adventures

a directorial debut… kind of!

confession: one of my dreams is to work in the movies.

yes, i know that is not an uncommon dream, but i want to work behind the scenes. i love the process, the production… everything about it. one of my favorite projects i over directed was a video for kate spade years back called swandive or cannonball. i love art directing photo shots, but there is something so stimulating and inspiring to me about moving image. (click here to see a bunch of the other videos i have done throughout my career so far)

since i don’t really have time to take a film studies class, i’m going to make my directorial debut in iMovie! ha! i’m going to start making mini movies about our life and hopefully over time i will start to get better and better at this. hope you enjoy–no movie critics allowed… yet! ;-)

sweet disposition.

apple picking at stuart’s farm.

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picking pumpkins & climbing apple trees

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sunday was such a perfect–beyond perfect, actually–day. besides some seriously annoying traffic and a period of “are we there yet,” it was wonderful. it’s funny, i don’t remember going pumpkin or apple picking as a kid growing up… that may be because i spent the earlier part of my childhood in florida where i imagine this was not as popular of an event. it seems like pumpkin and apple picking is one of the “things you do” in the northeast and i am super thankful for this new family tradition.

this year we decided to stay close to the city. we went to stuart’s farm in westchester. it was definitely a bit busy–especially because of the amazing weather–but, it was totally manageable and lots of fun. stuart’s farm has been a family-operated farm since 1828–how cool is that?

we had already packed lunches in the car so when we arrived we meant business… time to pick the perfect pumpkins and a bushel of apples!

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how adorable is hayden’s camo sweatshirt (on sale on mini boden). jeans are gap kids and shoes are puma.

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alexa’s first time climbing a tree… let’s just say, we are still talking about this! she was SO excited and proud.

i’m loving mini boden’s casual graphic tees for the kids these days. they do a great job with non cheesy graphics that feel playful, but not obnoxious (why is this hard to find?). she is wearing crewcuts jeans with richer for poorer socks and aster kids shoes.


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yesterday was perfect–i love fall in new york. beautiful, bright, colorful and so happy.

when the cat is away, the mice will play.

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i had more after work events this week than normal so nate was on hard core daddy duty. on wednesday night, after my event, nate showed me what they had been up to. clearly this would not have happened under my watch… but this is why nate and i are a good balance. he adds that little bit of physically daring adventure to their lives. my bedtime ritual involves reading storybooks… his involves sofa diving!

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alexa is wiped out… and hayden goes in for the last dive with perfect form!

a morning stroll

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i think one of my favorite parts about alexa starting school is our morning walk there! it’s our special time to chit chat. today however, i asked nate to follow along and snap some pics of us as we walked along the way.

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today alexa and i are both rockin’ some ivankatrump shoes. i’m wearing the green carra suede pumps (which i am totally obsessed with) and alexa is wearing the abigail suede ballet flats with a darling little jeweled flower embellishment on the toe. she has moved onto tights, but i’m holding out as long as i can!

when we pass through cadman’s park, alexa always insists walking along the raised barrier between the sidewalk and the grass. i told her a story once about how my mom used to play a game like this with me where we couldn’t fall off because there was a lagoon and a crocodile would get us… she loves “avoiding” the crocodile. :-)

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my top and skirt–yes, it is not a dress–is from reformation. it’s called the huck two piece… its like 3 wardrobe staples in one. can’t beat that.

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our little walk to school is only 10 minutes, but i am so thankful that its just a fun stroll. no stress. no subways… traffic, etc. definitely one of my days little blessings. xx!

a sunday afternoon field trip

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i’ve been wanting to take the kids to the transit museum forever. today seemed like the perfect day… kind of like a pre-back to school field trip! they start school on thursday and i am so excited for them! we opted to keep them home with our nanny and in miscellaneous classes up until now. this will be the first time that alexa and hayden don’t spend all day together! they will have chapel on fridays together which i am sure will make for an adorable meet up.

i didn’t tell the kids where i was taking them and it was pretty hilarious when we showed up at the entrance to the museum because they were utterly confused. the museum entrance looks like you are hopping onto the subway. when i told them we were going downstairs into a special museum they were thrilled.

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i can’t begin to explain how much they loved the museum. i think the fact that it was an environment they were very familiar with made it seem almost magical. typically we are very cautious with them on the trains and don’t give them much freedom (obviously!)… so this was such a contrast and they were thrilled! They looked like little incredibles running around the museum.

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transit museum  x lady & princei see you hayden!

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just when they were stepping onto this train the cutest conversation occured between alexa and hayden. alexa was pretend playing and it went a little something like this:

alexa: excuse me sir, can you help me find the F train?

hayden: oohhh! yea, the F train? sure!
both look at her museum guide together and hayden points on the paper

alexa: oh, thank you! great. let’s go!

i mean…. dying. so cute.

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after the museum we went for a little cafe-style picnic in front of the brooklyn visitor’s center.

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alexa and hayden are both wearing some cute and casual back to school looks from crewcuts! alexa is wearing a graphic tee and printed leggings. hayden is wearing a boys graphic tee and the stanton shorts. if you happen to have some back-to-school looks from crewcuts planned for your kids be sure to instagram them and hashtag #crewcuts. for every instagram with the hashtag jcrew will donate a book to a classroom in need.

sand dunes & corn fields #thehamptons

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this weekend was so wonderful. early friday afternoon we packed up the car and headed to amagansett (in the hamptons) for the weekend. last year we were out there at the same time for the baby buggy summer dinner (hosted by jessica and jerry seinfeld and armani), but we didn’t make a weekend out of it and i wasn’t going to make the same mistake this year! we had a wonderful dinner on friday night at bay kitchen bar, coffee and treats for breakfast at jack’s on saturday morning and then spent all afternoon at the beach.

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2a housethese two boys are TUCKERED OUT! this was not staged, they totally passed out just like this, it was adorable.

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no matter how hard we tried, we could not wake hayden up. he slept from 5pm to 7am on Sunday morning!

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we don’t normally venture out to the hamptons because we don’t have a house out there and its pretty hard to find a rental or a spot for the weekend… almost every place requires 3-5 nights stays! this year we tried out air bnb for the first time… we found a little beach hideaway and it was perfect. thankfully our dear friend megan came with us to hang out and stay with the kids on saturday night while we went to the baby buggy summer dinner. it was so great to have her there because the kids adore her and she has been around them since they were born. she is pretty much an “auntie” as well as an incredible friend to both nate and i.

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when heading back today we stopped by this corn field to take some pictures. nate and i are always looking for spots to take photos of the kids and we love finding a nice big green field for them to run and chase each other in! the corn shucking was a major bonus! talk about priceless pictures!

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i can’t believe its already sunday… i wish the weekends were longer. it was so lovely to go off on a little summer adventure. hope you all had a great weekend too. xx

hong kong i love you…

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ok, so it took me bit to get back to finishing my posts on my incredible hong kong journey, but i couldn’t end it without posting some art, shopping and food highlights!

it’s funny… i wasn’t as excited about seeing/experiencing hong kong as i was about hanging out with my girlfriends and just “traveling” in general, but i have to say, i kind of fell in love with it. it is such a unique melting pot of culture. incredible food, majestic scenery… there is drama, charm, beauty and an unmistakable energy. i truly can’t wait to go back!

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the 1600 pandas exhibit is sadly ending in hong kong tomorrow. it was hosted by pmq (orginally built in 1951 as the police married quarters), it is a non-profit social enterprise that strives to make hong kong a creative hub and space for creative entrepreneurs. this exhibition is a collaboration between the world wildlife federation (wwf) and french artist paulo grangeon, who has made 1,600 paper mache pandas–1,600 being the number of living pandas left in the world. the exibit is absolutely adorable, but more importantly it is raising awareness for a seriously endangered species.

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what girls trip wouldn’t involve shopping? surprisingly we didn’t shop a lot, but we did spend our last day perusing the stores in central hong kong and here were some of our favorites:

woah – a super cool lifestyle concept store we stumbled upon and loved. from coll watches, refurbished vintage cameras to killer shoes, we all found something to buy in this cool little shop.
square street – an amazing array of products that are all designed and developed by the founders of the store (who happen to be from sweden) and they sell a very cool assortment of watches, shoes, bags, eyeglasses and leather goods. my favorite items they sold were their watches!
petite bazaar – although the girls don’t have kids, they humored me by popping into a couple of kids shops to shop for alexa and hayden. ironically in petite bazaar we all went crazy shopping for ourselves and friends! aside from the beautiful kids toys and clothes, they had a great assortment of chic bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings that begged to be brought home as souvenirs… we all did some serious damage in this store!
seed – i am really glad i didn’t stumble across this store till the end of the trip, i would have spent TOO much money here on the kids! they had the cutest kids clothes… think zara meets jcrew in a way… absolutely precious! they actually had a floor for women but i avoided it on purpose!

last but not least, let’s talk about food!

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yard bird – korean fried cauliflower? um, yes please! i felt like we walked into a uber chic little lower east side restaurant when we visited yard bird for dinner. yardbird is a modern izakaya style restaurant that specializes in yakitori (skewered, grilled chicken). unique, delicious and filling… get ready for a treat!

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cafe deadend and po’s atelier – i love a good coffee shop and baked goods… this was heaven. when we ordered two of the bread baskets the waitress looked at us a bit funny, but not only did we eat it all, but then we got cinnamon roles to go… i mean, when in hong kong right? everything in po’s atelier is baked from scratch and is french-japanese inspired–oolong tea bread, danishes, cinnamon roles and scones! don’t even think about carbs, just eat and then walk it off!

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mama san – southeast asian dishes in a trendy balinese atmosphere? yes, please! perfect for our last dinner before we all headed home. the menu is large, but not intimidating. everything was delicious, but my favorite part was when the girls surprised me with an early birthday treat (creme brulee–my favorite!). a major plus to mama san is that it is in lkf so if you want a spot that eases you right into the vibrant nightlife and party scene this is it… its literally right out the door!

hope some of you feel inspired to visit hong kong one day… it really is incredible. if you need more tips, shoot me a note! xx!

let’s go sailing…

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this weekend was so crazy. it started on thursday with the arrival of nate’s parents (it was a surprise for nate’s birthday) and a huge surprise party for nate. since hayden’s birthday was the day after i had spent some time trying to figure out what to do that would be fun for everyone and a good surprise for my boys… i decided to go sailing!

it turns out its not that hard to charter a small sailboat and captain to take you around the hudson for a couple hours… i found him on craigslist and that is probably the first time i have used craigslist in at least a couple years! nate and i always talk about how we wish we could go on more boats together and hayden loves any kind of boat, car, train, plane, etc. so, we went to newport harbour in new jersey to meet up with captain gene and go out for an afternoon sail.

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hayden and alexa were excited to be on the boat, but also a little weary of being out on the water like that for the first time.

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hayden drive the boat for a minute or two… what a natural.

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while this isn’t the first time we have taken a boat out on the hudson, this was the most spectacular because it was a more intimate experience than being on a ferry with hundreds of other people trying to get the same amazing photo of the city. it wasn’t too choppy out on the water which was really nice… and the weather was just perfect.

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can’t beat seeing lady liberty up close like this.

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alexa is not much for motion… cars, boats, planes, etc… she has a pretty sensitive tummy. she laid on my lap for most of the time just relaxing… in a very glam movie star kind of way of course.

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it was such a special treat to have nana and papa here to celebrate nate and hayden’s birthdays… its always so nice to have family in town.

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happiest of happy birthdays to nate and hayden. i hope it was a special one. love you both so much. xo

 

 

the colors of hong kong

after a couple days in paradise… aka thailand, we headed back to explore more of hong kong. one thing that really stood out to me was how colorful this city is… the signs, the produce, the bright red taxi cabs, the markets and the people. as i walked the streets i couldn’t help but snap a million photos i knew i had to dedicate at least one post to the beautiful colors of hong kong.

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how cool is this little watchmaker?! i mean, talk about a small retail space.

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what girls trip would be complete without friendship bracelets? cheesy? maybe? but we loved it nonetheless. the bracelets say lucky, but we thought they said happiness and we proceeded to tell everyone that until one of kristine’s co-workers told her it actually meant lucky… oops!

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clearly we got a lot of use out of this.

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one more post to go… i will highlight some of our favorite shops and restaurants to visit… stay tuned for more!

 

when in thailand… part two!

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day two in thailand was one of my favorite days of the whole trip… it was the most insane combination of adventure, excitement, beauty and relaxation… but mostly adventure! my ideal kind of travel is the kind where you are on the go and experiencing new things constantly. i’m not really a relax all day on the beach kind of gal, although that does sound lovely… i’m more of a “don’t waste a moment” kind of traveler. this day in thailand was exactly that kind of day.

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after a delicious breakfast we went off to find a longtail boat in search of maya bay (leonardo dicaprio’s beach!). turns out that the water was too rough for a long tail boat, but the nice woman on the dock assured us that we could take the large ship to the phi phi islands and then take a small boat to maya beach… sounds great right? well…

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the fact that the woman said the water was “too rough for long tail boats” should have warned us it would not be an easy ride. the boat was full of backpackers and other travelers headed to visit the phi phi islands as well… the energy on the boat was full of excitement. we all lined up along the sides of the boat looking out on the majestic scenery… that was the waves started to get rough. before we knew it the boat was like a roller coaster ride and the trash cans were being utilized for more than “trash” if you know what i mean. thank god i don’t normally get seasick. sadly, alessandra didn’t get by so easily. she, along with a large percentage of the boat, were not doing so well. miraculously kristine, katie and i were doing fine, but it was pretty heartbreaking to watch alessandra and not be able to help.

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this pictures isn’t amazing, but i had to include it because when i see it it reminds me of the moment when i asked someone how much longer of a ride we had and they said an hour and we had already hit the hard core waves. eek. somehow we forgot to ask exactly how long it would take to get to the phi phi islands. at this point i was more worried about the fact that the only way back was on the same boat–ahhh!

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finally, after two hours we were approaching shore… no one was more excited than alessandra.

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the phi phi islands were initially made famous by the movie the beach with leonardo dicaprio. it was sadly made even more prominent again in december of 2004 when the tsunami hit the phi phi islands and completely devastated it… it has now been almost completely restored.

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i felt like the phi phi islands were a backpackers paradise… the kind of place that, had i visited in college, i might have stayed for the rest of the summer. it has this easy going beach life vibe that could easily suck you in.

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so, as the them of the trip is “when in…,” we couldn’t make it all the way to phi phi without venturing further to maya bay. kristine had already been so she stayed in phi phi with alessandra and chilled out a bit so they could venture the courage to brave the seas for the way home. katie and i were determined to see maya bay so we hired a speedboat to take us there. our drivers/guides were two (maximum 17 year old) boys and we joyfully hopped on the boat and were on our way. it is hilarious thinking back because we felt so free and elated to be coasting off in our speedboat to find maya bay. we felt that way until about 10 minutes into the ride when the “boys” told us that we needed to put our life jackets on because the water was going to get rough. at this point fear was paramount. we were clutching the rails of the boat literally in fear of our lives… i might have at one point shouted out “we aren’t going to die right? i have two kids!! reckless. completely reckless is what i kept saying to myself. thinking back though, i mean, the “boys” were laughing so i am guessing we were safe all along, but i kid you not… it was SCARY!!

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funny that once we got close to the limestone formations the water kind of slowed down. all of a sudden we were popping in and out of coves and it was complete and utter paradise.

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katie and i are pretty psyched at this point… although you can probably tell we are still a bit scared. the lifejackets stayed on of us the rest of the journey. tan lines? oh well.

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ok, so this is were it gets good. maya bay is known to be this stunningly beautiful bay sheltered by high cliffs with silky white sands. kristine had been and mentioned that is was beautiful and encouraged us to go with no preliminary warnings of any sort. imagine our surprise (especially mine since i don’t like going in the water) when we found out that we had to swim in, climb a rope ladder and then find our way through the island and past the campgrounds to the infamous “beach.” not. okay.

katie and i kept laughing and thought the “boys” were kidding, but no. it was time to man up. so, we jumped in and swam towards the rope ladder. i would normally be terrified of fish and any other particularly scary creatures that lurk in the water amidst the rocks, but i was so scared of the current and ramming my body into the limestone wall that the ocean creatures hardly crossed my mind. thankfully one of our 17 year old guides turned out to be our hero and jumped in to help us make it to the rope ladder. after a serious “survivor” moment, katie and i made it to the top… panting. once i was up there the only thing i could think was–”I DON’T HAVE A CAMERA!!!” my overdocumenting self could hardly cope… but it was probably a good thing that i just had to take it all in. no photos this time, just experience it…. and let me tell you, it was worth it. the sand was so white and the water was crystal clear aquamarine. it was breathtaking.

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god bless one of our darling “boy-guides” because he must have noticed how much i loved to take pictures and he grabbed my camera and snagged some shots of us climbing down the ladder… not the best picture, but proof nonetheless!

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as part of our “tour” we stopped by monkey bay… sadly, we didn’t really see any monkeys except for this one–which you would only know was a monkey if you had been there!

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back on phi phi, we explored the town, took pictures and bought some souvenirs. we wanted to eat so badly, but the fear of the upcoming boat ride made us think it might be better to have an empty stomach…. so, i took lots of pictures!

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confession: we did sneak in a doughnut or two as a snack. i mean, when served up like this you gotta try them right?

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can you believe these are pineapples?

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kristine got to hold a monkey!! how cute is this photo!!

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our last photo before getting on the boat… we were a little nervous, but hopping for the best. after all, it was literally our only option… we even considered a plane!

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i think the ocean gods were ruling in our favor that afternoon because it was a dreamy ride all the way back. totally chill and hardly any waves.

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i adore this shot of kristine… she looks so beautiful and happy.

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did i mention that i adore being on boats… really really love. there is something so relaxing–especially when you can take in this spectacular scenery.

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i mentioned that the day was full of adventures… well, they still continued. as we were getting off of the large boat to board a small long tail boat that would take us back to the resort the skies darkened and we were all of a sudden in the middle of a monsoon. picture us girls, with about 5-6 other people in this tiny long tail boat, that appeared to be sinking, trying to make it back to land. alessandra and i were literally hugging–out of fear for our lives i might add. we were not only concerned for our lives but for our cameras and phones–all of our pictures!! it was a bit dramatic for about 10 minutes and then the storm stopped and all of a sudden we saw a double rainbow. it was really a completely surreal experience.

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our evening in thailand ended at the end of railay beach at last bar… literally the name and the last bar at railay. we ate at a little hut serving local thai food on the way… 6 bucks a person and it was a feast of noodle dishes, fried rice and forties of chang beer. it was amazing. at last bar we watched the world cup, saw fire dancers perform and danced till the wee hours of the morning. it was the most incredible day.