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”
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.
For the most part Jay and I save the “touristy” things to do until we have guests in town. This works out well since we never have to wait long since. We have had at least one set of visitors come stay with us every month since we moved to New York (and we wouldn’t have it any other way).
This past week Keana and Teri brought a little bit of the west coast to us in the east. We were so lucky to have them both, and we carved time out of our daily lives to dive into the arts, food and fitness cultures that pervade NYC living. Continue reading “Playing Tourist: Arts, Food and Athletics 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….
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.
When midterms are in full swing, so is my culinary prowess. It is my best procrastinator and my biggest relaxation strategy. During the chaos of graduate school it seems that I can barely find the time to check my e-mails, but I always have time to bake cookies in mid afternoon. Add to that that proper nutrition fuels the brain and energizes the body and you will understand why there have been a plethora of new recipes on the blog these past weeks (with more to come).
Today’s recipes arrives in Celebration of St. Patricks Day. To be honest I have never even put much thought into this holiday before, let alone celebrated. In St. Patricks Day’s prior you would find me doing little more than donning a green cardigan while teaching an Irish themed art project. However, New York takes it’s St. Patty’s day very, very seriously. As such I made time to get together with friends and enjoy the festivities. We ventured down into the madness that is Times Square, tucked ourselves into a warm, cozy booth in an Irish Pub and spent our time watching the parade, eating potato leek soup and sampling a variety of beers. Good times were definitely had, but its is hard not two when the afternoon is spent with two of my absolute favorite New Yorkers.
Afterward I polished off the evening with this homemade, hearty bowl of greens. So whether you are feeling thematic or in need something scrumptious to recover from your weekend of Irish induced debauchery -Enjoy.
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”
Everyone: “You’re from Caaaanada, you must be so used to the snow”
Me: “West coast Canada, as in I can count how many white Christmases I have had on half a hand”
Sadly, I do not live in an igloo nor do I inhabit a ice covered tundra. I am from a mild, verdant island off the west coast of Canada, where our temperate climate saves us from extreme heat and extreme cold. In essence it is perfect. So with that in mind this happens to be my first true winter. Previously, my skin had never felt well below freezing and I have never had need for Sorrel Boots and parkas. Where I hail from a light fall coat and toms constitute winter wear. Again I reiterate it was perfect.
Now I have experienced winter and I will give it that is is whimsically pretty and the soft snow falling over the city streets is as serene as it is cinematically perfect. However, the practical side of skin nipping cold air, pragmatic (not cute) winter attire and trekking through snow drifts to the subway is less than glamourous. For example, there was one afternoon during the polar vortex that Jay and I tried to set out for an adventure and made it around the block before trudging back to the sanctity of our heated apartment. The air burned our lungs and the frigid temperatures soaked in so deep that Jay’s hips throbbed. However, that being said if you asked Jay about winter in the city you would get a much rosier response than I am detailing. So I guess like beauty, tolerance is also in the eye of the beholder.
All gripping aside thankfully winter isn’t actually as terrible as I had imagined it to be and at the very least I have now earned my winter badge of honour. Now perhaps I can consider myself a true Canadian. However I haven’t done it alone. I owe my survival thus far to my step dad (an Ontario native) who sprung to buy me hearty winter boots to keep my toes warm and the Michaels Kors down jacket I nabbed on a ridiculously great sale that keeps the rest of me cozy.
Today is Martin Luther King day here in the US of A, and I am days away from the commencement of semester two (hooray!). I have been a touch under the weather, which resulted in my first taste of the American healthcare system (but more about that later with a new recipe to sweeten the deal) As such I laid pretty low for Friday and Saturday as I regroup and organized for the coming semester. However, we made up for all the lazing over the remainder of the long weekend. Starting with our weekly Sunday morning ritual of Tim Hortons (Canadian Pride) and church at Hillsong NYC with the always wonderful Alyssa and Erin.
We closed out Sunday night with dinner at RedFarm and a stroll through the West Village with the stunning Robyn (no seriously, she is stunning. Like professionally stunning as in being utterly gorgeous is her career) and her exceptional boyfriend, Peter. The combination of engaging company, steaming seaweed infused green tea and a spectacular sunset over Jersey made it one of those evenings that make your world a little brighter and your heart a little happier.
As for today, I have been bustling around in our quaint kitchen whipping up a fresh batch of cookies to welcome my darling friend Meredith to the neighborhood. I haven’t dared a baking endeavor since we moved south of the border, simply out of fear that I no longer have access to my well stocked kitchen which most importantly includes my sexy, stainless steel Kitchenaid mixer. All my normal culinary tools are tucked away in boxes after they didn’t make cut for what we could cram into the cute crossover we drove across the country to our new manhattan home. So these delectable cookies were done old school. Butter creamed by hand and batter batted with old fashioned sweat and muscle strength. Turns out you need very little to make exceptional cookies -so whatever your kitchen looks like enjoy these moist, soft wonderful treats.
This month I was asked to find a spare moment in the chaos of finals to talk about our plans for Christmas, either near or far from NYC. I chose to highlight some of the festive activities that we managed to squeeze in between laborious paper writing and those lengthy library sessions where you sustain yourself on a diet of coffee and determination.