March 28, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday, Y'all! Linking up with April and friends for another Five on Friday. I'm keeping it short, sweet and random today. I hope you've had a wonderful week!
{one} I found out this week that my mom is coming up for a visit mid-April! I am soo excited to see her {but will miss my dad, of course!} and it will be wonderful to explore the city with the weather being warmer {hopefully!} than the last time they were here in November. We love visitors!
{two} We are gearing up to celebrate our FIFTH wedding anniversary in September and want to take a special trip. We're throwing around a few places but I'd love any suggestions you all might have of places you've visited and loved for a special trip! We went to St. Lucia for our honeymoon and absolutely loved it but would like to visit a new place this time.
{three} Have you heard of an app called FoodGawker? I just saw it on the Today show and immediately downloaded it. It's similar to Pinterest in some ways. You can see what recipes are trending on various blogs, or you could search for recipes by food type, etc and it will give you so many beautiful options with links to the recipes! I think I'll use this lots for recipe inspiration.

{four} Speaking of food, I've been eating this chia seed pudding everyday for breakfast and it's so good. I follow the recipe except I don't soak the berries in additional maple syrup because I think it's just right without it! This kind of has the consistency of tapioca pudding, but it's very simple and healthy, too. Don't be afraid of the chia seeds!  Love this simple breakfast.

We also added this easy salad to the rotation this week. I am a vegetable girl, and rarely think you can have too many veggies, but my hubby is adamant about the number of ingredients that belong in a salad. haha. So, this salad is simple with grilled chicken, strawberries, greens, almonds, and some yummy cheddar we picked up at the famer's market over the weekend. You could use goat cheese or gorgonzola and it would be amazing, too. We also used Trader Joe's champagne pear vinaigrette and it was the perfect topper. I love the mix of sweet, savory and crunchy in this salad. It would be wonderful with shrimp, too, or without meat at all!
...And, not so healthy, but equally delicious...
These macarons are SO GOOD. They are in the freezer section of Trader Joe's and you refrigerate them after they are thawed. Please go pick these up so I won't be the only person devouring them. You won't be sorry. :)
{five} We're going on a "photo safari" this weekend through Central Park! As a part of TJ's birthday present, I booked us in a photography class where we'll learn some things about our DSLR. This is something we've been talking about doing and I'm glad we found one that's in the park. I might also have booked this class because we will visit spots where various romantic movies have been filmed.

Have a fabulous Friday and weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!

March 21, 2014

Five on Friday-Hello Spring!

Happy Friday! It's time to link up for another Five on Friday with April, Christina, Darci and Natasha.
We had the best time in Vermont for TJ's birthday! It was so nice to get away for the weekend and the change of scenery was good for all of us! We're so lucky to have the opportunity to go to Vermont {and drive there now that we are in NYC!} I've been going almost every year since I was born, and same for my brother and sister and now our families go with us, too. Woodstock is a very special place! Usually we go during the summer time, so winter was a change for us.
We drove up, got settled and took the dogs out to play in LOTS of snow. We thought New York had a lot!
Um, this is looking out of the front screen door. Note to self: stop complaining about the snow in New York.

We then celebrated the birthday boy with a few presents and headed to dinner.
On Saturday, we decided to go skiing at Killington. I will tell this story for our memory purposes and not to spare my dignity, which I left on the slopes of Killington.
Before we began our day up the slopes
All smiles
After...the last one standing skiing.
So, let me start by saying that I am not a thrill-seeker. I love life and appreciate small and big joys but I do not want to jump out of an airplane, ride rollercoasters, or go bungee jumping. I just don't. Some people do, but I'm not one of those people. My husband doesn't seem to be bothered by heights or any of those other things I mentioned, so we balance each other out a bit.
I skied in college. I've skied with TJ. I don't want to go fast or high up but I can take some enjoyment on going down some green runs. That's about it. I don't have any interest in a black, or blue for that matter, and don't talk to me about a double black diamond or I might hyperventilate. One time in Snowshoe  TJ tricked me talked me into going down on a blue and that was too much for me. So, keep that in mind. Greens are good in most cases.
I've never skied in Vermont before, but you can imagine that it's a little more intense than what I'm used to. We rode the "gondola" up verrrrrrrrry high to get to our first run. This is when I knew trouble was brewing. I told TJ this seemed a little long and most runs weren't that long, right? He assured me that some are, but most aren't. Once we got to the top of the mountain, there was nothing to do but go down. I panicked. I hadn't skied in a few years and I thought I'd have some time to practice on some bunny hills to get my confidence going. But, no such luck for this girl. Our choices were green, blue, or black. Well, let's just say about 15 seconds into the run I started crying, y'all. I realize how crazy this makes me sound, but this is what happened. I didn't like feeling out of control and I wasn't comfortable on skis and I did NOT want to go fast. Picture me snowplowing the entire way down the mountain when I wasn't falling, which was approximately every 30 seconds or so. It didn't help that a not-so-friendly skier yelled out as she flew by me "can you get out of the way, you're kind of in a bad spot". Yes, lady. I can definitely do that with no trouble at all.
Okay, so tears and falling, snowplowing, falling, tears. TJ was behind me and so patient the entire time, coaching me all the way. I just wanted to sit down and roll down this hill. It was never-ending! We were on this one green run for an HOUR. I could not believe how long it was and the only choice I had was to keep going. Whew. By the end of it my feet were numb and I marched myself right back to the car, changed into my boots and parked it in the lodge with some magazines for the remainder of the day.  We both knew it was the right call and I'm glad TJ got to do some real skiing during the afternoon. As for me, I think I'll hang up my winter sports hat for a little while. Apr├Ęs ski is really more my thing, anyways.
On Sunday, we headed to charming downtown and had a delicious breakfast at Mon Vert. Eggs,tomato,vermont cheddar, avocado and chai tea latte make for a happy girl.

 Just a couple cell phone pics of downtown. Wish I'd taken more!
We then proceeded to get stuck in the driveway since it was covered in ice and had to be towed out before leaving. One more quick stop at the outlets in Manchester and we were on our way back to the big apple. So long, winter!
Spring is here! I can hardly wait to get my toes in these cute sandals that arrived this week in celebration of spring and warmer weather to come. :)
Sadie turned 6 on Tuesday! We love her so much and she's been through so much with us during those 6 years. Our wedding, first house a move to NYC and lots of joys and sorrows that have happened in between. We're so happy she's a part of our little family.

I hope you enjoy your first weekend of spring! Lots of March madness on our agenda this weekend. Let's go Duke and Cal Poly! :)
Thanks so much for stopping by!

March 14, 2014

Five on Friday!

Woo Hoo! It's Friday! I'm happy to link up with April, Christina, Darci and Natasha for another Five on Friday!

Today is one of my favorite days because it is my sweet husband's birthday! Happy Birthday to the most handsome man who has my heart, makes me laugh and smile everyday,  and is my very best friend. I am beyond blessed to call you mine and to be able to celebrate 8 birthdays with you! Here's to many, many more. I love you, babe!
For fun, us in 2007...
Us today :)
As a part of the birthday boy's celebration, today we {pups included} are driving up to Vermont for a weekend of skiing and relaxing. We are so excited to escape from the city for a few days!
Truth be told, I get way more excited about celebrating his birthday than he does. He understands and appreciates my love of birthdays, which is a plus, but doesn't want anyone to make a big fuss over him. I enjoy making a big fuss for him and I think that in the teeniest, tiniest bit, he likes it, too. If not, at least one of us is finding a reason to be festive! ;)

I have been in a breakfast rut! This week I finally tried avocado on Ezekiel toast, and oh my! So good. I don't know why I hadn't tried it for breakfast before like this. I love avocado on just about everything, so why not eat it on toast? I added tomatoes this morning. A little sprinkle of salt and it was just right. I also tried chia seed pudding this week, but forgot to take pictures before I finished it! That can be for next week. I used Giada's recipe and it is delicious! What are you eating for breakfast these days?

Fancy Ashley shared about these amazing little balls of goodness on her blog, and once I realized I had all of the ingredients on hand, I got right to it. You can find the recipe here. I added chia seeds and didn't have the flaxseed so I skipped that. If you like peanut butter, oats, coconut, chocolate and honey, these energy bites are for you! Warning--They are so good you may not be able to stop eating them.

Are you loving daylight saving time? What a difference it makes each night to have that extra bit of daylight. The other day it was around 60 degrees here {which feels balmy compared to where we were!} and I decided to take a walk around Central Park. I love this picture because it literally shows how the city is thawing out from the winter. The little ducks are out and about and the icy pond is changing. The park was packed with people coming out of hibernation. It's so refreshing to leave one season and begin another. This winter has been long and cold for everyone and I love the hope and warmth that come with spring on the horizon.
I have a prayer request for you. Owen Parker was born on February 23rd to Brian and Allison. Less than 24 hours after he was born, it was discovered that he has a severe congenital heart defect and he was rushed via helicopter to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where he is today. He is a fighter and his parents are amazingly strong. I cannot imagine what they must be going through right now. While I do not know this family personally, I have been praying for them constantly since I learned of Owen's condition through a friend's facebook page. If you would please take a moment to pray for Owen to grow stronger, his team of doctors, and his parents. Allison has created a Caring Bridge  page to update on Owen's progress, and Ginna designed t-shirts with the logo above, as an effort to help support Allison and Brian with these unexpected medical expenses. You can read more about how to help the Parker family here. Thank you so much for helping lift this sweet family and precious Owen up in your prayers and support!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

March 3, 2014

Oscars Recap

Did you all watch the Oscars last night? Truth be told we scheduled a tax appointment at 6 pm on Sunday {why we did this, I'm not sure} so I missed all of the red carpet festivities. We did make it back in time to catch the opening of the show, and I loved seeing all of the gorgeous dresses and listening to the acceptance speeches. I thought Ellen did an awesome job hosting, as well. She is hilarious.

We began the day with some friendly competition. Filling out the award predictions is a great way to stay involved in the show. It was a tight race and our scores ended up tied. I did predict the best picture so I'm thinking that should give me an extra bonus point, right?
Here are my top five favorite looks from last night, not necessarily in any particular order.
Jennifer Garner looks beautiful, not to mention she just seems like the nicest person. I love this dress.

Cate Blanchett looks gorgeous in this nude and sparkling gown.
And that detail? Oh my goodness. She always gets it right.

 Julia Roberts always looks so classic and beautiful. I love the peplum and lace.
She has the warmest smile. 
I love this look on Kate Hudson. She's so chic and always looks fabulous.

Lupita Nyong'o is stunning, and her acceptance speech was so heartfelt. I love how she said "When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every child, no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid."
What were some of your favorite looks and moments from last night?

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