Monday, September 29, 2014


nearly everyone around me knows how much i want to have kids of my own.  if you look at our fridge, you'll see many faces we are constantly saying that we don't see enough.  but sometimes even i get that feeling of "do i really want kids? when is the perfect time? we've got a good thing going, why mess it up? will we be able to afford them? who's going to take care of them when we work?"  as much as i love kids and as much as i say i can't wait to have kids, i have to admit that i get a bit of anxiety when i think about that pee stick telling me "there's no turning back now."

but then when we visit friends who just seem to have it together, i realize we've got nothing to be afraid of.  those rare times we get to be around babies and little kids just makes us so happy.  we visited friends in virginia to see their 7 week old baby, and we got to see family in the area too.  the second the new proud parents carried the tiny girl down the stairs the morning after we arrived, hung had her in his arms.  it's so cute to see him being so sweet with kids, whether they are newborns or rowdy pre-k bundles of energy.  hung's cousin and kids live nearby and are at that age where anything he does is funny, and their tiny giggles are so contagious.

a few photos from the weekend, reminding us that yeah, we want "that" one day.

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we started off the weekend at the neptune festival in virginia beach.

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snuggling his little bug into a burrito.

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i instagram med this adorable photo of hung, and he posts THAT gem of myself.  thanks, babe.

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after visiting with our friends with the newborn, we ventured over to chesapeake for a quick stop with hung's cousin and her two adorable little ones before driving back to new jersey.

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seriously, do they get any cuter than that? especially that big one in the middle...


p.s. do you want to hear the most adorable 3 year old say the pledge of allegiance? go to @beyondthestoop on instagram... you won't be disappointed ;)

Monday, September 22, 2014

what sundays are made for

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my monday brain might be thinking differently, as i got about half the sleep i should have got last night, but seriously, this sunday was the best.  my video-game-loving husband got to play video games while i went for a 6.5 mile run with a friend, got a blueberry scone from the riverview farmer's market and a ice coffee from modcup, drove to l.o.v.e. furniture to check out their collection of awesome vintage finds and refinished furniture, cleaned the house, and had friends over for dinner. 

how i ran 6.5 miles on a SUNDAY MORNING is beyond me.  i always thought that running with friends would wear me out faster because you end up talking, and can't breathe, etc. but it seems to pass the time faster! maybe that's what i've been doing wrong? i mean, as much as i love ke$ha, i can only listen to them so much before i realize i know the exact length of each song, and get sad when i've gone .35 exactly only miles to "blow". 

hung has become the master at making ma po tofu, and i think it's because we learned that a chinese sauce made from fermented black beans and chilis is the key ingredient to, well, everything.  for once we didn't have sweat dripping down our faces in a panic rush to get dinner done on time, because the dish is super fast to make (we just had sweat dripping from EATING it, because it's so spicy!).

can i have a repeat of that sunday every sunday?

how was your weekend?


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!)

Monday, September 8, 2014

DIY paneled door headboard for under $50

after a night spent flying home from a business trip, partying with e.tittlemouse and co. at the night of noir event for jc fridays , and snagging a "night cap" of sour cream blueberry ice cream and earl grey fudge ice cream at milk sugar love , who knew we could even be functional on saturday, let alone saturday MORNING.  (see tomorrow's post for details from the night of noir event!!)

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here's the story.  hung and i had been putting off getting a headboard for our bed for a long time.  like 6 months.  which doesn't seem that long for normal people, but for people who complain nearly everyday that the pillows fall behind the bed because we don't have a headboard, it's a long time.

with the way our bedroom is laid out, there's only one location that the bed fits while allowing the drawers beneath the bed to fully open on each side.  this spot puts the head of the bed about partly in front of the exposed brick area of one wall, which leaves about 7 inches of space JUST big enough for all of the pillows to fall behind the bed.

we knew that putting a standard headboard on the bed would waste that precious 7 inches of space behind half of the bed, so we knew we needed to put shelves behind the headboard..... shelves that would hold our phones, glasses, chapstick, etc. since we don't have room for a nightstand and desperately needed a "landing zone" for that stuff.  how hard could it be right?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

picnic essentials for movies in the park

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!)


farmicia philadelphia

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after getting to philadelphia around, midnight, sleeping around 2am, waking up at 7am to move my car (stupid weekend parking rules!), and walking all the way from south philly back to old city, to say we were ready for brunch is an understatement!

luckily for us, old city in philadelphia has some great options.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

labor day weekend in philly

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i'm just obsessed with the look of this adorable house in south philly.  the blue door, the terra-cotta-colored pots, the greens... it's all my favorite color combination for curb appeal.  paint that brick white and i'd never leave....

after a busy long weekend in philly , hung and i are ready to relax (i suppose watching the documentary tiny , taking a 2-hour nap, and watching 6 episodes of parenthood  on netflix  yesterday was relaxing, but i could always use more!)

friday started with dinner with friends at the wonderful olive lucy's in morristown before driving to philly that same night, ending the night with late night pizza and looking at our wedding photos for the first time (eek!).  saturday started with a long walk from south philly to old city and brunch at farmicia (hellllloooo $5 cocktails!), walks through spruce street harbor park and south street (where we found a new-to-us dresser for just $44 at a vintage store !), and dinner at cuba libre (maybe the best meal in philly yet).  the night ended in the best way, drinking box wine with friends at a friends house (who needs to pay for $5 beers when you can drink 3 liters of bota box wine for $18?)

how did you spend your labor day weekend?