Gardening 101

I’m trying to learn how to garden.

Last weekend, we bought a ton of new flowers including hydrangeas, pansies, impatiens, petunias, begonias, flox, and azaleas. There might be more that I’m forgetting about!

I began planting them in our front yard, by the house. I’ll call this step 1…out of probably 20 steps? Maybe more?

Planting the flowers was a bit harder than expected! I actually got my heartrate up digging those holes and broke a sweat LOL! We’ve had some heavy rains this week so I’m hoping my poor flowers don’t get drowned.

I have big plans for the yard, including building a stone patio area off of porch, and creating a rocky/stone area around our fire pit. I’d like to do as much of the work as possible ourselves.  Which is FUNNY because neither of us know much about building patios, planting, etc…. AND we have very little time on our hands. Needless to say, this is a long term goal. And as far as the short term, we’ll be lucky if I get the chance to finish planting the flowers I bought by the end of May.

I’ll keep updating as we go!

The makings of an amazing first Mother’s Day

Time has been moving at a faster pace than ever before, and I feel like I just had my baby, but yet, here we are in mid-May…and I just experienced my first Mother’s Day!

It was an amazing day. Becoming Harrison’s mama is the best thing I’ve done.

For those who know me, I have very strong preferences of what I want to do, and yet, I am as indecisive as they come. This often is a recipe for disaster. But yesterday, for whatever reason, things fell into place.

I grew up in Manhattan and going back there always feels like going home (even though my parents have moved away). We had an early lunch. We showed Harrison some important spots, like where I grew up; where we had our first kiss; where we got engaged. 

I got a cookie at Levain bakery for the first time in years!

We sat outside for a nice meal. It was raining, but we managed to stay relatively dry and cozy!

My favorite tomato soup!

Harrison took in the sights of the big city! This was his first time there!

Becoming a mother has been the best, but also, most profound change for me. I say this all the time, but you’re still you, and yet you also become another person. So having a mother’s day where I brought my new life into my old life was really special.

Hopkins Vineyard

Over the weekend, we also went wine tasting at Hopkins Vineyard. We were there over the winter a few years ago, and kept saying we would make it back for a tasting during the fall. Well! We finally did. And it was just as beautiful as we anticipated. 


The winery is set atop a hill? Mountain? Probably not high enough to be a mountain, so I’ll go with hill. And it overlooks Lake Waramaug. It’s a sprawling property, inclusive of  a vineyard, a red barn (where the wine tastings happen) and a German restaurant. There’s ample place to sit outside on the grass or on a bench, overlooking the lake, and drinking a bottle of wine. It’s pretty serene, borderline, magical. 



I’m so regretful I didn’t get better pictures of the lake, but it was starting to get dark and the baby was crying…and it happens. We’ll be back, hopefully sooner than later.


The tasting room is on the first floor, and upstairs there’s a room to hang out, order snacks, drink a bottle of wine, and play board games. The last time we were there, there was also a classic rock cover band. 


Importantly, the wine is very good! We love their semi-sweet white wine called Westwind. It’s light, fresh and summery. We buy a few bottles of it every year. I also picked up a bottle of their Chardonnay. I guess I was in a white wine mood? My opinion is that good red wines do not come from the northeast. Hopkins has a few reds, they’re ok, but not for me. 

I’m thinking of trying to drag a group of friends to Hopkins for my birthday this year…but we might also plan a last minute getaway that weekend. To be determined. 

Traveling North 

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is pick a random destination to explore. This past weekend, we attempted tackling both the Connecticut wine trail and Connecticut antique trail. Our travels brought us to beautiful Litchfield County.

We were mostly on a mission to find a small antique cabinet for our living room, see colorful fall foliage, and pick up a few bottles of Connecticut wine. We did not find a cabinet. We also did not expect how special the town of Litchfield would be.  


It was pure New England quaintness. White clapboard houses lined the streets. Beautiful fall foliage. Old signs dating back to the 1700 and 1800s. Cute shops and eateries. I could’ve easily spent a weekend taking in this town. 

The town was surrounded by horse farms, winding roads and magnificent countryside that made you want to keep your camera in your hand for fear of missing another beautiful shot. 


We passed many antique shops on our drive north but unfortunately didn’t have time to check out as many as we would’ve liked (another weekend, another journey). We really enjoyed perusing Jeffrey Tillou Antiques, which had a large collection of “fine” (very expensive) antiques dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The shop was three floors, and I felt like I was walking through someone’s home/a museum! 

Since we were traveling with a newborn (who all things considered is so so easygoing), we didn’t get to delve into Litchfield County as much as we would’ve liked, but I’m sure we will be back very soon! 

Easy dinners

Meals with a newborn are tough. One of our favorite things is cooking dinner together every night, but since having Harrison, we’ve been ordering out for a lot of our meals. Unfortunately, this has not helped me lose weight as quickly as I’d like. It also doesn’t feel as healthy as our home cooked meals. 

After two weeks of takeout almost every night, we decided that we needed to commit ourselves to cooking quick, easy, healthy dinners.

This weeks menu included Mexican stuffed peppers with ground turkey; baked cod; pumpkin ravioli with steamed vegetables, and lasagna roll ups. 

I’ve made lasagna roll ups many times before. They’re simple, delicious and relatively low fat and calorie. 


Ingredients: 

  • Whole grain lasagna noodles
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Baby spinach 
  • Tomato sauce (if I’m not making my own, I use Rao’s) 
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • Parmesan cheese 


Directions:

  • Boil lasagna noodles, pour in a little olive oil to prevent sticking 
  • Spread thin layer of sauce on a baking dish
  • Lay one noodle at a time; put in tablespoon of ricotta cheese (more or less to preference); put a few pieces of spinach on top of the cheese and roll; repeat with each noodle
  • Cover with tomato sauce, sprinkle Parmesan and mozzarella cheese 
  • Place in over, uncovered and bake for 40 minutes at 350 


It’s that easy! And these are always a hit, especially with me… since I can have my pasta fix but it’s lighter than a full on lasagna meal. 

And on that note, it’s time to change the babe!

Almost a year later

I found out I was pregnant about a week after my last blog post, and didn’t find myself going back to this place until now. 

This past year has been a whirlwind. I had terrible morning sickness and felt like December, January and February were lost months. We sold our townhouse. We bought our first ‘real’ house, and moved to Ridgefield, CT. 

In August, we welcomed the most perfect baby boy, Harrison. We are slowly adjusting to this new chapter in our lives.  Becoming a mom has been challenging, but nothing short of incredible and miraculous. 

I have a little over a month of maternity leave and am trying to make the most of my time at home. I thought it would be a fun time to come back to blogging, to help my document this time in my life. 


Black Friday finds 

This was the first Black Friday I spent shopping and I had so much fun. I spent the day with Ryan and his mom in Saratoga NY. We went to a mall; the cute shops along the Saratoga Main Street; and then to Lake George for some outlet shopping where they had an amazing LL Bean outlet. 

My favorite finds were online though. 


I had been waiting for this top to go on sale and J.Crew had an unprecedented 40% off your entire purchase for Black Friday. The top is cuter in person and I plan to wear it to my office holiday party next week, and maybe Christmas!


These sweater fleeces from LL Bean are really nice quality and a good fit – and I couldn’t resist the Buffalo Check pattern. I even talked my dad into buying one!


Ann Taylor had 50% off your entire purchase with no exclusions! I stocked up on cashmere turtlenecks which are my winter staple. 


I remember a time when Uggs never went on sale. Well, these (the Cyd boot) were more than 50% off at Zappos. I’d been eyeing them, (I showed them to my husband who said they were HIDEOUS!) hoping for a sale. They came in the mail yesterday and I’m in love. 


And last, but certainly not least, when you see a light up golden doodle – YOU BUY IT! Seriously, how cute is this??? (I found this at Michaels). 

Antiquing

Ryan and I are in the process of looking for a house to buy, and I thought it would be fun to start looking at some furniture and get a feel for how we might want to decorate our future house. I’m also always looking for cool accents, especially something that you can’t find in mass retail.

When I was a kid, we had a country house in the Poconos, and my parents would drag me around for hours of antiquing (and here I am, years later wanting to do the same thing! I NEVER WOULD’VE THOUGHT!), so I suggested going there as a good start.

IMG_6086.JPG

It was a nice drive, and we went to the very quaint town of Milford, PA. We didn’t buy anything, but the experience definitely gave us some good ideas for the future.  IMG_6083.JPG

IMG_6084.JPG

It’s also a cute town to stop in for lunch.

IMG_6093.JPG

I think one of my favorite things to do over the weekend is to explore – drive around, go to places we haven’t been (or return to places we haven’t been in a while), walk around, take pictures, get coffee, and feel like we had a little mini getaway. Looking at antiques gives these road trips more of a scavenger hunt/quest type feel.

It was a fun way to spend the day. We’re talking about trying out some auctions houses soon, which I’m VERY excited for. I’ll keep you posted.

Welcome back

Well, that’s really directed to me since it’s been over a week since I’ve blogged! I guess that’s what happens when you have a big summary judgment motion that you spend two weekends on #lawyerproblems. 

We also traveled upstate to Ryan’s family for Thanksgiving. 

The most exciting thing that happened to me was last Wednesday, when I got an amazing haircut and balayage highlights. 


I’ve seen Raquell at the Color Cafe in Greenwich for the past few years and she does an awesome job with color. Sometimes it takes me a few days to get used to a change, but last Wednesday I left the salon absolutely loving my hair. 

I hardly took any photos over Thanksgiving, but it was nice to have a little getaway from home and work, and to just relax. The highlight of Thanksgiving was the SNOW! 


This is possibly the worst picture I’ve ever taken, but the snow was beautiful. It snowed all day, and everything glistened. 

Hunter spent the holiday posing like a champ.

Even though in-laws in essence become your family, I always tend to feel like a bit of an outsider. Maybe it’s because the family dynamics are so different. Spending time with Ryan’s family makes me miss my family, especially at the holidays. I miss the traditions  and I get nostalgic for the past. 

Maybe next year we’ll spend thanksgiving in Florida with my parents? It would be nice! 

We spent most of Black Friday shopping – and I loved it. When I wasn’t shopping in a store, I was shopping online. 

We came back home on Saturday, and then we spent the rest of the weekend catching up on work, which sucked but it needed to get done. 

The next few weeks are filled with office parties, work reviews 😬, a wedding, Christmas, New Year’s Eve. We literally have something planned for almost every day through mid-January, and I’m going to try to enjoy it!