The Big Move

I can’t believe a month has passed since we moved into our new home in New York!  Adam and I had a busy summer, and it feels nice to settle into fall.  My doctoral classes have started; Adam’s back to working normal hours; and, it took a while, but we’ve adopted our new apartment as our home.

When I left off, we were just about to enjoy our going-away party, thrown by Adam’s family:

Soon after, we packed up our lives and smooshed it all into a truck.  Special thanks to our friends and family who came and helped out!

In the truck, and ready to go!

Of course, we couldn’t leave home without my best bud, J.

My bestie was our support system, and her unfailingly radiant, positive spirit made such a difference in our grand adventure.  Whether we needed help packing, unpacking, cleaning, shopping, making decisions, or just staying sane, she was there for us.  Thank you, star!

And finally, some pictures of our Big Apple home.  Here’s my study area (work in progress–artwork coming soon!):

And here’s our kitchen.  Not as grand or modern as our Chicago kitchen, but we’ve grown to enjoy it just as much.

After we moved in, I met a man who has lived in Manhattan for 36 years.  He said it’s the best place to live, and I wonder if I’ll agree with him someday.  After telling him about our moving adventures, he said to me, “Moving five times is the equivalent of your house being burnt down once.  That’s how much stuff you lose or break or throw away.”  It’s totally true–every time I move, I start with heartbreaking sentimentality and progress very quickly to giving everything away that doesn’t fit in the boxes I have available.  But it’s always nice to start fresh, right?

What was your last move like?  Do you tend to “burn the house down” and start anew when you move from place to place?  Any advice on how to decorate our kitchen and living room?🙂

September 9, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

CB2: A Pleasant Surprise

I have always avoided CB2.  I figured it was the teenage/college version of Crate and Barrel.  You know, like PB Teen, the younger sibling of Pottery Barn.  Or like VS Pink, the little sister of Victoria’s Secret.  Initials = Youth, apparently.

Last night, I was on the Crate and Barrel website for the millionth time since we created our wedding registry.  We have a hefty amount of gift cards, but nothing else we really need from there.  Since we can also spend our cards at CB2, I hopped over to their site to see if I could find anything mature enough for us twenty-somethings.


Um, what in the who?  What is this place?  China?  Wine glasses?  Place mats that would look cute with everything we own?  I continued exploring, expecting to stumble upon their skateboard-themed dorm-decorating section at any moment.


Simple, tasteful serving platters?


No ribbons or cheesy phrases scribbled across their picture frames?  Oh gosh.  I completely underestimated CB2, didn’t I?


Once I got over the shock of being utterly wrong, I started bookmarking my favorite items, all of which are pictured in this post.  The mugs above remind me of Max Brenner’s restaurant in New York—Adam and I loved their creative cups and mugs.


I could not believe this table!  I fell in love with a white marble coffee table at Room and Board a few months ago, but it was about $1500.  CB2’s version is $299.  I KNOW, I’m squealing, too!

Has anyone registered at CB2?  I don’t think I could’ve made a complete gift registry, but I’ll happily use up our gift cards there.  Where do you look for home decor?  Have you ever been this completely wrong about a store?🙂

July 28, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Moving Days

Just popping in to say that posting will be light for the next few weeks.  Adam found us a lovely two-bedroom apartment in New York, and we’ve only got 12 days to pack up and get over there!  It feels like we just went through all the stress and craziness of moving.  Hopefully, we’ll get through this move with two less emergency room visits!

I’m looking forward to moving back to New York.  I miss choosing all my groceries at the farmers’ market.  I miss gasping and sighing in the audience of a Broadway musical.  I miss walking the fifty blocks to my destination; because it’s nice out, and I’ve been a sedentary bookworm all week, and I’m tired of waiting in the hot/cold/stinky subway stations, and I like seeing all the little doggies taking walks with their owners.

What will I miss about Chicago?  Spending time with my Luxi puppy in the city:

At O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe

I’ll miss our family and friends.  I’ll miss our condo.  It was our first home together, and it was just so beautiful and perfect.

Luxe modeling our family room

I’ll miss all the excitement, hilarity, and surprises of living with my husband for the first time.  I’m sure we’ll be much more mature and prepared for living together in our second home.😉  I just hope I get the walk-in closet this time!

I’ll be back to posting regularly after the move.  Hope everyone has a great week!

July 20, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Our Picture Book

We still haven’t received our wedding photos, and I’m aching to see them and share them with you!  In the meantime, I’ve been looking at options for our wedding album.  I’ve seen some fresh and fun albums on the web, but I’m leaning toward a classic look.  Luckily, our photographer has amazing taste and offers her clients Cypress albums!

Never heard of Cypress Fine Handmade Albums and Boxes?  Here’s a little show and tell about them:


Each album is carefully crafted by hand.  You can watch a video about how the artists at Cypress create the albums here.  Below, you can sneak a peek of the inside.  The photos can be flush-mounted to the pages, printed directly onto fine art paper, or mounted onto matted pages.


They offer a choice of 18 beautiful bookbinding fabrics and ribbons.  Adam liked the look of these blue albums.


Lucky for him, there are no pink options.😉  I briefly set my heart on this shimmering plum but finally decided that a little blue in my life couldn’t hurt.


We ordered our DVD folio in the ivory brocade shown below.  We chose pale blue ribbon to bind it, and we plan to reverse the colors for our album.  See how nicely the ivory and pale blue albums go together?🙂


But honestly, how could one go wrong with their fabric and ribbon options?  The materials are gorgeous.


And the colors are just classic.


Are you leaning toward a fresh, modern album or do you tend toward traditional?

July 16, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

I Like Pretty Colors

Back in my teenage years, I experimented with drugstore nail polish.  A dollar or two was enough to acquire fun colors like metallic silver, bright cobalt, and shimmery pink.  During college, my roomies and I upgraded to French manicures, which we spent many nights perfecting while watching The O.C. and Smallville (back when it was awesome).  Post-college, I discovered OPI and Essie…and kind of fell in love.


Let’s talk Essie.  Why am I so drawn to the pristine rows of Essie polishes at my Ulta store?  Is it the adorably creative names?  The excitement of seeing the new colors each season?  Or is it simply the pretty, feminine colors?  Even the bold colors are softer and creamier than you’d expect—like colorful cupcake frosting!  (I’m going through Magnolia Bakery withdrawal—bear with me and my cupcake similes.)


I wish I discovered the resort collection before our honeymoon, but I did pick up Lapis of Luxury and Turquoise & Caicos once we returned home!  In fact, my collection doubled this summer with these new picks:

Lilacism is a current fav. Adam even gave me a scarf that matches it perfectly!

I’m wearing Tart and Button. They’re bright and perfect for the beach!

And this is my old standby, the color I planned to wear on my wedding day:

It is so pretty.  You have no idea.  Try it.

In fact, Essie has a whole bunch of lovely, wedding-inspired colors!  I know this, because on the night that Adam and I got engaged, my BFF came over and gave me a set of Essie minis.  Upon closer inspection (through a photoshoot with my new ring and the nail polish bottles, natch) I saw that it was a wedding collection!  She had purchased it while Adam and I were dating and waited for our engagement date to give it to me.  I get little happy tears just thinking about it.


Sigh, j’adore les jolies couleurs.

Although I have many fond memories of French manicures and Sugar Daddy and pretty wedding collections, I ended up with $2 drugstore nail polish on my wedding day.  And I was happy, because my nails looked decent, and, more importantly, I was about to marry my favorite person.  What more could a girl ask for?🙂

Is there a beauty product or product line that you admire?  What beautifying items do you plan to use on your wedding day?

July 9, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Perfect Shoes…Two Months Late

Oh, pretty pink shoes.  How you evaded me during my months-long search.

Sure, I eventually settled for these:


They were too high and too foot-bearing (so risqué!), so I only wore them in the morning on our wedding day.  I had to switch to ivory shoes midday.  Ivory!  Do you hear that, pink shoes of the world?  For shame.

What I really wanted was a pink shoe with a lower heel.  Maybe with the bow front and center.  And comfortable, so I could wear them under my wedding dress all day and night.  Well, whattayaknow.  I found it.  Two months too late.


You dumb shoe.  I can’t believe your timing.  Yes, I still bought you.  You were the only pair of your kind in the Kate Spade outlet store, and you were in my size!  You’re also quite pretty and, honestly, you are my ideal wedding shoes.  I don’t know what I planned to do with you when I took you home, but I did figure out one use:

Photos by Hanle Productions

Yep, I wore my post-wedding shoes in our post-wedding shoot!  More to come of those photos soon!

Before I go, I should note that I actually adored my original pink shoes and ivory shoes.  My mom wore the silver version of my ivory shoes to the wedding, and while no one noticed our match-iness, it gave me a happy heart.  So yay for ivory shoes, too.😉

Did you find anything that was just perfect for your wedding…after your wedding?

July 6, 2010. Engagement pictures, Our Friendly Vendors. Leave a comment.

Sunday Bunday!

Adam and I are babysitting my puppy for the next two weeks!  We flew with her from the suburbs of Florida to the hectic city of Chicago.  We walked with her to Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain last night (both are dog-friendly) where we spotted a bunny!  Unfortunately, about a dozen toddlers also saw the bunny and chased him into a small grassy area.

Because this is true, I said, “Aww, Luxi likes bunnies!”  The tots walked away one by one, since they lost sight of the bun.  Adam waited till all the kids left and beckoned me to come over.  He had found the bunny and wanted Luxi to meet it!  So sweet.

What I should have told him is, “Luxi likes to chase bunnies and scare the poops out of them.”  Equally accurate, but much more specific.

I shall make these cookies in honor of the frightened little bunny.  I kept Luxi away from him, but I’m sure the shrieking toddlers were trauma enough.


Luxe and I are going to have a busy week!  We’re going to check out all the dog-friendly attractions and parks we can find.  If you have any recommendations, we’d love to hear them!

July 5, 2010. Bunnies, Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

The Parfaits at Turtle Bay, The End

We couldn’t leave Oahu without a few touristy adventures!  Here are the highlights of our last days in Hawaii:

The Polynesian Cultural Center. We went to a luau and a post-dinner show called Ha: Breath of Life.  We preferred the Royal Lahaina Luau to the Polynesian Luau, but the post-dinner show was beautiful and really well done.  I especially loved the part about the wedding.🙂

Kualoa Ranch.  We wanted to explore more of the island, and our concierge suggested Kualoa Ranch.  We walked around the ranch a bit, then hopped on a bus to take a tour of the 4000 acres.  This ranch is where the show Lost was filmed—amazingly, no one on our bus had seen a single episode!  The beauty of this place inspired us to start watching the show as soon as we returned home.  It’s only been 2 months, and we’re already on season 6!

Many movies were filmed here, including 50 First Dates, Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park, and the one with the big footprints below…Godzilla?  Something like that.

The Dole Plantation and the Macadamia Nut Farm.  Out of curiosity, we briefly visited each of these food-tastic places.  The Dole Plantation had lots of activities (maze, train ride, cooking demonstrations) and plenty of pineapple-y desserts.  The Nut Farm didn’t offer much besides some tasty free samples.  Not a bad thing.🙂

The Sea Turtles.  Staying at Turtle Bay meant seeing sea turtle heads and shells bobbing outside your door almost every day.  But, as hard as they tried, they never crawled onto the sand at our beach.  Adam did some sleuthing and took me to this pretty cove on the North Shore:

We saw a group of people looking at something and discovered three sea turtles sunning in the sand!  There were a lot more swimming near the shore and trying to get on land.  I really wanted to help them (I imagine they were exhausted!), but there are very strict rules about keeping distance from sea turtles.  There’s a group dedicated to protecting the sea turtles at this cove.  They place the red rope several feet from each turtle and make sure no one crosses it.

My best friend in elementary school had a turtle named Noah, and all of these turtles reminded me of him!  He was such a gentle, quietly-majestic guy.  These turtles looked so tired from fighting off the waves and climbing ashore—I wanted to pet them and tell them they did a great job.  Sigh.  I need a pet.

Well, this concludes our honeymoon adventures!  Thank you to my husband for two of the happiest weeks of my life!  I miss it.  Do you hear that, Hawaii?  I miss you!  And we will be back soon!🙂

July 1, 2010. Honeymoon. Leave a comment.

The Parfaits at Turtle Bay: Day at Pearl Harbor

Adam and I are active vacationers.  While we did sleep in a few mornings and squeeze in a few beach-front naps, our goal was to make the most of our visit to Hawaii!  We wanted to see all there was to see, hike all there was to hike, and learn all there was to learn.  Pearl Harbor was our favorite learning experience.  It was humbling and kind of unbelievable to stand in all these places where history was made.

We set aside an entire day for Pearl Harbor.  In the morning, we climbed into the belly of the USS Bowfin Submarine:

You can see the Waterfront Memorial behind Adam.  We got ice cream cones before standing in line for the ferry to the Arizona Memorial.  It was a hot day, and little kids gazed at our ice cream while they stood sweating in line.  I felt bad.  Someone should open an ice cream stand near that line.

We took a short boat ride to the Arizona Memorial.  If you’ve never seen it before, it’s incredible.  This is a photo of it from the website:

The battleship is still underwater, and we could look down on it from the windows of the white structure.

The ferry took us back to land, and we walked through an aisle of American flags.  With plenty of daylight to spare, we climbed aboard the Battleship Missouri.

The ship was huge.  After every ladder was another ladder, and every step had a story to tell.  I know this, because I was listening to the stories on these headphones!

We used the video Ipod guides, and they were a million times better than the audio guides.  It would direct us to an area of the ship, and then go into a video documentary of what happened there.  It was amazing.  So amazing that we spent many more hours than we meant to aboard the ship!

As we neared the end of our Ipod guide, we realized that our next stop would be closing soon!  We sped through the rest of the videos and hopped on a bus to visit the Pacific Aviation Museum.

I had cut out a coupon for a flight simulation, but since it was almost closing time, no one would let us do it!  Adam was disappointed.  Sorry, love.

The museum folks were already shooing people out, so we took in as much as we could, bought some sour peach gummies (for me) and space ice cream (for Adam), and got back on the bus.  I think we fell asleep as soon as we got back to Turtle Bay!

I’ll tell you about our final days in Oahu in my next, and last, honeymoon post!

June 30, 2010. Honeymoon. Leave a comment.

The Parfaits at Turtle Bay: The Beach Cottage

When we were planning our Hawaiian honeymoon, I knew I wanted to stay at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu.  It has all the makings of the perfect romantic getaway—remote, beachside, and totally gorgeous:

When we found out about their beach cottages, I was even more in awe!  The prices were a step up from their regular rooms, but Adam insisted on spoiling me.  Heehee.  I gazed at photos of the cottages online from the moment we booked it, and it felt like home from the moment we walked in.  Sigh, I miss it.  At least I got to keep the cute male model in the photo:

This is the view from our back door.  Too pretty, right?

And someone else called our backyard home!  We named her Lei Lei and gave her cuddles in exchange for sharing her home with us.

This big guy and his friends bobbed on our strip of beach every afternoon:

The beach in front of our cottage wasn’t swim-friendly, so we usually had the whole beach to ourselves.  One evening, a group of people walked toward us and held a small wedding ceremony mere yards from where we were lying!  Adam took a paparazzi shot of them:

I loved taking pictures of the sunsets from our cottage.  Adam interrupted one photoshoot with a full out song and dance.  I love that man.🙂

I highly recommend staying in a beach-front cottage at Turtle Bay Resort!  The beach, the pools, the restaurants, and the rest of the 880 acres were all fantastic, and it would take too many pages for me to tell you all about them.  So I’ll just say—Hooray for Turtle Bay!

Has anyone else been to this magical place?  What drew you to your honeymoon hotel or resort?

Next, we’ll take some day trips on Oahu!  Previously in our Hawaiian travel tales:

June 22, 2010. Honeymoon. Leave a comment.

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