Turning 26 in Las Vegas and New York.

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE birthdays. Mine especially. Growing up, I was always allowed to invite as many guests as I was years old.  Dwindling down my plethora of valued friends to the small number of cherished guests was the hardest task I was tasked with the entire year.  So this year I have milked my birthday for all it is worth.  All I can say is hooray for adulthood and setting your own rules.

I started it off by celebrating my actual birthday with these lovely ladies in Las Vegas. We lounged by the pool and took over the town. It was memorable to say the very least. Very, very memorable.

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Upon my return I commandeered most of the weekend as my official birthday.  Which started by my taking over our beach hang out and designating it as officially my day of birth celebration (thanks guys for being so understanding). If you are in the area, the train ride to Rockaway Beach is so worth the commute.  Discovering that as a New Yorker I still have easy access to the ocean and white sand beaches really does a lot for my little west coast heart.  The people I went with also have the same effect on my heart as ocean air. I am very, very lucky to have them in my life for more reasons than I can list on a simple blog.

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Continue reading “Turning 26 in Las Vegas and New York.”

Get Out of Town: Las Vegas

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Sorry for the delay! I was fortunate enough to celebrate a dear friend’s pending marriage (and my 26th birthday) with eight exceptional women.

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I share a 21 year history with many of these women. We have shared our first kisses, marriages and babies with one another. All my memories of school dances, birthdays, Christmas parties and the time I shaved my legs even though my mom told me I was too young are colored with these women. Continue reading “Get Out of Town: Las Vegas”

A Harlem Sunset

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Jay walked in the door from an 8 day business trip in time for us to catch the sunset.   So I managed to wrangle him (with oodles of protests) to come out with me to try some of the things we have been learning in my photography elective.  He was a little uncomfortable being the focus of my attention for any length of time, but nonetheless we was a mildly willing participant and the sunset really steals the show anyway.

Next step: mastering flash so my night imagery doesn’t come out so dark.  Enjoy the view from Harlem as the sun sets over Jersey.

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A Grad School Elective: Intro to Digital Photograhy

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So summer semester is up and in full swing.  You don’t have to feel too sorry for me though, I loaded my schedule with classes like Introduction to Digital Photography and the Equitable distribution of technology based on race, gender and poverty.  So even when the weather is nice outside at least what I am stuck inside learning is worth while.  Today was our first stab at the whole photography thing.  Our assignment was to go and take photos knowing nothing about how to take photos, just to see what we liked, what worked and what subject matter motivated the best photos out of us.  As a result my prof thinks my entire series this semester should focus on Fab, Jay and Olie… so warning you may end up being flooded with images of those three very handsome men.

Please be kind. I have lots to learn but I am excited to learn it 🙂

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Continue reading “A Grad School Elective: Intro to Digital Photograhy”

Long Weekend Living: Brooklyn Style

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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!

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Continue reading “Long Weekend Living: Brooklyn Style”

Best Places to Wine and Dine in NYC

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….

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Savored time with family..

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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”

Playing Tourist: Bike Riding Through Central Park

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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.

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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.

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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?

6 month-versary: A Few of our Favourite (NYC) things

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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”

Darling Magazine: What Makes Your Heart Beat?

Darling Magazine is one of my favorite print and web based magazines. It is my go to resource on those long days, or the days I feel the weight of the world. It is continually a source of inspiration, rejuvenation and encouragement in no matter what weather life has brought. Personally, I identify most with their achiever persona and I am sure you will find one that whispers just to you also. Check it out, savor it and enjoy it.

Superbowl 48

As blasphemous as the following statement will be in this great country, I really am not even slightly passionate about football. My disposition is ambivalent, mostly I am sure because I am uneducated in the area.  For example, yesterday Jay was watching a basketball game with a friend and began commenting on field goals.  I very smugly retorted that he referring to the wrong sport, because there were simply no field goals in basketball.  I was quickly schooled on the ways of sports, and so decided then and there to give up trying to wrap my head around it all.  However, sporting event related food? Team spirit? Athletic related parties? Excessive cheering? Now those are things I can build up gusto for.

Our weekend began with the arrival of this guy after he scored tickets to the big game.

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We spent Friday night at the Superbowl Boulevard checking out the festivities.  Times square managed to be madder than its regular madness but it was worth it.

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As for Game day we sent Justin off to Metlife stadium and I began prepping the Superbowl Party Jay had orchestrated the night before while I slept.  Many wives might be stressed to down right indignant after being informed that their loving hubby had invited a house full of people over and she had 10 hours whip up an event.  I on the other hand have really, really missed hosting (and the couple he invited are down right awesome).  I never realized how much I identify being the host of gatherings, or how much joy I elicit from fashioning great evenings for those I cherish.  So with that in mind I jumped at the chance to exercise my hosting muscles here in NYC.

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I leapt out of bed to craft a menu, then bundled Jay off to Whole Foods with me to shop before tasking him with a slew of cleaning assignments to conquer.  The result was a great, homemade, from scratch feast of snacks, dips and treats that were enjoyed and devoured by the exceptional crew we spent the night with.  So please enjoy the visual sampling of our team themed caramel corn, football rice krispies and football ice cream sandwiches.

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From texts, to thank you’s to Instagram shout outs the appreciation and love showered from my honored guests was a enough to make my little, homemaker heart sing.  I will be riding this hostessing high for a while to come.

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At the end of the day it was an exceptional evening, well spent with equally wonderful people.  It was a very good reminder that I need to crave out more time for food, friends and festivities, rather than staying cooped up in my apartment with textbooks worrying about my 4.0 GPA.  At the end of the day, the true joy of life is found in those you share it.