Get Out of Town: Maui

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Jay and I were so fortunate to be able to spend a week in Maui celebrating two of our nearest and dearest.  Ryan stood beside us five and a half years ago on our wedding day.  So naturally I was a ball of mush, tears and sniffles watching Jay stand beside him as he married a girl we have both grown to know and love deeply. The first time I met Michelle was at 2 a.m. in a McDonald’s parking lot (classy I know), and since then we have to enjoyed doing life with her and Ryan. They have such an exceptional future ahead of them, and the world better get ready for their seriously fit offspring (or at least mine and Jay’s future pale, scrawny babies better)  Beyond the amazing couple, we also loved being able to get some uninterrupted, low-key quality time with some of our oldest friends.  We  celebrated new marriages, and pending upcoming adventures.  We grew acquaintanceship into full fledged, they are going to get so sick of us friendships (because we totally developed a couple crush on two amazing people who can eat as much as we do. That’s our demarcation of true friend-love right there).  Friends, sunshine and beaches. I seriously cannot think of a better wedding week or winter vacation.  Here are some of our ultimate highlights: Continue reading “Get Out of Town: Maui”

New York City Living: Roof Life

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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).

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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.

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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.

Boston: A Love Story

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This Valentine’s day tale isn’t about a boy.  I have only ever loved one man, who I have been in love with since eighteen.  That is old news.  No, this love story is about falling madly, and recklessly in love with a city.  This is the account of how and why I fell for Boston.

I really didn’t expect such a grand, overwhelming response to Boston.  Jay had a business trip, that preceded the Valentine’s season, so we thought we would make a small, romantic getaway out of it.  Contrary to my normal disposition, little planning went into our venture.  We have dear friends who now inhabit the much warmer (and humane) climate of Newport Beach, but grew up in the Boston area.  So before we boarded the train, we picked their brains on what to do, see and experience.  The combination of their expertise and the beauty, this big-small town eludes, left us in love.  The well maintained, colonial architecture is stunning, the earth mindedness left it feeling like home and the excess bikers (even in below freezing temperatures) is reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest. Add to that that the people were exceptionally, over the top friendly and I never want to go home.

This is my kind of city (perhaps I will have to expand my September job search to include the greater Boston area).  I do love New York, but Boston is way more my speed.  Here is a summary of our highlights: Continue reading “Boston: A Love Story”

Home is Where the Heart is

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I am sitting here on my mom’s couch (American Translation: Sofa), not even having left the west coast yet, already going through a bout of recurring homesickness.  I will miss the people and I will miss the beauty.  However, during our time here I have come to realize just how spectacular and uniquely special it is that Jay and I get to call two very dynamic, wonderful cities home.  I am in love with New York for all the bustle and activity it offers that Victoria doesn’t, while I cherish Victoria for all the charm, relaxed island pace and warmth that New York misses.

photo 5-2 Continue reading “Home is Where the Heart is”

New Years and a New Year

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Before we booked our flights home for the holidays we had a large internal debate about our New Years plans. Should they be held on the east coast or the west coast? We settled our qualms by polling friends who have been in the city years longer than us rookies.  What we  couldn’t decide was if we should fly home in time to wrangle a spot in Times Square to watch the ball drop, or spend it with our oldest, most cherished friends at home.  In the end I was informed that the logistics of a NYC NYE was that I would wind up standing for hours, sardined next to strangers being unable to move to eat, drink or use the bathroom.  Which for me, who tends to be a sensitive soul, this is not my ideal environment at all.  So in the end we decided to stay and ring in 2014 from Victoria. Continue reading “New Years and a New Year”

Christmas Past: Hosting in an intimate setting

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A little throwback to a Christmas past.  Last season, an old friend of Jay’s was in town with a beautiful new girlfriend at his side so we hosted a little get together so we could meet her and eat our fill of scrumptious holiday foods.  At the time we were waiting to move into our new house and were renting a great, little basement suite but that left space was at a premium.  However, our lack of large dinner tables nor our quaint dwellings didn’t daunt of festive decor or vast spread of eats.  Below I have detailed our menu for the event, as well as my meal prep tips for small space hosting.  So here is a little inspiration for hosting the masses no matter how grand a place you call home.

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Continue reading “Christmas Past: Hosting in an intimate setting”

Friendsgiving: Our First American Thanksgiving

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We have enjoyed two Thanksgivings this year (it is okay to be jealous. It meant two scrumptious roast dinners for us).  In October, my mom was in the city and I whipped up a pared down version of Canadian Thanksgiving in our pint sized apartment oven. Even with a little less grandeur than the  Thanksgiving meals I have prepared in the past, it was so nice to have at least one of our loved ones with us.

For American Thanksgiving we had my step mom, Jenni, in town , as well as an abundance of amazing, new friends.  We were so Thankful to have Jenni here to stay with us.  We spent the week before thanksgiving with her exploring the city and taking in as many Christmas and Thanksgiving related activities we could.  I have yet to find another city that does the holidays quite as spectacularly as New York.  So, here is a look into our first American Thanksgiving and the incredible people who made it the wonderful time it was.

(My apologies in advance because the photos are terrible.  I was too busy having fun to carefully capture many of the moments but hopefully these will suffice to give you a glimpse into our festivities.)  Continue reading “Friendsgiving: Our First American Thanksgiving”

Playing Tourist: Things to do in New York

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We were incredibly blessed to be invaded by family the past week and a half straight.  Our first visitor, my beautiful mom, came for a week which wasn’t nearly long enough.  In the span of days we fit what could easily have filled weeks, and afterward we (with watery eyes) tucked her into her cab with sore feet and a full heart.  It did both her and I good to explore mine and Jay’s new home together as we ventured into the heart of the city in hunt of exquisite shopping, good food and new running trails. I could not ask for a better excuse to be a tourist than her.

Then the evening after we waved good bye to mom, my dad, Peter, arrived.  His entrance into the city was eventful with a less than ideal foray into the Bronx, complete with unhelpful misdirections from locals amidst the bombarding, cacophony of rush hour traffic. However, after his unwanted adventure we at last laid eyes on him and settled him into our apartment, turning him into our second excuse to explore the city a little further.

I should have been studying for midterms, and I should have been completing my literature review but instead I paused and tried my best to balance my demands with soaking in family and our city.  In the midst of it all my little heart was filled to overflowing as both my parents assured me just how wholly proud of me they are and how excited they were for what waits us in the coming year as we plant roots in this crazy, overwhelmingly wonderful city.  Below are some of our highlights, and suggestions for must do NYC tourist activities that make every study break that much more invigorating. Continue reading “Playing Tourist: Things to do in New York”