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.

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.”

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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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”

Playing Tourist: Arts, Food and Athletics in NYC

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).

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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”

Tomato Soup

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Jay has returned to Canada (for the night)

This afternoon he set off for Montreal for work which means tonight he will spend his time snuggling Cotton (featured below. Just look at her sweet little hand on his neck. Isn’t he going to be a great Dad?!) and dineing with our friends the Stenbergs.  Whereas, I on the other hand am cooped up our apartment navigating the complex world of personal taxes, writing up educational assessment reports and reading journal article upon journal article.  It truly feels a like it has been a few days since I last came up for air.  I figured since I am miles away, in the wrong country and can’t be with Jay to relish the company tonight, I may as well still savor a good meal.  In the past I haven’t had much luck when it comes to tomato soups, as they often end up too bland or too runny.  However, this fragrant tomato soup changed all that.  No description would do this rich, flavorful soup justice. So I will merely leave it to you to test for yourself.

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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”

Greens Bowl (in honor of St. Patricks Day)

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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.

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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.

Continue reading “Greens Bowl (in honor of St. Patricks Day)”

Bean Bowls

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So I am all about the bowls lately.  We alas moved to a country that has Chipotle, and could not be happier with that life choice.  Yes, I know Vancouver you got one just after we left but that still would have left it’s exceptional goodness a two hour boat ride with an additional hour drive  away from our hearts and stomachs.  So lately I have been recreating my own bowls in my kitchen, and here is another such bowl masterpiece.  This one has both vegan and almost paleo versions for your culinary enjoyment.  With the added bonus they are quick, and makes minimal mess during the prep process.  So for us, who has seen Jay bounce around between different times zones 5 times in the last 10 days, while I have midterms looming in the way too near future, we welcomed a recipe that requires little hands on time and even litter clean up.  Continue reading “Bean Bowls”

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.