dust on the bottle

ok, guys! one last post about our big weekend of fun before I start boring you all again with street style pictures and rants about netflix. 

a few of our friends had the great idea to get outside the city and visit a winery, so on a warm Sunday afternoon six of us piled into a hilariously awesome giant van and headed to Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. 

the drive was scenic and lovely, and the winery was delightful! they offer wine tastings for just $5; that includes four samples of wine, one cider, and a complimentary souvenir wineglass. the prices are great and the wine is delicious. Brando and I bought a bottle of the "Black Dirt Red" that we are saving for a certain special country's birthday this week (hint: it's not America). 

there's also a roomy and rustic cafe, and you can bring your food and wine outside to picnic on the grounds! I recommend the sausage & gorgonzola wood-fired pizza; it has caramelized onions. 

we spent the afternoon lounging on the picnic blanket, sipping wine and enjoying the sun.

dress- vintage // boots- somewhere in Calgary // belt- Topshop // bag- Aldo

I donned my fabulous teal cowboy boots for the occasion, and received numerous compliments. they really are a statement piece; they make any outfit quirky and feel like "me." I'm so glad I allowed myself to buy them last year even though I was already technically out of money on my road trip... no regrets. ;) 

I love a shoe that can contribute to an already lovely day. good shoes, good wine, good friends. good way to top off a wonderful weekend! 

I will take you to the ocean

well, it seems I'm a little behind. this weekend is nearly over, and I'm still not done babbling about last weekend. to be fair, there was a lot to talk about, and it kinda makes up for doing nothing all during the week. 

I've only told you about last friday; there's still two whole days left to ramble on about! 

after our night of epic free concerting we woke decently early (for people who had been drinking, especially) on saturday to make the trek to Coney Island for the annual Mermaid Parade. basically a giant kickoff to summertime where gazillions of people dress in over-the-top mermaid (or vasiou sea creatures) costumes and walk around the boardwalk. obviously it was my first time there, and while I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, it certainly wasn't what I got. 

the costumes were awesome, and definitely the best part of the parade. I wish I could have snapped a few photos, but our view was so restricted that it really wasn't worth the bother, as verified by the one semi-usable picture above. there were thousands of spectators so showing up even an hour-and-a-half in advance didn't really help much with snagging prime viewing locations. I would definitely recommend finding a cozy spot along the beachfront part of the parade route so you're not just baking in the hot sun while staring at the back of people's heads. this place was overcrowded, even for me. and I love being lost in a crowd of mermaids... we'll know better for next year.

while I didn't see much in the way of the parade, at least I got to play on the beach like a mermaid, right? 

Coney Island bonus: on the way home, Brando and I made a stop at L&B Spumoni Gardens for some famous Sicilian pizza. we saw the place on Man Vs. Food way back before we moved, and I'd been dying to go- they put the sauce on top of the cheese. I don't know why this excites me so much, but it does. 

and turns out it makes a big difference, because it is now my favourite pizza in the world. and I don't even usually like thick crust. 
oh my gosh. it's just so good.

moral of the story, boys and girls; after a bit of a lacklustre public event, it's all worth it if you go out for pizza. 

in our summer skins

I've missed quite a few of these, and to be honest, this list was kind of thrown together at the last minute... but here's a Friday Favourites for you all!

and really, all these things are favourites of mine. so being last minute has nothing to do with the post's validity.

 1. love the combination of simple cut & funky print on this dress. // Sugarhill Boutique. 

2. I don't shave my legs very often (far less than I feel comfortable to admit on the internet) but I still find myself searching my bathroom angrily for razor blades from time to time. and that stuff is ridiculously expensive. I signed up for Dollar Shave Club because it sounded convenient and inexpensive, and I was not disappointed! it's marketed to men, but I got the middle-cost "lover's blade" and some of their shave butter, and the stuff is fantastic. and once you hoard enough blades (they send them once a month, automatically) you can change how often you receive shipments. it's enough to make me forgive society for it's ridiculous expectations of women's bodies... by that I mean, I don't mind shaving nearly as much.

3. last weekend one of the amazing things we did was attend the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and while it didn't quite live up to its magnificent expectations, it still awakened my deep love of mermaids. we bought the poster at a local craft fair a few weeks ago and it delights me; the mermaid and the walrus are in love! //1, Modcloth // 2, Alicia Zenobia // 3, Two Arms Inc. 

4. speaking of mermaids... this woman looks magical and amazing. love this photo and outfit! //via pinterest. 

5. I raved about this band in my last post, and I second my own endorsement. love this record. //Lake Street Dive. 

6. I'm running out of all my makeup at once. isn't that how it always goes? yes, yes it is. and I wish to pamper myself with this awesome gift set from Benefit. //Sephora. 

7. since the Mermaid Parade I've been on a nautical kick, especially when I realized I had no ocean-themed dress to don on such an occasion. as someone who loves the sea, this is quite unacceptable. bring on the sailboats & lighthouses! Modcloth // Ruche // Modcloth

8. this might be an over-share, but since summer is in full swing and tights are inconceivable, I'm now having to deal with awkward & painful thigh chafing plague. (I made that sound more gross than it is- by using the word 'plague'- but when your chubby/voluptuous legs rub together in this humidity, the result is not pretty.) luckily I have discovered Body Glide, which is a balm stick that you just smooth on your thighs/feet/whatever, that reduces friction and painful rubbing. and it really works! I have to reapply sometimes throughout really hot days, but I don't get that painful red rash anymore. curvy/active/sweaty girls, rejoice! available via Amazon, drugstores, sporting goods stores, etc. 

friday night lights

I had fully intended to have this post up sooner, since it's kind of a "part b" to my last post. but I'm kind of glad I slacked off until today; I had a bit of a rough day, and rough days are best treated with happy memories. it's nice to remind myself why I like my life so much. 

last friday, I met up with Brando after my aforementioned lovely afternoon in the Prospect Park area. we planned on going to the FREE concert in the park for Celebrate Brooklyn. Amos Lee was playing, and Brando's a huge fan of his, and the opener was a local band that was supposed to be amazing. so yeah, friday night plans. 

while we were in line to get in, a lady in a stunning red polka dot dress came up to us and asked if we wanted to be "VIPs." of course my reaction was "what do I have to do?" but it was nothing! she worked for an event sponsor, Squarespace, and they were just handing out special bracelets to people in line to get access to a dining area, open bar, and front row seating. AWESOMESAUCE. it was probably the coolest thing to ever happen to me. I think maybe they were hoping for some good publicity, since we had our fancy-shmancy camera in tow, but little do they know... my internet fame is fairly subdued. 
anyways, it was really cool of Squarespace to do that and I want to declare my love for them for giving me my favourite NYC night so far. 

as you can imagine, the evening after that was pretty spectacular. we were literally in the front row, with unlimited free booze, and the concert was amazing. the local band was Lake Street Dive and you guys, I think they're my new favourite. after the set I immediately went to the merch table and bought their record. and I'm madly in love with the lead singer. she's my hero. 
Amos Lee was as genius as we anticipated (with a rockstar lady bassist), and I got some glorious snaps of the whole shindig. 

check it. 

(this is quite the long post, so click "read more" to see the rest of the photos!)

back through the park

soooo I guess it's monday now... how did that happen?
I had every intention of blogging my weekend adventures, but turns out adventures can be more time-consuming and tiring that I thought. it was a busy weekend indeed, in the best way. 

it started with friday, as most weekends do. I decided to get out of the house and therefore get myself out of a rut. so I grabbed my camera and a new dress and wandered around Park Slope/Prospect Park all afternoon, just enjoying the marvellous sunshine and an insanely delicious iced latte. 

I stopped by this little coffee shop called Prospect Perk- yes, I entered solely because of the name- and it was splendid. it was, of course, home of previously mentioned delicious iced latte, and also had lovely and friendly employees. the girl behind the counter had amazing blue hair and said she liked my tattoo. it was a good start to my afternoon. I highly recommend the place if you're in the area!

I also paid a visit to the Brooklyn Public Library, the giant one by the park, with the sole intention of trying the famous pie at the cafe. I had chocolate chess, and I don't know what constituted the "chess" part, but it was unbelievable pie. it's made by this little bake shop that's been all over my twitter feed lately called 4 & 20 Black Birds, and it is worth making a trip to the library for. (or, you know... just go to the bake shop.) I didn't even notice the books, shame on me...

dress- Modcloth // shoes- Ardene // bag & sunglasses- vintage fr. the Brooklyn Flea

not to brag, but I got so many compliments on this outfit, you guys! so exciting. this dress arrived in the mail the day before, and as soon as I tried it on friday morning I didn't want to take it off. it's easily one of my new favourite things. I love the gorgeous shade of red and the accent colours, and it fits me perfectly. which is a huge relief, since I'm much more wary of ordering clothes online now that I can't seem to get my size/shape under control. it's so nice to receive something that's not made solely for skinny model women; the large fits like a large!

incidentally, it was recently Modcloth's anniversary of selling plus sized clothing. even though I don't always need the plus sizes, it's so great that many of their adorable pieces are available in more than just the standard S-M-L (cause believe me, large does not always fit like a large). also, I find the customer reviews very helpful in choosing a size, and when deciding whether to take a risk on a standard-sized item. so yeah, lots of praise for Modcloth today! 

I spent the rest of the day chilling out in the park, giggling at the French bulldogs running past (gosh they are the cutest!) and making friends with inquisitive squirrels. not good enough friends to share the pie, but you get the picture (literally!). after a couple hours Brandon met up with me and our friday continued to be awesome. so awesome, in fact, that it requires a whole second post on the remainder of the awesomeness. so that's what's on the menu for tomorrow!

I love Park Slope. I have to say, if I could live anywhere in New York, it would be Park Slope. it's so beautiful and friendly and there's so much to do. I love the tree-lined streets, and the bakeries, and all the vintage shopping, and of course the park. and everyone I've met there has been incredibly nice. 
I plan on wandering around there far more often.

one moment in time

as usual, time is flying by and my first springtime here in New York is passing far too quickly. I can't believe that this weekend marks the official start of summer. my first full season in the Big Apple. I'm sure it will bring a host of new adventures adjustments.

but back to springtime; quite a lot was going on with us! the first thing to kick off the late May/early June slew of events was a visit from my sister and her boyfriend. they had only the weekend to make the most of NYC, but we did our best to show them a good time. 

I thought I'd share a few of my favourite photos from the weekend

the first day Beck & Cody got here it rained pretty hard, making the world's worst bus tour even more of a downer (although we did have a lot of fleet week sightings aboard!)... but the sky cleared briefly for our visit to Rockefeller Center, so the view was just as majestic as usual. and bonus, we got free souvenir ponchos! 

(click "read more" to see the rest of the photos!)

taking steps is easy, standing still is hard

I've been getting really comfortable with melancholy; I think I need to get out of the house and into this June sunshine before it turns into July face-melting heat. 

I'm trying to be stingy with money right now, so I usually keep to myself in the apartment to avoid temptation until Brandon comes home. being cooped up has this effect on me where I become moody and restless, but too lazy to leave the house and break the cycle. trying to find a purpose in life is hard. it's so much more tempting to stay home, binge watch netflix, immerse yourself in nothing at all. these hot afternoons I'll take any excuse to not get dressed and go out in public.
but some days, I give myself a kick in the butt to brush my hair, pull on a dress, and do something productive... like go see How To Train Your Dragon 2 and indulge in Williamsburg diner food. :)

dress- Olive & Oak fr. Century 21 // wedges- Jeffrey Campbell via Modcloth // bag & mood ring- gifts // sunglasses- Claire's

all I believe in is a dream
I haunt the earth though I am fully seen
in all my years I've never felt more sure than now
well, I got to get off this rock somehow

I feel so homesick
where's my home
where I belong,
where I was born?
I was told to go
where the wind would blow
and it blows away - away

well my eyes are full of stars
but I just can't reach 'em... oh, how high they are
I got to believe what I'm seeing - maybe it could come true
but in a modern world that can be so hard to do

- Alabama Shakes, Rise to The Sun