Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Summer trend: Birkenstocks

When I heard that Birkenstocks were making a comeback, I wasn't so sure how I felt. I remember how much I loved the dark leather pair I wore daily in high school. My friends and I made an effort to keep them on our feet year-round, even wearing them with socks (!) in the winter (much to the dismay of our teachers). But when I saw the crisp and clean white pair above, I had a change of heart. Kate over at View from the Topp makes Birkenstocks look stylish, chic, and like the optimal footwear for spring and summer. 

What do you think? Is this a trend you're ready to bring back?

(Images via Instagram)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Theater Page: Cabaret and Violet

The Tony Award nominations come out today, but I already know my picks for best Broadway musicals this season: Violet and Cabaret, both put on by the Roundabout Theatre Company. Both are revivals, but they're brand new to me. I had never heard the music for either production, but was instantly hooked—and moved—by both performances. 

First, Violet: I didn't think Sutton Foster could get any better after seeing her play Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, but she kicks things up a notch playing the title role in this show (Southern twang and all). Her voice gave me chills, as did the musical chops of the rest of the cast. For a glimpse of their talent, watch this YouTube clip.

Next, Cabaret: To see Alan Cumming in the role that won him a Tony almost 15 years ago was gift enough. But to see him reprise his performance at Studio 54, alongside Michelle Williams, was a treat. I had never seen this show, and was captivated by the story, the cast, the music, the sadness—the whole experience. (Here's a sneak peek.)

I highly recommend both shows! Now, you go: Have you seen any good theater this spring?

(Image 1, 2, and 3)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Royal Tour recap

Have you been following William and Kate's Royal Tour in Australia over the past two weeks? Such fun! From Kate's clothes to Baby George's sweet smiles (and adorable hair), it was so fun to see daily pics and updates from their trip. 

What did you think of the outfits Kate wore? I think my favorite was the bright yellow Roksanda Ilincic dress she was in when she stepped off the plane in Sydney, almost two weeks ago. But she looks stunning always, right?!

What was your favorite moment from their trip?

(Images via PopSugar)  

Friday, April 25, 2014

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday, my darling readers! What do you have planned for the next couple of days off? I'm looking forward to checking out the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. If you haven't been before, it's completely worth it: a colorful reminder that spring has arrived! Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing couple of days. Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

Wear bronzer like a goddess.

Take a perfect picture.

Cool car, cool city.

The prettiest wedding invites!

Your commute, sponsored by IKEA.

The most incredible bedroom makeover.

Build your own tartines. Yum!

Love this iPad case.

A hilarious take on NYC etiquette.

The no complaining challenge!

(Image via Atlantic-Pacific)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Whenever my sister Alyssa comes to town, it never feels like we have to entertain, but it's always fun to take her to someplace new. :) During her recent trip, we decided to check out the recently opened Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn. It's sort of hilarious in a way—bringing the best of Florida recreation to NYC—but it's also a ton of fun. 

My favorite part about the club was that it really did feel like a spot to just chill. There are two bars, both serving up sunshine-inspired cocktails, but there are board games to borrow and lots of tables to just chat and hang out with friends. We had to wait an hour and a half for a court, but it went by in a blink in an atmosphere like that.

Have you tried shuffleboard before? The only time I played before was at an old-school resort in Maine. One tip: It's not as easy as it looks!

PS: More NYC recreation.

(Images via Grub Street)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dean Hotel

A couple of weeks ago, I made a quick trip to Providence, Rhode Island for just one night. I had the pleasure of staying at The Dean, a new boutique hotel that just opened on Fountain Street in a 1911 building that used to be a brothel. Talk about a turn-around: The vintage d├ęcor and college-inspired atmosphere make it feel so sleek and urban. In fact, the design team is Brooklyn-based, a connection that's evident from the moment you walk in.

When I was in college in Massachusetts, Providence was a short 20-minute drive from my school, offering a small dose of city culture whenever my friends and I needed to get away. I loved roaming Thayer Street, and spent many nights seeing a cappella at Brown University, located nearby.

It was fun to return—even for an overnight—and see how the city continues to evolve. The Dean, with it's karaoke lounge and German-inspired beer hall on-site, is such a cool new spot. I highly recommend popping by (even for a cup of Bolt Coffee) the next time you're in town.

PS: A lobby selfie.

(Images via Yatzer and Sketch42)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Little French Songs

The first time I heard Carla Bruni—the former First Lady of France—sing, it was on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. The song that was included, called "Quelqu'un m'a Dit," is breathtaking. I listened to it over and over again before deciding I wanted to hear more. When I discovered her latest album, Little French Songs, I was hooked. Now, Carla's music is a part of my regular morning routine. There's something so soothing and peaceful about her voice. It totally calms my brain before a hectic day. 

Right around the time I found Carla's music, she announced an international tour with a stop in New York. I'm going to hear her perform at the Town Hall this week, and I can't wait. It will be my dose of French culture, which is perfect timing since I leave for Paris four weeks from today.

Are you a Carla Bruni fan?

PS: My favorite song on her new album.

(Image 1, 2)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Channeling Carrie Bradshaw

Excuse the radio silence last week—my beloved MacBook Pro decided to completely crash. One minute, it was totally functional (well, maybe slightly low on hard drive space after five years of use). The next? Frozen. The only sign of life was that colorful spinning pinwheel, usually not the best sign. 

After a tearful call with Apple and a trip to the genius bar, I got the bad news: There was nothing they could do. I'm up and running—at last!—with a new machine, but only after a last-ditch trip to Tekserve to find out if there is any data they could save. The whole time I was there, waiting patiently for my ticket number to be called, all I could think of was Carrie Bradshaw, and the Sex and the City episode where her computer crashes. Matt had a similar response to Aidan: "Oh, did you try this?" Yes. Yes, I did. :) 

It's a sweet reminder of Carrie's advice in that episode: No matter how much stock we put in our digital devices, when they crash—just like in life—all we can do is breathe and reboot.

Oh, and maybe remember the value of backing up. 

(Image 1, 2)

Friday, April 11, 2014

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday, my darling readers! What do you have planned for the weekend? My sister is visiting from California and I'm SO excited. We're hoping to see a Broadway show, but spend lots of time just hanging in Brooklyn, too. Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing weekend ahead. Here, to get it started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

How I feel come Friday. (And Saturday...)

The Tonight Show time lapse.

Ode to Jackie O

Perfect for a Derby party.

Another way to pot plants at home.

One (very real) NYC fear.

A new way to organize all your pics.

Strap hangers.

The best way to celebrate warmer weather.

Two words: Paul. Rudd.

(Image via Note to Self)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring tulips

Tulips are always my favorite part of the change in seasons from winter to spring. This week, I popped by my local florist in Brooklyn to pick up an arrangement for my new vase. Usually, she works her magic and puts together a beautiful assortment of whatever blooms are in season at the time. But when I asked for tulips, she explained: They're brilliant on their own! She's right, don't you think? 

What's your favorite flower for spring?

PS: More flowers here and here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lace and Chambray for Spring

A few weeks ago, I did a deep dive into my closet to get a jump start on my spring cleaning. After weeding through (and bringing several pieces to Good Will), I figured I deserved a treat! I fell in love with this pretty dress from Brooklyn Industries. How gorgeous is the combination of lace and chambray? The material is so delicate and lightweight—perfect for a warm spring or summer day. I bought it in blue, but the pink is also really nice. 

How about you? Have you done any shopping for spring?

(Images via Brooklyn Industries)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Train travel

Today I'm scooting to Massachusetts for an event at my alma mater and I'm taking the train. It's funny: traveling by train is one of my favorite things, even if it extends the length of the journey. It's so relaxing! I think of it as an instant stress-reducer just being able to stare out the window at the changing landscape going by. Sometimes I'll listen to music or read to pass the time, but having the space to just let my mind wander feels like an indulgence. It's like a trip to the spa for my brain.

Speaking of train travel, have you heard of Amtrak's new residency for writers? To me, this is a brilliant idea. Sometimes all you really need to compose your best is a clear head and a place where you can't multi-task. :)

Do you like traveling by train? What do you do to pass the time?

(Image 1, 2)

Monday, April 7, 2014

New York Road Runners

This past weekend, my parents came to New York and my dad and I ran another race together in Central Park. It was a 4-miler and it felt amazing—almost like dusting off the winter cobwebs. It didn't hurt that it happened to be a gorgeous and sunny day (although a tiny bit chilly).

I never used to be much of a runner before, but there is something so energizing about running in a road race. On the treadmill, it's just you setting the pace and the length you're aiming to run. During a road race, your run somehow feels like a team effort. I love all the volunteers that line up along the route to cheer you on as you pass by. It's probably my favorite part. 

I'm looking forward to being able to take my running outdoors a bit more now that spring finally seems to have arrived.

Have you run in a road race before?

PS: My first race.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The weekend is here!

Happy Friday, my dearest readers! What do you have planned for this weekend? My parents are in town—and my dad and I are running a race together again. So fun! Here, to get your weekend started right, a few happy posts from around the web:

A ribbon wall.

DIY bunny ears.

5 ways to fail gracefully.

Barney's—wait for it—legendary style.

Petite hearts for breakfast.

Reflecting on the week.

NYC truths for out-of-towners.

Making macarons in Paris.

An amazing spring salad idea.

My new favorite blog.

(Image via Pinterest)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Back to the Future

Matt's co-worker is involved with this awesome group called BBQ Films, and as a result, we got to travel back in time to attend the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, an epic part of the film Back to the Future. Honestly, it was enough just to have the chance to watch that movie on the big screen, but with a crowd dressed in their finest 1950s prom attire? So cool. The organization strives to create an immersive cinematic experience, which means that we got to live out the prom—with Marty and George McFly, Biff, Lorraine, the whole gang—in real time, along with the film. The best part: the money raised goes to a good cause (in this case, the Michael J. Fox Foundation was one of the beneficiaries).

Check out some behind-the-scenes snaps from the photobooth here (the bottom pic above is one we posed for at the party).

What movie would you want to re-live?

(Images via Rebel Mouse)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Idina Menzel on Broadway

I'm so excited to go and see Idina Menzel on Broadway this week in her new musical, If/Then. It's about a woman re-building her life in New York City—and it co-stars Anthony Rapp, making this show a Rent reunion of sorts. 

Other than the basic premise, I don't know much about the play, which is how I like it. Matt and I go back and forth on this: he loves to read as much as there is to know about a show in advance of seeing it; I prefer to know the basics, steering clear of too many plot details so that I can experience the show expectation-free. All that said, it's hard not to go into a show like this expecting incredible music. Idina Menzel is a powerhouse, and I've loved her since her Rent and Wicked days.

How about you? Do you like to read up on a play before you see it? Or do you prefer to go into it cold?

(Image 1, 2)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Page: A toast!

Happy April, my darling readers—and happy April Fool's Day! I'm always a tiny bit nervous on this day: It's one of Matt's favorite holidays. He loves a good-natured prank, something that keeps me on my toes all day. ;)

So, September is my favorite month all year, but April comes in at a very close second. The bright spring tulips are reason enough for me to adore this time of year. But I also love that it's the beginning of baseball season (go Red Sox!), rainy days with pretty umbrellas, and Easter candy (Cadbury mini-eggs are my downfall). A bonus for this month: Princess Kate and Prince William embark on another world tour, this time to Australia. I'm so excited to follow along and see what she wears!

What do you love most about April?

PS: One of my favorite April Fool's jokes.

(Image 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)