Friendship

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. 

 

THIS WEEKEND | ...I NEEDED MY WEEKEND

Fell into Friday pretty emotionally exhausted. What a week (!) 

That said, this weekend; I needed my weekend. And luckily, I live on a small island that usually brings me back to my senses quite quickly in the 48 hours we dub as the weekend. 

The first portion of warming this soul started on Friday evening celebrating the engagement of my dear friend Meaghan (oh hey, FitCrasher) and Matt at the most elegant party on the Upper East Side. Visualize: lots of champagne, passed appetizers and a whole fan club of people supportive of the lovely couple.

My thoughts are quite simple in describing this (and them): lovely. 

 

Also: Park Avenue in all of it's glory

Bowl game strong Friday night: zucchini and cauliflower on repeat, topped off with some chili flakes. 

 

...this is 25... 

And Saturday morning, I woke up feeling myself again. It's a remarkable what a solid night of sleep will do to help you reset. Madd and I headed to Akin's Army Bootcamp - seemingly something we've made a weekend ritual quite quickly together with La Colombe and all - to get coached to new strengths by our fave.

We always leave class on a high. 

Since it was extremely rainy, i.e. cold, miserable and the like, I figured it was the perfect day to bake some chocolate peanut butter (protein-packed) cookies from my favorite food blog The Secret Ingredient Is... and damn, did I make a wise decision. True life testimonial from an acclaimed peanut butter addict (me): imagine the taste after taking your spoon into a jar of peanut butter and further, dipping it into dark chocolate chips, where you could literally repeat this motion all day long. That my friends, is what these cookies taste like; hitting the nail so hard on the head. Recipe here

I've said it multiple times before but since moving to NY (almost 5 summers ago...), Mexican cuisine makes my world go round.

I've said it multiple times before but since moving to NY (almost 5 summers ago...), Mexican cuisine makes my world go round.

As for our evening? It was spend celebrating Mel's birthday at La Esquina. The food was absolutely phenomenal. Still dreaming of the mushroom tostadas and the plaintain chips with queso fundido. And Mel? Well, this girl, she outdid herself on setting the table (yes, we had assigned seats), ordering just the right kinds of pitchers of margs for the table (oh hey, passion fruit!) and treating us all to an evening that couldn't have been more perfect with our design crew. 

 

 ^^ p i c s on pics to scroll through ^^ 

It's crazy, really, to think of all of the places we have all been together. 

It's crazy, really, to think of all of the places we have all been together. 

Sunday brought about the nonnegotiable(s): Soul Survivor and a coffee date I totally rock at third-wheeling, more coffee at Maman later (like duh) and Y7 Yoga with Kels and Cat, followed by a much-needed catch up at Fresco afterwards. Rounded out the day with some major foam rolling... as I seriously have lactic acid build up from the past few sweat sessions. 

Feeling ready to take on a new week. Feeling even more grateful that it is a new week.

THIS WEEKEND (well, last) | ...DID IT UP BIG, DENVER STYLE

Travel, man. It's just one of those things you really have to do for yourself, your sanity, etc. - especially when the winter feels have really kicked and we cart around our heavy cold-weather gear as if it's become our second layer of skin... 

So I escaped the nonsense for a bit and headed to Colorado, to, well, escape and immerse myself in that Western lifestyle with a few of my closest friends that have recently moved out there.  

Highlights and the like are probably what you're most interested in, so that's what you're going to get. 

 

FRIDAY

I had the pleasure of kicking off my trip to Colorado with lunch in Cherry Creek and the company of three of my favorite Denver-ites: the Oakes family. Some of my all-time favorite people on the planet. Only missing person was Alan - forever my main man. It was fantastic to catch up with them and talk about the next time we will be able to get the two of our families together.

Shortly after, Ash, my best friend since the spry age of nine (!), came by to pick me up. We didn't spare a minute in catching up and headed right to View House to kick off my "vacay" with an overly-large hefeweizen on the roof, because, yes, it really was that warm outside. 

 

The long and the short of the rest of the night? Margs and Mexican fare (insert: too many fresh chips + a massive bowl of guac), crafts at Upstairs Circus (note: crafts while intoxicated are never ze most simple thing to do) and finally, all of the drinks (quite literally!) with the girls and a whole crew of the boys (aka Sammy's squad) that we went to college with at Miami University.   

 

SATURDAY

And... we woke up "tired". 

Started our morning at Union Station with a very long (but worth-it) wait for breakfast at Snooze. It actually wasn't so bad after I got my coffee... but we strolled around and hung in the middle of the station, which is a brilliantly designed to make people congregate, and it totally works. 

But back to b'fast at Snooze: the potato hash 'round' was phenomenal. But the game changer? The coffee + donuts pancake: a pancake 'donut' filled with granny smith apples and topped with chai glaze, walnuts, etc. I will reiterate: worth the wait

The rest of the day? Well it was spent out and about mingling, being social: one of my very favorite hobbies. 

 

SUNDAY (Valentine's Day...!)

Let's just say the altitude + drinking? They'll get'cha. They will get.you. In hopes of a quick recovery, we headed out for fresh doughnuts that were honestly, melt.in.your.mouth good. They were piping hot, so not fully cooked (if ya know what I'm sayin') and dripping with fudge, cookie crumbs and other skinny, health-conscious toppings... 

And the ice cream cone? Well, that was dessert, but the ice cream at Sweet Action Ice Cream was so on point: chunky peanut butter with extra nuts? Sign me up. Truly, the sweetest Valentine.

But, as I was saying, you have to fuel up for a hike somehow, and a donut just seemed like the best way to go about it. Shortly after, Ash and I headed up to Boulder to go on the Chautagua hike: super scenic, super muddy. That sums up my feels on that little adventure. Honestly, would have preferred to tackle a bit of a more challenging hike, however we were not properly equipped. 

Need to see wide open spaces like this more often.

Need to see wide open spaces like this more often.

Side note no. 1: There really is something to be said about being detached that made me long for more of it in my everyday affairs. It renews your faith in things... 

Side note no. 2: Boulder is an awesome town. Could totally jump on board with the reason people decide to live there. Time was well spent in that town. 

We toasted our #luv for one another of bubbles + martinis at a bar in the heart of the city. We then had dinner at Euclid Hall for a dinner of warm winter salad, roasted root veggies and crisped cheese bites. Also known as: food that makes for invigorated tastebuds. 

One of the pleasures of visiting a friend that falls into the sister quality is that you can literally sit and talk about nothing and everything simultaneously. Did that make sense? 

 

MONDAY MOVES

Re: End of trip sadness. 

Have you ever been to Red Rocks Amphitheater? If not, you must go immediately. It's that pretty. Ash and I headed out early on Monday morning, picked up 'ze most insane peanut butter & jelly smoothies (like actually, so delicious) and headed to the Windy Sadle Open Space Park - or The Overlook - to do as one does: overlook. 

Rocky. Mountain. High. 

Rocky. Mountain. High. 

^ Yes, you see, it's quite clear why many migrate to the state. Is it not? 

But as mentioned, we headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater to hike around, explore the grounds and take in the exotic color scheme presented by none other than Mother Nature herself.

I'm very into the idea of a room with white walls and accents pulled together from the various hues pulled from the rock formations... who needs a space designed? I want to help spend your money. 

^ Couldn't help myself. We had to do a few pushups, planks + backbends. Gaining perspective, that actually, was far from upside down. 

Looking for healthy eats in Cherry Creek? Head over to True Food Kitchen. Menus like this one overwhelm me, solely, because for my vegetarian-self, there is the widest of varieties offered. Best part (?) No grease (thank goodness... after previous eats) + an LA-esque open floor plan vibe with color brought in by the vibrant fruits & veggies. Such a win. 

Finished the afternoon mosey-ing around before (sigh) heading to the airport for a slightly, but not shockingly, delayed-departure.  

 

This trip helped me to restore some of that much needed inner-fire that had been burning a little less due to the daily grind that lately has given me some anxiety, just trying to keep up with it all. I needed some clarity; some respite from the things I worry about. Why worry? No benefit in the long run. 

Ash, thanks for being the best host. And Em (+ enterage) and Mady, so happy we got to spend time together. Love you, ladies. 

Already in the back half of February. Each week, we are a little closer to that Manhattan Spring magic that, well, all of us long for. X

WORDS | ACTIVE LISTENING

Words (not) on a Wednesday. I'm behind. I'm busy. It's the problem I have in finding balance between, you know, sleeping, sweating, working (?), etc. 

But these words? They come from my February Horoscope:

Gemini, Trade selective hearing for active listening.

Words are your secret superpower, o’ storytelling Twin, but they can also be used to manipulate and deceive. Magical thinking can be a dangerous habit—you fall hard for the character sketch you spin about someone, then hear only what fits with that fantasy. Trouble is, the REAL person may be saying something completely different than what comes through your filter. Ask questions and listen…before your bubble is burst by a rude reality check.

Took this straight off of The New Potato - And yes, I find a nice connect. 

Okay so I am totally not an astrological guru over here. Not at all. But I have been into reading my 'scope the past few months - I find it something along the lines of interesting. And I find this one especially interesting. 

Why? 

Because I have realized over the past few months that I need to actively listen. Far too often I have had too many thoughts shooting through every.which.way that lead my to be selective about what I am actually retaining.

That's the problem when you're distracted; you begin to only hear the things you want to hear. Working to fix that. 

In other news since my mind is all over the town: 

Today I crushed a 6am Soul followed by a 7:10am Barry's Bootcamp Abs with Vanessa (an Akin's Army girl). I was so nervous... that I would fail. But I didn't. In fact, the entire time, I just kept thinking about how far I have come, which in turn, pushed me even harder. And the even cooler part? I was strengthened by someone who has seen me throughout so much of the physical change that's procured throughout my recovery. It makes my heart so happy getting to sweat it out with people who are there to constantly lift you... rather than tell you otherwise.

Nana in New York | Because We All Need A German Best Friend To Visit

This cold soul's heart grew just a few sizes over the past days. There's been so much added Holiday spirit since Nana W landed - like SO much. And I just think to myself: how lucky am I to have her here for the most, cliche but true, wonderful time of the year? Pretty damn lucky.  

 

Date of arrival: December 5 with Jakob (boyfriend of 7 years)

Guys. They're quite a cute couple. They're also a duo that goes with the flow. In my book: added bonus. Many of my people were able to spend time with the two of them (Nana knew many of them from her last trip), which was great. Love friends meeting friends + new connections. 

So, while it seems like just yesterday that she arrived, you'll soon see, we packed the days as full as they come. 

I feel like there is so much to say but let's stick with the highlights. 1. 2. 3. Highlights. Let's go. 

The New Potato (my fave NY lifestyle site to troll) and Riviera Catering teamed up to host the most epic Holiday party at... wait for it: WTC360. The space is 36,000 sq. feet of views, essentially. 

Girls love a photo booth. We took advantage. Multiple times...

The space was seriously large. Not what you'd call "quaint" but what you'd describe as striking.

The space was seriously large. Not what you'd call "quaint" but what you'd describe as striking.

There were passed light bites, a pretzel wall (I repeat: pretzel wall), champagne and views that I still dream about.

As for the #eeeeeats? Well, well, you know me. I wasn't going to let this German girl starve. Your next question: a few of the places we dined? See below.

City Bakery wins for the best hot chocolate in New York City. It's legit hot melted fudge.

City Bakery wins for the best hot chocolate in New York City. It's legit hot melted fudge.

 

Let's start with dessert.

Nothing says winter in New York like a cup of hot chocolate and City Bakery does it best with a strong marshmallow game. Predictable and perfect... just like Fresco Gelateria's homemade gelato. Sweet tooth strong.

This German - she really likes her chocolate, so we spent much time making sure that sweet tooth was satisfied every single day.

We went to my favorite cafe in all of New York: Fresco. Everyone should experience their peanut butter gelato. It's   that   good. 

We went to my favorite cafe in all of New York: Fresco. Everyone should experience their peanut butter gelato. It's that good. 

Freeman's | It's classic. It's homey. It's right. It was the first place we went for brunch with a group of my gfs when she arrived.

Tartinery | One of her favorite spots. The must have thing there? The chocolate cake with warm fudge flowing on out. 

Piccola Cucina | My NEW favorite restaurant in New York. I kid you not - this is the best Italian I have had in the city, I think, ever.

FRANK | Because, well, it's right outside my front door. And because it's the best burrata in New York. 

Juice Press | We drank ALL of the green smoothies - especially because I have had a miserable cold for the past five days that I have been trying to shake. #glowgreen

 

> Tartinery is a crowded joint for good reason. I also drank white wine spritzers all night per Nana's request. She had to twist my arm... 

Aside from all of the catching up and #lifegoals discussions, below are a few other activities we, ya know, made happen:

SLT + SOUL | Sweating is in order. Always. And this chick needed to attend my two fave classes (+ meet Akin - the trainer himself). 

"SPA" DAY | Nails + Toes. Massages. All so necessary from the fan favorite Asian spot I love. 

(w i n d o w) SHOPPING | I was far too low on funds to make any purchases but it was great to scope things that will make for good gifts come next paycheck. 

GALLERY GOING | Attended the UNIX Gallery opening of Desire Cherish Obtain's exhibition. #modernart

Desire Obtain Cherish for.the.win with this lollipop. I want to see the whole collection.

Desire Obtain Cherish for.the.win with this lollipop. I want to see the whole collection.

OH, there were even jumping on the bed sessions (@ 4am) to Sorry by Biebs.

We even did ourselves up one night and felt #glam. With two Christmas parties to attend, we made our way around town with Lizzie, my life coach, and wound up at The Wren with margaritas in hand.

                  * my  r o c k s t a r  squad *

                  * my r o c k s t a r squad *

Lots of other things ensued throughout the course of ten days, but you probably get it by now. We did a lot. And we had a great time doing so. 

What's so awesome here? Going three years without seeing someone and picking up where you left off as if no time had passed at all. This girl has been such an incredible friend to me; one of the most genuine, while totally honest and opinionated, people I have ever come across. Her heart is gold. She helps me take a break (mentally) and challenges me to think a little more of what's important in the infamous grand scheme of things. Translation: she brings me back down to earth when I need it most. 

I've learned so much from her. 

Today this German leaves, but I am so thankful for our time together that strengthened the bond. This time of the year is about showing gratitude towards your tribe and I am so happy she is a part of mine. 

Thanks for visiting Nana-girl. Having you in town these past days have been anything but fabulous. Love you to the moon. Until I hop the pond this summer... x

 

Warm Welcomes | Nana in New York

Pic from The New Potato Holiday Party at WTC360 | We CRUSH Photo Booth opportunities. 

Pic from The New Potato Holiday Party at WTC360 | We CRUSH Photo Booth opportunities. 

If you haven't heard her high-pitched, yipping little voice, Nana Wimmer is now in New York City (!!) and you would never have any idea that it's been three years - almost to the date - of us last seeing one another. Crazy. 

So yes, there has been a slight lack of posting - sorry - but there has also been a lot of good stuff happening out and about around these parts. 

Between brunches, work outs (you didn't think she was going to get off the hook that easily, did you?), wining and dining, on top of events - there hasn't been much time to get all of my thoughts (so many) in order. 

I'll be reporting back here next week with all of the details of her stay. [+ lots of pics]

AND. If all goes as planned, my dates that I will be hopping the pond to visit her in Germany in 2k16. Need to regain my creative spark... stat. 

As this little German would say: kuss x

THIS WEEKEND | Friendsgiving Was A Weekend Affair

The Empire State Building is glowing. This view? My forever mood ^ 

The Empire State Building is glowing. This view? My forever mood ^ 

By the time Friday after BRANDSTYLE rolled around, I was honestly wondering how I could possibly rally myself for a night out.  

Well party people, low and behold, I rallied. And by rallied, I mean in a big way. 

Friday night a whole gaggle of us gathered at La Mela in Little Italy for Queen Elizabeth's (aka Lizzie) 29th birthday celebration (night no. one) over antipasti, fresh pastas and far too many bottles of wine. All of her friends are truly great humans who demonstrate genuine friendship in every way. #respect

GOALS: be more like Lizzie.

What. A. Crew.

What. A. Crew.

Ended the night with a limo ride to the West Village (whuuut?) and an unnecessary night cap. Obviously. 

Saturday morning I woke up early (anyone shocked here) and went to Fresco for b'fast consisting of warm coconut oatmeal and a cappuccino. The place is my fave - really. The owners are now friends of mine and have me thinking about visiting Greece more than ever. I digress...

Afterwards, I spent the remainder of my morning running around Whole Foods (#happyplace) + baking for Friendsgiving and cranking out a quick Soul in my down time. 

GUYS: that afternoon, Jess and Kels really outdid themselves by hosting the most festive Friendsgiving I ever did attend. Hats off to you two (!) for providing such a great ambiance to have all of us crazies gather over some seriously good food. SO. Much. Food. 

The scene above sums up the term 'cozy' pretty cohesively. Obsessed. 

The scene above sums up the term 'cozy' pretty cohesively. Obsessed. 

Scroll above for more of the shenanigans ^

The night ended in the West Village at Mr. Dennehy's celebrating Lizzie round two because she deserves two nights of celebrating. She does though. Also - remind me why we decided that drinking dirty martinis would be a good idea? 

Sunday came all too fast but was spent crushing three Souls; each consisting of Akin really pushing me to the next level. Five pound weights are no joke in that class... happy to have someone constantly holding me accountable. Mantra: give more, get more. Love you Akin! 

Ended the night with dinner at The Smith over a long (overdue) catch up with my cousin Michael. 

So many elements in this picture that make me happy. 

So many elements in this picture that make me happy. 

Weekends go by at a scary-fast pace but they certainly don't allow much room for error when spent with the best of the best. Hope your weekend was a continual friendsgiving affair of all sorts (!) X 

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.

This Weekend | Gained Sum SUN

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^ This gorgeous little one came to stay with me for a whole week while figuring out her summer internship plans. So happy we got a picture before dirty martini madness at Pravda

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^ Breakfast date at Dimes. Correct: breakfast not brunch. Kel’s and I had an early morning start to beat the crowds that flock to this tiny LES establishment. I had a quinoa porridge with lots of fruit and (coco)nuts on top. So good. 

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^ Obviously equally inspired by the bright, So-Cal atmosphere. Fresh and spring-like… and very UNlike the frigid temps that morning. The place is so tiny you almost feel as if you’re eating in someone’s home. Like… my kitchen in OH is certainly bigger than this place. 

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^ An early dinner at The Penrose to celebrate Justin and Dylan finally living the city life. Words cannot describe how happy it makes me to have them here - and their apartment? Beyond amazing but then again… wouldn’t expect any less. 

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^ Omg. Another brunch… with an extended crew. Jade and I found this Pagani spot by scrolling through food IG’s (shocking…) and made a resi (obviously) and the rest is history. And the buttermilk biscuits included were def the table winner.

^ And then we gained an extra hour on Sunday (!!)… and about 20 degrees of warmth. So many people out and about. Spring in the city is so close. 

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^ So deserving of inclusion. Sammy got some MAJ brownie points in my book by surprising me with the gift of Soul. I can’t even begin to tell you how Akin’s classes have transformed my mentality. 

“You have to believe in you. No one else can do that for you.” - Akin

Hold on to what uplifts you. And have an awesome week. #feelinghigh

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

Friday's Four | An Ode to Summer '14

It’s been a while since I have done my ‘usual’ Friday four. But what better way to end summer than with four images (well close) + four mems that stuck out as keepers this summer. Eh? 

This summer has been a hot mess of insanity (in a sensationional way). But I think it just knocked it right on out of the park as one of the best yet. Truly.

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1. I think this one is pretty obvious… but my European excursion with Aud. That just about killed it in every way possible and couldn’t have kicked off this summer in a better light - #breadwinecheese repeat

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2. Birthday celey’s. It felt really good to turn a year older. Weird right? Maybe I am just getting wiser… ;) aging… isn’t that bad yet!

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3. My best friend decided to flee the city. Totally kidding on flee - but he did leave for an amazing opportunity in California. For my birthday, he also made me the most amazing necklace… I have ever received. This was also the weekend another best friend helped me schlep my few (x a mill.) items to our new East Village apartment… which btw, I LOVE. Friend of the year award. Plus, it included an Eleven B meal. Insert baked ziti goodness. 

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4. Beach weekends. Lots of travel. ALL AROUND goodness. This summer had more beaching than any other I can remember. I spent three weekends in the Hamptons, a weekend in Rhode Island, a weekend in Nice, France and a week in South Carolina. Feeling extra happy about it. #seasidesimplicity… and let’s not forget about the Fourth spent in Chicago (with a 12 hour drive to kick off that fun jaunt). And somehow I snuck in 24 hours in Cleveland (insert - added jet-set for Danigirl’s engagement xx).

Note :: so many waffle cones & ice cream. Travel calories. 

Feeling overly blessed and grateful. For the peeps. The mems. And the lifted moral. Love to all that these days and nights were spent with. Squeeze the last days to the pulp. And enjoy the long weekend xo

Weekend | Summer Sweating & Sunning

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Hello! Of course it’s Wednesday already.

Weekends in the summer suck the funds right on out of you. I mean, truly, my spendings lately on ‘lifestyle’ leisurely choices are seemingly finding their way through flying higher than the Empire State Buidling. Note: this does not include clothing shopping. I’ve put that hobby on a temporary hold.

Anyways, this past Friday started our summer Fridays at work… Aka at 2pm and we found ourselves sprinting out the doors. Bliss. Had a late lunch at The Jeffery, which is so good, with Sarah. Have you ever had a Sigmunds pretzel? So good. Later in the evening, Alan and I had a couple of glasses of wine at Birreria in Eataly. Yes, yes I am being selfish and spending as much time with him as possible lately.
Saturday, Jade and I ran in the Run To Breath Cystic Fibrosis Run in Central Park. News: I loved it. I mean, it was a beautiful summer morning and I ran with one of my faves next to me… Supporting a good cause. Therefore, good vibes only. Continued the day in Williamsburg with Erin, which was so great (thankfully, because we had planned this day in April…) and so ‘summery’. We had croissants and coffee at the most instagenic cafe, went to Soul Cycle to tap it back with Parker (yes, I am obsessed), made a rose sangria and fresh watermelon, avocado and mozzarella salad to enjoy while we soaked up the sun on her roof. Sweat and more sweat later… showering had also never felt so refreshing.
Sunday I FINALLY got my hair cut. I feel so crispy and fresh… it had been an embarrassingly long time since my last truss trim and I am so happy to be back in the sleek saddle on the hair front. Brunch at Five Leaves in Williamsburg was delicious, followed by watching Germany taking the World Cup (Yay for you, Nana!) and finally, we made the most delicious Nachos ever created. I mean, Alan and I really do Mex well together. I will glad brag on this - it is one meal we have perfected over the years. Wish I had time to cook more often…

Happy days ahead. Rhode Island this Friday. Great dinners at new places planned for the rest of the week. Green juices and sweat in the meantime. Attack the week. NOW.

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 Easter Weekend |

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This weekend was the much needed break I had been longing for outside of the Manhattan mayhem that I really do love. But sometimes? Ya just need a break. 

So about the Hamptons… haha what’s not to love really? It’s kind of like an escape from the real world. Something about the Hamptons just seems like a sort of false reality, yet I am tongue tied for words as to how to better describe what I am trying to convey. 

Saturday was beyond gorgeous. We started our morning with a run, followed by coffee at Jack’s and Hampton Chutney in Amagansett. Dosas are delectable. Obsessed. We spent the afternoon at Wolffer Estate Vineyard and had quite the royal treatment. With a huge array of wine tastings, incredible cheese platters and spreads, we left quite content. We even had old fashioned ice cream and walked through Sag Harbor after (which honestly felt a little dream-esque being a bit buzzed and all… but just as great nonetheless). Problem: I want everything in those trinket home shops. After an early evening nap, we had a late dinner at East Hampton Grill - the heavenly biscuits. Enough said. Justin and I died.

Easter Sunday was great. Church, sunshine, the beach and the most phenomenal brunch at Nick and Toni’s. Now I know why seasoned Hampton’s dwellers rave about this place. And I know I yap about brunch far too much (like embarrassingly too much) but let me tell you, this was just about as good as it gets. The almond cinnamon rolls? The whole wheat apple pancakes with pecans and whipped honey butter? Calories don’t count on holidays. Don’t worry! Bottomline: we had a really great weekend together. 

Trained back into the city to spend the night with Alan and AC. Incredible meal, yet again, which consisted of butternut square lasagna, asparagus, a hazelnut jello mold and butter lettuce salad. And if we weren’t already busting at the seams from all of that, we had a fresh blackberry cobbler from Tates to consume, freshly made that morning. YUM. Love them both.

Needless to say, I will be pinching pennies all week… yikes. However, such a blessed weekend full of food and special friendships. Happy chick.