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. 


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. 



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.  



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. 


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.



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 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. 



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. 



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. 



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.   



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 In hopes of a quick recovery, we headed out for fresh doughnuts that were honestly, 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? 



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


Seemingly, I have yet to put a cease to the spending - and well, doing as one does as a Millennial, have continued to cut it close (too close) at the end of every paycheck. So it goes.

Anyways, here's the back story on why I am #poor -

I have always liked Coldplay. Always. And their new album is awesome, but I had to share the song that has really resonated with me... lately. And I mean, I really don't think I have stopped listening to it, well, in days. 

Some songs suit the current happenings in your life. Duh? That's why we listen to music... obviously to make connections and such. But this one has me feeling high - for many reasons - as I take a moment to reflect on so much that's happened the past few weeks; the people I have met, the physical goals I have accomplished, etc. 

So here is the song:

HYMN FOR THE WEEKEND (click link here to play) 

And don't lie, nothing has power quite like that of a feel-good song. Am I right, or am I right? Luckily, even if you tire of this song, there is a whole new album, A Head Full of Dreams, to keep your little ear drums happy on that dainty commuter subway ride... 

Oh, and yes, I do lip synch sometimes to this song. But yes, I do try to stop myself the second I realize what's happening... ugh, I am such a freak.

Ok back to my initial story, all of that said, the other day when my brother asked if I had interest in attending the Coldplay concert this July in Chicago with him and entourage, I thought to myself (for all of four seconds) - how could I seriously say no? 

Looks like I will be in Chicago at the end of July? And it looks like I finally get to see one of my favorite bands live. It's about damn time. 


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


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. 


WOW. Talk about a weekend that's left me seriously beside myself with a whole deck of new memories. My heart is so full after the last few days spent in Austin with Kara and Erin Michaela (and others).

Let's dive on into it... After all, that's what you're here to read. I think.

All of our flights got in relatively late since we all headed out after work on Friday, but some how, some way, we found means of rallying after all dealing with extremely annoying humans on the plane. 


We checked into our airbNb off of Dexter St., where we had a huge studio loft space above the "garage". I could have moved into the space gladly. It was not a garage. It was a beautiful studio.

How awesome is the modern architecture of this house? Swoon-y for sure. 

How awesome is the modern architecture of this house? Swoon-y for sure. 

Anyways, we headed to the other side of the river where we went to Peche for a light dinner. Totally kidding. It was a dinner of mac'n cheese, fries and mushroom fritters. When in Austin... Leave with high cholesterol 'er something like that?

Honestly though, we spent the night laughing so hard - making fun of each other - and of course, partaking in drinking activities. It was the warmest of welcomes.


Well, I swear - we tried to sleep in. We really did. But, it just simply didn't happen. However, I did con both of the suckers (!) to scratch my back... So I think it was a win overall.

We walked into town, the ya know, "scenic route", meaning the longest way known to mankind to be sure we were extra hungry for brunch at South Congress Cafe. Any place that brings you mini cornbread muffins as a 'teaser wins. Also, any place with batter-y chocolate chip pancakes wins. We loved.

We then shopped around at a few of the seriously well-curated boutiques on the street, picked up a couple of trinkets (repeat: no self control) and took another break for coffee at Jo's.

Shortly after, it was an acceptable time to take down a bev., we headed to Bangers Sausages and Beer Garden off of Sixth where we proceeded to seriously laugh (recurring theme) for hours over flights of beers before meeting up with the mayor of Austin... Our man of the weekend, Billy, at Bar 96.

Crazy fact: See the boot stamped on the glass? They actually will tattoo that on you for FREE if you fill out the paperwork. It's the craziest thing I have ever heard. And even crazier? People do it.

Crazy fact: See the boot stamped on the glass? They actually will tattoo that on you for FREE if you fill out the paperwork. It's the craziest thing I have ever heard. And even crazier? People do it.

The day started off grey but quickly turned around once the town realized the value of the guests in town ;)

We headed home for a quick (most necessary) refresh before heading to Lamberts in town for dinner. It was freakin' delicious; mouth watering chile queso and fresh chips and garlic (!!) broccoli and jalepeno martinis. Done.


Side note: these two chicks have been a straight up back bone to me over the past years. I truly can't imagine more honest friends. And I truly can't wait to watch our stories each unfold even further.

Again, met up with Billy and the boys for further instigating on the drinking scene. We headed to Whitehorse for live music and dancing and photo-boothing (now I am just completely making up words). It was perfect. Smiling just thinking about it, to be honest.

Things I learned: I absolutely cannot two step. My poor lead...

I made up for lost ground, for at the very least, a laugh. I think ;)




Sunday snuggles and stuff happened before getting our acts together for our next brunch adventure at Sandra Bullock's place; Waltons Fancy and Staple. Again, mind blown by the vanilla almond milk latte, chocolate croissant and egg.buscuit.sammy (pants fully unbuttoned by this point) that were consumed. No self control.

Rest assured: we walked about 13k steps to shed a few of those bites... Before heading to Torchy's Tacos.

We tried three different taco trucks (y i k e s) and this was hands down the winner. 

We tried three different taco trucks (y i k e s) and this was hands down the winner. 

REPEAT: no self control, when in Texas

My mind blown was by the fried avocado taco. Honestly, maybe a happy life just happens to be made by a good taco and guac. Like guys - I'm not kidding.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention we actually stopped by the Whole Foods HQ (pre-tacos) to pick up green smoothies (#necessary) and wine (detox, then retox) for later. The store was massive.

Spent the afternoon with Billy and his funny friend, Andrew, at Ginny's for... Chicken Shit Bingo. Yes. That's a thing. And yes, it draws the most unique (as you can imagine) crowd. My crew was pretty captivating so I was in no rush to leave.

We also witnessed a pretty epic sunset that gave me goosebumps; admittedly, I sometimes forget to look up.

I really don't like to use the word perfect, but in this case, it's applicable. 

I really don't like to use the word perfect, but in this case, it's applicable. 

The gals and I headed to The Odd Duck for dinner where we split tons of tapas. The portions were super small, which was super refreshing, seeing as we had quite the day of consumption. It was a dinner full of love, heart-felt talks of aspirations, and of course, talk of where we hope to be in our careers in the coming years. Surround yourself with the people who lift you. This trip was affirmation that it's the only thing that matters.

Ended the night with tequila and the boys.

MONDAY MOURNING (our leaving, of course)

And seemingly the morning rolled around too quickly for my liking. We went to Elizabeth Street for a Vietnamese, Parisian-inspired breakfast. Sound extremely unappetizing? It was phenomenal - my mind was blown by the homemade almond milk, Vietnamese pastry and egg white poblano pepper sandwich. I was also so swoon-stricken by the interior; my heart skipped a beat for the details from the chairs to the speakers to the printed menus.

SPACES LIKE THIS > I honestly was in my own sort of heaven with each and every detail. 

SPACES LIKE THIS > I honestly was in my own sort of heaven with each and every detail. 

This 'everything' croissant filled with cream cheese (?) - it was everything.

This 'everything' croissant filled with cream cheese (?) - it was everything.

Afterwards, stopped by the Criquet Clubhouse to check out the space and say our goodbyes before heading to the airport. And, alas, the airport served as a mini detox for me starting with drinking Kombucha and so.much.water. 

Weekends like this are of utmost importance. I forget to chill. I forget to not run around and pack my days. I forget that work doesn't need to be taken so seriously. These are the weekends that give that reboot to fuel the spark again.

Feeling blessed. Feeling high. Feeling full. 

...and already feeling like I am really wanting to go back x


IT MIGHT start to sound like I'm a broken record, it might not. I don't really care *!*

All I know is that I can't wait to head out this evening for trip no. one of 2k16 with two of my closest friends from college.

This time around? 

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A U S T I N , T X

Funnily enough, I feel like these planned trips are about the only thing keeping moi semi-balanced, and semi, ya know, in check, two weeks into January. With colder temperatures and the days feeling a bit too short, winter makes my inner wanderlust amplified. And well - truth be told - it doesn't help that I know some people who have recently put their monotonous lives on hold to pursue bigger things and find inspo the best way known; through #travel and exploration. 

Deep inside, you may feel the urge to see the world differently too. Yes?  

Hoping to come back full of tacos (a head full of margheritas - duh) and with lots of stories to share. Obviously.


Illustration by Patricia Van Essche 

Illustration by Patricia Van Essche 

After some of the most merry days here in the city, today I'm finally heading home so I can complete the holiday season with my family. 

And you guessed right; I cannot wait. 

This season is always filled with so many warm moments, and this go 'round has proven to hold true to the feels. I'm pretty sure it has to do a little something with the fact that I have been doing something from sun-up (well, earlier actually) to sun-down for the past three weeks straight... so yes, as you can imagine, lots of memories have been made.

Hope your Christmas (or whatever you celebrate!) is filled with lots of love, quality time spent with family + those people who elevate you, and of course, all of the homemade #eeeeeats that (for once) you don't need to make excuses about indulging in - it's all about balance (one lesson learned this year, check).

Lastly; try to actually engage yourself over the course of the coming days. Sounds simple but let's not pretend we don't struggle with this. Why is it so hard to just take time and be present? At the very least - I dare you to try.

After all, it really is the most wonderful time of year. Why wouldn't you want to remember it?  

X am

TBT | Thanksgiving with My Fan Club

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

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

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

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

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. 


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








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

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

Insert: lots of time with my dog. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is beautiful, truly. Kiss. 


Decking the Halls | @ WestHouse New York

I'll be talking about my Thanksgiving at home later this week, but first let's focus on the the current situation. 

Somehow it's December 2nd.

Translation: cocktail parties are seemingly taking over our planners, the city streets are now dressed in their best (with a strong window display game, but of course) and all the while, travelers line the sidewalks with excitement as they begin their shopping adventures.

If that's not enough convince you, the tree at Rockefeller is officially getting lit tonight which means things are getting serious. And the list goes on...

It's safe to say it's the Holiday season in New York. 

So what better way to kick off the December? With a wreath rager at WestHouse Hotel of course. 

Last night, the WestHouse partnered with Brittany Asch, of BRRCH based in the Lower East Side, to lead a small group of us through whimsical wreath-making experience on the Terrace. 

GUYS - wreath making is no joke.

Those branches aren't the easiest things I have ever dealt with - that's for sure. 

Those branches aren't the easiest things I have ever dealt with - that's for sure. 

We were provided an assortment of fresh greens (#evergreenscents) and spent our time rounding out branches of juniper and spruce - we even had various embellishments to give each wreath a bit of personal flair. All of this, plus glasses of champagne, created quite the lovely party. 

The WestHouse is especially striking over the holidays in part due to their efforts to partner with independent New York makers + shakers; cue the strands of lights dripping over fresh greens and the bespoke scent by the 12.29 sisters, Dawn + Samantha Goldworm, that fills the halls with a warm, yet masculine fragrance. This completes the package cultivating all of the feels one craves to feel at home this season while staying in New York. 

For those in New York (or with plans to visit soon, obviously), my suggestion? Stop by


Last night, this hotel set the bar high kicking off December 1 with a most swanky Holiday scene that left me feeling like a champ as I headed back downtown, wreath in hand.

It's that time again. 'Tis the season.

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. 


'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. 


Yes, This weekend was a little bit of everything. 

Friday for lunch, I met Claire down at The Butcher's Daughter for a seriously good salad + much overdue catch up. I got the spicy kale (so basic) Caesar with tempeh. Definitely has me wanting to go back for more. This place is consistently good... So good, that I fell into a deep sleep Friday afternoon. 

I have this issue where I DO IT ALL - always - all week long. My nights blur. This is not a complaint, but... 

You know when you hit the ground running? That was me this past week in a big way - and yes, it caught up with me. That evening, I spontaneously met Mel at one of my (many) fave spots. Vic's. For my 'main' I got a side of the eggplant & peppers - omgosh... so spicy - and a side of the sauteed spinach. And obviously, some red wine for my health. 

The next morning I did an early spin at Peloton before meeting Jade, Chris and her mama at The East Pole for brunch. The interior of the place was so simple, yet stylistically chic. The three ladies each got the egg white fritatta with zuchs and asparagus. My.kinda.meal in some of my most favorite company ;) 

The rest of my weekend was spent with the Toplitzsky fam in Bridgehampton at seriously one of the most beautiful homes I have ever stayed. I hung back at the place with a sleeping babe while the rest of the crew spent the night at an anniversary party at the family's newer home that they had yet to fully inhabit.

Like... breathtaking. 

Like... breathtaking. 

So anyways, I had a much needed night alone relaxing and wandering the grounds. Really, I felt like I was in a dream watching the most insane sunset sink beyond the rolling green lawn.

Sunday didn't consist of much aside from a big breakfast in Bridge, a train ride home, a much needed Soul and grocery shopping (very proud of myself) for the upcoming week. 

Hope your weekend was just as wonderful. I don't know how mine keep staying consistently great... but they do and they are and I am thankful. xx 



Kind of fell of the face of the earth here the past few weeks... I know. Summer is proving to be more busy than anticipated AND I just returned from the most (really, the most) incredible trip with my family to Napa Valley and San Francisco. 

That said my week goals? Try to at least post on the Napa portion of the trip - San Fran will follow. 

When I say I have all of the pictures to sift through - I mean I really have ALL of the pictures. 

Hope you have a great start to your week. Below is a little teaser of whats to come...! XX 


This year marked our third annual trip to Dylan's charming beach house in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Each year is always so great and this year proved to be no different. 

I think it's pretty obvious for those of you that read (which is a greatly increasing number each month - so thank you!) that I have a pretty awesome group of people that are in my life over here on the East Coast. And this weekend, we no less of a reminder of that very fact. 

We headed out of the city on Friday night and had the luxury of having chauffeur Psiaki drive us. Once we got out of the city, it was pretty smooth sailing complete with road snacks, 'girl's night out' Spotify on (sorry Chris!) and lots of chatting. When we arrived, we were greeted by our hosts with the absolute most: Justin + Dylan and a whole lotta pizza waiting for us. We ate a late dinner and sat out on the back porch drinking summer ales and catching up. Love these sorts of nights. 

Banana.chocolate.chip.coconut. 'Nough said. 

Banana.chocolate.chip.coconut. 'Nough said. 

The next morning, we woke up to go to my absolute fave spot in RI - seriously. Dave's Coffee Shop blows any sort of muffin on the East Coast out of the water. Portions are legit insane. And it's so lovely sitting outside.

After we finished brekkie, we headed to the tennis courts  (it was a bit cloudy and supposed to clear so what better way to kill some time?) where the couples took themselves QUITE seriously in playing king of the court. 

I have to say, I was quite jealous I couldn't partake in the sweat sesh. But sitting on the sideline drinking and spectating wasn't a horrible alternative... plus someone has to take pics.

After being sporty, we headed home, made a quick lunch and got ready to hit the beach. This chick has not laid out in the sun for more than 4 hours tops all summer, so these bones were quite ready to take in all of the rays possible. And so that's what we did. The highlight for me? I even got in a short beach walk with my gf Jade - which being able to walk that short distance on the ocean just seemed so liberating. I am really getting so much stronger each week (this past weekend marked 8 weeks since the surgery) and it could not make me happier.

After we all hosed off, we headed to Weekapaug Inn to have a drink and watch the sunset. Let me tell you - it was seriously pretty. 


Also - Rhode Island is a seriously underrated state and deserves far more credit for it's beauty. The beaches are on point and so are the beautiful New England style homes, the shrubbery filled with blooming blue hydrangeas and various inlets with parked boats and tall grasses. It's a magical place.

These people have hearts of gold. So much love it hurts. 

These people have hearts of gold. So much love it hurts. 

Sunday morning... was well, it was rough. I think we all over served ourselves a bit (Jade and I were totally the juvenilles of the the crew...) and seriously needed to hydrate ourselves. WOW. We don't bounce back quite as quickly as we once did. After a great b'fast at the Cooked Goose, we headed back to the beach to squeeze in as many minute in the sun as possible. 

This was a no-complaint-kind-of-weekend if you ask me. Very blessed to have weekends like these with such rockstars. X 

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


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

Who doesn't love luv? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Forever my best chick. XO

Forever my best chick. XO

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

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

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

        ^ The Martillotta household's fave room. 

        ^ The Martillotta household's fave room. 

This Weekend | Stars, Stripes & Shore Shenanigans

This past weekend I spent my Fourth with the fab ladies of 440 Brielle Road in Manasquan, New Jersey. AKA 'The Shore'... the infamous place I have heard about for years. This probably constituted for one of the more all.around.wild weekends I have had in quite some times. 

It consisted of everything a Fourth should consist of: friends, lots of alch + food (detox starts now) and sunshine. 

ALL OF THE RED. WHITE. AND BLUE. To be honest, I think I drank more beer (specifically Bud Light...) than I have in over a year. 

ALL OF THE RED. WHITE. AND BLUE. To be honest, I think I drank more beer (specifically Bud Light...) than I have in over a year. 

This is why this chick will forever be one of my ultimate favorites. Tor in a hot dog eating contest with a Weiner Eater shirt on that was ironed on backwards. This is everything. On the 'Meet the Eaters' sheets her's read "Loves weiners. Identity TBD."

This is why this chick will forever be one of my ultimate favorites. Tor in a hot dog eating contest with a Weiner Eater shirt on that was ironed on backwards. This is everything. On the 'Meet the Eaters' sheets her's read "Loves weiners. Identity TBD."

These chicks are all so, so great. So much fun with them. So many props to them for doing this kind of weekend BACK TO BACK for 8 weekends. I don't know if I would be able to keep up. 

These chicks are all so, so great. So much fun with them. So many props to them for doing this kind of weekend BACK TO BACK for 8 weekends. I don't know if I would be able to keep up. 

Thanks for the hospitality and a wild Fourth of eventing. Could only have had more fun if Tor won the hot dog eating contest. Enough said...

Let's power through today. GOOD LUCK. #help