Nashville Trip

I made my second trip to visit Kayla in Nashville the first week of May! I have to say the weather was definitely much nicer this time than it was in December! Highs were in the 70's and 80's most days. It did rain all day on Saturday but it wasn't too terrible, we still managed to go out and wander around and shop. 

We hit up a few of our favorites and tried some new places on this trip. 

We hit up Urban Cookhouse and Newk's which are both favorites of mine from living in Birmingham. We also went back to Proper Bagel and I tried some new cream cheese flavors including their new Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cream cheese which was really, really good!! It wasn't too overwhelming and I LOVE Reese's. I also tried their blueberry cream cheese and that was really good as well. I tried a black and white cookie for the first time too and there's is really good! Nice and soft, and the white icing side has a hint of lemon flavor which I loved. 

On Thursday night we went to Kayla's favorite Nashville restaurant, Pastaria! Their bread is so amazing and fresh. Plus they make all their pasta by hand on site. It was probably the best pasta I've ever had in my life! I got the plain old Chitarra al Pomodoro but it was fantastic! Be warned though the portions are huge!

In my continuing effort to eat all the amazing doughnuts we stopped by the newish Nashville doughnut place, The Donut & Dog. This place specializes in brioche donuts, plus hot dogs, fries and coffee. We grabbed a side of fries as well as two donuts the first time we were there since we were feeling like a snack. Their fries are so good! Crispy and light without being too hard. We also got the Stairway to Heaven donut which is butter glaze, cinnamon & sugar and raspberry. It was an awesome doughnut!! So many layers and flavors, it was substantial without feeling heavy. The Stairway to Heaven was definitely my favorite. (We headed back in on Sunday morning and I got a Dirty O.G.). 

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We tried out the historic Bobbie's Dairy Dip one night. And I have to say the cones are HUGE and super messy! Or at least they are if it's as busy as it was the night we went. The ice cream inside my dipped cone was barely frozen. Funny experience though as I made a huge mess trying to eat mine. 

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We headed back to Biscuit Love on Friday Saturday morning and I got some more of my beloved bonuts! 

We did a bit of shopping and wandering and we went in my favorite little independent bookstore probably ever. It's called Her Bookshop. Kayla spotted in one day when she was driving around in East Nashville and she thought I'd like it. It is a truly adorable little bookstore and I swear it was like I had curated the collection of books they were selling. So many of them I already wanted to read and then there were new ones that I had to add to my list. There were also some really cute gifts, artwork and kids books. Of course I had to buy a few books! We've gotta support independent bookstores when we can! 

We stopped by the Pharmacy again on Saturday night for dinner and I had another great burger! On Sunday morning we headed out to Radnor Lake State Park and walked the trail around the lake. It was a gorgeous morning with great weather. There were lots of people out on the trails. I would recommend going early if you do go, because the parking lots definitely get full. 

The only picture of us I managed to take. Oops. 

New York in May!

We headed back to New York for a few days at the beginning of May! The weather was oddly cold and rainy a few days but we had fun! I was just happy it wasn't 90 degrees like it was in Florida. 

The rain wasn't super fun and it actually flash flooded on that Friday we were there which was very odd and not very fun to be out in. Other than that the day we went to Central Park it was gorgeous! 

Guys, we got to eat cookie dough at Do!! And the first time we went we barely waited at all!! (We went back a second time on Sunday and we had to wait about 30 minutes). It is so yummy! It tastes exactly like raw cookie dough but without the raw eggs so you don't have to worry about getting salmonella! I had the Nuts for Nuts flavor and it was amazing!

We went back to The Lower East Side Tenement Museum again! We did the Irish Outsiders tour this time and man I love this museum! I think if I lived in NY I would try to figure out a way to work or volunteer there! 

We saw Cats the first night we got there which was amazing! I was really pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed Cats. It has been updated with cool new hi-tech things and I loved the actress that played Grizabella! The worst part was how long we had Cats songs stuck in our heads... My cousin and I saw Anastasia one night too which I was very excited about but I was a little underwhelmed with actually. They made a lot of changes from the story in the movie and that made me sad. It also felt like they added about 10 new unnecessary songs. Ah well, the audience really seemed to love it. 

I introduced Rachael and Waldo to my favorite bagel place at Best Bagel and Coffee which I have deemed the best bagel I've ever had in my life! Every time we eat there I enjoy it so much. And we ate there 3 times during this trip.... Seriously, go grab a bagel there if you're in New York. 

Ah, New York. That grand dame of cities! Sitting here looking at these pictures I wish I was back there! I'll have to start planning another trip soon! 

An Ode to Disney Springs

Okay, I have to admit I was pretty skeptical when Disney announced they were retheming (and RENAMING) Downtown Disney. Apparently I don't really like change much. But now that Disney Springs is really starting to come together and most of it is open, I have to say I'm pretty darn excited about it! It's so pretty!! I posted a photo of it on instagram the other day and said "I'm sorry for ever doubting you would be great, Disney Springs!" 

It's so much more fun now with the new construction open. Plus there are so many neat stores and most importantly a lot more food options!! That was what Downtown Disney was lacking in my opinion. We've tried a few different places and I'm sure we'll continue to try more. 

So far we've tried Blaze Pizza which is super yummy! You design your own pizza then they flash bake it in like 3 minutes! YUM!

We've also tried D-Luxe Burger which was ok. It is a huge burger which isn't my favorite, I rather like the thinner patties. 

We tried The Daily Poutine and man was it good! I've never had poutine before but dang I'm going to have to do it again! 

Kayla and I tried Frontera Cocina last weekend and it was pretty good as well if you're interested in Mexican food! 

There are a lot more stores to shop at including some of your favorite brands like Sephora and Anthropologie, as well as new ones I'd never been in before. There are so many good restaurants to try I'm sure we'll continue to try new ones as we explore Disney Springs more. I really want to eat at the Boathouse!

EPCOT's International Food and Wine Festival!

It's Food and Wine time in Orlando!!! Well, it's almost over actually. But I didn't get to experience much of the fun until the last few weeks. I had actually never done Food and Wine before and I really enjoyed it! 

I've now been three times (with one more trip planned for the final weekend) and the results are in! 

Favorite drink: The Martini Slush from France (Runner up being the Szarlotka from Poland which I have no picture of!)

Favorite food: The Buttered Chicken with Naan from Africa! 

I also snuck in a picture of our pizzas from Via Napoli! OMG I love that place more and more every time I visit! 

What are your favorite things to eat and drink at Epcot's Food and Wine??

Food and Dining at Disney World

Now, let's talk about one of my favorite subjects in the world, food! Now Disney is of course about a lot more than food. But I love food. So here are some of my favorites and some dining reservations we made on our last trip, new and old. 

I know, I know. I am such a sucker for Mickey shaped food! Pretzels, ice cream bars, rice krispies treats. GIMME GIMME. 

One of my newer favorites is heading back to Gaston's Tavern for a Lefou's Brew and a giant cinnamon roll. Although I will never forgive Disney for turning the Main Street Bakery into a Starbucks at least I can drown my sorrows in a cinnamon roll. (Seriously Disney... there are enough Starbucks in the world, I DON'T WANT ONE IN PLACE OF MY GLORIOUS MAIN STREET BAKERY)

Over at Hollywood Studios there is still a bakery to be found at the Starring Rolls Bakery! I snagged this amazing lemon BB-8 cupcake there one afternoon. Mmmm. 

Sorry this is a terrible picture (taken at night before the Main Street Electrical Parade) of the ice cream sandwiches sold from Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Liberty Square. I had never had one of these but my sister and brother in law are big ice cream fans and they really loved them! Plus they're pretty cheap. Only around $4! And they're huge! 

We did a breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Cafe one morning. We have been to Whispering Canyon a handful of times on previous trips and have always enjoyed the fun atmosphere. Whispering Canyon is a table service meal. We always love breakfast so we chose to go then. Unfortunately we made a later reservation of 10:45 and the restaurant was pretty empty. This made the fun atmosphere a little quieter with few other guests to play with. But it was still a great experience with our server, Sunshine! 

Mickey Waffles!! See I told you I love Mickey shaped food! 

Chef Mickey's was a must on our list with the kids because it's a great place to get to meet Mickey and the gang and enjoy a breakfast buffet! I have to say, out of all the new places we tried I would definitely go back to this meal! The buffet was large and well stocked with yummy food. The characters took a little bit of time to get around to each table, but that's ok, leaves more time for eating! 

Plus, who doesn't love brownies for breakfast?? 

On Saturday for Dapper Day we finally got a reservation for Via Napoli which I have wanted to eat at for the last few trips. Thank goodness we had a reservation because the check in desk was a mess. We still waited a few minutes even with a reservation. 

I got a strawberry agua fresca which I thought was going to be like strawberry lemonade but was more like strawberry water (hence the name I suppose), but I actually really enjoyed it and it was very refreshing. 

The pizzas were pretty amazing too! The ones in the picture are personal pizzas! They were pretty big, but I managed to at the whole thing myself! I would definitely go back to Via Napoli! 

Other dining experiences included Play and Dine at the Hollywood Vine for a buffet lunch which I was not that impressed with. We also ate at the Plaza Restaurant one night for dinner which was also just okay. 

We took my niece to the Akershus Princess Storybook Breakfast one morning which was fun! She loved that the Princesses all came to the table. This was also a breakfast buffet which was pretty good, although I have to say the Contemporary's had more variety. It was also fun to get to walk back to the World Showcase when no-one else was around. 

What's your favorite place to eat at Disney? What should we try next time? 

Best of Birmingham: Holler & Dash

Last weekend we tried the new biscuit place Holler & Dash!! It's a biscuit house for goodness sake! 

Above was my Strawberry & Dash meal which was strawberries and whipped cream on a biscuit. It was so yummy. I was a little unsure what the combo of biscuits with whipped cream would taste like but it was a lot like strawberry shortcake! 

Rachael's Chicken Biscuit. One of her favorite types of biscuit, although I'm surprised she didn't get biscuits and gravy! 

CJ's frittata!

And Kayla's tater tot bowl! Yum!

So, if you're in the area I highly recommend stopping by Holler & Dash one morning for some good 'ole southern cooking! 

Tampa Bay Area

Next up in our Exploring the Sunshine State Series! I went to the Tampa Bay Area at the end of October!! And I'm just getting around to finishing this post in February!! 

We stayed in a two bedroom condo at Sunset Vistas Beachfront Suites on Treasure Island that was right on the Gulf of Mexico which was very nice! It had a pool and hot tub as well as a kids pool, too. 

The view from Bongos on St. Pete Beach

Above was the view from dinner one night when we headed down to St. Pete Beach to eat at Bongos Beach Cafe. We ate beachside and the sky put on a great show! The restaurant is around the back of the hotel, on the beach. 

Downtown St. Pete

One of our first days we wandered around downtown St. Petersburg which is super cute and pretty pedestrian friendly. There are a fair amount of shops and restaurants all within walking distance of each other. 

We ate brunch one morning at Clear Sky Cafe on Clearwater Beach and I got this excellent waffle! We didn't actually spend any time on the beach at Clearwater Beach, but there is a pier there you can walk on and beach access as well as some beach shops and restaurants. 

Downtown St. Pete art murals

Ybor City!! I was not hipster enough...

We took a walk around Ybor City one afternoon and stopped in the most amazing vintage shop called La France. I wanted to buy everything in there and also move in. Oh to have unlimited money. 

Treasure Island beach

University of Tampa

Downtown Tampa

Downtown Clearwater architecture

When I started researching food for our trip to the Tampa Bay area of course I had to include some doughnut places!! Here are our doughnuts and cronuts from St. Pete Bagel Co. I had a really awesome blueberry bagel from them too! I love a good bagel. Almost as much as I love a good doughnut. The cronuts were really lovely as well! This was my first time eating a cronut, so i will definitely have to try again somewhere else to compare!! 

Overall, we spent a lot of our time in Tampa at the beach and laying by the pool which was very lovely and relaxing! The weather was gorgeous in October, in the 80's most days. We also spent a fair amount of time in the car driving around the Tampa Bay area exploring all the different towns and cities like St. Pete, Clearwater, Tampa, Treasure Island, Largo, etc, etc. 

 

Best of Birmingham: Feast & Forest

How about a Best of Birmingham series?? I'm sure you're dying to know all of our favorite Birmingham spots! 

We tried out Feast & Forest downtown last weekend for brunch and it was very yummy. This place is super cute and pretty hipster. I got the cinnamon roll skillet with blueberry whipped cream which was delectable and Rachael and Kayla got different types of biscuits. I also fell in love with the look of this funfetti cake they have and I want it for my birthday. 

Feast & Forest is located at 212 24th St N Birmingham, AL. They are open for breakfast, lunch and Saturday brunch. 

Apple Pie Cookies

Here's a great recipe for Apple Pie Cookies just in time for Thanksgiving!!

Apple Pie Cookies

These require some work but they have all the deliciousness of pie in a portable form. We recommend serving warm with vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

CRUST

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon table salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold

1/2 cup water, very cold

 

FILLING

3 medium apples, whatever you like to bake with

Squeeze of lemon juice

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Boiled Cider (for cup form of cookie)

FOR ASSEMBLY

1 large egg

Coarse or granulated sugar for garnish

Baking sheets Lined with parchment paper

Rolling pin, pastry brush (for egg wash), fork (for crimping and dipping) and sharp knife (to make slits)

Round cookie cutter or cup.

Directions:

Make the pie dough: 

- Whisk together flour, sugar and salt.

- Using a food processorchop the butter into smaller pieces then add the flour mixture, working the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas.

- Move mixture back into large bowl and gently stir in the ice water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a ragged mass forms.

- Knead mixture two or three times to form a ball.  
- Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour.

Prep other ingredients:

- Line up six small dishes.

- In the first one, pour some water.

- Leave the second one empty; it will be used for apples.

- In the third one, mix the sugar and cinnamon.

- In the fourth one, place a little bit of flour to dust your surface and dip your fork for crimping.

- In the fifth one, whisk an egg with one teaspoon of water until smooth.

- In the last one, or in whatever container you keep it in, add some coarse or regular sugar for decorating the tops of the pies.

 Once crust is chilled:

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- Roll out your pie dough pretty thin, ~1/8-inch thick, on a well floured surface. One disk at a time

- Ensure that it rolls out evenly and be sure its not sticking in any place. - Using the cookie cutter or cup to cut as many rounds as you can from the dough.

- Transfer them to parchment-lined baking sheets and keep them in the fridge until you need them.

Prepare apples:

- Peel apples and cut then into thin slices

- Place them in your second bowl, covering them with a few drops of lemon juice if theyre browning quickly.

Assembly:

Hand Pie (double crust)

- Lightly dampen one one side of a crust round with the water, to help it seal.

- Toss a few pieces of apple in the cinnamon sugar.

- Place sugared apples on the damp side of the bottom disk.

- Place a second disc of dough on top

- Seal the disks by pressing the tops and bottoms around the apple with your fingers.

- Cut decorative slits in your pies.

- Dip a fork in flour and use it to create a decorative crimp on the sealed edges.

- Brush assembled cookie with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

- Place on baking sheet and chill while you prepare the others.

Cup (using oiled muffin tin)

- Place crust round in bottom of muffin tin, creating a cup

- Toss enough apples to fill cup in cinnamon sugar

- Place sugared apples into cup of pie crust

- Drizzle with 1 tsp boiled cider

 Bake:

- Bake your apple pie cookies for 25 minutes, or until puffed and bronzed and very pie-like.

- Transfer to a cooling rack to cool before eating

Alternatively, we also made a few in muffin tins to make them look more like little apple pies. All of them were amazing!! 

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Caramel Brownies and Reese's Cup Cookies

Feeling like a lithe something sweet? These caramel brownies are heavenly and I think these Reese's stuffed cookies are now my favorite cookies ever!! 

 

Cocoa Caramel Brownies

Rich gooey brownies that will be gone before you know it!

Adapted from Alice Medrichs Bittersweet

 

Ingredients:

BROWNIES

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, cold

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

 

CARAMEL

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

3 tablespoons heavy cream

 

Directions:

Make the caramel: 

- Line a medium plate with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray.

- In a dry saucepan over medium-high heat, melt sugar, stirring if necessary to break up large chunks. Once melted, if should be a copper color.

- Remove from heat and stir in butter.

- Once incorporated, stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to medium-high heat, bringing it back to a simmer. Cook bubbling caramel for a few minutes more, until it is a slightly darker.

- Pour out onto parchment-covered plate and transfer plate to the freezer. - Freeze until almost firm

 

Make the brownies:

- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.

- Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil.

- Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl and microwave until butter is melted, stopping to stir occasionally. The mixture should be smooth and warm.

- Stir in the vanilla then add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

- Once the batter is well blended, add the flour until combined.

- Spread batter into lined pan

-Break the caramel into pieces and spread on top of brownie batter.

-Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 -35 minutes

-Let cool completely on a rack before cutting.  

Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Cookies

Everything wonderful about peanut butter cookies and Reeses Cups

Adapted From Sallys Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

COOKIES

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

18 Miniature Reese's Cups, unwrapped

OPTIONAL

1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter

Directions:

Make the cookies: 

- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

- Cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together on in a large bowl until combined.

- On low speed, beat in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla.

- Turn the mixer to high and beat until light in color and smooth.

- Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the dry ingredients. Mix until combined and a dough is formed.

- Cover tightly and chill the cookie dough for at least 1 hour.

- Preheat oven to 350F

- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. 

- Make an even number of 1 Tablespoon cookie dough balls

- Put a peanut butter cup into one ball, top the peanut butter cup with another cookie dough ball, and seal down the sides so that the peanut butter cup is sealed inside.

- Roll the large cookie dough ball to smoothen

- Bake the cookies for 10-11 minutes or until very lightly browned on the sides.

- Press the cookies down a bit to flatten them out. Cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Optional drizzle:

-Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave, stirring often to prevent burning.  

-Drizzle over cooled cookies.

ENJOY!!

Labor Day Weekend on the Gulf Coast

Kayla, Rachael, and I headed to Gulf Breeze for Labor Day weekend. It was so nice to spend some time at the beach since we hadn't been since May!

We ate at Sidelines, Peg Leg Pete's and Cactus Flower but sadly I have no pictures of it because I really fell down on the picture taking this trip. I do have a ridiculous amount of snapchats though.. 

We went out on Kayla's mom's new boat! 

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A pirate ship?? And we look naked.. 

Reenacting Titanic

Pensacola and Gulf Breeze

Next up in the Exploring the Sunshine State Series:

Pensacola and Gulf Breeze

Ohhhh hometown glory!! I mentioned that we grew up in Florida right?? So of course we can’t leave our hometown out of the sunshine state series! It’s pretty darn awesome, though we might be a little biased.

This will have to be a multi part story because there are a lot of great places to eat and hang out in Pensacola!

I know everyone knows about Destin as the place to go for vacation when you live in the Midwest, but Pensacola Beach is the undiscovered gem of the Gulf Coast (well until that recent article naming it one of the best beaches in Florida…). Anyway the sand is just as white and the water is usually a gorgeous blue/green. Plus there’s less traffic (sometimes) than Destin and quite a bit to do!

Where to Stay

The beach! DUH.

Portofino is a well loved option (although I’ve never stayed there)

There are tons of great places on P’cola Beach. Check out the options on VRBO.

Downtown Pensacola is getting cuter and cuter, but you will be two bridges away from the beach (two traffic filled bridges in the summer).

To Do

The BEACH! I mean c’mon look at this water. There is also live music on the beach during the summer at Band’s on the Beach

Festivals like the Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival in November and the Seafood Festival in September are two big ones that come to mind.

The Blue Angels: Pensacola’s Naval Air Station is the home of the Blue Angels and you can catch their huge show on the beach in June.

Fiesta of the Five Flags: Happens in May every year to celebrate the fact that Pensacola was settled by explorers from five different countries before it became part of the US. Fun fact: Pensacola is the oldest city in Florida but it was wiped out by a hurricane, thereby losing it’s historic slot to St. Augustine. There are treasure hunts and parades for the festival.

The Bushwacker Festival happens every year towards the end of the year if milk chocolate alcoholic drinks are your thing. Bushwackers are available year round at many different places on the beach.

Mardi Gras happens in the early spring every year. Obviously not a big as it is in New Orleans, but there are a variety of parades and parties that happen each year downtown and on the beach.

See more at the Visit Pensacola website. 

Downtown Pensacola

-       Seville Square

-       Gallery Night

-       Browsing the many shops and restaurants.

To eat

Fish House/Atlas

            This is two restaurants in one. It’s on the bay in Pensacola and is gorgeous at night, sitting on the deck. If you like sushi you should definitely go on Tuesday nights because Atlas has half price sushi rolls. There is live music many night on the Fish House side and amazing food all around.

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Peg Leg Pete’s

            Peg Leg Pete’s is probably my favorite place to eat on the beach. Great seafood, views of the sound, and really great drinks.

Sidelines

             I don’t really remember when the first time I ever went to Sidelines was, it feels like it has always existed in my childhood memories. It’s one of my favorite places to eat on the beach, even though it’s a sports bar and not a true “beachy” restaurant. They make some killer wings and pretty much all of their other food is awesome as well.

Cactus Flower

             Cactus Flower is a newer favorite place, and they serve some delectable Mexican food! Our absolute favorite place for mexican used to be Cancun’s in Gulf Breeze but they got shut down for selling drugs (whoops.. maybe that’s why their food was so dang good??). So alas, we’re left with Cactus Flower. Their location on Pensacola Beach is on the boardwalk so it’s pretty, but all their locations serve great food.

Santino’s            

           If you are looking for a non chain place for pizza and grinder’s Santino’s is your place! Mmmm. I love their pizza.

Bagelheads

            The only bagel place I truly love, everything else just pales in comparison. Bagelheads has been around for almost 20 years and oh my goodness is it amazing. You can buy a huge variety of bagels, muffins, baked goods, sandwiches and soups. And of course coffee. Pretty much everything there is amazing, but if you love fruity bagels you’ll definitely want to try the Blueberry Cobbler bagel which is coated in a cinnamon sugar glaze.

There's just a few of my favorite parts of Pensacola and Gulf Breeze. I'm sure there will be more posts to come, because there's no way to cover these in just one post. 

What's your favorite thing to eat and do in the Pensacola area?

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July, Americans!! 

We celebrated by getting patriotic doughnuts from Heavenly Donut Company yesterday. Then we drank pretty sodas, laid by the pool, ate tacos at a tapas place, made smores in the microwave (because the fire pit wouldn't light), and watched fireworks today.

We also tried to decide if Kayla's poolside hairdo looked more like Elvis, a victorian woman or Bam Bam from the Flinestones. Cast your votes now. 

All in all not a bad 4th of July! 

June Moments

Some moments from June originally posted on Instagram. Happy Fourth of July weekend!! 

The Doughnut Corner!

Since we just got back from New York there's no better time to do another doughnut corner post about Dough there! 

I read about a couple of different doughnut places in New York but when I went last fall I decided to visit Dough and I just had to go back last week. Mmmm. I love me some doughnuts.

My favorite is actually the plain glazed, although the cinnamon one was pretty awesome too. 

I have to warn you though, think ahead when planning to get half a dozen. My cousin Derik and I got the half dozen when we went last fall and then we had to carry them all over the city of the rest of the day. And fun fact, they won't let you bring a giant doughnut box into the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But if you're like us, you will then decide to hide the box in the pillars of the building and see if it's still there when you come back out. It was!! We're only hoping that the doughnuts weren't poisoned while we were inside. 

Sidebar: Great security they have at the Met… no one even cared about our suspicious doughnut box… :D

Have you had doughnuts from Dough?? Where else should I eat doughnuts in New York?

New York, New York!

New York, New York
You’re a helluva town
— On the Town

Rachael and I took a last minute trip to New York and New Jersey last weekend! So why not a post about the Big Apple? (Get ready for a REALLY photo heavy post)

We decided last Wednesday that we were going to fly to NY on Saturday. How’s that for last minute planning? All made possible because of my wonderful friend Liz who lives just over the river in New Jersey. We stayed with her, which is where I stayed when I went to visit her last November as well.

The city from the New Jersey side of the river! 

We got there early Saturday morning and ate some breakfast before heading into the city to see Darren Criss in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. At first we weren’t sure we were going to see a show but then Rachael remembered that Darren Criss was in Hedwig and we decided that we’d see that.

An illegal picture of the Hedwig stage

Hedwig is an hour and forty minute rock show/acid trip. It was delightfully quirky and hilarious though! I’m not sure I’d see it with anyone but Darren Criss because I loved his version of the role. I laughed out loud many times throughout the show and I can’t imagine having to peform that show 8 times a week because it is crazy hard vocally! I also loved Rebecca Naomi Jones in the lead female role. Whew can she sing! 

His eyes are all over New York… 

After the show we met up with Liz and headed over to Mother Burger  for some amazing food. Love their burgers!! Their meat is locally sourced from Long Island and man is it delicious! I’ve had both the turkey burger and regular burger and they are awesome.

With as many photos as I take, you'd think I'd learn to get my finger out of it. 

With our gorgeous host! 

With our gorgeous host! 

After that we wandered up to Columbus Circle and into Central Park. After dog watching in Central Park (Rachael and I exclaiming overy ever single dog) we wandered over to the Hudson Hotel’s two different rooftop bars. We ended up sitting down for some (albeit pricy) drinks at the Sky Terrace. But hey, you’re paying for the atmosphere. 

The Hudson Hotel lobby

Throwing some serious shade at Liz.

Next we headed back to midtown to the piano bar Don’t Tell Mama. Unfortunately we’re old ladies (and had been awake since like 3:45 am) so when we got there at 7ish there wasn’t much singing happening.

After a bit of time there we headed back to Hedwig to try the stage door, since the stars hadn’t come out after the matinee. But a couple hundred teenagers waiting see Darren Criss wasn’t our idea of a great time so after a bit of waiting we decided to leave and head home. 

Some things never change, like me chasing sunsets. 

Don't Tell Mama! 

Don't Tell Mama! 

We spent Sunday sleeping in and then headed down to the river in New Jersey to walk, sit and people watch (DOG WATCH). It was a gorgeous day, windy but sunny. That evening was the Tony Awards so we classed it up with Chinese takeout and watched the Red Carpet and Tony’s! 

Mmmm, chinese food! 

Mmmm, chinese food! 

Monday we headed back into the city to go to the public library at Lincoln Center. There was a Sinatra exhibit we wandered through (only took the rest of the day to get his version of New York, New York out of my head).

I devoured a yummy ham sandwich on a baguette at the Muffins Café on the Upper West Side, Liz headed to work and Rachael and I wandered across the park to the Met for the singular purpose of taking Rachael’s picture on the steps (a la Gossip Girl). Sidenote: I’ve never been to New York when it hasn’t been cold and/or snowing, so being there during the summer is gorgeous! There is green on the trees and everything!! 

Muffins Cafe

Central Park boat pond

After that we headed down to the Strand bookstore but took a quick stop in Grand Central Station because Rachael had never seen it. We met up with one of best friends from childhood, Meagan! We headed down and got a doughnut from Dough. Then walked to The Strand Bookstore. I wanted to move in, I mean four stories of books??? I restrained myself and only bought a couple of books.

Rachael's photo of Grand Central

I promise this doughnut from Dough is not as big as it looks! The plate is just tiny!

Be still my heart

We wandered up to Madison Square Park with the intention to get Shake Shack from the original. Mmmm. But we hung out a bit with Meagan before she left to go home. We stood in the, admittedly quite long line but finally got our food and frozen custard! Liz met us and we headed back to her house because we were tired and sore from all the walking we did that day. 

We ended the night with a misty walk along the river home, gazing at the New York skyline. Ahhh…