Back In The City Again

When we returned home last week, we were asked to head back to the city this weekend and chaperone the Marketing and Management Clubs for the weekend. So, Thursday into Friday at midnight we met at the university, loaded the bus, and pulled out at 1:00 Friday morning. We got to our hotel around 7:40 and had to leave for our first meeting at 9:00. There was one single bathroom to accommodate 30 students and 3 advisors needing to change, brush teeth and get ready for a busy day. It was chaos. We ended up sending the guys into the fitness center to change and the girls three at a time to the bathroom, while asking them to do their makeup in the hall. Miraculously, we left around 9:05 with our bags checked in and everyone mostly ready.

Our first meeting of the day was with WaveMaker where a younger alumni works and it was fun to see their workspace, learn about their work culture, and hear more about opportunities for students in their space. From there we headed to Publicis Sapient where they provided us lunch and a similar experience for the students with another young alumni leading the session. I was really impressed by both companies and even more impressed by the two young alumni and how eager they were to share and guide their fellow Bonnies. What a great culture Bonaventure has created in alumni taking care of the next generation.

After the two agency visits we headed to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange where we were the guests of two more alumni, though they were both a bit further out from their time on campus. It was so cool to be on the floor for the closing bell. It was a quiet end of day today, so no crazy trading excitement unfortunately. Charlotte Flair and Titus O’Neil from the WWE rang the closing bell in promotion of WrestleMania this weekend. They were both very kind and took pictures with everyone there for the closing bell.

When we left the New York Stock Exchange we headed back to the hotel to check in and rest for a bit after our crazy night and day.

William and I were both craving dim sum, so we headed to Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown – a short 10 minute walk from our hotel in the cold rain that had been present all day. Dinner was delicious as expected from the first time we ate there back during our engagement trip in February 2015. We ordered steamed pork buns, steamed shrimp dumplings, steamed pork spare ribs, chicken feet, steamed soup dumplings, and my favorite steamed red bean buns for dessert. We also ordered a pot of oolong tea to share to warm up from the chilly rain and William enjoyed a couple Tiger beers. It was a fun city date night that ended with watching one of our favorite movies, The Intern, in bed at the hotel.

Saturday morning we were up early to grab bagels from Leo’s in the financial district before walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. What a fun morning enjoying bagels from William’s favorite bagel shop in the city and experiencing the views and exercise of walking the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a bit windy, chilly and foggy, but the views we’re still great and the company couldn’t be better! When we reached Brooklyn we headed into Dumbo and saw an editorial bridal shoot taking place in front of that great view of the Manhattan bridge. We decided to warm up with some coffee from Brooklyn Roasting where I enjoyed a tasty cappuccino and William had a yummy cafe au lait. Once we’d warmed up a bit, we headed for a walk in Brooklyn Bridge park winding along the water front in Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights. The sun came out and the weather was perfect for a walk along the water front.

From Brooklyn Heights we caught the subway out to Citi Field in Queens. I was able to check off two new boroughs on this trip! What a great day for baseball. The weather ended up beautiful and the temperature was near perfect when you stood in the sun. The Mets played the Nationals and won, which made the game even better. Citi Field is a great ball park and they have a fantastic family atmosphere; I think William and I decided to be Mets fans just from this one experience. It was such a special game too since of the six Mets runs scored, five were home runs – it was nuts. Plus, the Nats hit two home runs, bringing the home run total to 7. What a high home run game in a park where home runs just don’t happen often. We we’re spoiled with a great game, great weather, tasty drinks, and a great crowd.

After the game we caught an Express train into Grand Central and wandered around Midtown for a bit before getting to our dinner restaurant early and enjoying an appetizer and basketball at the bar before Laura and Dan made it in from Astoria. It was fun to catch up with them over dinner, hear about wedding planning, talk about genealogy, and just spend time with my best friend and her fiance. After dinner we went for a stroll to walk off some of the dinner calories, intending to grab dessert somewhere, but Serendipity now has a minimum per person charge to include everyone at the table and we weren’t hungry enough to meet it, then Dylan’s Candy Bar’s upstairs was closed for a private event. So we called it a night and said goodbye before William and I headed down to Seaport and Laura and Dan headed back to Astoria.

Sunday morning we strolled through Seaport and down to Battery Park enjoying the complete peace, quiet and solitude of the morning. New York City amuses William and I in that mornings we hardly ever see anyone, so it feels like we have the city to ourselves; it’s such a different vibe to the city at night, or even by 9:00 in the morning! We ended up grabbing bagels from Leo’s again and taking them to sit down at Pier 17 in Seaport and just enjoy the gentle quiet before heading back to the hotel to board the bus home.

It was such a fun weekend full of seeing new parts of the city, learning about amazing career opportunities in the area for students, experiencing fun events, and spending time with friends. The more I visit New York the more I enjoy it, and these last two spring weekends in the city sure have been beautiful!

How was your weekend?

Whirlwind Weekend in New York

This weekend flew by, but was such a fun short trip to New York City!

Friday we were up and on the road hours before sunrise so we could make it into the city by lunch time. Our drive was mostly dark and rainy, but uneventful. We parked our car at the train station and caught our ride into the city, where we headed to our hotel to drop our bags with the concierge before grabbing Shake Shack for lunch and stretching our legs.

Friday afternoon was spent walking around the theater district and over to Rockefeller before heading to the Upper West Side and through Central Park to the Met on the Upper East side. The Met was such a fun way to spend a couple hours and we barely saw a fraction of the collection! I’d love to come back when we could access the Costume Institute, but I loved all of the furniture and stained glass, plus this fun exhibit on the history of musical instruments. I loved seeing the evolution of the oboe and learning some history I didn’t know previously.

I also had to stop by the New York Public Library and get a library card. As a New York State resident, we can all become members of the New York Public Library, and I couldn’t turn down that opportunity. I’m excited to have access to their ebooks, but more excited to have access to their research capabilities.

We later spent time wondering around the Villages by visiting Strand bookstore and grabbing dinner at Ribalta. Its a Neapolitan style pizza and Italian restaurant where two of William’s former students met us. It was fun to catch up on their life as New Yorkers and enjoy pizza & drinks.

Saturday we grabbed bagels from Best Bagel and headed to Macy’s to check out their flower show and look at shoes. I ended up purchasing two pairs; a classic pointy toed nude leather heel and a fun open-backed pointy toed yellow suede pair of heels. They’re both very comfortable and reminded me how much I love a good pair of heels for my posture and how much extra they bring to an outfit.

After Macy’s we headed to Adidas in Soho, but new Yeezys dropped, so the line was insane. We decided to just walk through Soho and Tribeca to the pier and enjoy the beautiful spring day. On the walk we passed the Ghostbusters Fire Station, so that was fun to stumble upon.

The pier was bustling with activity, but it was nice to just sit and enjoy the sunshine, weather and company of my husband before we met up with some friends for lunch.

The real reason we were in the city this weekend was to celebrate the engagement of my best friend to a wonderful man she has been seeing for a couple years. We were a surprise and she had no idea we were coming into the city! I loved celebrating her and feel so happy we could be with them to witness this moment since Laura helped William plan our engagement back in 2015.

After lunch at City Vineyards with our group of eleven in celebration of Laura & Dan, we all dispersed. William and I wondered back through Tribeca to Soho to hit up the Adidas store where William found some fun shoes in an exclusive to that store colorway. Then we checked out the window at Monica Vinader (always beautiful pieces!), felt the materials of Allbirds and wondered into Aritzia where I loved a green jumpsuit, a fun trench and a 3/4 sleeve blazer. I didn’t buy anything, but I was happy to figure out my sizing.

After shopping in Soho we headed back go our hotel to rest and drop off our shopping. We ended up grabbing drinks (beer for William, champagne for me!) at the hotel bar before meeting up with a large group of Dan & Laura’s friends for kareoke.

Sunday we meandered to Liberty Bagels in Midtown before grabbibg ball caps at the Modell’s and heading to Penn Station to catch the NJ transit back to Secaucus and out to the town we left our car in.

It was a quick weekend, but one full of beautiful weather and fun with loved ones.

How was your weekend?

March Reading

And just like that, March is over and we’re 1/4 of the way through 2019! This month had some fun books (especially children’s books) that I’m looking forward to sharing with you.

A City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh, did I love this book! I’d had it recommended to me for years, and Annie from The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA mentions it often on her podcast, From the Front Porch. It was everything I enjoy in a good book.I loved the cast of characters that were each a little quirky, and how flawed the main character was, particularly in relationships. The setting was charming, easy to picture, and makes me Kong to visit Vermont – particularly in the Autumn! Each recipe sounded delicious and I loved the way food was used to build relationships and heal pain. I enjoyed the music that told it’s own story as an undercurrent to the relationships that were being built. It was just so good and sweet, but not saccharine.If you are looking for the comfort of a cozy night by the fire set in a small town filled with delicious food, you need to visit this book.

The Gown by Jennifer Robson🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

What a beautiful work of historical fiction!Ann & Miriam were delightful women who I enjoyed following along in their friendship and work as they embroidered the wedding dress of Princess Elizabeth. The descriptions of the embroidery we’re beautiful and I loved see how the two women’s friendship began and how they cultivated it. What a beautiful story of support and love. Meeting Ann’s granddaughter and Miriam’s grandson was a fun way to see how the story of friendship and a special wedding dress crossed generations and continents.This book was a true delight and I feel like I said goodbye to friends as I read the final pages. I’d highly recommend this one.

We Are The Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and Kids, Julianna Swaney⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a beautifully illustrated children’s book! I love that through gardening the book teaches the importance no family, team work, perseverance and hope. The writing feels meant for older kids, and some pages have quite a bit of text on them, but I feel all ages can enjoy the beautiful art and sweet story about how this family became gardeners and what that means.I can definitely see myself buying this is the future because it’s so pretty, but also because of the important lessons it teaches.I was given this book digitally to review by the publisher and Netgalley.

Real Food, Real Simple: 80 Delicious Paleo-Friendly, Gluten-Free Recipes in 5 Steps or Less by Taylor Riggs, R.D.N.⭐⭐⭐

There are some delicious sounding recipes in this book and the photography makes each dish look so appealing. I can’t wait to try her sundried tomato and artichoke quiche with goat cheese, and her balsamic, date and prosciutto pizza with goat cheese and arugala. They both sound 100% like my kind of meals. Her maple dijon salmon also sounds so tasty!I love finding new cookbooks to become inspired by for both my own family and my work as a soup kitchen director. If you’re looking for a book filled with very healthy but indulgent recipes, give this one a look.

Sony’s Chickens by Phoebe WahlMy mama loves chickens. Her whole kitchen is decorated with them and reading this book made me think of her. Sony’s cares for her chicks, just like her parents care for her. Its a sweet story of love, care, responsibility, and perspective when Sonya confronts a fox in her hen house. This was a sweet children’s book.

What is Given From the Heart by Patricia McKissackThis is such a powerful children’s story about what it means to give from a place of love and to cultivate community by caring for others. I really enjoyed this touching story!

Where Is Home Little Pip? by Karma Wilson & Jane ChapmanWhat a sweet story about what is home. Pip meets a whale and sled dogs, among others, and when they describe home it doesn’t sound right to Pip. However, each time home is described, family is involved and I love that! It ends with the lesson that home is wherever they are together and its just so heartwarming.

Loving Hands by Tony JohnstonOh friends! This book made me cry. It reminded me of Love You Forever, but I liked this better. It taught how our hands show love in caring for eachother over the course of a lifetime and it was so, so good.

Friday No. 10

Has this week felt long to anyone else? Maybe its just because its been very busy in the day to day.

I am so excited for this weekend! I can’t say much until its over because we’re surprising someone, but I’ve been looking forward to this for months!

We’ve been trying to eat through our fridge and pantry this week so that we didn’t have to go to the grocery store. I’ve loved how simple and easy that made meals – breakfast for dinner, tuna sandwiches, baked sweet potatoes… So easy and tasty.

Thursday was the induction ceremony for Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society. William is the advisor and it was fun to celebrate the hard work of the students selected for membership. After the ceremony we had dinner out at one of our local favorites and my prime rib was so satisfying alongside my glass of malbec.

I bought this blue trench last spring from Banana Republic and I still absolutely love it. The weight is perfect and the length is so flattering over both jeans and dresses. I love this season’s blush and olive colorways they’re offering too.

My biggest frustration this week has been working on trying to curb stealing from the soup kitchen. Mugs, cups, plates, silverware, coffee creamer, toilet paper… If we have it, it seems to disappear. Its so frustrating because then we no longer have it, and we don’t have the budget to keep up with the rate of theft at the moment. We don’t have enough staff to keep someone in the dining room with guests, but that may be where this is headed. And I really dont want to make police reports over a roll of toilet paper or a pocketfull of coffee creamer, but maybe I need to. I just feel a bit overwhelmed by this issue right now in how to handle it with dignity, grace and love.

Spring tried to make her appesrance this week, but we couldn’t seem to get above 50 & gray skies with lots of rain predicted this weekend with snow on Sunday. I’m so ready to be able to spend a whole day outside! Long trail walk with William and Mavis in the morning followed by an afternoon outside reading and listening to music and dinner al fresco with a glass of prosecco or ice cold lemonade. I am so ready for warm weather. This was a very cold winter, though not very snowy, we did have some bitterly cold weeks.

Thats where I am this week… Tell me whats new with you!

What’s Up Wednesday – March 2019

How is March almost over?! We’re 1/4 of the way through 2019 and I almost feel like I can’t keep up!

What we’re eating this week…

Monday – scrambled eggs & an English muffin

Tuesday – tuna sandwich & an orange

Tonight – baked sweet potato

Thursday – dinner out at the beta gamma sigma induction ceremony

Friday we’re headed out of town for the weekend, so I’m not sure what our meals will look like.

What I’m reminiscing about…

The dreamy experience that was our Mumford and Sons concert at the beginning of the month.

What I’m loving…

We finished season 3 of The Last Kingdom this week which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m still loving Home Town on HGTV. I read some sweet books this month that I enjoyed, like Joanna Gaines new book, We Are the Gardeners.

What I’m wearing…

I am so very ready to be wearing dresses without leggings! We’re so close weather wise, but its still been hanging out in temperatures where sweaters are more appropriate.

What I’m dreading…

Nothing at the moment.

What we’ve been up to…

March started with Spring Break for William and our Mumford & Son’s concert and the final men’s basketball home game of the season. I had to work St Patrick’s day weekend, but the month is ending with a fun weekend away.

What I am working on…

I am working on finalizing schedules through the end of the semester for work, planning for the summer, and just trying to make sure all is running smoothly at work.

I also applied for a new job this month, so I workwd on that as well.

What I’m listening to…

After the concert, I’ve of course been listening to Mumford and Sons even more than normal, and I’ve been listening to a lot of The Avett Brothers too. I’m always listening to a lot of Leon Bridges, so he’s been a heavy rotation this month too.

I loved the enneagram episode of The Popcast with Knox and Jamie.

What I’m watching or reading…

This month I enjoyed some great books, but especially loved The Town and The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living.

I finally saw Christopher Robin this month and loved it! It’s on Netflix if you haven’t seen it, but it totally hit my heart and I just truly enjoyed it!

I also have watched all of Project Runway All Stars this month, minus the finale which is tonight. It was fun to see so many past winners together.

What I am doing this weekend…

We’re headed on a quick weekend away trip where I hope we’ll get to enjoy good food and fun new experiences!

What I am looking forward to next month!

I don’t have much on my radar for April, other than celebrating Holy Week and Easter.

Spring Clothes

I’m dreaming of spring and warmer weather, and with that comes window shopping at some of my favorite stores, like LOFT and Banana Republic. I really don’t need anything, but it sure is fun to look and see what would be fun to add to my wardrobe.

I am, however, eyeing this gorgeous dress for a wedding we’re attending this spring, and maybe for Easter. I’m also drawn to this (much less expensive) dress by the same brand, but think it may be too casual. What do you think?

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From LOFT I am loving this pink blazer. I just bought a classic black blazer and fun pale blue herringbone, but love this longer and more relaxed fit pink one too. If my job required me to dress up more, it would make much more sense to add to my wardrobe, but neither of my jobs are very dressy.

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I think this green dress is adorable and I love the top in the same print. I have a top in this style from last year that is one of my very favorite shirts! I also love this striped version of the shirt.

These two dresses are also favorites of what they’re offering this season. A shirt dress and a wrap dress are such classic silhouettes and can be dressed up or down easily.

At Banana Republic, I love these two maxi dresses. The striped one feels so classic and modern, and the floral is just so feminine and lovely. Should I consider this floral one for the wedding instead of the two from Nordstrom above?

I also love the print of this top! They had it in a maxi dress too, but it’s no longer on their website. It feel so feminine and spring-like to me!

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What are you loving lately at your favorite stores?

Our Weekend

I just had one of the best weekends!

Friday William and I went out to lunch at a local favorite and I enjoyed a tasty French dip and German potato salad, which was a yummy way to start our weekend. That afternoon we headed to Buffalo where we were seeing Mumford & Sons, who were a bucket list concert for me. We bought our tickets back in the fall, so I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for months. They we’re even better live than I could have dreamed and we had great seats!

Each member of their band and technical crew are so insanely talented and this easily became the best concert I’ve ever been to, an honor previously held by Bruno Mars who I saw in August 2014.

Y’all, I can’t even describe how much fun it was to listen to music I love live and have them exceed my expectations. I could not stop grinning the entire concert and loved singing along to beloved favorites.

As I mentioned in my Friday post, I was introduced to Mumford & Sons by a tweet my now husband sent back in 2010. At the time he was just an acquaintance on social media, so to now be at the concert with him as my husband was a fun full-circle moment. I will be giddy over this experience for a LONG time!

Saturday we grabbed Chick-fil-A for breakfast and went to Wegmans for a quick shop where you know I had to get some of their yummy sushi.

Then we headed back home and to the final home game for men’s basketball this season.

We haven’t been able to make many games this season due to scheduling conflicts between mine and William’s work schedules, so I’m glad we were able to catch the final home game before they are A-10 tournament bound. The stakes were high for this game, if they won, they’d get a double bye for the tournament; thank goodness that was the outcome after a close, tense game!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home, which was much needed.

Sunday we had discipleship and worship, where we began our Lenten Journey study with the story of Jesus’ temptation. I love that our pastor is offering weekly communion in our discipleship time as part of Lent; I find celebrating the Eucharist to be such a meaningful experience and I love centering my week around the table, hearing about Christ’s body being being broken for me, and his blood poured out for me, so that I may be joined in communion with Jesus. I love breaking bread as a community and deepening our faith together.

After church we headed home where William made us a tasty pork curry and we planned a bit for our trip at the end of the month, and our bigger trip later this spring to Ireland. I love dreaming of these two fun adventures and planning out 1-2 things we want to do each day.

How was your weekend?