Category Archives: the city

{food joints} ladybird bakery

my initial relationship with this lovely neighborhood bakery began when i simply heard the name ladybird. my girls nicknames are bug {sophie} + bird {hazel} so i viewed this as a welcomed sign that we were in the perfect neighborhood. i know a stretch … but i’m a fan of finding affirmation in daily occurrences.

once i stepped through the signature blue door the love affair went far beyond the name. the selection of muffins, tarts, cakes and cupcakes often leave us staring at the display cases trying desperately to narrow down the decision to one sweet each. there is an adorable children’s corner that offers a selection of classic reads allowing for a longer time to enjoy the atmosphere and warm beverages. {a super big plus in my book!}

my sister-in-law alyssa {tally} is in town this weekend for a college girls get together and came in one day early to spend some time with us! her only request for her time in park slope was to take the girls to ladybird and walk sophie to school. her request was easily granted! this morning’s coffee date is now one of my most favorite memories – truly a perfect fall day!

ladybird is a delicious experience that you must have!

ladybird bakery
1112 eighth avenue
brooklyn, ny 11215

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i’ve got my love{s} to keep me warm!

the first snow has fallen in brooklyn {and it’s only the beginning of november}!

sophie + hazel’s wonder and excitement of freshly fallen snow will forever be etched in my mind as we trudged through the slushy sidewalks to sophie’s school. {remember we are from the south so even this much snow is kind of a big deal!}

**h&m made the walk to school a bit more fashionable with {my most favorite} mittens and hat**

so bring it old man winter . . . we are ready for you!!

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help wanted . . . hurricane sandy

in the wake of destruction caused by hurricane sandy, i have felt paralyzed by false thoughts that if i didn’t have time to volunteer at a local shelter, donate old coats, clothes, etc. that there was not much that i could do to make a difference. {this is not something that i am not proud to admit!}

diana warner studio sent an eye-opening e-mail allowing me to recognize that there are more people in need than just those in shelters and there are an abundance of creative ways to help! thanks to diana warner studio i am now motivated to do what i CAN do and encourage both sophie + hazel to join me in the effort.

i hope that diana’s words remind you {as they did me} that indeed, although you are just one person, you have  resources, words, prayers, etc. that can impact a stranger’s life!

i encourage you to do something . . . {even if you do not live in new york and can come up with a million reasons why you CAN’T} . . . you CAN . . . PLEASE do something!!

here are some ways to help. {thank you diana warner studio for these creative + insightful ideas!}

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1. donate small. make small donations to relief funds. on the ground here in nyc there are local relief funds making huge differences. there are loving people from all over the city coming together to make an impact. one i found to be making a huge difference is the sandy relief fund at trinity grace. It’s a simple process. create an account here and then under the “give to…” menu, select “hurricane sandy relief.”

 #EatDownTipUp, if you live in the city. it’s simple: eat downtown, where local business and restaurants lost power for nearly a week and help them recover from their losses, and if you can afford it, tip UP. #EatDownTipUp challenges people to double their normal tips. during this past week, so many wages were lost, staff to the thousands of nyc restaurants are struggling, and business owners like myself can’t sleep at night because they worry about their staff and how they will live without those wages in a city so expensive. so #EatDownTipUp …and don’t forget to shop downtown! post about it on twitter & facebook to spread the word!

3. s
hop early for the holidays. every day this week, monday through saturday, at both of our locations (gramercy park and bryant park), as well as our online store and wholesale offices, 10% of our sales will be donated to the sandy relief fund started by trinity grace. your holiday shopping has to happen soon right? well, start NOW and make a huge difference through the sandy relief fund that is making such massive impact in the lives of new yorkers all over this city.

4. write
 a letter, if you don’t have money to give, write a letter to someone in this city. get your communities involved, your classrooms and your businesses. have your classroom write letters to another classroom who lost everything. write a letter to a business owner who lost her home, or to a mother who lost her children. want to write a letter? we have a list of people in need from our community, any encouragement makes more of a difference in lives then you would realize. e-mail for our list to be sent to you.

5. get involved
– with your community that is. what can they do? what can you do? what can you do together to make an impact?

6. share
. tell your friends to get others thinking about what they can do to help rebuild the northeast.
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halloween in the slope

we were worried that halloween would not happen this year after sandy’s visit to nyc earlier this week but thankfully the show went on in park slope. families {thrilled to be outside} occupied stoops and businesses that had been closed this week due to the storm opened their doors to offer treats to giddy dressed up children.

sophie + hazel dressed up as their current obsessions – –  fashion + mermaid barbie. the costumes were quite simple this year as we gathered most of the costume components from their current dress-up box. the newest additions to the costumes were the construction of the mattel barbie box and the shell bra.

however, despite the sugar, costumes and laughter – – devastation is still apparent in park slope. downed trees block entire streets and are the cause of the temporary closure of prospect park. we have only lived in park slope for a few months but are already overwhelmed by the sense of community that envelopes this neighborhood. it is an amazing sight to see people come together to add normalcy {in the wake of such a terrible disaster} to children on a much-anticipated evening.

– happy halloween –

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{food joints} extra virgin

we finally dined at extra virgin last weekend and my only regret is that we didn’t experience it sooner! extra virgin is located in new york’s west village neighborhood and offers mediterranean food as well as varieties of extra virgin oils from around the world each night.

extra virgin is primarily a “walk in” restaurant . . but not to worry . . . their bar is the perfect place to pass the time.

this quaint little spot is fighting a hard battle for my full affection as the place i most want to dine and i must say they are doing a mighty fine job!

be sure to treat yourself to extra virgin as soon as you can!

{extra virgin}
259 west 4th street

**photograph by nicolas goldberg via the new york times

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{read} knuffle bunny

knuffle bunny {based in park slope} is a popular children’s book and one of my girls favorites.

sophie was introduced to knuffle bunny while attending nature’s way montessori in knoxville, tn. little did she know that she was staring at a photograph of her future elementary school as her teacher read the book!

knuffle bunny is a great cautionary tale {as author mo willems refers to the story} no matter where you live!

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{check it} goop

there is so much to discover in brooklyn and at times the task can be a bit daunting … fun … but definitely daunting.

i consider myself a lucky gal because my ever so stylish sister-in-law alyssa has paved the way in most areas for our brooklyn experience. {i believe i have shared that we are renting their space in park slope}. recently alyssa introduced me to goop. goop was founded by gwyneth paltrow as a curation of the best of lifestyle, giving access to recipes, travel guides, fashion, wellness tips, cultural notes and more! yesterday she highlighted brooklyn and offered insight on the best places to dine, drink and shop … thank you gwyneth!

check out goop and sign up for their weekly publications.!!

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coney island

sophie celebrated her 5th birthday in knoxville directly before moving to the “big apple”. among her many birthday gifts was the book i live in brooklyn given by her friends, elliot and audie tatler. this book was given in hopes that it would help ease the transition from knoxville to brooklyn and these little ladies could not have been more on point! both sophie + hazel have become completely obsessed with this book and use it as their guide for life as a brooklyn kid.

in the book, the little girl michelle, who lives in carroll gardens tells of her love for taking the f train to coney island with her family. together they enjoy the beach and all that coney island has to offer. upon moving to park slope, we quickly discovered that the f train services our subway stop so of course coney island quickly became the topic of conversation.

we {finally} spent a saturday at the -beloved- coney island {only 25 minutes from our home.} sophie + hazel rode a plethora of nostalgic kiddie rides and were then treated to a nathan’s hotdog for lunch. the boardwalk was not as booming as it is in the summer and i immensely enjoyed being able to leisurely walk while the girls ran ahead of us without a care in the world. it was a crazy juxtaposition to stand on the boardwalk with the sand + ocean to our left and the manhattan skyline to our right.

coney island in the fall is a great {and inexpensive} way to escape city life – even if for a short while. to learn more about what coney island has to offer be sure to check out their website.

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{food joints} stone park cafe

matt + i experienced stone park cafe six{ish} years ago when visiting matt’s brother kevin and his wife alyssa in park slope. we loved that the menu focused around seasonal ingredients offering both unique and traditional dishes. never would we have imagined that years later we would be living in the same apartment/neighborhood that we once visited and celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary at stone park cafe.

owners josh foster and josh grinker grew up in park slope and opened stone park cafe in 2004. “we wanted stone park cafe to offer value, comfort and superb food for diners in park slope and for anyone who wants to experience the heart and soul of brooklyn. our aim is to raise the bar in brooklyn, using our collective background in some of the city’s finest restaurants to create a dining experience that is casual and unpretentious, focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients, served in a comfortable neighborhood environment at an affordable price.”

a job well done to both josh foster and josh grinker for offering a fresh and lovely dining option in the neighborhood!

if you live in park slope or are visiting our neighborhood please be sure to make reservations at stone park cafe it is sure to please every single taste bud!!

stone park cafe
324 fifth avenue {at the corner of 3rd street}
brooklyn, ny

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rear window

rear window is my most favorite film by alfred hitchcock. since moving to our apartment {where proximity is much closer than we have been used to in the past} i have often been reminded of this cult classic.

the weather in new york is absolutely splendid this time of year, allowing us to turn off our thermostat and leave our windows open to enjoy the crisp breeze. i have enjoyed listening to the sounds of our many neighbors and feel as if this is somehow intertwining all of us together as the melody of life blissfully floats through our windows. the sounds are natural and soothing to me and i am beginning to find my daily rhythm through them. the hum of a vacuum, excitement of children, laughter over dinner, clinking of china, a child crying because they are not ready for bed, delicious tunes . . . all simple in nature but when placed together tells a greater story about the unfiltered joys and sorrows in the day-to-day.

i am thankful for these {faceless} neighbors who together are harmonizing a most rich and beautiful story of life well lived and i hope that our humble abode is contributing well to what is being created on prospect park west.

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