The Seasons Best…by Gloria

pic17~purple haze + palm trees on our mini tropical escape~

It’s been quite a while since my last post and in typical “end of summer/beginning of fall” fashion, I’ve been keeping busy and taking in as much of the nice weather as possible before the bitter cold is upon us. This year, in lieu of a long vacation, I enjoyed plenty of mini escapes to places I’ve always wanted to go and I must admit, it’s been pretty fun.  I have lots of fun posts lined up in the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy.

pic2~directions to the doctor on fire island~

pic4~beach necessities on fire island: sunscreen, rainbow dress, + magazines~

pic9~ the view of the beach from our hotel in cape may~

pic10~cape may evenings~

pic11~congress hall in cape may~

pic20~tropical escape + evenings on the beach~

pic13~sun and fun~

pic15pic19~wedding weekend in the catskills for my dear friend, Ray’s wedding~


Summer of Adventure… by Gloria

~medieval doorway at the cloisters~
I don’t know about you, but Summer activities are definitely in full swing over here. I’ve been all about mini outings as of late. A few highlights so far have been a day trip with the gals to East Hampton and Montauk, a trip to the Cloisters, and a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Here are a few of pics of what my last few weekends have looked like. I hope these pictures inspire a few mini adventures of your own…
clois1~medieval columns at the cloisters~
~camomile flowers in the cloistered herb gardens~
~lily pads at the brooklyn botanic garden~
~brooklyn botanic garden~
~montauk and east hampton~

Memphis… by Gloria

elvis~did you know? Elvis was discovered by a producers secretary when he went in to record 2 songs he wanted to present to his mom as a gift?~

Last week, we took a few days to ourselves and flew down to Memphis for some much needed R & R. While we typically love beach vacations, we decided we wanted something a little different this time. Memphis fit the bill for a few reasons: it’s a short flight from NYC (great for a quick getaway) and because, well, I love food and my boyfriend loves music. We left for Memphis with very little on our agenda. We wanted to relax, enjoy some great BBQ and listen to some blues. We checked out the Gibson Guitar factory, visited Sun Studios and stood in the very same spot where both Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded their first albums, checked out Elvis’ Graceland, and while we managed to eat more ribs and brisket than I’d like to admit, we had a pretty awesome time. Thanks, Memphis!

graceland~Elvis, your peacock stained glass is awesome and you had some serious swagger~

peabody~love the vintage sign on the rooftop of the peabody~

dogs~angry dog statues inside the peabody~

ducks~famous peabody ducks in the lobby~

guitars~endless guitars at the gibson guitar factory~

sky~picture from under a half- domed storefront~

trolley~memphis trolley~

mojo~mojo candles for magic spells at a. schwab~

biscuits~i will miss these biscuits~

to ny~the view from above on our way home to ny~

Let it Snow… by Gloria

prints~footprints in the snow~

Last weekend, I managed to squeeze in some time to take a quick overnight trip to Westchester. It’s super close to home; about a one hour car ride, but sometimes it serves as the perfect escape from the city. A friend and I had planned for early evening massages at the Ritz and at the last minute, we decided to stay the night. This allowed for a super relaxed dinner at one of the many local restaurants and some late night cocktails. The next day, after breakfast, it began to snow- I’m talking the quiet, calm, there’s not a single car on the road, big, gigantic, fluffy snowflake kind of snow. And I was loving every minute.

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Lazy Saturday… by Gloria

view3~ the brooklyn waterfront~

The past 2 weeks have been non-stop busy. The only thing that’s been keeping me sane are the lazy Saturdays that my boyfriend and I are growing accustomed to. Our Saturdays, more recently, are consisting of: sleeping in, heading to Williamsburg for a sleepy brunch, taking a brisk stroll and popping into some local mom and pops. Therefore, it was no surprise that today followed that same pattern. Here are a few of our pic(k)s.

barricou~my most favorite brunch spot: le barricou~

brunch~brunch: duck confit and croque madame~

red~christmas berry stems at sprout home~

sprout1~ beautiful flowers at sprout home~

Dinner Party… by Gloria

~my grandma’s china set~

Last night, we had our families over for dinner. There is something about hosting family that makes me feel so. grown. up. Now, hosting a dinner party can be totally nerve wracking and I, certainly, am no expert- but I will share with you a few tips that make it slightly less intimidating and stressful so you can focus on enjoying your company.

  • Plan your menu a few days prior to the dinner party– Our menu listed appetizer, main course and dessert ideas taking into consideration any special food needs of guests (for example: is one of your guests vegetarian?)
  • Make a list of what you will need to pick up from the store– I like to break out my list according to the store where the items need to be purchased (for example: from the bakery, I needed fresh breadcrumbs, pastries and bread
  • Clean and stage your china the night before the event– The evening before our dinner party, I cleaned all the china I’d need for the party and staged it all so it was ready for use the next day
  • Tidy Up and set the table– I like to to make sure the apartment is spic- and- span the evening before. I also like to have the table set with place settings etc on the morning of the party. Remember, there will always be last minute cleaning such as re-washing the kitchen floor after the food preparation that you will need to allow for
  • Go Shopping– I usually food shop on the morning of the event. Some like to do it the night before- whatever you prefer is fine but don’t forget your list!
  • Do as much food prep as possible– Everything on our menu was prepared in some way prior to our families arriving (for example: the mushrooms were stuffed and placed on baking pans so they were oven-ready)
  • Staging– Underrated but, oh, so important! Prior to our families arriving, I had the coffee machine ready to go. This way, once it was time for dessert, I simply had to push the button and the coffee was brewing. No fussing with filters and coffee grinds while entertaining.
  • Tidy Up and set the mood– Take a quick look around, make sure everything is in order before your guests arrive. Dim the lights, light some candles, and get some music playing.
  • Enjoy some wine-Try to give yourself 10 minutes of downtime before guests arrive.
  • Enjoy the Party– With some pre-planning, you’ll be more relaxed and better able to entertain your guests. Remember, things won’t always go perfectly, but with practice, it definitely gets easier each time.

To Do: BYOB Painting Lessons… by Gloria

~Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent Van Gogh~

It’s been a rough week for New Yorkers in general. By the weekend, we were definitely in need of  a little pick -me -up. We headed over to Painting Lounge in Williamsburg and this little gem offered us a relaxing escape from the sadness of this past week. Painting Lounge is a BYOB spot that gives painting lessons while you sip on the beverage of your choice. In our case, that was a couple bottles of wine. We headed over on Saturday evening for a 2- 1/2 hour lesson and by the end, we had our very own paint-covered masterpieces (and a little buzz, to boot!).  Check out our pics.

~the end result!~

Fall Time in Cold Spring, NY… by Gloria

This weekend in NY was incredibly beautiful. The weather was in the mid-high 60’s and it made for a perfect Fall-time escape. We drove out to Cold Spring, NY for a day of hiking, antique shopping, and admiring the fall foliage in what seemed to be hundreds of different colors. I’m officially in full Fall-time swing.

~ super tall, skinny trees along our hike~

~exposed tree roots~

~inside the herb garden at Boscobel Estate~

~small house on the grounds of Boscobel Estate~

~leaves in all colors- a hike on the grounds of the Estate~

 ~Boscobel Estate~

~the view: overlooking the Hudson Valley~

Fall with Friends… by Gloria

~ a brisk walk in the forest~

There is something about the start of Fall that I love. It must be the smell of the crisp, brisk air and the exciting feeling of knowing that the Holidays and everything that comes with it is right around the corner. I’m already looking forward to hot chocolate by a fireplace, dinner parties with friends and cozy, chunky sweaters. Since we’ve returned from Italy, we’ve already enjoyed a chilly brooklyn pizza crawl with friends, a long walk in the forest, oyster happy hour, and best of all, an amazing lobster dinner with family over the weekend.

~pizza at Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn~

~dinner with family: crab meat stuffed lobster served on lobster dishes~
~oyster happy hour with a friends at Flex Mussels~

Milan, Como & Calabria…by Gloria

~50 cases of italian grapes for homemade wine~

After 2 fantastic weeks in  Italy, I’m back home and finally back in the swing of things. It was my intention to post during the trip but in the midst of  seeing the Grand Prix, attending a wedding, fishing off of my cousins boat, drinking non-stop espressos and eating nutella croissants every morning, making homemade wine & eating pizza I somehow managed to run completely out of time (sigh…). Here’s a little glimpse into our lovely Italian getaway.

~sailboats docked at the port~

~view from the rooftop of the duomo~

~mountain top restaurant~

~open kitchen at the lovely Pane e Tulipani~

~aunt imma’s delicious eggplant~

~cloud covered mountain tops in como + 2 lonely boats~

~cream and turquoise house in como~

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