Family

THIS WEEKEND | COLDPLAY STOLE MY HEART IN THE WINDY CITY

There are weekends away that are great - and then there are weekends away that you know will hit the summer #highlight reel come September: enter trip to Chicago. 

Never not moving. (also: broke AF because of it)

And while I have a love-hate relationship with airports (and always am succumbed to delays and/or flight cancellations), I sure seem to spend a lot of time there; making weekend trips second nature. 

Anyways, this past weekend I made it to Chicago in a timely manner. That said, I am not totally sure how to start, where to start, and so on and so forth.  Ahead -- my weekend compiled and compact.

My top ranked food experiences for the weekend? 

  • Real Good Juice Co. for a health-buzz (and because you're actually lying to yourself if you act like a smoothie doesn't sound perfect for a refreshing treat to ride out those spin-enfused endorphins that come from Soul)
  • El Hefe for some seriously good Mexican i.e. chips on chips on chips (that were obviously dipped in guac and various salsas) and skinny margs on tap
  • Perennial Virant for a group brunch with a trendy vibe; we roll squad deep (like twelve deep) and had quite the crew that fit quite nicely at a large communal table (bonus: there is a rooftop with #winning views of downtown Chicago on top at a spot called J.Parker) 

I also got to catch up with people that mean so much to me and people that I don't get to see nearly enough over the course of the few days I was in town. Thanks for making time for me ye olde college friends - Em + Becca + Joe T - because I heart you so and think of you each often. 

Truly, a very pretty, very easy, city to love. So easy. 

Truly, a very pretty, very easy, city to love. So easy. 

Obvious things: 

  • Spending a weekend hanging with 2/3 of my siblings pretty much solidifies happiness. Sammy and Audrey, I couldn't be more thrilled (ahem: jealous) that the two of you get to experience living in Chicago together. You two... oh, you two. You two are going to have the most fun living in the same city. I love you both, beyond.

Value adds: 

  • Plotting a meet-up with my fave spin couple of all-time - Maddy + Ed - because who wouldn't want to see one another at 6am in NY at spin, then hours later at 11pm in IL? Killing it in the effort department. 
  • Playing Monopoly on Saturday night paired with v. special blueberry mixed drinks c/o Charlie (Sammy's friends win in this department).
  • Sitting next to my youngest brother, Johnny's, lovely girlfriend, Liv, at brunch (also, a newbie to the #citylife scene) and catching up on everything; a true necessity. 

Weekend winning moment? 

Drum roll (and a #skyfullofstars) is appropriate here. 

My night spent losing track of time at the Coldplay concert at Solider Field - you guys - wins for the MVM (most valuable moment) of my weekend. 

There are very few concerts that truly can bring tears to my eyes, but this one; It beat the odds. I left with a head full of dreams (yes, just like the song) and feeling all kinds of emotions. Nights like these are necessary; the kind that take you out or reality for just a little bit; the kind that make you lose sight of the little things that start to weigh heavy for no apparent reason.

Nights like these -- 

they fix you.

It meant a million times more that I was able to experience such an inspiring night with my brother. 

Our seats. The crisp air (yes, finally after a scary-big rain storm) for mood. The lights. My gosh.

Our seats. The crisp air (yes, finally after a scary-big rain storm) for mood. The lights. My gosh.

I wish a picture could do any bit of this concert justice... but like, it can't; it won't; it never will. 

I wish a picture could do any bit of this concert justice... but like, it can't; it won't; it never will. 

This weekend called to attention how important it is to live a life that continues to bring forth new experiences. And though it's so not my personality to not have a planned out agenda (you all know this...), it felt really great not having a set plan all weekend, and just going with the flow. 

More pics + more things below. Scroll. 

CELEBRATING BECAUSE... COLLEGE EDUCATED, SHE GRADUATED

College; it’s one of those places where you utilize very few of the skills actually taught in the classroom and all of the skills acquired while delving further into those mythical next steps of growing up.

It was a bit mystifying, heading back to Ohio (yes, again, back-to-back weekends) for the last Martillotta kids'  commencement. Time continues to tick on quite quickly these days. Everyone in the family is on that #grownup grind.

But that said, being back, it was very exciting to spend that mere 36 hours in the Midwest with my family; while of course drinking gin and tonics, toasting with copious amounts of Chianti -- all while celebrating my sister's accomplishments.  

This one right here? She's resilient. She's strong. She's determined. What more of a reason to celebrate? 

But, alas, it was a weekend where my parents perhaps deserved the biggest celebration of them all. They raised four children, who yes, have now all received college educations. But further, and far more importantly, they have raised four children who have looked to them every single day for guidance; and every single day this guidance was reciprocated. They have raised four children, who have sought them out as role models from day one; they have raised four children who have constantly looked up to them; they have raised four children who grew to understand the unspoken value in putting forth the effort to pursue passions, to really pursue them.

They continue to encourage us to push boundaries; to be bold; to be brave when the next steps are unclear; to be aspirational; to simply do things.

You - Mom and Dad - have raised four of us to understand that nothing worthwhile comes without rigorous effort, and therefore, have taught us to wake up every single day in pursuit of accomplishing something more.

At the end of the day, graduation really is one of those things that does deserves proper celebration. It lends itself to the next phase, where finally, you begin to understand that the whole learning-thing has only just begun.

Albeit cliche, it's a pretty damn exciting thing to think about. 

APRIL WEEKEND(+S) | ...BECAUSE SEEMINGLY THEY'RE BLURRING TOGETHER

PREFACE - WILL ADD PICS LATER; WANTED TO POST THIS ASAP (#slacking) BUT ALSO WANTED TO GET SLEEP (#necessary)

Wow, you guys. When I think about April, I think to myself how the hell can one feel so many feels. Highs and lows; uncensored emotions. And then I remember; we live to learn in experience. And I also note; Mercury is in retrograde (and seemingly every other planet is too - a v. serious thing to remember right now).

I believe - well, know - I am missing a few majorly epic weekends that don't deserve to be forgotten. That said, totally rallying right now and going ahead with a cliff-notes version; my brain is pretty maxed out from werk madness these days. 

WKND I | SAMMY TAKES NY (...LIKE A CHAMP, OBVIOUSLY)

It's certainly no secret that when my brother, Sammy, and I get together, ruckus becomes reality. Highlights? Well first and foremost, spending time with the kid. He's one of those people that you just want to be around. It's a weird thing to explain but it probably has something to do with his antics and bold personality. That, and the fact that we could kill hours talking about places we want to travel, places we want to explore, and the like. 

A few days of having him on the island and this is a glimpse of what happened; 

  • A warm welcome that started at 11:30pm but somehow ended hours later after frozen margs, live music at dodge-y bars (uh, hello Pianos...?) and well, ended the next morning when I woke with a strong hangover. 
  • Pizza Beach because how else do you engage with friends (hey Michael + Justin) on a Friday than over martinis and margherita (and brussels sprout) pizzas? And of course, Sammy ended up calling the shots that night; planned out pregame, bar scene, etc. That's him.
  • A day trip to DUMBO, Brooklyn for one of the sunniest of afternoons this Spring has dished our way. Brunch at Atrium (and happened to include a dreamlike biscuit situation), a ferry ride to South St. Seaport, followed by a very late dinner at Morandi in the West Village with two of my faves, Sarah and Nick. And let's not forget a #firsttimer experience at Output in Brooklyn... the anti-club club. 

Listen up - I could go on and on about how it was one of my favorite weekends of the year - really (you're not surprised, I know) - but let's not forget how I prefaced this post. We're going for the cliff-note version this time around. Just know I love when you visit, Squid, and can't wait for your next visit.

 

WKND II | KARA COMES TO KICK IT

When this lady comes to town, it's like getting the band back together. At the end of the day, us Miami design school kids just can't split. And really? It's not a shame. 

Highlight reel; 

  • Sitting for hours at Frank, I mean outside at Frank, indulging in the largest burrata in all of Manhattan, paired with Monteplucciano and laughter that resulted in tears of joy. Those kinds of nights might be the most simple, but also the ones you know you'll just never forget. 
  • Nachos and wine on the roof topped off with an epic sunset. Us New Yorkers like (love) a badass sunset and the city put on a show that night. 
Name one thing that tops this: _________________. 

Name one thing that tops this: _________________. 

  • Would you have expected that she would get to sleep in on Saturday? Absolutely not. She got a taste of my favorite Saturday morning ritual, that of course, started with Akin's Army Bootcamp at Studio B. Let's just say the girl earned her shower. 
  • Frying Pan ALERT: We took it over. Justin, Dylan, Victoria, Kara and I spent hours outside #basking in brews and breezes off of the water. Winter had me hankering for a day pseudo-seaside. I guess you could say we were inseperable that day seeing as we wound up at a BYOB joint in Alphabet City - Eleven B - and danced the night away at Pianos. Oy. In the words of Victoria, "Our bodies are made to dance...!"... 
  • Sunday brunch at Prune. We can call this a reminder that this spot has been compiled to hit the top of my best.brunches.in.ze.city list. Homemade whipped ricotta with figs, honey and pinenuts? Dead.

Whether we are in New York City, or Oxford, Ohio roaming fields and the picture-perfect college town, this was a weekend spent with people that will forever be rocks in my life. 

 

WKND III | ...WAS SPENT W. AN ATHLETE (WHO IS ALSO MY YOUNGEST BROTHER)

When I tell you I needed this weekend, I mean I really needed it. There's something say about the slower pace that resides in the Midwest. Granted; not for me majority of the time, but after what has been an absolutely insane past few weeks at work, I needed the city respite for the little bit of sanity I have left. 

Things that happened:

  • B'fast and talk of wedding plans with the lovely bride to be, Danielle, at the Flying Fig in Ohio City. Chianti and a cheese board in my sunroom with Han later in the evening in our sunroom (#faveroom) followed with lots of laying on the floor with my pup. 
  • Traveled a few hours to partake in Rocket-gate (aka a tailgate) with Toledo University's super fans, followed by a game in the rain. Nothing like that Northeastern weather to really warm the soul... Psyched. 
  • Really just loved hanging with P + S and Sammy during the games. Basic but true. 

I had to continually remind myself to slow down and continuously remind myself of the real reasons I was in this weird area of Ohio. It was a good mental exercise, really. 

Other things you should know? I absolutely adore my brother John. I so very much admire his extensive talents, on and off the field, but more so his ability to continually remain humble. I don't know how he does it. It's funny though; he's the youngest child - well really, man - in my family, but continually inspires me to be a better person; to act with more kindness. 

After spending the summers of my youth traveling the country to watch both Sammy and John play an extremely high level of baseball, with teams and families that I will always remember v. fondly, it kind of struck me that it was all coming to an end as I watched the last game I would ever see John play at this level. I'll never forget those summers. All kinds of warm feels. 

 

So that's the #condensed update... because I know you've been sitting on the edge of your seats for it. Come on now... Be honest ;) 

PS - Jetting off to Ohio (...again) for the last Martillotta's graduation this weekend. Wait, what?

PS(x2) - Did I mention I'm going to Australia in a week? Because - well - that's happening. 

 

TBT | Thanksgiving with My Fan Club

Just a hot second ago, we were all turkey this and squash that - and literally, a week later all pumpkins have been replaced by wreaths... by me. Jokes. 

Anyways, let's reverse quickly. Last week was above all necessary because I got to spend a few days on the old Martillotta stomping grounds in good ole Ohio. 

Knowingly knowing (ha!) that I can definitely dive way too deep into the details of what happened, I am going to try and just hit you with the highlights. Ready? Let's do it. 

I arrived on Tuesday afternoon to be picked up by my dear friend, Danielle. Checked out her house (so cute, DG) and also stopped stopped for a mac'n cheese grilled cheese at one of my favorite Cleveland spots: The MELT. 

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. 

SO.MUCH.CHEEZ.

Highlight? She asked me to be in her wedding this summer. So full of love for her and her fiance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another highlight.01: being home with my family and just being

Sounds crazy, eh? But let's be honest. I don't sit for very long and have plans from my 6am spin until I head to bed most nights of the week. So simply staying put was just what my tired bones needed. 

Insert: lots of time with my dog. 





Another highlight.02: for once, I got to spend time cooking + creating. 

These are two things I miss a lot about my lack of time (and space!) in New York. I re-created a few of Michelle's insanely delicious recipes - one consisting of a sweet potato hummus and the other a fall harvest salad - which wow'd the whole clan. Check out The Secret Ingredient Is... if you want to win best dish award this holiday season. 

x3 the layers. x3 the calories. x3 the satisfaction.

x3 the layers. x3 the calories. x3 the satisfaction.

I also made a dense sour cream and chocolate coffee cake that I stole from Food & Wine's December issue. Another success, all while playing around and styling our dining room table for the big feast (okay one of many feasts) on Thanksgiving day. 

Another highlight.03: spending a hot second to reflect on the copious reasons I have to be Thankful this season, and year, really. Starting off with the kids in that pic above ^ 

Scroll through for more of our Thanksgiving day together. So much love sitting around the dining room table for hours on end just drinking wine and telling stories. I guess that's the Italian blood in us, yeah? Peeps that just simply heart a delicious food and a good laugh.

As you can imagine, this includes the days spent in the family room with the fam, listening to my grandparents' stories as we went through their beautiful 60th wedding anniversary book P put together and then the obvious - drinking copious amounts of wine throughout our time together, dinners out together AND time with my puppy love Champ. He has my whole heart.

Lastly, got to spend my last night with some of my closest high school gals + one of my college faves over, yes, wine (and tekilla) again. 

This past trip chalks up quite the deck of points for being perfect.

Life is beautiful, truly. Kiss. 

 

LAST WEEKEND | ( O H ) O M E For A Moment

 

Wedding vibes are the best kind. There is some sort of irreplaceable vibrancy between the bride + groom (obviously) but also the guests.

Who doesn't love luv? 

^ One of the best families I know. Mrs. E and Packy - best of the best.

^ One of the best families I know. Mrs. E and Packy - best of the best.

It'd been a while since I had made the time to get home. A while, like 6 plus months, while. This past winter (slash) spring I was so busy caught up in training and various work outs, it was hard to imagine taking a weekend off. Plus, cliche as it is, time is f l y i n g and it seems like there just isn't enough of it. 

That said, it was so very great to be home over the weekend. One of my best weekends of the summer thus far. 

Friday was spent celebrating love; the marriage of a very dear family friend I have grown up with and his beautiful new wife. 

The whole evening was spent celebrating with friends and family with a fair amount of drinking and oh.so.much dancing. My parents seriously like to dance. Oh yes, there was a photo booth - so clearly we needed to partake. 

And the day following the big wedding was spent in the best way possible. Primarily at home! Saturday morning was spent eating a big brunch made by P and eating on the back patio. With trees. And birds. And fresh air... yes, all of those things. 

ALL OF THE GREEN. 

ALL OF THE GREEN. 

Later that day, I took a drive out to Lake Erie to spend the night with my best gals from Chardon and their significant others. LOL so much coupling over the weekend makes me think I should maybe re-evaluate my life and start engaging in the dating scene a bit more than I do... 

^ TBH- Ohio does produce some pretty stellar sunsets. And it def doesn't receive proper credit.

^ TBH- Ohio does produce some pretty stellar sunsets. And it def doesn't receive proper credit.

ANYWAYS - It was so lovely to hang with them, drink beer and watch the sunset, followed by a blazing fire and reeses s'mores on the beach. 

Per usual, Sunday rolled around far to quickly and sure enough, I found myself not quite ready to go. In respect to tried and true tradition, my forever best friend Ash and I went and had stir fry at Heinen's and spent hours lounging around with her family before I headed home.

Forever my best chick. XO

Forever my best chick. XO

Aud and Sammy had both left earlier in the day, so the rest of the evening was spent with my parents. 

Meaning: Proseco + Chardonnay + homemade veggie pizzas with all of the freshness turned up a couple of notches. Yes All of that followed by angel food cake, berries and ice cream. Best ending to my weekend at home. 

Next up for this weekend (even though I ams still not unpacked from the last) is a trip that's become tradition: Rhode Island with some of my East Coast crew.  

        ^ The Martillotta household's fave room. 

        ^ The Martillotta household's fave room. 

A Fairytale Wedding in Lake Forest

When invited to my dear friend from college and freshman year roommate's wedding, there was no doubt in my mind it was be gorgeous. But of course! 

I share so many fond memories with this girl, and it was hard to conceptualize the fact that she was getting married! We'd spend countless nights talking about boys, and possibilities, and the like... until she met Steven. After that, it was game over. 

I could give you a play by play, but I have shortened it up for you; below is the abridged version.  

My teary moment? Okay, I have two.

First, I will state the obvious - watching Em walk down the aisle got me. She not only looked absolutely beautiful, but radiant. Her radiance has always been what's been so differentiating with her. She lights up the room with her sincerity; she always has. 

And secondly, when Mr. Morrison was giving his toast, he brought up the infamous Father of the Bride movie. This is the movie Emily and I watched the Sunday night before we started our freshman year together - in our bunk beds with color-coordinating Pottery Barn accessories (and the most in.your.face.rug that ever was made)... Anyways, as soon as he started talking about that, I immediately turned to my brother and got chocked up. Needless to say, there were multiple times that movie was played in Brandon Hall throughout the year.

The scene? The ceremony and reception were held at Shore Acres Country Club; an absolutely picturesque setting with the most tastefully articulated details. But then again, I wouldn't expect anything less. 

The flowers? They were the epitome of a summer romance speaking a timeless elegance. 

The worst part? The end of the evening. It was such a magical day and much-anticipated moment we were all sad when the band stopped and we sent the two off. 

Could not be more happy I made the quick trip to Chicago for this most special occasion celebrating the marriage of two special people about to begin the greatest adventure of their lives, together. 

Congratulations, Emily and Steven Krall! All of the love. 

 
One of my all-time favorite rockstars. Triscuits + Ben & Jerrys  all day .

One of my all-time favorite rockstars. Triscuits + Ben & Jerrys all day.

FriYAY |

Tbh (to be honest) I truly didn’t think this day was ever coming. It was just an off week - but hey, you’ll have those. 

Snippets from the, well crazy, past few days. 

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^ Monday: post work walk with Justin through Central Park. For anyone who doesn’t see the calm this crazy city has to offer - I would believe they haven’t stepped foot in this place. 

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^ Tuesday: Dinner at The Upsider with Meaghan (who has such a sick fitness site if you are looking for some added inspo) was just so necessary. I always leave this lady feeling so refreshed. I’m so lucky to have her friendship. 

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^ Wednesday: View from Dumbo when Jade and I went to pick up our swag bags for the race. Pretty insane sky if you ask me. And a tad haunting? The Freedom Tower gives me chills in this shot. 

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^ Of course we had to celebrate our good work of successful pick up by dinner at Gran Electrica. So, I orig read about this spot on The New Potato and let me tell you - it was top notch. The quesadilla + veggie tacos with cauliflower were insane. 

We also chatted about summer plans… trying to get our act together with trips and timing is notttt easy! 

^ Thursday: No bueno! Just an all around off day when trying to secure last minute coverage. It’s a rough world out there - trust me. However, lucky little me has an awesome coworker to snag an acai ‘pop tart’ from Birch - our fave coffee shop up here. Bless her soul. 

This post totally doesn’t flow fully, but at least it’s something. Time is hard as hell to come by these days!

TODAY MY FAMILY GETS HERE (well 3/5) of them and I am so pumped. You can be sure there will be many pics coming your way - all of the eats, all of the sweat and all of the love on tap for the next 72 hours. Peace. Out. Girl Scouts.

This Weekend | Breathing Heavy + ‘Ballsy’ Bday

Seriously, the cold has got to stop. It’s nearing April 1st and the joke is on us with how bitter it’s been lately. Not. A. Fan. 

Friday night did a bit of shopping for my upcoming trip (WEDS!) for Cali with Jade. Surprisingly found a couple of great items. She and I had time to kill before dinner, so we leisurely strolled to the Upper East Side and enjoyed a glass of wine and cheese plate at Gina’s before our dinner at Pizza Beach Club where we met up with Mel and Kate. Felt kind of like a ‘grown up night’ the way we were talking about our futures… plans to leave and stay and the compromises you make to stay in such an insanely amazing city. 

You guys; this place is amazing. Definitely not ‘Italian’ authentic but more so ‘American-Italian’. Essentially, very thin crust in the center of the pie but the edges were a thick, buttery-infused dough that seemingly melted in your mouth. Absolutely fantastic. You must try. 

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^ Interior = 5 star. Love the white-wash brick scene with the surf pics. Why leave New York ever? This place can visually transport you. 

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^ I decided on the kale, squash and mozz pizza. How pretty is that? 

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^ Unfortunately I didn’t need a box… but loved those too. If you’re not convinced yet, I can assure you, you’re missing out. 

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^ Saturday was spent snapping it back to reality with some double fisting action ;) and many errands including a massage, pedicure and baking a fresh blueberry cobbler. 

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^ Sunday morning stroll. I have a serious crush on this place and have a serious love for mornings spent alone. You gain appreciation for the silence of an early morning in the city.  (( Yes | w h i t e s p a c e | = needed room to breathe ))

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^ Added post-Soul buzz fueled by a cappuccino at Happy Bones. Delightful. 

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^ And here I am looking like a complete freak attempting to do another one of Akin’s challenges. Total fail - but Jade captured some good shadows at least? I will also note that I totally slammed my ankle, so the golf ball on the side of my foot is very attractive right now…

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^ Spent the afternoon celebrating Mel’s 25th at The Meatball Shop in Chlesea where she rented out the lower level for our group of friends. My favorite part? The chocolate chip cookie brown sugar ice cream sandwiches. 

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^ Overwhelming generosity by this chick. And the name on the napkins?! I die. 

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^ Family means so many things to so many different people, but these people are my people. I am so blessed beyond belief to have such a firm foundation of people in my life. They mean the world to me. They are family. 

Here we are again, make the last couple of days of March count before we dive into April.

Headed to California to visit my other half on Wednesday. Excitement is an understatement; tears of joy may roll when I leap into that kid’s arms. 

This Weekend | Polaroid Perfect

You know that any weekend that involves family is pretty much guaranteed to be a good one right? It’s basically science. 

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^ Finally tried it - Jade was my taker! Consensus? Best charred green string beans to date in my mouth. Drink was also good, but those string beans? Man those string beans. 

     

^ This kid has a heart of gold. Even better? He’s a blast to be out with.

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^ So, these two people came to town ^ and a darling weekend was had. A lovely stroll through the East Village led us to our brunch destination in Alphabet City. 

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^ I am most certainly happy that we decided on Edi and The Wolf. Gruyere scrambled eggs with crispy onions on top? That was enough for Liv and I commit. Done and done. 

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^ Are you swooning over this interior? I am. 

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^ And so it begins, the polaroid addiction. It baffles me how grown up my youngest brother is. And it also warms my heart to see him care so deeply for the beauty by his side. #younglove #truelove #ilovelove

^ But of course we had to stop at Pete’s Tavern. It would be shameful to not take the kids to one of my most favorite spots. And can we get an extra smile due to the fact that I finally got to spend time with Justin? (!!) Champagne cheers next to the boys and their beers. 

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^ More polaroid poses. We just couldn’t help ourselves I suppose? 

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^ Request? A rooftop experience. Ask and you shall receive. Celebrating being family and all of that good stuff at The Jimmy on top of The James hotel in Soho. 

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^ Reasons to love New York (three million and forty four) :: that Freedom Tower? The glow about it at night? That will never get old. It just won’t. 

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^ Ever want to feel cozy? Find your way to The Smile. Also, find a way to try the celery root and cauliflower crumble. Thank me later. 

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^ Rainy days still glow in this city. They’re actually quite perfect. 

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^ We did some dessert damage at Chickalicious last night. Sampled the Teuscher chocolate ‘dossant’ (cough cough: cronut) and the Chickalicious maple vanilla sundae with pistachios… and the Matcha crepe cake.

Like I said, I have a bad feeling about this new found matcha love. Btw. J & Liv got me the most beautiful (blanket) scarf – so happy we can be twins now ;)

And then, today came around. Talk about Monday sadness… it made me so sad that it all had to come to an end.

It was such a seamless weekend. So easy.

Two very important people in my life got to meet many of the people that mean the most to me, here, in my monogamous relationship with the one and only island of Manhattan. For that, I am so grateful. We got to spend hours together with fulfilling conversation, snapping polaroids and talking about where we see ourselves one day. I just really don’t want to forget any of it.

Technically it’s pretty cold outside but seriously, this chick could not feel warmer. So many wonderful things have been happening lately, and yet again, this just continues to prove that 2015 is quite amazing already… and we are only 19 days deep. 

x

Friday's Four |

Question: How does one breathe living in Manhattan? 

Heart beats far from slowly here - today you get a ‘fast four’:

  • Need to mention that I am now fully hooked on matcha green tea. It’s gotten a lot of press lately for being such a healthy caffeine alternative to coffee - it’s a slow release that lasts so long.  Absolutely hooked on Organic Avenues Matcha Chia Glo… too bad it’s $7 per drink. Typical. Would never go a day without coffee, but just saying… this is going to replace my afternoon cravings.
  • That VIEW. Shot from one of my meetings earlier in the week. Views like this still give me the flutters and a small freakout moments… like #veryblessed
  • VIP guests, John and Liv, are visiting for the weekend and my head is in the clouds. Truly, the best last-minute surprise. Obviously, fresh blooms were in order to welcome them. I’m just stressed about which brunch place to pick… oh, the struggles (!) how to only pick one?
  • Absolutely in love with this song; sound the alarm, Ellie does it again. 

Hope you’ve got an exciting one planned. Weekends respite is so deserved these days. Off to get a blow out and pick up laundry now! Ciao x 

BREAK | Breathing in that OH Goodness...

So as you can imagine, many activities ensued throughout the six day stretch spent at home. Two days down, four to go. 

Highlights include:

- Transiberian Orchestra with ma familia. 

- Catching up with friends (from Colorado to the ole Chardon clan). 

- A night with the sibs and Ash at Hofbrauhaus, Cleveland. 

- Lots of feasting at the dining room table. Lot’s of travel talk.

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Time always goes quickly, but this time around, it really seemed to fly. Thankfully, every moment was spent with the people I really wanted to see. And the fact that so many note-worthy festivities happened simultaneously when with these people, really helped to make every minute count. 

Next up: 2014. The year that changed me. 

OK'ay so... Let's Rewind | Merry Merry Eve + Day

It’s been a bit, but that’s what happens when you’re loving on family and soaking up serendipitous moments. So apologies for absence and let’s get down to business. 

Bottom line: Christmas is magical. It’s magical and it’s overwhelming. Where to begin? My departure from LaGuardia was delayed (per usual, are you shocked at all?!) so I made it home to Ohio about 8 hours later than initially expected. Just know, I am eternally thankful I made it home for Christmas Eve. 

Christmas Eve is probably one of my favorite days of the year. The buildup. The excitement for what the next day will bring, etc. etc. At the end of the day, there is really no place like home with your loved ones when it comes to this holiday. 

The two days went by in the mere blink of an eye. Breakfast the morning of Christmas Eve consisted of chocolate chip pancakes, followed by wrapping of gifts, loitering in the kitchen watching the dinner be prepped, and church. After church, the family did a major take down of bubbly and vino; essentials to a warm night. We laughed and sat around the table for hours. There is something to be said about the memories had around a dinner table. 

Christmas day was pretty great as well. Lot’s of exciting gifts. For me? I received lots of gifts to kick start the new year with a healthy jolt. My parents essentially must think they have an athlete in training: athlesiure gear from my fave brands, workout credits to my favorite classes and a juice cleanse to name a few. It was a solid morning. My only one (tiny, small) complaint? No snow :( 

Below is a picture story of some favorites:

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^ Wrapping is so therapeutic. Such instant gratification when using beautiful papers and ribbons. (almost as exciting as the actual purchasing part!)

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^ I mean… the tree-pose pic before church? It’s tradition over here. 

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^ Love them each so much. x4 to the moon.

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^ Christmas Eve dinner set up. I think our home peaks during this season. And so does the wine (proseco, vodka, beer) consumption…

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^ What I would give for a repeat of these flavors. #salivatingsallyoverhere

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^ Life is really good… really

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^ It’s tradition. Sisters sit together (always) on the couch for the present festivities… and such. #youcantsitwithus

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^ New David Yurman ring (now Aud and I are twins). Snowflake cookie break mid-morning (TG I didn’t keep track of the cookie monster consumption. YIKES). And the most beautiful earrings from John (which I might have worn almost every day since receiving…) - he knows me too well.

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^ Oh he is just the CUTEST. It’s funny because Christmas morning brings about this alter-ego puppy side of Champ. And I can’t get enough… I don’t think any of us can. 

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^ This pic sums it up. Had to break from present festivities to chow down… what can I say? This six pack loves to eat. Fasting and this fam would never mix. 

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^ What’s a day without dessert at this time of the year? #carrotcakechowdown

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^ From my Papa’s restaurant Marti’s back in the day, this classic (large) pink bulb will forever be the family favorite. 

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^ It’s always a blur at the end of the night. But it’s the kind you can hold onto for a while, and that’s a good thing. Nothing beats returning home and seeing that evergreen glow. 

Always a bit disappointing when the hype comes to a close. But then you can look back at the moments had, and revel in that happiness. Each of us had much to be grateful for this holiday season. Specifically? Two days spent together, which for us, spread all over the place, was definitely the best gift of them all. 

Hope your Christmas was very merry in many memorable ways. 

Next up: more moments from the holiday at home. 

Thanksgiving Break | + Food Fulfillment

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^ Lunch at the Urban Farmer with my parents. My kind of interior. Cle. is stepping up it’s game, people. Watch before you knock (on wood). 

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^ Ohio City charm. Chats and chewing with my Danigirl. Miss her so much.

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^ Bake brie, fam gossip and a bestie. My kind of happy hour(s). 

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^ Fruits from the West Side Market. ‘Healthy’ start to Thanksgiving morn. 

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^ Insert: need for scratch'n sniff blogs… 

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^ And so the baking begins. Honestly, therapeutic. Especially when not on a time schedule for once. 

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^ Couln’t. Stop. Love trying new recipes. And documenting the process… obv. 

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^ Snow definitely completed the morning ambiance. Trees (?!!) and snow ++ space. PJs and coffee. Almost beside myself, truly. 

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^ Pumpkin.oatmeal.walnut.chocolatechunk… #grateful for calorie carefree days. 

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^ “You eat with your eyes first” - A. Oakes. 

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^ A very “T&C” celebration. 

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^ Grateful for the grinch 'smise – #sisterselfie ;)

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^ Best Thanksgiving meal I can remember. The flavors. New recipes. And pinot noir – an evening spent consuming food on point. Honestly. Oh, and some very exciting family trip ideas in the works… stay tuned. 

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^ I miss these tastes already. So. Damn. Delish. 

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^ Coma status by the fire after the feasting. 

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^ And now we are cruising into Christmas in Chardon mode. 

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^ United finally. <3 <3 them both. 

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^ My girls for life. 

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^ My clique at the OSU vs. UM game. We won. All around won. 

Well, it’s been a long, and most incredible weekend away.

I’ll preface by saying, it’s the first Thanksgiving I have spent at home in years. Crazy, right? Well I couldn’t imagine something going more perfectly. Food. Friends. And family. My mecca of happiness.

Hope your weekend proved to provide more reasons to be thankful. 

To the start of the Holiday season, cheers. x

This Weekend | Heart Full of Thanks

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^ This city comes alive more than ever during the Holiday season. That Louis Vuitton store? Swooning over that Christmas tree exterior. 

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^ Bergdorf’s windows? Another one worth photographing. 

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^ Some sweet Saturday: green acai bowl + coffee date with Neil at Ralph’s. Can’t get over the interior of that place. Classic is too basic of a word to describe it, but it’s also, so fitting. 

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^ Piccolo Angolo for a girls date with Tor and Kels. This place: West Village classic. I mean truly, all locals that have lived in the village for years go here. Highly recommend. Not a ‘scene’ by any means - but sometimes, that’s not necessary when a cacio e pepe plate is placed before you that is on point. Skinny girls get down and dirty with it… The house wine was fab until it started to taste like we were drinking sea water. Always, always an adventure. 

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^ Sunday mornings in the East Village. Can I stop crushing on this city?…

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^ My contribution: Baked brie with braised brussel sprouts, cartelized onions and peppers and a honey glaze. 

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^ Really precious hostesses. ++ amazing cranberry champagne concotion? 

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^ So festive! Such great prep work Kel’s and crew – loved all of the details. 

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^ Pumpkin pie dip by Kel’s – honestly one of my favorite dishes from the night. Plus brie and jam bites. (not photographed: butternut squash mac'n cheese, which just honestly takes your tastebuds to a whole new level). 

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^ Truly love this girl. Her heart. Her love for brunch pics. And thankful for a blogging sister that I can share so much with. For those who are curious – the glitzy pants are from H&M. Shocker right? #partypants

This weekend proved to be another keeper. Shocker right? 

Feeling so full lately. The people in my life are really top notch. Each and every one of you know who I am talking about. And I am so grateful for you all - your humor, love and teaching. You’re extroirdinary.

And yes, I know I posted a lot of pictures, but sometimes there are just too many great things not to share. 

Tomorrow morning I go home for Thanksgiving. My heart is already there. I haven’t been home for this holiday in a few years and my heart (wow I keep saying that – oops) is so excited for the six Martillotta’s to cook and spend all of Thursday together. Plus so many friends to visit. And laughs to be had. Insert: fires, cocktails and cooking. Smiling just thinking about it. 

Love to you all - be thankful. There is always more to be grateful than meets the eye. If you’re able to read this, then hey, you’re more blessed than most. Count your blessings. xx safe travels + happy holidays

This Weekend | The City Got Privy With P&S

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Cherche Midi makes a killer capp. A rare but delicious treat to myself in Fall. 

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Inspecting Frank ‘er something. Snagged a great outdoor spot later in the evening for Chianti and Burrata with Nicholas. 

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Spent some quality time with my Dad’s college roommate Clark Winter. Highly advise checking out his photography here. Much talent: insert photography documented through film. A rarity. 

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We don’t mess around. Neither does Maialino apparently. I had to seriously twist everyone at the table’s arm to order something. Low and behold, everyone had at it with their forks… 'Heath Bar’ done dreamily.

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This boulangerie basket of goodness; Lafayette, you do not mess around. My version of a perfect start to a Saturday. Especially with my faves - Jade included. You’re real crowd pleaser xx

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Quick pit stop at Barbour for a much needed fall essential. Quilted jacket purchased. Happy girl. Happppy girl. 

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Celebrating this great human’s birthday all weekend. I most definitely like this tradition (x3 years in the making) - hope it continues many more years. 

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^ They really are great and I don’t brag about them often. Special treat. 

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I thiiiink this was my most favorite meal (and evening in general) – Quality Italian. You HAVE to go. 

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Opening weekend of On The Town. When old school New York is brought to life via vocals - you can only expect good things. The ballet portion of this musical? Outstanding. I want to be a dancer…

Post-panic attack Times Sq. Truly one of my least favorite spots. 

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Rise and shine Soho. Special treat – Leandra of Man Repeller was in my SoulCycle Class. Everyone knows. J'adore this chick. 

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And at brunch, we don’t mess around. Peanut butter lover forever. Peanut butter and jelly French Toast? Other options don’t stand a chance. 

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Recette is where you can find this delicacy. 

If you’re going to celebrate, it has to be done with a proper cake. Since my sweet tooth comes from my Faja, only made sense to get him a Tiramisu cake from Veniero’s Bakery in the East Village. 

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The sunchokes: where precision meets perfection for tastebuds. 

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This sprout pizza at ABC Kitchen confirms not all pizza is created equally. For the record; this pizza slice does everything right. 

You get this from me a lot, but I really could eat my way through this city. Pretty sure my parents would agree, the wining and dining here can always be taken next-level.

((Insert :: insane amount of food pics that I am not shameful about))

Weekends that work out this well are true rarities. My parents got to spend time with some of the most important people in my life here, in my city, my home. The weather was Autumn crisp to perfection. And of course, just quality time with them is great since we are a few states away these days. 

Weekends like this I am always so sad to see end. Truly. But then again, it makes them all the more special because they are such gems. Ya dig? I do.

Friday's Four |

FINE-A-LEE. 

Plans on the horizon? Well… 

1. Breafast, brunch and dinners at some top notch spots including: Cherche Midi, Maialino, Quality Italian, Lafayette, ABC Kitchen and Sarabeth’s, with some other scatted about (will report back Monday). Lookin’ like a real skinny weekend over here…

2. Seeing On The Town – just opened on Broadway. Love me a musical (!)

3. Alexander Wang for H&M – these sports bras? Worthy workout ‘splurge’ on the sports bras. 

4. This is one wedding I truly, I mean truly, lust over written by the great Micaela English. J'adore. 

And if you’re miraculously wondering why I am participating in a full embarkment on NYC luxe-life, it’s rooted in the fact that P& S are in town. So excited! Hard to believe it’s been almost a full year since their last city adventure.

To an extent, you know what’s coming your way Monday. Full disclosure on weekend eats, oddities and gathered bits & pieces. Weather is supposed to knock it out of the park! xo 

This Weekend | OH-IO

Remember how I said I had a little surprise? Well if the above didn’t give it away, I took a little weekend jaunt to Buckeye town to surprise the twins for their 21st. The entire fam, minus key member Sammy, was in attendance and it was – it was a weekend on point. The crazy thing? Everything happened seamlessly (flight included, which… never happens for me). We sure know how to celebrate. 

Looking for a bit of calm respite this week. Happy Monday. Seven new days ;)

Week at the Beach | Fripp'n Fam Time

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^ apple cobbler with bananas, bluebs and strawberries alongside a peach cobbler with bluebs and bananas. made by moi… channeled my inner baking cravings the whole week. miss that in the city due to lack of time.

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^ oh deer, miss this view on runs already. love some SC marsh.

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^ we get buck wild on this island ;)

^ we ate two breakfasts every morning. this is no exaggeration. #beachskinny…

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^ would love to have this meal repeatedly. please and thank you.

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^ it’s true, green and white food obsession.

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^ added bonus: lunch with né in town.

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^ homemade ice cream sammies with sherbert. yes, as good as they look.

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^ mid appetizer game… aka the mart household’s fave game.

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^ pitcher of margs made with my grandpa, paired with fresh guac by moi.

^ pops peeping into the pic.

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^ selfie game

^ golf cart cruises and chats with auds. always a fave.

^ trad. sib pic. classic.

^ just before a storm rolled in. 

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^ pure goodness… #nofilter. heart melts for cotton candy skies. 

^ the grand finale - la mia famiglia x

Well hello there. If you have gotten this far down, I swear, we did do more than eat… I think? Want the long and the short of it? It was a very much needed break from craziness. And furthermore a week spent with family. That alone, is enough said. Thankful & grateful. Cheers to the weekend!

Grad & Stuff |

The past couple of weeks (as previously mentioned) have been legitimately the definition of non.stop. I am really going to make a conscious effort to take a step back soon… but that explains my only partial-presence on here as of late.

Last weekend was spent in Oxford, Ohio with my family to celebrate one of my all.time.fave’s graduation. It was quite a surreal experience to be honest. Sammy and I spent two years together at Miami University and to say they weren’t incredible would be a huge understatement. I treasure those years because we truly bonded as sibs. From one too many drinks together at the bars, shared groups of friends and the personality of a total goof… I wouldn’t trade those mems for the world. 

Sammy - people love you. Never lose your personality and sense of self. You’re odd beyond belief but in a way that truly shows your love of life.

Most definitely a special weekend with my family (first time we had all been back together since the holidays) as we all clinked multiple glasses in celebration. Miami… you have been good to us Martillottas.

In other news, I leave for Europe on Friday? WHAT. Saturday morning I will be strolling the streets with my sister in Paris. Still in shock to be honest? Outfit planning/packing/prep on my mind.

I spent the night with someone I truly cherish last night and had a really great chat… about friendship. And our friendship. Sometimes it’s so important to have those reminders with people you really care about. And sometimes their friendship is all you need to feel confident in moving forward. 

Sometimes you can’t explain what you see in a person. It’s just the way they take you to a place where no one else can.”

Let’s start today off with honesty. It’s the best start… to just about everything. 

This Weekend |

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So… clearly by my radio silence, things in my life have picked up a bit. It’s crazy how time can slip away so quickly. Definitely no complaints at all, but the past week was virtually impossible to find enough time to shut my eyes for six hours per night, let alone work on the blog. 

Anyways! What has been going on? Lots of crazy great things at work that involve a whole lot of learning mixed with more responsibility. Overwhelming but good. Tiring but testing. Ya know? 

This weekend consisted of brunch at Palma with one of my favorites visiting from Colorado // a night at The Wayland with Kel’s // Sockerbit candy stop #candycrush // lots of shopping and running around to prep for Europe (less than two weeks away?! WHAT.) // cappacinos and catch up with my fave barista in the city at Navy // & a dinner at Nice Matin with my second family, the Oakes, to finish off the weekend. I love the Upper West side. 

Gosh this city is so good. It finally feels like we are spring'ing into summer and it makes me so happy. Hope all is well on your side of things. xo