signs of summer

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This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. When you live in a beach town, Memorial Day may as well be Christmas, with “See you on the beach!” replacing “Merry Christmas!”. From overhearing old friends bump into each other in the grocery store, to running into neighbors in the elevator, “See you on the beach” is joyfully echoed all over town. Our little beach town has had quite the makeover in anticipation for its prime season. The once bland beige ticket booths have been repainted by incredibly talented local artists. The plain trailer where beach passes are sold is now a vibrant mural showing some love for LBNY. A lot that was once empty is now filled with Caribbean colored picnic tables, palm trees and driftwood art installations.  I’ve always considered Long Beach to be beautiful with its white sandy beaches and ocean views but these additions have added some much needed color to our little seaside town. Plus they’re an amateur photographers dream come true 🙂

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Ready for ya, Summer 2016!

vintage tv cart makeover into coastal glam bar cart

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A few weeks ago I found a very 70s looking TV cart at a tag sale in my apartment building. The best part? It was totally free! I’ve been swooning over bar carts I’ve seen on The Dirty Bar Cart‘s Instagram and as I discovered, turning a TV cart into a bar cart is pretty easy. It’s only a matter of some paint, elbow grease and creativity.

First I wiped down the TV cart with a wet rag and let it dry overnight. One of the few perks of living in an apartment building is that people are constantly leaving cans of discarded, perfectly good (most of the time) paint. I found a barely used can of Behr white paint. I put masking tape over the original brass wheels and hardware. I then painted the entire cart. The whole cart took about 2 coats of paint.

Initially I thought I was done with it after painting it white. Sure it looked nice but it was lacking personality. About 2 weeks went by and I was still racking my brain with ideas to spice up the cart. After watching A LOT of Flea Market Flip (seriously if you haven’t seen this show and you’re remotely into interior design, you should definitely check it out), a light bulb appeared over my little blonde head. Enter my new favorite thing: contact paper. I know what you’re thinking. The last time I remember hearing the term ‘contact paper’ was in grade school when my mom had to cover my text books. Well, turns out contact paper has come a very long way, comes in super cute patterns and can be used for a variety of home makeover projects (check out this Buzzfeed article). I hopped on Amazon to find one that fit the coastal vibe in my apartment and found this Duck Brand Sea Foam Ikat pattern for 20″ x 12′ for $13.45 and free shipping with Amazon Prime (which is literally the best thing that ever happened to me).

After cleaning and measuring the surfaces where the paper would cover, I carefully cut the paper and placed it on the surfaces. the tricky thing about contact paper is trying to avoid air bubbles. I had a scraper (pretty sure that’s not the technical term) from a puzzle glue kit that I used to scrape the paper as I laid it on the shelves. If you don’t have a scraper, I’d suggest using a spatula. Overall it was a pretty simple medium to work with.

Lastly (and most fun), I had to style the cart. I wanted to keep it simple but put a beachy twist on the typical bar cart and what says beach drinks more than margaritas?? I had a Libbey margarita pitcher and glass set from Bed Bath and Beyond that’s just too pretty to take up space in a closet. I had a coastal bar sign from Kohl’s, and a lantern leftover from our wedding (originally from Pier One). Throw in a bottle of Cuervo Silver and some limes and we are ready for a margarita party!

 

 

 

 

my name is jonas…

Winter Storm Jonas pummeled much of the East Coast on Saturday, dumping more than 2 feet of snow on our little beach. I spent most of my Saturday hunkered down with good friends and neighbors, laughing, playing with puppies, Heads Up, eating chili and drinking bloodies. It was a pretty fantastic snow day.

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The Calm Before the Storm

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Friday night-I see you Jonas!

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Frozen Margarita, anyone?

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Waking up to a Winter Wonderland

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ALL THE FRENCH TOAST

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Blizzard Rules: S’mores + S’more flavored beer are acceptable forms of lunch

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Bloody Marys + All the Fixings

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High Tide

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Calm After the Storm

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Just when you think it can’t get any better…

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This Happened.

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Pretty great way to end a pretty great weekend.

 

TAKE ME BACK…

While Winter 2016 isn’t as unbearable as some in recent memory (I’m looking at you 2015), it’s still not sunny and 80°. I’m still not in shorts and a flowy tank top or sun dress or a bikini-although the actual thought of being in a bikini right now in my pale, post holiday body makes me physically ill (note to self: PUT DOWN THE CHEEZ-ITS). Getting dressed in the morning in the summer vs the winter is a completely different situation. In the summer, for work, I throw a dress over my head and run out the door. My hair is naturally wavy and somehow looks less homeless, more surfer girl in the summer. Winter…I don’t leave the house without wearing at least 3 layers. And this is before I add on my giant amorphous coat. My hair is always in a ponytail or a bun because let’s be real: given 15 extra minutes in the morning I will choose sleep over hair every.single.time. Or scroll through Instagram until I get back to the last post I saw before I went to sleep. It’s a toss up, really.

I recently went through pictures from Summer 2015 and thought I’d post as a reminder that vast gray, bleak wasteland that is winter does have an expiration date. And it’s in exactly 154 days. In no particular order, here are the things I miss most about the summer:

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Long lazy bike rides to empty beaches

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How tan I was (disclaimer: I haaaate hot dog leg pics, particularly pics of my hot dog legs, but you guys I WAS SO TAN)

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Wearing a sleeveless dress without hating life

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Maxi.Firepit.Sandals.Pedicure.Come back to me.

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Frozen cocktails without immediately feeling like I needed mittens

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Sweet, buttery lobster rolls ::insert Homer Simpson drool here::

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Seasonal Restaurants. Beer just doesn’t taste as good unless you’re on the water.

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Some of the best sunsets ever

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Taking pictures in the water without feeling like my toes will fall off

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Everything about summer storms (that smell of rain right before though…)

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Rainbows after the aforementioned summer storm

 

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That holy-crap-the-sky-just-exploded way summer days end

how mermaids whet their whistle…spiked seltzer!

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I’m always on the hunt for a new cocktail, preferably one that is low cal and yummy. Enter Spiked Seltzer. I had first seen Spiked Seltzer on Instagram a few months back and fell in love with the packaging. The cans are tall, sleek and slender (kind of how I would like my body. Too bad pizza keeps getting in the way.), with their trademark mermaid on the front (were you wondering how it got my attention? There’s your answer!). I was in my local beer distributor and they carried it, so I snapped it up.

There are four flavors each named for its origin: Valencia Orange, Indian River Grapefruit, West Indies Lime and Cape Cod Cranberry. Each flavor is bursting with refreshing citrus flavor, but none are overly sweet. Developed by Nick Shields, Spiked Seltzer is brewed in Connecticut. Each flavor is made with all natural ingredients, is gluten-free, has a 6% alcohol content, 5 grams of carbs per can and is 140 calories. The best part of not having any unnecessary sugar or preservatives? No hangover!  The Spiked Seltzer website even suggests that it even makes a nice mixer and comes complete with cocktail recipes: Spiked Seltzer Cocktails

It’s a flavorful, guilt free cocktail that is best served chilled over ice with your toes in the sand.

Just do it!

No, this is not a post or a blog about how much I love Nike. Many moons ago, I had the idea to start up a blog. It’s taken several years and several almost-started-blogs later (seriously, I am the not so proud owner of 3 blogs that have never seen the light of day) but here I am.

Why has it taken so long for me to get my ish together and do this? A few reasons, actually. The biggest culprit would be fear of failure. I’ll admit, taking criticism has not always been my strong suit. I may or may not have been known for getting a bit weepy after certain meetings in the corporate world where my work was criticized (another not so proud moment-I’m giving you a lot of these and it’s only my first post!). Another issue was what to blog about. I have many different interests, and consider myself a fairly well rounded person and I couldn’t narrow it down (Fun fact: I tied with another girl in junior high for Most Well Rounded individual. Does that make me half a rounded person?) so I had no idea what direction to steer the blog in. Well dear readers, I’ve finally (wo)manned up and decided start writing. What will you see here? Oh a little of this, a little of that. I love (in no particular order): the beach (more on this later), travel, pop culture, interior design, cooking, fashion, DIYing and bargain hunting.

I am concluding my very first post with one of my most favorite quotes by Erin Hanson.

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Take a chance. You never know what could happen.

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