Thursday, September 27

Autumn Jackets

Lately I've been searching for the perfect lightweight jacket.
I've been needing a jacket that can be worn for those tricky temperatures
that come between the seasons, you know, since technically these days
there are only two seasons in New York - fry an egg on the sidewalk stifling 
and frozen in a block of ice. Autumn and Spring only last two weeks tops.
This year however, it has been cool but not enough to need my winter coat.
All week I've been wearing sweaters to keep warm but I'm not sure
how much longer I have before I'll need something a little warmer.

My Autumn jacket wishlist:
So far, this Elizabeth and James jacket is my favorite, but I'm
hesitant about how warm it will be. I get the feeling that it may be
more of a blazer than anything to keep warm. 
I love the draped collar and color of this Vince jacket.
 Another leather jacket from Vince.
Through my search, I've discovered that I really like
the clean lines on Vince's leather jackets.
This Joie jacket looks so cozy. 
Though I'm sure I'd think it looked too much like a robe.

1, 2, 3, 4

Unfortunately, none of these jackets are reasonably priced, hence the "wishlist".
I feel like that happens more than it should, but that is life for you.
And so the search continues...

Tuesday, September 25

Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds

I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds on Pinterest last week.
It sounded so delicious, I couldn't wait to make it.
It's very easy to make and absolutely delicious!
This will definitely be my go to snack this Autumn.
What you need.
2 cups of raw almonds
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla
 & a pinch of sea salt

How to make.
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Pour almonds in a bowl, adds spices, honey & vanilla, and mix it all together.
Spread the almonds on a baking sheet that has either been sprayed with 
a non-stick spray or lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for twenty minutes. Let cool before serving.

Monday, September 24

Weekend View

A quick recap of my weekend in pictures.
"Dowisetrepla" as they would say on How I Met Your Mother.
A photo from JD's afternoon bike ride along the Hudson on Friday.
Saturday morning pancakes.
Recipe can be found here.
 Delicious oysters at the Stone Street Oyster Fest.
It was such a fun time. JD and I were absolutely shocked
that we had never tried oysters before. We loved them!
Stone Street.
 
A staircase inside the Fraunces Tavern where we stopped for a drink.
It's said to be one of the city's oldest buildings and
George Washington had once stayed there.
A view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Beekman Beer Garden.
Sunday brunch at Elephant and Castle.

Thursday, September 20

Something Blue

Earlier this week I finished reading Something Blue by Emily Giffin.
As a disclaimer, you may not want to continue reading
if you don't want the story spoiled for you. :)

I was so disappointed with this book.
Darcy annoyed me to no end throughout the first half of the story
as she rehashed her side of the Rachel-Dex-Marcus debacle.
She didn't come off as the same glamorous Darcy from Something Borrowed,
which is understandable as she is telling the story of her best friend's betrayal,
but disappointing because she is so much worse than everyone thinks.
At most points I felt sad for her, she actually thought that she had ruined her life,
that had it not been for her actions she and Dex would have married and lived happily
ever after together in a fancy New York apartment. By the end, she does realize that
this wasn't the case, but this realization, as well as Darcy's redemption as a
character comes a little late. Though she tries to become a better person,
it is too little too late for the reader who has already drawn the conclusion
that despite her best efforts, Darcy is shallow.

The one thing she did in all of the book that actually made me like her
was toward the end when she decided to let Ethan make his own decisions.
I wasn't thrilled with the London plot line with Ethan.
In Something Borrowed we hear about Ethan and his former wife Brandi
who had had an affair and gotten pregnant with another man's child.
Ethan married her as a result of the pregnancy, unaware of her infidelity
 and was heartbroken to find that the baby wasn't his.
As I got further into the book, I began to dread what was to come.
It was too obvious that Darcy would end up with Ethan.
That Ethan would once again, throw all of his support to a woman
pregnant with another man's child. Then to throw the reader off the trail,
two new characters enter the story: A proper English doctor boyfriend for Darcy
and a stylish Madeline-esque French girlfriend for Ethan.

There were a few things the spoiled this story for me, the first being the ending.
I like to read a happy ending as much as the next girl,
but the ending to Something Blue didn't sit well with me.
My issue was that it is too cliche, too expected, too easy.
I didn't root for Darcy and Ethan to end up together like I did with Rachel and Dex.
I didn't want Ethan to be "that guy". I wanted Darcy to learn to be self sufficient.
The second was Darcy's pregnancy.  Darcy brought this upon herself,
but that isn't enough. The girl is already down, single, virtually friendless,
unemployed, living her an unfamiliar place as a way to escape.
I understand that life can be unpredictable and
we don't get to choose certain things but come on.
Darcy having twins just solidifies that she needs help, a man to support her.
The author didn't even give her the chance to try to be a self sufficient single mom.
A third, as previously mentioned was Darcy's attitude and behavior throughout
90% of the story. She is only out for her self, rude, and blind to everything
going on around her, out blowing all her money on clothes she won't be able
to fit into in a couple of weeks instead of saving for her babies
or helping Ethan by contributing to the flat by cleaning, cooking,
buying groceries, paying rent, etc.
The fourth is somewhat insignificant, and most likely used as a tool for the
author to show how much Darcy has grown by the end of the story, but,
Rachel and Dex being married on the same day that Darcy has her babies
kind of annoyed me. Was it really necessary? And did they really need to get
engaged and married in such a short period of time? It just seems a little
ridiculous that everything should happen all at once.

Instead, I would have liked to see the story end with Darcy alone, happy and secure in her new life.
Darcy's thought process throughout her entire life was that she needed a man
to support her. I think it would have made for a stronger ending if Darcy
had been able to learn to support herself, instead of remaining an unemployed
mother of two who marries her friend/roommate/fifth grade boyfriend
who then just so happens to become and international best-selling author.

Did you read Something Blue?
What did you think of it?

Tuesday, September 18

Sunrise Surf

Waking up to go to the beach at 5am really has become one of my favorite things.
The light is just perfect, the beach is empty,  and while it is a bit chilly 
that can still easily be fixed with a blanket and sweatshirt.
Sunday morning JD had the alarm set for 5, the forecast was 3-6 foot waves. 
So we got in the car and off we went. I didn't mind one bit.
When we arrived at Gilgo the waves were huge. It didn't feel like New York.
And finally, after trying all summer, I got to see the sun rise over the ocean.
It was one of the most beautiful things.
 Why yes, that is a flock of butterflies.

Monday, September 17

Greenport

JD and I had grand plans for our Saturday.
All week I had been dreaming of taking a nice leisurely drive out to the North Fork,
stopping at Briermere to pick up one of their delicious pies, 
and visiting a winery or two for a tasting. 
Apparently, everyone else had the same idea.

We got a late start, made a few pit stops and sat in traffic on a one lane
road from Riverhead to Mattituck, which sadly resulted in a lack of pies.
We made the best of it, drove straight to Greenport and had a lovely little lunch outside
at Bruce's Cheese Emporium, a place we've discussed needing to try for years.
I had the most delicious sandwich, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and grilled chicken. 
If you ever find yourself i the area, I highly recommend it. 
JD and I were kicking ourselves for not doing so sooner.

After lunch we walked around the town.
I've only really been to Greenport in the Winter so it was nice to see
all of the boats in and people walking around and most of the shops open.
Since by this point it had gotten too late for the wineries,
JD and I decided to try another place we've never made it into before,
the Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. We loved it. 
My goat cheese, sundried tomato, and grilled chicken sandwich.
JD's steak sandwich with cucumber.
I guess no one wanted to be the "bad egg".
Pretty window display.
On our drive home we pulled into a little parking area with a 
small rocky beach in Southold to take in this beautiful sunset.

Friday, September 14

Funny Friday


On our ride home from Buffalo a few months back,
thanks again Jet Blue..., there came point in the eight hour drive
when JD and I decided that we needed to come up with some
form of entertainment other than checking the flight status updates
to see if we were still beating our friends home, and playing music,
and messing with the very unhelpful Jet Blue customer service team.
JD remembered an old SNL sketch, celebrity jeopardy with Sean Connery. 
He quoted a few lines from it and we decided that we needed to listen to it.
I found this video, which is sixteen and a half minutes long and perfect
for eating up some spare time, highlighting all of sketches they had done.
We were in stitches, having to hit pause at regular intervals just to breathe.
For one reason or another this came up again recently,
so I thought I'd share. You're welcome.

link incase the video doesn't work properly.
Happy Friday & have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 13

Fall

Fall, Autumn, whatever you'd like to call it, is my favorite season.
There are so many good things to look forward to.
The cool, significantly less humid weather, the leaves turning lovely
shades of orange, yellow, and red, day trips upstate and out east,
pumpkin picking, pies from Briermere, warm coats, scarves, and gloves!
I love Manhattan in the fall too. Early last November JD and I took a 
walk around Central Park. It was a beautiful day, one of those days
that you think back to and can't believe how much time has passed
since then, but I have the pictures to prove it.
(Pictures here & here.)
JD sent me this picture yesterday afternoon.
He snapped it during a bike ride along the Hudson.

Monday, September 10

Birthday Weekend

"When you're five, you know your age down to the month. 
Even in your twenties you know how old you are. 
I'm twenty-three, you say, or maybe twenty-seven. 
But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. 
It's a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? 
Oh, I'm—you start confidently, but then you stop. 
You were going to say thirty-three, but you're not. You're thirty-five.
 And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. 
It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it."
- Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

This weekend was so wonderful, I don't know where to begin.
All week JD had been teasing me that he was getting me a box of rocks.
I joked that they should be diamonds then. He said they were granite.
I made a joke about countertops. 
Later in the day he called to tell me that getting those rocks up
the stairs had been difficult, they were heavy and so
we went back and forth again about the diamonds and countertops.
What I was not expecting, was walking into JD's bedroom later that evening
to find a huge box sitting in the middle of the room.
I pushed it to see how heavy it was. The box didn't budge.
I had absolutely no idea what it could be.

 JD sat down in a chair opposite me and laughed 
as I pulled the striped wrapping paper away to find
the word Xerox printed on the cardboard.
"It's not a printer" he reassured me.
Earlier in the week he had purchased a new color laser printer
and I had been quit excited about it so I couldn't be sure.
Once I got the box open it was filled with newspaper,
which quickly blanketed the floor.
Then I saw it, the white bag with the simple black font.
I have the most amazing boyfriend.

As if a lovely new dress wasn't enough, we then went into
the living room where we had a red velvet cake from Veniero's
and some rosé. It was wonderful.
Saturday we wandered around SoHo and into this sweet little
bakery called Vesuvio. The cookies piled high in the window looked
too delicious, we didn't stand a chance. 
I had a coconut, JD the chocolate chip. Yum.
Later in the evening we met friends for dinner at Tiny's in TriBeCa,
which was followed by an adventure of sorts.
JD, I love you, thank you for making turning twenty-five so sweet.

Friday, September 7

Twenty-five

Today I turn twenty-five.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.
It's a big number.
via pinterest
I'm not really a birthday person but I'm certainly
not one to pass up any opportunity to celebrate,
or drink champagne... So to celebrate, 
I'm having dinner with friends tomorrow night 
at a sweet little restaurant in TriBeCa.
And perhaps there will be shopping,
and other city adventures during the day.
For once, I haven't really put much thought into it.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 5

Lately & Labor Day Weekend

Sorry for the lack of posts this week.
It's been pretty crazy around here.
Last week was my first full week back at work
and to say the least, it has been interesting getting back
into a morning routine. Each morning I seem to pop up minutes
before my alarm, in a panic that I've missed it.
On Tuesday I woke up thinking it was Wednesday, that I had
somehow managed to sleep through an entire day and in my 
semi-conscious state I thought this was entirely rational.

Labor Day weekend was nice.
Friday JD and I went sailing with a couple of friends,
one of whom is also an instructor so he gave us a mini lesson
on how to fly the spinnaker, my new favorite thing.
I love it, it's like a giant kite.
Saturday we finally finished work on our little boat.
Sunday we went to the beach house for stand up paddle boarding
in the bay and a barbecue. And Monday we were supposed to take
our boat out for the first time, but the winds were too strong.
Yes, you are supposed to hope for wind when you sail,
but we're pretty sure that at least one thing will break 
once we get it into the water and decided that
we'd rather be safe than sorry, or stranded.
It's an old boat.

Tuesday, September 4

Something Borrowed

Sometime in the beginning of the summer I came across 
Something Borrowed on one of the movies on demand channels. 
I remembered hearing about it when they were filming, 
some of the scenes were shot in Nassau County (though I'm not sure which ones) 
and people got excited about it. I also remember seeing the book in a store 
shortly afterward and reading the back. It sounded awful. 
I wondered how the characters could possibly be sympathetic and put it down.

To quickly summarize the plot: 
Girl betrays best friend by sleeping with said friend's fiance 
on the night of her thirtieth birthday.

I suppose you may not want to read this if you have
 any intentions to read the book or watch the movie.
via
More likely than not I should be embarrassed to admit that I liked the movie. 
Ginnifer Goodwin and Colin Egglesfield were great as Rachel and Dex, 
Kate Hudson had Darcy down perfectly, and John Krasinski was excellent 
(and much needed) comic relief as Ethan. My favorite scene was when they played 
badminton on the beach and Rachel silences Ethan with the racquet.

After seeing the movie, I was curious about the book. 
The characters had managed to be likable on screen so they must be 
likable in print too. I was also extremely curious how the story 
continued in Something Blue, but decided that I should probably 
get my facts straight by reading the first book first as 
adaptations are generally not spot on with the original story, 
especially when the story is told from a first person perspective. 
So I went to the book store, picked up a copy, 
and didn't put it down until it ended.

The story flowed nicely, and as predicted, there was a lot left out of the movie. 
For instance, Rachel and Dex spent a lot more time together in the book,
 their relationship was a little bit more evolved than the spaced out 
casual vibe the movie gave it. Rachel also seemed unsure of her feelings
for Dex in the book, whereas onscreen she had loved him all along.
Darcy was also much more awful in print, she bulldozed
right over Rachel every chance she got. 
Everything is about Darcy and everything must be perfect. 

One thing that annoyed me was how passive Rachel was about everything. 
It made her weak, made her stay in relationships she had no interest in, 
made her stay at the job she hated, made her not take any risks or chances. 
And for some reason she made it to thirty without realizing that she and Darcy 
really had nothing in common aside from Darcy herself. 

The deed happens right at the beginning so we 
don't know too much about Rachel just yet. 
Then we learn who she is and her relationship to Darcy. 
There are a lot of gray areas in this story and I always 
find it fascinating when you end up rooting for the guilty party. 
After all, Darcy is innocent, isn't she? She's just the self centered 
best friend who hasn't a clue what's going on. 
And right at the point where you wonder if you should 
in fact feel bad for Darcy and hate Rachel for what she's doing, 
Darcy admits to having an affair of her own.

Hillary and Ethan (characters who are combined in the movie) 
are cheerleaders for Rachel. And they make an excellent point, 
that Darcy wouldn't hesitate for a moment if the tables were turned, 
if it were Rachel's fiance she fancied. And she didn't... 
Throughout the book Rachel went on a few dates with one of 
Dex's groomsmen, Marcus. Darcy was very interested in their relationship, 
taking every opportunity to ask for updates on how it was going. 
Then low and behold, it's Marcus who Darcy was having an affair with, 
but naturally it goes further than that, Darcy ends up pregnant, 
which really makes me wonder what would have happened 
had Dex not changed his mind. Would Darcy have married him anyway, 
told him that it was his child and not his friend's? 
I would assume so, Darcy is only out for herself. 
But she did mention that she and Marcus had discussed marriage 
when she confessed to Rachel at the very end, only hours after 
her engagement to Dex had been called off.

Something I liked about the book that the movie glossed over 
was the falling out between Rachel and Darcy.
In the movie they yell at each other, Darcy walks off with Marcus, 
and they see each other on the sidewalk two months later, 
both happy with their lives, a pleasant ending to an awful situation.
The book is more realistic with what happens next. 
Darcy spins the story in her favor, leaving her own infidelity out of it, 
and tells absolutely everyone she knows, tarnishing Rachel's reputation, 
which of course is to be expected when you get caught in a mess like this. 
They aren't speaking and it doesn't look like they'll be friends again 
any time soon, but Rachel and Dex are happy and together.

I'm so curious as to how Something Blue goes. 
I read the prologue that they stuck in the end of the book 
which begins with Darcy talking about how perfect she is. 
I can't wait to see how she is made likable.
From the brief retelling of her discovery of Rachel and Dex's affair 
I think it just may be possible. I also wonder if hearing the story from 
Darcy's perspective will change my opinion of Rachel.

Have you read either of these books or seen the movie? 
What did you think?