About Me

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I am a happily married new mom who loves exploring, creating new adventures and loving on my sweet daughter. I am a K-2 teacher who is now staying at home with my little one! Welcome as I explore all things a part of my sweet city love!
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What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!!

1. I'm loving that Tuesday was crazy on the east coast!  Holding on to the husband's arm, standing on our deck, shaking back and forth was one I will never forget.  Fortunately nothing was damaged during the 30 second shake up!  I am pretty, pretty glad we get snow on the East and not earthquakes!  I'm also loving that I am not experiencing "earthquake envy" - I felt the whooooole thing!

2. I'm loving that Charlie survived the night.  Whhhat? Sounds dramatic (my family, minus the husband, would agree). Our *stubborn* dog refused to give us the extra large chicken bone shaped rawhide he was sucking on and about to swallow and so to be defiant, he took it back in one gulp.  We had to monitor him all day (per vet orders!) to make sure he didn't choke trying to get it back up.  He slept with us last night...and gosh, he makes a ton of noise at night! I know...because I heard it, all night.  BUT - he is up (well now he's sleeping again), eating and his normal self.  Fingers crossed for a good day!  Let's just say - this dog has had his last rawhide.

What Charlie would say if he knew he just swallowed his last rawhide...

3. I'm loving that we spent the weekend at the river! It's one of our very favorite places in the world.  If only we weren't chased out on Monday with swarms of black flies nipping at our heels! It's ok, we'll be back :)

4. I'm loving that I made Ina Garten's tomato casserole last night.  3 pounds of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, parmesan cheese - bubbly, sweet and gooood! 

5. I'm loving that my sister is visiting NYC this week! I can't wait to talk to her about all of the places she visits :)

6. I'm loving my Pinterest finds this week!

Off to get my nails done today!

Once we weed through the thicket of a mess in our backyard - I want to build a raised bed :)

I will be making this - LOVE!

Well, that's what I'm loving this Wednesday! Hoping for no more earthquakes and no more large things Charlie swallows :) Until next week WILW! Thanks, Jamie :)


Moving day!

As quick as a flash - our summer in the city was on its last leg.  We woke up on our last day on 34th St., after an incredible dinner at Emporio the night before, and it was pouring rain.  How perfectly pleasant - no guilt for being stuck inside packing and no worries about having a lazy day inside.  Packing wasn't even too painful.  It was over pretty quickly actually.  We had a number of suitcases and these monster recycling bags where we could cram our leftover things.  Once we had nice little stacks of our bags, we knew it wasn't over, moving is never that simple. The worse part was yet to come....cleaning!!! EEEEEK.  Cleaning our own house is pretty low on our totem pole of things we like to do. Cleaning someone else's apartment...eww.  Yes, we lived there for several months, but there was a layer of grime on every surface that we really had a hard time eliminating.  We held our noses, sprayed cleaner furiously and left it much better than we found it...and we found it needing some serious elbow grease.  

This smile didn't last much longer...bathroom cleaning was next

On our last night, soaked through from the rain, we decided to go to a movie.  Friends with Benefits, while not a cinematic masterpiece, ended up being a great choice.  It was filmed in Manhattan and visited familiar streets and even filmed inside a restaurant we went to over the summer, this great cuban place in SoHo with the best corn on the cob you'll ever have!  We left the movie smiling ear to ear, it felt like our mini finale.  Since we were near the train, we hopped on and headed to Joe's pizza one last time.  It was pouring and we were reflecting.  How had we fallen so hard for this city? Would we ever come back? Could this be our home one day? Will we ever have a slice of Joe's pizza again?! 

Just a little rain

 It was this last night when we saw a homeless man and pup that looked so much like Charlie from the open window at Joe's.  We had seen them several times over the summer and each time it broke my heart.  Thinking of our sweet Charlie on the streets made me want to scoop up this husky mix and take him home.  We saw them twice this night.  The second time I ran outside in the monsoon, handed him some money, cupped his dog's sweet little face in my hands, gave him a pet and walked away, tears streaming down my face.  It was such a strange feeling - so sad to be leaving the city, so sad for the man and his precious dog on the street, yet so relieved to be heading home and to be able to give my own pup and huge hug the next day.

We left the next morning, driving our Chevy Malibu (the leg room was insane!) through Manhattan. We were prepared for the worst and, honestly, it wasn't so bad after all.  We never even got honked at.  We made it to the lincoln tunnel, never once hitting a pedestrian (phewf) or slamming into another car (double phewf).  All in all - a success!  

The drive begins!

Intense concentration - exhibited by straight stare and gaped open mouth :)

We made it (to a stop light)...yea!

The legroom - fully extended!

Welcome home!


lovely Nolita

On our last weekend in the city we went on another Foods of New York food tour.  On one of my first posts, I raved about the Greenwich Village tour.  Because of our stellar reviews, we each got to go on another tour for FREE!!  We signed up for the Nolita (North of Little Italy) tour and went on our last Saturday in the city.  We have been to this neighborhood many times over the summer and, as expected, we learned tons of new things from this tour.  A few fun facts before I start drooling over the food:

1. Nolita was the area of the city where Italian immigrants lived.  Sicilians occupied one street, Naples another and so one.  These streets never crossed.  You stayed on your street only, shopped on your street, went to school on your street and married from your street.  A man and woman marrying from different streets (say Mott and Elizabeth) was considered a mixed marriage.

2. Nolita has more cast iron facades than any other area in the country!

3. Thomas Edison had his workshop on Elizabeth St.  He tested many light bulbs there :) It is now a restaurant that honors the scientist - Public (which happens to serve Coconut pancakes...ohmygosh!)

4.  Many places in Nolita (and around the city) are designing their businesses to mimic what New York was like years ago.  Trying to keep things modern while looking original - I love it! 

5. Mob bosses were very prevalent in the area...eek!  John Gotti himself was arrested while sipping espresso in the back room of a Nolita restaurant.  

Now...the FOOD! The food was fantastic (no surprise!).  We tasted everything from cupcakes to carved meats to breakfast tacos from a taco truck.  The Food Tours are so eye opening and just awesome.  If we end up living in nyc next year (ahh!), I am going on every one they have.  They are just that good. 

Black out cake (a Brooklyn original) from Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Prosciutto and Arugula pizza.  We went back that night and I ordered another one - holy moly, it was good.  Fresh mozzarella, freshly carved prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, fresh parmesan, arugula.... 

My fingers couldn't wait - they needed that pizza!

I am not a big shrimp fan.  They seem like they would be so good and then they just taste all weird.  I want to like them - but I have never eaten one that I even liked...until now.  At Bread, this adorable black and white tiled restaurant that features local artists and delicious wine had made for us this shrimp panini.  OH, it was good!!! I have no idea how to describe it since I know nothing about shrimp.  However it was prepared had me searching my plate for every last morsel.  

Food truck breakfast taco and freshly squeezed watermelon water (not pictured because it was gulped down so fast!)
Homemade ricotta, olive oil, freshly ground pepper, cherry tomatoes, Amy's bread - cheers!

Now, for the piece de resistance.  My most beloved cocktail of the summer came to us by way of a secret door that led to a former speakeasy gin bar. Gin - eww.  I don't like gin! Well, just like I don't like shrimp, there is a way to trick my tastebuds and claim deliciousness!!  We learned about Madame Geneva (Geneva was the code name for gin during prohibition) and their gin cocktails on our food tour.  Naturally, we just had to go back :) 

This drink was a concoction of gin, ginger and other yummy things, with a huge spoonful of fresh blueberry preserves on top.  I stirred it into my drink, took a sip (or gulp) and got goosebumps.  Is it odd to love a drink??? Well, I do.  Next came it's sister - with strawberry jam. Good, but nothing compared to brother blueberry.  

Jam and Gin in front of me! 

We went to Emporio for dinner, ate more pizza and fresh made pasta, enjoyed a bottle of Lambrusco and these tasty bruschetta of cheese, honey and figs.

This all happened in one day - including a walk to Central Part where we watched mini sailboats float around a pond, ventured into the Met, bought a print from a street artist (who was questioned by police as we were standing there...we have no more details) and made one last stop into RL.  It was on this day that a piece of our hearts was grabbed and still remains in NYC.

And in case you are wondering, accidents do happen in the city.  I was starting to think the rules didn't apply....


What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!!

There is so much I'm loving today...

1. I'm loving that we are back in Richmond! It has been 3 months since C and I were home together (wow!!). Even though our house is covered in dust, spiderwebs, a mysterious climbing vine on the front and grass so tall Charlie got lost, we happily cleaned, dusted and mowed and are so happy to be home :)

2. Ya'll know I'm loving that we get to be back with our Charlie.  It's been so so sweet :)

3. I'm loving that chef Kelly is back! Our whole family has missed her so much! She cooked for us (even with her badly burned hand...a tragedy of a snapping oven door!) the most deliciuos mussels in a tomato, garlic, shallot sauce.  Of course, she also made whole wheat pasta with homemade pesto sauce and crusty bread with Irish butter.  To top it off, a sparkling red Lambrusco...my new love!!!!

4. I'm loving that I am hosting a baby shower this weekend for a great friend and her sweet BabyGirl!

5. Of course, I am loving my sweet husband, who makes everything so much better :)

6. I am loving that we had the most fun in our last few weeks in NYC.  The city grabbed ahold of us and still has a piece of our hearts.  This is the view from our building's roof deck on the one day I tried to get some sun but was instead eaten by little biting bugs...!

and, I love that these kind of views became our everyday (we actually took this picture...not too shabby!)

7. I LOVED these truffle chips we got from Bouchon Bakery.  So much so that we bought some black truffle salt from O&CO to sprinkle over our own potato chips, popcorn, steaks, bread.... :)

8. I'm loving that we haven't turned on the TV since we've been home.  Even though, I now covet this Samsung TV we saw in NYC...

A lot to love on this Wednesday!! Have a great week!


I don't know?

I feel like I'm on that last leg of a long flight home.  Just GET me there.  I am tired, not sleeping well, my back is all in knots and I'm just on edge.  Anticipation has gotten ahold of me.  I can't focus on my class and am having trouble putting things into perspective.  

Just for me, here are a few simple things just from today that can help remind me things are just fine.

1. My pillow is really comfy
2. I had pizza for lunch (2 slices of cheese)
3. I played scrabble this morning and got a 54 point word
4. I drank a passion fruit iced tea today really, really fast
5. I got the best forehead kiss this morning
6. I felt the sun warm my skin
7. I have new brown bobby pins that hold my hair back very nicely
8. I had a nice dream last night about setting up a classroom with a friend
9.  My sperry shoes have broken in nicely - no more blisters on long walks
10. Charlie is probably chasing chipmunks or gazing out a window at this very moment- that thought makes me smile
11. I had a fun chat with a friend this morning which made me laugh
12. My guy is enjoying his last day of work this summer

That was really nice.  For the last 5 minutes, I only thought about what little things were going well.  Things to smile about, things to be thankful for.  I might be coming back to read this several times today - I think I'll need it.  


snazzy jazzy!

This summer is sprinting by WAY to fast! How is it that we have already rented a car, are starting to pack (hah, not really) and are going back to our favorite spots for fear we may never see them again!? It's really hard to believe that our summer in the city is only days away from ending.  The great news is that we'll be back at home with a whole new look on things.  We've had a lot of time to talk, to explore, and to inquire.  We are excited to return home and try new things, not be afraid to take unknown leaps, and explore more of our interests.  This is our second time away from home for months at a time.  Each time, we come back a little better than when we left.  More appreciative and more.....sidewalk rage!!!! Hehe that's just me, thanks to the insane street traffic near our apartment.  

We have noticed a trend to our summer.  We discover a neighborhood and we go back time and time again.  We walk around, grab drinks, get dinner, sit in a park and soak in that new place many times.  Without ever really thinking about it, we just end up back in the same neighborhood! We pretty naturally do this until a new place appears on our radar.  We have become frequent visitors of (places appear in order of our exploring!) SoHo, Flatiron, Greenwich Village, East Village and Upper West Side.  While there are others we have been to and really enjoyed, these are our top followers and our favorites.  

A Video!

On a recent re-visit to a favorite spot, Greenwich Village, we visited some old favorites and stumbled into some new and really snazzy places.  On W. 4th St., there is this basketball court that is teeny tiny and enclosed in a "cage."  The guys who play here regularly are awesome basketball players.   It's intense, serious and a ton of fun.  There is a ref, a "boom box" set up as speakers for an announcer, tshirts are sold, and people stand 4 deep and grip the chain link fence to watch.  Our evening started out with these fine young (hmm or maybe old? not so sure...I can never tell) gentlemen and a rousing game of "Street ball."

Next, our stroll led us to the same wine bar where we started our summer adventure, Vyne.  It felt like sitting in our extended living room.  Comfy tables, windows open - perfect for lounging and people watching.  We stayed for awhile doing just that.  As we were leaving (hunger leading our way), we walked right by a Jazz Club below the wine bar.  Zinc lured us in with it's sultry music, the open seats at the bar and the no cover charge.  We ended up staying for hours.  We sat at the end of the art deco bar and decided our bartender looked like a clone of Michael Scott from The Office.  This place was jazzy to the extreme.  It was everything I had wanted to experience in a jazz club before we left the city.  It was dark, cozy, warm, inviting and played soulful music set after set.  It helped that I had one of the best cocktails of the summer - a lychee martini.  Lychees are like miniature pineapples, sweet and gooooood.  The picture is dark (didn't want to be pesky with a flash!) and slightly grainy but you can see the jazz in the background.  The bar was small, so wherever you sat, you were wooed by the music.  

It's ok to laugh - I'm laughing at myself at the picture I'm about to show you.  We hadn't had dinner yet by the time we left Zinc.  So, naturally, we went into Joe's Pizza (open to 4am) and got a pie to go! It tasted like sweet pizza heaven.  We've been on a mission this summer to try and find a pizza that beats Joe's.  We've tried Bleeker Street Pizza (voted best in new york by food network - HOW?! it wasn't good, at all) and John's Pizza (always has a huge line, you must sit in and the pizza was just meh) and many others.  Honestly, Joe's is the bomb-diggity.  We L-O-V-E it.

As a mini little end, here are some cupcakes we got from Baked by Melissa.  I have a thing for cupcakes, too (really healthy diet - pizza and cupcakes) and I was so excited to try these mini bites of creative flavors like strawberry lemonade, s'mores, cinnamon bun and mint chocolate chip.  Maybe we had an off batch, but they were oily and seriously lacking flavor.  They did come in a cute box and were fun to look at.  I think that's what keeps them going- they are a novelty.  However, in real cupcake world, these rank pretty low.

GIANT hand...or mini cupcake??

Ohhh one more thing! Leaving the jazz bar, we saw Steve Van Zandt hopping out of his fancy black car, looking less Soprano

and more E Street band

Being huge sopranos fans - we gawked and gave each other a high five.