How America Eats Out

I saw this the other week and then had to pin it on pinterest. Of course my two cities are ranked in first and second place. 



weekend recap

One of THE BEST weekends home EVER.
Here are some photos to sum it up...

Devils advance to the Stanley Cup.

Found this photo on my dad's desk. Miss my little brother!

Paul's Dog, Chainsaw.

We ordered way too much sushi and ate just about all of it. 

Trip to Van Cleef and Arpels


Celiac Seal of Approval @ Rissoteria NYC

GW Bridge on the way out of New York

Teaching mom how to use an iPhone

Showing Little H around SCYC

BEST Grandpa ever!

Snapshots with Mommy


Snuggling up looking out at the water

Center Island

Cutest Kid Award

Totally into his trains on the back porch



And again...

Sums up the afternoon, gorgeous!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend xo

So long NY...

Until next time xoxo


Keep Calm

Spending the afternoon with family at one of my favorite spots from growing up

and enjoying a [Race Committee] Southside or two on the back porch :) 

I leave you with another version of the most said and used saying... perfect for a day on the water! 

Image via FGG Tumblr



Back East

Headed back to the northeast for the holiday weekend. Can't wait to be in and out of the city and back on the island. Check back for a recap on Tuesday.



In anticipation...

As this is a short week (and I could not be happier) I am looking forward to a few things when I get back to the Northeast tomorrow. It has been awhile now since I have been home but I am anxiously awaiting seeing my mom, running around the city, taking my grandpa to lunch at Seawanhaka and seeing my adorable little cousin and aunt! 
There are too many things I always want to do during a way too short period of time home. Since it is a long weekend I can get a little more than usual done but I know it will be a whirlwind when I touch down at Newark Airport tomorrow night and I will be deadbeat tired on the flight back Monday :) [yes, I CAN smile about that]

 First, I get to see my mama! Dad will be traveling for work which is a bummer :( Friday late-night sushi with Otai, my all time favorite sushi chef from growing up. Apparently he is as excited to see me! 
Novikoff Wedding 2010

Dad and Me SCYC, Summer 2011
Can't wait for the EARLY morning train ride into NYC to shop and eat... Mother-Daughter time :)
NJ Transit- Penn Station, Summer 2011
Some of my favorites: Le Pain Quotidian, Rissoteria, Dylan's Candy Bar, Bergdorfs, Bloomingdales, Barney's, Saks, Laudree, Baby Cakes NYC... I could really list places for days but this trip there is a "must purchase when home" list... we will see which of these and others make the final cut! 

I am ending the weekend with a trip to Oyster Bay to have lunch at the yacht club with my aunt, cousin and grandfather. It is truly one of my favorite places and I'm looking forward to spending more time with family.
SMU Graduation, May 2010
AND little H!
looking forward to some race committee southsides after lunch looking out at the LI sound ;)

Mr. B will be staying home this trip, I'll miss him but he will have tons of time to play with his friends

Have a great weekend everyone! xo


Crafting the "Perfect" Cheese Tray

Many people wonder how to put together a cheese tray and it is a lot easier than you may think. I will start you with the biggest mistake people make, which is thinking there is an exact science but it really all comes down to preference.
Growing up in what many friends called “the cheese family,” I have been to my fair share of wine and cheese parties and various “get-togethers” where cheese has been a staple. My grandfather even started a tradition in our ski town where the whole mountain would ski by our house and enjoy a wine and cheese bonfire at the end of the ski season as a way of bringing the community together.
There are not many ways you can go wrong in adding a cheese tray to your party but there are some key elements to keep in mind. First, pick out your serving piece. This could be anything from various size plates to a platter (my favorite is a rustic looking wood cutting board that was my grandmothers) and decide how many types of cheese you may want to serve. Next, when shopping for cheese, don’t feel you have to stay strictly to one country. Buy a variety of soft, medium and hard cheeses in different sizes, from around the globe to ensure your guests have lots to taste. When placing the wedges on your serving piece, don’t serve strong and mild cheeses next to one another, this will keep the flavors with the right cheese. Another element to keep in mind would be what to serve with your cheese board beside the traditional bread or crackers. Items such as honey, olives, mustard, pickled veggies or fruit will do the trick! Serve this food on another serving piece or on a separate side of the plate. You could also use mini decorative bowls to keep the cheeses from acquiring other flavors.
The next big task is picking out the right knives for your selected cheese. If you have cheese knives, now is the time to dig them out of the back of the drawer and use them but if you don’t own cheese knives, butter and pairing knives will work as well. For hard cheeses such as Pecorino Romano, Parmesan or an Aged Cheddar, look for a knife that is short, flat and has a pointy blade with smooth edges. The way you use this type of knife is to chip away at the cheese or scrape across the top. For a softer cheese like Gorgonzola, Blue Cheese or Camembert, look for a blade that is thin, long and has a dull edge. The third knife to know and love is for high fat/sticky cheeses. You want to look for a knife with holes in it to keep the cheeses like Brie or Taleggio from sticking to the blade (this will ensure you get the best slice). Once you have your individual knives paired with the cheese go ahead and slice a few preliminary slices so your guests can follow your lead.
My final tip would be to “ID the cheese.” I found a fun way of “ID-ing the cheese” when I planned my dad’s 50th birthday party by using nametags on toothpicks to list the name and flavor of the cheese so the guests would have an idea before tasting. For example, “Hello my name is Asiago Pressato and I am made from Cow’s milk in Italy. I am a hard cheese with rich flavor sometimes a sharp yet nutty consistency.” Have fun with it!

OR just have your dad come home from work with this... 
NEVER a dull party with this around... 



It's PACKING time!

I know very few people who actually enjoy packing for a trip. I seem to love it but at the same time guilty of making lists for days. I never know what I will actually want to wear but refuse to pack more than I will need. 

Here are some of my go-to lists from other bloggers:

In my carry on I always have these Top 10 things:
1. iPad (apple.com) - loaded with a good book(s), TV series/movies
2. Latest fashion mags 
3. iPhone charger & noise cancelling headphones (just purchase a Mophie case- I never travel without one now)
4. Snacks of some sort (gluten free= never rely on airport food)
[my latest favorites: dry roasted almonds, kale chips, something sweet that won't melt, cut up fruits and veggies]
5. Sweater because the airplane is always freezing! 
6. Scarf [always in a fun print] 
7. Emergency makeup pallet (ie. this one from Trish)  
8. Dog treats for Mr. Bendel (these from Cloudstar)
9. Makeup Wipes and Jack Black Chapstick
10. My LV notebook that is always in my purse... never know when you will need to jot something down! 

What are your favorite essentials?


Monday Morning...

Another Monday morning... while getting dressed this image sums up my Monday frustration:
Have tons of them but never know where they disappear to...

However, I will be back @Bergdorfs on Saturday morning... this is what will be getting me through the week! Can't wait to see my mom and be in the city.

Image via Pinterest
Anyone have big Memorial Day Weekend plans?


Fifty Shades on YouTube

Okay so we all have been reading or discussing something about this trilogy over the past few months. I have decided to reread the trilogy as I find my next great read... pretty sure I am as hooked into the story as I was the first time around. E.L. James has posted playlist soundtracks from the novels now on her YouTube channel.  Check them out here:

Interested to see what she comes out with next. Even if it is a complete side of Christian Grey's story that would be a great read. 


Salad Series

Ever since I was diagnosed with celiac disease back in high school, I am always looking for another great and quick salad. This one is so light and yummy :) Reminds me of summer but you can actually make it year round. Tip: add 1/2 an avocado for an extra boost! 

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad

What you need:
6 ears corn
3 large fresh tomatoes
1/2 large onion or about 1 cup chopped ( I used a sweet onion)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
two to three sprigs fresh oregano (optional)
2 tablespoons white vinegar ( I used white balsamic)
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Boil corn in large pot of water for about 7 minutes. Drain and plunge corn into cool water. Cut corn off cob and set aside to cool completely.
Chunk tomatoes and onion. Coarsely chop basil and strip the oregano off stems. Place cooled corn, chopped vegetable and herbs into large bowl. Toss with vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste. Serve chilled or room temperature

Salad 1 of 10


And the FGG Mascot is...

this ADORABLE guy. 

(Windham Mountain Christmas 2010)

Okay, I may be partial but isn't he cute?! 
Meet Mr. Bendel (aka Mr. B, Bendel, Bendelicious- thanks MDB, munchkin, etc.) He is the most ridiculous mixed terrier I know. 
I adopted Mr. B a little over 2 years ago and as cheesy as it sounds we have helped each other through many ups and downs since then. He loves spending time on patios, going to doggy daycare (as he knows it- "puppy school"), hanging out with all of his friends, traveling, begging for snacks and snuggling. He recently celebrated his 4th birthday with some of his puppy friends at The Stoneleigh Hotel here in Dallas.

Look for more on this little one in the near future.



Monday Inspirations

You can never have enough inspiring reminders. Here are some to start off another week:

What inspires you?
Check out more of my favorites on my Inspiration & Motivation Board on Pinterest


Dallas Blogger Society

Be sure to join in on the fun Dallas bloggers! 


Snapshots from 2 Years Ago TODAY

Thank you to my wonderful family for being so supportive with my change from NY to TX. Two years ago I graduated from SMU and it was the best decision I could have made. Congratulations Graduates, enjoy your accomplishments!