Wednesday, June 26, 2013

apartment plan(s)

Our apartment! Here is the plan in all it's less-than-500-square-feet glory! We've been living there for a little over a month and a half, and I can honestly say I love it. The space is small, and we are still trying to get everything organized and put away, but it's really a great apartment. The location is incredible, and our neighbors are so nice (Aubie already got some gifts from the cats on the second floor!). 

However, I am amazed at how slowly things are coming together...which is partially why I have been hesitant to share anything. When I've lived on my own, I would just get it done as quickly as possible, even if that required some late nights, multiple trips to every store imaginable, and entering into intense DIY mode. But now I think the process of combining our stuff and trying to make decisions together has slowed the pace a bit. At first it drove me crazy, but now I am trying to look at it as investment in the space (of time and money). This apartment doesn't feel as transient as the former ones, so I want to get it right. I'm trying to make decisions that can work well for us in the long run and saving up to purchase some pieces we'll really love. Sadly, this means there won't be a rapid fire succession of before/after posts that I love. I'm hoping to get all the things we already own up on the walls or put away in closets and then slowly acquire the rest along the way. No rush...or so I try to tell myself!

What I do have are PLANS! Ideas! Dreams! Aspirations! Over the next couple weeks I will share our progress and where I would like each room to head in the coming months. Summer has the tendency to be crazy busy, but I'm hoping to fit in a little bit of work/shopping when I can. Send good vibes and organizational ideas my way. Real photos to come soon! (Remind yourself of the empty apartment before we moved in here.)

Monday, June 24, 2013

four years

Kurt and I celebrated 4 years together over the weekend. As per tradition, we biked down to Red Hook for a picnic at Erie Basin Park next to Ikea and watched the sunset over the water.

Friday, June 21, 2013

etsy craft party

Last night, Kristin invited me to attend an Etsy Craft Party at the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO. 

I didn't exactly know what to expect for the craft night but I assumed we would be doing something with paper or paint or gluing things together. Turns out we were embroidering and sewing puppets to donate. I like to consider myself semi-crafty but the fabric arts are definitely not my strong suit (hence my sewing machine that is gathering dust in a closet). 

I took this photo towards the end, so it looks kind of empty, but during the height of the event, all these tables were full of ladies sewing away on their puppets. They had a fun DJ to keep us entertained while toiling away at our project. I spent half the time trying to thread my needle and the other half very intently trying not to poke myself with it and bleed all over the puppet. 

Needless to say, I was slow and my face turned out lopsided and messy. I feel bad for the poor child that gets stuck with my puppet! (The Etsy Lab folks are going to sew the two sides together later)

On the other hand, Kristin did an awesome job and hers turned out very cute! I guess I need to brush up on (or just gain in the first place) my sewing skills. There were tons of other skilled ladies there too. I wish I hadn't been so focused on my work. It would have been fun to mingle more with the crowd. Hopefully next time they will pick an activity I can master!

And a few random thoughts for your Friday:
  • I am always very late to the game when it comes to TV shows, but I have been hooked on Scandal lately. Do you guys watch? Unfortunately, Kurt doesn't really like to watch it and we're typically at the apartment at the same time, so I don't get to binge watch like I would desire. So far, cohabitation has been great but I do slightly miss the independence of living alone and doing as I please. This includes watching marathons of dumb TV shows.
  • A show we have been able to agree on and love is Coupling. It is a British comedy about relationships (like Friends) that Kurt introduced me to and ran in the early 2000s. We've been watching a couple episodes every night on Netflix while we eat dinner and it is SO hilarious. I highly recommend it. I am going to be very sad when we run through all the seasons!
  • In addition to watching our British friends on TV nightly, my current train ride book, One Day, is set in London. I'm afraid I might slip into an English accent soon! Regardless, the book is really great so far and I can't wait to see how it ends. Has anyone seen the movie? Sometimes I find Anne Hathway annoying, but after I finish this book, I will probably have to watch it for comparison.
  • There is something about summer that makes me want to replace my entire wardrobe and shoe collection. Since that sounds expensive, I'll start with a couple new pairs of shoes. I ordered these to replace a pair I have that are very similar. And in an attempt to break out of my flats only rut, I also got these. Practically orthopedic, right? Baby steps here.
  • It's the summer solstice! It's the longest day of the year and the day Kurt and I celebrate our anniversary. 4 years! Can you believe it?! I hope you all enjoy the long hours of sun today and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Summer (or almost summer) weekends are the best. By the time Monday rolls around, I am already looking forwards to the next one. I feel like Kurt and I are past the big hurdles of settling into our apartment (which I promise, promise, promise to share soon!), so now our weekends can be a mixture of minor projects and other fun activities.

We finally made it to the Barclays Center for a concert and were very excited to finally see the swanky interior. 

We bought tickets months ago to see The Postal Service. It's been ten years since they released their album and it is still as good as ever. 

The weather was gorgeous on Saturday, so I took a long run to Brooklyn Bridge Park. There were people lounging on the lawns, kayaks floating on the river, and tons of families filling the tables in the barbecue area. I can't wait to spend some time there!

Kurt and I borrowed a car to run some errands this weekend, so of course we made a trip to a nearby beer distributor to stock up on supplies. 

Speaking of beer, we made a dent in our Beer Book coupons this weekend by taking a bike ride to Bushwick for some day to night drinking. We hardly ever make it out to that way but it was fun to do some exploring. The neighborhood is definitely a little rough around the edges but has some interesting pockets of activity.

We hit Mama Joy's, Brooklyn Fire Proof, and had delusions of eating at Roberta's (2 hour wait wasn't going to work!).

We happened upon free hamburgers at Alaska, had a final beer at duckduck, and stopped at Hot Bird for a late night snack from Little Brother BBQ. Quite a long night. Sleeping in is also a lovely part of these weekends...

Kurt and I had goals to be productive on Sunday, so we got up and visited our favorite cafe in the neighborhood, Dub Pies.

Once fully caffeinated, we made one more trip to Ikea. I feel like we are here on a weekly basis. Our secret weapon is going semi-early on Sunday morning to beat the crowds, so it's never too miserable.

I worked on a home improvement project which I hope to share in the near future. But until then, here is a teaser of my mess in the foyer. Note to self: get a new hacksaw blade. It felt like I was cutting that wood with a nail file. Worked on some arm muscles at least!

And finally, Kurt made a delicious Sunday Supper of mushroom risotto. Honestly, I hit the jackpot by finding a guy that cooks. I have a feeling all my apartment cleaning and decorating will never quite make up for all the good meals I am in for :) I try though!

Sigh. Is it Friday yet? I'm ready to do it all over again.

p.s. - My 3 year 'blogiversary' was yesterday! Woo hoo! This Gravytrain is still going strong!

Monday, June 17, 2013

memorial day in ohio

Kurt and I traveled to the great state of Ohio to visit his parents over Memorial Day weekend. Apparently, all that fresh, country air doesn't quite agree with me, and I was knocked out by my allergies for a good portion of our travels. Regardless, in between sneezing fits, we were able to take part in a few fun activities.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

eric and jess get hitched!

Well, folks, it's been over a month since Kurt and I traveled to Alabama to see our friends Eric and Jessica tie the knot. I'm obviously way behind and had some major dental work done today, so I'll keep the words limited while I'm doped up on pain medicine. Lots of pictures!

I'm so happy for the lovely couple! Congratulations, E+J!

Friday, June 7, 2013

#nycdonuttour @ the donut pub

Happy Friday (and coincidentally National Doughnut Day)! Let's talk treats!

Have you heard, donuts are a thing now? Cupcakes are out. Delicious fried rings of dough are in. So I have this brilliant plan to scour the city for all the best donut options. For my first stop on the #nycdonuttour, I enlisted the help of Jenn to check out The Donut Pub.

This was a real old school option on 14th Street in Manhattan. The interior has a very 'been here for 40 years', diner vibe and the clientele seemed like regulars. Jenn and I were debating our donut options and a lovely customer told me I must get the Boston Creme. It was the perfect decision.


Obviously, I'm hoping to make this a regular series. Maybe I will come up with some fancy rating system, but I find it hard to be very objective when chocolate, creme filling, sugar, and dough come into play. I'm probably just going to say they are all amazing. Stay tuned! It should be fun!

203 West 14th Street (at 7th Avenue)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

brooklyn half marathon

I did it! I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon! Constantly moving for 13.1 miles and I didn't collapse! Yay! Overall it was a really great experience. I don't think I'll be running another very soon, but it was a fun time and I felt pretty accomplished when I crossed that finish line.

All us runners crowded into our corrals at the starting line in front of the Brooklyn Museum very early on Saturday morning. The day was overcast and cool which was actually perfect weather. Just standing around waiting to start made me so nervous! I was convinced I wasn't prepared and was going to have to be picked up by an ambulance in embarrassment. Everyone around me seemed so calm and experienced. Thankfully, once we got started, running felt good and I calmed down a bit. 

20,000+ people ran this thing! I know they do it all the time but the NYRR did a great job organizing. I was amazed how well people were coordinated and how much support staff was around to answer questions or hand out water etc. Kurt got this shot in Prospect Park when the crowd was still pretty dense. I'm usually a solo runner, but it was nice to find a neighbor to keep pace with.

I couldn't have done it without my cheerleaders! Kurt, Jenn, and Kristin rode their bikes and met me with cowbells and words of encouragement at several places along the route. Kristin even went to the trouble to make me neon Gravytrain themed signs! I love them! Thanks, guys!

Kurt had a hard time spotting me at first, so a lot of my action shots are from behind. I like to think it's because I'm fast as lightning :)

After leaving Prospect Park, we ran a long, straight stretch out to Coney Island. It's pretty flat and even slightly downhill, but the scenery is a little bleak and monotonous. Thankfully there were water stations at each mile marker to look forward to.

We're almost to the finish here! (I'm right below the 400m sign in the lower left corner) I'm not going to lie, I was hurting at this point. I didn't even think to look for my cheering section. I was only thinking one foot in front of the're almost there! 

We just crossed the finish line on the boardwalk! I was so happy at this point. My hips and knees were howling, but I was thrilled to be there. I finished without major tragedy and did just about as well as all those people I was intimidated by at the starting line. I didn't even care how fast. I've never been much of an athlete, so I felt pretty accomplished to make it that far.

And we got medals! In my exhausted, dehydrated haze, this made me so excited. Why yes sir, you can take a photograph of me AND my medal even though I look disgusting.

This is the family reunion area after the finish line. So many people! Apparently you and your crew need to approach this thing with a plan since there is zero cell phone service with this many people around. Eventually, I found my cheerleaders and we all went to a delicious brunch at Giovanni's. I've never been so deserving of unlimited mimosas before!

I finished in 2:07:02 which is certainly not fast but I am very happy with it. Maybe next time I will train a little harder in preparation and shave a few minutes off! :)

And now that I've tooted my own horn more than enough, it's time for some gratitude: Thanks, of course, to my cheerleaders. I've never been more happy to hear your obnoxious cowbells. Thanks to Kurt for taking photos and encouraging me when I was feeling lazy. Thanks to Jenn for helping motivate me in those first training days. I certainly would not have made it to those early morning gym sessions without some peer pressure. And thanks to all you blog readers for your support and advice along the way! Your tips and insider secrets were more helpful than you know. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Sorry guys. Life changes+hectic schedule=upset to the blogging routine. I've missed this space and hope to get back on track soon. Here's a quick catch up on items not related to my half marathon, moving, and travels. I've got plans for bigger posts on those later.

Above, the gorgeous city skyline enhanced by A Beautiful Mess' app.

Jenn, Kurt, and I attended another tweetup at the American Museum of Natural History. This time about whales! (See our last tweetup here!)

As one last hurrah at my old apartment, I hosted a Kentucky Derby party. It was kind of last minute, so the crowd was slim, but we still had a good time. I made way too much food (which came in handy while packing and not wanting to grocery shop) and my horse came in last place. C'est la vie. I still had a great time. Highlights of the party were adorable drink stirrers compliments of Mint Love Blog and delicious derby pie bars via The SoHo

I did another training run with Immaculate Infatuation before my half marathon. This time we did 10 miles in Prospect Park and enjoyed the food truck rally in Grand Army Plaza afterwards. I had a delicious grilled cheese from the Milk Truck. Calories out, calories in.

I GOT MY STAMP! Licensed architect in the state of New York!

The day Kurt and I moved some friends hosted a crawfish boil in their backyard. We showed up late but were still able to take part in the 90+ pounds of delicious crustaceans! 

Speaking of good food, we just finished up another great season of Madison Square Eats. Clockwise from upper left: barbecue sandwich and cheap beer from Mexicue, the madness of the lunchtime crowd, brussel sprouts then chicken sandwich from Ilili, Bronx Pale Ale and pork belly grilled cheese from The Cannibal. Not pictured but still delicious: rice balls from Arancini Bros and empanadas from La Sonrisa. This place is the highlight of my lunchtime ritual. I will miss it until the next round in the fall!

That's all for now. Stick with me! More updates to come soon, I promise!!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...