Monday, September 30

Greenport

Saturday morning JD and I got in the car and headed out to Greenport for the day, along with everyone else apparently. We didn't get moving as early as we should have and encountered some traffic getting through Queens. But on a more realistic note, when is there ever not traffic in Queens? We arrived around lunch time and bypassed Bruce's Cheese Emporium to try a new taco place. The food was good, JD won the prize for best order. His pulled pork and pineapple taco was delicious, but I wasn't impressed with the rest. I was disappointed due to the fact that I'd been looking forward to having a sandwich at Bruce's a little too much, which makes me laugh and think of Liz Lemon on Sandwich Day. I miss 30 Rock.
{VIA}
After lunch we stopped by the Greenport Harbor Brewery for a tasting and to pick up a growler of Leaf Pile, their lovely pumpkin beer. They had three new (to us at least) beers this time, an Oyster Stout which we loved, and two IPAs, one brewed with chilies and the other in "west-coast style". The room got very crowded just as we were finishing up and by then it was too late to rush over to Briermere's for pies so we walked around town and down by the harbor and got ice cream. It was such a lovely afternoon. I love Autumn on the North Fork. It's so beautiful, every farm looks like a painting and the towns are quiet and sweet. I cannot wait to go back out for pumpkin picking, and hopefully get a pie and perhaps a sandwich as well... 

Friday, September 27

Alternate Side Parking

Things that probably aren't supposed to happen when you're moving your car.

Last week, we couldn't find a parking spot on the other side of the street (alternate side parking), which meant that I was going to have to move the car in the morning. I prepared myself for the hour and a half wait with a bottle of nail polish and a book that I am currently dragging my feet about reading. The opening was good, I don't know why I'm doing this. Back to the story, JD assures me it will be so easy, just go sit in the car and drive around when the street sweeper comes. That's what he always does, it's no big deal. So at ten to eleven on a Tuesday I gather my entertainment and head on out to the car. At six minutes to the guy who's parked behind me arrives and gets in his car. It doesn't start. He walks up to my window and asks if I have jumper cables. I don't. He walks off towards the bike shop. The man who owns the motorcycle parked in front of me arrives two minutes later. His bike won't start. That's a strange coincidence. By now I'm thinking this must happen all the time. Motorcycle guy wheels his bike off down the street and disappears around the corner.

The guy who's parked behind me returns with the fire department in tow. They ask if they can use my car to jump his. Sure, why not? I've got no where to be. They tell me the street sweeper, if it comes, can wait. So they close traffic on the street and I double park next to the car. I had a faint memory of trying to jump a car years ago in my driveway. I think it was JD's. I knew that the battery in my car is hidden, and that the cables wouldn't reach but couldn't remember where it was or how the car had been positioned. The firemen are now looking for it as I flip through my owner's manuel, completely embarrassed that all I remember about it is that it's hidden away somewhere. The owner's manuel shows a picture of the covered box but doesn't show it's location. Marvelous. One of the firemen asks me if my car is made by BMW, they put their batteries in the trunk. I drive a MINI, which is owned by BMW in the US but is still manufactured in good old England, so no. Another suggests it could be under the front floor board, to which the first one replied "where the hell are you getting this from, Frank?"

After a couple minutes more they finally find it in the upper right corner and now I remember why the cables wouldn't reach. I would need to turn around to face the car in order to jump it, but now there was a construction crew unloading very long sheets of metal in the street, partially blocking it. Needless to say, it had become quite the production at this point. So the construction workers were halted and the road (still) blocked as I turned around and backed down the one way street. Jumping the car took all of thirty seconds and I was free to go drive around the neighborhood and wait for the street sweeper.

When I told JD my story later that evening he stopped me midway through and said, "I just want you to know that nothing like this has ever happened before." But it would happen to me.

Thursday, September 26

Pizza Dough

JD and I are huge fans of making our own pizza. This goes all the way back to college when we first got apartments with kitchens. We used to buy dough from the price chopper and cooked it on a special pan with holes in the bottom so that it would crisp up nicely. I have fond memories of making dinner together in college, including the invention of taco salad, and the inevitable removable of diced tomatoes. Since then, we have graduated to making our own pizza dough. We have tried different recipes over the years, but this one we found on Food Network and used last night is a favorite.

Ingredients:
3 1/2 to 4 cups of all purpose flour (bread flour is recommended if you have it).
1 envelope of dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 1/2 cup of warm water
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons olive oil

How To:
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and two tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add the yeast to the warm water and let it sit for a minute or two, then add to the mixture. Mix until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Grease the bowl with the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil and place the dough back in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let it sit for an hour or until the dough doubles in size. 

The recipe says that the dough will make two fourteen inch pizzas, but we ended up making three ten inch pizzas with the dough, the third having a very thick crust.

Wednesday, September 25

Leather Jacket

one. Muubaa suede jacket two. H&M dress three. B Brian Atwood clutch 
 four. Jeffrey Campbell boots five. Jules Smith necklace 

I cannot tell you how long I've been looking for the perfect leather jacket. The hunt has been a long for a simple design at a reasonable price point. I remember going shopping with my mother years ago, back when I was still in college. There was a beautiful black leather jacket laying on a display table, it was exactly what I wanted. The price tag read four-something, too high for my low college student income. Flash forward to Fall 2012, I find another perfect black leather jacket at Vince for nine-something, too high for my conscience. It appears to be too much to ask for simple, classic styles to be found at affordable prices. I feel like I make the same speech each year. Prices aren't coming down any time soon, but a hundred dollar increase per year is rough.

Anyway. After scouring the web I came across this Muubaa jacket and think it's perfect, exactly what I'm looking for, and at a good price point. I'm also really loving these cut-out boots, though I'm not sure how practical they would be in New York once the mystery puddles, as I like to call them, form at ever street corner. I'd elaborate on those but I'm currently eating lunch so no.

Monday, September 23

Fall Fair

Some things never cease to amaze me. Take driving for example. Yesterday, JD and I went to a Fall Fair out on the island. It's something I look forward to each season and this year JD didn't have school work to keep him in the city on a Sunday so he came with me. We were driving along on a main road, looking for parking. There were tons of spots available because no one here knows how to parallel park. We find a good one, pull over and put the signal on. What did the woman behind us do? Pull up so close that there was absolutely no way we could back up. I'd be curious about her thought process but I know she didn't have one. She wasn't paying a lick of attention and almost hit us in the process. Seriously. I used to be nervous driving in Manhattan what with cabs and buses darting here and there without reason, but it's far more dangerous on the suburban streets where Holly Housewife is alternating between swerving and slamming on the brakes as she texts and touches up her lipstick. At least in Manhattan the drivers are paying attention to what they're doing, that guy from New Jersey stopped to look before he made a left on red. Yes, I actually watched that happen last Tuesday.


The fair was a bit of a disappointment too. The theme this year was apparently "homemade/hand painted crap" and the crowd was just as obnoxious when it came to walking as they were at driving. There were only a few decent vendors this year, my favorites being the locally made honey and an artist that does prints of maps and posters. It was a beautiful day and JD and I enjoyed walking around and eating, which is a favorite pastime of ours. JD had a philly cheesesteak and an egg cream, I had a grilled cheese with portobello mushrooms, tomato, provolone, and boursin, and we shared a funnel cake and black cherry soda. We feel awesome today.

Friday, September 20

Ten Autumn Things

I found this picture on Pinterest that pretty much covers all of the things I love and look forward to each Autumn. So, since the first official day of the season is on Sunday, I figured I'd share some of the things I'm most looking forward to this season.

ONE. Pumpkin picking. It's by far my favorite Autumn activity. Each year JD and I will get in the car and head out East to the North Fork and spend the day picking pumpkins on a gorgeous farm, have lunch in Greenport, maybe stop at a winery or two to pick up a few of our favorite bottles, and stop at Briermere for a raspberry cream pie on the way home. It's always a good day, especially if it ends with pie.
TWO. As previously mentioned, pies. Raspberry cream from Briermere, homemade pecan, and pumpkin.
THREE. Watching the leaves change. 
FOUR. Going on a long walk through Central Park. 
FIVE. Homemade pumpkin flavored snacks such as cupcakes or almonds.
SIX. Wearing cozy sweaters, scarves, and boots again.
SEVEN. Maple lattes and pumpkin chai tea. This time of year I crave a maple latte from Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope. More recently, (on Tuesday) I discovered pumpkin chai at David's Tea, it's so good. 
EIGHT. Visiting the North Fork vineyards with a picnic.
NINE. Fall fairs and festivals. The Stone Street Oyster Festival is tomorrow, though we're not sure if we will be able to make it this year. 
TEN. I know there has been a lot of pumpkin flavored this and that on this list so far, but I am very much looking forward to tasting the pumpkin beer that we made a couple of weeks ago. It will be ready in a week and a half!  
What are you looking forward to as the season changes?

Thursday, September 19

Fall Beauty Favorites

one. Keihl's Ultra Facial Cream
As the weather changes my skin tends to get dry and my lightweight summer moisturizer doesn't always cut it against the wind and cold air. I have been using Keihl's products for years and love their Ultra Facial Cream for the colder months. It keeps my skin looking healthy and fresh.

two. Orofluido Elixir
I have been using this elixir since discovering it through Birchbox last October. It's done a wonderful job at keeping my hair smooth and happy. You'll have to take my word for it since I never take photos when my hair looks nice. I don't think I even dried it in my last style post... and a quick brush wouldn't have hurt either.

three. Jouer Lip Gloss in Mirage
My favorite gloss. It's moisturizing, stays on for hours, and isn't sticky! Finding a non-sticky gloss can be a difficult task, no one likes a mouthful of hair every time there is a gust of wind.  

four. NARS Blush in Amour
I love NARS products and their blush is no exception. Amour has been my go to Autumn/Winter shade for the last couple of years. It has no shimmer so it is appropriate for all occasions and stays on all day. 

five. Essie Nail Polish in Sole Mate
I love dark nail polishes and wish I could wear black, but it just doesn't look right on me. Instead of chic and sophisticated, it makes me feel like a middle schooler going through a goth phase. Sole Mate is just dark enough to look dramatic but the pretty plum shade is no where near as harsh. 

Wednesday, September 18

Sangria

What you'll need:
1.5 Liters of Red Wine 
6 Ounces of Gin
8 Cups of Ginger Ale
4 Tablespoons of Sugar
2 Apples, sliced
2 Nectarines, sliced
1 Bunch of Grapes, sliced in half lengthwise

How to make it:
Pour the red wine, gin, and ginger ale into large pitcher or container. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Slice apples, nectarines, and grapes, add to mixture. It's recommended that you let it chill overnight to let the flavors blend together, but you can also serve it right away over ice.

There are a lot of sangria recipes out there with varying ingredients and measurements. JD and I ended up picking and choosing the parts we liked and didn't decide on what fruit we would add until we got to the market. The nectarines looked good that day so we went with them over peaches, which were featured in a lot of the recipes. You can use pretty much any kind of fruit you'd like in sangria. For wine we used Yellowtail's Shiraz-Cabernet because it was inexpensive, flavorful, and on the dry side. You want your wine to be a little drier to balance out all of the sugar you're adding with the ginger ale and fruit. We also decided to use gin instead of brandy, mostly because I like gin and had a some on hand. All in all we were very happen with the final result of our mix and match batch. It was delicious and so simple to make!

Tuesday, September 17

Dressed Up Plaid

Gap shirt (old) - H&M skirt - Joie flats - Mulberry clutch (old) - Ray Ban sunglasses - 

It's not quite Autumn weather just yet, temperatures keep going up and down. One day it's a crisp sixty-five, the next we're back up to eighty. I wore this outfit over the weekend when temperatures were a little chilly but not quite cool enough to require a jacket. To add a little warmth, I paired this plaid shirt with a simple black skirt from H&M (you may recognize it from this post a couple of weeks ago), and my new favorite flats. The thought process being that I could just roll down my sleeves if I got cold, but luckily I didn't need to. I really love these Joie flats, they are so comfortable! I'm looking forward to pairing them with just about everything in my closet over the coming months. 

Monday, September 16

Sailing

With patches of dark gray clouds rolling in from the ocean, we pushed our little boat into the bay. The weather report promised the rain would skip us and it did. I stayed low in the center to operate the jib, JD was on the tiller. The wind was consistent but not strong or steady, changing direction often and dying down only to be followed by another gust. With wind in the sails the boat darts across the bay like a rocket. On Saturday, it felt more like steering a rickety old car. The distribution of our weight was key. There was going to be no hiking out over the edge. Instead, I crouched over the centerboard, switching sides as needed with every shift. We sailed back and forth, getting used to the feel of it. We haven't sailed our little boat enough to feel completely at ease, but we learn more with every attempt. 

After we felt more comfortable we sailed back to shore, I hopped out, Nick got on, and off they went. I sat in the sand and took a few pictures while they took a few wild tacks and made their way across the bay, then we switched again. This time JD took the jib and I was on tiller. The wind continued to change direction but the boat was easy to control. It's was very different than steering the larger, more balanced sonars we're used to sailing. With the slightest move of the tiller, you change direction, as you should. JD wanted so badly to sit on the side the wind still was not strong enough to allow it. Every time he tried, his weight would tack us. It explained why he and Nick made so many turns.  So instead, JD did his balancing act over the centerboard like I had earlier and we eventually made our way back to shore.

Thursday, September 5

Weekend Casual

- one. Joie flats two. H&M sweater three. J. Brand jeans 
four. Stella & Dot necklace five. Proenza Schouler bag -

One thing I'm looking forward to as the seasons change is sweater weather. I love sweaters, they're easy and comfortable and can be dressed up or down. I've been looking for a loose cozy sweater like this one form H&M for a long time. It would be perfect for a casual weekend look, paired with jeans rolled up at the ankles and chic black flats such as this pair from Joie that I have been obsessing over. Add a delicate necklace and a hands free cross-body handbag and you have an effortless, yet pulled together look for running errands or spending the day wandering around town.

Wednesday, September 4

The Great Gatsby

Last week JD and I sat down with a bottle of prosecco to finally watch the new Great Gastby film. I had heard mixed reviews, but good things overall. I'm not sure what I was expecting, I've read the book several times and have seen the old version of the film. Clearly the story would not change much. I was most excited to see the costumes and set design and was not disappointed by it. The gorgeous mansions, the city apartment, the ash heaps, it was all near perfect. 
I noticed and appreciated that the script stayed close to the text. Maintaining a good amount of the  original dialogue was a nice touch, though I always feel uncomfortable when Daisy makes her speech about Nick being "an absolute rose" at their first dinner together. Come to think of it, very little of that first meeting is pleasant. Daisy is extremely obnoxious the entire time, but I suppose her behavior serves  as a good introduction to her character, and the depth of it.

There were a couple of things though that I did not like about the film. I wasn't especially fond of Nick Carraway telling the story from a sanitarium, in for being a morbid alcoholic. I didn't see the need for it and thought it gave the story a much darker air, when it's already such a dark tale. It's true that the events that unfold could have driven his character to seek out the help of a sanitarium, but come on, he specifically says that he has only been drunk twice in his life, a little bit that was included in the film, and the story is told in past tense. From that point on, the opening scene, the story could only progress in a different way than it had originally been intended and in my opinion, brought the focus away from Gatsby and sickened Nick's obsession with him. 

A second thing that I did not appreciate in the telling of the story was Gatsby and Daisy's relationship. Daisy is portrayed in a much more pleasant light, as if she is completely innocent, just following her heart, or the breeze. She and Gatsby meet again and are in love and she will leave her husband for him, everything will be find. Then there is that fateful afternoon where they all go into town and get into that massive fight. When it's all over, when they are leaving for Europe, Daisy is silent. The phone rings and they pretend that she was powerless, back to being a pawn on her husband's chessboard. He made the decision to leave and so they did. You're supposed to feel disgusted by the Buchanans for blaming Gatsby, setting him up, and skipping town, retreating back into their money as Fitzgerald put it. Absolutely no sympathy should be felt for them, yet this film allows it. 

And one tiny little thing regarding the music... While it was cool to see jazz age parties set to modern music, it would have been nicer, in my opinion, to throw a little 1920s in there too. 

Adaptions can be tricky, especially with classics. Not everyone is going to be pleased with the outcome, but overall I did enjoy it. 

Did you see it? What did you think? 

Monday, September 2

Smith's Point

While I enjoy holidays, especially holiday weekends, I always find Labor Day to be a sad one. It marks the unofficial end of Summer, back to school, and spending long days indoors and not soaking up the last few weeks of the season on the beach. Don't get me wrong, of all the seasons, Autumn is my favorite, but I'm always sad to say goodbye to the carefree days of Summer. 

Saturday we went out to Smith's Point where JD's uncles were camping for a visit. I had never been out there before, usually our East end excursions bring us further North. It seemed quite popular, there were lots of families, dogs included, with campers and tents set up in rows along the beach. JD's uncles had a lucky spot directly on the beach, with a lovely view of the ocean. We arrived just in time for lunch, which lasted through dinner time, and then we all took a walk down to the beach with the intentions of flying a new kite. The kite was not interested in participating that afternoon. Each time JD would lift it up, it would catch the wind, fly for a minute, inching closer and closer towards the ocean and then come crashing down on it's head. Over and over again it flew into the wind and crashed into the sand, our positions on the beach did not seem to matter. The other kite had no trouble at all. After the kite finally made it's way far enough to take a dip in the Atlantic we called it a day and headed back to the campsite for dessert. I prepared my truffle tart again, this time with blueberries and raspberries and a gluten free ginger snap and shortbread crust. (Previously featured here & here.) The ginger complimented the chocolate so nicely that I'll be replacing graham crackers with ginger snaps in future recipes.