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

twosday lovin

There’s no easy way to put it. Tuesday doesn’t get much love. She’s Monday’s ugly sister. The weekend was 48 hours ago, and there are still 72 long hours left until this weekend (UGH). But Tuesday isn’t all that bad, which is why I’m starting a weekly installment featuring two things I love this Tuesday. In the words of Drake: “It’s goin up on a Tuesday”

  1. National Coffee Day: National Coffee Day is September 29th. I love coffee and cannot function without it, so of course I love a day celebrating it. You know what else I love? FREE COFFEE. That’s right. Several java joints are giving out free coffee, including Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and Wawa. Check out this article from USA today for more info: National Coffee Day Freebies

2. Late Night Chauffeurs: I love a good night out, and I especially love a good night out when everyone can have a good time, and there is no cause for concern as to how to get home. Enter Late Night Chauffeurs. Basically, you drive your car to your destination, you call LNC, give them a time and location to meet you, and they will pick you and YOUR CAR up, and drive you both home safe and sound. No drinking and driving, no worrying about what to do with your car if you end up partying too hard. Easy peasy!  A friend of mine recommended them to me after using them a few times. I used them recently after a night out and I do not have enough great things to say about them. They met us at our location and the time I scheduled, drove our car home and found parking (which in my area is a nightmare on the weekend). Our driver was super sweet, patient and a great driver. His co-Chauffeur followed us back to our home to pick him up (in case you were wondering how he gets home). It’s a safe, inexpensive way to enjoy a night out. Keep them in mind next time you’re thinking of going out! Late Night Chauffeurs

Summer Bucket List (better late than never, amiright??)

Earlier this summer, I came up with the idea for a Summer Bucket List. Every year, I mentally make a list of all the things I want to do once the weather gets warm. Every year, I end up doing a handful of them but not nearly enough of them. I should also mention the last 2 summers I was a busy bride to be with a full time job and planning a wedding which ended up taking up the majority of my summer weekends. This year, things are different. I am already starting to get that sinking feeling that the end of Summer 2015 is nigh (tear) and I need to get my Bucket List butt in gear. I actually wrote a list out this year and hung it out my refrigerator. This way instead of getting sucked into a Real Housewives marathon, I can remind myself to get outside and make some memories! While I’ve crossed a few items off already: music festival, bike to Point Lookout (a neighboring beach town), & watch fireworks on the beach-just to name a few-time is running out!

Now that summer is in full swing, here is my Summer 2015 Bucket List:

  • Music festivalSummer Bucket List
  • Kayaking
  • Movies on the beach 
  • Play Bocce Ball
  • Host a rooftop BBQ
  • Eat a Lobster Roll
  • Watch the sun rise
  • Be a tourist in my own city
  • Concerts on the beach
  • Wine tour
  • Bike & picnic in Point Lookout
  • Sunset cruise
  • Go hiking
  • Watch fireworks on the beach

Since we live in a northeastern beach town and endure very long, very cold winters (did I mention LONG?), my hubby and I look forward to taking advantage of the beach and like to stay local in the summer. Who likes to sit in traffic, anyway?! We also like to keep things costs on the lower side so we look for things that we can do that cost little to nothing, or find Groupons or Living Social deals to cut costs. We’re very lucky that our town has quite a few activities that cost little to nothing, such as movies on the beach and concerts on the beach (both free!).

This weekend, I scratched one more item off my bucket list. Jon and I had a free day so we decided to go hiking at a local nature preserve! A friend told me about the Norman J. Levy Nature Preserve in nearby Merrick. We packed the cooler with PB&J and water bottles, slathered on some sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher for this fair Irish lass!), laced up our sneakers and we were on our way. About 20 minutes later, we arrived at the preserve, where we discovered we can rent kayaks (imagine a 2 for 2 Summer Bucket List Sunday?!) but alas it was too good to be true. We had to reserve the kayak earlier in the week (at least we know for next time!). In addition to kayaking, the preserve also offers a golf course, driving range and fishing pier, as well as golf carts that are constantly zipping around in case you have little ones that can’t make the trek. The Norman J. Levy Nature Preserve is 52 acres, 3 miles and 115 feet at its highest point, offering vantage points of Jones Beach and the Manhattan skyline. There are several different types of wildlife that live on the preserve including red foxes (which we sadly did not see), along with a ton of greenery and winding hills that make you forget that you’re in the middle of suburban Long Island. It was a great day spent exploring new territory and we will definitely return in the fall!

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My honey & I at the peak

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The preserve’s essentially “employs” the guinea fowl (left) and the Nigerian dwarf goats (right). The birds are an eco-friendly insecticide, as they control the tick population, whereas the goats maintain the weed and brush overgrowth.

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