Showing posts with label Shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shopping. Show all posts

Monday, December 22, 2014

happenings

....and so the holidays have begun.  our new-to-us car has already seen some miles, and there are more to be clocked, but as long as there are smiles and laughter and good food and good company, we can claim a successful holiday season. 

in light of my absence on this space, and likely more to come, here's a recap of the holidays for us so far.  between thanksgiving, friendsgiving, a wedding, a friends chrismakuh, holiday parties, and birthdays, we've been busy.  but we can only be thankful to have each of you in our lives!!  so, thanks, friends and family, for being so awesome :)

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^^^this one is smiling on the outside (but thoroughly upset that that girl beside him was the ping pong champion of the night)

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^^^missing those two for christmas... but thankful that weird one in the back is driving to see us (and to deliver our newly-reupholstered danish modern chair!!)

read on for more.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Night of Noir - JC Fridays with E. Tittlemouse and Co.

jersey city has seriously been stepping up its game.  and right now, i'd have to say most of it has to do with the residents stepping up their game, coming out to support those small businesses that are popping up all over town right now, and the businesses stepping up either game by hosting community events.  it's been a win-win for everyone.  jc fridays has been a fantastic event in downtown jersey city for a while now, celebrating the works of local artists, getting the community out for a night of fun in the meantime.  although jersey city isn't home to galleries on every block, you can find local art in nearly all downtown restaurants and a lot of specialty stores.  for instance, LITM keeps its walls bare white, with rotating local art on display putting pops of color throughout the minimalist bar.

JC Fridays cupcake
cupcakes from sugar supply

while jc fridays is a great event to store hop/bar hop/art gallery hop, we decided to plant our feet at e.tittlemouse and co. for the night.  napoleon and belinda, the store owners, are huge supporters of local talent beginning to shine.  their theme for friday was "a night of noir" celebrating the upcoming works of john trigonis and lauren clemente, as they will soon launch a new comic book titled "siren's calling," a horror noir comic book based in santa monica in 1947.   lauren is the illustrator for the comic, and her art featuring scenes from the comic were on display (and for sale) at the event, including original sketches of the characters. 

E. Tittlemouse and Co.

Lauren Clemente with Siren's Calling artwork
lauren clemente's artwork from siren's calling.

everyone was encouraged to dress as if they were in the comic, the men donning trench coats and fedoras, skinny ties and suspenders.  ladies played their parts with sultry dresses, red lipstick, and victory rolls, headpieces from local jewelry artist caviar noir, or fascinators in their hair.

while i was excited to attend the entire event (gosh the anticipation leading up to it was intense!), a last minute business trip put me at the store 2 hours late.  hoping to catch the tail end of it, i didn't even change my clothes before coming (lame!), but luckily my partner in crime/husband slipped his way to the event right on time, in costume (looking as adorable as ever), with the camera and all! enjoy his amateur-but-awesome photos below (gosh he's getting good at those photo-taking skills!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

picnic essentials for movies in the park

Picnic Essentials

 
when our friends asked us to join them at "movies in the park" in van vorst park in downtown jersey city to watch grand budapest hotel, i couldn't help but think of the fairytale version of what it would be like.  tossing out the blanket in slow motion, pouring wine, eating from the iconic brooklyn slate cheeseboard, looking miraculously not-awkward and being lady-like in a cute dress while waiting for the sun to set and the park to fill with people....

movies in Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ

our night didn't stray too far from that fairytale daydream.  we could have done without the movie skipping, and the hung-tries-to-steal-all-the-pillows-ing...   but ya know, you can't have it all ;)  it was the "being with friends" part and the "thankful we live in a place that does this kind of stuff" part that counts! (and the rhubarb-and-random-other-fruit crisp that i pulled together in tiny mason jars right before the movie... that was good too :P  that smitten kitchen recipe is SO easy and versatile!)

cheers.
jenn

Friday, August 1, 2014

happy friday

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when you move out of your old place, don't you ever wonder what the new people did with it? how is it decorated? did they tear down all of my hard work? did they keep the curtains? if you've been following beyond the stoop for a while, you know that hung and i put in a LOT of hard work into our last apartment (peruse the renovation posts here).  but, we decided to become real adults and purchase a home, even though we still loved living in that apartment.  luckily for us, we get to go back to it often, because our friends moved in! and they decorated it so well! as cute if not cuter than we had it. 

tonight we get to go back again for a bbq.  yeah, that's what i miss about that place too: outdoor space.  like real outdoor space, with a grill, and a patio set, and grass, and GRASS.   really though, i'm just excited that we get to spend our friday night so close to home with great people :)

with actual TICKETS to shakespeare in the park and wedding shoe shopping at THE macy's on 34th street on sunday too, my weekend will be complete! have you ever been to that macy's?? there are MULTIPLE ENTIRE FLOORS dedicated to shoes. it's like a woman's biggest dream.  lets just hope i come home with just ONE pair of wedding shoes ;)  plus, i'll get the 10% discount for having an "out of state" driver's license (hey, sometimes literally pays to live JUST outside of new york city)

cheers to the weekend,
& happy friday!
jenn


p.s. photo from my urban sanctuary post, view of manhattan and hoboken from riverview park in jersey city.

Monday, March 31, 2014

my ultimate new house indulgence

how are you guys this morning!? for us, today's a bit of a pain.  it's like someone took away a day of our weekend.  you know, the weekend we were supposed to move?  we can thank mother nature for that one.  although the boys got in a good 2 carloads on sunday, the rest of the day was a monsoon. or, at least, rainy enough that we didn't want to move the rest of our upholstered or wooden furniture. 

while we could have sucked it up and moved the little things and just gotten really wet, instead we spent the day battling crowds at ikea.  apparently it's the place to be on sundays at 3:00pm (i'm an idiot, i absolutely knew this, but after finding a parking spot at that place there's no turning back) we perused the living spaces picking up ideas, practically forgetting what we went in there for in the first place.  we decided that maybe a mid-century credenza just isn't in the cards for a tv stand, and possibly a more clever, low-lying, space-saving set up would work better (considering the fingertips on my 5'5" body can reach the ceilings on the window side of the living room).  i'm not exactly into the things that scream "I BOUGHT THIS AT IKEA," but damn they have some good ideas for small spaces.

we went there for a bed.  we decided on the mandal bed.  we knew this before stepping foot into the place, but i just wanted to see it in person before i swiped the credit card. inspiration for this bed came from this post on apartment therapy.  the main structural parts are solid wood, it has 4 drawers for storage, and it's soft on the eyes (and our wallets). we had been looking at gothic cabinet and design within reach for different styles and different budgets, but eventually decided that we knew we needed some extra storage, but didn't know how much, and didn't know if we would like the drawers beneath the bed, etc, etc, etc. so the mandal bed it was.  perhaps in the future we will purchase a nicer bed frame, but this one does exactly what we want right now for a quarter of the price of the others we looked at.

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a whole queen-sized bed fits in my little yaris.  no big deal...

we made this purchase after putting in the order for our new sofa.  THAT's the "ultimate new house indulgence" referenced in the post title.  it felt good going for a budget-friendly bed after the not-so-budget-friendly sofa purchase.  hung and i will each have an indulgence or two in our plans for the new place, and this one is certainly my choice! by now i'm not sure how i found out about the comfortable couch company (cococo home), but i've had my eyes on this company since before we put the offer in on the house over 9 months ago.  my initial inspiration was designer emily henderson's blue sofa (see the post with the sofa here).  i thought chesterfield sofas would be too gaudy for hung's taste, honestly.  but after a few instances where he fell in love with similar sofas in boutiques and stores, i knew he would like them too. 

i perused the website and instantly locked my eyes on the blue velvet shown in the weddington style page on the cococo home website.  i told hung "i want the chesterfield sofa in this blue velvet color", but he instantly fell in love with THAT sofa... so (being the good girlfriend) i agreed to the weddington as long as we got blue velvet.  after getting the keys to the new place and seeing the low ceilings, i realized i needed to change plans and go back to the chesterfield.  the back and arms are lower, and we could always go back to them and ask for the shorter legs and make the sofa even lower. anything we can do to open up our space is key. 

after talking about buying the sofa for so long, we finally did it.  cococo home is a made-in-the-USA company that builds the sofas in north carolina.  while they ship all over the US, their only two showrooms are at the factory in north carolina, and (you guessed it) new jersey, just an hour away from us.  we couldn't be more pleased with the hamilton township store.  we sat on nearly every sofa, laid on them, kicked up our feet, debated over styles, fabrics, seat depths, upholstery pin spacing, you name it. 

we left the store feeling good about our purchase, the service, the homemade gingerbread cookies (we devoured nearly the entire batch)... and we can't wait to get the sofa delivered in a few weeks!!  for a sneak peak, check out the chesterfield sofa i found on their facebook page:
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ours will be a mini version of this. no ottomans, no sectional shape... just a straight, normal-sized couch. did i mention i can't WAIT for it to arrive!?!?

with just an hour or so before our seemingly-weekly sunday supper club at our friend's house, hung started putting the bed together as i started putting things away.  the intention was to be done moving by the end of the day, but between the crowds of kiddos at ikea and the rain, we definitely did not get done.  we actually ended up moving all of the pillows in the morning too, and forgot that fact until we went to bed.  FYI, plush robes make good pillows.  at least we made the major purchases, and had a good meal to boot.

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cheddar waffles with orange tomato sauce
broccoli parmesan soup
brussels sprouts with bacon

not exactly the healthiest, and they didn't exactly go together, but gosh it was good... feeling like i need to add orange to our marinara sauce now!!

cheers.
jenn

p.s. stay tuned via instagram or twitter @beyondthestoop

Monday, March 10, 2014

wake up!

did you wake up on time this morning? i surely did because i use the alarm on my trusty auto-daylight-savings-changing cell phone to buzz my ear off under my pillow.  i have to admit though, i'm slightly convinced that the quietness in the office this morning is due to the, shall i say, "older" coworkers who still use their non-auto-daylight-savings-changing alarm clocks and forgot to change the clocks... maybe i should give them the benefit of the doubt and say they got "stuck in traffic" or they "woke up but couldn't drag themselves out of bed quite yet" or, really, they're just on vacation.

either way, especially with the time change, we could all use an extra push to wake up in the morning.  what better way than a quality cup of coffee? (i say this as i drink what has GOT to be the worst-tasting coffee on the planet... everyone in the office agrees, i just need to bite the bullet and get a coffee maker for my cube).  i'm not talking about your local starbucks, or your local shop at all, really. and don't EVEN tell me you can't live without your k-cups... fancified instant coffee is just not my thing.  a quality cup of coffee comes from people who are passionate about coffee, people who insist that organic, fair trade beans are the only kind to roast, people who "get" what a good cup of coffee is, and how to make it.

44 north coffee is just that.  they "get" it.  since their debut, i've been a fan of 44 north coffee.  although i typically only drink the good stuff on the weekends, i certainly look forward to those saturday mornings when i'm NOT drinking the awful office coffee (i suppose i don't have room to hate on it, i am fully capable of making coffee at home) their latest newsletter came with a special free shipping over $25 (with code "daylightsavings") to catch a deal before they go on a small break (order by friday march 14th!).  but more importantly, it came with a video, highlighting their story and their passions.  i loved it enough to bring it to you today too!  maybe you, too, can try out their coffee to give you the extra boost you're gonna need in this transition to daylight savings :)

 
happy monday :)

 
cheers.
jenn

Thursday, February 27, 2014

february date: a brooklyn adventure

my first attempt at topping all other monthly dates failed.  kung fu is an off-Broadway show in manhattan about the life of bruce lee.  perfect, right?  i like shows, hung likes bruce lee.  it was going to be perfect, and tickets were going to be just $70 TOTAL for the two of us.  i ordered them, it was going to be the best surprise ever.  but only 20 minutes after i ordered tickets online, i received an email saying my order has been canceled.  there was a glitch in the system and i would be refunded all of my money.  i tried a second time, and the only tickets available were in march, and they were $75 EACH.  more than double the original price! although if it was a special occasion i may have just bit the bullet, but i was just so angry at the fact that my order was canceled for ticket prices to just go up that i decided it just wasn't meant to be.

luckily though, hung claims that my plan B turned out to be the best date yet (jenn does the happy dance!)  we have had such great experiences at olive oil and vinegar tasting rooms, so i set my sights on finding one in the city.  luckily for us, there's one right in williamsburg! it's called o live, and it's pretty close to a lot of other fun places, so i decided to turn our date into an adventure!

before trekking to brooklyn, though, we stopped at a vintage furniture store in manhattan called furnish green.  i have had my eyes set on a credenza there, and i NEEDED to at least look at it in person.  let me tell you guys, this store has SO many cool things! and in such great condition!  sure, your average vintage store might have a handful of mid-century modern furniture in beat up condition for a price you might find on craigslist, but this place is carefully curated, and only keeps items in good condition.  the pieces might be a little bit more expensive, but i'm no expert at refinishing furniture (let alone stuff that may or may not have a veneer on it), and i'm not about to PAINT mid-century modern stuff either.  hung ultimately made the "adult" decision, and said we needed to pass on the credenza, we don't "need" it now anyways... maybe one day though ;)

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next stop, o live! i planned out our day such that we had to walk to the farthest place first, then work our way back to the train.  although we didn't purchase anything at furnish green, we were on a small "high" of furniture shopping (guys, it's SO fun!). so when we passed all those hipster vintage shops in williamsburg on our way to o live, we couldn't help by pop into some of them.  needless to say, we WILL be going back soon!  we tasted practically every balsamic vinegar at o live before settling on the cranberry pear white balsamic and the vermont maple dark balsamic.  we ran out of 2 balsamic vinegars at home recently, and before this purchase we only had, say, 3 or 4 kinds of balsamic vinegar at the house.  clearly we "needed" more options!

just a few blocks away was a vietnamese bar and restaurant called bia.  i was drawn to this place because my during FIRST time in new york city (looking for apartments, ironically), my friends took me to a place in manhattan (that's now closed) called bia garden.  just like it sounds, it was a TINY beer garden tucked away in the tiny "open space" behind a building somewhere in manhattan (I had no idea where I was at the time, NYC was so overwhelming!) bia had a great vibe, although when we first walked in, we were the only ones there, so i was a little concerned my day date plan was going to be disasterous.  we sat at the bar, we each ordered a guinness, and soon people started strolling in.  i decided on my favorite vermicelli noodles with grilled pork and spring rolls, while hung ordered a grilled pork banh mi sammich, both better than expected! my noodle dish had about half lettuce, half noodles, so it was more like a salad than most places (which serve a huge bowl of noodles with a sprinkle of veggies).  we ventured to the rooftop, which was closed for the winter, but looked like it would be so fun in the summertime! i'll have to remember this place come april or may :)

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(don't make too much fun of our mini photoshoot.  guys, it was 55 degrees and sunny in FEBRUARY!! it put us in a good mood :P)

next on the list was momofuku milkbar! the only time i had tried to go to a milkbar location was after dinner in manhattan, when milkbar is just PACKED.  although the intention was to get dessert, hung may have ordered the best thing on the menu: the volcano.  i'm not sure if it's on the menu all the time (it's not posted online), but this thing was a very chewy bun stuffed with pork, potatoes, carmelized onions, and fontina cheese. not exactly "dessert", but hey, that's how he rolls ;)  we also ordered the corn cookie and the 5 boro cookie, both worthy of ordering again (and again and again).

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last stop on the date was barcade! yes, we have barcade in jersey city too, but because we were so close and the brooklyn one is the original one, i felt the need to at least stop in for a beer.  it is practically the same thing as the one in jersey city (except ours is bigger with more arcade games!)  they have similar craft beers on tap, behind the bar is a big chalkboard wall with the menu and lots of neon beer signs, and no barstools match.  seriously barcade is the best bar to go to with a dive-bar feel with better-than-dive-bar beer (and, of course, all of your favorite childhood arcade games).

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around 3pm we looked up the location of the restaurant for dinner with friends, and found out that it was in williamsburg too! with a few hours to waste before dinner, we explored a grocery store (one of our favorite things to do! don't judge!), picked up grocery store sushi (i'm such a sucker for it), and made our way over to the restaurant.  with still an hour or so before dinner, we popped into surf bar.  this place smelled of nothing but fried calamari, it was crowded, and there was a beach on the floor.  yes, you read that right, sand on the floor, throughout the entire place! when i was lured in with the "hot spiked apple cider" sign out front, i was not expecting sand on the floor.  and, if we weren't heading to a pre-fixe, 3-course dinner soon after, my hands would have been ALL OVER that calamari.

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the rest of the evening was spent celebrating a birthday with out-of-towners, so date day ended at surf bar.  days like this are why i love new york city!!!! i wouldn't have changed a thing!

(except maybe grab more cookies from milkbar... damn they were good)

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

lately

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DSC03346.5 Photobucket 1. creamy avocado pesto pasta with roasted spaghetti squash instead of "actual" pasta
2. chocolate italian ice from torico tastes EXACTLY like a fudgsicle, AND it's dairy-free, AND it's sitting on top of...
3. spicy eggnog ice cream (move over, McD's eggnog shake, this one takes the cake)
4. this is the view you'll get if you try to go to the union square holiday market on a satuday at 2:30
5. a healthy lunch: arugula, spicy meatballs, brussels sprouts, wheatberry salad, and coconut red cabbage salad from dig inn... followed by
6. the only thing ever to win in the battle of my sweet tooth vs. sweets: choco chip cookies and hot chocolate from city bakery...
7. fishs eddy... i could live in that store.
8. hot chocolate from westville (chelsea, manhattan)
9. totally "not" posed.
10. market sides from westville
11. chorizo, egg, and gouda burrito and greens salad with lemon-dill dressing (westville)
12. empty subways when it's a rainy day.. apparently new yorkers don't like to go outside in the rain
13. always amazed at the mosaics in the subway stations
14. brooklyn tabernacle christmas show (it's free! you should go see it!)
15. brooklyn tabernacle christmas show
16. unexpected, incredibly delicious, and certainly appreciated sweets from the first day of hanukkah
17. pretty christmas tree at brooklyn tabernacle
18. kodak moment with the bride to be :)
 
last weekend left us exhausted, but thankful for having so many friends who want to spend time with us! we were able to spend a night in for dinner and a movie (even though i fell asleep, sorry babe), go to kickboxing, shop in the city with the girls, go to an engagement party, get christmas card photos taken, have brunch with 4 out-of-towners and 4 in-towners-that-we-haven't-seen-in-a-while, and see a christmas show with friends we hadn't seen in a LONG time.
 
jersey city & new york city, you've been good to us!
weekend. deemed. a success.
 
cheers!