Category Archives: Philly

The Perfect Bridal Shower

Last Saturday, the 21st, my gorgeous bridesmaids and mama threw me the most beautiful bridal shower at White Dog Cafe in Wayne, PA. I cannot thank them enough, especially my sister and Maid of Honor, Allie, for all the hard work they put into the perfect little party.

Bridal Party

The whole weekend was a whirlwind, beginning with my family meeting us at a local Italian place Friday night, only to be trailed by my grandma who lives in Florida and my best friend Lauren from Arizona, two of the biggest surprises I have ever had! I had no clue they were flying in for the weekend, and as I hadn’t seen Lauren in 5 years (how is that even possible?!), it was an emotional get-together!

My parents’ house was pretty packed over the weekend, as they were joined by my sister and her boyfriend Oscar, my two grandmas, Lauren, and Josh & I (oh, and two big, excited dogs!), so it was like a huge sleepover all weekend! We celebrated my 28th birthday and our shower weekend kickoff with an amazing confetti Birthday Cake by Momofoku. Oh. My god. Best cake ever.

Momofoku Confetti Cake

Saturday was my shower, and the boys took off to golf while the gals headed to PA. The shower wasn’t a total surprise, but I didn’t know where it was going to be or who was able to make it…and White Dog was the perfect spot. My girls know me well!! The place is adorable, with fabulous sustainable and local food and pictures of dogs everywhere. Plus, they decorated it so beautifully, it was like a page out of a magazine (and the favors?! So very “me”….Lush soaps and Momofoku Confetti Cookies…perhaps even better than the cake we had the night before?! David Chang, I love you. And the Philly Cooper cheese box is so perfect!).

Lush Soaps and Momofoku Cookies Favors Shower Gift Table

Allie and I

Beagle!Dog topiary 11052872_10104021060699022_6660058446950184928_n

I should’ve known with my sister’s skills from working for Anthropologie for so long (and my artistic friends), it was going to be aesthetically stunning! Alyssa even gave me a real Hawaiian lei of tuberose and white orchids that smelled like heaven and felt so special!! I have always wanted to wear one! It was a pretty intimate shower, with my closest friends and relatives there….we wanted to keep it on the small side. It wasn’t totally traditional, in that I didn’t open gifts there or play any games, we just started with cocktails and mingled and then sat down for a great meal (I had the lobster bisque, the cheeseburger with truffle fries, and the dessert trio…soooo insanely good).

cheeseburger and fries

 

dessert trioJosh’s mom came all the way from New Hampshire, and Josh and Oscar showed up shortly after to say hi to everyone and help take the gifts home. The drinks and food were awesome, the decor was stellar, and the company was just the best. It was the most low-key, perfectly “me” shower ever, and I am SO thankful for everyone who came far and wide to make it! It gives me butterflies thinking about it!

The girls 11403277_10104021063683042_7852609095590584119_n 11057974_10104021063069272_455410853692074069_n

A few of us stopped at my bridesmaid Alyssa and her boyfriend Mike’s house for a bit after to keep the party going, and then came home to ice cream from Latteria, the best place known to mankind. They are doing ice cream at our wedding!

Sunday, Allie, Lauren, and I woke up and headed to Philly for something I have been anticipating for a LONG time! We went to Max Brenner, famous for his chocolate….so we obviously had to get something chocolate-laden to try. We split a Mexican omelette (with a sugar-dusted biscuit and molten chocolate spread on the side. Wut.), a Philly cheesesteak waffle sandwich with KILLER sweet potato fries, and a peanut butter and chocolate crepe. Ugh, my mouth is watering even thinking about this meal. I cannot wait to take Coop to the NYC Max Brenner!!

Max Brenner's Max Brenner's Max Brenner's

We then walked all around Center City and Old City, did some shopping, and included a quick stop at Josh’s old place on Elfreth’s Alley. I miss that house!! And Philly….always holds a special place in my heart! Remember this from our engagement pics? We HAD to come back to take photos in a place so reminiscent of the beginning of our relationship. And every time I am in the area I love to walk by and peek in the courtyard.

Elfreth's Alley

City Hall on Broad Street

That evening, the clan drove me back up to JC (Coop was at practice in PA all day), and it was so nice to spend more time with my parents and grandmas and Lauren before she headed back to AZ, and it was fun walking down to the waterfront so they could take in the iconic views of the Manhattan skyline. It was a nice way to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad, too. Oh, and did I mention I also got to test-drive my dad’s friend’s brand new 2015 Corvette, too?! Just another feather in the hat of the weekend.

Father's Day 2015 in Jersey City

It was a jam-packed, indulgent weekend, and I have never felt so loved! It was the perfect kickoff to our wedding festivities…it finally feels like it is really happening! I cannot believe we are only a few months away!

xoxo

 

Back Where It All Began: Philly Engagement Photos Pt. I

Well, at almost 5 months out, guess I better get moving on wedding plans, eh? With that, I bring you some photos from our recent engagement sesh with our amazing photographer, John Barone. One of the very very first things I did after we got engaged (as in…the Monday after we got engaged last January) was contact this guy to snag him. He is an artist for sure.

We met on a fateful and adventurous night out in Philly, and spent the first few years of our relationship in Old City, where Coop lived on Elfreth’s Alley, the “oldest residential street in America.” No better place to return for our photos than his old home, where it all began.

Engagement Photo 1 Engagement Photo 2 Engagement Photo 3 Engagement Photo 4 Engagement Photo 5 Engagement Photo 6 Engagement Photo 7 Engagement Photo 8 Engagement Photo 9 Engagement Photo 10 Engagement Photo 11 Engagement Photo 12

NOW I just have to choose which one I want to use for our Save the Dates I need to design this week!!! JB isn’t making this easy on me.

Part II coming later this week. 🙂

Terrain, Great Harvest, and the Return of Football

Okay.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, you have. To come here.

 Terrain. It’s owned by Urban Outfitters, Inc., so you know it is going to have great style.

I just realized about a month ago that I pass it on the way to Coop’s place…I had no idea it was there! So unassuming; a gorgeous, expansive nursery nestled right in next to a Target and other stripmall regulars. Saturday morning, we got up and beelined to Terrain at Styer’s; and it was even more amazing than I could’ve hoped! This place is a local foods and plant lover’s heaven! We started at the cafe, where the fresh-baked bread (in flowerpots!!!) and peppercorn bay leaf infused butter arrived, and we knew it was going to be awesome. I got an elderflower spritzer, and we split a veggie omelette, breadcrumby mac and cheese, and a mushroom skillet with an over-easy egg on top. All of the food was local, fresh, and uh-mazing.

And there were Mason jars galore!

Oh yeah, and had to try their housemade ice cream. Maple!

Can’t wait to go back already! We loved it, such an East coast gem. Autumn was in full bloom, and I definitely want to go back in a couple weeks to see how the menu changes for the fall!

Can I live here?

I may or may not have bought a few little things at the shop, too. I have a discount, okay? Do you know how hard that is to resist?! I literally want to buy every little thing in the store. Every. Little. Thing.

Then we made the long-awaited trip across the street to the new Great Harvest. I have been dying to go to a GH ever since reading about their bread and sandwiches in blogs a couple years ago. We picked out the Pesto Parmesan and Dakota breads. So doughy and dense!

After a trip to Guitar Center for some new drum shtuff and a fun night with Coop’s band and some drinks at a local dive, Sunday was here. Football season is back! We had to go out to watch the game since Coop doesn’t have DirectTV anymore (no Sunday Ticket package, boo!) and he HAS to watch his Patriots, so we posted up at PJ Whelihan’s for the first round of games. Both of our teams won, AND they had one of my favorite pumpkin ales, Southern Tier Pumking. Win, win! (Not to mention delicious wings…)

When we came home, we had this waiting for us:

Spinach and artichoke slow cooker dip….with bacon!!! An experiment gone so, so right.

I also made black bean dip, and with our Great Harvest bread, tortilla chips, sliced bell peppers, and Old Bay shrimp, it was the perfect spread for the rest of the games!

I am also trying to heal a herniated thoracic disc (womp womp), so with my body trying to mend itself, I have been super exhausted. It was nice to lay around the rest of the night and relax. Lots of restorative yoga, heating pads, pain killers, and epsom salt baths ahead. This has been three weeks too long, and I miss my regular routine. Heal! Heal!

Sometimes, though, your body just knows when to tell you to slow down, take a break, make a change. I am enjoying this time off from the gym to better my art, experiment some more in the kitchen, take longer, leisurely walks with the pup, and spend some more time with the family. Trying to sit back and not be so go-go-go all the time.

It was a great weekend and should be a relaxing week….and another fantastic weekend to come! Better rest up now….

xoxo

Lately

Some happenings and obsessions lately:

1.) Homemade granola rocks. Chia Peanut Butter Walnut granola with local Jersey honey.

So is homemade chia jam…I based this off of Brittany’s, but made it with frozen blackberries and blueberries.

2.) I love Philly. Including running the Ben Franklin Bridge,

And eating egg sandwiches afterwards on Race Street Pier…..

Art fairs on Penns Landing and frozen yogurt,

Seeing people stroll their bonnet-ed baby along in a hot rod,

And all of the delicious food. This city is a foodie’s dream.

North Third is still one of the BEST brunch spots.

Checking the Menu Pages app to see if Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant still serves oysters…no, but it didn’t even matter after the amazing meal we shared of frickles, grilled veggies with goat cheese, and a turkey burrito that was ah, maze, ing. Pictures don’t do it justice. This place is a home run every single time.

Also, Sundays have become my favorite days. Nothing is better than Sunday brunch or a leisurely dinner with wine, all on an incredibly sunny, warm day.

3. I am becoming an accessory addict.

Finally the owner of a Chan Luu, thanks to Rue La La!

4. As well as a wasabi pea addict.

5. My dog is starting to like “rides” even better than “walks”…..

6. And I am adding two new cards for sale on Etsy tomorrow afternoon! Check back soon!

xoxo

 

Have any fun obsessions lately?

Playing Catch-Up

Well, hey there! Remember me?

As I have been consuming most of my free time with hitting some freelance deadlines, I have neglected my little blog. Working and drawing isn’t the ONLY thing I have been doing, though!

1.) I’ve been enjoying walking around the city. Coop is moving from his awesome house in Old City Philadelphia next month, so I am trying to soak up all the fun things within walking distance while I can.

Ikea and Fro Yo kinda day….

2.) I’ve also been attempting to enjoy the Flyers….although they are making it reallllly really difficult for me.

…I even turned the boy onto it! He’s been to a good amount of games with me as we have season tickets. He has lived in Philly for like seven years now, and he (thankfully) wasn’t a Bruins fan, or had really followed hockey much before. And now he bought a Jagr shirt at the last game! Stacy thinks he is a keeper.

3.) I got new business cards, mailing labels, and blank notecards.

4.) Also, food and drink has consumed the other portion of my life while not drawing, working, or workin’ it out.

I won a giveaway on Alyssa’s blog….well, sort of! The number of entrants was wrong when she first did the random number giveaway, so it totally wasn’t fair to the others that entered. My girl did the right thing (and apologized profusely)….aaaand Lauren from Sharkies still hooked me up anyway! Verdict? Get these organic, delish fruit chews and energy chews if you see them in stores. LOVE them, can’t get enough!!!

Made some pasta salad with kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, roasted peppers, onions, and garlic, and veggie rotini. And avocado. Always. Psh.

Tone It Up inspired me to make a roasted portobello mushroom, stuffed with red quinoa and veggies…a new fave!

I fell in love with Wegman’s, just like I knew I would….

AND they had pumpkin ale (my fave)….a really good one!….amongst all of the summer brews.

And also have started brewing my own kombucha each week!!! Anyone interested in a how-to? The pictures may terrify you a bit….that “scoby”? Yeah, it’s a huge mushroom-like culture that grows a baby (also a huge mushroom-like culture) on top. Scary!!! But it tastes just like store-bought for the most part and will definitely save me some bucks so that I am not buying (freakin’ delicious) Synergy all the time. I added pineapple juice to some of my last batch. So good!!

My dad, the antique car guru, has a customer from Italy who delivered these awesome little guys to me…..luckily, the cookbook has some English. Not so luckily, the coffee, which is “not like that dark water you Americans drink,” is straight-up in Italian. Anyone care to interpret??

I also have made a giant, shrimp-infused version of my Roasted Veggie Pad Thai. I would like to marry that TJ’s Soyaki sauce. Oh. Man.

Saturday night we went to Philadephia Bar & Restaurant again….because after watching my boy Guy on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives eat the best looking mac and cheese around, we decided we needed some fried mac and cheese balls. And crab guacamole. Best idea ever. AND look what is happening in two weekends?! So there.

AND Sunday brunches with Coop have been amazing lately. Like this past one at Revolution House. Totally my new favorite Bloody Marys in Philly.

Eggs in Purgatory! Similar to the Shakshuka I love at nearby Cafe Ole.

We made new friends and learned about traffic apps...

I don’t normally do sweet, or cocktails at all for that matter, but this pineapple juice & Chambord deliciousness our bartender whipped up for me was uh. mazing. Despite what my face would infer, here…

And has anyone else ever heard of a Bloody Maria?! Aka, a Bloody Mary…with tequila! Be still my tequila-lovin’ heart.

Okay, I am still a ball of sweat after a kickbutt BodyCombat class and I have some freelance to work on….and some Flyers to cheer on. Later gators!

Let me know if any of you foodies want a “how to make your own kombucha” post….it’s super easy, albeit a little time-consuming!