Mother’s Day, take 2!

May 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

My second Mother’s Day was fantastic! (Much better than my first.)

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Nick got home from his week-long trip to London on Friday afternoon and spent the rest of the day with Henry and I. He also brought me peonies and British chocolate. Anything else that would happen would just be icing on the cake at this point!

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Early Saturday afternoon, Nick filled in on bass for two songs with his friend’s band down the street, so I attempted to bring Henry in the Ergo, with his noise blocking baby headphone things. We hung at Saint Vitus for a bit, but unfortunately, his first show was not his dad playing. That’s okay. After Nick was done, we all went to the park as a family.

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Today was a jam-packed, but perfect day of yoga, a quick morning visit from our friend Will, then Nick, Henry, and I took the East River Ferry to DUMBO.

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Henry hadn’t ridden the boat since early last Fall, way before his new boat obsession, so he had a great time. He even got to stand out back with dad on the way there!

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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we saw a POLICE BOAT!!! (Please excuse Hank’s sunscreen-filled, sweaty, Harry from Dumb & Dumber hair ;)

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When we got to DUMBO, we took Henry to the cool pirate ship-themed playground to let out some energy. I realized I’d never been to this area of Brooklyn on a summer weekend before — it was so packed with people, mostly families, that it was like the Disney World of NYC! The name DUMBO had never been more appropriate.

After Henry got to watch trucks and the subway drive over the bridges, I got a Jacques Torres ice cream sandwich, and we saw enough people to make us want to hide in our apartment, we caught the ferry for a ride back home.

Thanks to Nick and Henry for a wonderful Mother’s Day. I’m so fortunate to be Henry’s mom and Nick’s wife!

We Love Long Weekends

May 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

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As far as long weekends go, we definitely made the most out of this one!

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I think this is the first 3-day weekend Henry has been around for that actually consisted of nice weather. We took advantage by going to parks, on walks, and even sweeping the balcony and scrubbing off lawn chairs to take in the sunshine.

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I was treated to a massage (a belated Mother’s Day gift) on Saturday and went to yoga on Sunday so Henry had lots of Dad time. He LOVED it. I’m not even jealous that Dad was the clear favourite this weekend.

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We ate lots of our first box of vegetables of the season, and Henry enjoyed eating with us. (Or as close to enjoyment as a 6 month old learning to eat can get.)

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Despite the holiday Monday, we had our usual part time babysitter come in for a few hours so that Nick and I could go out to brunch together, run some errands, and just spend some rare alone time together. It was a very good decision. I actually ate out at a restaurant without having to be mindful of not dropping food on a baby’s head!

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How many days til the next long weekend? :)

 

Toronto Girls in New York

September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

This weekend, my good (and gorgeous) friends Karen and Sarah came all the way from Toronto to hang out with me in Brooklyn!

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It was so great to finally get them here – and just in time before I’m enormously pregnant and before I have a baby to carry around on the outside of me.

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On Saturday, after Sarah got tattooed in the city, the three of us went to Smorgasburg. This has become a staple for entertaining visitors. So many food stands! So many choices! Not to mention a beautiful view of Manhattan from Brooklyn.

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After some walking, shopping, and a rest at home, next on our agenda was dinner. I tried to show them the deliciousness that is Paulie Gee’s, but we didn’t feel like waiting an hour and a half for a table so we went to the new spot River Styx instead.

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Filled with pasta and cocktails (in my case, a mocktail), I took them to Transmitter Park so they could see the nighttime view over the East River.

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Sarah loves New York so much now that she did a little show.

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We stopped at Oak & Iron for a drink since it was only half full and had a jukebox playing mostly Fleetwood Mac. Then to conclude our Franklin Street tour, we grabbed a bottle of wine at Dandelion Wine right before closing time. This apparently seems to be the best time to go as the people who work there are extra friendly and play you Neil Young songs when they find out you’re all Canadian.

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They also treated Sarah and Karen to some bourbon, which Sarah ended up taking home the rest of in her purse. Greenpoint hospitality!

Sunday was quieter, especially since Nick and I had booked a Childbirth Education class in the middle of the afternoon before we knew we were going to have visitors. We still managed to have a tasty brunch and some hang outs afterwards though.

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Thank you so much for coming to visit, ladies! I haven’t laughed that much in a while. Love you <3

An All-Brooklyn Visit

February 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

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Last weekend, our friends Julia and Jay came to visit! And you know what? We didn’t go into Manhattan ONCE!

Instead, we hung out in three different Brooklyn neighbourhoods, beginning of course, with Greenpoint for each of our brunches. We also took the East River Ferry to DUMBO, where Julia was very excited to get some treats from Jacques Torres.

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Those cookies were SO GOOD!

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We also spoiled ourselves with soaps and toiletries from West Elm Market before heading back North for dinner at Lokal. That night, all of us being very happily married thirty-somethings, we decided to stay in to watch a movie.

On Sunday, despite the chilly wind and freezing temperatures, we bundled up and went to Fort Greene to check out the indoor Brooklyn Flea.

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It was a complete madhouse, but Nick and I found a few prints for our living room! We also enjoyed some treats in the basement food court, and you can’t help but appreciate the architecture of this old building.

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Later that afternoon, I took Julia to my favourite store, Dalaga, where we both wanted the same bracelet. Obviously we had to have them and declare them “friendship bracelets”.

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Before long it was time for them to leave again, but not without promises of another visit soon. Thanks for coming and enjoying a relaxing, yet productive, Brooklyn weekend with us, guys! xoxo

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Parents Come To Greenpoint

November 11, 2012 § 1 Comment

This weekend, for the first time since Nick and I were married, my parents came to visit us in Brooklyn!

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And although they’ve come to visit us three times now, this was the first time they were able to be here with no agenda, no plans, and not have to even venture into Manhattan. It was so nice to show them our neighbourhood and give them an idea of how we live here.

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They arrived Friday evening, so we made dinner at home and hung out on the couch, drinking a bottle of wine from my favourite neighbourhood wine shop, just talking. On Saturday, after a bagel breakfast, we walked to Williamsburg and had lunch at Smorgasburg. I took my Mom to Dalaga (my favourite!) where she got to buy a cute sweater and scarf. We had a tasty dinner at Habitat and spent another night in, chatting on our comfy couch that has convinced them they need a sectional for their cottage ;)

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This morning, we had brunch at Brooklyn Label and walked around Greenpoint, then to McCarren Park and back. It was such a beautiful, warm Fall day!

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Since I got my sense of humour from them, I knew they’d appreciate our “Live Chicken Laughter” sign.

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They should be landing back home in Toronto right about now. Thanks for coming to visit, Mom & Dad! We hope you liked Greenpoint and that you come back again real soon.

The Hurricane

October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

All of this hurricane talk makes me want to watch The Simpsons, specifically Hurricane Neddy.

If only I had season 8! For now, I’ll continue to scour Twitter for info, watch the news, and keep Nick from eating all our food tonight.

How is it where you are?

Hurricane Sandy Visits NYC

October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have officially gone into survival mode now that the impending storm should be hitting within hours. Nick and I bought food and water yesterday, but this morning I woke up and started filling containers and pots with water. We’ve been charging our electronics and bought more batteries for the iPod dock we can charge our phones with. I’ve washed and cut up vegetables for us and bought even more cereal and crackers. Still at this point, we’ve been waiting for the storm to hit for almost a day and it’s hard to concentrate on anything else.

I appreciate everyone who has checked in on us. We will be staying in our apartment and waiting this out. Our area might flood, but will probably lose power which will mean we’ll lose internet. I just hope our cell phone service holds so I can let everyone know we are doing fine.

Take care everybody! xoxo

NYC + Brooklyn City Guide: Drinks

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

New York has so many bars and places to purchase alcohol, you almost don’t even need me for this category. That is, unless you have a more refined taste for drinks and want to try something new and special.

I’m primarily a beer drinker, but when I go out for drinks with friends, I like to treat myself to a well-made cocktail now and then. That’s why most of my favourites are speakeasies. Read on for my Top 6 Places to Drink in NYC!

1. Radegast Hall & Biergarten – Brooklyn

I love this old-fashioned beer hall. You’ll feel like you’re in Europe with the vast selection of beers from around the world, served in huge beer steins that you lift to your mouth with both hands. Enhance your experience by coming here a night they have a live jazz band playing and eat a pretzel and kielbasa when you’re not dancing.

2. Raine’s Law Room – Manhattan

My favourite speakeasy! Ring the doorbell for the Belgian doorman to let you know if there’s room for you, otherwise they will take your number and call you when there is. Feel like you are in Paris in the thirties while you sip your drinks slowly, enjoying the ambiance and decor of this gorgeous downstairs spot. Make sure you check out their custom-made wallpaper!

3. Pegu Club – Manhattan

My good friend Courtney first brought me here years ago. This gorgeous bar will make you feel like an Asian gangster from the sixties. Shelling out money for the Earl Grey martini will be the best decision you made that day.

4. 2nd Floor on Clinton – Manhattan

My speakeasy-finding partner Kate and I found this place one night after dinner in a noisy restaurant and were delighted to relax in this quiet, dim, and relaxing upstairs spot that makes you feel like you’re in someone’s home library. In addition to carefully-made cocktails, they also sell chocolates!

5. Beauty & Essex – Manhattan

Beauty & Essex is quite a scene, but definitely worth checking out at least once. This restaurant is “hidden” behind a pawn shop facade. The drinks are great, but pricey. Luckily, if you’re a lady, you can even out the cost by partaking in some of the free champagne served in the restrooms by beautiful bartenders (seriously!)

6. Death + Company – Manhattan

Another speakeasy that you must get past the doorman to enter. It’s small and dark, but worth the wait. If you’re a design-lover like me, you’ll appreciate everything from the custom-made coasters you get to the bar’s decor.

I couldn’t quite make it to 10 for my favourite bars, but if you have any suggestions of places I haven’t named here, please let me know! I’m always up for trying to new places :)

NYC + Brooklyn City Guide: Shopping

July 30, 2012 § 2 Comments

Like restaurants, New York has countless stores. Some people come to New York just to shop! With all the choices you have out there, sometimes you need a little guidance, someone to point you in the right direction. If you have taste similar to mine, I’m sure you’ll enjoy my Top 10 Places to Shop in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


1. Uniqlo – Manhattan

This store makes New York the envy of every other North American city. Well, maybe it’s just one of the reasons. Really though, with their incredibly affordable basics and great jeans, I can’t begin to tell you how many Canadian friends ask me to buy them things here to bring home when I visit. Do yourself a favour and make sure you hit up one of their three NYC locations when you’re in town and stock up on your favourites!

2. Strand – Manhattan

This legendary bookstore is a must-visit for bookworms visiting New York. It’s full of new and used books as well as great Strand and NYC merchandise.

3. Dalaga – Brooklyn

My personal favourite clothing store for the past three years. This boutique is owned by sisters Michelle and Mary, but every lovely lady who works at this store is friendly and helpful. Have a question about how comfortable that shoe is? Chances are, one of the girls working there is wearing that pair and can tell you all about it. The best part is that the clothes are gorgeous and unique, but are still affordable. I love to bring friends visiting here and watch them buy half a new wardrobe.

4. Catbird – Brooklyn

The mecca for cute, beautiful, and unique jewelry. Much nicer than costume jewelry, but it won’t break the bank. They also sell letterpress cards, Saipua soap, and summer hats.

5. ABC Carpet & Home – Manhattan

A perfect destination for window shopping, interior design lovers. Even if you can’t afford that $1500 end table, you will be inspired by their displays and merchandise.

6. Journelle – Manhattan

This lingerie shop is the anti-Victoria’s Secret. Find pretty underthings from Eberjey, Elle Macpherson, and Fortnight that make you feel beautiful instead of like you’re some kind of unfamiliar raunchy version of yourself.

7. J. Crew – Manhattan

I love J. Crew’s new, fresh, colourful, and fun looks these days. Great for bright jeans, cute tops, purses, shoes and more. A great place to go just to get outfit inspiration.

8. Madewell – Manhattan

Sometimes called “J. Crew’s little sister”, Madewell is a chain that’s clearly in-tune with the latest fashion trends. The store in Soho can be a little overwhelming as it fills up fast on the weekend. Just take your time and try to shop through all those racks of cute stuff while dodging people!

9. Word – Brooklyn

I’m lucky to have my favourite bookstore right in my neighbourhood! This shop is cozy and on the smaller side, but this just means quality over quantity. The staff gives great reading recommendations and their comment cards provide the perfect opportunity to get rid of your “reader’s block”. I buy almost all of my greeting cards here too.

10. Eastern District – Brooklyn

This beer and cheese shop is such a treat for food lovers. Order a turkey sandwich with gouda and bacon marmalade on fresh bread, pick up some tasty cheese, try some new craft beers, or take home some tasty treats (anything from chocolate to honey to pickles). You’ll be glad you did!

(photo: Benjamin Lozovsky)

My New NYC & Brooklyn City Guide

July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Being from Toronto means that I have a lot of friends and family who want to spend their vacations in New York. It’s just far enough to make you feel like you’re in a completely different place, but the plane ride is only one hour. This also means that I give out recommendations for restaurants, shopping, and things to do and see year-round. Summer is an even busier time for visitors (which I love!), so I thought this would be a perfect time to update my New York & Brooklyn City Guide.

This time, I’ll break it up into categories, posting one a day. Stay tuned for what could be your new favourite place to visit in New York!

{photo: Joisey Showaa}

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