Saturday, December 10, 2011

Giant's Causeway

We stayed two nights at the Castle Leslie and then drove north to the coast. It was a little rainy for a majority of our trip but that didn't keep it from being absolutely beautiful! Driving around the countryside was just like you imagine. It is green with rolling hills and sheep everywhere.
The reason we drove up to the coast was to see the Giant's Causeway, which is a really neat rock formation formed by an ancient volcano. Apparently when the lava cooled it cracked into thousands of columns.
It was incredibly windy being right on the coast but that didn't keep us from climbing around on the rocks :)
Some of the rock columns further from the sea edge were really tall. Of course we climbed all over those too :)
The rain and the spray from the ocean made it really slippery, by the end of our outing both of us had slipped at least once. John had mud on his jeans to prove it and I unfortunately slipped one foot off into the water.
I don't know what I was thinking but I straightened my hair that morning. By the time we finished exploring the rocks my hair looked crazy! Between the wind that was strong enough to knock you off your balance and the slight drizzle I had a full on fro going on. 
The rain also kept getting on the lenses of our cameras so unfortunately there are some spots on lots of the photos. You can see spots in the top right of this picture. You can also see my hair being blown in multiple directions.
After the Giant's Causeway we drove down the coast to stay the night in Belfast. We enjoyed taking in all the countryside we could on the drive :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving in Ireland

John and I decided that since we weren't going home for the holiday that we would take a little vacation instead. We flew out Wednesday evening and had an overnight flight to Dublin, we got in around 7am and immediately got a rental car. Even though I was super tired there would be no sleeping in the car for me because I was FREAKING out! Thank goodness John loves an adventure and thought it would be fun to drive on the other side of the road. To make it even more fun he had to get used to shifting gears with his left hand too! No matter how smooth John was driving it seemed like every time I looked back up from the map I panicked that we were on the wrong side. 
When we stayed at a castle turned B&B last year on our trip to France we decided that those are really cool and we should stay at more of these. We drove about an hour and a half north of Dublin to a tiny little town to stay at the Castle Leslie Estate. The castle was built in the 1600's and is still in the original family's possession.
(I know this is a terrible picture and there is stuff on the lens but unfortunately its the only one I took of the outside)

The estate is about 1,000 acres and has lakes and forests and is absolutely beautiful! They even had an equestrian center.
John surprised me with a tour of the estate on horseback when we got in. I tried to take pictures while we were on horseback but it didn't really work out, not quite as smooth as I thought :)
Since the castle was in the countryside there wasn't much to do besides relax which is not our usual vacation but turned out to be really nice! We even ended up eating all of our meals on the estate too since they had several options and it was all really great food. Sadly our Thanksgiving dinner did not include turkey but instead pigeon! Definitely interesting and pretty good although very gamey, not sure pigeon would pass as food in NYC :)
The next day we just walked around the estate and then ended the evening watching the AR vs LSU game. You of course knew we would find a place to watch the game even if we were in another country :)
This definitely was a nice setup, unfortunately the game didn't turn out quite the way we hoped :(

The next day we got up early and continued our journey North. I'll share more on that in another post.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Feeling Domestic

Occasionally I feel in the mood to cook something besides our usual's (ie. tacos, spaghetti, casseroles). Since its fall I can get pumpkin ravioli in the freezer section so to pair with that I made pear and parmesan salad, one of my faves and so easy! Its just sliced pears, parmesan, walnuts and then an easy lemon vinaigrette. I use walnut oil in the vinaigrette with the lemon juice instead of olive oil for something a little extra :)
The salad I make all the time and is super quick. The brussels sprouts below however took quite a bit of preparation and I had never tried the recipe before but it turned out so yummy!
The brussels sprouts had bacon, sauted red onions and apple cider vinegar soaked cranberries. The recipe called for raisins but I'm not a fan so I substituted dried cranberries instead. I found the recipe online here.

I should mention that growing up we had boiled brussels sprouts which are really awful, I've only recently discovered that brussels sprouts can actually be great. They're quite trendy here in NYC so I've gotten to taste lots of different preparations :)
And for the main dish we had the pumpkin ravioli which I did with a simple sage browned butter sauce. Such a yummy meal and almost vegetarian except for the bacon :)

Living in NY has definitely opened my eyes to all kinds of new and exciting foods, I would have never even gotten the idea to cook this meal back in Arkansas.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas Cards

How can it be that time of the year already! The fact that Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away is blowing my mind. I don't know if I completely lost track of time because I've been wrapped up in my new job but this year the holidays have completely snuck up on me.

Anyway, seeing everybody start to post about their Christmas cards reminded me I should probably get on that too. Shutterfly is doing their promotion again for free cards if you blog about them which I love! I did this last year and used pictures from our trip to Paris. 
Since I don't have adorable babies like all the sample Christmas cards show I just use pictures from vacations we've been on :) It feels a little weird to send out pictures of just the two of us but oh well!

I started looking through all 930 Christmas cards ( and found one that I thought might be nice. The funny thing is that out of all of those cards I picked one from the exact same designer as last year, and no, its not obvious that they are from the same designer :)

I've also been thinking about having a Christmas party this year. I've been wanting to have one but John and I don't have many couple friends so then I started thinking about just doing another cookie party with the girls like I've been doing for Valentine's day. I checked out Shutterfly's holiday invitations while there ( ) and they have some pretty cute invites too, now to plan a party :)

If you aren't already a member of at least one photo site you should definitely consider it just for the promotions. Last year, along with the free Christmas cards I got free address labels  ( as one of Shutterfly's many promotions. Honestly I'm probably a member on too many photo sites judging from all the emails I get but I love to do things with photos! I think I'm up to four or five photo books now :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

AR Wedding

Two weekends ago I flew back to Arkansas for a friend of mine's wedding. I flew into Little Rock a little early so I could spend some time with my family and then I drove up to Fayetteville for the wedding festivities.

The wedding was at the Garden Room on Dickson and it was so beautiful! It was a perfect Fall day (keep this in mind for the irony later)....
Julie and Tony
I have to admit I borrowed all of these photos of the lovely couple from Facebook, my bridesmaid dress didn't really allow for my camera :)
Julie and I went to design school together along with Pepper and it was so fun to be back in town and get to hang out with old friends!
Pepper, Julie and Me
A quick note about the bridesmaid dress, its very cool but a tiny bit complicated. Its the Dessy Twist dress and can be configured in so many ways which is awesome but it definitely requires some practice and maybe another set of hands :) 
Me and Charles (Pepper's significant other)
After all the wedding festivities I drove back down to Little Rock and I was really looking forward to a scenic drive but unfortunately the entire drive looked more like this :(
And as a super fun welcome back to NYC we had snow this past weekend, yes, I said October!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Massachusetts Weekend

A couple of weekends ago John and I took the bus to Boston to visit with John's family. His brother and sister-in-law moved to South Hamilton, a small town about 45 minutes North of Boston earlier this fall. The rest of John's family came up for the weekend too. 
We got in really late Friday night so ended up just crashing. Saturday we all got up early and drove to Gloucester which was a cute little town on the coast. They were having a harvest fest so we checked out all the local shops.
All of the restaurants of course had lobster so the seafood fans were inspired to stop and get fresh lobster for dinner. The local lobster is super cheap so all of the guys each got their own to play with :)
Sunday we got up even earlier and drove into Maine. It was beautiful!
We got to check out Cape Neddick lighthouse and eat more seafood overlooking the ocean. I unfortunately don't eat seafood and so I ate the equivalent of kids menu food all weekend :(
It was a pretty quick trip but was lots of fun seeing the area and hanging out with family!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Rest of Niagara

After we thoroughly checked out the falls we went up to Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday. Of course we watched the Razorback game but after that we spent the rest of the day wandering around Niagara-on-the-Lake. 
It was such a cute town, unfortunately I didn't take any pictures in the town, just of the lake. Its only about thirty minutes from Niagara Falls where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario.
I've never seen any of the Great Lakes before so I have no idea about the others, but Lake Ontario was huge! I'm used to lakes in Arkansas which clearly pale in size. There were actually waves and you couldn't even see the other side. Way off in the distance there was even a tanker (not in the picture, but just saying!).
On Sunday the weather wasn't so fabulous so instead of going on the cable car like we had planned we went to the butterfly conservatory instead :)
The butterfly conservatory was fantastic! Of course there were butterflies everywhere :)
I took tons of pictures, one of my favorites is John deep in thought with his new butterfly friend :)
I'll end the butterfly slideshow with my favorite butterfly, I liked it because it was different from your classic butterfly :)
Now to get ready to go to Boston this weekend!

PS - In case you were wondering I'm wrapping up my first week at my new job and so far so good :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Niagara Falls

Last weekend I surprised John with a weekend trip to Niagara Falls for his birthday. I accidentally let it slip where we were going a couple of days beforehand but it was still a nice little get away :)
Niagara Falls
We took Friday off of work so we could fly into Buffalo and get the rental car at a decent time. Niagara is only about thirty minutes from the Buffalo airport so we got in around 1pm. It was perfect timing for us to eat lunch and then explore the falls.
American Falls
It had been raining some on and off but luckily by the time we finished lunch it stopped raining and the sun came out making for a beautiful afternoon!
Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls)
Of course we had to do the Maid of the Mist boat tour, I mean you can't go to Niagara Falls and not :)
It was a little bit chilly but we braved through! Even though we had ponchos the wind and spray is so powerful that you can't help but get a little wet. We kept having to take our glasses off to see because they would be covered in spray :)
After the boat ride we went to the next falls related activity which was the behind the falls tour. 
We got to go out on a platform near the base of the falls where you could see behind the falls. We also went through a series of tunnels that had openings along the way. The openings were directly behind the falls and it was amazing to be that close to so much power! 
After all that fun we got some warm drinks and sat overlooking the falls for a while :)
By the time we were ready for dinner we were so tired we just ate at the hotel restaurant and then crashed.

Saturday and Sunday we ventured away from the falls but I'll tell you about the rest of the weekend in another post since this post already has tons of pictures :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The weather isn't the only thing changing up here in the Northeast. I can't wait for the leaves to start changing because we have yet to leave the city to see that and I am determined to see the famous fall colors this year!

The other big change this fall is that I put in my two weeks notice at my job last week. I have been there for two years and really loved some of the people I worked with so I'm sad to leave but really excited about the new opportunity. My new job will still be in the furniture industry so not any less stressful unfortunately but I did manage to cut my already short commute even shorter. My new office is literally two blocks away from my apartment!

In the mean time John's birthday is next week and its his 30th!!! He thinks its no big deal and didn't want to do anything special but how can we not, its the big 3-0!  I have a quick weekend trip planned for him as a surprise, all he knows is that he has to take Friday off and we are flying somewhere. I can't wait and will post all about it when we get back :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Weekend

Well we made it through Irene and we never lost power, thank goodness! For the most part it just seemed like lots of wind and rain but Rosie did hide out in my closet all weekend long. I put one of her beds in there but apparently my bin full of scarves was much more cozy :)
Being sequestered in our apartment all weekend got really old really quickly but I did manage to do a few projects :)
I ordered these decals from Etsy months ago but this was my second attempt at actually getting them up on the wall. The first time I thought I could do it using just the level on my Iphone.....wrong! I had to buy a large straightedge so that I could actually line these up across the wall, I did still use my Iphone level though :)
I also finished knitting a blanket that I've been working on since around Christmas! Silly me thought one color would be boring and that I could just revise a pattern to fit what I wanted, wrong again. Although this is only two colors the way it's knitted I actually had six balls of yarn going at the same time! It got incredibly frustrating to untangle all of that mess every few rows.
I just finished knitting the blanket, I haven't sewn in all the loose ends yet so it's still not quite done but soooo much closer :)
It was quite a week with an earthquake on Tuesday (which I did not feel) and a hurricane on Sunday, who would have imagined such things in NYC. I'm looking forward to a nice calm, uneventful Labor Day weekend :)