A “Beautiful” Weekend in NYC

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This past weekend my mom, our friend Delmy, and myself spent the weekend in NYC to see Beautiful, The Carole King Musical

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It was a weekend to remember with beautiful autumn weather and an inspiring show. 

We stayed in Delmy’s childhood home on the lower east side with her family and it was so fun to see the city through a native New Yorker’s eyes. Every other time I visit NY I go back to Jersey or PA at night, so this was my first actually spending the whole weekend in the city.

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We kicked off the weekend shopping in SOHO, window shopping and people watching. We enjoyed a quick lunch at the new Maman, a cute French inspired cafe. 

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After shopping a bit we headed up to Central Park and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

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We then grabbed a drink at the Boathouse. It was crowded with everyone enjoying the warmer than usual temps, but well worth it.

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We then had an early pre show dinner at Isabella’s before hopping in a cab down to the theatre district. While sitting in heavy traffic on 5th Ave we glanced over and saw Geraldo Rivera sitting in traffic next to us in his Bently.

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We snapped a few pictures and when the cab driver got a hint at our excitement he tooted his horn and Geraldo looked over at us. Oh heeeyyy!

Once we arrived at the Stephen Sondheim theatre we grabbed some pre show drinks across the street and then took the obligatory group shot under the marquee.

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So let me tell you a little bit about Beautiful, The Carole King Musical. We’ve been looking forward to this since we got our tickets this summer. It’s a musical about the life of composer and lyricist and singer. Carole King music filled my childhood. I listen to Tapestry almost weekly. My mom’s favorite song of all time is, “You’ve Got a Friend” she has sung it during any friend or family sentimental moment for as long as I can remember. If I had to pick 5 albums to make up the soundtrack of my life, Tapestry would be in the top 3. 

Seeing this show together was very special.

It was truly amazing. The music and the history of Carole King jumped off the stage and I was entranced. Jessie Mueller, who played Carole King, was awe-inspiring.

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I feel repetitive here. But truly, she was out of this world. she took on the role of King perfectly but also added her own style of singing. Can you imagine how hard it must be to play a living legend? She does it effortlessly and I’m so happy I was able to see this show while she was still the star. 

Everytime she played the opening chords to “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” tears fell down my face. Most of the show I had a tightness stuck in my throat, there was so much emotion. I’ll never forget all three of us holding hands and crying during “You’ve Got A Friend”. 

There are few places that I’m as happy as I am while watching live theatre. Especially musicals.

We excited the show feeling high and full of energy. While waiting around outside sharing the happiness with strangers, we spotted Michael Bolton exiting the theatre! Weekend of random celebrity spottings. (We also heard that Martha Stewart was at the show but did not see her)

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Like true fans we waited by the stage door for 45 minutes hoping to meet Jessie Mueller. At first there were around 50 other people waiting with us. As time went by the crowd of 50 dwindled down to 15, then 10 and then there were only the three of us and three others. A misfit band of groupies.

Yet, we waited. The male lead who played Gerry Goffin came out and we got his autograph and picture. When it was 11:45 we decided we best get on home. Jessie Mueller was probably down there carving pumpkins with Martha Stewart…oh well we tried.

After a good night’s sleep we got up and enjoyed a filling brunch at Cafe Petisco (great french toast) and walked around. Sunday was a brisk and windy day yet we decided to take a Circle Line cruise around the island. It’s a great way to see Manhattan. 

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Circle Line does a variety of tours on nice large boats with good history and up to date information. I’ve done other NYC cruise tours before but highly recommend the Circle Line company.

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The cruise was nice until it started to get cloudier and colder. By the end I could barely feel my fingertips. Here is Delmy re enacting coming to America…bundled up like an anxious yet excited immigrant.

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New York, there’s just something about you. Until we meet again.

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Little Loves of Life

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There is nothing like a long weekend spent with family and time outdoors to make you slow down and appreciate the small things.

Life is constantly a busy mess. It can often feel like nothing is going your way and you are always stumbling and trying to catch your breath. It’s clumsy, messy, and tiring. My trick is to remember that we are all in this crazy game together and that the good often out weighs the bad. 

 Isn’t is crazy how the tiny things, when all added up, are the things that make our lives worth living? Our tiny loves are the things that transform our life from a stumbling mess into a beautiful dance. They set the beat and encourage us to to the extra twirls and dramatic dips. 

Here are a few of my little loves from the weekend that make my life worth living, the little things that make my heart do a little dance. 

The smell of coconut pineapple Chapstick (the only kind I buy) 

Straws

Violets growing in the yard

The feel of opening a brand new never been read before book

The smell of sun screen

The proud look Maggie gives when she retrieves her play rope outside

Ice cream sandwiches made with chocolate chip cookies

Ice clinking in summer cocktails

Fresh clean sheets

Holding hands with Ryan in silence while sitting outside

 

Follow along on instagram for more little loves. 

What little things made you happy this long weekend?

xoxo Katie
 

 

 

Currently

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Hello friends, life this Spring is flying by. I’ve been busy enjoying the sunshine and being outside and doing less computer work and blogging, as it should be.  

My biggest news is shown above. Yes,I went and got a big girl car! This past Saturday,Ryan and I purchased a Kia Sorento. I feel so adult! Ryan’s old Corolla wasn’t going to make it another year past inspection, it was time to say goodbye to it and get a car we could grow into over the next few years. So far I’m liking the space and the ride.

Here’s a more of peak into my current world:

Reading: I’m currently reading Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. I’m only about 50 pages in but already love the writing and characters.


Tell the Wolves I'm Home
 

Before starting this book I read the Divergent Series…and was completely disappointed in the three books. I didn’t really even get invested in the story or characters until the very end of book two. You know how sometimes you want to prolong a book because you’re not ready to say goodbye to the characters yet? I experienced the opposite with Divergent series. I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could move on to another book. The writing was dry and I just didn’t care too much about the characters.  Am I in the minority here? 

Watching: All my favorite shows finales. Revenge left me gasping, Nashville had me all emotional, Reign had me wanting more teenage ancient history drama, The Mindy Project had me bawling and smiling at the same time, was that not the cutest episode ever?

Wanting: The weather to make up its mind, one day it is beautiful and 70 and the next it’s 60 and pouring all day. But I do have to say that there have been more warmer days lately than not. Other than small things like the weather, my wants are more centered around where we’re going to be in the next year or two. But I’m coming to terms that whatever will be will be.  

Thinking: Why do the winter months have to drag and then once the sun comes out the days fly by? I can’t believe that it is almost June…and our one year anniversary on June 2. I’m reflecting a lot back on our first married year these days. Also about how cute and happy Maggie is to be running free outside.


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Needing: To get away. Really looking forward to our first anniversary trip to the Finger Lakes in two weeks. A whole weekend of nothing to worry about except what wineries to go to and what book to read lakeside. 

Smelling: All the loveliness of outdoors (and the unloveliness too, fresh manure in the fields anyone?)

Loving: Having Ryan home in the evenings since he is not taking any classes this summer. Also ice cream. I can’t get enough ice cream these days. My favorite is at a local creamery with over 20 flavors. 

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Cooking: Really not cooking anything too intricate these days. It’s been busy busy busy leaving less time in the kitchen. Prepping some of my basics like my favorite chicken salad, sweet potatoes, and spaghetti squash and enjoying fresh fruit. 

Listening: To soft folksy music like James Taylor as well as to my heart.The music is easy on my soul and gets me relaxed and happy feeling. “Up On The Roof” as been on repeat lately. I’m trying to slow things down and really be in the moment rather than constantly just thinking about what’s next and being anxious about our unknown future. 

Planning For: All sorts of summer fun including our one year anniversary trip, my best friend’s bachelorette weekend, summer weddings, and our family trip to Jamaica! And for my mom to recover from her surgery so she can be out and about and we can do things together again. 

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately! Let me know below!


xoxo Katie

 

 

 

Currently

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It’s been awhile since I used this space to do a little life update. To fill the space in between the lines, to ramble randomly, to give a peek into my every day life. So this is what current life is looking like:

Reading: I just finished the delightful book, Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple in two days. It was charming, witty, laugh out loud funny and touching at the same time. Highly recommend it. 

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Watching: We watched “About Time” this weekend and loved it. A cute rom com about a time traveler who want to perfect his relationships, both romantic and family. It reminds us all to slow things down a bit and appreciate the beauty of every day. You don’t get any repeats in real life.

Wanting: It to be Spring with warmer temps. To throw my boots in the very back of my closet to not be seen again until next October. For Ryan’s semester to be over. The past two weeks have been really hard on him and subsequently us. He has one more month of this semester left then he’s off school all summer! Freedom! I get my husband back full-time!

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Thinking: When will I ever learn to live in the present? (see above) I’m always pushing for the next season, the next event, to fast forward to the future, but to quote About Time, “We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.” Plus, I’m 31 now. 31! I was okay with 30 – it was still a transition age. Now 31 sounds like I need to be more settled, more comfortable with the here and now. Will that day ever come?

Needing: To go grocery shopping. It rained ALL weekend. Sunday was non stop pouring complete with flooding. I had zero desire to leave the house and run errands.

Smelling: Spring. It makes an appearance some days but then hides away and the 30 degree temps creep back in. But when it’s here, I can smell things growing and warming up.

Loving: All the celebrations we were able to fit in for Ryan and I’s birthdays this past week. Between dinners out with friends, family, and also just the two of us we really lived it up this past week. We had our final celebration on Saturday night with a dinner out with both of our parents. It’s rare that both of our families get all together.

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Cooking: Spaghetti Squash everything. Pad Thai, Vegetarian Pesto, Mac and Cheese, I never considered all the uses for Spaghetti Squash! It’s so filling too.

Listening: A whole lotta pop. Don’t judge. I need something to cheer me up from this glummy winter we are STILL experiencing. Hopefully Katy, and Demi, and Taylor will carry me into Spring.

Planning For: My best friends bridal shower which is a month away! Other than the date and venue, it’s all a surprise for her. I can’t wait!

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately! Let me know below!

xoxo Katie
 

Top 10 Attractions in Annapolis, MD

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Annapolis, MD, the sailing capital of the world, is one of my favorite cities and top five east destinations. I lived here for 4 years in my twenties and go back to visit a couple of times a year. Maryland’s State Capital is full of history, charm, and beautiful waterfront views.

Situated on the Chesapeake Bay and at the mouth of the Severn River, Annapolis is a mecca for waterfront activities. It is also ideally located 25 miles south of Baltimore and 30 miles North of Washington DC. It’s a walkable small city with an eclectic mix of traditional seafood restaurants (crab cakes anyone?!) and new fusion eateries. Nautical prep your thing? Then you’ll love all the shops and boutiques. Love history? The historic district is a goldmine of colonial architecture, historical buildings, and history tour.  Annapolis is a perfect fit for both young people and families. There’s enough of a night life to satisfy the younger crowd and accommodating activities for those with kids or older family members.

I pulled together a list of my top ten favorite attractions in Annapolis:

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(please note this is for the historic downtown area – there is much more to do outside the historic area and in the surrounding region. All of these spots are in walking distance from each other)

1. Tour the State House

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The Maryland State house (1779) is the oldest state house that has been in continuous use and was the site of many important events during the Revolutionary War including George Washington’s resignation as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from the army, and the ratification of the Treaty of Paris.

2. Mexican Cafe

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I know, odd that a Mexican Restaurant is my number 2 but believe me, go! Low key, budget friendly, great vegetarian options, and the best margaritas you will ever have.

3. Pusser’s

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Come for their famous Painkiller’s – the perfect water front drink. Stay for the Caribbean food, nautical history and the laid back atmosphere. The only true “dock bar” in town.

4. Go on a Guided Historic Tour

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photo courtesy of Annapolis Tours

The best way to learn all the fun facts about this old town is to take a guided walking tour. Various ones are offered, including ghost tours!

5. Joss Sushi

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The best sushi in town. Charming atmosphere and great service.

6. Tour the Naval Academy

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Very interesting for even non military buffs! Highlights include the USNA Chapel and John Paul Jones gravesite.

7. Chart House

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Yes, it’s a chain, but the views from this location are fabulous. Yes, the food is pricey, but the best seats are in the cozy bar with wall to wall windows. Stop in for an appetizer and a cocktail. Located across the waterfront in Eastport, it’s a nice walk across the bridge.

8. Red Red Wine Bar

Great selection of wine and beer, delectable cocktails, talented bar tenders and a chic setting.

9. Harry Brownes

A classy art deco themed restaurant and bar. Great Sunday brunch!

10. See Annapolis by water! Take a boat tour!

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You are in the sailing capital of the world – get out on the water!

http://www.schoonerwoodwind.com/

http://cruisesonthebay.com/

Have you been? What are your favorites?

If you have any questions, just comment below!

xoxo Katie

Birthday Celebration in Annapolis

My husband, Ryan and I, have the unique fortune of having birthdays only days apart. He turned 29 on Friday while I turn 31 on Wednesday and you can bet we spent this weekend celebrating. We spent the weekend living it up in one of my favorite cities, Annapolis!

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A while back we decided to book a weekend getaway for our birthdays – something to look forward to during the long and bitter winter. Annapolis, MD was an easy choice. I lived in Annapolis from ages 22-26 and still feel like I’m at home when visiting. I took Ryan when we first started dating and he fell in love with the quaint town as well. We try to make a trip down a few times a year.

What’s great about going to the same town over and over? Since you’ve already seen it all, you can have no agenda and have fun just taking in all the sights, people watching, and enjoying all of your favorite hot spots.

This weekend we stayed in the charming Robert Johnson House (part of the Historic Inns of Annapolis).

Robert Johnson House Annapolis Lodging

The Inn dates back to 1773. Our street level room faced out to the Governor’s Mansion lawn and the State House. It was an ideal location and within blocks of all our favorite shops, bars, and restaurants not to mention the waterfront.

We kicked off the weekend at my number one favorite spot in Annapolis – Mexican Cafe!

Mexican Cafe Annapolis Margaritas

This may seem strange to some as it’s not a seafood restaurant or even that unique or trendy of a place, and the food is only so so, but you come for the margaritas! Oh the margaritas! They mix in a little everclear and it’s magic. I use to come here at least once a week – dangerous!

katie at mexican cafe margarita in annapolis

After our lunch we were primed to walk around the historic district. My favorite shop is Paws, a fun pet boutique. Fact: this is the only store that I buy Maggie’s collars from.

Paws dog and cat pet boutique annapolis md

The owners are so friendly and welcoming. You can tell just how passionate they are about dogs and cats. After stocking up on some collars we spent the next 2 hours milling about town, aweing at the architecture and gorgeous historical homes, people watching, and window shopping.

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Next we headed into Chart House to share some Blue Crab Dip and some Manhattans at their waterfront bar. The sun was beginning to set and it was that perfect twilight hour. We were so cozy it was hard for us to leave. But we headed back to the Inn to shower and change for the evening.

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sunset in annapolis chesapeake bay We spent the night bar hopping to other favorites. At the newer, Red Red Wine Bar we ran into a bachelorette party that invited us to partake in their bachelorette party card game (think a card deck with each card instructing you to do different activities like “pinch a guys butt” or “sing a song”) I never turn down a chance to play a game! We had a blast with the girls and a few other people we met at the bar. What always marvels me is the friendliness of the people we meet here. In our hometown it feels like everyone is set in their ways and not keen on meeting new friends, almost like they’re adverse to anyone new. We were having a blast and pretty soon it was past midnight.

katie and ryan birthday in annapolis Never one to want the night to end, I insisted we head over to Level for one last drink….and then I wanted to follow that up with pizza…apparently I was trying to convince myself I was still 21 and not turning 31.

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Sunday was complete with a nice brunch followed by a long chat sitting on a bench facing the water. I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome growing older.

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It was hard going back to work – but I have more birthday fun to look forward to this week. Yay for weeklong celebrations!

Never been to Annapolis? On Thursday I’ll be back sharing my Top Ten Attractions in Annapolis, Md! 

xoxo Katie

 

What Are Friends For?

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Good friends are hard to come by.
Old friends are the best friends.
Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the others old.

There are a reason why clichés become clichés, because they are universally true. I’ve always chosen to have a small tight group of girlfriends that know me in and out over a large array of friends. I feel fortunate to have 4 life long best friends, 2 from high school, Kay and Ashley, and two from college, Laura and Jeanette.

This weekend I hosted a sleepover for three of them. Weekends with girlfriends always make me feel rejuvenated, happy, and young at heart. I absolutely believe those studies that show that people live healthier lives and overcome illnesses quicker when they have strong friendships throughout life.

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Only one lives in the same city as me. The others are in Philly and DC and we all take turns visiting each others cities. Although we’ve all changed and in some ways grown apart, we all have the common base of our friendship to hold us together. If we met in present day, we probably wouldn’t choose each other to be friends. But really, how many people meet friends in their adulthood that compare to the friends they meet or harvest in their college years?

Like any relationship, friendships take effort – especially when we all live so far apart. (Do you know how hard it is to pick a weekend that suits four busy young women?) But, old friends are the ones to invest in because no one can replace the lifetime of shared experiences.

old friends quote ralph waldo emerson

 We met in high school and college, an intense time where we have the freedom to experiment with our identity. A carefree time that leaves room for spontaneity, creativity, and simple fun. There wasn’t the harsh competition or comparison that we may do with friends that we meet in our adulthood. Studies shows that you are happiest when reminiscing over old memories – and that’s one of the things old friends do best – retelling the same funny stories, bringing up inside jokes, and remembering the “good old days”.

When I’m with my friends it’s always a judgement free zone. We love one another like family, accepting us, flaws and all, and validating us as a person that matters. Friendships play a vital role in our lives. They fulfill our need to connect, to bond, to belong.

Although we’ve all grown up and changed, we still compliment each other so well. We can go weeks with out communicating but when we’re together it’s like no time has passed and we quickly revert back to our college years with big belly laughs, silly stories, and boy talk. But the best part is that we also accept one another as the women that we have grown into and eagerly celebrate our lives with each other.

xoxo Katie