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Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.

cocktail

Bottoms Up!

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My poison of choice used to be gin, but I’m very firmly in the vodka camp now. And — I switched out tonic water for club soda, but I still call them Jen & Tonics and there’s nothing you can do about that, okay?

This slightly rosy version was made with grapefruit tonic which was quite pleasant, and I’m happiest when things have a pinkish hue.

Check out this short and simple video from bon appetit about the charms of a classic vodka soda and then follow #vodkasodacloseit on Instagram for some hilarious hijinks from Chads and Beckys all over the eastern seaboard. Cin cin!

Five Days in NYC

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Last September, I won a lottery for the chance to purchase four tickets to see Hamilton in New York at face value (!!!), ahead of the general public. We picked a random date in June and excitedly anticipated our trip for months. In the few weeks leading up to our date at Richard Rogers theatre, my husband discovered he needed to be in NYC for the two days prior to our trip, so we switched some things around and got a very full five days in the Big Apple. Behold,  photographic evidence below...

DAY 1

We arrived in New York super early on Wednesday, so we had plenty of time to check in to our first hotel (we stayed in three hotels during the trip and it's a long, boring story) and get to know our temporary neighborhood.

Ryan snapped this amazing shot of the city from our hotel window.

We snagged excellent coffee and a tasty breakfast of a hazelnut croissant and avocado toast (we went splitsies-halvsies) at Blue Bottle, then took in the sights of the World Trade Center area. We visited Ground Zero just a few months after the 9/11 attacks (we were in college back then) and I remember how dusty everything was, and how the silence was almost deafening. There were crowds and crowds of people looking at the wreckage but no one was saying a word. I recall ducking in to Century 21 just so we could hear the sound of people talking again. Seeing the area cleaned up, fully functioning (even though some construction is still going on), along with the striking and sobering memorial, was so moving.

Ryan had biznaz to take care of so I walked around on my own (the Irish Hunger Memorial is so pretty), got a fun manicure and enjoyed a nice long, boozy lunch. It's fun to date yourself sometimes.

When Ryan and I reunited, we dined on sushi at Nobu and spent a little too much coin on craft cocktails.

He may look nonplussed in this photo, but I swear we had a nice evening. He was plussed, I tell ya. Plussed!

DAY 2

We woke up super early for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, something I'd always wanted to do, but which was never convenient during any of my previous NYC trips. The temperature was perfectly crisp and the views were amazing. I wonder if people who commute over the bridge each day take it for granted?

But first, coffee.

I enjoyed a blowout at Dry Bar while Ryan was in his final meetings. There is nothing as wonderful as having a great hair day. 

One more selfie, this time with a bit of makeup on my face. I feel compelled to publicly celebrate any and all good hair days!

Once Ryan was officially done with work, we set out for lunch at Ladurée, a heavenly visit to Clare Vivier and 12 miles of walking to all the major sneaker head shops (KITH, Extra Butter and Alife, saving Flight Club for the next day).

We then checked into our second hotel in Midtown. After putting my legs up a wall for a smidge, we ventured out for some street pizza (Joe's - if it's good enough for J. Lo, it's good enough for me) and to see the riot of neon colors at Times Square - again, something I'd never experienced during any of my trips to NYC.

DAY 3

We woke up early to sneak in a quiet breakfast together before my brother and his wife arrived. We walked through Central Park, took pictures at Strawberry Fields then had some cocktails at Tavern on the Green, toasting to the start of our kid-free weekend!

We walked so many miles, we felt we totally deserved a treat from Georgetown Cupcakes while shopping in SOHO, before checking in to our third and final hotel.

*Not pictured: Our surprisingly delicious lunch at a Mexican restaurant somewhere along Church Street. I wish I'd snapped a picture or at least written down the name so I could visit it again some day. #regrets

DAY 4

The day finally arrived! This was the day we'd see Hamilton.

Ryan snapped this photo through the very small opening of our (third) hotel window on Saturday morning..

After listening to the soundtrack for over 2 1/2 years, I couldn't contain my excitement. I took my time getting ready after breakfast, treating myself to multiple masks and resting my tired, sore feet.

We arrived early, had time to take all the pictures we wanted and grab lunch before our matinée show. From the moment I heard the line, "My name is Alexander Hamilton", I had tears streaming down my face until well after the show ended. I recommend jumping through any and all hoops to see this show. It's amazing... Amazing.

After the show, we made our way to Momofuku for dinner, then to Milk Bar a few blocks away for dessert. It was all splendidly delicious (OMG - CRACK PIE). This day was one for the record books. #perfect

DAY 5

For our final day, we had one more coffee at our neighborhood Blue Bottle (it is so good, and I think I like creamer in my cold brew now), before heading to Brooklyn for brunch at a friend's restaurant.

The face I'm making is not my best, but I'm told I make it a lot... Something to work on, I guess.

We drank and dined at The Bedford on Bedford in Williamsburg. I highly recommend eating (and drinking) there whenever you can. 

Jalapeño margaritas so delicious, they deserve their own full sized photo. 

Pictured from left: watermelon & feta salad, risotto balls, the legendary mac'n cheese burger, pulled pork hash, chicken & waffles and truffle egg toast. So damn good.

After brunch, we strolled for a smidge before heading to the airport. I love the sights, sounds and (most of the) smells of busy city streets. 

Until next time, NYC!

One Big Holiday

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For my husband's 40th, we celebrated by traveling to the Dominican Republic for My Morning Jacket's One Big Holiday music festival. We went with another couple and had the best time relaxing in the sun, sand and surf by day then singing along with some favorite bands by night.

A selection of photos of our #OBH shenanigans follows...

Up at the @$$ crack of dawn to head south. I'm really just including these photos because the pink in my hair washed out VERY quickly, and these are almost all the pix of those lovely pink strands.

What could be better than back to back concerts in paradise? My Morning Jacket, Portugal. The Man, Sylvan Esso, Moon Taxi, Spoon, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, J. Roddy Walston, Preservation Hall Jazz Band (and more) did not disappoint. 

At check in, we were greeted by "tequila drink", a concoction of tequila, pineapple, lime and jalapeños, and something else, I'm sure. It was so delicious, they really should have given it a more creative name. We spent all week looking for that drink again, finally finding it at the thatched roof hut where we grabbed our hollowed out pineapples (you'll meet my pineapple in a second). Tequila drink out of a pineapple while sitting beachside was per.fec.tion. My husband and I will work all summer to replicate this drink. We will succeed, and I will share the recipe here.

Beach, please.

Beach, please forgive us. We humans need to do better.

I made friends with a pineapple! Every drink tastes better when consumed from a hollowed out, juicy pineapple (there might be a few exceptions to this, actually). Still, it was festive AF.

I brought some FoxSea products with me to use, then repurposed my soaking stones corked vial to bring back some of the DR's soft, soft sand.

The breakfasts were the stuff of dreams: a plethora of cheeses, fresh fruit, nuts and carbs, sweet carbs. Multiple drinks, too. Not pictured: the morning I triple fisted with a mimosa, a bloody mary and iced coffee. *Side note: I know Mary should be capitalized but I don't like the way it looks as part of bloody mary. It's my blog, I do what I want.

I always prefer savory to sweet, but oy vey, the dessert bar on the festival plaza every night was wonderful (especially after consuming unlimited dranks into the wee hours of the morning). 

The resort had 12 (?) pools for us to choose from, and we hit at least half of them, because swim up bars. #poolparty

I don't have many pictures of the music (I do have some vids but I'll spare you those), because we were too busy enjoying the music. We listened while in hammocks, enjoying cocktails from our cozy concert couch (we coined that term to describe the wonderful outdoor furniture ringing the festival plaza) and in the middle of all the chaos up front by the stage.

Perhaps I take too many pictures of my feet... ?

Here are my knees, though.

My narcissism is showing. #selfielove

And the reason for the trip: Mr. Ryan Fox. He's the greatest.

We had such a blast, it took me a few days to removed my concert/resort bracelets. #armfestival

Down the Hatch

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My favorite cocktail has always been the classic Gin & Tonic, which my husband renamed the Jen & Tonic. But while gin and I love each other when the night starts out, by the next morning, we're bitter enemies. So, I've recently gone back to one of my fave drinks from my very early twenties. Actually, late teens. Alright, alright... teens. The Cape Cod (or Cape Codder) is simple, crisp and refreshing and the bright color makes it festive year round.

Here's my perfect Cape Cod:

Pour 3 ounces cranberry juice and 2 ounces vodka over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a juicy wedge of lime (or two). 

For a bubbly twist, make it a Rose Kennedy by adding Club Soda (my favorite non-alcoholic bevvy):

Pour equal parts vodka and club soda over ice into a rocks glass, leaving room for a splash of cranberry juice. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

My drink of choice at my husband's company holiday party. 

Pearl earrings and twin-set optional. Cheers!

The Navy Tattoo

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Last year, my husband and I + a few friends went to see a Black Keys show in Louisville, Kentucky (it rocked, obvi). Before the concert, we dined at MilkWood, a fab restaurant that turns Southern cuisine on its ear. I loved my meal but I fell head over heels for the drink I ordered, the Navy Tattoo. I can't find a recipe online and it's no longer on their menu so I took a stab at re-creating it. Their description (I know because I Instagrammed it, thankfully) simply stated the ingredients: rum, grapefruit and rosemary. After a few trials, I think I've got it down.

The Navy Tattoo

Combine the juice of one large ruby red grapefruit (about 1 cup), 1/2 cup rum and 1 tablespoon rosemary simple syrup (I used this recipe to make mine) in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake like cray. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a little sprig of extra rosemary. 

Cheers!

ps - I inherited these fantastic vintage rocks glasses from my maternal grandparents, Captain & Mrs. Donn Langdon Ashley. I love them (the people and the glasses).