Wednesday, December 18, 2013

new england road trip: portland day 3

After our trip to Charleston, we think someone in Maine should turn this abandoned gas station into a bar!

Sadly, my New England posts have to come to an end...five months later :( Our last day in Portland was pretty brief so we could hit the long and trafficked road back to NYC. Erik and Silvia chose to go kayaking in the morning, but my ambitions were more retail based. After getting coffee (wood roasted!) and returning our rental bikes, I made Kurt drive me to Freeport to hit the outlet mall. Luckily he was interested in the semi-urban layout of the shops so I didn't feel like "that kind of girlfriend".  Sadly, we only had an hour, so we split up to divide and conquer. I learned a few things about my shopping persona during this abbreviated time. Normally I will agonize and doubt and ultimately leave many things on the rack because I don't "need" them. (Honestly, I need nothing so that's a moot point (perhaps a moo point) to begin with.) However, time condensed me buys everything in sight, no fitting rooms, no indecision. My credit card suffered but I think my wardrobe got some nice additions. I wish we could have spent more time but it was fun regardless. I do love outlet shopping.

Finally we drove back to Portland, collected our travel comrades, grabbed some quick tacos, and hit the road back to NYC. We made a brief stop along the way to see my extended family in Connecticut. Hi Gram! Sadly, no photos :(

I have to give a big shout out to Kurt and Erik for being rock star drivers during this trip (and most trips we take together).  I have truly embraced city living and hate to drive, so they selflessly took on the burden of rain, dark highways, and lots of traffic to get us to Maine and back safely. Thanks guys! When's our next trip?!

See more New England posts here:

Monday, December 16, 2013

weekend in review

We're finally getting into the holiday swing over here. Kurt and I don't get a tree, but I finally put up some decorations around our apartment. Treats are starting to arrive at the office from consultants and clients. There are some festive parties and lots of holiday card writing while watching Love Actually. Saturday brought in a whole bunch of snow and happened to coincide with some friends getting together for a progressive dinner here in Brooklyn. Our clothes were dampened but our spirits were not. Kurt and I hosted the appetizer section of dinner. He made corn chowder and I experimented with sweet potato corn cakes while our fake fireplace roared on the TV. At another stop, we swapped gifts that ranged from bottles of alcohol to duct tape. The night rounded out with indoor Cornhole, Sorry!, and Catch Phrase. Sunday was the laziest day I've had in a while. Kurt and I grabbed brunch at Thistle Hill Tavern (those are delicious biscuits and gravy pictured) followed by napping and online Christmas shopping. We wrapped up the night by watching Homeland. That show is an emotional roller coaster and I don't know what I will do without it until the next season (if there IS a next season!!). Now I'm just counting down the hours until my vacation begins (only one week left!).

Friday, December 13, 2013

week full of diy

Last week, it just so happened that I attended two DIY classes and had such a blast gathering some new skills.

 The first course was on Cake Decorating as part of the YMCA's DIY Series. I had the same instructor from the Frozen Treats class that Jenn and I took back in July. Chef Anna is always so much fun and really knows her food. She shared some great tips about cakes and icing and taught us a few techniques for jazzing them up. First, we learned how to roll out fondant and cover a round cake (sadly, we were just working with styrofoam stand-ins). Next, Anna showed us how to make cornets (fancy mini piping bags) from parchment paper, fill them with chocolate, and try our hands at lettering and drawing designs. Finally, we got out the big piping bags and metal tips and went to town icing our cakes. It was really fun and super simple. I can't wait for an occasion to try my new skills at home!

The other class I took was on monogramming (Southerners love putting their initials on everything) with bloggers Hannah Villio (fellow Auburn alum) and Amy Anderson at the west elm in Chelsea. The ladies supplied us with some cloth napkins (plus champagne and snacks) along with a few ideas to get our letter or designs on the fabric. We all chose to try out using paint and freezer paper as a stencil. I had vaguely heard about using this in the past, but now that I've tried it, my life is changed! It worked so well for getting crisp edges and the steps are really simple:

Trace or freehand a letter or design on the matte side of the freezer paper.
Cut out the design with an x-acto blade.
Locate your freezer paper stencil on the fabric with the shiny side down.
Iron the paper to your fabric for a minute or two. Check to make sure the edges sealed.
Let your stencil cool a little. Then use a sponge dabber and apply several thin layers of paint.
Let dry a few minutes and then peel off the stencil. Voila!

Do you like my dollar sign monogram? I wanted to try something a little different from my initials and we laughed that it was so gangsta of me. It was a hit! Maybe I should make a whole set! :) Anyway, the class was really fun and it was great to catch up with some sweet Auburn ladies. Now I'm in the crafting mood!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

new england road trip: portland day 2

Oh, Portland! You thought I forgot about you, didn't you? It's been a while since my last New England road trip post, but I'm hoping to wrap it up soon. I miss the summer and all our fun travels AND the sunshine AND warmth! Sigh. I hope these photos remind you there is a light at the end of this tunnel known as winter. Summer will be back soon enough!

Things we did in Portland: ferry ride to Peaks Island, Lobster Rolls at the Portland Lobster Company, browsing the Harbor Fish Market, cornhole at Novare Res Bier Cafe, dinner at Hot Suppa, and lots and lots of biking around! So much fun!
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