Lifestyle

THIS WEEKEND | ...WAS AN ODE TO NEW YORK IN THE FALL

Life lately - it's been busy.

New York City happens to be just about the most overly-stimulating place known to man. And, I admittedly, happen to fall hard in the trap, if you will, of wanting to do it all. So, all of that on the reg., in addition to preparing for Equinox Pilates Training this December, many weekends spent traveling, an overly-ambitious work situation and well, just being my social-self, you could say my balance is (more than) a bit off kilter. 

But today, I watched the marathon. And for a good portion of it, I watched it alone. And during those moments of being alone (which is a rarity in my life), a few things became clear. I watched totally inspired, and moved by all of the strong ones who crossed that finish line. It was as if some serious sense of peace swept over me. 

Here are the thoughts that I thought. Some obvious. Some - not so much.

I really am a New Yorker. I have a full life here. I've established a life for myself here. The majority of the people I spent the past 72 hours with... happen to all be people I didn't know before planting myself here, on this little island I call home. 

A decision was made. While watching the marathon, I was moved in a big way; especially watching my coach, mentor and some friends crush the course. And I always am moved, but this year I decided I am going to try and run the New York City Marathon in 2018. And while it sounds far out, I want to properly train for this, and I really want to achieve this. While I know there are definite doubters, the believers outweigh it all for me. 

Step one? The first step in accomplishing this goal is going to take place this spring, when I face my fears and tackle the Brooklyn Half; a race that doesn't stand a chance in breaking me now. 

Last thing.

Saturday evening I was out late at a cocktail bar with an old friend of mine, and he asked me before I was leaving, "Are you really happy?", to which I looked at him totally perplexed. 

Then I turned to him and responded, "Yes, happier than I have been in a very long time." 

As I left and walked away, I felt no need for further explanation. My answer was concise, yet a simple truth. And while some days, or some weeks are better than others, the general consensus rings pretty clear. 

The people I spend my days with are serious rockstars; serious sources of inspiration. My weekends lately have been filled with travel; new places. My family has a group text that goes rouge 24/7 as we all keep tabs on one another. My fitness endeavors? They are continuing to grow and take root in new ways.

So, yes. I am happier than I have been in years.

And... I am also happy to be back in this space online; a place that I've missed. Can't wait to catch you up to speed on all of the things that have had me enamored lately. New York is a seriously magical place in the Fall.

I WENT TO A MUSEUM LITERALLY CURATED FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Pro Tip: Search the hashtag #museumoficecream for lots of tastiness (and craziness) that's being posted.

Pro Tip: Search the hashtag #museumoficecream for lots of tastiness (and craziness) that's being posted.

Whether you like it, or love-to-hate it, social media is a tool that's become mainstream for companies to target (and well, really, captivate) a millennial audience.

Instagram for the pretty (and almost always) edited pic, that usually is not posted that instant; Snapchat for the spur-of-the moment op you don't mind "disappearing" after 24 hours.

Both effective in reaching an audience. 

So what happens when you attend the Museum of Ice Cream in New York's Meatpacking District? You experience the natural evolution of what our society is becoming; one that has amateur photographers itching to become present, and one where we look to have society acknowledge the activities we are partaking in "offline". 

Fast forward to the first Monday in August, many weeks after purchasing our tickets, and I found myself standing in line with two of my main chicks, Jade and Mel, as we anxiously awaited our call to entry at this food-focused extravaganza.

 

I've been in New York now going on five years and I still find these sorts of experiences worth every second of waiting; waiting to hit the jackpot of juxtapositions in which our society finds means to define #basic as a commonly used expression.

Notables took shape in the form of (edible) sugar balloons, a room pumping out scents of chocolate and the small pill (vitamin?) each person is given near the exit that sits on your tongue for a minute, before being presented with a cone. The vitamin turns the sour to sweet when the lemon hits your tastebuds. And the cone? It was full of that natural vanilla taste that will forever be my mouth's number one flavor. (second to peanut butter* of course)

On my walk home, with sugar vibes running through my veins, I found I was in the zone with both hands glued to my phone; sending images to my sister, my boss, my gaggle of sweat seekers (you get it - a lot of people) as fast as my fingers would let me. I sent a heck of a lot of freaking pics is the point I am getting at here. But why would I not? Without edits, the pics were visually sharable. And furthermore, the way the museum (if you can even call it that) presented each room, emulated modern pop art.

It was then that I actually laughed, or more so, snickered to myself:

How is it that I fall so easily for such swoon-worthy social moments?

Then I was reminded quite quickly:

I spend hours a day on Instagram. Sadly, that's far from an exaggeration. Much of my job is tracking down influencers, digesting trends and eating with my eyes (all of the ridiculously insta-worthy food) to keep of up with all of the content that is created for my viewing pleasure. (memes obviously included)

But on a personal level, I realized the reason I continue to post, and yes, get sucked into the social trap: 

Taking a picture and posting it shares what I am doing. Great. Who cares.

The reason I continue to share is because I get to look back; And I get to smile looking back at certain moments on my own feed, remembering that specific moment. It's that simple. 

I digress. 

So, while I will be the first to tell you social-savvy to get there before the pop up ends, you're likely going to be paying a pretty penny. Rumor has it (or as read on Eater) that tickets are selling for $100 + on Craigslist.

The proof is in the pudding (or scoop of artisan ice cream...) that our generation will in fact go wild over the idea of swimming through a pool of sprinkles. So basically, that's what it's all about in this city's curated cremery-land.

And after all, it is summer... thus you should participate in celebrating the sweet of the season.

THIS WEEKEND | ...WAS SPENT ON MY FAVORITE ISLAND

I LOVE to travel. I do. But I also love to be in New York, considering this city's greatness.

As this weekend is the last I will be in the city for the upcoming three, few things sounded better than partaking in all of my favorite weekend activities with a few of my favorite people.

Also: How hot are my friends? Jeez. 

Also: How hot are my friends? Jeez. 

Friday evening started our GNO series. Our what? Girls' Night Out series. Go ahead and take a moment to laugh - but like, it was totally successful and my girls all enjoyed. With everyone's travel schedules this summer, sometimes you need to wrangle down a few of your best gals and plan for a night of dirty martinis, rose and rooftop views c/o Mr. Purple on Ludlow. And because once you have one of these successful kinds of nights (street meat included for Queen Vic), you realize that one is not enough and this is going to become, well, a regular thing. 

Saturday morning started a Akin's Army Bootcamp at Bandier. Descriptors include a very packed room and Jake Gyllenhaal just a few mats to my left; descriptors also include a very challenging class and a mat fully soaked in sweat after 90 minutes. 

This studio gets uncomfortably hot, but I will admit: It's got a pretty calming aesthetic. 

This studio gets uncomfortably hot, but I will admit: It's got a pretty calming aesthetic. 

My slight obsession with Australian bites was fulfilled over avo toast and a flat white at Bluestone Lane Collective in the West Village. 

And since I have already come clean with my addiction to Soul Challenges, I completed my afternoon with Akin's 90 minute ride. Spoiler alert (!) comes in when I tell you this: It was truly challenging. But when One Dance comes on... damn. I lose it on that  bike and the second-wind mentality takes over.

Side note: Made the most amazing avocado banana bread (yes, a unique combo) loaded with blueberries. Dairy-free and swapped out sugar for light agave. Needless to say, this will be making future appearances. 

As for my evening, it was spent with my main chick, Jade, breaking (corn)bread at Red Rooster in Harlem. Guys: How the heck has it been five years of me being here and not once making it to Harlem? Our meal was totally Southern Comfort and the interior celebrated diversity, curated in a manner that almost transports one to another era. I loved it, almost just as much as I loved catching up with Jade (her boyfriend, brother, etc). 

Sunday I slept in (until 8am!) and had a cup of coffee - paired with a peach and small slice of the banana bread - while laying with my laptop. I rarely start my mornings this slowly; I should do this more often. 

Met up with Vane for more coffee at our new 'in between workouts' spot called Gasoline Alley. This was followed by SLT, then a very hard Soul. Trying to keep the pace was a challenge to say the very least. Happy to be surrounded by a girl where I can share my affinity for sweat with so frequently... and further, be supported so impact-fully. 

Recently have grown to love a grey day, and the mood ensued because of it. SLT Soho views FTW.

Recently have grown to love a grey day, and the mood ensued because of it. SLT Soho views FTW.

Rewards for our work came later on when we met Alina at Fresco; rewards in the form of a hearty quinoa patty bowl with avocado and edamame. Oh yes, and in the form of gelato to celebrate Fresco's fourth birthday (and also our week of putting in the work).

This kind of weekend was so necessary for me. It helped me find some sanity again before another daunting work week commences.

So, pardon me while I hop offline for a few days as I dive back into my daily routine... More days (!) to make count. X

I TRIED OUT INK'D WIRELESS HEADPHONES... AND HERE IS WHAT I FOUND

While we all know I am fully immersed in the cult-culture of boutique fitness thanks to things like Akin's Army, Barry's Bootcamp, SLT, Y7 and Soul Cycle, we live in an era where there isn't just a one-size-fits-all workout and options have become plentiful. For that, I am grateful. 

On the flip side, we also all know that as a result of this I am often skimming by at the end of each pay period because of this lifestyle. Thankfully, there is another part of my fitness regime I am #finally getting back. Added value; this sweat-filled route doesn't cost a thing.

Cue: Running

As I am able to really start to pound pavement again (thanks to a hell of a lot of hours spent with trainers working to build up my balance and stability), I couldn't be more psyched about the headphones I recently test-drove, which are fueling my desire to get back out on the road again.

Enter: Skullcandy's Ink'd Wireless headphones to amplify my desire to get back on the road

There are three things that always kill my vibe running. Ready?

Tangled cords; If that issue doesn't make your skin itch, I would be willing to be you're lying to yourself. 

Poor audio; Running is the one time of the day I actually get to be alone. It's quite honestly one of the only reasons I even engage in the activity anymore. That said, I don't want to deal with hearing other people's convos, the obnoxious sirens flooding the streets and wind creating an echo. 

Ear buds that fall out; My biggest issue with apple headphones. Sometimes I wonder if I spend more time adjusting the ear bud or running. I'm serious.

Ink'd Wireless headphones solve all of these annoying problems and it's kind of - well - amazing (for my sanity).

And to be fully honest with you, these probably have the best sound quality I have yet to experience (and trust me, I have tried my fair share of running headphones over the years) in a headphone designed for a lifestyle that embraces the rigorous sweat-sesh (and well, the overall active lifestyle).

Value Add: They're actually so light weight you kind of forget you're wearing them in the first place

To be quite honest with you, if the audio isn't up to par in your headphones of choice... then like, why are you even wasting your time? 

It's quite possible that the best part of running, comes into play, when you cue up your favorite playlist; then you let those legs fly free to the beat of the music; as you lose yourself in the scenery, etc. 

And while the resurgence of my running is slowly (but definitely) coming back post-surgery, these have quickly become my new staple; especially as I continue to take advantage of the summer weather this city brings for a season that always seems too short. 

So yes, guys. I tried Scullcandy's Ink'd Wireless -- and I will never turn back.  

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. 

THIS WEEKEND | ...IN THE FORM OF A PEACH BUNDT CAKE + ROOFTOP ROSE

There are seldom things I enjoy more than entertaining (working out aside) friends and family. I feel this love probably took root growing up in a home where my parents were constantly having friends over for hours spent throwing parties on our back patio and countless time in the kitchen preparing.

SO on Friday, a select group of my friends all gathered on the roof of apartment 88 for (what I like to think of as a  #magical) midsummer party.

Rooftop parties are a way of life if you live in the city in the summer; a place for friends to gather around, catch up over those insta-worthy views, all while consuming cocktails, wines, fresh fruits, vegetables and coveted cheese spreads. If you live here, then you likely know the kind of night I am talking about.

For me, the best part may have been rooted in the fact that, finally, my old friends got to spend time meeting a few of my newish friends (all relative in the scheme of things) met through the fitness community; and further, the fact they all got along so perfectly. This made all of the effort beyond worth it. 

Will this city ever cease to make me swoon? I sure as hell hope not. There's truly nothing like this view in the summer, crisp breeze and all.

Will this city ever cease to make me swoon? I sure as hell hope not. There's truly nothing like this view in the summer, crisp breeze and all.

Saturday's move?  Sweating out (three bottles worth of) rosé and an aggressive few rounds of desserts, from the night prior, at Akin's Army Bootcamp. Not a morning I need to re-live. Push ups and planks definitely involved a little bit of mind-conquering that morning.

Rewards came in the form of a rooftop sun-sesh with Vane, where we proceed to talk all things from the night prior... and the nights we are planning escapes in the coming weeks.

And oh man, you GUYS (!) Saturday night... 

The primary take away? It was very spontaneous. It was also very rich in random details. 

Sunday comprehensively involved all of the walking: both downtown, and later on, uptown back downtown. 

It also involved some Mister Softee + Pinkberry... because National Ice Cream Day. 

My morning started off so strong after taking one of the best Soul Survivor classes I have taken in quite some time now. Everything was in synch; Akin's messaging was on point and he really helped push my limits in those 60 minutes. I left high on sweat. #satisfying

 

 

Most of my day was spent with Alina, and involved Fresco (naturally) and a nice 8 mile (sweat-filled) power walk along down the Hudson River to One World Trade and back up again. And later, my night involved walking home from dinner at HU Kitchen on the Upper East Side with Jade.

All of this resulted in me logging 15 miles of functional movement. #canthelpmyself

These are the weekends during the summer, in steamy New York, that are quintessential to what one would envision summer-in-the-city to look like; rooftop parties, sunning and sweating, all whilst serendipitously making new connections during time spent wandering. And while none of this is new to me, per say, there still is something just so fascinating about how times like these are ones that will likely never be forgotten.

THIS WEEKEND | IN FLIGHT FAILURES + CELEBRATING A BRIDE TO BE

IF you're familiar with my flying track record in the very least, you've likely already come to a quick conclusion about my next statement. My flight home Friday got cancelled; flight was lacking a pilot (naturally?) - then the seriously unhelpful staffers at Delta located a replacement volunteer to fly the plane (also: a bit alarming) - for us to eventually find out that our plane had mechanical issues and was unable to do the whole 'wheels up' thing necessary. 

I will always cheers to #patioparties with the parents.

I will always cheers to #patioparties with the parents.

So my Friday night plans changed quickly and involved a dirty martini and wine, and the quick turn up that comes along when hanging with Lizzie Q and co. 

My second attempt at making it to Cleveland on Saturday was a success (although a far longer trip than necessary after being rerouted to Michigan) thankfully. 

My parents, P + S, picked me up, and to avoid any hangry mannerisms, we went straight to a late brunch at Spice in Ohio City. 

Ohio readers: You guys have got to try this place. First of all, the place has a strong outdoor seating game; umbrellas + couches included. Secondly, the apple beignets are to die for, and come paired with a goat cheese frosting of sorts. 

Our afternoon was spent at Laurentia Vineyard with two of my very closest friends and the bride-to-be, Danielle, and her family and friends. These kinds of people make the world a better place. They're also the kind of people who will gladly teach you a lesson or two in drinking (when you have an afterparty at their very own stocked bar in the basement).

Also: In case you were curious, the term "demolished" properly conveys what happened here ^ 

Who said you need to travel to Napa for the #vineyardviews we all covet?

Who said you need to travel to Napa for the #vineyardviews we all covet?

As for Sunday? It was spent showering Danielle at The Kirtland Country Club. Danielle looked absolutely radiant; she's got the glow right now heading into the final weeks before she ties the knot. Her bridal shower was truly elegant with a pianist, champagne and a cake frosted with thick buttercream.

Truly, so damn elegant. 

Friendships that took roots during those (seriously) awkward middle school years. That's how you know, these ones >  

And finally, I got to spend my last few hours at home on Riverwood Drive; a place I find myself easily able to fall into the present moment; a place I am able to conquer cooking goals and quite simply, calm my restless self that needs to learn the definition of do (so much) less.

Beyond the meal, let's just talk about that color game. Lucky diners, we were indeed. Skewer assembly by moi. 

Beyond the meal, let's just talk about that color game. Lucky diners, we were indeed. Skewer assembly by moi. 

Some of my most favorite memories at home are spent on our back patio, while grilling and drinking wine with cheese, crackers and dips. So that, my friends, is exactly what my Sunday evening looked like. Our menu featured charred vegetable skewers (#summersquashaddict) and a large mixed greens salad. And apparently, at our house, no meal is complete without some ice cream and a chocolate chip cookie to top it off.

This was, certainly, a far quicker trip than anticipated, yet all still fell into place. And for that, I am grateful. You win some, you lose some (for me, flights - always) but you've just gotta make the most of what you're working with, and the time you have. And to that, we did. 

26

Can aging actually be great? 

Despite what we are taught to think about aging (thank you, society) , we tend to lose site of all of the things, or details have you, that make up those 365 days that filled the previous year of life; those days full of packed social calendars, crazy sweat schedules, travel tales + travails (to places near and far) and obviously all of the time spent with so many of those who make the heart beat just a little bit faster. 

Every year I feel more excited to tackle the next, because of the greatness of the last.

A birthday means you have a whole new year of days to fill with time you'll never get back. Holy sh*t that's exciting.

Every year I feel more enticed to take on new opportunity; more excited to make new friendships and continue to foster the old; more grateful for all of the highlights, but maybe, more importantly, more keen on learning to have an appreciation for the low ones too.

These were gains in year 25, which leads me to this to paint a clear picture of an often over-looked outlook:

My friend wrote in her card to me, that she hopes 26 will bring along many wonderful times, but also some not-so-wonderful ones as well. Which really made me think: why would I want the latter of the two?

And then I remembered; the lows are the links to personal development (let's not forget what the beginning of 25 looked like before I started physical therapy and learned to walk again) that bring along a whole external force that causes the body to react in different ways. 

The point being, you're in charge of choosing the most impactful way to react to whatever circumstances dished at you; whether it is something that challenges your mental or your physical or your emotional state.

And then I thought; how great is it, to know the choice, the reaction - largely - is yours to take the reigns with? (thanks Madd ;)

So why don't we pay more attention to these sorts of things? 

In year 25, I realized I have appreciation for the highs and the lows

All of that said in a very long-winded fashion (per usual, that has not changed), I want to call attention to the simple fact that my 26th birth(week) has certainly been my best yet. 

My heart is so full (it actually hurts) thanks to all of you people that are the heroes of my every day - friends + family + the growing group of readers out there - who have gone beyond to make these past days so special. 

Time to do 26. X

PS - A few photos from my week below. Click through!

THIS WEEKEND | ...I GOT TO EXPERIENCE THE GREATNESS OF THE GREY LADY

 

I'm a Nantucket virgin... well, I was. Not growing up on the East Coast, we had family on the Cape that we would visit occasionally, but we never did the Nantucket-thing (in part because us Martillotta kids had a skewed idea that East Coast beaches were always "grey"- our mistake). 

There are two kinds of weekends: ones that are satisfying and ones that blow expectations out of the water. This one was the latter of the two.

My adventure to Nantucket Island began at 3:45am when Sarah and Nick, my confidants for the weekend, picked me up for our drive to the age-old slow ferry, The Eagle, which would take us through the Atlantic waters (and heavy fog) and eventually dock us off the coast of Massachusetts.

And this was our welcome as we approached the shore (and obviously) after the fog had cleared: 

Crystal colour.  

Crystal colour.  

My most beach-chic accommodations this weekend. I was spoiled. 

My most beach-chic accommodations this weekend. I was spoiled. 

After driving around town with the seasoned Nantucket-natives (obviously had to show me the lay of the land!), the kind of town where history spills out of cobblestone drives and there are weathered-wooden shingle houses, covered in lattices full of ivy and blossoms, I quickly felt one thing; at ease.

We had sandwiches from Somthing Natural (avocado, cheddar + chutney, talk about a combo that speaks to my heart) and quickly made our way to Cisco beach.

Note: Food on the island has a level of freshness that's notable. I feel that the integrity of true farm-fresh-food should be celebrated, every day.

 

The sun; its warmth radiated through my bones as I hadn't felt it perpetrate through my skin in months. We spent the better part of the afternoon beached before making our way to Cisco Brewery for Blue Haired Ladies (blueberry vodka poured over brew) amongst many who also were around for Figawi; a major boat race from the Cape to Nantucket.

There is no shortage of beachy-nostalgia in this town. 

As for our evening? It was lovely. We spent time in The Anglinger kitchen making recipes of currant and carrot quinoa, prepping broccoli rabe and for the meat eaters, grilling steaks. And of course all of this was done over the course of time while sipping various bottles of wine. We finished the meal with strawberry pizza; cream cheese frosting over a thin pastry crust. Lush.

Define seaside simplicity: _______ (look above) 

Define seaside simplicity: _______ (look above) 

Fresh gazpacho to start us off, dining al fresco. 

Fresh gazpacho to start us off, dining al fresco. 

Saturday morning highlights? Experiencing Nick's most delicious crispy egg (it's a thing and it's righteously served without much garnish to distract from its blissful flavor) and prepping for a morning of clamming.  

 

As you will notice, my design-driven mind was swooned-over by this home. It was so tastefully designed; done with just the right amount of beachy-decor that you felt a real, yet simple, magical charm.

 

Note: Morning light across the white walls and lightly-coloured wooden floors? Simply elegant.

 

 

Clamming; a practice that takes patience. But also, an activity that is oddly rewarding when you rake in that clam from the sand. 

As the saying goes - couples who clam together - talk of having clam pizza together and likely, do to their bonding over the delicacy,  stay together,  in true clamming fashion.

As the saying goes - couples who clam together - talk of having clam pizza together and likely, do to their bonding over the delicacy, stay together, in true clamming fashion.

 

Again, beautiful day led us to the beach yet again. This go-around? We each passed out, face down, in the sand for a successful afternoon siesta.  

Dinner that evening was at Proprietors; place where small plates were passed back and forth (and back again). Highlights? The zucchini fritters and the carrot hummus and of course, the fried sourdough and grass-fed butter, and a perfectly dirty dir

And no dining experience is complete without a treat for the tastebuds of homemade ice cream. We stopped at The Juice Shop. My picks? Peanut butter ice cream in a homemade waffle bowl (insert: the most fragrant scents of vanilla) topped off with fudge. Skinny swallowing was not a thing this night. 

The saying "New England charm" is no joke around these parts of town. 

The saying "New England charm" is no joke around these parts of town. 

Another design detail from my room, because ( ^ )

Another design detail from my room, because ( ^ )

 

Sunday morning we woke up with another day of no clouds. This translate to another day meant to be spent by the sea (drinking spiked spritzers, nonetheless). After a long-ish early-morning run (I am slowly getting it back, you guys!), we packed up and found ourselves crisped quickly as the breeze provided the optimal temp for our bronze-seeking bodies.

Love a run in New York City - totally, totally  l  ove it  - but when you get to run along the much-needed greenery after a l.o.n.g, grey Spring, you really feel revived. 

Love a run in New York City - totally, totally love it - but when you get to run along the much-needed greenery after a l.o.n.g, grey Spring, you really feel revived. 

And not to talk about the weather - but I have to talk about it -  but the weather. .. do you see a single cloud? Beach goers call this #blessed

And not to talk about the weather - but I have to talk about it - but the weather... do you see a single cloud? Beach goers call this #blessed

And the better part of the afternoon was spent at Cisco Brewery; (again) packed with beached-bodies, who were all quite excited when Rob Gronkowski made a guest appearance, and indulged in even more. Such fun to see that crew of boys again; such a surprise...! Great group. 

After crushing naps, we headed to Pi for, well, pizza pies of course (also mozz. stick madness). This place totally could bring the heat with their thin-crust game playing a strong hand in helping us rally after a long day in the sun. And in true ACK-fashion, we completed our night at The Chicken Box - or The Box as the natives would say - dancing (and sweating) to a cover band while drinking locally-crafted beers.

My kind of night. 

And luckily (or at least in my opinion) it was rainy on Memorial Day, which made leaving a little less painful on Monday. We did some window shopping in the town and spent the morning reading. And most importantly, we got donuts.  I forget how grateful I am for the occasional lazy morning; for flat-out relaxing. 

All of this, all of it, made for a most memorable Memorial Day weekend away.

So yes,  now I fully understand why these people love this place. It really is the most magical escape from reality one could ever wish for in the summer - and more importantly - it's the most relaxed I have felt in a very long time.

 

Everyone needs an escape from the concrete jungle, every now and again. And this place appeals to the masses: the foodie, the outdoors-y and the ones keen on architectural wonders. Now's your chance - book a weekend there now

PS - Thanks to Sarah and Nick for letting me tag along for a weekend in on your favorite summer spot. Big hug.  

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. 

 

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 | ALL I NEEDED WAS 24 HOURS TO MYSELF

As someone who is notorious for a packed-plate, I am beginning to realize I often forget to breathe. And when I say this, I am actually not fully kidding. I get so caught up - insert: broken record status here - in the tales and adventures of living in this city, I sometimes forget the most essential part of living. 

Breathing. 

This weekend I tried to do a little more of that. 

Friday's move? Step one: remembering to unwind. That said, after work, Sarah and I got manicures and pedicures. This was followed by ordering in a Greek situation from Beyoglu (the eggplant dip is fire) at Justin and Dylan's most-cozy Upper East Side abode. One can assume there was wine involved. I feel so lucky for the honesty their friendship brings my life. Finished the night in my hood with a few of the faves.

Saturday was the day. Que? It was the day I took for myself. This is what I dub my personal day.  

It entailed Akin's Army bootcamp at Studio B, a wholesome breakfast at Peacefood Cafe, being roped into another of Akin's Soul classes 10 minutes prior to start time, and yes, all of the iced coffee (#addict) from La Colombe while walking miles and miles alone. The day helped me get my bearings again.

...last week was a busy one.  

Side note: Want to glow? Do yourself a fav and buy a Boscia Sake Brightening Hydrogel Mask. You actually must trust + try with this one. (And secretly I needed to write this down so I know exactly which mask to repurchase next time I skip over to Barney's...)

Walked about 7 miles this day because there is just so much to see. 

Walked about 7 miles this day because there is just so much to see. 

Met Jade later on for one drink (and epic view) before heading to watch movies with my friend Nick at his place to complete the day.

Does that take your breath away? Status update: I am in a SERIOUS relationship with the one above ( ^^^^ ) right there. 

Does that take your breath away? Status update: I am in a SERIOUS relationship with the one above ( ^^^^ ) right there. 

And let's be real here, I am in the business of celebrating Sunday tradition. And I might be biased here, but it's a day I continue to love more, and more, as it starts off with Madd and Ed in Akin's SoulCycle Survivor class, quickly followed by coffee together at Ceci Cela.

I believe there is a saying, 'rewards according to the efforts', which means I totally deserved my brunching experience later with Claire at Narcissa at The Standard East Village. Girlfriends like to eat and gossip. On repeat. 'Nough said.

Due to some serious full body soreness, I treated myself to a hole-in-ze-wall Asian massage place. The lady told me she felt my body was very stressed... I told her that I feel that too. 

Ended the evening in Dumbo, Brooklyn with Erin over a meal of brussels, delicata squash and a harvest mixed green salad from Atrium... because honestly, what Sunday doesn't deserve to end with some sort of catch up over a culinary experience?

Full weekend. Full heart.  

Starting this week stronger and centered as this week will be a complex one; one filled with change. 

Was your weekend rewarding? 

 

 

P.S. Highly recommend taking a personal day. 

TRAVEL TALK | GUESS WHERE I AM HEADING NEXT...

Okay, I won't make you guess for long, just because I am just too excited to hold back. I'm heading to:

MUNICH, GERMANY

Get. Me. Across. That. Pond. 

Sunday night I booked a flight that has me heading to Germany for nine days in September. Self control really has never been my thing when it comes to impulsive thoughts, followed by quick decisions. But sometimes, you just know it's the right choice. 

And guys (!!) I really can't even wait. My heart is so freakin' full with all of feels and all of the anticipation that comes along with a trip so far off in the distance. 

Things you're wondering + things I am going to tell you regardless:

  • Who is housing this body? I will be staying with my favorite European rockstar; my main, Nana.
  • First time offender? It's true: I have never visited Germany... aside from having far too many connecting flights in the country. Chalking up a new country to toss on the list of places that have been visited.
  • Am I only staying in Germany? Of course not. We are already are planning a few days in either Austria or Italy. Either will be a win. 
  • Will I be there for Oktoberfest? Obviously. My second weekend there happens to be the first day of the beer + pretzel-filled fest on Saturday, September 17th. Apparently it should be cray... especially because I will be in the care of some Germans who have grown up attending and already have their table locked and loaded for day number one. 

Will keep you posted on further plans as they transpire.

2016? You're totally crushing the travel game this year. 

TRAVEL | Trips in 2k16

Love my job but get semi disgusted with how I get so caught up in it. I get caught up in it because I love it, of course, as one does. 

BUT: the whole American work ethic (especially... in New York where we move at the speed of light - no joke) is one I don't fully believe to be correct.

That said, I want to travel more. Like, really travel; the kind of travel that fuels creativity again. 

You think I'm lazy, don't you? 

But seriously; there are far better ways to spend the majority of life than solely focusing on your '9-5' so-to-speak. 

So I booked two trips to kick off 2k16. 

  1. AUSTIN, TX

'ey! Seemingly, Austin is the place to be. But really guys, I continually hear about all of the fun new food spots (ugh, I can't help myself and the restaurant scouring) paired with a booming bar scene and small boutiquey shops - lending themselves to instagenic moments most likely... just you wait (!) 

But really, three of my very closest friends from school and I booked a trip down there for the long weekend in January. Trip no. one that I am so freaking excited to experience.

  1. DENVER, CO 

Most of you know it, but my life-long bestie, Ashley K, moved there earlier this fall so obviously it was high on my list of priorities to get out there for a weekend. A year prior to that my college ride.or.die, Em Vic, moved out there. Plus, my second family, the Oakes, live out there (k... you get the pic) meaning I have finally run out of reasons to not buy that flight.

Embarrassingly enough, I have actually never been to Colorado in the winter. Big hills, 'er mountains, here I come! And, yes, rest assured that there will be all of the love + crazy (always crazy) stories coming your way in February. 

There you have it: my plans to start the new year inspired, with those I really really heart and hopefully just the very start of many more trips to be taken in the following months.

This is part of a continual self-effort to live a life that's focused on wellness as a whole. Aka taking time for a mindful re-set, every now and then.

> Exhibit A :: Adam Vicarel

He has uprooted himself from Denver, Colorado to travel around Europe with his best friend, seeking inspiration, finding that soul-fuel every single day. 

Need more of a reason to travel? Follow his adventures here. You'll be quickly reminded that this world is anything but small.

Germany for Oktoberfest anyone? No joke. 

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 

THIS WEEKEND | FALL'N ALL DAY FOR THESE PEEPS

Straight out of the cannon, touch down from Miami Friday evening to sit in bumper.to.bumper traffic trying to return home to my city before Kara G arrived shortly after. Let's face it? Why would I have expected to have a more relaxed arrival? 

The good news: seemingly I saw every single person that I am close with (quite literally) this weekend. It's kind of incredible. 

Anyways, KG arrived and all fell into place Friday night with a gathering in our foyer (aka our "living room") that house lots of bodies over wine and such. We then traipsed to The Grey Lady where Kara, Justin, Dylan and I took over the back room dancing (with similar moves to apes) until we shut the place down. 

It was fun. And then we dined at the diner. [...insert grease + milkshakes sans gilt]

Saturday morning consisted of the best brunch (no, really guys) that I have had in a very long time at Freeman's. Ambiance (+) and the biscuit egg'n'cheese sandwich paired with bottomless coffee? Means for a morning success - especially when it's with one of your fave partners in crime from college. 

And then we walked. And walked... miles. Heads up: if you ever visit me, you will be going places and getting your nails done because that's something I am anal about. #nochippednails

We then headed to meet JAKE at Gaby for a posh power lunch (where we didn't really eat, tbh)... But you guys (!) I finally saw Jake again. Ashley and I met him in Hilton Head, South Carolina when we were high school. We have a whole deck of memories growing up galavanting together for a few weeks out of each summer. 

He's doing great. And hasn't changed a bit. 

Kara and I headed downtown to change and meet Tor for some wine and light apps at the crowd-pleaser, Risotteria Melotti, right around the corner from us. You can't beat $4 wine from Verona. Ya just can't. 

You also can't beat a housewarming party on the Upper East Side at your friend's super chic, quirky studio apartment. Mel's party was all sorts of sweet: baked goods galore + best friends. My kind of night. She makes a pretty great host (thanks Mel!) and has a pretty enviable piece of real estate.  

^ Like, how pretty? The Jeff Koons balloon dog on the table? I die. 

Sundays around these parts are far from lazy: insert 8:30am Soul followed by Sadelle's for a quick bagel... before one final brunching experience at Bubby's with KG and Ev. There must be something wrong with us. #skinnysisters

The rest of Sunday was spent having drinks with Billy (and Tor) who was in from Austin, followed by dinner with Kels, Cat, Tor and Zach.

I'm not sure I have ever seen so many of my friends all in one weekend (I know - pretty awesome) #heartsofull

All of the layers in this pic. But if this doesn't depict fall beauty in this city, not sure what does. 

All of the layers in this pic. But if this doesn't depict fall beauty in this city, not sure what does. 

Time for a new week back at it: focusing on fitness + well being (even making time for a facial at Exhale Spa night + some SLT sweat...) for the coming days.

Aka: ME TIME. 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 | It’s FINALLY Here

For the first weekend, in quite some time, it officially feels like the warmer days are here to stay. Thank God. It’s been too long since we’ve had that feeling over here… has there ever been a time we could be more thankful for a warm breeze? 

Friday night a motley crew got together for dinner at Otto Enoteca to celebrate Becca visiting from Chicago. Nothing could have made me happier than the crew together, dirty martinis in hand and bottles of wine consuming the table. 

^ But seriously, we are motley at best. Eclectic. All of the above. All of the wine. All of the pizza. All of the love.

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^ Blooms for days. The popcorn trees are full immersed in uniformity of beauty.

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^ B’fast at Cafe Minerva never disappoints. One of my ultimate fave spots in the West Village… so happy I could take Becca and Lauren to experience the European-vibed goodness. 

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^ The charm never gets old. So many spaces and sun-kissed streets to explore.

{{ PAGE BREAK FOR 24 hour trip to Philly (!) and West Chester, PA. No pics… great trip. Not New York, but nice little get away. }} 

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^ Had no intentions of running on Sunday, but the weather was too beautiful to stick around. What started as a leisurely pace, quickly turned itself around and I found myself to be cruising down the East River, through Battery Park and then up along the Hudson. 

“Get out of your mind, get out of your comfort zone. The road will always be out there, but the results won’t come without the push, without the drive, without burning through your fears…” - Akin Akman

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^ These two strangers make love look real appealing. 

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^ And after a 6pm Soul session, refueled at Mimi Chengs. Boiled veggie dumplings and garlic broccoli on fleek. And… Mimi’s special sauce? Not sure what’s in that but whatever it is, it’s damn good. My hood hands down has the best food. 

Hope you’re weekend was just as full of crazy good things and good people. x

Fridaze’ Four |

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^ TriBeCa Film Festival started this week… kind of dying to see something if I can somehow squeeze it in. Oh and BrandStyle 2.0 began this week. Good things are on the horizon… feelin’ them good vibes comin’ in hot. 

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^ Dinner at The Black Ant with w. Tor to hear all about her Coachella adventures and swap Cali stories. Oh and the guac actually does have crunched up black ants (it’s amazing) and the chips are phenom. And yes, that was my first glass of rose this season. And outdoor eating season has officially begun in the city. AMEN. 

^ Dinner at Walter’s in Fort Green last night… oh my. The brussels were so garlick’yy and delicious. Need to go back again stat. K Linds? Obsessed w. that rockstar fam at the bar. Chic mom meets BK tween and rockstar boyfriend? 

Well, here we go again. The day before the 48 hour ‘break’ if you can call it that? Not sure what’s more crazy these days; the week days or the weekends. Regardless, each usually pose interesting so, here we go. 

My dear friend Becca from Interior Design school is coming in for the weekend which means a dinner tonight, early morning blowout and b’fast with her in the morning and somehow squeezing in a trip to Philly for about 24 hours before tapping it back to close the weekend with Akin. Can you tell I just got paid? Restocking the monopoly money, obv. (lol?) Bon weekend. Bon life. xx