Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daily Holidays : September

click image to enlarge

*   Here they are again.  These are the daily holidays of September.  I look forward to celebrating a few.


Today I am guest posting as part of the DIY series going on at Fancy That!.   Its about this little calendar I made.  It has been the best!  I am flattered to be featured. 
Check it out.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

shopping therapy / august

I am thinking these things will be perfect for the Fall.  Maybe I can save my pennies and get a couple.
dress. topshop  scarf. here   flats, skinnies. lulus  oxfords. forever21  blanketmissoni for target

Monday, August 29, 2011

a list of 29 things

I recently turned 29.  I am in shock.  My life is flying by and I am not where I wanted to be.  This list is my way of making sure I feel good when that next birthday comes.  It should be really fun and gratifying checking things off of my list.   

I'm excited to attempt to do all of these things.  Looking over the list again, I'm going to be really busy this year.  It should be fun!

//  Expect updates! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

home after the storm

tons of bits of the trees were scattered everywhere - there is a skinny tree down in the background

We escaped the island fever this weekend.  A friend set up a lovely space for us in New Jersey.  While the hurricane had a strong presence there, we preferred being there than home.  We left as soon as the roads in NJ opened up.  It was smooth sailing even through the toll booths.  We were lucky enough to find a parking spot right in front of our building.   

trees were down everywhere in NJ - this tree split in many places its how many in the area looked after the storm

Here in NYC, there was little damage and minimal power outage compared to other areas.  This really was a lucky thing for the city.  But, one of the newscasters pointed out that this is just the beginning of hurricane season.  This could mean that all of those cans and water bottles we have "just in case" may indeed have to be used.  Lets hope not. 

usually the George Washington Bridge is crowded, not on this day - it took no time at all to get home - indeed a record

Now that the storm is over we are so happy to be home.  There really is no place like home!  Especially when there is no damage or power outages, etc.  The baby is asleep now, the fridge is restocked and we are settled back in.

*  What was this storm like for you?  I really do want to know if any of my readers experienced this hurricane, too.  So, link to your blog so I can make a visit.  It was so wide-spread, I'd be interested to learn about the scene in your neck of the woods.

//  Here's to a great week!  Monday, a day off for Zack, the rest of the week is clear skies and perfect temps.  Should be fantastic. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

our Anniversary date

We didn't do anything special on this date this month.  We were packing up and leaving the ctiy.  NYC, as you have heard by now, was victim to Hurricane Irene.  We weren't hit hard.  Since we didn't know what to expect, we were happy to be off of the island of Manhattan in case of long term effects.  We were happy that we were safe in doors on this month's Anniversary Date.  I am sure we will celebrate this week still.  

* Every month on our Wedding Anniversary Date we like to celebrate.  We try to do something or go somewhere extra special together.  Love is awesome and I believe it should be celebrated. Here's to many happy Anniversary Dates!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

stormy weather

This red storm is a hurricane that is potentially going to shower on the East Coast.  We're thinking about skipping town and taking a little vacation inland.  Whatever happens, we have plenty of provisions to carry us through any emergency situations.  I just hope our home doesn't fall of the side of the island.   Be kind, Hurricane Irene!

violin lessons

Where can I find a violin teacher for my 1 year old?  He can't wait to get started.  

* Just like his dad, the violin mesmerizes our little boy.  It was the cutest thing to see him staring at the every move of this very talented violinist.  I can't wait for him to be big enough to take music lessons.  Cute!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

thrifted and found

Recently, I enjoyed a little shopping spree at our local thrift store.  It was quick and very successful.  There will be some refashioning but most clothing items are ready-to-wear.   I had some items I had hoped to find and while I didn't find them all, I did find a couple.  That made me happy.  I came away with :

6 : skirts,  3 : dresses,  7 : tops,  4 : misc. fabric pieces,  1 : set of 6 dessert plates,  1 : serving tray,  1 : vase

//  Why does it feel so good to come away with so many treasures?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Yesterday, we walked through my favorite part of Central Park,  near 105th street.  My mind was full of memories as I remembered the days when Zack and I were dating.  I wish I could say that we used to sit on this bench and talk about love and life.  That's not the case, I just loved it.  I decided that we need to enjoy Central Park more before the winter months set in.

Today there was an earthquake in Mineral, VA.  We felt the earthquake here in New York City.  To me it felt like wind or construction on the apartment above us.  After it lasted several seconds, was quiet enough that I could heard debris falling in the walls, I knew it was an earthquake.  It was crazy.  I called Zack at work and he felt it, too. 

Obviously, we are fine.  It was just a strange moment.

On another note:  
*  My family is now gone and I feel their absence.  It was so nice to have visitors. 
*  We are hoping to be at the beach this weekend.  It should be fun!
*  My husband Zack posted about all of the places his lightning photo has been featured. 

//  I plan on sharing the Iceland travel book later this week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

weekend goodness

This weekend we had my sister and niece here.   

We probably watched 10 movies.
We ate 2 milkshakes and some root beer floats.
We watched 3 major rain, thunder and lightning storms.
Did a bunch of crafting including this card above my niece made that I love.
Ate a lot of junk and laughed a lot.

It was so nice. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

mother & child

My grandmother had a collection of different pictures, figurines and sculptures of all sizes with the simple image of a mother holding a child.  I always felt a quiet hush fall upon me when I'd stop to admire them in her home.  She was the best mother to my dad and grandmother to us.  She was such a wonderful woman.

The mother & child portraits were of a mother holding always only one child.  I can't help but wonder now, was that to remind her of her dear and only living child, my father.  Or, were these many small reminders of her beloved first child, a daughter that was lost during child birth.  Probably both.  Either way, I am happy she had these beautiful images all around her.  Its a beautiful thing to be a mother.

I look like a real mother in these photos.  Its nice for me to see.  These photos were taken from Zack's new film camera.  Man, there's just something about film that I love.  I really hope this aspect of photography is never lost.

*  Check out Elise's revamp of her family's old (like from film days) photo albums,  they're totally updated.  Makes me want to do the same for ours.

Friday, August 19, 2011

lightning striking the George Washington Bridge

My husband captured this image of lightning striking the George Washington Bridge this evening.  WOW!

early morning

I have been awake since before 4AM today.  Granted, I went to bed around 9:30, I didn't go to sleep until 10 or so.  Still, why did I wake up so early?!  I wanted to get up and get things done, but for some reason the baby was awake too!  It was horrible.  I wanted to enjoy the wee hours of the morning in the peace and quiet that they are and not chasing after my little toddler.   So, I resorted to staying in bed. 

I'm so grateful and happy for our so comfortable kingsized bed (totally worth the splurge, people!) and our lightweight quilt from west elm.  (see the top blanket in the image above)  I got it especially for the hot summer nights and it has been perfect!

*  In my married years, it seems I keep going back to west elm for our bedding.  I have so happy with their styles and quality.  I'd definitely recommend buying here.

//  Wish me luck surviving this hot, thundery day.  Its a good thing I have a date with my sister and niece. 

a travel log : Iceland : post 5/5

This post covers: Hofn, Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Vik, Skogar, Hella

This week I'll be sharing images and words from our latest Icelandic adventure.

We ate in Hofn then shopped at the local handverk shop.  It was connected to the N1 gas station (logo below).  I wanted tons of sweaters in there but I came away with a pin cushion and lots of ideas.

The camping area sign.  This is for tents and for campers/motor homes.  Usually there are hookups for the campers at the campgrounds.  Also, Iceland is awesome with the signs.  Most towns on the map have a visitor's center that offer maps and info.  Iceland is set up really well for tourists.  

Glacier Bay / Jokulsarlon Glacier

We soon got the South Iceland.  We were really looking forward to seeing Glacier Bay.  We were enjoying the scenery (although it was looking gloomy) not being covered with the ash cloud, when we saw some weird blue things on top of the hills up in the distance.  Then all of a sudden, off to the right of the road, was Glacier Bay!  It was pretty remarkable.  I have seen nothing like it.  White, clear and crystally blue chunks of ice just sticking high up in the air.  We weren't expecting there to be so much ash covering them from the Grimsvotn eruption 10 days or so earlier.

The image above is pretty crazy.  Its of a really long bridge that is 6.5 miles East of Vik that is over dry ground.  It was swept away after a flash flood from the nearby glaciers.  There is nothing that grows around since it is for runoff from when volcanic eruptions melt portions of the glacier and cause flooding.  It is designed to allow road access even if there is flooding.  The land is clear in this area (a rather large area of just nothing but black sand) and the water/flooding can flow freely to the ocean.  Pretty crazy that this country is so prepared for volcanoes!  But I'm impressed with how they are.

 Check out the steam from all the hot springs and the little turf houses next to the white house below.  Awesome!

We stayed at Hotel Laki in Kirkjubaejarkaustur and since it was cloudy and rainy we didn't really notice the ash until the next day.  It was so sunny that we could finally see clearly how much ash was let off my the volcano in the area just north of the Hotel.  It was pretty remarkable how much ash there was.  Zack golfed for free at the hotel since the grass was in terrible shape being burried in several inches of ash.  There was ash actually overflowing in the holes on the course.  We helped them clean out one of the holes when we collected some ash for ourselves to bring home. :-)

The land is usually completely lush and green.  All of the above images show lots of dirt in the areas, that dirt is in fact ash.  Crazy.  I want to mention that Hotel Laki / Hotel Efri-Vik in Kirkjubaeharkaustur was very nice, they are really eco friendly and they had very good food, including a very generous breakfast buffet.  Golf and other activities are available and the land surrounding is just gorgeous.

Vik. Beautiful, Vik.  Its where, we drove to when the volcano erupted before we turned around.   We had made a full circle around Iceland.  We were pretty excited.  Not to mention the absolute beauty of South Iceland.  We shopped again at the handverk shop there and discovered their factory in the back.  Pretty cool.  And we had no idea when we were there before how close we were to the ocean. Its like 2 minutes from the road!  

The black sand beaches are magical and you have to see them!  This beach was absolutely gorgeous.  I wanted to put on fancy dresses and have a photoshoot (dumb, I know).  It was so clear and the water so blue and the little shore plants so lush and green, it was just gorgeous!  You can take a 2.5 hour drive from Reykjavik to get there.  It would totally be worth a little road trip to the black sand beaches of Vik!

After our day in Vik, we drove to check out a hotel I'd heard about called Hotel Anna.  It sounded so cute and affordable, but it was a bit much when we and the weather were feeling like it was a good tent night.  We just ate there.  It was really great but expensive food.  We loved the location and the atmosphere.  Its sort of early 19th century like.  Really nice.  I especially loved the bathroom doors (see image above).

That night, one of our last, we slept by another waterfall, Skogafoss.  It was pretty magical hearing the harsh wind out side  with the distant sound of the falls at night and then in the morning, just the quiet of the waterfall, waking us up.  It was pretty awesome!  The South of Iceland is so GREEN in the summer months.  Its an easy drive from Reykjavik, so make sure you don't pass it up.  

We went to a couple museums that were affordable or free and that was pretty fun.  We saw some cool stuff including lots and lots of sheep bones the kids used as toys, tools, embroidery and yarn work, and even a 2 headed stuffed sheep.  We only went to a few museums, as we wanted to spend most of our time outside, taking pictures and relaxing.  Oh, and did I mention, as you drive from the Jokulsarlon / Glacier Bay, you can actually see parts of the glacier spilling out from on top of the mountains.  Its pretty rad. 

We did to to the Eyjafjallajokull museum.  (Remember the volcano that caused all of European air travel to halt for a while?  This is the volcano I am speaking of.)  It is run by the family who's farm was spared by the volcano and flooding damage.  There is a worth-your-money short documentary you can see there of live footage before, during and after the eruption.  Its pretty remarkable, the story and it was really cool to see the farm and meet the owner's wife.  The Eyjafjallajokull Egloss Museum is definitely worth a visit.

Next up, my favorite handverk shop of them all in Hekla.  The ladies in there were the coolest.  And I met a couple of the women that knit the sweaters.  That was pretty cool.  I love that they are real people with real hobbies.  Anyway, if you want a custom-made knit with real Icelandic wool sweater from them just let me know.  We talked and they said I can order anytime!  Seriously.  And a sidenote: I loved their floor.

I haven't mentioned but the sheep were EVERYWHERE!  There are like 50 times more sheep in Iceland than there are people and a million times more sheep in Iceland than there are trees.  *Both exagerations but there are tons of people, not many people, and very few trees.*

 We soon were back in Hafnarfjordur, where we met up with Unnur and our other friends.  It was so great to be back in their company.  They are the greatest, such cool people.  We had planned and hoped to spend more time with them but the road trip only got longer as we drove and we ran out of time.  No regrets, just wishing we had more time with them.  * Unnur is a very cool girl, I mean, come on, she's Icelandic.  Need I say more?  She started a blog about Iceland .  I am sure you will enjoy learning a thing or too about Iceland from a true local's point of view. *

Back home (at Unnur's house) we packed until the wee hours of the morning.  We still hadn't gotten used to the never ending lightness outside.  It took way too long and we had way too much stuff.  In the morning we were ready to go home but sad to leave the beautiful country and our long 14 day vacation behind.  We felt pretty good seeing the rainbows as we drove.  That was cool.  And as you see from the image above, we drove: 3418 km = 2124 miles.  That is a lot of Iceland fun!  

Once we were at the airport (we love the Iceland airport, its the best, hands down) we sailed through customs and then ate a really expensive breakfast.  We boarded and within a few minutes both boys were asleep.  We were into the flight about 45 mins when (I was awake) I felt us drop fast.  We then straitened out but continued to decend rather quickly.  It was definitely not a normal takeoff procedure.  I wasn't worried but just anxious to hear what had happened. 

We got word from the captain and it turned out that the cabin pressure failed and despite their efforts to get it back up and running, we were going to have to turn around and return to the airport.  That was pretty crazy!  So, back we went, to the airport with the most expensive food to wait for some news of what was happening.  We ended up eating another really expensive meal, playing with the baby in their convenient and nice children's area until 5 hours later we were on our way.  5 hours after that, we were back home.  (Its always nice to come home but this time, it wasn't so pleasant. )  

Next, I want to visit Iceland around Christmas time.  They have fun festivals and traditions and I would love to be apart of it all.  But for now, I am looking forward to Unnur's visit to NYC next month to see us!

*  If you have questions or would like suggestions for planning your trip to Iceland, I'd be happy to share what I know.  Also if you have something to share about traveling in Iceland, please share it in the comments or email me.  Thanks for reading!