weekend recap

Friday night, celebrating my birthday with some of the moms from the beans’ class, moms who’ve become my friends. I truly enjoy each of them and like them all as women, yes, but also as mothers. There. I’ve said it; I like the way they parent. And shouldn’t we surround ourselves with the best examples? I want to enrich my life by having friends who can mentor me, people to whom I can look to emulate, as mothers, as wives, as whole people. Plus, they make me laugh. We ate at Toku in Manhasset, passing plates of Peking Duck salad over dishes of Miso Cod, picking over sushi rolls, and plucking for rock shrimp tempura, all whilst keeping at our cocktails. It was a delicious night.

On Saturday morning, after waving goodbye to our invisible witches at home, we made wicked time and met friends and family at an apple orchard in Riverhead, NY, complete with a dozen varieties of apples, pony rides, kettle corn and caramel apples, a petting zoo, and a hardcore corn maze, where I managed NOT to lose Abigail for once.

Make Your Own CandleWantedArchery
Target Practice
Cousin Huggin'
I squealed more than once, turning to Phil to tell him how happy I was, how we were making such scrumptious memories. It’s my idea of everything Autumn should be. Except it wasn’t cold enough for hot cider, and the leaves haven’t really changed, haven’t fallen, enough to call it Fall. You know what that means: Pumpkin Picking Part Deux.

Yesterday, I showed up to brunch with wet hair, meeting Dulce, Smelly, and Amy for a birthday brunch at David Burke Kitchen, where tears were shed. Food tears over how joyous it all was, friend tears, thankful tears, not a one baby tear.

A pumpkin muffin stuffed with cranberry cream cheese. Grapefruit brulee (I taught my Girl Scouts to make this at home with my blow torch!). And a red velvet cake with cherry compote. We loved the presentation of the simple syrups for our wind-down iced teas, following our proper brunch boozing.

Onward, Dulce and I window-shopped and made a mad dash to MiN New York, a perfume atelier with niche fragrance brands (but a disappointing way of treating customers, I eventually came to learn after a twitter exchange with Mindy Yang). Oh, how we loved Alejandro, and all the samples he insisted we take. “You have to live with it for at least a few hours. Try, try, try.” I love niche perfume houses, for the most part, because it means I won’t be wearing what everyone else is… even though, sometimes the big league LVMH scents aren’t given a fair chance because of exactly that reason. So, martyr that I am, I try them all.
MiN New York Perfume Store
After MiN, we hotfooted it to Aedes de Venustas. The woman working there was tight lipped, showing us only the most expensive scents upwards of $250. She didn’t bother to make a lineup, and we had to ask for samples. Even the gentlemen there, when I asked for a Vanilla Rose, curious if he’d show me ones similar to those Alejandro showed me, he gave up before he began saying, “It doesn’t exist because vanilla always overpowers rose.” Lie. There are rose scents with vanilla base notes. In short, we didn’t trust their recommendations. Once nose fatigue set in, we walked the city streets before hugging our goodbyes… until this coming Sunday, when we head to Hill Country BBQ for Live Band Karaoke to celebrate her mid-year birthday (her real birthday falls on December 31st).

Rose Perfumes

At MiN New York, Left to Right: Attar De Roses by Keiko Mecheri, Mogador by Keiko Mecheri, Rose Opulente by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Whips and Roses by Kerosene, 3 Fleurs by Parfum D’Empire, Attar by Montale

Chobani SoHo Cafe

I couldn’t resist a stop at Chobani SoHo Cafe on my way home. Pistachio + Chocolate. Fig + Walnut + Clover Honey. Smoked Salmon, Lemon Juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flake Salt, Dill and Bagel Chips!

Above, the line outside a coffee shop. And people say it’s a cliche that New Yorkers dress in black.

Come, Go, Leave. It’s what I thought, as I walked the street shown above. A welcoming red door, enticing you to come. The red stop sign. The red Vespa to get on with it. More photos from my day here»



  1. Love, love, love all the photos. It sounds like you had an amazing, New York kinda weekend. I am in the early stages of planning a few days over Christmas with my red-headed, 15 1/2 year old daughter. It will be her first time although she has already decided that NYC is where she will live, LOL! Must send you an email for suggestions on where to take her. I think she would fall in love with MiN.

    Happy belated birthday!!

  2. Thanks for the recs. I’m a rose person too. Not an niche line girl though. Perfume junky! Favorite is stella. I like the citrus and the rose. Its not thst rosewater old lady rose that I’m not a fan of. LOVE little samples with fresh juice sprayed in. Sephora always will if you ask.

  3. I know this isn’t the point of your post but have you ever done a post on what kind of camera you’d recommend for beginners? How you got started taking pictures and taught yourself along the way? What photo editing software to use? I have a 6 month old new baby (our first) and I’m really wanting to get a DSLR but am terrified to buy the wrong thing or get one home and not be able to use it!

    1. Author

      All good questions with lots of answers. I took a photography class, learned on film (slide transparency actually), but I recommend taking a good digital class. BUT before you do this, you must buy a DSLR. I’m not up on the best model, as I’m not shopping for one. But this previous PHOTOGRAPHY 100 post of mine should help!

  4. Which rose scent did you end up liking best? Thank you so much for sharing this (MiN New York) store.. I think I am going to order some of those $5 samples :)

    1. Author

      I think I like the Whips & Roses best, but it’s not your typical rose at all. It’s as if you just clipped a rose stem off with a hedge clipper, then smelled the stem. Not sure. I am enjoying the vanilla rose because it makes me want to snuggle. Jury is still out, as my favorite is still Fleur de The’ Rose Bulgare by Creed. Can’t help it. I’m still working my way through all my samples. I liked the opening notes of the By Kilian fragrances (Playing with the Devil and Liaisons Dangereuses) but neither of them wow’d me with their dry downs, no great lasting impression.

  5. Thanks so much for the response! The vanilla rose sounds delicious. Which one was that? I checked the notes in each perfume you mentioned, but didn’t see it. Maybe I missed it?

  6. Loved the post! Adored the photos! Straight Up and Dirty is one of my favorite books. I’m currently reading and loving Moose, which encouraged me to revisit your site after 6 busy months. Of course, now the next few days will be spend reclined and clicking through your latest posts until I bump into ones I recognize. Thank you for your inspiration!

  7. hi Stephanie, I love your writing! I just finished reading moose and really enjoyed it. But my all time favorite will always be straight up and dirty, it changed my life in so many ways and I can’t thank you enough for it. Are you living in NY again?

    1. Author

      Thanks so much Aaisha. Yes, we’re back in New York! We love it (though we miss Austin). Again, thank you for reaching out and for the kind words.

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