Entries Tagged as 'Out & About'

Dreaming + Summer Vacation

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dreaming + Summer vacation–It’s mid February and that means one thing—It’s time to start thinking about summer travel.  It might be that’s it’s cold and dreary, but about this time of year I can’t help but thinking about a big family vacation.  Our kids are seniors– 17 and 22 so for the last several years I keep thinking this is the last one.  And if this is the last big one, it has to be great.  It’s never gonna be the last family vacation.  I’ve been told that if we keep paying, they’ll keep coming along.  Sometimes we have so much fun that we keep going back to the same place.

Tuscany, Italy

Borgo Scopeto Relais is one of those places.  We discovered Borgo through a google search after seeing the adorable movie, Letters to Juliet back in 2010. When we realized the hotel near Siena depicted in the movie was actually a real hotel and not just a movie set, we made a reservation.  And as beautiful as it is in the movie—it’s even better in person.

 

The Hills of Tuscany, Italy

Sunset in Tuscany with views of Siena

It’s easy to see why so many artist are in love with Tuscany.  The light is amazing.  We chased the sunset on many nights winding through country roads in search of the perfect opening at the highest point.  We found fields of sunflowers and lavender.

Driving through Tuscany

All roads lead to gelato in Florence, Italy

All roads lead to gelato while sightseeing in Florence.

The hills of Tuscany in August

I’m not sure the time of year the movie was filmed, but I have a feeling it was July/August because every where we went looked like we driving through the movie.

Sunflowers in Tuscany

The cottage at Borgo Scopeto Relais

Borgo Scopto Relais

Borgo Scopeto Relais

Borgo Scopeto Relais

Borgo Scopeto Relais is what led us to this spot in Tuscany in the first place.  This place is so special.  You can read about the history here.

We stayed in a cottage and the kids shared a room in the main building.   It’s quiet and around every corner there are amazing views of Siena.  You can use their mountain bikes to ride through the vineyards, or play tennis and of course in August, the pools are inviting.  Resort time sprinkled in with a little sightseeing makes for a perfect vacation.

Tuscany

Last year we discovered the cemetery that was in the film while driving around at sunset.  A little further down the road we found the perfect spot for dinner.  It’s called Osteria Cacio e Pepe.  As you might guess, their signature dish is a bowl of cacio e pepe.  It might be the best bowl of simple pasta ever.  Under string lights overlooking a vineyard at sunset with my favorite people.  I love family vacations!

Osterio Cacio e Pepe in Tuscany

Sunset over Tuscany

A cappucino in San Gimignano at dusk

Tuscany is one of our favorites destinations and one we keep going back to—creating different memories each time.  What’s your favorite place?  Do you keep going back or are you on to the next adventure?

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Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A perfect Autumn Sunday in Connecticut.  The weather is brisk and the foliage is at its peak.  As I scrolled through Instagram this morning I came upon Frances Palmer’s beautiful feed and an announcement.  Today and today only Frances Palmer was holding a Barn Tour and Sale.  We live only seven miles away so I knew I had to jump at the chance of seeing the studio, gardens and her gorgeous pottery.  She has been making pottery for almost 30 years.  You’ve probably read about her in Martha Stewart or Design*Sponge.  Her No. 2 Picasso Vase graced the cover of Architectural Digest.  I am drawn to her Pearl Collection.  They are dreamy white pieces and rimmed with white beads.  I love her Terra Cotta pots and urns too.  While her gardens of dahlias are past their prime, it was still fun to walk among her flower beds that have taken over the tennis court.  It is easy to see how her environment inspires her to create such beautiful objects.

 

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Studio + Garden Tour + Frances Palmer

Sweater by Vince

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Friday Link Love + Watermelon Salad

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday Link Love and this watermelon salad is my fave!  I may have given up on my geraniums for mums, but we are still eating like it’s midsummer.  Ever since my friend introduced me to Steve’s Greek Market I’ve been making this salad at least once a week.  They have seven kinds of feta cheese. In my opinion…this salad goes with everything summery.  Is that even a word?

Friday Link Love + Watermelon Salad

This Black denim shirt from The Gap is super soft, relaxed and comfortable.  And it comes in tall, which I love.  I received mine on Saturday and have washed and worn it three times already!

About 10 days before leaving for Italy we decided we needed sunglasses.  Prescription sunglasses.  We stopped into the Warby Parker on Lexington Avenue and within about 15 minutes my husband and I ordered sunglasses and Madeline found a new pair of regular glasses.  At the price of only $95 for every pair purchased, a pair is given to someone in need.  I chose the Laurel and they arrived in our mailbox right before we left on our trip.  When we got home we received a cute package from Warby Parker with three beautifully designed lens cloths.  That was happy mail day!

We love these extra large (2.5 gallon) Montana Jars from Anchor Hocking.  Perfect for storing snacks along side our glass door refrigerator for our teenage son and his friends in the attic/family room.

Friday Link Love + Watermelon Salad

This Farmtable Plank from Hudson Grace has me dreaming of an Autumn dinner party in the garden with cheese, figs, pears, bread, meats, olives…

For my girl who was born in california….I kinda love this from JCrew

Terrain in Westport is a place where I always find inspiration.  I found this bandana on my last visit and at $14 I bought it, tied it to my bag and went back to work at Serena & Lily…which is also a huge source of inspiration!  Where do you find your daily dose of inspiration?

 

 

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Sel Rrose

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Yesterday we came upon the prettiest little coffee shop on Delancey Street.  We were not expecting it.  It was just one of those serendipitous moments to walk one way, rather than another and on the side of Sel Rrose.  Had French music been playing we would have thought we were in Paris.  They have a beautiful instagram account where their customers have provided them with photos.

The Cafe Sel Rrose

The Cafe Sel Rrose

The Cafe Sel Rrose

The Cafe Sel Rrose

The Cafe Sel Rrose

Every detail in this little shop has been carefully planned from the white La Marzocco espresso machine to the industrial corrugated walls that divide the space. The walls are illuminated with a line of lights to give it a perfect glow even in the afternoon.  Then there’s the gray leather bench with mid century lines paired with more traditional bistro tables.  Each table holds a glass of dried lavender.  I ordered a cappuccino and asked for a proper cup. Not because I wanted to be high maintenance, but how beautiful are these gray cups and saucers in this space?  If you are anywhere near One Delancey Street, you must stop and see this lovely shop.  Madeline and I have started a new instagram account called Coffee Shops of New York.  We hope you’ll check it out and follow our New York City coffee shop adventures. You can find it right here!

Gift Tag DIY + Mint and Turquoise

Friday, April 22, 2016

Today I was in the city doing my usual thing…having coffee, walking around and feeling inspired.  It was the most beautiful day.  As I was enjoying my coffee at Bluestone Lane, I noticed the colors of the shop and the cups were today’s Poppytalk colors of mint + turquoise.

Coffee at Bluestone Lane 33 Carmine Street, NYC

DIY Gift Tags

DIY Stripe Watercolor Gift Tags

Turquoise Water in Cancun, Mexico

I love these colors for spring and summer.  They remind me of the ocean and bright sunny days.  As we head into summer I know I’m going to need gift tags to attach to a bottle of wine, flowers and candles that I’ll be giving all through summer.  These are as easy to make with just a few supplies you probably already have around the house.  Watercolor paper, inexpensive water colors, paint brushes, a hard edge to paint stripes (like a ruler), a hole punch, paper cutter and some twine.  Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

xo annie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devoción Coffee Brooklyn

Monday, April 4, 2016

Devoción Coffee in Brooklyn might just be the prettiest coffee house I’ve ever been to…anywhere.  The light shines through the atrium windows in the ceiling above the large open warehouse space to provide a lovely setting and to provide the light needed for the “Green Wall” which takes up the entire end wall of the shop.  As soon as you enter the building you see steel and glass windows that look onto the roasting area of this huge shop and immediately you know this place is the real deal.  The only other Devoción is the original location in Bogotá, Columbia.

Devoción Coffee Brooklyn

Part of the charm is the attention to every detail including their cups and saucers in sunny yellow.  I found these that reminded me of the ones at Devoción.  You can purchase their coffee on their website.

Devoción Coffee Brooklyn

Devoción Coffee Brooklyn

Devoción Coffee Brooklyn

The center area which holds two large leather Chesterfield sofas, benches, tables and chairs and the open floor space in this huge warehouse help make this an oasis in the city.  While we munched on turkey sandwiches and enjoyed our coffee we noticed people working, talking, reading and even taking a nap.  Devoción in Williamsburg is a place you’ll enjoy on a day when it’s beautiful or on a day when the rain is falling and you feel warm and safe inside.  The market umbrellas help make this space feel like you are some place tropical.  If you are anywhere near Devoción or even if you’re not….make it your destination.  The space, the coffee, the food is simply amazing.

Devoción is located at 69 Grand Street at Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

 

Sweatshop Coffee Brooklyn

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sweatshop coffee Brooklyn

Sweatshop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has pretty much everything I love in shop.  Painted brick, dark gray walls and concrete floors, wood tables and stools and even a neon sign in white.  Sweatshop is known as Creative Space + Espresso Bar.

Sweatshop Coffee Brooklyn

Sweatshop Coffee Brooklyn

I love the gray cups and saucers and the enamelware tumblers in black and gray.  Every detail in this shop is sort of perfect. I might need to order a few of those for summer entertaining on the patio.  I found them here. 

Sweatshop Coffee Brooklyn

A delicious scone, a beautiful latte in a lovely coffee house and time spent with my daughter, Madeline = a perfect day!  Sweatshop is located at 232 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Next stop Devocion!

 

 

Black Brick Coffee, Williamsburg

Monday, March 21, 2016

Black Brick CoffeeWilliamsburg, Brooklyn.  Last week Madeline and I spent the morning in Brooklyn.  The main purpose of our trip was to see Clare at Arrojo. Before and after our appointments we checked out four pretty cool coffee shops.  Our first stop was Black Brick on Bedford Avenue.  We found it after seeing it on the instagram of Coffee Cups of the World.

Black Brick Coffee Williamsburg Brooklyn

Black Brick Coffee Williamsburg Brooklyn

Black Brick Coffee Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Look up, down, everywhere there were details not to be missed in this eclectic shop.

Black Brick Coffee Williamsburg Brooklyn

It took almost 90 minutes in morning traffic from Connecticut so I sort of knew I might not make a healthy choice. Boy, was this a great place to start. The dulce de lece donut was worth every calorie. We chose a seat at the window. I’m not sure why some seats are designated as computer free tables, but we were okay with that. Clare mentioned later that we missed the secret garden in back. I guess maybe they sensed we were not locals…and therefore the garden remained a secret?

Black Brick Coffee Williamsburg Brooklyn

Next stop, Sweatshop on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg.

 

14 Things to see in New York

Sunday, March 6, 2016

14 things to see in New York that involves six landmark buildings, two parks and four coffee shops–There’s so much to see in a city like New York, but if you have, say a couple of hours and want to see some cool stuff and have coffee on the way….here’s a few ideas.

I decided to start my morning at The City Bakery.  It’s big, has great coffee or hot chocolate and amazing bakery items. You can almost always find a seat. Sidenote: Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant had an ice tea at the table in the window in Music and Lyrics. Once you’ve had your caffeine, if it’s a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday then head back over and check out the Union Square Greenmarket. From Union Square head back to Fifth Avenue.

The City Bakery NYC Union Square

Coffee cups at The City Bakery

The Flatiron Building is at 175 5th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets. While you’re in the area, you may want to check out Toby’s Estate Coffee at 169 5th Avenue. It’s a beautiful shop with a few seats. Straight through the coffee shop is a lovely flower shop and a mini Strand Book Store.

The Flatiron Building and Yellow Taxis

Toby's Estate Coffee Flatiron

If you have a little extra time, you can literally stop and smell the roses. The flower markets in NYC are located between West 28th Street between Avenue of the Americas and 7th. You’ll know you are in the right place when all of a sudden the sidewalks are lined with plants and flowers. (Weather permitting of course). I like this article on the NYC Flower Markets.

The NYC Flower Markets

This brings you to your next coffee stop at the Ace Hotel on West 29th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. A beautiful place to charge your phone or just to sit and relax in the lobby of the Ace Hotel. The restrooms are downstairs, on street level there are sofas and chairs that are quite comfortable if you are lucky enough to find one available. It’s cozy in the winter and the darkness of the lobby in the summer is also quite nice on a bright sunny day. Stumptown Coffee Roasters can be reached from inside the lobby or from 29th Street. There’s a few stools along the window. When you leave, take a right and head back over to Fifth Avenue and walk toward 30th Street.

Ace Hotel New York

Stumptown Coffee Roasters at the Ace Hotel New York

The Empire State Building is at 350 5th Avenue at 33rd Street. Did you know the Empire State building is open 365 days a year from 8am until 2am?  Last elevator up is at 1:15am.  Are you thinking of the ending of Sleepless in Seattle?  From here you could head over to Macy’s if only to ride on the original wooden escalators. Think Miracle on 34th Street. I had not been in years, but recently a friend reminded me of the wooden escalators and I’m glad she did!

The Lobby of The Empire State Building

The original wooden escalators at Macy's Herald Square NYC

Now head over to the New York Public Library walking through Bryant Park on your way. The NYPL has amazing exhibits and always free. The building itself is stunning and worth taking the stairs and walking the hallways. If you haven’t had enough to eat or drink, there’s an Amy’s Bread on the main level.

The New York Public Library

If it’s a beautiful day head back over to the Grace Building on 42nd Street across from Bryant Park. Bluestone Lane has a beauitful shop in the Grace Plaza Pavilion on West 43rd and Sixth Avenue. The outside plaza is a wonderful place to sit and relax before heading back to Grand Central Terminal.

Grand Central Terminal

Three hours, three or four cappuccinos and four or five landmark buildings. A good day in New York.

New York Botanical Garden + J.McLaughlin

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Where do you go if you really really need a little dose of Springtime in New York during the month of February?  The Conservatory of the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx, of course.  My husband and I met in Phoenix so I think the cacti and succulent garden in the Conservatory is my favorite part.  For this post J. McLaughlin supplied all the clothing and the tote.  I love the Rale Cashmere Poncho from J. McLaughlin, I’ll be wearing this all spring and on cool evenings at the beach this summer.  They come in every color.  The black pants are the Felicity pant which are great for everyday and wonderful for travel.  The perfect pant to get you from Winter to Spring. The Everywhere Tote is so well made and strong enough to carry my laptop and camera and everything else I need without looking overpacked.

New York Botanical Garden Conservatory in Winter

The Conservatory at New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Gardens + J. McLaughlin

The Cacti Garden in the Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden

Rale Cashmere Poncho from J. McLaughlin

The New York Botanical Garden in Winter

The New York Botanical Garden in Winter

It’s pretty quiet this time of year, but still a lovely place to visit.  The restaurants and the beautiful gift shop are open.  I can’t wait for May when this walkway is lined with peonies!  Thank you J. McLaughlin for the beautiful clothes!

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