perfect weekend: brooklyn botanical gardens

After spending the past two weeks moving and painting my new apartment, I really needed a relaxing weekend. Ryan and I woke up early on Saturday Morning and scoped out Tom’s Restaurant. It’s one of the few diners in our neighborhood, and still a mile away, but Yelp promised it would be worth the walk. When we got there, the line was wrapping down the block. The 30-minute wait was made pleasant by a server who brought us coffee, water, oranges, and then french fries, in that order. It was worth the wait. Tom’s makes their own flavored butters and serves fries for breakfast (with horseradish sauce!). Incredible.

Then Ryan and I walked over to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Sadly, I misplaced my DSLR camera battery during the move, so I had to snap all of these photos with my iphone.

The gardens were filled with rows and rows of tulips. I couldn’t stop staring at them. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I immediately longed to sleep in a bed of tulips a la Alice in Wonderland. I see the appeal.

More Alice in Wonderland flowers! I was on such a literary kick at the gardens. We walked through, and loved, the Shakespeare garden.

The gardens had an excellent Bonsai exhibit, and I fell in love. I hope to grow my own Bonsai soon, but what a commitment.

We really embarked on this trip with the intentions of seeing the Cherry Blossoms. Unfortunately  we picked a bad day. There were tons of people celebrating a cultural event. It sort of felt like Disney World. There was even a giant tent set up underneath the blossoms, so it was hard to get a good idea of how spectacular they were.

We mean to come back later this month. But, we were lucky enough to snap a pretty great picture in front of them.

And a few more, just to show you how genuinely happy and excited we get about gardens.

It really is like we’re at Disney World. Like, this photo below was taken solely because we found a willow tree.

Then we finished up the trip with some shared FroYo.  Pretty perfect.

Other highlights of the weekend are: cheap pedicure, baking, really great conversations with Ryan, watching the Roomba sweep while I drank my morning coffee, and this guy:

Always. <3

sunday catch up

I haven’t been blogging much and it’s making me very sad. After our move to New York, I expected to be settled much faster than this. Or maybe this transition has been quick, and I’m just impatient. After all, it will only be three months tomorrow. The kitchen in the room I’m renting isn’t great for cooking. And the closest craft stores are expensive, 35 minutes away, and only sell specialty stuff like yarn or paper. I’m looking at craft supplies online, but it’s not the same as waking into a Michael’s.

Sometimes, it seems impossible to do the things I love. Baking, crafting, camping, and equestrian. I had my first, and last, riding lesson in the city. It was a pretty awful experience. So now, I’m looking to ride somewhere in New Jersey, but that requires a car. I’m exploring those options and, hopefully, I’ll be riding again by Autumn.

Maybe I need to love new things in this new city. But where does that leave this blog? And where does that leave me?

Not all is hopeless. I am baking donuts as I write this. And I finally signed a lease in a dream apartment. It has a huge kitchen, two pantries, and a dining room. So, my days of entertaining and baking are close. And I can finally get my cats back, although, it might break my heart to take them away from Ryan. They’re so sweet to each other.

the big cheesy: grilled cheese tasting

The highlight of last week was certainly The Big Cheesy. It’s a grilled cheese competition where some of the best NYC sandwich makers face-off and stand judged by foodie New Yorkers’ critical pallets.

We were greeted with some local Sixpoint beers to accompany our sampling. I had the Crisp, Ryan had the Sweetaction.

Here’s a sample of what was on some of the menus.

Say Cheese took second place with their French Onion grilled cheese and their S’more sandwich. They told us to “squeeze and bite” into it.

Murray’s Cheese Bar had a pretty good sandwich, especially paired with the smoky tomato soup. They also serve Sweetgrass Dairy’s Greenhill cheese! It was my favorite local cheese from Tallahassee, and perhaps, all time.

Melt Shop (bottom left) won the competition with their bacon, cheddar, and cranberry-onion chutney sandwich. Since I don’t eat meat, I wasn’t able to try this one. Lucy’s Whey (right) served up a cheddar, apple, and ham grilled cheese. I had one without the ham.

The Sons of Essex won third place with their truffle grilled cheese with arugula.

big cheesy

My favorite was ‘wichcraft’s fontina and mushroom grilled cheese. It was a great cheese and they had the best bread. Their non-vegetarian option was fontina and pulled pork. They won my vote. They also gave me a free sandwich for signing up for their mailing list. So, they’re great.

I was so inspired by all of the different combinations of grilled cheese. It never got boring. Each sandwich was completely unique and they were all incredible. We left feeling totally stuffed. Who knew sampling grilled cheeses for an hour could be so filling? 

where have you been?

Ryan and Heidi

Ryan and I took a trip back to Tallahassee to get our stuff out of storage and to be reunited with my kitties. I started my new job when we got back, so I’m just now getting oriented and can’t believe it’s Thursday and I haven’t updated my blog in weeks.

we're adorable.

Tallahassee was a lot of fun. I’m glad I was able to see my friends for a sweet farewell. We also spent the weekend in Apalachicola, where I got some sun on my skin and walked slowly with nowhere to go. We stayed at the Coomb’s House Bed and Breakfast and watched Ryan’s band played their farewell gig at the Dixie Theater.

Oh, and we sat in this over-sized chair by the water.

After soaking up so much sun, you can imagine my disappointment as New York greeted us with snow. But I’m optimistic spring is right around the corner. It’s going to be in the 50’s next week.

catching up: lunar new year and sledding

I’ve been in New York for more than a month and thought I’d share some photos of our fun times. lunar new year Ryan and I made our way down to Chinatown for the Lunar New Year parade. There was tons of confetti flying in the air and a lot of ornately decorated floats. Also, it was packed, meaning, there were moments I was afraid I was going to be smushed. So, the whole day was quite the experience. Also, I went sledding for the first time! Ryan and I went to Ft. Greene park after the Nemo snowfall. It was a blast. Here I am looking like a total dweeb. Why do I willingly humiliate myself? Making sure I don’t hit any children… And there I go… Sledding is pretty scary. Ryan and I didn’t even go down the big hills. Adults gain momentum pretty quickly and it was likely we’d end up in the road.

four-year anniversary a.k.a the most humiliating photos

Today, Ryan and I have been together for four years, kinda sorta. Four years ago today, I confirmed what I suspected for months, that Ryan and I were officially dating. So, I picked this day as our official anniversary. To celebrate, I have a whole bunch of embarrassing photos that I’m sure will haunt us both. But we’re cute, right?

Also, I’m sorry the majority of these are blurry. Apparently I couldn’t take a non-blurry photo until 2012. It was a steep learning curve.

2009
2009

Wooing him with my baking skills.

Gosh, I’m sure no one was ever really meant to see this. Such oily faces. And that beard.

2010

At a bar in Savannah.

Ugh. We ruin all photos.

2011

This was the only photo I could find of us in 2011. I’m thinking we gave up after 2010. R.I.P. beard.

2012
This was the year I vowed to take at least one photo together every month. It was much easier since we both got iPhones.

 This height difference is so annoying.

Thank you iPhone!

Hey! After 3 1/2 years, ryan finally figured out how to look at the camera. And our first non-blurry photo. This might be our greatest success as a couple.

2013

Ryan’s mom snapped this at our going away dinner before we moved to NY.

Happy Anniversary, Ryan. I love you.

hello, New York

After two days of intense moving, the saddest (cat) goodbyes, and one short flight, Ryan and I finally made it to the big city. It’s pretty exhilarating. Although, we’ve sort of spent the last two days recovering from moving. But, now that that’s over, I think we’re ready to start going out and getting into trouble, just in time for the weekend.

Being in NYC is pretty surreal for both of us. It feels more like a vacation. I still feel like I can go back to my Tallahassee home whenever I want. I wonder when that feeling will go away. I won’t have my own apartment here until March. In fact, in a couple of days, I’ll spend a month sharing a room with a pool table.

I am traditionally an uptight person. But since deciding to move, I’ve pretty much given up on the idea that I’ll have much control over the next few weeks of my life. It’s amazing how flexible I have become. I’m thankful for this exercise in letting go. However, I can feel a lingering panic waiting to kick in.

I don’t have any pictures of the city yet. My point and shoot doesn’t do it justice and I’m nervous to take my Rebel out. Although, I’m only really nervous of looking like a tourist.

heart it races

Here’s a Sunday morning rambling post for you. I want to apologize for the infrequent posting in the next few weeks, as Ryan and I move to NYC. We’re only 9 days away. The tutorials and d.i.y.s will probably slow to a halt for a while, but thanks for sticking with me.

I haven’t been doing much cooking because, get this, my fridge died over Christmas and I lost all of my food. And since I’m moving, it just seems stupid to buy any more, really. The crafts have also stopped for a while, since the craft supplies are all packed up.

When I move to NY, I’m also unsure what my setup will be. We’re staying with a friend until we can get our own places, but I won’t be signing any leases until I get a job. In the interim, all of my baking supplies and most of my cooking supplies will be in storage. And the kitchen I’ll be using in NY is tiny (I guess I should get used to that).

Without cooking, crafting, nature, wildlife and Tallahassee, I feel like I might lose part of myself, and certainly this blog’s identity. I’m interested to see how I adapt. If I look back on this post in a year will I say, “what was I so worried about?” Or will I say, “I can’t imagine ever cooking in this city?”

Ryan and I finally had our Christmas, as per tradition, a week or two late. We somehow never manage to make the shipping deadlines for Christmas day. He presented me with this darling apron from Anthropologie.

For his gift, I made a donation in his name to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

My new glasses came in! They’re from Warby Parker. Ryan and I always get our glasses from them, they’re cheap, well made, stylish, and a charitable corporation.

My glasses are the Sims. They’re comfortable and were a big hit when I debuted them at the bar Friday night.

This morning, ryan showed me how to put leather protector on my new snow boots. Snow boots! Can you believe it? I’m such a Floridian. I bought a pair of L.L. Bean’s Bean Boots on sale and love them.

LL Bean Boots

They’re not laced yet, but I can’t wait to wear them. We also applied leather protector to all of my horse riding gear. I really appreciate that after all of this time, ryan and I still are able to teach each other things.

Now I just have to teach him how to make an omelet.