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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

cheers.

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2013 was... eventful, to say the least.

our lives were filled with so many emotions that life truly was a rollercoaster. 

we celebrated the marriages of many great friends.
we hardly ever said no to social events and celebrations.
we learned that being apart 5 of 7 days a week was horrible and tested our relationship and happiness.
we learned that we might just be the best road trip team ever.
we learned that success is never met if you never set a goal.
we experienced the pain of losing loved ones unexpectedly.
we experienced the pain of seeing loved ones suffer through a painful death.
we learned that we need to make more time for each other instead of always saying "yes" to others.
we felt the joys and excitement of planting our roots in jersey city...
....and we feel the frustration of things not going as planned.
we feel that we have a strong hold on the reins of our lives, yet at the same time we feel like we're walking a tight rope.

i am thankful for the people who have walked into our lives in 2013, and for the exciting, enlightening, inspiring experiences we will treasure.

but man... i hope 2014 is a better year.
in the words of mr p "if you just think positively, you can will it to happen."

cheers to a better, more successful, more happy, more fun, more enlightening and inspiring new year!
jenn

Thursday, December 26, 2013

a jersey city christmas, and our december date

mr p and i stayed in jersey city this christmas.  after several FaceTime sessions with each of our families yesterday, we certainly felt like we missed out on family christmas cheer. but it's not too often that we truly get a day to ourselves to do nothing and relax, so we did just that.  we never got out of our pj's, ate delicious food, watched some christmas classics, and enjoyed our time with each other.

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(why yes, that IS a fireplace on our television…)

we also decided to do our december date night at newport skates and orale mexican kitchen on christmas eve.  it was certainly chilly, but it was fun to walk around our neighborhood on the rather quiet night, seeing all the christmas decorations…  so we made a little video to remember our first (and maybe last…) christmas spent in jersey city…


Christmas 2013 from jenn @ beyond the stoop on Vimeo.
(background music is, of course, by my favorite christmas manly voice, nat king cole, singing "the christmas song")

thank you all for reading, for your kind words, and your support for this creative outlet of ours.

be sure to follow us on facebook, twitter, and pinterest too...

happy holidays, friends :)

cheers.
jenn

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

it's christmas time in the city

this past year has been a whirlwind between working in boston half of the year, weddings in faraway places, and driving to ohio more times than i can count on 2 hands.  unfortunately, it just was not in the cards this year to see any of my family over the holidays.  we struggled to find a way to see both of our families over christmas because we didn't see either of them over thanksgiving, and because christmas falls on a pretty terrible day of the week this year. 

we're still not going to see any family on christmas day, but luckily my mom found some extra vacation days to come see us the weekend before christmas!  now we can actually have a holiday with a little less stress, and enjoy our long stay in cleveland the weekend after christmas. 

this is the second time my mom gets to visit this year! and i loved every second of the visit (well, except for that day there were 5 water main breaks in jersey city and we had no water OR heat)  i mean, we mostly like to site-see, eat, and shop anyways, and besides the crowds on the weekend, christmas time is a pretty magical time for new york city.  holiday markets are everywhere, and the local stores have the cutest festive things this time of year.

our 5 days together consisted of....

- trying a new-to-us italian restaurant called da mikele in tribeca
- going to the 102nd floor observation deck of the empire state building
- getting street nuts (they taste even better than they smell, why did I hold out for so long on these things!?)
- exploring the nyc public library on 5th ave (holy details, this place is beautiful)
- going to saks and getting our make up done by a bobbi brown artist (and spent a lot of money getting new fancy make up)
- finally going to FAO Schwarz and seeing "the big piano"
- perusing the grand central holiday market
- eating mr p's delicious cooking (be sure to look out for the simplest, most delicious pasta recipe on here soon)
- going to MoMA
- seeing "the tree" at rockefeller center
- getting (my favorite) lamb and rice from a street vendor
- perusing chelsea market for another holiday market
- eating at marco and pepe in jersey city (their new upstairs is AMAZING btw...)
- chowing on 4 pints of milk sugar love ice cream (uh, oops)
- getting our nails done at new zion nail in jersey city (her first time EVER getting a manicure!)
- shopping at some of jersey city's best local stores: etittlemouse, kanibal home, and smith and chang
- exploring the indian area of jersey city and trying indian food for the first time ever at dosa hut

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it was an action-packed 5 days, but who wants to just sit around the house when someone's here to visit and there are infinite things to see and places to go?!

i'm so glad we got to spend an extended weekend in jersey city with must my mom and i (and mr p for some of the time) because it doesn't happen very often anymore with us living so far apart.

cheers for the holidays!
jenn

Monday, December 23, 2013

nights like this need to happen more often

this season has been and will continue to be crazy busy for mr p and i.  with family visiting, trips to see people, and trying to see nearby friends, we've been on the go nonstop since before thanksgiving.  we are pretty exhausted at this point, but maybe that extra day at HOME on christmas might just be the relaxing day we need (this will be the first time in my 26 years of existence that i'm not going to be in my hometown during the holidays, and first time in my own apartment ON christmas day. it's sad and liberating at the same time....)

one of those nights on-the-go was a rather casual night of great friends, good drinks, and amazing food.  it's not often that either of us get together with coworkers, so i was pretty excited to go to their home on the upper east side.  when we got there we were greeted with drinks, cheese, cured meats, olives, peppers... all the essentials, really, for a cozy evening in.  i don't really like to do new years resolutions, but i did make one this year: to truly enjoy olives by the end of the year.  this dinner (mid-November might i remind you) was the first time i tried them with a positive attitude (after all, i don't have much time left, and i'm NOT going to fail at the only goal i made for the year) AND I ACTUALLY LIKED THEM!  i think i might have eaten at least 5... baby steps.

for dinner, we feasted on a big pork roast, cabbage, and other delicious food, with mr p's now-famous carrot cake for dessert.  for someone who "didn't like sweets" and "would rather cook than bake" when we first started dating, he's been churning out some pretty amazing cakes lately.  i mean, who can resist carrot cake with butterscotch cream cheese frosting anyways?

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(i might start making those candied walnuts just to eat for myself!! :P)

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(i may or may not have eaten at least 5 of these)

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(the crew minus mr p, someone's gotta be the photographer, might as well be the one who doesn't want his face on the blog!)

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(he's such a cutie)

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some people move to this area, have nights out on the town dancing and drinking until the wee hours of the morning, get home and crash on the bed and think "this is why i moved here."  for mr p and i, it's nights like this that make us so thankful we each decided to brave "the big city" and "try out" this place we would now like to call "home" for a very long time... the genuinely nice people, the ones with common interests (i.e. good food, good drinks, good friends, cozy atmosphere), the diverse group of friends we've made..... and sometimes it's just refreshing, and so fun to see the flip side of your coworkers, to be able to let loose and enjoy each other's company. 

...and if the food is THAT good every time, we need to do this more often!!

cheers.
jenn

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

lately.

i haven't been around this blog (or a computer for that matter) for the past 4 days.  instead, i was touring some multibillion-dollar construction jobsites (yes, BILLION, like with a "B", i can't even imagine that much money) and spending time with some friends that live SO far away....

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they live in a cute little house in a cute little neighborhood, and i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a little envious of their holiday decorations (our tree is so tiny compared to theirs!). first thing i did when i got home last night was festivify our chalkboard fridge (because it still said "autumn" on it) and wrap gifts (thank goodness for old trader joe's paper grocery bags! i didn't have to buy a single thing to wrap gifts this year!)  ...and i'm still tweaking my hair-styling skills. i'm not sure why i even tried on the day i took that photo though, because an hour later i had a hard hat smushing it all down and in weird directions out in the cold wind...

for the next many days though, i'll be spending quality time with my mom! she's coming to town for the first time over the holidays, so we have to go see all the lights and window displays in new york! maybe head to grand central for the holiday market...

do you have any holiday-ish suggestions for must-see/must-do's in new york city!?? i'll gladly take them!

cheers.
jenn

Thursday, December 12, 2013

my accidental pixie cut

let me first point out one weird thing about me:

i'm terrified of the hair stylist.

the only reason i don't go to get "trims" on my hair, is because it never turns out the way i want it to.  i haven't found "my go to" stylist, even after living in the same area for 4 years.  i never EVER walk away from the hair salon with that "omg my hair looks so awesome" feeling.  it's always a "gosh i hope i learn how to style this, i wonder what people at work will say, i need to spend the whole night messing with this" uneasy feeling.  i give no fault to the stylist, she's just doing her job, cutting my hair the way i say i want it cut.

i went in for a haircut just before barbados hoping to look like this photo of victoria beckham:

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...that obviously didn't happen.  i'm not a size zero, my hair's not blonde, and my hair was NOT that shape.  unfortunately I don't have a photo of my immediate "after" as i just desperately tried to work with what i had requested.  my hair was previously in an almost-shoulder-length bob, and she chopped one side so short there was no hair to go behind my ears, and she didn't even TOUCH the other side.  no shaping, no cutting of the split ends, nothing.  i guess that's what she saw in the photo.  i tried to deal, and i even wore it in a sort of pompadour the first night (and stole mr p's heart while at it... that boy loves his girl to have a short 'do)
 
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the problem with this is that the "long" side of my hair had to be pinned back, it kept falling out, and it sort of looked like a mullet on that side (oh mullets, us pixie-cut vets know that the worst part of a pixie-cut is the mullet stages when it starts to grow out in the back)
 
...so, after that night i decided i needed another cut.  the problem is i decided i needed another cut after salons closed on sunday, we were leaving for barbados on tuesday morning, and hardly any salons are open on mondays. the ones that ARE open wanted to charge me full price for a women's cut ($70+) to chop just one side of my hair.  NO THANK YOU!! i already paid for a whole hair cut, i'm not spending another $70!! luckily i found a salon in Hoboken that would do it, and they only charged me for a men's cut (it's short like man hair, it should be priced like man hair anyways!!)
 
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i was satisfied.  a few nit-picky things i wasn't happy with, but it was fine. i could deal.
 
barbados came and went, and i decided i still had this mullet thing going on in the back.  it stuck out in an unflattering way whenever i wore a coat or a scarf.  mr p is GREAT for cutting off the mullet of my short hair!  2 days of that, and i decided i needed more cut off.  so, he did it again.

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SO... 4 haircuts later, i'm finally satisfied with my new accidental pixie cut!!

 
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finally i love it! 
 
now that I've documented how i like my hair to look, next time i go to the salon i can finally take in my OWN photo of my OWN hair, and hopefully i'll finally find a stylist who can cut it right... otherwise i'll have to sit in my bathroom, (trying not to) snap at mr p to cut it differently (guys, i let my BOYFRIEND cut my hair, there's bound to be a little hesitation, it never eases up no matter how many times i let him do it)
 
what do you guys think??
 
cheers.
jenn 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

'tis the season

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last night when I came home I was overjoyed at this sight. 

you see, although mr p enjoys christmas, he's not the biggest fan of all the "extra stuff" that's involved ....the cheeseball music, the glitter in the house that doesn't leave til april, and don't even get me started on the mess that the christmas tree makes.  if it was all up to him, we would be feasting on fancy and huge christmas meals everyday instead of going to holiday markets or taking christmas photos (thanks, by the way, for putting up with those, they're bad even for me!)

maybe he's changed his ways, though, because last night when i came home from the gym, he had dinner ready for me and was putting on the last few ornaments for the tree.  he even let me put on our santa hat topper to finish it!

this boy is certainly a keeper.  our christmas tree certainly isn't' anything special. it's not real, it's only 3 feet tall, and for pete's sake we put a santa hat on the top.  but it makes our home feel warm and cozy, and festivified.  now i can officially say "tis the season".

thanks, babe, you get a few extra browny points for that one ;)

cheers.
jenn

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

mele kalikimaka

i bring to you a live clip of my most favorite christmas song ever, sang by possibly my most favorite artist ever:


(if only i would have put that annoying iphone up blocking someone's view just a little bit longer, i could have gotten a better clip)

mr p and i went to ingrid michaelson's 7th annual holiday hop at webster hall in manhattan last friday night.  after a small scuff at the beginning of the night, the night ended up being a pretty awesome night.  ingrid and crew came out performing as old ladies bragging and ragging about their grand children (i had tears from the laughter, think "tina fey with the voice of karen from will & grace" and you get ingrid's hilarious comedian voice) but her "actual" performance was pretty darn awesome too.  we listen to her music all the time, so we feel like she's a huge star, and she really is... but to see someone like her be so humble on stage made us feel warm and fuzzy inside. i mean, she DID admit to having shorts on under her dress and she DID sprinkle confetti down her chest (then sprinkle THAT confetti on her bandmates).
also, she brought our her husband (greg laswell) on stage to do a beautiful duet, AND she brought out caroline pennell from the voice to sing the way i am  (her sort of raspy voice reminded me of ellie goulding but BETTER!!)  AND she faked us out by shouting "AND NOW WELCOME SARAH BAREILLES!!" ...and the crowd went nuts for about 2 seconds before she said "just kidding"....boo for that.
if you ever get a chance to see her perform live, i highly suggest it.  to be honest, i was a little nervous seeing such a chill singer at webster hall, but it was so worth it....
are you seeing any shows soon?
cheers.
jenn

Friday, December 6, 2013

happy weekend, and the last of barbados

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it's the weekend, which means it's time to.....

party hardy
or do some holiday shopping
or be lazy and sleep in
or go to the ingrid michaelson concert tonight at webster hall in manhattan (that's us!)
or go on a date
or have a friendsgiving

whatever you do this weekend, i hope it's something fun, something that makes you smile, something that you look forward to doing. 

hopefully these photos will put you in the 'weekend' mood.  on the last full day in barbados, we went on a boozy catamaran cruise with tiami catamaran cruises (unfortunately, it was just all fun and games, no rihanna, no music-video-filming)

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after a day in the sun, good food, lots of booze, we decided to stay in for the night, cook our own food, and enjoy being with each other on the last night of vacation.

thanks to all of our friends for making this trip a great getaway! and again, congratulations to the happy couple!!

cheers.
jenn

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

barbados: bajans, haitians, caucasians, and asians, part 2

so by now you definitely know we went to Barbados last week (check it out, here, here, and here if you haven't done do already).  but now it's time to show the REAL reason we went in the first place...

...the wedding, of course!

i'm not kidding when i say it was probably the most beautiful venue i've ever seen.  the place didn't even need any wedding decorations to be beautiful.  it was atop a hill overlooking the homes below, and the ocean beyond. the gardens were meticulously pruned with lush greens and tropical flowers, the infinity pool with sparkling blue tiles shined bright... and i guess the band with the steel drums added a nice touch to the ambiance ;)

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(photobomb)

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(seriously, nobody looks better in a bowtie than him... especially when he's got that pretty lady on his side)

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(yes, that is the caribbean in the beyond)

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(classiest way of incorporating orange, deep blue, and green into a wedding. favorite bridesmaid bouquet ever)

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(see, told you the flowers were beautiful)

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(if it wasn't for the fact that that green, orange, and purple dress was sold out, we would have been twins at the wedding... is that dress not the cutest?)

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(why yes, that IS a fountain inside the wedding cake)

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(should have been labeled the "awesome" table)

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(party bus!! the driver hated us... a bus packed full of drunk people not ready to go home, still ready to sing and dance)

only 1 other wedding have i known as many people at the event, but this one takes the cake... the pre-wedding "party" was lounging on the beach, and the post-wedding party was the next day on a boozy catamaran cruise... stay tuned for more, we seriously felt like we were in a rap video (or i suppose a rihanna video, you know, being in barbados and all)

cheers to the happy couple!
thanks for letting us be a part of your special day!
we love you guys!

cheers.
jenn
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