Category Archives: the apartment

on registries.

registryvia

CJ and I were very, very lucky to receive so many gorgeous gifts off of our registries. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of running around with a registry gun (pancake maker! waffle maker! pancake waffle maker!), but when you live in a NYC apartment, you have to edit, edit, edit. I put together a few ideas on registering based on what worked for us, what didn’t, and some thoughts I had along the way. Grab a cup of coffee, because this post is a doozy.

::1:: You need gifts for every price point. If your guests are kind enough to look to your registry, the worst thing you could do would be to make them feel like they are out-priced. Remember, not everyone can afford a $150 gift (or a $100 gift, or a $50 gift). I think it’s great to have things that are even around $15- Williams Sonoma has great kitchen accessories that are around those price points and can make your cousin in college feel like they are still getting you something you really want.

::2:: Think about the way you really live. Chris and I thought about registering for martini glasses. Then we realized neither of us a) drinks martinis, b) really accurately knows how to make a martini without looking it up online, c) can afford the ingredients for martinis.

::3:: Repeat after me: My taste will change. My taste will change. My taste will change. Get the classic china and the trendy everyday dishes. And if you can…

::4:: Get Juliska. juliskaLook, y’all, I don’t work for Juliska. But I should. I talk about them almost every day. In full disclosure, their flagship store is where my dad and stepmom live…so I get to visit OFTEN. Juliska could probably get a separate post on this blog, so I’ll try to condense my joy for one paragraph. Juliska can go from the freezer to the oven. Juliska can go in the microwave. Juliska can mix and match with almost everything. Juliska is really difficult to break when you accidentally drop a plate on the floor. Juliska is moderately priced everyday dishware. Juliska makes me really, really happy.

We have the white Berry & Thread set, a set of the Pewter plates, and all of our serve ware is Berry & Thread. I do have two baking pans in the Pewter, which I use weekly. I love that I can pull them out of the oven and toss them on our table without giving it a second thought. We’ve had our sets for almost two years now (we even have a Christmas set!) and I feel like I should be starring in a Juliska commercial. My stepmom asked me to step away from the Juliska since maybe it’s gotten to be a bit of an addiction? No worries.

It gets a lot of play on my Instagram, and almost every time food is featured on this blog.

::5:: I recommend, with my whole heart, Le Creuset.

le creuset

I’m a little embarrassed because I e-mail the amazing lady who gave me this almost WEEKLY to thank her for this little gem. My dutch oven sits out year round and we use her for almost every meal. I use her to brown meats, cook sauce, boil pasta, braise to my heart’s content. If the house was on fire, I’d probably grab her after I grabbed Harley.

::6:: This is a secret:

YOU DO NOT NEED EXPENSIVE CRYSTAL WINE GLASSES.

WINE GLASSES WILL BREAK.

ALL OF THE TIME.

The wine glasses we got from Williams Sonoma are gorgeous- and I know exactly where to get them if we need more (spoiler alert: we already need more).

::7:: I’m one of those weird people who really does think about who gave the gift as they  use it. We have a little pig cutting board from our friends Lauren and Brody, and I think about them each time we set out cheese and crackers. Same goes for the Cuisinart my friend Amy’s parents gave us, and the coffee maker from my aunt. Maybe it’s because those things are still brand new, but it’s kind of lovely to be cooking in your kitchen and thinking about all the people who love you enough to buy you a Cuisinart. Similarly, I love pulling out our Christmas stockings and tree skirts and Christmas plates (!) and thinking of the folks who so sweetly gave them to us. If your wedding falls near the holidays, I think it’s a really special thing to include on your registry.

::8::  I’m sure you’ll be smitten with everything you select, because that’s the point of a registry: you are adding things you love. Some of the items we registered for just got better in practice. Here are a few of our favorites that get a ton of play in our house:

bar setBar Set from Williams Sonoma

This has everything you’ll ever need to make the perfect cocktail. I love the way it looks and how chicly it combines all of the tools.

10 piece glass bowl set10 Piece Glass Bowl Set

I love the price point, and love all of these little bowls! We use them constantly for prepping and serving food.

cheese board

Vintage Wood Pizza Paddle Board

This is hanging in our kitchen and is just a gorgeous piece. We use it for larger spreads like the Super Bowl or important life events like the season finale of Homeland.

christmas

These Chilewich Dahlia Pressed Vinyl Placemats are a-mazing. They just dress everything up in the prettiest way.

Chilewich

Love, love, love.

glass

Schott Zwiesel Barware

In the glassware department, I feel like you can get highball and lowball and call it a day. Ican pour a cocktail in these Pottery Barn glasses (we have them monogrammed, which I adore), grab a glass of water, juice, whatever. They are simple and get the job done. Don’t be the girl who has 136 glasses in their apartment. Don’t be that girl (says that girl).

::9:: If you need a (really really really) comprehensive list of what to register for, The Knot has a good one here. I mean, we didn’t register for a sofa or a panini press or a snow blower or a garden hose, but to each his own.

I’m really, really glad we registered for these things:

     * 16 everyday dishes (dishes break and it’s good to have back up)

     * 12 everyday glasses

     * 14 wine glasses

     * Slow cooker

     * Cuisinart (seriously, what did I do before we got this?)

     * Kitchenaid stand mixer (I use this more than I thought I would!)

     * Le Creuset dutch oven and skillet

     * 2 sizes of baking pans (for lasagna, crisps, roasted veggies)

     * A great all-inclusive baking kit (this one is amazing)

     * Accessories like measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls (we have these in blue and I love the spout), ice cream scoops, etc.

     * Towels and bath mats (I have most of these wrapped up in our guest room since I am positive that simply entering our NYC bathroom will give you a transferable disease. So most of these will wait until Dall’au Stage 2 to make their debut)

     * TRIVETS. I didn’t register for these, but we received the most beautiful set from Anthropologie and I use them all the time. Right before the food comes out, everyone is looking at the trivet (that is seriously the whackest sentence I’ve ever put on this blog, but it’s true). And if you are me, sometimes they are looking at your stained oven mitt which is intended to house your lasagna. Wouldn’t a trivet just be so much prettier?

Some helpful tips:

– After everything was said and done, I purchased our linens and pillows. Something about other people giving me sheets felt a little weird to me, but I know people do it all the time and they are just fine. I may have three sets of sheets and duvet covers, just in case like the apocalypse comes and everyone needs fresh bedding.

– We did not register for frames or vases (okay, maybe one or two frames) and I don’t regret it. I also am not someone who lusts after vases. If you are, I think it’s a great thing to register for.

– Try registering for odd numbers, since things will break (when you invite me over, when you move, when you turn off your lights to watch “The League” and knock over every single thing on your bar as you try to get to the couch).

– Remember that you won’t always live in the house or apartment that you are in now. Who knows if your next place has an all red kitchen? Try to get things that can go wherever you do (this is a ringing endorsement for purchasing stainless steel appliances).

– Bloomingdales, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn were all delicious to work with. Strongly recommend. They also have “Thank You Note Trackers” so you can be absolutely sure you get all those thank you’s out!

– Macy*s does not have the best online return policy- you can’t return anything you buy online in-store. So keep that in mind if you don’t live close to a Macy*s.

Are you guys still reading this? Geeze louise I love writing about registries, I guess.

Good luck! Happy wedding! xo

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meet the new girl

Guess who is comin to town?

meurice_mirror_nThe Jonathan Adler Meurice mirror. A birthday gift from two rad parents.

Where is she going to GO?! I’m so pumped!!!

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doing the hard work so you don’t have to.

* I get obsessed about pants. I write long posts about pants. I really, really, really like when I find the right pair of pants. See here and here.  I will save you the word count…but trust me: these Gap Leggings jeans ain’t no joke, y’all. You can also go a size down so you feel real good about yourself and your summer workout schedule. I went to Gap with my mom and sisters, and every single one of us walked out with a pair of these jeans in a different shade. Reese and Sand rocked the coated versions (yes, they make COATED PANTS NOW) in grey and tan, I got the dark wash, and my mama has them in black. I’m telling you, it’s fun for the whole family.

 

* One day you are going to wake up and the Jonathan Adler Futura Bowl will be off the shelves forever.

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That day is coming sooner than we’d hoped. JA has discontinued the bowl and the wholesale retailers are starting to get rid of their stock. If you are like me, and have stalked this bowl for the better part of a calendar year, go forth and purchase now.

* Do you know about soap.com? Well, Chris does. Because literally that’s all I’ve been talking about for the past twenty-four hours. I told him it was a MAGICAL DAY BECAUSE ALL OF MY CLEANING SUPPLIES WERE COMING. But seriously: I got an insane amount of cleaning products, delivered right to my door, for almost no monies. I ordered at ten p.m. and they had delivered twelve hours later. FOR FREE. That’s magical.

Those are three excellent updates sure to brighten your day. You are WELCOME.

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on marriage making us GARDENERS

We recently got a gardenia plant. It lives on our fire escape and is THRIVING.

This makes me think we can do anything good  and should most likely take our green thumbs on the road. The road being the living room.

In investigating plants that can live indoors with very minimal sunlight, the comments from fellow gardeners has ranged from slightly annoyed:

What plants can grow without sunlight? Literally nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Stop asking.

To the the heartwarming. A lady named “Boo” responded with:

I have had 7-8 large pots of Peace Lilies in my home for many years. They are so easy. I only water them every 2 weeks. Several times a year I clean the dust off the leaves. I fertilize them a couple of times a year. They are so beautiful and bring me much joy. You should give them a try.

Can you just imagine sweet ol Boo typing that, sitting amongst her 7-8 large potted plants of joy?

Then I found a nursery that could possibly give me my plant. In their FAQ, I found this question and response:

“Can I get a replacement? The squirrels, deer, neighbor dog, 2 year old or other ‘wild’ animal ate my plant. ”

(We usually will give a replacement plant if the plant promptly disappeared, but you will be quizzed.)

If you have a two year old have him/her help you plant the plant and become part of the garden effort. If you have a puppy that has eaten every shoe and piece of furniture in the house, either wait a year to plant, or cage the plant. If the place you’re planting has a squirrel/gopher hole every three inches, kill or trap the rodents out before you plant. Rodents don’t usually bother natives, but if your plant is the only living thing for hundreds of feet it will be ‘sampled’. For dealing with deer see the deer page.

Occasionally we get someone who just tries to scam the system, but it’s surprisingly low.

First of all. I’m not a parent, but if your two year old is eating a large indoor plant, I feel like you should go to the hospital. Or like, talk to your child about not doing that.
Second of all, these people are very threatening. You will be quizzed. You better study, y’all.

I’ve decided that maybe we just get another puppy and not another plant? The plant stuff sounds like a big commitment with a very judgey community.

welcome home.

In the next four weeks, we’ll be celebrating two Big Moves and one Bridal Shower. There’s nothing I love more than shopping for treasures for my girlfriends, so I’ve been on the hunt for all things home to christen their new spaces.

For a house warming, I love giving gifts that make a home cozy: a candle, a bottle of wine, a blanket. For a shower, I love an item that can be put on display (like that marble cake stand- would you ever stick that in a closet?!) or something to share. The Riedel for Tiffany glasses are a slam dunk; they come packaged in the iconic blue box, which would be such a standout on the shower gift table. I’ve also been obsessed with these Turkish towels- I like using one as a brightly colored tablecloth. They are twice as absorbent as regular towels (and twice as pretty, I think).

Here are a few of my favorite gifts from around the web. All of these are under $50 and great stand alone gifts.

french-kitchen-marble-pedestalFrench Kitchen Marble Pedestal

coasters2Anthropologie Coasters

0a7996134e429415db352461db45def0Riedel for Tiffany and Co. Tumblers

il_570xN.400876582_7b49Turkish Bath Towel

_6449888Voluspa ‘Classic Maison- Laguna’ Two Wick Candle

i bought myself pink champagne flutes.

Because I’m an adult and I do what I want.

photo-46I could only afford five. So only five people can celebrate at one time.

You can get them here.

When you have five pink champagne flutes, really the possibilities are endless.

gallery wall.

This was the wall when we started.
IMG_4073 It’s not ok. Please don’t try to tell me it’s ok. It is not.

Step 1 to a great gallery wall: Know yo skills.

Mine do not include spacial awareness.

That means I call in the big guns.IMG_4633 Kaitlin “Spacial Awareness” Fine. She makes a gallery wall with the best of them.IMG_4635 Pondering. Deep in thought.

Spread those girls out on the floor before they go up. Don’t make a mess.IMG_4636 By George! I think we’ve got it!
IMG_4638 IMG_4640 Only a few are hung by nails. The rest are up with our handy dandy photo strips. These are LIFESAVERS.IMG_4641 This is my contribution.IMG_4642 Also this. IMG_4643 We hate each other and hate gallery walls.IMG_4646 Lookin good, ladies!IMG_4648I wanted to document my HELPING. Instead you just get some great TUSH shots. You. Are. Welcome.
IMG_4649 H, holdin it down, while mama does important gallery biznas.IMG_4653 Done!

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It took about an hour, because we kept changing our mind. If you have a firm plan, I feel like you can knock it out in fifteen minutes.

Key words: FIRM. PLAN.

Also, it bears mentioning: this is a two person job.

The frames, from upper right: ZGallerie, Pottery Barn (all around the edges) and my beautiful gem of a West Elm frame in the center. I’ve never spent that much on a frame and never will again. But you know what? She makes me smile every single day. And I can rest knowing Chris has basically bungee corded her to the wall, so she ain’t going anywhere.

What’s in those frames, pray tell?

From right: My mama, taking me home from the hospital;

My family at our lake every August;

Chris with his sweet sweet angel niece;

My sisters and I on my wedding day (iPhone pic, natch);

Chris’ family at their lake;

My mom and aunt playing as bebes;

A close-up shot of my grandma;

Chris and I at his brother’s wedding;

My aunt, grandma, mama, and I at my cousin’s communion;

Chris, his brother, and that sweet baby girl again;

Chris and my first visit to Syracuse in 2004 (!!!);

And probably my favorite: our bridal party as we were introduced as husband and wife for the first time.

I want to do another gallery wall but have been banned from purchasing additional frames. Chris has estimated that we have over forty frames in our living room alone.

Please go forward and make one in memory of me.

xo

thursday whereabouts.

We’re still here, guys, I promise.

My mother-in-law is visiting this weekend and IamsoexcitedIcannotsitstill.

To distract in the meantime, here’s a schmattering of what’s been going on:

The room pre-gallery wall.

IMG_5083

Doesn’t it look so bare now? I’ll do a proper post on how to make a gallery wall, but here’s a secret: Command Strips. I was able to throw our wall up in under fifteen minutes because I had a few packs of those bad boys.

We worked out the layout of the wall before putting it up. It’s so helpful to take a picture so you can keep referencing it. Or so you can get approval from your friends before you start.

IMG_5106
We were puppy sitting this week and had so much fun with our little houseguest. Here’s a picture Chris snapped when both pups crawled up on me to watch some Investigate Discovery this weekend. Forgive Bella’s eyes and Harley’s lack of a hair cut…we do what we can. IMG_5091 Someone suffers from Only Child Syndrome. Someone’s name is Harley.IMG_5103 IMG_5104All he really wanted was to be bundled like a papoose.

And finally, because I’ve been meaning to ask you this: are you a cool girl? I am not. Definitively not. My sisters remind me of this often. My mother says my style is a little more conservative than a kindergarten teacher. Rude.
A few weeks ago, both of my older cousins had on a certain pair of boots. These were Cool Girl Boots.
Now, both of my cousins are starting with a stronger deck for coolness than I am, but these boots would make anyone look like a Cool Girl. They made your legs look long and skinny, and whatever you were wearing instantly became An Outfit. You know those kinds of boots?
So what did I do? I promptly SCOURED THE INTERNET FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS AND TRIED TO PURCHASE THEM.
Now, mine are a little different, because those were sold out. Since they were so cool.
Mine have a zip in the back.
I know. Stay with me. I can be cool like that.
FRYE-WZ423_V1
Can I rock those? Or am I not there yet? Baby steps?
My regular look, just as a reference.
Everyone had to buy clothes to wear to Awesome 80’s Prom but I had enough to pull from in my everyday wardrobe.
733944_10200269304007549_1946176005_n
Maybe there is a Cool Girl class I can take. Where you drop your ballet flats and cardigans at the door and get ombre hair and a slouchy bag from Lucky.
What are your thoughts? Call me beep me if you wanna reach me.
XO

just keep swimming.

We’re dreaming of spring in these parts. Winter in Manhattan has been so long this year (our wedding was almost 6 months ago and was fa-reezing- so that means we’ve been bundled up for FAR TOO LONG). Give me the Highline! Give me dinner outside! Give me a swingy skirt and a fresh pedicure! But lord, please don’t give me the subway stations. That I cannot do for another summer.

We made a few updates to our living room this weekend. New curtains + new “coffee table” + fifteen minute gallery wall = Happy Me. We’re on our way, aren’t we?
IMG_1860 IMG_1867The map from our wedding invitation, and a sweet little card we picked up at Paper Source.

PS: Framing cards is a lot cheaper than framing Etsy prints. And you get instant gratification. Which goes a long way in this house.
IMG_1868Our wedding party, the front of our wedding invitation, and two of my favorite pictures from the wedding.

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Turned out pretty good, right? For three nails and some photo command strips? We didn’t measure- just eyeballed it after laying it out on the floor. I’m here to tell you- a wall of frames will fix any problem right quick. I love how this one turned out, and seeing all these pictures makes me smile every time I walk by. So even if it looked ugly, it would be a win in my book.

We have two things left to frame (I ran out of strips!) so I’ll share those as soon as they are up. One is for our front hall and the other for our kitchen.

In breaking national news, the shelves are done!IMG_1874I feel like I can breathe in this room. And like I have too many PLATES.

So what’s next for our little space?

Here are the top 5 items I’m pining for:

012dec06f491225875af027517ca6025

White lacquer boxes from C. Wonder

5b572360477ea7375fb8c12ea4eb1b95

(Who really cares where it’s going? I want it.)
(I think that’s our winner!)
Happy Monday!
xo
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where we’ve been.

We’ve been all around the city (and Hoboken!) lately. Here are a few pictures from our iPhones along the way.

Sometimes, the subways can be pretty.

IMG_1809 I haven’t found a way to not miss this girl.IMG_5013 Dreaming of Kauai. I love winter, but this one seems long and un-Hawaii like.IMG_5011I found this pretty building. Can someone tell me what it is? If you tell me it is a place of employment I will kill you. Tell me it’s where the President works.
IMG_5007After 3 1/2 years of trying, I finally cracked the Babycakes cookie. They are perfect.

I’ve had them for breakfast everyday this week. Shh.
IMG_4998 Kait and I were working on a new project. We work best when we lay things out in a public space and obstruct traffic.IMG_4986Here’s a hint on where that new project might be going. It has nothing to do with the muppet.
IMG_1715I bought a new dress.IMG_4977Muppet. Someone please come wash our dog.
IMG_4963 Did I show you this? My guy.IMG_4950 New York, at 5 a.m.IMG_4949 IMG_4948 Chris took me and this whack shirt out to dinner. Seriously- what is that shirt? What was I thinking?IMG_1822 IMG_1821 New York, from Hoboken. Sigh.IMG_1813I wanted to show you that we got a KNIFE RACK. Makes a girl feel DANGEROUS.
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What a shot to leave you on. But really, isn’t that so cool? It makes me feel like a schmancy cook.

Who eats cookies for dinner.

xo