an evening in brooklyn

suzie- why do you always hide behind my face?!
on saturday, we ventured to brooklyn- prospect heights, if you must know. we went to see our favorite brooklyn ladies: suzie + elliot.

suzie fed us amazing dinner and amazing green juice made from her new vitamix, the machine ben and i envy very much. i love their new little apartment. i get excited when people find better places to live than they did previously because it's always nice to be on the greener grass side of life.

we talked about pot roast, church, people, crazy races and chocolate. all very essential ingredients to a good conversation.

we then made our way to the chocolate room in park slope, brooklyn--- but since it is but a tiny room and the elliot in the stroller fell asleep we may or may not have taken our chocolate yummies to go and eaten them at a different food place- but it's ok because we bought a soda there so that's not tacky right?
we would have just eaten the chocolate outside had it not been january.


waxy fall leaves

back in november, i gathered many multi-colored leaves at a park in our harlem neighborhood with every intention of waxing them and hanging them on the wall like so.
it's january and i finally got around to it.

and if i knew it would be so easy, maybe i would have done it sooner!

i found a pin on pinterest with a how-to on waxing fall leaves. i knew i wanted to do it- i remember once paying 25 or 50 cents at a vermont farmers' market to wax a fall leaf and loved it. loved the idea of preserving those pretty and colorful leaves.

i followed the directions adapted from [here]:

1. gather leaves
2. buy disposable aluminum roasting pan (like $3)
3. buy paraffin wax (i found mine at a hardware store - like $4-$6)
4. melt the wax, in the pan, on the stove, over low heat
5. lay out newspaper and then wax paper over the counter so the waxed leaves can dry on the wax paper
6. hold the stem of the leaf and dip in the wax
7. do a couple coats if you like (no more than 2)
8. let leaves dry- you may need to gently pry the leaves off the wax paper with a knife
9. tie string/thread to stems of the leaves
10. hang with push pins or something similar

enjoy the pretty leaves all year.


maunday tuezday thurzday wendsday

this week.

monday: i worked the holiday in prep for annual dinner my office puts on for the peeps we do work with.

tuesday: was the dinner. lovely venue and turned out well. my boss/the president/ceo told a somewhat embarrassing story about me (yes, we already have inside jokes) and i got the biggest laugh of the night. ben joined me at the dinner which made my life much more fun and enjoyable.

wednesday: i schlepped to brooklyn, williamsburg that is. one should be charged to go to williamsburg- the hipsters are everywhere and it's pure entertainment. i met ben and a law school friend for new york city's best bbq. fette sau. it's hilarious too because it's next door to a car garage. oh, hipsters.

thursday: met a friend for dinner i hadn't seen in months. we live in the same city and we haven't seen each other for months! goes to show, nyc is too big for its own good and nyers are too busy for their own good. it was much appreciated, we ate too much and then walked a few 20 blocks and ate some more. that's sort of what you do here. walk. and eat.

friday: ben and i braved the freezing for our first official nyc restaurant week outing. aureole. it's in the theater district. we sort of wandered around times square afterwards because it was nearly empty. on a FRIDAY. we've decided january (after new years) in nyc is the deadest time for tourists. and it's eerie.

saturday: we woke up to our first legit new york snow. it felt so magical and quiet and cozy. i love waking up to snow. especially when it's more than an inch (a few inches). and then we made our storm brunch (lemon ricotta pancakes - we last made them during the "hurricane").

sunday: we spoke in church. i spoke about how we (all) should love everyone (all). no matter who they are. no matter what they look like. ben made people laugh and spoke about charity (not that charity is funny but ben is just funny). love + charity = very important things.
p.s. speaking of church, have you seen this video? kathy is my sister's mother-in-law and well, she is amazing (my sister and her mother-in-law are amazing). watch it. you'll like it.


harlem. cute harlem. (an explanation of its under-appreciation)

lately i have been noticing a trend in my life:

i kept/keep feeling marginalized because i am feminist and mormon and also because i am mormon and a feminist.

now i am faced with feeling ostracized by my peers/coworkers for living in harlem (that is until they see our incredible apartment) but i also feel like some neighbors don't love for me/us to live here. not that i feel threatened or unhappy really... but can't somebody love me for living in harlem? or being a feministmormon?

what i'm really trying to say is i love harlem.

i love that most all of the storefronts are ugly/contemporary/unsightly and the floors above the storefronts are beautiful.
i love wild olive market, so very close to us. we make so many little trips there that the workers know us and at least one of them is nice and makes conversation. they are finally starting to remember we "don't need a bag." (we try to bring our own bags every time or just carry what we buy.)
i love the street vendors, the random second-hand items, the cocoa butter, the essentials oil and the large-statement earrings.
i love the quiet streets lined with brownstones, some beautifully preserved and others boarded up and sad looking.
i love all the hole-in-the-wall restaurants. and soul food places. and even though i am not brave enough to try half of them, i do intend to try the other half.
i love that church is a short walk away.
i love finding gems likes parks, cafes, museums and historical sites.

what i'm really trying to say is, don't miss harlem when you visit nyc. it's rad. under-appreciated. a unique part of manhattan, nyc.

i realize this post deserves better photos and i plan to get those. promise. promises, promises.


blue monday

instagram makes me lazy about taking photos with my big camera. i need to be better. i will be better, i promise.

we had lunch at our cutest harlem cafe and saw my favorite neighbors who always seem to match and their twin babies also match. i heart that family.

celebrated a friend's birthday where she paid for brunch for nine people- and also gave out favors. at what age do we start giving gifts instead of receiving for our birthdays? clearly my friend is much more mature and giving than i :)

i worked today- the holiday. so my coworkers got to see my emo-bangs-grey-henley-lounge look. lucky them.

i am always learning from the 18-month-olds to 3-year-olds at church. like no matter what you look like, who you are, our parents in heaven love us and accept us. i like that.

ben is back in full swing at school. i am learning so much about the law.

it's the beginning of the 3-week restaurant week in nyc. very. excited.

i love who we in the u.s.a. observe today. martin luther king jr. an amazing man. thanks for all you did for civil rights, for our country, for our history---


all the beautiful things

i didn't really write any goals or resolutions down this year, for 2012... but i have been thinking about what those things mean to me. i thought that instead of writing it all down, i would just mentally motivate myself to be better about certain things that i know i need to work on.

1. manage my time better. i work at the very least 9 hours a day- and so when i get home, i rarely have motivation for much of anything. the problem is, i always have so many things on my list. so i either get a ton done or nothing. i need a balance.
2. build good relationships.
3. learn to appreciate things- for their unique and special beauty.

beauty. and art. that's something i've been thinking of.
and what is related- is how i have finally gotten back into my nerdy routine- i am back to listening to podcasts (this american life, wait wait don't tell me, the moth)--- the moth is new to me (thanks, sister) and it's gotten me thinking a lot.

one of the latest moth podcasts was about a man who was sent by the nytimes to essentially find art in afghanistan. after arriving, many told him art and music did not exist in afghanistan, but he sought people out and found a whole group who performed music, and some who wrote poetry and those who created visual art. these people all gathered and the musicians played all through the night, they all shared food and this incredible experience of ART. art.

art has always been special to my family as well- my mother the painter and sculpture-ist and my father the photographer - from that, my whole family has grasped art in some way or another.

and really i've just been thinking that art surrounds me everywhere i go,

whether it was when we were in utah and ben said, "hey, we're in nature!!" and nature is just God's way of showing off his art, the varying landscapes, the red rock in southern utah and the way the wasatch mountains were formed so perfectly so snow could fall on them, and bens and emilys on wooden snowboards could glide down the mountains and soak in the ART.

or how ART is in everyone- how beautiful people are or can be. i am with so many people everyday and i am constantly fascinated with how people present themselves and how they appear to me. i interpret them just like i would a painting.
like a kaleidoscope, strange and fractured but quite beautiful.

and then there are new york city's buildings and parks that pop up every block or so. the park doesn't necessarily have grass, but always a place to sit and stare or just watch.

one of my favorite dates ever with ben was in the east village the other night, after a movie we got ice cream, sat outside and didn't look at people but their footwear. and just critiqued, interpreted, judged and laughed.

mostly this random string of thoughts is to express i am grateful for art. art in nature. art in people. art in everyday.
it's everywhere.

photo taken at the harlem studio museum.


[fairly] recent restaurant reviews - nyc

new ashiya (ashiya 2)-
great sushi. and really, really cheap. the funniest part is that the menu lists all of the “original” prices and then the “50% off” prices. the best part is- the prices are always 50% off. hehe. gets me everytime. last time we went was with three people and we got out of there spending $30 for everyone. we all got miso soup and shared 5-6 sushi rolls. amazing.
in the east village :)

los tacos. the taco stand is the in the back of this latino market. it is the ultimate hole-in-the-wall. tacos, tortas (sandwiches), et cetera. all great. clinton/hell’s kitchen- $10-$15 for two.


the best Indian food i’ve had outside of india. the price isn’t bad either. butter chicken isn’t on the menu, but try it. and they also have peshwari naan, also not on the menu. do try- it has a great coconutty taste. haveli has a great blend of southern and northern indian food. most u.s. indian restaurants only do northern indian. but south or north, it’s ALL good. be sure to have gulab jamun for dessert.
east village (i heart the east village). - $35-$45 for two.

sandwiches, get it? pole caught tuna sandwich, goat cheese sandwich, ham & cheese (and supposedly their pbj is to die for). they also sell ice cream sandwiches. i am anxious to try it!
many locations in manhattan.- about $7-$9 for a sandwich.

café habana-
cuban food. the corn on the cob! it’s traditionally mexican but it is done perfectly- the cheese, lime, chili powder, mayo. get a cuban or anything with pork since cuba is famous for its pork. i got the tacos al pastor, ben got the roasted pork. so very delicious. (consider getting it from their ‘to go’ since the restaurant is teeny tiny.)
soho/nolita- $25-$40 for two people

lobster place-
lobster rolls, clam chowder, maine root soda. all to die for. lobster rolls are usually a toasted bun with lobster meat in a sort of sauce. mmmm. saves you the trouble of shelling the lobster yourself.
chelsea market- $25 for lunch for two

jacques torres-
chocolate. the wicked hot chocolate: more than enough reason to go there. it has chili powder in it or something crazy. and their tiny overpriced chocolates are also some of my faves.
multiple locations.- hot chocolate about $3


their chocolate chunk cookies are so divine. they are sort of crispy on the outside but gooey on the inside. how do they do it?
near grand central.- $1.50 for a cookie

sweet revenge-
the tiniest, cutest little dessert and tea joint in the west village. great tea. best pumpkin cupcake.
west village. about $8 for tea and a cupcake

pepe verde-
the sister to pepe rosso (reviewed previously). basically the same menu- with great panini and pastas (vodka pancetta) but in the west village.
$15-$20 for two

l'arte del gelato-
impressive gelato.
chelsea market, west village.

union square cafe-
danny meyer's place. he's the guy that started shake shack. a blend of italian/french/new american. a little spendier than usual but a really great place for a fancy celebration dinner. reservations must be made EARLY. pomegranate hibiscus soda, fois gras mushroom ravioli, apple salad, banana tarte.
union square area.

il caffe latte-

this place makes me so happy. it's quiet, quaint and laid back. it feels like the ideal place for a quick tea/beverage or maybe just a salmon burger (pictured above). and it's in harlem! i am very proud of this gem, because it is a gem!
(above photos taken at il caffe latte)

aqua fresca-
cuban. los tacos. and the churros with dulce de leche are good enough by themselves.
free delivery! east harlem.

amor cubano-
cuban sandwich. yucca frita (yucca fries). best. ever.
east harlem.

burger joint at le parker meridien (it's secret)-
supposedly the best burger in the city. i think it's because it's very "authentic" and very "4th of julyish" it's mostly fun to eat at a secret place.

alouette french bistro-
truffled chicken. mussels. really attractive wait staff.
upper west side.

places to eat in utah

saint george, utah

in n out burger
well, this is really a california treat... but because st george is often quite sunny and warm, i'm am finally ok attending in n out in southern utah. #2, no onions, vanilla shake (or ben get's #1, extra pickles).

larsen's frostop
glaciers. got me through high school. (soft serve ice cream with slushie.)

cafe rio
this delicious tex-mex-mexican-now-chain started in saint george, utah. i remember when it opened. those were the days. there is even a cafe rio in rural maryland. pork salad. pork pork pork. get the pork.

25 main

i just think this a really cute local place for st george. cupcakes. food for lunch. and $1 cupcakes after 7pm. fab. fab.

cedar city, utah

all american diner
if you're looking for a cultural experience and just a rad rad diner... go here. cheap breakfast (like $5). and everyone wears wranglers two sizes too small.

provo, utah

spark is sort of known for their non-alcoholic drinks. i guess that is to cater to the many mormons in provo, utah (many mormons abstain from alcohol). mango mojito. simply citrus. and their southwest burger is also very delicious.
(above photos taken at spark)

the zagat dining guide speaks highly of communal. there are many "new american" sort of dishes to choose from- which can be shared or consumed by one. see my little review here.

bombay house
really impressive indian food. it always amazes me. garlic naan. peshwari naan. chicken tikka masala. chicken makhani. lamb mushroom. lamb coconut korma. all so good.

j dawgs
a new take on hot dogs. for me, it's mostly fun for the memories. memories like these.

provo bakery
orange rolls. it's the orange rolls!


the cloisters in upper uptown manhattan

the cloisters is located in the far northwest corner of the island of manhattan. when you get off the subway (a train) at 190th- you walk through fort tyron park, stop at the lookout point that is fort washington and then keep on walking up the hill to the cloisters museum.

the cloisters is part of the metropolitan museum of art- so lucky us, it calls for a suggested donation for admission. some days we are feeling more generous than others- when we went to the cloisters we splurged and donated $10 total to attend the museum.

the actually building that is the cloisters is pieced together from many old european buildings (all thanks to john d. rockefeller). i mean, not all the pieces are from old buildings, but some parts are. and the medieval euro art is great.
mostly i loved the old windows- since i am a stained glass and old glass lover (i used to building windows in college).

like the guggenheim museum, i like the cloisters for the actual building- the building is better than the art for me. that and the location. being way uptown like that was like being in a whole other place - not so much the countryside, but this sort of urban sanctuary.

i recommend it.
more on the cloisters here.

p.s. i acquired some bangs. ben calls me bangszy now.


friends glorious friends

me, ben, graham, kate
garret, ben, randy - the bearded men
donovan - cutest toddler (randy + linny's)
lindsay (linny), bybes (emily), me (emily)
touching the belly
we love psychedelic artwork. (ben, me, randy, donovan, lindsay, emilybybes, garret)

while in st george, utah - ben and i hit up 25 main, the cupcake parlor to meet kate and graham, our bloggy friends. now we are real life friends! it was all very exciting, and really i'm just glad kate and graham are awesome and in no way awkward! i love it when online dating other couples works out.
let's plan a trip guys. that or we'll come visit you in portland sometime soon.

linny, randy and donovan
have family in st george as well- so we got to see them a couple times, both in st george and the salt lake city. i like that. i look up to this little family. their love of the outdoors really inspires me.

we got to see the new home of bybes and garret (all three of my college best friends own homes. holy smokes.), scared away a perched bird and got dinner all together (with l,r,d too). bybes and garret are just the coolest cats. they do cool things like find sloths and enormous spiders in costa rica.

hey all. we love you. thanks for hangin'.


giordano's chi-cah-go layover

on our way home from utah to nyc - we had a three hour layover in chicago (the midway airport that is actually in chicago proper).
so of course, of course we checked our bags in utah (which we almost never do), i carried the frame around everywhere (the one my parents gave us for the painting my mom created) and we walked the 30 minutes round-trip to the famous giordano's.

i'd never been to chicago before (still not sure if my two hour stint really counts) and i had never had chicago style deep dish pizza. mmm. pizza.

it was good to get out of the airport and have an experience-type-meal because if i am stuck in an airport too long i get a.s.s. - airport.stress.syndrome. (ha)

thanks for the new years eve date, ben.


snowboarding and how it explains our relationship. (and a video)

examples of how snowboarding explains our relationship:
the year we got engaged (2007), we both got season passes to snowbird so we could enjoy the slopes as often as possible- and snowboard together.
ben was much more advanced than me at this point- so there were a lot of pep talks from ben to emily and a lot of frustrated emily. this illustrates how ben is the optimistic one.

we got engaged while snowboarding on dec 15, 2007. this forever set the precedent that snowboarding is romantic and so important to us- and will be even when we have tiny people around, we will teach them to snowboard as well.

nowadays, snowboarding examples of our relationship:
getting off the chairlift, i always have major anxiety and ben tells me it will be ok (much like regular day to day things).
we save up for activities and travel - aka - expensive lift tickets, even when the snow is bad--- it's worth it to us.
going down the mountain, ben is ahead of me, encouraging me. making me feel better. as always.
and finally, i usually am the one to bring food/water/treats and taking all the photos- just like any other outing we go on.

needless to say, snowboarding is our thang.