Ah, destination weddings. What used to be a coveted booze-filled weekend away with friends in your twenties, soon turns into something less glam when you’re 33, secretly nine weeks pregnant and suffering from the most horrific morning (read: all-day) sickness ever. However, I am pleased to report my nausea temporarily subsided as soon as I stepped foot on the rocky shores of Monhegan Island, Maine. Monhegan is a car-free, forested, artist haven located about 10 miles off the coast. The bride’s family has owned property on the island for decades and it was the perfect backdrop to a chic, relaxed, Northeastern summer wedding.
Ahem. A year has gone by since I’ve last posted and so many things have changed (for the better). I am now a mom (!) and a homeowner. It has been quite the year and I still can’t believe I’m writing this post sitting in my freshly renovated apartment looking at my sleeping baby. We’re watching Teen Mom OG, so I mean not everything has changed.
Jordan and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Our inaugural year together as a married couple has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve really found our groove and appreciate our relationship now more than ever. In order to celebrate we decided to take a weekend upstate in The Catskills, dog in tow.
Personally, I love a good hotel and usually really dislike staying in other people’s space. I feel like a vacation should be relaxing without having to worry about overstaying your welcome, or when the sheets were last laundered. However, hotel options upstate are lacking and after a major scrub of Airbnb (pastel carpeting and flowered comforters immediately excluded) the perfect mid-century modern oasis in the mountains was found. The Martin House was clean, welcoming and had the most amazing grounds, including a firepit surrounded by fire engine red adirondack chairs. The hosts even left us a chilled bottle of prosecco to celebrate. Cheers to the best first year and clean linens!
Due to the impending summer season, I have begrudgingly cut out carbs from my diet. I’ve managed to avoid all bread baskets and pasta for the past month. However, my most missed indulgence is definitely NYC pizza. I didn’t want to miss out on the monthly ritual where Jordan and I finish off a whole pie in front of reality TV. So, I improvised with a cauliflower crust pizza. Making fun of JoJo and the bachelor contestants was still enjoyable, but now with zero carb guilt.
This month has been nonstop. Between my work schedule, apartment hunting and social engagements, I haven’t had much time to post. Regardless, it’s great to be back on the world wide web. I’m sure the internet was weeping at the thought of another lost blogger. Now dry those eyes.
Every time Jordan and I are in Williamsburg we purposely walk by Mast Brothers on North 3rd Street. The sweet smell of chocolate permeates the air, challenging you not to go inside. Since our first trip several years ago, we’ve accrued a rather large selection of their chocolate bars. Each variety has a carefully appointed, stylish, wallpaper-quality wrapper that is almost as good as the product itself. Currently I’m working on their Sea Salt bar and cannot enter the kitchen without stealing a square.
Recently my grandmother turned 85. To celebrate her birthday, she treated my entire extended family to a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. There are about twenty of us, so coordinating everyone’s schedules was a bit difficult – but in the end, the miles-long back and forth e-mail chain was worth it. The time we spent together laughing, eating and lounging was extremely special; the perfect way to celebrate the family matriarch, our Nanny.
Making my own granola always seemed like a bit much. Who really does that? I mean, I don’t own clogs or actually enjoy hiking. I confess that I do own Birkenstocks, but they are absolutely having a come back. Despite my lack of outdoorsiness – I decided to give making my own a try. The recipe turned out to be super easy, delicious and versatile. You can mix in dried fruit or chocolate to enhance the sweetness a bit. The recipe also allows you to substitute different types of nuts depending on what you have available. Maybe this whole granola thing has me rethinking clogs? J to the K.
An early wake up call was a small price to pay for the beauty that is Ha Long Bay. We took a private car four hours from Hanoi to the northeastern shore of Vietnam to sail around the limestone islands for the day.
Most tourists opt to stay overnight on the water. But to be honest, after viewing our ‘luxury cruise’ options online, I decided even a luxury junk boat was not for me (read: Ghost Ship). Regardless, we were able to board one for the day and it was the perfect amount of time (and meals to have eaten at sea) before heading back to the comfort and stellar room service of The Metropole.
If I could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of my life, I would surely pick Mexican. Whenever we are debating take out, I always default to our local Mexican restaurant on Seamless (Sabor a Mexico shout out!). In order to keep the fiesta going at home, I recently made the most delicious beer-marinated steak tacos. The marinade is extremely easy to put together and really penetrates the meat. You need to let the steak marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge, so this recipe does require some foresight, but it’s totally worth the extra prep time.
The second stop on our Southeast Asia trip was Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and was unexpectedly my favorite city on our trip. I loved the endless, twisting alleyways full of street food vendors and the excitement I felt when I stepped outside the familiarity of our hotel. The weather was mild in Hanoi, so it allowed us to spend the entire day exploring without having to take our usual 3pm shower break.