self love soirée.

Hey hi just going to do a quick recap of the Self Love Soiree I attended on Saturday because self love is very important especially during these valentines times.

LIKE VERY IMPORTANT.

I’ve written about this before but I think Valentine’s Day is a great time to reflect on loving yourself. Wait have I written about this before? I know I’ve written about loving your friends on Valentine’s Day. Also important!

Either way, love yourself. Just do it. It feels great. It’s totally worth it. And in the world today there are actually a ton of opportunities for self love and self care and it’s now socially acceptable to take a break and take a breath and also to admire yourself so LET’S DO IT.

The night before the Self Love Soiree I returned to drinking after a dry January so it was VERY DIFFICULT to get going but I eventually got out of bed. After a cold brew and a green juice at The Cottage on Monticello I was happily on my way to Deep Space/The Hive for the Soiree.

Yes, I do go there every weekend I guess. My boyfriend referred to it as my “community center.” MAYBE IT IS. It’s great because I can walk there and there’s always fun stuff there! I don’t know how it could get any better. I’m not ashamed.

Unfortunately I was still very hungover so I didn’t get a lot of pics. But I’ll share with you what I did!

I was excited to get a pair of conversation heart earrings from Aly Cupcake/Aly’s Little Things. THEY ARE SO COOL. There’s nothing I love more than cute jewelry with bad words on it. That’s not a lie.

WTF.

She also had some really awesome pink/red/romantic looking earrings with Cupids and actual anatomical hearts on them that were SO COOL. Truthfully I really wanted these but technically I’m still in “No Shop Q1” so I’m not supposed to buy clothes or accessories.

I know I cheated with buying the convo heart earrings but they were like $10 so I think that’s a minimal shopping footprint.

Had to support a local business, you guys.

I really enjoyed checking out the display that find & revive set up. I realize I’m a broken record with this but the space looks so different at every event and I think that is so cool. I MEAN IT IS MY COMMUNITY CENTER, PEOPLE.

They had lots of reds and purples and animal print and it was all very romantic and lovely. Honestly I couldn’t even go near it because I would have been too tempted to buy.

I can’t wait until April 1.

This Saturday 2/13/21, find & revive will be back with a pop up at the Galentine’s event at Monroe’s in Hoboken so check THAT out. (I will)

Tainable, Kaze Jewels, and Dalia Handcrafts were also in attendance as vendors. I didn’t get to take the closest look at them on Saturday but I checked them out on Instagram and they all have great stuff so I hope to see them again when I can buy…EVERYTHING.

On my way out I got distracted by some books and I came across two advance copies of books I’ve been wanting to read! Like they’re released now but these copies were advance at one time and now very affordable because the person that had them originally was giving them away. Because books are expensive!

One of them is Detransition, Baby and it’s the next book for Roxanne Gay’s online book club The Audacious Book Club SO THIS WORKED OUT PERFECTLY. I can tell you more about the book club another time but it’s really incredibly great and you should also subscribe to her newsletter The Audacity BECAUSE WHY NOT.

I got the books from Xtina’s Variety and Vintage Shop and I’m going to be looking for more books there next time. BECAUSE BOOKS.

So that was the Self Love Soiree! I loved myself so much that I needed a nap after. A long one.

As far as my community center, there is a Galentine’s event there this weekend they’re hosting along with JC Women’s Collaborative that looks very fun so if you’re a gal and you have pals that are gals you should check it out.

jc women’s collaborative swap at xtina’s variety and vintage shop.

This past Saturday it was VERY COLD but it was also the day of the JC Women’s Collaborative swap at Xtina’s Variety and Vintage shop and I HAD TO GO.

I had never been to a clothing swap before and I’d honestly heard some scary stories. For some reason most of them involved “Brooklyn,” but it would be like “My friend took me to a swap in Brooklyn and it was a free for all!” Or, “I went to a swap in Brooklyn and everyone just GRABBED THINGS.”

To me it seemed like swaps were frightening because they included a competitive element and I wanted nothing to do with that. I’m not a competitive person and any kind of tense feelings really stress me out. I don’t want to FIGHT for things. It just seems like A LOT.

Anyway this swap WAS NOT LIKE THAT so don’t worry. It was great! It was very organized and didn’t feel like a race or a crazed collective grab for the best items or anything like that. It was all very civilized and fun.

Embarrassingly, I arrived 15 minutes early. I was ashamed. I didn’t intend to be that early and I felt like a nerd. Once again, I had walked way too fast and gotten very sweaty. One day I will learn my lesson but that day was not Saturday.

As I mentioned, IT WAS VERY COLD. LIKE VERY. Leading up to the swap Xtina had suggested that we wear layers, with a yoga pants/sports bra or tank layer at the bottom, so we could stay warm but also try on clothes over the bottom layer if we wanted. This was great advice because it worked out and I stayed warm.

COLD.

It’s very good to follow instructions, my friends.

Upon arrival we were given a wristband with a number on it and that indicated when it would be our turn to go upstairs to swap. (I was #2) (Be impressed.)

I’ve seen Deep Space Gallery and the store downstairs be set up a few different ways and it never stops impressing me with how versatile it is and the different ways they use the space. It’s just fun. There’s always something new to see.

While we waited for our turn to go upstairs to swap, DJs played music in the shop downstairs and we were invited to browse the shop and also the wares of some vendors that were in attendance – @cutpasteface, and @primcessart, and @talirose_art from @visioncoven

Again, there was so much stuff to look at. I really enjoy looking at stuff. A simple pleasure.

Soon enough it was time to go upstairs! The clothes were split up into racks by size, and there were tables organized by size for jeans and loungewear. Accessories were on a small table, and handbags were in a box.

We had 5 mins to choose 3 things and I suddenly got very excited so I didn’t take any pictures. I’m sorry, you’ll never know what the actual swap part actually looked like.

JK you can see some pics on Xtina’s Instagram, @xtina_moore. Calm down. Go look!

In the first round I got this BLUE TORY BURCH PURSE and I felt like I WON THE ENTIRE DAY. Like, this freakin freezing ass Saturday was MINE!

I MEAN LOOK AT IT!

After the first round we got back in line and went for the second round. This time we still had 5 mins but we could choose 5 items instead of 3. I was pumped because I got something in the second round that I had left behind in the first.

Despite not being a competitive person…I did feel like I was winning at this swap. I mean, NBD.

But I think everyone felt that way! It was a great and happy and positive experience. We all chatted in line and made new pals. We got excited when people picked one of the items we had dropped off. It was a nice feeling.

I came away from the swap with THE PURSE, a brand new with tags maxi dress from Anthropologie, a gold sequin top, a fun late 80s/early 90s looking cropped jacket with sparkly gold embroidery and velvet buttons, a basic black shift dress that is the SOFTEST jersey material, a tie-dyed Trader Joe’s T-shirt, and a couple more things. Those were my most favs.

I like the sequin/sparkly stuff best and there was actually a good amount of that there. I think because people only wear it for New Year’s Eve and then they’re done. But I like to wear sequins ALWAYS and you’re going to have to accept that THANKS.

So that was the swap! And they’re gonna have more! Follow JC Women’s Collaborative and Xtina on Instagram and they’ll keep you posted!

JC Women’s Collaborative also does in-person (socially distanced, when it’s nice) and Zoom meetups with guest speakers that are fun, informative, and thought-provoking. Their next Zoom meeting is on Feb 4 at 7pm and the topic is mental health, a v important topic! You can find more at @jcwomenscollaborative on Instagram.

And Xtina’s Variety and Vintage shop has a record sale event coming up this very weekend. On 1/30 1pm-5pm they’ll be selling records 4 for $1! I’m gonna go. If you like records maybe you should go too! I don’t know, I’m not your dad. They’re at 77 Cornelison Ave in Jersey City.

jc women’s collaborative holiday bazaar at the hive goods.

I’m now in the midst of a personal two week quarantine but the last fun social thing I did out in the public was check out the JC Women’s Collaborative Holiday Bazaar at The Hive Goods.

The Hive Goods is the downstairs shop at one of my favorite local galleries, Deep Space. This was the first time I was there specifically for shopping and not only for art-gawking. And I was ready to shop my face off.

Like many women (I hope I’m not the only one?) I have an issue when it’s gift buying time in which I buy gifts for myself instead of for others. OR gifts for myself in addtion to the gifts I’m getting for others. It’s just the way it goes. I love stuff just as much as the next real work-from-home housewife of New Jersey. It’s just the way it is. And I’m not sorry.

So there was a TON of stuff there that I would have LOVED to buy for myself, or even the majority of my female relatives. But the problem was, I already got the gifts for the other gals so I was mostly looking for something for my dad and brother who are both THE HARDEST TO SHOP FOR.

(I hope) they read this, so I won’t reveal what exactly I got for them but I did find a small thing or two for each of them!

But mostly I got things for myself.

I tried.

Here’s a bit about some of the vendors!:

the hive goods.

As I said I’ve never gone over to 77 Corneilson just for shopping so I was very excited. Because shopping!

The most exciting thing to be done was go up to the roof and socially distance myself and fill up a bag with stuff in the bins up there for TEN DOLLARS.

Xtina, matriarch of The Hive Goods, sources and sells vintage and consignment items, and also hosts clothing swaps in the shop. So there were BINS ON BINS.

There was so much stuff! I got two little clutch purses in wild colors BECAUSE WHY NOT.

I got a skirt.

A picture frame that I put this year’s Xmas card in!

Also a print of a peacock because I need to surround myself with feathered friends THANKS.

I got even MORE stuff but I can’t tell because that stuff was gifts.

I DID get some gifts. OKAY?!

a petal to peddle.

These wreaths were BEAUTIFUL and the first kiosk you saw when you approached the building.

I follow A Petal to Peddle on Instagram but for whatever reason I’ve never seen their stuff in real life and it was SO PRETTY.

And smelled so nice. LIKE PINE.

Because WREATHS.

These items were all wanted by me and me alone so I couldn’t get any because I was supposed to be getting GIFTS. But next time it’s game on.

tia planta.

Tia Planta is the plant aunt you’ve always wanted and it clearly says it in her name and therefore cannot be denied.

Even though plants meet certain death as my wards, I LOVE PLANTS AND TO BE AMONG THEM.

The Hive Goods was completely transformed for this bazaar and I love to see the different ways a space can be used. It gets me pumped up. Who knows why. But I think the best new and innovative use of a space I already know and love was putting a forest of plants on top of the pool table.

It just looked totally awesome.

I didn’t get any plants because I wasn’t in a position to carry them around on my Saturday activities but that didn’t mean I didn’t WANT to.

Tia Planta also currently has a pop up kiosk in McGinley Sq and after I’m done with my self quar for Xmas I plan to head over.

artesana pottery.

It’s no secret that I love some pottery. Or maybe I’ve never talked about it. I don’t remember.

Artesana Pottery was SUPER cool and unique and each piece is the literal definition of one of a kind. I know that because the gal in charge of the pottery told me it was so.

This great gal ALSO gave us some coquito and it was INCREDIBLE. Super into coquito these days and 10/10 would Artesana Coquito(TM) again.

I did end up getting something for myself here and it was this hand dish with SPIDERS on it to save for Halloween decor next year.

She also had a number of pieces with generic birds and also OWLS and I was VERY TEMPTED.

I do follow her on Instagram so I can always order there. When it’s socially appropriate to buy things for myself again.

slow burn alters.

Slow Burn Alters was recently created by a gal of all trades, master of most of them, who also does some art, beautiful (and heartbreaking in a good way) poetry I’ve come across on the internets, and community reach out via a group called Locality Giveback.

Whew!

As for the alters, they were nicely put together and packaged – a perfect gift for a pal or fam member who is in touch with the spiritual side of themselves.

My pal got one and we opened it up back at her house and it had a tiny little baby candle with a holder and a crystal and a sage thingy and it was so mini and compact and also perfectly suited for its purpose and was therefore swoon-worthy. Even though I personally am not spiritual at all and unsure of its purpose…I still felt like it HAD to have checked all the boxes for a rad spiritual moment at home or on the go.

jc women’s collaborative.

JC Women’s Collaborative is a group I’ve been seeing around the town and they seemed fun and not mean and I’ve been meaning to go to one of their events! One time they had one in Lincoln Park in the fall and I couldn’t find them and I gave up and just laid on a blanket and watched their Instagram stories. As we existed in parallel universes in the same park…

So I was glad I found my way to this event! They ran the show and were super welcoming. They gave out fun Jersey City masks (“fun” because anything with “Jersey City” written on it is VERY FUN to me), hand sanitizer, coffee, and overall “vibes.”

They even gave me some cups for our coquito when I know I was being very annoying asking for them. TRUE HEROES!

In addition to hosting this bazaar, they also hosted a super fun and festive Zoom holiday party on Thursday and it was worth the hangover I had after 2 glasses of wine and one beer.

I GOT 8/10 ON THE TRIVIA.

Just had to tell someone.

flow initiative.

Not a vendor, but The Flow Initiative was at the event collecting period products. I’ve had a long saga with these period products. I got an IUD a few years ago and didn’t know I wouldn’t get a period anymore but I don’t AND I LOVE IT. But, I had all these tampons. Like three boxes. Just collecting dust.

I have been meaning to bring them to JaneDO, and to the last show at Deep Space to pass off to Xtina.

They were in a bag by my door. I forgot them like 5 times in a month-long period. I think eventually they got thrown away.

I had to go buy more before the event.

BUT I GOT THEM SOME TAMPONS TO CONTINUE CHANGING THE WORLD BY GETTING PERIOD PRODUCTS FOR THOSE THAT NEED THEM.

And I’m glad.

The JC Women’s Collaborative Holiday Bazaar at The Hive Goods was obviously badass. There were additional vendors but I didn’t even really get to spend time with them all. I hope they do it again just because and I can buy stuff for ME. maybe in the spring?

Well, The Hive Goods is also doing it again! It’s tomorrow (12/20) so I can’t go since I have to quar, but YOU should go. It’s 1-6pm at 77 Corneilson Ave in Jersey City.

Go on, git.

miracle on mercer.

Last week-ish I went to Miracle on Mercer with some pals and I had an enjoyable and festive time.

I’ll warn you now, I didn’t really get any good pics and I’m sorry.

Miracle on Mercer is actually Franklin Social in disguise. But shh, don’t tell because some people still believe in Santa.

It’s beautifully decorated indoors and out! We sat outside because we all pretty much like it better that way, in these times. Luckily we were right underneath a heater but even if we weren’t I think it would have been fine. The “breezeway” area we were in was warm enough overall.

The heater.

There were tons of lights and some cute old fashioned decorations and bows and snow sprayed on the window.

I WAS REALLY INTO IT.

The whole point of Miracle on Mercer is to have silly Xmas cocktails AND WE DID.

Just like everywhere they had the link to their menu on the table because menus are dirty germ factories and maybe we should actually never have them again. But this one had a cute reindeer on it!

I got the “Jingle Balls Nog” with the intention of trying something else after. But then I just got like 3 more nogs.

For many years I scoffed at the nog but frankly the nog is where it’s at. I have a renewed interest in drinks as dessert because I’m trying to minimize overall consumption and maybe shed some of my quarantine 20 so my fav clothes fit again. So, two birds one stone.

Even though that expression is mean and if I EVER see you going around throwing stones at birds I WILL END YOU.

We also got a couple of rounds of “Nice Shots” (rum, peppermint tea, chocolate) as a group. And they were grand. If all shots were fun like this I would be more excited when people are like, “I’ll buy you a shot!” But at other bars all I really have to choose from is Fireball and everyone always acts stuck up about that and it’s like we can’t ALL be “‘cool’ girls that drink whisk(e)y neat” or whatever so just CALM DOWN.

“Nice Shot” on the right.

I didn’t get any snackies this time around but I have eaten there in the past and it was yummy enough. One of my pals got the Potato Croquettes and they looked pretty good. I wasn’t mad about it.

Miracle on Mercer will be Miracle on Mercer-ing until December 31 at 292 Barrow St in Downtown Jersey City. Okay before you get all FREAKED OUT about it, Mercer is the CROSS STREET because it is on A CORNER.

HAVE FUN.

ghost of uncle joe’s 2020.

I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.

What a nightmare.

The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.

UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!

Because it WAS that.

If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.

As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.

I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.

The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.

Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.

That’s all I got. Sorry.

peacock costume.

In my mind nothing can really top last year’s Ms. Frizzle costume. But this year I had some fun making a peacock costume.

Halloween is different this year! Everything is different this year! We have to do the best we can! Overall, Halloween was a welcome distraction from all of the lame crap going on: COVID, the election, the end of the world as we know it.

I decided on a peacock costume for three reasons:

  1. I’m obsessed with birds.
  2. I’ve been really into a blue and green color palette lately.
  3. I thought it would be relatively easy to create a peacock costume on my own. “Easy” as in high reward with not much effort.

the materials.

My interpretation of a peacock required the following materials:

Blue Bodysuit – I selected a bodysuit with long legs and sleeves because it’s going to be incredibly freezing today.

Blue Wig – Wigs are really fun to wear and I wanted an excuse to wear one, even though peacocks don’t technically wear blue wigs or really have any blue features on their heads at all.

Blue Ribbon – I was afraid I didn’t get enough and in the end I actually really didn’t get enough and would get way more if I ever do this or something like this again.

Not enough.

Peacock Feathers – Duh.

Duh.

Peacock Fan – I thought this would be a fun way to mimic the “tail” and also give me the opportunity to carry around and use a prop. I LOVE A PROP. This fan can also be used for other future fun fancy events! If it doesn’t get lost in the graveyard tonight. TBD.

Face Rhinestones – I have never used these before so we’ll see what happens.

Blue/Green Glitter – It has been a year since I got this glitter on sale at Target and it has been floating around in my Caboodle and getting in my way this whole time. Very excited to finally use it. And yes that link is to the pink/purple version. They’re out of blue I guess. Not my problem.

Feathery False Eyelashes – No idea how these are going to work. I may not even be able to figure it out. We’ll see.

construction.

I constructed the costume last night and as I predicted it required minimal effort. There was only one part of it that required construction, the feathery part.

I just cut the ribbon to make a “belt” and then cut more pieces of ribbon to tie peacock feathers onto the “belt.”

Essentially making a peacock “tail.”

Keep in mind this is technically the “tail” of a male peacock so in a way this is peacock drag. Dude birds are just prettier and therefore better to model costumes after. It’s not my fault.

Perhaps a hot glue gun would have been more effective but I got the wrong size glues for mine last year and then never got the right size glues. I’m no craft master and never claimed to be one, you guys.

That’s it! Not going to post the finished product until later. So get excited. Or something.

gail’s pumpkin patch.

Just a quick little tribute to Gail’s Pumpkin Patch.

GAIL’S GLORIOUS PUMPKIN PATCH!

Gail is a KuneKune pig that used to belong to my sister.

Gail!

She’s great! But she kept escaping her pen and roaming around and causing a disturbance and my sister felt she’d be better off on a larger farm with more space and perhaps more of her Suidae kind so she gave Gail to a farmer who promised to never…”harvest” her.

Gail again! But she got bigger and needed more space <3

Even though Gail is gone, her pigpen is still here and she left behind a full-on garden that sprouted from the seeds of foods she was fed combined with natural fertilizer. And that’s all I’m going to say about the fertilizer.

Over the summer there were tomatoes! And at the end of the summer pumpkins started to appear!

These pumpkins, of course, were ready for picking. So yesterday we braved the pouring rain and went outside to pick them.

There were 5 pumpkins and they were all pretty big, so that was exciting. Especially because they had just grown on their own without any amount of human effort or consideration. Just Gail living her life caused them to grow so large and beautiful.

I have to Google this but I also think because they were fresh off the vine they were more…moist…and therefore heavier. Also they had some kind of weird clear slime that came out of them when we carved them. I’ve never seen that in all my years of pumpkin carving.

OMG CUTE LIL MINI CURLY VINE
The wet looking stuff is “slime”

My sister and I both carved what I call a “Classic Jack” and it was funny to me that we both carved almost the exact same thing without discussing it or looking at the other’s pumpkin while carving. I guess our style of “Classic Jack” is ingrained in our Pop brains from childhood.

After we carved we also baked the seeds and the were INCREDIBLE.

Carving pumpkins and baking the seeds is one of my favorite things EVER so I was really excited to use these special backyard/Gail’s Pumpkin Patch pumpkins this year. It really made me very glad.

My sister said she was going to throw the guts and some seeds back into the pigpen so there can be a Gail’s Pumpkin Patch Revival next year!

Next year’s pumpkins!

CANNOT WAIT.

fall weekend upstate.

This past weekend I went “upstate” to West Kill, NY to peep leaves and do other upstate shit and it was everything I’ve ever wanted from a fall weekend upstate.

“Upstate” is kind of like a “scene” and it’s fine because I’m totally into a “scene.” But I would say it seems like more of a “scene” now that everyone has escaped from Manhattan/Brooklyn and turned it into Manhattan/Brooklyn 2.0. But that’s okay! It’s Manhattan/Brooklyn with leaf peeping! And hiking! And the possibility that you might see a bear! The possibility is really real, I swear!

And who knows, maybe it’s been like that forever. I only went upstate for the first time 2 years ago.

I’m no expert. But they did go there in Dirty Dancing (there are a ton of books I now need to read at that link) and in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. So I guess it’s been a scene for a while.

Anyway, here’s my fall weekend upstate.

the outfits.

I’d like to start with the outfits. I didn’t get a lot of pics but many people I saw had some really great outfits. They ranged from like a “hiking chic” look to a “unnecessary hat” look to a “canoes on my boyfriend cardigan” look and everything in between. I greatly enjoyed outfit-watching.

I did my best to not be a creep so I didn’t get many pictures. But as you may know it’s very hard for me to NOT be a creep so I did get some.

Look at this couple! They were perfect! I mean it’s mostly the guy with his cloud sweater and matching pants and sunglasses, but the gal also gave it her all. They looked awesome when they were standing and walking together. Just reigning over the outdoor dining area at Phoenicia Diner.

Another fun spotting at Phoenicia Diner was this gal in the canoes on her boyfriend cardigan. You may have thought that was a joke when I said it up there but it was REAL. AND IT WAS AMAZING.

I didn’t get pics of any other outfits except my own, but just know that there was plaid and army green and hats and beanies and boots and sweaters and it was all a very cozy fall catalog vibe.

Here I am in my own unnecessary hat.

And again in the unnecessary hat but WITH PLAID.

I think it’s fair to say that the proper outfits are COMPULSORY for a fall weekend upstate.

the cabin.

My pal married into owning a cabin in West Kill and it’s freakin badass.

The cabin is in the middle of nowhere, kind of up a mountain, and that’s exactly where I wanted to be. It is quiet, quiet, QUIET and you don’t have to listen to anyone’s shit. You can’t even hear a car. At this point in the year the bugs are even quiet. And because it takes so long for the sun to come out the birds seem lazy and therefore quieter in the morning. It was peaceful AF.

I JUST WANTED SOME PEACE AND I GOT IT.

Their cabin is really super adorable and cozy. They decorated it like real experts and the record collection is off the chain. When my other friend and I pulled up on Friday night it was around 8pm and all of the lights were on outside and it just looked so perfect and welcoming. I couldn’t get over it.

It was really, REALLY nice to wake up in the morning and sit outside in an Adirondack chair and drink coffee and think about nothing. I really wanted to see a bear but I only saw a bluejay. But it was a lovely bluejay!

The bed I slept in was very comfortable and the house was warm but not TOO warm and I slept with the window open for fresh air. It was really the perfect scenario. I think “fresh air” was my number one wish for this fall weekend upstate.

That’s my airbnb review, you heard it here first.

the food.

So the food was a big part of this trip. It always is, for me. Food is very important. Especially recently because there is nothing else to live for and I’ve gained 20lbs. I don’t really know what else to tell you about that. It sucks that none of my favorite clothes fit but it’s also been delicious.

When we first arrived my friend had made us a CHEESE PLATE. It’s like, SHE ALLOWED US TO STAY AT HER HOUSE, and she ALSO made us a cheese plate! Can you believe our luck?!

Ugh it was so good.

After the cheese plate we did some grilling! By “we” I mean “she” did the grilling and I ate it. I don’t know how to grill, are you nuts?

The next morning, my other pal made us eggs for breakfast. Best eggs I ever had. I felt a little bad because she’s a mom and she kinda went all-in on mom mode and was like, “I’ll make us all eggs!” And I was like, “Well I’ll def eat them…and I probably can’t help much because I’d get in the way, so I’ll just sit in this Adirondack chair and drink coffee.” And I felt like a child or a dad, not doing shit. But the eggs were edible and incredible and I don’t regret a thing.

Next up we went to a farm market which will be explored in another section. But when we got there a lady at one of the stands was like, “Free Bread Alone bread!” And since it was free I took some. It ended up being really good! We had it with a cheese plate later that day.

As far as food goes our next stop was Mama’s Boy Burgers in Tannersville. I got a grilled cheese and butternut squash fries. I had never had butternut squash fries but it seems like such a great and obvious idea! Especially for the fall. They had a bit of a sweet seasoning on them, like cinnamon, that paired well with the chipotle mayo dipping sauce I got.

Mama’s Boy ALSO had a TON of ice cream and I was obviously into it.

I got chocolate peanut butter soft serve, their special of the day, with Reese’s Puffs on top. I haven’t had Reese’s Puffs since middle school and it was a happy reunion.

On Saturday night we went to Urban Cowboy, which is a “scene” all its own, and we had Roberta’s pizza. Roberta’s is 200% worth the trip to Bushwick and it was also worth the trip to Big Indian, NY because that shit is INCREDIBLE. We got a Bee Sting, my personal fav because you can never go wrong with sopressata and hot honey, and a White Guy to mix it up a little.

The free Bread Alone bread returned to our collective consciousness back at the cabin when we put together ANOTHER cheese plate with some cheese from the Farmer’s Market. Cheese plates are so important, you guys.

Our original plan involved making ‘smores outside but it was very cold and also a lot of effort to build a fire. So we (by “we” I mean my two pals because I’m terrified of fire) made a nice fire in the woodstove. I think that’s what it’s called. A stove-like box made of metal and you put wood in it.

I was fully committed to the ‘smores because I have a serious problem with sugar addiction so then I made ‘smores in the stove thing.

THEY WERE DELICOUS.

The next morning my mom pal was back with more eggs to serve me again and I am forever grateful.

On the way home we went to Phoenicia Diner and since it’s a diner I had to get a tuna melt and fries. Like come on.

I liked the way this place was set up, you ordered from an Airstream trailer and then sat down and a lady called your name when the food was ready.

I think that maybe pre-COVID there wasn’t any outdoor dining and you probably had to wait in line for a while at this place to get a table at that time of day, 11:30am on a Sunday when everyone is heading home the same way.

But it’s not the case now because people eat their food pretty quick and leave because they’re cold.

SILVER LININGS OR WHATEVER.

the drinks.

It’s fall. It’s the weekend. It’s a fall weekend upstate and you should probably have a few drinks. Okay well, I drank a ton, as I considered this to be a vacation weekend in addition to a fall weekend.

It was!

First drink was in the Bronx. I was in the Bronx because I was meeting my friend up there to get on the road as she was coming from Long Island and I was coming from Jersey City. I took the green train (4,5,6) to Mt. Eden station. I have no idea what part of the Bronx that is and still have no idea. My Bronx knowledge is limited.

I exited the subway platform and found the first bar/lounge/whatever I could find. I sat down. I ordered a mango mojito. OMG I could not wait for this mango mojito.

The waiter brought the mojito. I sipped it. IT WAS VERY SALTY. In my mind I thought it was SUPPOSED to be salty for some reason? Sometimes on the street in NYC I see ladies selling mangoes with like, chili powder on them? I think that’s what it is. So I tried my best to think that the mojito was along those lines. I took a few more sips and then the waiter came out and was like, “LOLOL sorry I used salt instead of sugar!” and took it inside.

I was fully ready to drink an entire salty mojito and not even complain because I wanted to be respectful and I need you to know that.

That evening with the cheese plate we had rose and also this delicious beer I only just discovered there in their fridge, Zero Gravity Green State Lager.

The next morning as we prepared for a hike we packed another of these beers at my host pal’s suggestion. “It’s fun to crush a beer after a hike!” (I’m paraphrasing but I did indeed “crush” said beer after the hike).

Saturday afternoon we went to West Kill Brewery and that’s getting its own section so please read on.

Saturday evening at Urban Cowboy, scene of a scene, I of course had a cocktail but I forget what was in it. The bar it was served from was very intricate and beautitful and I felt not worthy of it.

Last memorable drink was the adult milkshake I got a Phoenicia Diner. OMG it was so incredibly good. It was called Sugar Shake Shack and I don’t know what was in it so you’ll have to go there to find out.

the farm market.

Saturday morning was rainy but we still felt drawn to the Lexington Farmers’ Market. It was the last one of the season! It couldn’t be missed! I’m not even being sarcastic, my friend did have to stock their freezer for the winter with $100 worth of meat. It was an impressive undertaking.

As I mentioned we got the free bread here.

I also got some Xmas gifts DO NOT TELL. But I may have gotten them from Arc Ceramics and all of their stuff was really beautiful so it was hard to choose! They also had a sale on a bunch of stuff so that made it easier. To choose.

There were a number of farms there and I got some cheese and chapstick from Heather Ridge Farm.

Mushrooms are proven freaks and creep me out but if you DO like mushrooms they had many different kinds available as seen below. I think if you like them this is a pretty cool situation so I’ll let you have that for now.

We got some coffee cake here too but it wasn’t our favorite. We’re sorry.

Great farmers’ market overall. Keep up the good work. I guess not until next year when you open again. Keep it up either way.

the hike.

We hiked to Kaaterskill Falls and holy hell this hike was insane. “A hike” is a defining component of a fall weekend upstate and of upstate life in general. Everyone be hiking.

At first we tried to park right by the top of the falls and there was a line of cars waiting for other cars to leave the lot and a guy down the street charging $20 to park at his house. This really rubbed me the wrong way, the $20 guy.

Either way there was no way in hell we wanted any part of waiting for hours or paying $20 so we found a different (free) parking lot and entrance at the Kaaterskill Rail Trail.

The hike started tame enough as it was simply along on old rail trail. Hence the name, the Kaaterskill Rail Trail. It was flat and simple but there were a lot of roots/old railroad woods and I kept tripping. Eventually I got my shit together and luckily I did because WTF THIS TRAIL GOES TO THE TOP OF A WATERFALL THAT IS HUGE.

As with most waterfalls you can hear Kaaterskill Falls before you see it.

Once you can kind of see it through the trees, there appears before you a viewing platform that at this point in history you must wait in line to stand on. We joined the line and waited.

During this wait I left the line to walk on the edge under the platform and get a look at the falls from there. I easily could have fallen to my death. This place is terrifying.

During the wait we came across an informational sign and it said there used to be a hotel at the top of the waterfall. WHAT KIND OF INSANE IDEA IS THAT?! It’s not there anymore but allegedly some of the foundation remains. The idea that there was a hotel here chills me to the bone.

What was even MORE chilling was the fact that once we got our chance for a photo op on the platform, and timed ourselves for the 45 seconds that we thought were acceptable according to an unspoken social contract, we headed up a small hill where you could JUST WALK OUT TO THE TOP OF THE WATERFALL. You could walk down some rocks, and you could STAND RIGHT ON THE EDGE.

The full drop to your death is right where the water is flowing in the lower left corner.

WHY WAS THIS ALLOWED?!

The whole time I was feeling weird and like I was tempting fate but I was also really enjoying the leaf peeping from this height so I went along with it. There were a TON of people, most of them the youth, inching ever closer to the edge for the perfect photo. I attempted to talk myself out of feeling weird and tell myself that it had to be fine, since we were allowed to be here and it wasn’t restricted in any way.

Turns out we were NOT allowed to be there and on the way out we climbed over a little part of a fence surrounding the area that had been knocked down. OMG ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS TOP OF WATERFALL ACTIVITY. Before the hike we had discussed how people have died there (omg watch the drone vids at that link, terrifying). And I was like, “Psh how do people even die there?” BUT I GUESS THIS IS HOW PEOPLE EVEN DIE THERE.

I CRUSHED my packed beer very soon after.

the beer.

Speaking of beer, West Kill Brewing is amazing and deserves its own section.

Also I just realized I can embed Instagram posts and I may have overdosed on it. For example look at this brewery cat! I saw him there but he was working so I didn’t want to bother him. But he’s truly a beautiful beast.

Omg wait, HE has an Instagram I MUST follow him.

West Kill Brewery is seemingly in the middle of the woods, like everything upstate. The brewery building is up on a hill and in front of it is a clearing. People park in the clearing BUT ALSO since it is COVID time everyone was kind of hanging out outside lounging around on the hill/clearing. It was great! They had a food tent too but we already ate.

Additionally they had some really fun merch that was IRRESISTIBLE. We all got beer coozies and two of us got a really cute long sleeve shirt that I wore constantly for the following 2 days.

As far as the beer, it was good! I’m going to go ahead and admit that for me beer is beer. Like, it’s fine. I got this Buck Fever lager pictured above and below. I’ve been a strictly Pilsner drinker lately but the Pilsner ran out. WERE THEY MESSING WITH ME?! Maybe. But the lager was fine and I really liked the art on the can. All of the cans had good art!

It was a super cool place to hang out. There were a ton of dogs and even some small children on the run. We couldn’t figure out who they belonged to but also we didn’t really care. Let ’em run, I guess. Some were even climbing trees! I don’t know, it was kind of weird. Not the brewery’s fault though.

They had an outdoor fire pit that was VERY NICE to sit next to and we all really enjoyed smelling like fire the rest of the day. Not sarcasm, WE LOVED IT. You could also see into a kind of valley and PEEP THEM LEAVES.

Loving the parking lot.

I wanted to stay longer but we had things to do.

the night time.

After the brewery we headed back to the cabin to change into night time outfits.

I was probably the only one concerned about a “night time outfit” but my friends kindly indulged me and that’s why they’re my friends.

After a glass or two of rose at home, we headed over to Urban Cowboy.

Urban Cowboy is the kind of place that I’m surprised they even let me in. It’s just so lovely and beautifully decorated and perfect. How does a place look this great?! I don’t know how they do it.

But like, look at this bar. WITH TREES GROWING NEXT TO IT. THE BEAUTY IS MIND BLOWING. I CANNOT.

We got some delish cocktails and went out and sat by the fire. My one pal is pregnant though and asked about a mocktail and was met with some…I don’t want to say disdain but it wasn’t the most encouraging response. Maybe I’m just used to the mocktail scene in Jersey City because they love making some mocktails, even with CBD! I don’t know if pregnant people can consume CBD but it’d be a lot cooler if they did. I was momentarily annoyed by the bartender’s seeming mocktail aversion/disregard but now I forget what even happened. I hope she got the mocktail. Maybe she got a lemonade or something? Unfortunately I forget because I was too busy looking at this taxidermy bear with a hat on that I really regret not getting a picture of.

Outside by the fire we lounged and drank drinks and it was lovely and quiet. Until some random guy started talking to us. I think he had also been drinking some drinks, likely a considerable amount of drinks as he was also on vacation so like why not. I don’t remember what he said but I do remember that we were like <eye roll>. Eventually he and his gf headed off to dinner and we were left with another odd couple. I actually think they were probably fine I just don’t like strangers.

We headed inside to get some Roberta’s pizza before it closed for the night and it was INCREDIBLE. I haven’t had Roberta’s for a while! It hasn’t really been feasible to travel to Bushwick, and the Mad Sq Eats food event outside my work where I usually get it has also not been happening this year. BECAUSE COVID. So it was great to really relish and enjoy a Bee Sting. Because it is everything I love about the world of pizza.

They also had a ton of merch at this place and I lost my mind and got this bracelet.

So that’s it! That’s the trip! Although the trip was the time of my life it took me days to write this blog post so good riddance. I don’t know why my brain doesn’t work anymore. I blame COVID for that too.

Do you ever enjoy a fall weekend upstate? Do you even like to go upstate? Where do you go? Where do you stay? What do you like most about it? What do you like least about it?

K see ya there on the scene.

outdoor baby shower.

Hey look it’s us! Of virtual bridal brunch fame! We’re back with an outdoor baby shower!

This past weekend we had an outdoor baby shower for my lil sis. The same lil sis we had a virtual bridal brunch for back in April.

We really wanted to have a gathering with actual people that were actually physically together. It felt important.

Of course we followed all the social distancing rules. Like why wouldn’t we? But that meant we had to have the shower NOW while it’s still warm enough for people to hang out in the outdoors and before there is a huge fall spike in COVID cases, as predicted.

So we had to have the shower a bit early. My sister is due at the end of February, and usually a shower for that would happen in like…December? I don’t really know. But I do know it would happen a little later because most people look very pregnant in their shower pics. That’s really all I have to go off of.

My sister only looks kinda pregnant. Like you can tell she is but she’s not waddling around yet. That’s the usual shower look. BUT NOT AT THIS SHOWER BECAUSE WE HAD TO GET THAT SUCKER DONE BEFORE THE WORLD PRESUMABLY SHUTS DOWN AGAIN.

Cutie 💕

MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES AS THE GREAT LAURA INGALLS WILDER SAID, OR MAYBE IT WAS HER DAD, AND I WORE MY COWBOY BOOTS DAMMIT.

Cowboy boots.

So we planned it out, and by “we” I mean my mom and my sister’s mother in law, and I think we did okay. I THINK WE DID GREAT.

These things are always difficult and complex to wrangle, even when you’re not in the midst of a global pandemic. There are just so many moving parts. At one point I thought I’d be good at this shit because I spent so many years “producing”…aka literally orchestrating other people’s lives like they were my own personal marionettes.

Gift haul.

But it’s still hard. It’s a lot of planning! And plotting! And pondering! JEEZUZ I AM EXHAUSTED.

Anyway here’s what we did.

decorations.

The baby is a girl, so as far as decorations we had some pink things like plates, tablecloths, and balloons. Beyond that it wasn’t overly cutesy.

Nicest deck ever.

The shower was held at my sister’s mother in law’s house (my mother in law, in law?) and she did an awesome job of decorating with hay and pumpkins and scarecrows.

It was seasonally appropriate! And adorable! I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the little scarecrow babies.

There were also pumpkins there that they grew in their own backyard and as you can imagine I was PUMPED AF about that. Pumpkins in their own backyard?! Wahooo!!!!

games.

Okay I’m going to be honest about this. No one likes games. No one wants to play games at a baby shower or at any shower or party overall across the universe.

I’m sorry I had to be that direct. But no one likes games. I personally despise games but I made an effort to infuse some games into the party and was met with a flaming pile of disinterest.

We did play one game where people get an ice cube with a tiny plastic baby bottle inside and the first person whose ice melts screams, “My water broke!” and then they win a prize. Luckily one of the kids present won the game and the prize.

BECAUSE GAMES ARE FOR KIDS.

Do kids even like them?

(Not the kid that won)

Anyway after one game I decided we wouldn’t do the second game because no one showed much interest in the first one.

I was proud of my ability to read the (outdoor) room and pivot on a moment’s notice.

You’re welcome.

foods.

THERE WERE SO MANY FOODS AT THIS PARTY.

Our mom made stromboli, which is my most favorite thing that she ever makes. I ate like 5 pieces. I’m sorry.

My sister’s mother in law made meatballs and stuffed cabbage. I meant to try the stuffed cabbage because I’ve never had it! But I didn’t get to. I really blew it. Hopefully she makes it again at a future family function FINGERS CROSSED.

There were a ton of desserts and I ate two of each. I was saving up my full week of dessert consumption, 6 days worth of desserts, for this party. I didn’t feel well afterwards but it was worth it.

Look at these cute little net tents to keep flies off the food! Perfect for an outdoor baby shower, if you ask me. And you’re here, so you did.

notes to baby.

There is all kinds of baby shower stuff online and you can’t do a “baby shower stuff that doesn’t suck” Google search without coming across something like these.

These little lists are cute and give prompts and require minimal effort, a perfect combo! We passed them out to the guests to fill out while it was present opening time so they had something to do besides gawk at my sister and her husband while she opened presents.