Family Picnic

Funny story… while berry picking last weekend a friend of mine noticed a band around Luna’s toe. We thought a small string or hair got tangled around her toe, squeezing it very tightly and we spent a good two hours trying to get it off. We poked, pulled and prodded my poor baby’s toe and could never get a hold of whatever was tied tight around the middle of her toe. It didn’t take long for me to work myself into a frenzy and imagine Luna needing her toe amputated. We decided to call our plastic surgeon friend and he was kind enough to meet us at his office on a Sunday to take a look at her toe under some microscopic lenses. However, the second he looked at her toe he calmly said, “Oh, that’s just a restriction band she was born with it and it’s no big deal. There’s nothing tied around her toe. Seriously, nothing.”

“Um, could you look at it again…just to be sure.”

Talk about “Mom of the year”. The child is 4 months old and I never noticed this so-called restriction band. I was honestly hoping he’d find a hair around her toe just to save face. Whatever, I’m blaming it on sleep deprivation.

After our strawberry picking/plastic surgeon extravaganza we headed to the park for Luna’s first picnic. We were given a super cute picnic basket a couple of years ago and we finally put it to use. We laid out our blanket, took over a picnic table and relaxed because that’s what Sundays are all about, right?

picnic luna

We have taken Luna on walks around the park numerous times, but this was her first time to actually get out of her carseat/stroller. There’s a nice playground in the middle of the park and I just had to see if she would fit into one of the “baby swings”.

first swing

She is definitely too small to fit in the swing appropriately, and I’m not sure if she enjoyed it, but we still captured the moment on camera because it is a “first” after all. After her few minutes in a swing, we went back to our regular walks in the stroller.


Sundays seem to be the best day of every week. I love spending quality downtime with our family and friends…especially during summer. Bring on the pool, beach trips and weekend getaways!



Be Our Guest

I’ve been a little behind on the blogging this weekend and am likely to fall behind this week…We have guests, guests and more guests. Big surprise, right? We have more people stay with us than anyone I know. I’m pretty sure my neighbors think we are running a brothel. It’s also been suggested to us that we open a hostel. Not a bad idea, actually. We also had friends staying with us all of last weekend. It’s just been so busy, that I haven’t had more time to blog about it.

My friend Sara came into town. She’s been mentioned on the blog a number of times. We met her while working in Albania, she came to stay with us in NYC and has now been to Nashville a handful of times (although her boyfriend may have a lot to do with that). We love our Sara and could not wait for her to meet Luna.

meeting tia

Our weekend was a little less adventurous than it normally is when Sara comes to town, but we had a really nice time going on walks in this finally beautiful spring weather.

saraandsteve shrooms

look at those adorable baby feet!
look at those adorable baby feet!
big tree
woah, big tree

bridge blossom

We ate tons of great food, bought lemonade from the cutest little lemonade stand ever (buy 4 get one free!), got ice cream from Jeni’s (heck yeah!) and some more walking through parks. lemonade jeni's dandelion yellowleaves


We love having our friends come to stay. Good thing too because we will have people with us until next week. Hope we get to catch up soon…I’ve got more reviews, giveaways, anxiety attacks and adventures coming your way!




Silk Stockings and French Cafes

It’s that time again, time for another day in the shoes of Husband and Hilarie. The latest installment of Great Walks of NYC takes us all around our own neighborhood: The Upper East Side, or as the book calls it “The Silk Stocking District”. Apparently the wealthy residents that have historically resided here could always afford silk stockings, giving it it’s nickname. Presently, they should probably change the name to the “Bergdorf Goodman’s Shoes District”. Although, for the that rule to apply, Husband and I would have to move to a new neighborhood….or better yet, buy some fancier shoes.

Before the walk began we tried to visit Carnegie Hall, but they were closed due to construction. Luckily, there was an open fire hydrant to keep us distracted.

The first official stop on our walk was the “Metropolitan Club”. This club was started by J.P. Morgan (Did you know he died on the  Titanic!?!) This is basically a crazy fancy exclusive men’s-only club that was started in 1891 and still exists. These wealthy men come here to play cards, bowl in their private bowling alley, and smoke cigars….all for an expensive annual fee of course.

A few boring historical buildings later, we made it to the Temple Emanu-El. This is “grandest synagogue in the city”.  It supposedly is adorned with beautiful mosaics, but the doors were all locked, so we were only able to to appreciate the outside of the Temple.

Lately, all of these “walks” are mostly churches and historic buildings, which are beautiful and appreciated and whatnot, but after a while they are just boring. It’s like the time we took the walking tour in Rome…it was just church after church after church. Even though they were all incredible, they eventually started to blend together and I couldn’t remember one from another. That’s exactly what’s happening on our Manhattan walks. I needed a change…something a little more memorable.

Enter, The Bohemian National Hall! From the outside, this place looked like one more boring ol’ historical building. I daydreamed of running away to Sephora-land as Husband read me the description of “the most important Czech-American building in the country”. (Who cares???) While ignoring him, I noticed a sign on the door for an interactive exhibition and decided this would be a very welcome change in our tour.

The exhibition was free (awesome) and meant for children (even better). Every installation is meant to be played with, and the entire exhibit is meant to grow and change through series of events and interactions from guests. All of the installations either move, make noise, light up, or all of the above.

As we entered the exhibit we found a spiral staircase surrounded by tubes, lights, and funnels. People (children mostly) are supposed to drop marbles in all the different tubes at the top and watch as they roll down, make noises, and light up different areas.

I spent some time learning to play tiny cymbals nailed into the side of this log thingy.

Then, I taught myself to play the harp-a-ma-jig.

Whenever we got bored with the instrument installations, we took the elevator to the roof. The Bohemians must be very trusting. We were able to take the elevator to every floor, look around every room, and no one seemed to care where we trespassed walked.

When we left, I convinced Husband to ditch the book for a little while and take a coffee break with me at a local French cafe, Le Moulin a Cafe.  I had never been here before, but all the French girls I teach rave about how it’s the only place they’ll even consider eating a croissant. It’s located across the street from a private French school, and is the most authentic French cafe I’ve seen in NYC. On my lunch break I often see women dressed in black and white stripes, wearing buret’s, smoking long skinny cigarettes, pushing prams, and walking French poodles coming in an out of the cafe.

Okay, that’s a lie, BUT they’re coffee and croissants did taste tres bien!

After re-caffenating Husband was able to convince me to continue walking. We ended the walk at Carl Schurz Park on the East River. This park is small, but really pretty. It has two dog parks, a couple basketball courts, lots of greenery, and a really nice historic mansion…of course.

The walk turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. I am always surprised at the number of buildings I’ve never seemed to notice in my own neighborhood. If only we would have happened upon a reasonably priced one bedroom apartment for rent on our walk… That would have been just TOO easy.