Snow Day!

January 28, 2015

Blizzard in Brooklyn

How are you all doing? Did you get a ton of snow? The reports for New England and Long Island are shocking. I read that Worcester, Massachusetts (not far from where I went to college) broke records with ~35 inches of snow! And Boston and the Cape were also hit hard. Although the NYC subway system was shut down because of snow–a first in its 110-year history!–the storm largely spared the city. I didn’t measure exactly, but I’d guess we got around 5 inches in Park Slope, and I saw that Central Park got around 10 inches. Both Dan and I had snow days yesterday and we took full advantage and did some exploring. Here are few photos, if you’d like to see…

Blizzard in Brooklyn

Before lunch, we bundled up and walked a couple blocks to Prospect Park. Most businesses were open; I only noticed one small corner cafe closed. The strange thing though was that there were hardly any vehicles driving on the roads.

Blizzard in Brooklyn

Blizzard in Brooklyn

There were hundreds of families out enjoying the fresh snow in the park. Party Snow Day–BYO hot chocolate and snacks! I used to love snow days when I was in elementary school, which usually consisted of my sister and I sledding in our front yard or skiing at Dartmouth Skiway. I’d guess there were as many people in the park yesterday as there were people at the Skiway during a snow day in Vermont/New Hampshire! ;)

Blizzard in Brooklyn

Later in the day, we met up with friends for some sledding of our own. GoPro, black lab puppy and a man-made jump included!

Blizzard in Brooklyn

Blizzard in Brooklyn

Hope you’re staying warm! xx

Too good not to share: Saturday Night Live’s ‘Serial’ Parody

January 27, 2015

Another “Serial” parody for fans of the podcast.


(Thanks, Nora!)

Nature Photography

January 26, 2015




Lupen Grainne’s nature and still life photography has a soft vintage style, and they’d make beautiful additions to a gallery wall, don’t you think? I’ve been looking for affordable ways to decorate our apartment, and most recently, I used a catchy scarf by Coveted Things as a wall hanging (seen here). But finding prints and other artwork at affordable prices has proven to be a bit more challenging. Grainne’s prints start at $30 for an 8″ x 10″ and go up to $90 for a 16″ x 20″ print–very affordable! I’d love to hang a collection of her prints in our apartment.






See the whole Lupen Grainne photography collection, here.

Moroccan Rugs and Where To Buy Them

January 22, 2015

Moroccan Rugs and where to buy them



How beautiful are these Moroccan rugs? Last September, when I worked at Blogshop, Patina Rentals, a vintage furniture rental shop in NYC, styled the studio where Blogshop was hosted. They brought over the pretty vintage Moroccan rug pictured below and everyone loved it…

Read More

More on “Serial”

January 21, 2015


If you’re one of the millions of listeners who were hooked on the “Serial” podcast (like me!) and the story of Hae Min Lee’s murder in Baltimore County, MD in 1999, I’d recommend you check out the series of interviews published on The Intercept. After the finale of Serial, two reporters from The Intercept, Natasha Vargas-Cooper and Ken Silverstein, landed exclusive interviews with Jay Wilds(!), who testified against Adnan Syed, and Kevin Urick, the lead prosecutor on the case.

Both Wilds and Urick declined to be interviewed by Sarah Koenig, creator of “Serial,” so it was really interesting to read Wilds’ and Urick’s side of the story even if Vargas-Cooper and Silverstein approached these interviews much differently than the Serial team approached their research and interviews. And the interviews are shocking–Jay Wilds gives yet another different version of his side of the story!

Wilds’ interviews: Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

Urick’s interviews: Part 1 and Part 2.


UPDATE: My friend forwarded this article to me last night that reports Asia McClain said she never recanted her initial alibi testimony, as prosecutor Kevin Urick claimed.


Let me know what you think!


The Intercept was created by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill initially to report on NSA surveillance, and stated on their website, their long-term mission is “to produce fearless, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues.” You can read more about The Intercept here.

(Image source)

2015 Reading List

January 20, 2015

What’s on your reading list for 2015? Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham and The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, which I’ve been trying to get my hands on for a while now (have you read it?), are on my list. I’m also adding a few books from this list by the inspiring people over at TED. The list includes 52 books recommended by TED speakers, and the list is broken down into categories like “Work,” “Science and nature,” “Mind and brain,” “Language,” “Happiness” and more. Here are few that stood out to me, which I’m adding to my 2015 reading list:

From “Creativity”

Creative Confidence, by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Crown Business, 2013
Recommended by: Tim Brown (TED Talk: Designers — think big!)
“‘Creative confidence’ is the creative mindset that goes along with design thinking’s creative skill set.”

(Do you remember hearing Professor Bill Burrnet talk about Creative Confidence in this webinar that I recommended back in December?)

From “Happiness”

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008
Recommended by: Susan Cain (TED Talk: The power of introverts)
“This book illuminates the kind of life we should all be living. Csikszentmihalyi argues that one of the highest states of being is the state of flow — when you’re totally engaged in an activity, riding the narrow channel between boredom and anxiety. I talk about this book a lot, and try to live by it even more.”

From “Work”

Thrive, by Arianna Huffington
Harmony Books, 2014
Recommended by: Andy Puddicombe (TED Talk: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes)
“This book covers mindfulness in quite some detail, but also looks at the wider impact of our addiction to technology, overly active minds and increasingly busy lives. It offers some excellent commentary on mindfulness, along with some very sound advice.”


Check out the whole list here and feel free to leave any book recommendations in the comment section, if you’d like.


(Image from Refinery29.)

Happy long weekend!

January 16, 2015

Kate Winsy (GreatSandDunes)

Any fun plans for the long weekend? We’re catching the Kentucky vs. Alabama basketball game tomorrow with a group of serious Kentucky fans, and then, on Sunday, we’re watching the Patriots game in the East Village (probably here, which is a fun sports bar if you’re ever looking for one) with some friends from home. Hope you have a good one! xx


And here’s a roundup of links from this week:

Eclipse, a friendly black lab living in Seattle, rides the city bus to the dog park by herself.

Colorful LEGO lunch boxes!

What it’s like living in 112 square feet with your spouse (ha!).

This chunky cowl neck sweater in cream is a great winter-to-spring transition piece.

I first read about Monika Kanokovath and her awesome Kickstarter project, This Year Will Be Different, on Travelette. It’s worth a look: “A book about entrepreneurial women who turned their hobbies into their careers.”

Details on how to afford traveling the world on a very tight budget (interesting).

Love these copper mule mugs (on sale for $26.99)!

This winter salad with pomegranate seeds looks tasty.

A very unlikely match: Patagonia and Louis Vuitton. Why Fashion Insiders Are Buzzing About Patagonia.

Grey flannel sneakers, also great for winter/spring.


(Photo of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve by Kate Winsy.)

Geometric Planters by ferm LIVING

January 14, 2015


I can’t get enough of these geometric planters from Danish design and lifestyle firm ferm LIVING’s new Spring/Summer 2015 collection. The dusty blues and greenish-grays with pops of pale pink and brass make for a beautiful color combination. I love how each piece can stand on its own or several pieces can be grouped together to create a distinct focal point in a room.

“Embrace the small and sincere moments in everyday life. We do.” -ferm LIVING blog




I’ll take multiples of each!

PS. Gardening in an NYC apartment.

(All images from the ferm LIVING blog.)

Blue Apron Meals

January 13, 2015

Blue Apron meals via The City and Us blog

The first couple times we tried Blue Apron we ordered vegetarian options and really liked the meals, but last week, we decided to order three meals with meat. We eat very little meat since moving to NYC, partly because quality meat is expensive in the city and also because our schedules are so irregular and we don’t want to waste meat (or food for that matter) by letting it sit in the fridge too long. So this time, we ordered one shrimp, one beef, and one chicken dish. Here’s a look…

Blue Apron meals with The City and Us blog

The three Blue Apron meals we got were the Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with lemongrass and red curry, Pulled Chicken Tacos with jicama, avocados and cilantro salad, and Beef Bolognese with fresh pappardelle pasta and Brussels sprouts. We cooked the Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup first (Blue Apron recommends cooking meals with seafood first to avoid spoiling), which ended up being Dan’s favorite of the three meals. There were plenty of shrimp for two people and the serving size was just right. I’m not a big fan of coconut in savory dishes, but the coconut broth in this recipe was subtle and tasty. This soup has a spicy kick to it; if you like spicy seafood recipes this one is for you.

Blue Apron meals by The City and Us blog

Next, we tried the tacos and raw jicama salad. The chicken in this recipe also had a kick to it but the cool, citrusy salad complimented the spiciness. For my last taco, I topped the chicken with salad and wished I did that for all my tacos. It was great! Jicama, in case you don’t know, is a large tuberous root from Mexico and South America and looks very similar to a potato. The texture is also similar to a potato and it tastes like a cross between a potato and an apple. I’m not sure that I’d ever had jicama before this meal, but I would love to start cooking with it (any jicama recipe suggestions?). The jicama salad was so good.

Last night, we made the beef bolognese. This was my favorite of the three meals. It was a quick and easy recipe and the largest amount of food of any Blue Apron meal we’ve tried (if we weren’t starving there would’ve been leftovers which has never happened for us with a Blue Apron meal). The fresh pasta was so yummy, and the addition of Brussels sprouts to the recipe was also really tasty. I’d definitely make this dish again on my own. (The recipe calls for the leaves of the Brussels sprouts, so instead of throwing out the extra, I quartered them, seasoned with a small clove of minced garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper and put them in the fridge for lunch the next day.)

Blue Apron's Beef Bolognese with fresh pappardelle pasta and Brussels sprouts

Blue Apron's Beef Bolognese on The City and Us blog

Blue Apron meals on The City and Us blog

You can find out more about how Blue Apron meals works here, and also have a look at all their recipes here. If you use Blue Apron, I’m curious: What are your favorite recipes? My all time favorite Blue Apron recipe is the Spring Root Vegetable Casserole that we had last summer.

Do you use Blue Apron or another food delivery service? Do you like it? It’s a great way to try new recipes and foods that you might not otherwise reach for in the grocery store. We find it very convenient during busy weeks as well.


This post is NOT sponsored by Blue Apron. We really like the service and like sharing with our readers what we discover on a daily basis–and we hope you like it too! Also, we gifted Blue Apron meals, which is a fantastic gift!

Monday Inspiration

January 12, 2015

A good reminder. xx

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