... summer's shining moments are often the little ones, just being outside, having a great drink, and enjoying life's simple joys. I'm already looking forward to next year :) What's your favorite summertime memory?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

it's fall already?! new pin round-up

Lovelies, I can't believe how fast this summer has passed by - it's already September?! I've been remiss on the blog front due to trying to spend as much time outdoors as possible -- can't wait to fill you in on updates from August, which involve lots of bike riding and a few little trips. However, I've missed catching up on the blogosphere! I'm looking forward to more blog posts in the fall to share with you. In the meantime, here a round-up of things new pins I added of late...

What a gorgeous lace dress

Filed under "I could make this for myself": A croque monsieur with poached eggs

Experiencing wanderlust from photo of Costa Brava, Spain. Brings about a feeling of nostalgia.

I've heard so many great things about the Dior nail enhancer. Here's how it works: 'With one universal shade, the unique nail lacquer enhances the color of your natural nails. When applied on bare nails, the pinks of the nails become pinker and the whites become whiter for a shining finish and healthy, glowing effect.

On my list of restaurants to visit: The Butcher's Daughter in downtown NY. (Photo from here.)

Back to the fall uniform: jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt, for me. What about you? (Photo from here.)

Lobster rolls: a summer craving that could not be satiated.

Happy pinning!

Monday, July 28, 2014

casa's 80% off clearance extravaganza!

One of my favorite retailers, Casa, is having an 80% clearance sale! I think I added about 20 products to cart because I got so excited, but finally narrowed down to only a few. I picked up Dwellstudio pillowcases for $16 (after discount), Jonathan Adler coasters for $13 (after discount), and a new duvet and sham set-- photos below! Check out the full clearance here, and tell me what deals you found! Remember the 80% off shows up at check out after you enter code CASACLRX80.

Some other things that were in my cart but then I realized I already had too many (and no room): Jonathan Adler zig zag throw, plate and bowl 5-pc set, cutlery set, this botanical pillow, this bake set, and this Jonathan Adler frame

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Warby Parker's new Beacon collection + Q&A

Recently, one of my favorite brands Warby Parker reached out to share the launch of their new Beacon Collection, a limited edition collection of four new frames in different colors, fitted for both sunglasses and glasses. I've been a fan of Warby Parker for awhile and wear the Cranes in 'Sugar Maple' for reading before bedtime. I love how this collection has a unique point of view, evoking a very specific urban, joie de vivre lifestyle. And the frames look so fun and hip -- I like the oversized Nancy the best, especially the yellow frame. You can see the whole collection here.

Brian Magida, Director of Digital Marketing for Warby Parker was kind enough to answer a few of my questions regarding the new collection and working at the start-up. Thanks Brian!

Q: What was the inspiration behind the Beacon collection? I love the lifestyle images!
A: This collection was inspired by impromptu, can’t-duplicate-them all-nighters, when having no plans brings endless possibilities. We designed our newest line of frames to make a similarly fine companion to late night dates, rooftop sunrises, and everything in between.

Q: What's your favorite pair of Warby Parker glasses?
A: In terms of eyeglasses, my favorite pair is currently the Winston in Lunar Fade. It is a classic (we introduced it in our 2nd collection) and I haven't found a replacement since. On the sunglasses side, I currently wear the Lowry in Green Citrine.

Q: What's your favorite part about your job?
A: For me, it is the learning curve. It is super steep and being at a young company, we are still trying to figure everything out. We are encouraged to take calculated risks. I also love the viewpoint we have on retail-- one which isn't rooted in just e-commerce or brick and mortar. We are really focused on blending the two of them together and providing a unified experience for the consumer. That concept is extremely challenging but it makes coming to work every day super fun, exciting and rewarding.

Congrats on the new collection, WP team!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

governor's island biking date

This past Saturday, Ben and I went on a biking date in Governor's Island. Reason being: I am the proud owner of a beautiful new bike!!! Meet the Windsor Essex: a new-but-vintage-looking, ocean blue bike from wholesale site Bikes Direct (such a deal!). Ben's a biking aficionado who a) knows my taste and b) knows how to find great bikes, so it took me about 3 seconds after he sent me the link before I ordered it. Below is the capture of a sentimental moment: a woman and her first NYC bike... it was instant chemistry. (Thank you B for assembling!)

To get to Governor's Island, we biked along the East Side river down to the ferry, which then took only about 10 minutes to get to the island. Usually, I would wear my new Bern helmet while riding in the city, but it was nice to take it off on the island since there are no cars and lots of space for bikers. 

One of the first places we ended up was Hammock Grove, a brand new area that just opened this summer. It's a great break spot to hydrate, eat snacks, and relax on one of the 50 hammocks available. We brought fruit and snuck in Crabbies in a water bottle -- if you're not yet hooked, Crabbies is the most delicious ginger beer I've ever tasted. I can't get enough of it - it's all I want to drink this summer!

There are so many new features in Governor's Island. First off, SO many more food options. Last summer, I think there was only one food stand, but now, between the outdoor food court and a whole line of food trucks, I'd say there are about 15 food vendors in total. We shared a mango and strawberry smoothie and had Sweet Chili for lunch....because who can say no to Thai and Vietnamese fusion street food? Ben was happy that we were able to use his amazing flannel picnic blanket, which folds into a backpack. That thing is the best. 

What really struck me is how enchanting Governor's Island must be for children. I've never seen more kids in one place, playing soccer and just running around while their parents picnicked or napped. Such a different setting-- so much freedom and room to roam compared to Manhattan! There are so many things for kids to explore and play with: quirky sculptures (like the one below made out of 30,000 cups), artsy mini-playgrounds and even a mini-library.

Have you visited the newly renovated Governor's island yet? It's open until September 28 and the ferry is only $2 (or free on the 10 AM, 11 AM and 11:30 AM ferries from Manhattan). We had such a great time, and I would love to go again before summer ends!

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