Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgiving (and Hanukkah) are both right around the corner, and although I’m not actually hosting in our tiny apartment, that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming up the perfect tablescape to combine the two.  Using a mix of rustic fall-influenced linens, coppers, and gorgeous deep blues, some of the products below would lend themselves beautifully to this one-in-a-lifetime meal!
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Get the look:
Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to the holiday season, xo!

September-Gram

Hello all! Where did this month go?! I truly cannot believe I will be turning the pages of my calendar to October tomorrow.  After next weekend, my busy, on-the-road-every-weekend social calendars slows a but (at least for a couple weeks), so I hope to be able to share more recipes and fun fall DIYs with you all.  For now, let me catch you up on our comings and goings this past month:

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The first glimpses of fall while on a walk in South Mountain Reservation near my in-law’s home in NJ / NYC by sunset in my side-view mirror on a drive home to Queens one Sunday evening / Election season brought a hopeful candidate who decorated our block with balloons *swoon*

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After letting the entire summer slip by, we finally ate at Jackson Diner / Post-wedding brunch necessary: an epic bloody mary bar at Bond Street Social

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Josh and I “celebrated” 7 years since our first meeting / we traveled to Baltimore to watch two dear friends get married, and enjoyed the ambience including a giant pink poodle at the American Visionary Art Museum / Dimona got cozy with three Suss-men while watching football / my MIL and I enjoyed some glowing animal ears at my cousin Jonah’s bar-mitzvah

I hope you all had a beautiful September.  Looking forward to seeing you more next month and as we enter the holiday season! xo

(*all photos mine via Instagram)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Although I rarely take part in The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenges (but always enjoy looking at what others have shared), this week’s topic was one I felt I could easily dive into.  I realized that I never shared very many pictures from my trip to Amsterdam last year, and since that vacation was spent playing around with the focus on my new camera, I jumped at this opportunity to share some of my favorite shots responsive to this challenge.

The challenge reads as follows: “For this challenge, get out there and take a picture demonstrating the concept of focus. Depending on your skill level or type of camera, tinker with the manual settings, use the auto focus feature, or play around with an app.”

The first set of photos were taken at NDSM Werf, located just a short ferry ride from Centraal Station.  The site is an abandoned ship yard turned artist’s haven with amazing sculptures, graffiti, statues, and other art installations created from rusted remains.  I played with my camera’s focus while looking through a hole in a warehouse wall, first focusing on the graffiti inside, then shifting the focus to the brick I was looking through.

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The difference is subtle, yet striking.  I can’t decide which one I like more!

Here are a few others from the ‘Dam that I took while playing around with different focus and depth of field:

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Looking through all of my photos again for the best to share really took me back.  I’d recommend Amsterdam to anyone planning a trip to Europe! Wishing you all a lovely weekend! xo

 

*All pictures taken on a Sony DSC – HX200V

48 Hours in Philly

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting one of my best friends in her current city – Philadelphia.  I must admit, I had this vision of Philadelphia being a bit… gross.  (I know, this from a NEW YORKER – a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, as I am the first to admit NYC is pretty filthy).  Anyway, two of our other former college roomies joined us from Boston, and the four of us had the best time eating, drinking, and laughing our way through an unbelievably charming little city.  Philly, I will be back!

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*All pictures are mine, most were posted on Instagram.

BBQ Brunch

Hello every lovely body! I hope you all had a nice weekend!  Josh and I are in recovery mode after returning from a long weekend in VT with friends.  This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill get together, but a 5 year college graduation reunion that pretty much knocked the life out of me. (See: “The Art of Drinking like You’re Still 21“; See also: “You’re Too Old for This“). Pain and suffering aside, we had a blast, and it was so wonderful to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in years.

Onto today’s post.  If you live in the NYC area and haven’t yet been to The Strand Smokehouse in Astoria, you are seriously missing out.  Josh and I had gone during the wintertime, not long after it first opened, and we had a mixed experience.  While the food and beverages were amazing, and the company – we went with two dear friends – was great, it was overly packed and suffered from a few organizational snags:  they had run out of many of the key menu items early in the evening, the CC machine was down so we had to run out for cash unexpectedly, seating was very limited so we had to squeeze all four of us on the end of a bench, etc.  However, the mouth watering slow-cooked meat, good beer selection, fun blue grass band, vintage whiskey barrels, homemade hot sauces, and overall ambience brought us back.

We thought we were going to catch an early dinner/late lunch, but when we went by past 3 pm on Sunday they were still serving brunch.  Trying not to be too disappointed that we wouldn’t have meat piled on platters in fornt of us, served in quantities by weight (as was done at dinner), we were actually quite pleasantly surprised with the brunch menu options.  Since we both were looking for a bit more of a midday meal rather than eggs, we opted for the BBQ chicken and biscuits (Josh), and the Pork Belly BLT (Me). However, I got a good glimpse of our neighbors’ chicken and waffle dish (featuring a delicious looking half chicken) and another dish with some drool worthy biscuits, gravy and eggs combo.  Let’s just say we’ll be back shortly for another round of brunch with an appetite for breakfast food!

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Are you as big of a bbq fan as we are? Add The Strand to your list of places to dine!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your week, xo.