Come Over All The Time

I'm a huge fan of Cleveland artist Erin Guido's work. Her fun, colorful, art pieces bring me so much joy. This may sound a little weird, but in person, she is exactly like her art - spending time with her will make your day better. And it's this spirit that she and her collaborator Lora are bringing to their kickstarter campaign for their new creative guest book

"We (not-so) secretly hope that this book will give you an extra nudge to hang out with friends IRL as often as you can. The world is a stressful place-- good friends make it a little less so."

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I think I mentioned this before, but Nick and I went two years without hosting our friends for dinner parties, until we got wild and hosted 3 dinner parties in 4 weeks. While we don't plan on such an aggressive schedule going forward, we do plan to entertain more this year, and this guest book will be such a fun way to keep track of great times! Also, let's not kid ourselves - I'm really looking forward to some weird and funny drunk messages LOL

So if you have an opportunity, go check out Erin and Lora's kickstarter campaign, and maybe even fund it if you feel so inclined!

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My Spring Wishlist

It only took until the beginning of May, but bring finally showed up! Warmer temperatures, flowers in bloom, longer days -- i forget how much I really love Spring until it gets here. While I'm usually in a rush to hurry up and get to Summer, this year I'm really going to make an effort to embrace Spring with my Spring Wishlist. 

Plant an herb garden: I plant an herb garden every year, but honestly, I don't think very much about what I plant in there and typically miss out on some essentials. My usual go to is basil and mint, but this year I'm looking to plant some chives, parsley and thyme in addition to the usual. 

Decorate our front porch with tons of plants and flowers: Last year we finally bought some comfortable furniture for the front porch and added a hammock, and this year I really want to add some planters. I LOVE flowers, and in addition to hanging baskets I want to add even more plants and flowers to our front porch - I want it to look like a mini garden, or like the entrance to a London pub in the summer!

 My front porch inspiration

My front porch inspiration

Attend a garden party: I just want to sit in a beautiful garden surrounded by flowers, drink champagne, and eat mini sandwiches with the crusts cut off. 

 Photo credit:  Jungle Jetsetter

Photo credit: Jungle Jetsetter

Establish a consistent yoga practice: This one shows up as a resolution almost every single time I make a resolution, and unfortunately it's one I haven't turned into a habit...yet. I'm hoping this time is different. Having read part of Charles Duhigg's book on the Power of Habit, I learned that I need to focus on the reward in order to create a habit. In the case of yoga, it is savasana, zen vibes, and a sense of accomplishment that comes at the end of a session that I need to focus on, and in theory, it will help me build a habit and ultimately crave yoga. In full disclosure, I got really bored with the book and didn't finish it, but I'm pretty sure I got the essentials. 

Complete a bunch of online and IRL courses that I've been interested in: I recently read a really great book called Designing Your Life, that applies the principles of Design Thinking to your life. I've heard a lot about Design Thinking from Nick (he's an architect, so this is part of his job), and even did an exercise at work, but had not really thought about using it to design my life and my career! As part of the exercises in the Designing Your Life workbook, I'm taking some online classes to try things out and get a sense of what I might want to do when I grow up. I'm hoping that this groundwork really allows me to bloom this year (sorry not sorry for the Spring pun). 

What's on your wishlist this Spring?

Everything I Ate in NYC

This past weekend, Nick and I took a little mini-break to NYC. Once upon a time I used to make it to New York several times a year, but then I changed roles, and no more. The last time I visited the city was 2015 - entirely too long ago. Needless to say, this trip was extremely overdue, especially since I've been watching Ugly Delicious and basically want to eat everything that David Chang eats on that show. 

I'm not a food blogger, nor do I ever claim to be one, but I'm a big fan of great food, and this trip did not disappoint on the food front. Here's a record of everything I ate.

Friday lunch: Ippudo. I'm going through a major ramen phase. I've eaten ramen nearly every single weekend since March, and this weekend continued that trend. Ippudo's spicy miso was delicious, but if you're local to Cleveland, I would put Xinji's spicy miso ramen up against this any day. And honestly, in a head to head battle, Xinji would win.

 Ippudo's Spicy Ramen 

Ippudo's Spicy Ramen 

Friday dinner: Babu Ji. I've been craving really good Indian food since we got back from India, and had been debating between Babu Ji and Bombay Bread Bar. However right before our trip, Thrillist rated Babu Ji the 2nd best Indian in the country, so our choice was made. And Babu Ji did not disappoint. The cocktails were on point, and the tasting menu was INCREDIBLE (and at under $70 per person, was quite a steal, and also the only way to get a reservation). We started with 4 appetizers, and then the main course included a thali, which translates to "plate". A traditional Indian thali includes several small bowls (katori) of different food, and the Babuji Thali was honestly a little intimidating. Go hungry, or you will not finish this meal. 

 The Babu Ji Tasting menu. So. much. DELICIOUS. food.

The Babu Ji Tasting menu. So. much. DELICIOUS. food.

Saturday morning: Zucker's Bagels and Smoked Fish. There was no way I was going to NYC and not eating a bagel. Zucker's is a local bagel chain - solid, reliable bagels, and Saturday morning's marble rye toasted with lox spread was no exception. 

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Saturday lunch: Given my aforementioned David Chang + ramen obsession, there was no way we were going to miss the opportunity for some Momofuku ramen. Having read all the reviews I was mentally prepared for a wait, but to my surprise we were seated right away when we showed up a little before 1:30 pm. The ramen was delicious and porky - no regrets. Also if you have to choose between Momofuku and Ippudo, pick Momofuku.

 Momofuku ramen 

Momofuku ramen 

Saturday dinner: Ok, so I lied. I don't have a picture of Saturday night's dinner because it was a stand-and-eat type experience at Dekalb Market Hall in Brooklyn with our friends Jon, Katy and Matt. I love food halls, and this was no exception - I dined on paella and nutella stuffed churros, but since I don't have pictures of the food, here's one of the market instead. 

 Lots of hungry people

Lots of hungry people

Sunday Brunch: We knew we needed to leave for the airport around 1 pm, and having heard rumors of legendary waits for Sunday brunch, our criteria was (a) a place that we could get an 11 or 11:30 am reservation, and (b) had good reviews. We ended up with an initial reservation at ABC Kitchen, but changed plans Sunday morning to The Smith - NoMad. It's shockingly large for a New York City restaurant, but I loved the white subway tiles and general decor, and the food didn't disappoint either. My short rib hash was a delicious blend of creamy cheese grits and short rib, topped with potato straws - unexpected, and such a great addition.

 Just look at that. No words needed. 

Just look at that. No words needed. 

And with that, we headed home, happy and full, and quite a bit bloated. If you need me, I'll be eating salads for the rest of the week. 

 

 

Three Fashion Trends I'm Embracing for Spring

Statement Earrings:

Listen, I have to be honest with you on this: I wear statement earrings all year round, regardless of trends. In fact, I don't understand non-statement jewelry trends. So, while these are back in a big way for spring, they are ALWAYS in for me. 

All that said, I was very happy to see so many statement earrings in fashion magazines this year - they look especially good with a bare shoulder, and even more so with a jump suit. 

 Photo credit: Juliana Arendash photography.  Click here for our selection of gorgeous statement earrings

Photo credit: Juliana Arendash photography. Click here for our selection of gorgeous statement earrings

Bold Prints

In my work life, I tend to stick to black, and more black, but lately I've found myself really drawn to prints. While my current prints tend to be on black backgrounds for work, I've been embracing a more adventurous look for after work. I'm a huge fan of palm leaf prints, and who knows, I may even get brave enough to attempt a paisley print this summer! Incidentally, prints pair beautifully with chunky brass jewelry, which you can always check out over at the Bombay Taxi Boutique store

 Photo credit: Zara. Check out their collection of  fun printed pants  

Photo credit: Zara. Check out their collection of fun printed pants 

Straw bags and pom poms 

This trend is absolutely EVERYWHERE and personally, I could not be more excited about it! However, I'm doing my own little twist on this trend, and unlike all the fashion bloggers in my feed carrying the straw clutch (you know the one) or the round bag below, I've decided I'm going to upcycle mine by picking up a straw bag at a thrift store and using these handy pom poms I ordered off Amazon to create my own look for well under $20, maybe even under $15!

 Photo Credit: Jessica of  Cocoa Chelsea via Instagram

Photo Credit: Jessica of Cocoa Chelsea via Instagram

What fashion trends are you embracing this spring?