Monday, September 28, 2009
My 25th birthday "bash" was a lovely evening in the park with wonderful friends. The air was chill and crisp, so it felt like fall and the grill provided just the right heat to keep us all happy! I think my favorite moment of the night was biting into my gluten free homemade quadruple chocolate cake, made by Emily and Abby. It was soooo yummy and beautiful too. I wish there were leftovers this morning for my breakfast! Sadly, before we could even start a poker game, the rain came rolling in and swept us right out of Prospect Park and into sweet Chelsea Cook & Mollie Little's apartment where everyone gathered in close quarters and ended the night with lots of good catching-up conversation and some BabyCakes' treats that Savannah so sweetly brought for me.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
In the past two years I have been the luckiest of birthday girls, surrounded by most of my very best friends, both times including the best of out of towners! Last year I had my sister, Samuel, Savannah, Paul and Haynes. This year, Abby Hyslop of Lovey Dovey will be at my side amongst many a NY pal. I can't wait!
I met Abby in Savannah, she is a fellow fiberette, and a very talented one at that. It wasn't until two years ago when we spent two and a half months in France together that I knew she would be a friend for life! We spent the most magical time in a little village, called Lacoste in southern France (Read here for Abby's account). One of my fondest memories of France, was the night Abby and I ventured off to the Eiffel Tower, while studying in Paris. Alone, around midnight we got to the tower and found it nearly deserted, but it was still beautiful and we stood and stared at it's glory and just as we turned to leave...
the tower exploded into a cheesey flash of lights! It was a hysterical sight, even atrocious if you ask me!? We turned back again singing Le Vie en Rose & giggling at the strobe of Eiffel behind us.
Ms. Hyslop arrives tomorrow and the fun begins there. Abby is coming from Minnesota for work, she is a designer for Target, but in between work there will be plenty of play. It will be Abby, Emily and me- gallivanting around this big city and making big memories to last us a lifetime! I will have so much to share next week. Hurry up Abs! I can't stand the waiting anymore- I woke up yesterday thinking it was Thursday and boy was I upset to learn it was only Wednesday:(
See you soon.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
As I mentioned in my last post, I spent a week in Maine earlier this month with friends Emily Cox, Paul Isabella, & Cory Brown. The four of us rented a car in Brooklyn and we drove it all the way up to Calais, ME to stay with my Mema & Papa in their sweet Red Beach home. We actually stayed in the beautiful apartment above the garage that my grandfather built a few years ago. Every morning we were woken at 8 am by Papa on his intercom system: " It's time to get up, your burnin' daylight!" and 10 minutes later he would be at our door with a home cooked breakfast! It was so cute, we really enjoyed it! I also loved visiting with my grandparents and listening to the stories of their youth. I love my grandparents and I am happy my friends got to enjoy them too.
So, after breakfast each day we would usually go back to sleep for a bit and then we would head out for a day filled with exploring (or cycling for Paul, look here at his beautiful cycling blog). Most days we hiked in the beautiful Maine forests, we climbed the granite boulders of Red Beach and combed the "sand" for treasures and one day we swam in the old red-granite quarry where the guys jumped off the 30 & 40 ft cliffs into the quarry- scary! Another day we took a trip to Campobello Island in Canada where we had a picnic on a cliff overlooking a bay and then we hiked out to my favorite light house, East Quoddy Head. You can only reach the lighthouse at low tide and we got there late, so we had to race there and back and when we got back to the mainland we saw humpbacks and wright whales playing just off the coast- so exciting! This was also the day we had TERRIBLE lobster rolls in Lubec, ME, sooo disappointing. Not to mention, they were $13 each!!
To make up for the bad "lobsta" rolls, the next day we drove out to Eastport, my favorite coastal Maine town, for fresh and delicious rolls! Eastport was my favorite outing. Our first stop was Raye's Mustard mill, the sweetest little place that I have been to a million times before and somehow it never gets old. It was here that I realized that my friends are really perfect for me, because they genuinely enjoyed the mill as much if not more than I did- in other words we are all nerds! Then we headed to Eastport's waterfront & downtown area and explored the little shops. We had our lobster rolls & then drove around hunting for our favorite houses- just in case we decide to move there one day! Later, we went for a hike. It was the most beautiful hike, the kind that kept on going and we didn't even care where it took us. I felt like I was lost in another universe and I was completely happy with that, until I realized we were late for our farewell dinner with my grandparents, my great-aunt Robbie, and our favorite Red Beach neighbors: Earl & Erla (really their names and really they are married!!). So as quickly as we could we raced back to Red Beach.
On the way out of town the next morning we all shared our very first moose spotting!! She was so cute, early in the morning and knee deep in a bog. I was so happy, in all the times I had been to Maine, I never got so lucky! Moose and whales!?? Since we where all heading south we stopped off in Lincoln, ME with my grandparents to visit some of their best friends, Arthur & Ruth Taylor. It is always such a treat to see them. They are artists and they are both lovely and inspiring people. I was so happy that my friends got to meet them. It was really a special trip all together, pretty perfect in every way.
P.S. One day I am going to move to gorgeous Maine. I am not sure when, but I promise you that one day you will find me there and I can't wait for that day to come!! Truly I am a Mainer at heart. Sorry, Florida.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Games were the theme of my summer. When I worked for the family in Connecticut, the 9yr old boy was obsessed with games and strategy. I think the best thing about nannying for me, is that I learn from these little beings. It's crazy how smart they are and how not-smart they can make you feel, but they are always willing to teach you what they know. It's wonderful in that way. So this summer I learned Chess and I played lots of Blackjack and Spit amongst a number of other games. The greatest game I learned this summer, was Poker of course. I spent a week in Maine with three friends and one night after watching Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig and gorgeous bond girl, Ava Green, I played my first round of poker. It was so fun, and not just because I was exceptionally good at it;) I just love the thrill of the gamble, especially since there was no money involved. I think I would play a little safer if there was was a risk of losing my $$$!!
This weekend I am celebrating my 25th birthday with friends in Prospect Park for a moonlit soiree with food, drinks, & poker games. I can't wait for it! Thank you Emily and Chelsea for helping me plan my party. xo
Monday, September 21, 2009
A few weeks ago I hosted my first guests in my new apartment- my sister, Afton and her husband, Samuel. We spent a week trying to explore NYC on a budget, and I think we did a pretty amazing job of it. My favorite time was riding the subway when Sam would play the banjo and Afton and I had to pretend like we didn't know him so that he could make money. I know this isn't a legal trade, but who doesn't like hearing a good live tune on the subway? I think everyone secretly enjoys it. I do, I love it. I always give a tip to a good performer because it truly makes the ride more enjoyable.
Afton was here for her 28th birthday. We spent the day exploring the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (for free on Sat. 10- 12) and the Prospect Park area. Then we headed home for a rooftop weenie-roasting party with our NYC friends! It was a beautiful evening and great fun with familiar faces, hot dogs, music (a la portable record player), candle light and fairy lights and a great twinkling view of the city. The only thing that went wrong was that I completely forgot to sing happy birthday to my sister in my exhausted and tipsy state! Thanks to sweet cupcake extraordinaire, Meggs, we had extra fancy cupcakes, but still no song. When I realized it I felt like such a schmuck! I'm not sure if she has forgiven me for it!?
For a couple of days Samuel headed upstate to visit some musician friends where they worked on recording together and Afton and I got to spend some good quality sister time together. It was really nice. She and I lived together for three years in Savannah (not to mention the other 16 or so that we lived with our parents) so I miss her a lot. This trip was much needed and I am looking forward to a visit with them in Little Rock, AR in the near future.
Friday, September 18, 2009
About two weeks ago I decided I was going try going gluten free. In the past year or so I have had a series of odd health issues that I am hoping can be cured with diet and exercise. My mother suggested that I attempt a gluten free diet just to see if it made any difference. So far I have noticed that I am way more energetic, and I don't get my usual 3pm crash during the day. This is a great thing! I have found it to be fairly easy to adjust to gluten free, except for when I want a cookie or a cupcake, and it also means no more doughnuts (not that I eat them often, but the idea of never eating one again makes me sad).
So, it's a good thing I live in NYC now, because there is BabyCakes! An all gluten, sugar, egg, and dairy free bakery- crazy I know. I must admit it isn't nearly as good as my all time favorite sweets factory, Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Ga- but for gluten free it is pretty damn good!
Last weekend Emily and I had a girls night-out on the town, and our first stop- BabyCakes! Em couldn't wait to share with me the wonders of this bakery. We shared a cookie sandwich with icing filling and a cinnamon roll, the pickings were slim because we went at 10pm (they're open until 11 on weekends) but what we had was quite the treat. Also, I just discovered through the baker's blog, Erin McKenna, that they are now serving doughnuts! Yes!! I can't wait for the day.
Also, Erin McKenna has written this cookbook:
all images found via babycakesnyc.com
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This post is for my siblings. I was reading CJane's sweet post this morning, and I was flooded with my own memories of Gyo Fujikawa's children's books. They are so wonderful! Truly these books helped shape my free spirit and creative mind in ways that are recognizable to me even today. I can remember pouring over each page of "Oh, What a Busy Day!" with my sister, Afton, in amazement of the little children's sweet adventures. I can remember wishing that I could join them and play. Every one of Fujikawa's works are like little dream worlds, I want to find one of her books this very afternoon, just to have those feelings all over again. These books are a must for a young readers collection.
I miss being little today!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Back in July I had some pretty spectacular visits from old friends. The thing is, I was working in Connecticut during the week, nannying for a family with 3 children (ages 5,7, & 9). This was exhausting to say the least, but I had lots of fun and relaxation to look forward to on the weekends.
The first weekend I came back to the city on the train to meet up with sweet ol' Chelsey Hyatt! I was so excited to see her, I think it had been about a year since she had last visited. Chelsey lives in Portland, Oregon and she has come all this way twice now and I have never been to her coast- terrible friend, I am. So, the entire weekend we spent living in Queens with gal pals: Lily, Brittani and Sunny. All 5 of us are native Floridians, but that's not how or why we know each other. We are friends because we all enjoy silly adventures and we laugh at the same jokes, also we all have a thing for Harry Potter (and they have a thing for something called Twighlight!? I haven't been sucked in... not yet). We spent the weekend sunbathing at public poolsides, illegally carting a pup (Fanny) out to Coney Island on the train, eating Coney Island, going for a matinee showing of the oh so good Harry Potter and The Half-blood Prince, and riding bikes through Queens. It was the perfect summer weekend, I'll never forget it.
image: Coney Island, 1950 by Arthur Leipzig, new york photographer
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
So, I have been away from this place for quite some time. I have to say, I have no great excuse except that I have been busy enjoying this beautiful (mild) late-summer weather at the sides of friends and family here in my new city. It's official! I live in New York. Brooklyn rather. So much has happened since my last post, but I will tell it to you one day at a time. I am happy to be back and with a fresh start!