We have been MIA the past number of weeks. Truth be told our last month and a bit has been pure insanity. Jameson is traversing time zones and racking up airmiles like a crazy person- not that this is anything new. But between his 90 hours work weeks and flight delays we have also been wrangling some work on our house in Victoria, prepping for the US work visa lottery and grieving the very big loss of my grandpa. We have been having all the big conversations about what comes next for us if I win or if lose the US visa lottery in April. Needless to say our plates have been full.
In the middle of it though we have managed to sneak away with two of our favourite people for the weekend. This group of NYC fam jam is who we do all our travels with, and all we wanted from the weekend was to set time aside to connect with our most cherished. In very un-Renée fashion I had zero plans for our escape other than locating a cabin on AirBnB. Our only goal was to simply press pause for a few brief moments and regain some sanity. We managed to accomplish just that by barely leaving the cabin the entity of the weekend. Instead, we built fires, cozied in under warm blankets and sipped at a glass of wine while we read books. We did switch it up a bit by watching old VHS tapes of 90s rom coms but the climax of our days were long naps, hot baths and home cooked dinners. It was perfection in the truest sense. Continue reading “Get out of Town: The Catskills”
As all our New York nearest and dearest know because they finally got to meet her -my mom came to visit for a week. Having her in town is always a roller coaster. I spend the week before she lands being a ball of quivering, excited energy. Once she arrives, my emotions run high as we adventure, talk and just be. We really do just love to hang out. Then the morning she leaves I wind up standing in my go-to coffee shop with my eyes welling up with tears as the barista asks how my morning is going. Regardless of the tidal waves of emotions I experience in the few short days surrounding her visit I am always so, so glad she is able to come.
This isn’t her first visit to our city, it is actually her third; she is pretty much a veteran New Yorker by now. So this time around we took it easy. We had a girls day complete with brunch at Walter’s in Fort Greene, followed by a spa day at the Plaza Hotel. We tackled the Met Rooftop after church on Sunday. Throughout the week she came with me to work, or met me for lunch at the Breslin Bar and Dining Room at the Ace Hotel. But most importantly we drank a lot of coffee from some of our favorite places. Including: Continue reading “Exploring Brooklyn: Favorite Coffee in Fort Greene”
We are slowly settling into a new fall rhythm. Jay is still traversing multiple time zones per week and racking up air miles like it is a business, but as for me I am transitioning into a steady pace of life and loving it. So as we ease into autumn it has me reflecting on the truly spectacular summer we had. On top of graduating grad school, landing a brand new (amazing) career and celebrating five years of marriage, we got out of the city to explore the greatness that sounds us as much as possible. A dear friend, Pat, mused that Jameson and I have left no stone unturned in our first year in New York. This summer that especially rings true. This summer alone has led us through eight different states. Here is the short list of some of our favorite getaways, and some of the highlights of each adventure. Continue reading “Get Out of Town: Best Summer Escapes from NYC”
Summer in the city is arguably my favourite yet (minus the humidity and skin scorching temperatures).
We have been so fortunate to have three of our nearest and dearest come to town to explore a New York summer with us. My dad and his wife Maureen, came at the start of July to help us settle in and explore our new neighbourhood. Then last week my brother, Sean, ventured over to help us tackle many of the items on our NYC tourist bucket list. We loved having them along to explore our surroundings. Sharing the energy and pulse of the city with those we love, and exposing them what has made us fall love with New York really is the best treat. We SO loved having them. All bias aside I think Jameson and I have a pretty awesome family.
What follows is a few of our top picks for summer activities in the city. Continue reading “Summer in NYC”
Jay and I have LOVED our little corner of Harlem this past year. It has been so convenient being around the corner from my classes and across the street from work. Today we actually had the privilege to show my dad and his wife around our former neck of the woods and all sorts of nostalgia built up inside me (even if I have only been a Brooklynite for a mere 20 hours). However, with my graduation date just thirty short days away (HECK YES!) we have to vacate our university owned apartment. We elected to move into the amazingly, west coast feeling neighbourhood of Fort Greene. Added bonus, we are going to be neighbors with a few of our closest friends.
Air B and B does a much better job of cataloging the awesomeness of our new hood, so I would recommend checking them out if you are curious about where we are setting down roots. All I can say is we could not be happier we scored an apartment in a doorman, full service building in Fort Greene. It is a small, super popular corner of New York City which means the rental market is fierce. It tends to be pricey, since a plethora of celebrities are moving into the area (every celebrity sighting I have had in NYC has been in Fort Greene). So finding something in our range was something we weren’t totally sure we would wrangle. All in all, I am thinking God has a little something to do with us finding our new home.
The community itself has an abundance of markets, luscious parks and not a Starbucks in sight. The majority of shops and eateries are local and totally right up our alley. My west coast heart is doing back flips. Add to all that goodness that the streets are swathed in foliage and my soul is singing. So in honor of our move here are a few snaps of our new street.
As you may know Jay and I began ardently church hunting when we arrived in NYC, and it had been quite the process. It wasn’t until one day after a work out that one girl took a risk and asked Jay to come to church that we finally found a place to call home. Beyond a church, what we gained was one of the most exceptionally amazing group of likeminded people that have become like our New York City family. They have really turned around my perspective on living in New York and helped quell some of the homesickness (just a touch though. I still miss all you islanders don’t you worry).
By growing in this new church I have also come to realize that although I would deem myself a Christian from birth, that really my depth of understanding and grasp of the bible is not nearly as diverse as I crave it to be. As such, two of those aforementioned friends have come along side me to study the bible. Beyond being incredible friends and being utterly gorgeous, they are also so wise and loving. I have so much respect for both of these women. They don’t balk as my misunderstandings, and answer all my questions with open hearts and non judgmental minds. I am so fortunate to walk through this journey with them.
That being said, this past Tuesday we met on Elaina’s rooftop and since I am still in my photography class I carted along my camera to do some of my “homework” at the same time. These images are the result of a beautiful evening studying an incredible book with unbelievably wonderful women.
I love long weekends.
We had the most luxuriously relaxing few days (before Jay had to jet set off Monday morning). Post-church rooftop hammocks, good friends and volleyball (where I somewhat held my own some of the time) in the park as the sunset. It was sheer, perfect bliss.
However, I will stop elaborating and let the photos which speak for themselves do all the talking.
Happy Memorial Weekend Y’all!
Continue reading “Long Weekend Living: Brooklyn Style”
Jay’s parents have been in the city for the past week with Jay’s aunt and uncle, and we have been so glad to have them. They have been a welcome break from graduate school papers, cover letters and job search databases (anyone want to hire me?!). It has been such a treat to take a break and show off our favorite spots, where we do life and the excitement our new city has to offer. Together we have taken in the arts….
Savored time with family..
and sipped and nibbled our way through the great foodie culture NYC has to offer. Below you will find a detailing of the exceptional establishments we frequented regularly and had the pleasure to share with Jay’s family over the course of the past week. So if you’re looking for a great glass of wine, exquisite italian or simply just an undeniably great craft brew to accompany your gourmet burger -look no further. What follows are some of our favorites in Manhattan.
Continue reading “Best Places to Wine and Dine in NYC”
After 5 weeks volunteering in Africa, my mom and aunt ventured to Manhattan for an extended layover before heading home. We could not have been happier to have them. Jay and I are truly blessed to have such wonderful family who surround us, and I am extra lucky that I have a plethora of strong, confident, beautiful women who are always there to encourage, love and care for me.
Throughout the course of week we ate a lot. We walked a lot. We lunched a lot. We talked a lot. Making it the greatest week ever. Whether we were nibbling biscotti at the Hungarian Pastry Shop or sipping locally roasted coffee at Irving Farm the time spent was perfect. However, the event that tops our charts as the best thing we did has to be spending a beautiful sunning morning pedaling around the entirety of Central Park. We nabbed some Citi bikes at Columbus circle and set off from there, taking breaks to check out the Boathouse, Strawberry Fields, the reservoir and the Plaza Hotel (where Jay and I got to reminisce about our first visit to NYC together and our stay there). I highly recommend this adventure if you have the time in your jam packed manhattan itinerary.
Today we tucked them into a cab, shed a handful of tears saying our goodbyes and then they were off. We are so thankful that they took the time to come explore our city with us. They filled our hearts (and our cupboards). Now we are excitingly waiting for Jay’s family to arrive at the start of next week.
But the real question to all of you is whose’s coming for a visit next?
This post is a touch overdue, but nonetheless it is hard to believe that it has been over six months since we packed up and set off for Manhattan. These past months have been some of the most exciting, invigorating, and stretching of our young lives. Jay just flew home from a Boston to Miami to Colorado Springs to Virginia business trip, and as we sipped green tea on the floor of our kitchen catching up on our week apart we began reminiscing about this unbelievable journey we are on. It is cheesy, and mushy and painfully cliché but we are both so wholly in love with our life. We are in agreement that no matter where life takes us next, we will always look back on our time in New York as one of the best, most exciting, most spine tingling spectacular seasons of our marriage. We are in awe of the growing that has happened in us individually and together. So in love with the friends we have made here. So inspired by the art and community we have been able to soak in. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all be rosy. Uprooting and replanting has had its fair share of adjustments and longings as well, but slowly, over time those have turned out to be a beautiful reformation process for me. I have a cherished New York friend (who I would be lost without) who has lovingly and thoughtfully listened to me voice all my concerns and worries in painfully rich detail and on repeat. She told me it has been such a joy for her to watch my little mind expand as my vision for our future grows. The result is that now as we move forward to the rest of our time in NYC, to graduation, to job hunting and to family planning we go with an even more open heart, broadened minds and a whole bundle of faith that what comes next will be equally as amazing.
In celebration of our six month-versary we have detailed a list of some of our NYC favorites which help make this adventure just a little sweeter. Continue reading “6 month-versary: A Few of our Favourite (NYC) things”