Tag Archives: Sam Bock

Flamingos, Donuts, and Rosé

Last weekend’s girls’ getaway (aka my bachelorette) to the North Shore of Long Island was pretty perfect.

flamingo float

My girl Alyssa went all out with the decorations, gift bags (complete with beach towels, neon glasses, a bag of essentials like face wipes, conditioner, Advil, and Pedialyte…), food, drink, all of it. I am so lucky and oozing with love for these girls. Seriously, Lys, ya killed it.

bachelorette gift bags bachelorette decorations

I could live all my days on the deck, and floating in the Sound…especially with my donut(s) and flamingo floats (< Trace…I am still so sad we had to leave that flamingo behind) and giraffe beach towel (!!!). We never even made it to the vineyards…our little oasis was too perfect (and believe you me…we had PLENTY of food and drink at the house…).
sunset floating

The weekend was filled with prosecco, Alyssa’s famous Hawaiian poke, taco night, Cards Against Humanity with glowsticks, hilarious stories, an interesting townie bar and crazy taxi ride, lots of water time (and zero showers for me…?), kayaking with Sara (who came allll the way from Maryland), and friends that I haven’t seen in ages.

glow sticks

Major props to my West Chester mama-to-be for coming up for a solid 24 hours of beachy goodness….is she glowing, or what?! Thanks to Jess and Lizzie for making the trek early Saturday morning to hang all day and night…..tequila jello shots in hand (even though she couldn’t take them! Don’t worry, I took one, or 5, for the team…).


Can every morning be like this?

the deck

Oh…and came home to JC Sunday for a perfect brunch and pool day with our Hoboken friends and their adorable babe (I mean, his shirt said ‘Aloha Ladies’ and his bathing suit had lobsters all over it), who hung with us all day like a champ.


Thanks to everyone who made it a truly unforgettable time!!!

Guess who’s back…

Heyyy, remember when I blogged sometimes?

It’s been a crazy ride here since I’ve become a Jersey Girl again, and I love being just a quick hop into the city. If you told me this time last year I would be where I am today, I would laugh at you. But! It has been so amazing, Coop is loving his not-so-new-anymore career move to Manhattan, I get to see my city-dwelling BFF like WAYYY more, and I don’t think the same weekend night can ever be repeated. Always something so fun and new to try. I feel like our life has been infused with didn’t-even-know-we-needed-it new adventure, and it feels amazing. Also, we are less than three months out to the wedding (WHAT?!?!).

So! I have been thinking, and Coop and I have agreed it would be so fun to document this time in our lives. We could be up by NYC for years to come, or things could change by next year…who knows! So we are taking full advantage of it. And so, I think you will be seeing a little bit more of me over here!

Starting with this past weekend. It was one of my absolute favorites I have had since moving! My 28th birthday was last week, so our weekend started off with a bang when Coop took me to a restaurant on the waterfront I have been dying to try. And it did NOT disappoint.

Battello JC

Battello is on a pier in JC with a breathtaking view of the city, and the decor was crazy impressive, as well.

And then there was the food.

We decided on a chef’s tasting, where we could each choose an appetizer, a pasta, an entree, and then received a tasting of 4 different desserts. We also each had a Brooklyn Blast IPA and then split a bottle of Malbec while the sun set.

Bread and Truffle Butter




Tuna Rollatini

Ricotta Gnocchi with Sausage Bolognese

Linguine with Clams

Pancetta Wrapped Scallops with Red Quinoa and Almond Puree

Ribeye Steak

Dessert Sampler

(That popcorn ice cream and the chocolate/caramel/powdered PB/caramel popcorn dessert were TO. DIE. FOR.) We both agreed it was one of our best experiences in JC and one of our favorite dinners/date nights ever, period!! The service was stellar, too. Even though the place was packed, our server was attentive and had great suggestions while still allowing us to not feel ushered out once we finished our meal. He even took a photo of us on the water before we headed out! Nothing but glowing reviews for Battello, and we cannot wait to come back for oysters and drinks at the bar, and will certainly be a go-to for any celebratory dinners.

View of NYC


We were able to walk along the boardwalk to another beer spot that I didn’t even know existed….Taphaus is another with one of the very best views of the city, with a solid beer list and lots of space. Definitely will be back here as well.

Saturday was another memorable day for us; after walking to his local barber for a quick hair cut, we hopped in the city to Indochino for Coop to get fitted for his suit for the wedding. It was so fun to be there while he chose all of the unique details of his suit, including stitching, the lining, even the inside monogram of my soon-to-be new last name and our wedding date. SO fun, and the associate that helped us was so great. Can’t wait for his custom-made suit!

Indochino fitting

We were STARVING after, so we walked to one of our favorite spots in the city…Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen (how appropriate…)! Last time we were here we had THE BEST oxtail gravy and biscuits for brunch, seriously, the best, but as this trip was a little later in the day and brunch had ended, we went with the pretzels and beer cheese and a dozen hot buffalo wings. I planned on sharing a yummy-sounding grilled cheese after, but we were so full after this! Also, their own IPA is on point.

Cooper's Craft & Kitchen

Pretzels and Beer Cheese

Buffalo WingsCooper at Cooper's

After a quick pitstop to visit my best friend Christine who happened to be a few blocks away with some girlfriends (and inhale a quick margarita on the rocks because, well, Mexican restaurant), we went back to JC to see Jurassic World! Seriously SO fun, it was the perfect mixture of adventure + corniness + visually awesome. Go see it in 3D, you won’t be disappointed! After a late-night cajun turkey hoagie (with fresh mozz!!) stop at Stella’s on the way home (our go-to late night JC food spot…solid little 24hr pizza and sandwich shop on our way home from downtown), we were more than ready to crash!

Sunday Coop had band practice in PA, and my mom and grandmother came up for the day to hang. We walked to the water and went to City Diner (another go-to for us!) for salads and burgers (cannot wait to try the Veggie Jalapeno Burger again), and came back to our place to relax and watch a movie and drink coffee from my favorite bakery downstairs.

Veggie Jalapeno Griller from City Diner


It was my grandma’s first time to Jersey City, and it was so fun to see how much she loved our new place and our neighborhood! Another fabulous weekend in the books, and next week is our wedding shower back in Philly/South Jersey. I know my sister has been planning up a storm and I am so excited to see what she has in store for us. See ya then! 😉

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. 🙂

Hopping Around the Christmas Tree

What did I do this weekend, you ask?

Oh you know, just sat on my couch with a bottle of red, cuddled in my white faux fur throw and bird PJ pants, and worked on this little guy for you.

Presenting this year’s 2013 Christmas card…Australian hopping mice, decorating a Christmas tree!

Christmas Hopping Mice

Available on Etsy now…shipping by next Wednesday or earlier!


The Balance Artist Faves…in Beauty

These are a few of my favorite things!


As a recovering beauty product junkie, I used to be constantly on the lookout for the hottest new thing. But now, as I have began to simplify and purge lots of excess crap from my life, I have chosen some absolute favorites throughout the years…and I keep coming back for these. Plus, they all give a little pep in my step during the yucky, cold, dreary, pale winter months.

1. Urban Decay Naked Eye Palette 1 & 2: Hands down the best color selection in a palette. I own both and use them ALL the time. Perfect for a low-maintenance girl when it comes to makeup, as the colors are gorgeous neutrals, but also can be used to create the prettiest smoky eye.

2. Coconut Oil: I love it for cooking (doesn’t burn at a high heat like EVOO does!), but this stuff is pure magic for your hair. The only leave-in conditioner I use anymore. Does wonders for your brittle ends and parched hair! You can find it in any grocery store with the olive oil.

3. Mac Eyeliner in Teddy: The prettiest eyeliner with amazing staying power. Been a favorite for years.

4. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Tiger Lily: The only chapstick I buy over and over and over, everytime it runs out. Smooth and not tacky, no overpowering flavor, and the slightest, most natural tint. Love.

5. Sephora Blush in Rose Glow: Natural, light, pretty. Seeing a trend here? Gives a perfect hit of color to paler winter skin.

6. Essie Turquoise & Caicos: Just look at it. It is perfection in a nail polish. Tropical!

7. Benefit Hoola: Love this in the hollow of the cheeks & across the nose and forehead; it’s great year-round, and looks awesome with a little rosy blush on top. Love that it’s not shimmery. And Benefit always has killer packaging. Hoola, you get a gold star in the bronzer category!

8. Loreal Voluminous Mascara: It’s just the best. I’ve tried ’em all, from department store to drugstore, and this, my friends, wins them all. Makes for easy, feathery, long, full, and bold lashes, all at the same time. Lift, and separate!

9. Philosophy Lotion in Unconditional Love: I love all of their lotions; this one is a fave, but I often pick up limited edition ones that I fall in love with and cry when they are discontinued. Sniff, miss you, Aloha Girl! But their lotions smell the BEST! This one is heaven in a scent. Yum.

10. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: Because the evil sun rays scare me. I am petrified of wrinkles and skin cancer, and although I am a beach-lover and sun-goddess through and through, SPF is always at hand! This is hands down the best self-tanner. And again, I’ve tried ’em ALL! The lotion is even better in the color department (read: darker), but has a much stronger smell. Can’t go wrong with St. Tropez, though.

What are your beauty favorites? Do you love any of these?