Tomorrow I'll turn 29. It feels like it was just yesterday we were cutting into my cake from La Patasserie Choquette at Urban Chestnut last August. But I'm not apprehensive about turning another year older. With the tragedies I cover on a regular basis, sometimes I feel like mortality would be something I think about more often. But for me, all it makes me realize is that life is short and you've got to live it up as best you can. As cliche as that sounds, it's just the way I see things. And these last 12 months have been no different. Getting older hasn't yet seemed scary because each year continues to be better than the last. Here's 28 things that made this year so special.
1. Moving in with my boyfriend. It was one of those moments that I could have easily talked myself out of. It was very soon, but the cards fell in the right place at the right time and we took the chance. It was the best decision ever.
2. The most incredible trip to Italy. Go now, start planning, just put the Amalfi Coast on your list.
3. Learning to meditate. Its something I am by no means great at. But I've found taking the moment to count to 10 to calm me down, or breath deeply when my anger wants to take over have made a big difference.
4. Reading more. I've fallen behind a bit, but I've already surpassed last year's book count. I blame my slacking on getting Hulu...those OC reruns have been keeping me up late...
5. New friends. There's nothing like finding girls that get you. And you're never too old to make new friends. I have to credit my favorite app, Instagram, for connecting me with some pretty incredible St. Louis girls.
6. Seeing my sisters more. Both my sisters live away from me but this year we made an extra effort to squeeze in more trips back and forth to each other.
7. On that note, New Year's Eve with my sisters! We threw a party together and it was so special.
8.. Snow mobiling in Tahoe. Hands down one of the most fun things I've ever done.
9. The Women's March. I covered it from a social media perspective for work, but politics aside, it was pretty incredible to see thousands of women (and men) marching together in support of women's rights.
10. Handmaid's Tale on Hulu. Easily the best thing I watched on TV all year.
11. But also Stranger Things. Can't wait for that to come back.
12. Covering the Presidential Debate. I always love covering politics and covering one of the biggest events of the election that happened right here in St. Louis was pretty neat.
13. Getting involved. I joined the CWE Association Board and Young Ambassadors of YWCA and I am so glad to finally be getting back into more regular volunteer work. It makes my heart happy.
14. Sardella, Vicia and Vista Ramen. These restaurants have made my year and my LIFE better.
15. Harry Potter at the St. Louis Symphony. It was straight up magical and I can't wait to see Chamber of Secrets this fall.
16. Miami with Matt. It was our first trip together (besides traveling with his family) and it was so much fun to see his old life there. And tacos, duh.
17. Katie and David's wedding. There is nothing like watching to people you've known forever finally tie the knot. It was a special night surrounded by some of my oldest friends.
18. Buying a new car. My FIRST car. I've always had hand-me down cars which was always 100% fine by me. But it was pretty exciting signing papers and pulling away from that lot with one I bought myself.
19. The Emmy's. I didn't walk away with a gold statue but it really was an incredible honor to be nominated for a story that was very special. There's always next year...
20. Riding a bike again. I never realized that impulse buy at Maplewood Bike's would make such a difference. I have loved riding again and I love that I can basically give up my car on the weekends.
21. More good news stories. I love covering breaking news, but I'm so excited I've had the chance to contribute more to our Imagine a Better St. Louis series. From Arch Apparel to Anew Nature to a fun story about the CWE farm coming soon, these stories sparky my passion for St. Louis.
22. Christmas. This was my first Christmas off in four years and getting to share it not only with my family but Matt's was incredible special. Even if it did mean four different stops...
23. Weekend trips. I am the queen of long weekend trips. It's one of the ways I travel so much. From New York to Lake Tahoe to a long weekend in Rioja, this was a good year for quick vacations.
24. Cooking more! I have stepped up my game and really have started to learn more in the kitchen.
25. Head and the Heart Concert. It was incredible.
26. Learning how to crossword. Its become my favorite part of Sundays. I can't yet do one on my own, but Matt's teaching me the tips and tricks.
27. Live on HLN. Capturing a crazy interview with the widow of the KKK leader landed me my first spot on network television. Perhaps it won't be the last...
28. But the biggest lesson of the last year is realizing there's more than one path to happiness. It's a lesson I struggle with, but more and more I am accepting that there's not just one path, not just one passion, not just one love. There are several and you can't choose wrong. There are probably an infinite number of choices that could lead to happiness, and sometimes giving up one dream means it opens the way for another. Or maybe it's not giving it up, maybe it's taking a longer route to get there, or realizing you don't want to go that way anymore. But here's to another year of figuring it all out.
I have always loved theme parties. From summer camp to college, I was always down to dress up for a party. By the end of college I had collected a serious costume box. But as you get older it seems costume parties just don't seem to happen as often. I for one think that needs to change. Thankfully I got the chance to dress up over the weekend thanks to the Pat Connolly Tavern. My friend Kate invited me to the VIP party to celebrate the Dogtown institution's 75th anniversary. The Irish bar has been a classic spot in the area since the 40s, so what better way to celebrate their birthday than with a 40's bash?
I was so impressed with all the fun costumes, I wish I had gone all out because hello! How often do you get to wear a hat? But I donned my circle skirt, red lip and tried my best at a 40's inspired up-do (spoiler alert, it did not come out like the YouTube video). Classic cars outside made for the perfect Instagram background and live music made us feel like we were right in the middle of the Notebook. But the best part was trying all their classic cocktails. With all the great cocktail bars in St. Louis, Pat's isn't one I often think of, but that all changed the moment I tried their Ward 24. Jameson, real grenadine, lemon and orange juice create the perfect boozy yet refreshing drink for summer. Of course you can never go wrong with a classic Manhatten. So if you missed the party don't fret, head on down to Pat's one night for a cocktail, and maybe don a hat for old time's sake.
Well it's been a while since my last #ToDoInTheLou post but I'm bringing it back! There are just too many fun events always going on around our city and so often people ask me what fun things I'm getting into. So here is a look at just a handful of things happening this weekend and where you will likely see me out and about!
Yoga at Eckerts: Does anything say summer more clearly than Eckert's peaches? Take advantage of what will be a gorgeous weekend with yoga outside at Eckerts. Yoga Buzz is putting on one of their fun outdoor yoga sessions and you get a bag of the most perfect peaches included in your ticket. Plus custard! Can't go wrong. Saturday 7/29 9am
The Pat Connolly Tavern 75th Birthday: I can't wait to done my 40's best and rock my old Hollywood waves Saturday night. The party is sold out but the after-party (kicking off at 11:00!) is open to the public. Pat's opened in 1942 and is one of the oldest operating bars in St. Louis, come celebrate the Dogtown favorite with classic cocktails and live music! Saturday 7/29 11pm Info here.
STL Women's Pop Up Shop: What better way to get some shopping in while also supporting some badass St. Louis makers? Check out the pop up shop featuring more than two dozen local boss babes. From Red Lettered Goods adorable prints to the gorgeous candles from Twinkle Brews, this is a pop-up I definitely don't want to miss. Saturday 7/29 10am-3pm at Lemon Gem in the Grove.
Beer Brunch at Vista Ramen: I've been wanting to check out the brunch at Vista Ramen for a while now and this weekend they are doing a beer brunch in collaboration with Hop Shop. Its just one of the many events kicking off St Louis Craft Beer Week and sounds like a delicious way to spend your Sunday! 7/30 10am Info and menu here.
Nudo House Opening; Speaking of ramen!! The long anticipated Nudo House STL is finally opening their doors in Creve Coeur. There's very little that will take me out to West County in terms of food but Qui Tran's ramen definitely will. Their menu was just posted to their Facebook page and besides for the ramen, everything looks amazing. I'm sure it will be packed this weekend but for a taste of those noodles, I'm willing to wait. Info on hours here.
Happy Weekend-ing friends! I'd love to hear about what events you're heading to this weekend!
Is Tuesday too early to start dreaming about Sunday brunch?
Yeah I don't think so either. You all know I have an ongoing list of restaurants I want to try and I swear every time I check one off another gets added! Turn recently opened in the .ZACK building in Midtown. .ZACK is a multi-purpose event space, there's also a new cocktail lounge, Sophie's Artist Lounge and Cocktail Lounge, that opened that I want to check out! The coolest thing about Turn is that it's record themed. The chef and owner used to be a DJ and the walls are decorated with records and there's a solid playlist of music streaming throughout the restaurant.
The cocktails were tasty and there were some unique breakfast offerings. We started with the paloma and mimosa to drink. Fresh squeezed juices take the cocktails up a notch. And of course I've never been able to pass up a biscuit and Turn offers a whole flight of them. The lemon-lavender biscuit was my favorite, with honey and seasonal jams.
The dill hollandaise on the L.E.O was a nice twist on the traditional eggs benedict. My boyfriend got the arepa which was the perfect savory breakfast, spicy chorizo with a yummy chili verde. There was an attention to detail on every dish that I appreciated and would expect from the chef who used to work at Cafe Osage (another brunch spot favorite!). The great thing is that this is another spot that now serves brunch during the week! They're open Tuesday-Sunday. But if you're out for Sunday brunch and you feel like continuing your day in Midtown, I suggest walking over to Urban Chestnut's beer garden for a complete Sunday Funday! Is it the weekend yet?
Well we are SOME how already in middle July. Where in the world did this year go? I'm just weeks away from my 29th birthday and I feel like I just celebrated 28. But I always feel like its important to check in on those little new years resolutions at this time. And I'm doing...ok. Check out my resolutions here.
There are two that I am definitely kicking butt on. First, travel to a new city. Check and check! My Italy trip took me to several new cities and it was incredible. From small towns to bigger ones, it was such an incredible adventure. I still want to hit up a couple of new spots here in the states. I just returned from Cape Cod for a wedding and its so beautiful up there. I really would love to make it out to California this year and visit a new part of wine country or go hiking. The camping trip on my resolutions still needs to happen...
The other resolution that is going strong is working on growing my Instagram following. I started the year with around 1500 and a couple weeks ago I went over 2000. Its not a massive growth but I know it's organic. The biggest thing I've done I think is incorporated more hashtags. I can 100 percent tell the difference when I use hashtags. Also I've done what I want others to do, and that's comment and follow other like minded Instagrammers. From fellow reporters to food bloggers to girls that have similar aesthetics, it really is all about building a community. And as someone who's made several real life friends through Instagram its such an incredible community.
The next resolution I am going to check off my life (for both this year and last...) is to FINALLY take that photography class. In fact I think I'm going to go sign up for one right this moment. There's no time like the present right? How are you doing on your resolutions? Have you gone back and checked in on them? And if you're struggling, well we're only half way through with the year, plenty of time!
Happy Friday friends! We made it! In the TV business there is no such thing as a holiday weekend, so no shortened week for this reporter, but it was a fun one. I got to cover Fair St. Louis for three days and while it was hot and crazy reporting in all four shows, its not a bad gig to listen to music, watch fireworks and eat funnel cake while getting paid for it. But I am seriously looking forward to a relaxing weekend hanging out with family and friends, and FINALLY editing all my Italy photos. Currently starting that process with a glass of rosé and some cherries. Anyone else obsessing over the summer fruit and vegetables? Like I am eating zucchini every day and gobbling up as many cherries and peaches as my heart desires. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I promise to have those Italy guides up on the blog soon!
Its officially summer! And I am back from vacation after eating my weight (and then some) in pasta and gelato, so that means it's salad time. This is one of my favorite salads to whip up when it's too dang hot to turn on the oven or even the grill. It's inspired by a similar salad on How Sweet Eats blog and can easily be customized with what's in season. I cannot wait for our garden to get going because this is even more incredible when the zucchini and tomatoes are picked fresh.
I keep thinking about all the incredible tomatoes in Italy. We had a caprese salad almost every day. I can't wait to share more about the trip in an upcoming post. We had the most incredible time, and there were so many things I wish I had known before going. But I have so many photos to edit and I'm still crazy jet lagged so the post will come soon I promise!
Back to this salad. The honey-lime-garlic dressing Jessica from How Sweet Eats made is what takes it over the edge. And its great to bring for lunch at work because the longer it sits, the longer the chickpeas soak in the deliciousness of the dressing. And after vacation, I definitely need to be bringing my lunch to work...
Chickpea + zucchini + tomato salad
Mix the chickpeas, zucchini, tomatoes and shallot in a bowl.
In a sauce pan, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and minced garlic. Heat over low heat, whisking until the garlic starts to sizzle. Take it off the stove and pour over the other ingredients. Top with fresh basil. Let sit in fridge for a half hour (or longer!) to let dressing adsorb. Enjoy!
Can we just talk about how I realize how old I'm getting when I stay out after work and have two beers and feel like death the next morning? Anyone else? College me would be so disappointed. Well this morning was especially rough because I woke up bright and early for a 7am yoga class. I almost silenced the alarm and went back to bed, but I am SOO glad I didn't. It was a free yoga class at the brand new Kiener Plaza. (If you haven't been yet, go, it's gorgeous.)
The organization Yoga Buzz put on the free sunrise yoga class and it was so amazing to see so many people wake up to do a little good for their bodies. Have you ever heard of Yoga Buzz? It's an organization working to make yoga accessible for all. I recently did a story about their latest endeavor on KMOV. I mentioned it in my Daily Delights post last week but wanted to share more.
They are creating a living yoga studio at Earth Dance Organic Farm School in Ferguson. (Another awesome community treasure, check out their gorgeous produce at the Ferguson Farmer's Market). They are revamping a green house into a yoga studio with a "carpet" of plants and herbs. How fun does that sound!?! They will have a couple of work days to help create the space throughout the summer, you can find info here (and donate!), with the hopes of it being completed by fall.
BUT in the meantime, don't fret, they are helping get our minds and bodies ready for summer for FREE several times a week, They will be doing the Kiener Plaza yoga classes once a month this summer and the last two weeks I've been going to their free lunch class at the Cortex Commons. It was a perfect mid-day escape. A half hour of yoga on the lawn, surrounded by sunshine, the smell of coffee roasting at Ronnoco, and the sound of the Metrolink whistle blowing. They also have a free class at Ballpark Village on Wednesday evenings. But so far the early morning class has been my favorite. There is nothing like watching the sun rise over the Arch.
Thanks to Yoga Buzz, I checked off the first item on my Spring Bucket list! With summer quickly approaching I need to step up my game to check off all my goals!
Summer has officially arrived in St. Louis. We've had the heat, the humidity and the crazy storms this week. While I don't love being sweaty at work, I honestly love the blanket of humidity that hits you when you walk outside in St. Louis. Yes...I realized I am probably alone in this this. But Monday night we went for late night drinks after work and I love that it's still 80 degrees at night. I'm also one of those people who waits until its completely unbearable to turn the AC on. I just love have the windows open! Anyone else with me on that? I know once my boyfriend gets home this weekend that will change, he does not like to be hot. So this week I have totally been taking the time to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather, whether it was a meeting outside at the new Kaldi's in the CityGarden or savoring every bite of the most amazing ice cream sandwhich from ChaCha Chow. My friends and I also went to an outdoor yoga class (for free!) at the Cortex Commons. Speaking of free yoga, one of my favorite stories this week was about the collaboration between Yoga Buzz and Earth Dance Organic Farms. They creating a Living Yoga Studio in a greenhouse! How cool is that? Watch the story here.
Happy Friday friends, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
"I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance." - Nora Ephron.
Nora Ephron so perfectly sums up New York for me. It's a city that steals a little bit more of my heart every time I visit. It's a city I'm not sure I could live in, but it's one of my absolute favorite places in the world to visit. And you don't need a long visit to become swept away in the sights and sounds of the city. I've never been to New York for more than four days at a time, so I always divide and conquer. Don't try to see everything in a few days, pick a part of the city and really experience it. It wasn't until my fourth visit that I ever saw the Statue of Liberty. This trip, the focus was Lower Manhattan.
My dad and I arrived Friday morning for our whirlwind 48 hour visit to see my sister. She lives in Brooklyn so we often spend a lot of time over there when I visit (which I LOVE), but this time, we stayed in Union Square and only once went above 59th Street. We dropped off our bags at our hotel, W Union Square, and feeling famished after an early morning flight we were thrilled to see the farmer's market in Union Square filled with amazing options. We opted for some sweet pastries to hold us over before lunch and then headed straight for the High Line. The High Line is an elevated train track turned park and it is one of my favorite things to see. This trip was the first time seeing it in the spring and the landscaping and flowers made it even more beautiful. We started at the end near the Standard Hotel. (Last time we ended there, and the beer garden at The Standard is a MUST.) We walked to 27th street to meet my sister for lunch at the Hotel Americano. The restaurant inside the hip boutique hotel features French food with a Latin twist. High ceilings, modern decor, the space was gorgeous, and with a glass of wine for lunch, we were officially kicking off our New York weekend.
My sister works at an art gallery so after we walked her back to work we peeked our heads in a few of the galleries in Chelsea including the David Zwirner Gallery. You could spend a whole afternoon just seeing galleries.
But we wanted to see more of the city. Note about my dad, he's an old school guy, so armed with a printed out copy of the New York Time's walking tour of Greenwhich Village, we headed back south to Bleecker Street. The walking takes you up and down the streets of the Village, pointing out history of the buildings and hidden gems like the entrance to Chumley's, a prohibition era bar that was popular with famed writers like Steinbeck and Ginsberg. You'll pass by the new and the old, cute boutiques alongside famous restaurants, eventually ended up in Washington Park. Watch a round of chess in the park, or find a grassy spot to sit and rest your feet.
We walked back to our hotel, where we were greeted with complimentary prosecco in the lobby. We grabbed a seat at the bar of the restaurant inside the hotel, The Irvington, for a drink. A DJ was already spinning in the lobby area.
Dinner Friday night was at Gramercy Tavern. The Danny Meyer classic has long been on my list. The dining room is a prix-fixed menu, but the bustling bar area has tables and you can order a la carte off the menu. I was slightly disappointed in the service, but the food was exceptional. I wanted to lick every last drop from my shrimp and carrot stew. And the beignets for dessert were a dream. We tried to go to Dear Irving (a gorgeous bar with rooms based on historic time periods) for cocktails after dinner but it would have been a crazy long wait. Tip for the future, make a reservation. So instead we went to a wine bar next door and met up with two of my sorority sisters. Doesn't matter where you're drinking when you're catching up with old roommates.
Saturday morning we woke up to a monsoon. Not just rain, but a drenching downpour. Instead of hitting the farmer's market like we planned, we went to Covina for breakfast and then hopped in a cab to the Met. The museum was obviously everyone's rainy day activity, but the line outside moved quickly. It's been more than 10 years since I was in the Met and I didn't remember just how massive it was! We picked a few exhibits to hit including the Impressionists and European paintings. We also saw the incredible Temple of Dendur. Egypt gifted the temple to the US after we helped save it from the rising waters of the Nile, so it's a full temple in the middle of an incredible room in the Met. And I was so excite we were there for the Rei Kawakubo exhibit. Its the Costume Institute spring exhibition featuring the fashion designer's work (it was the theme of this year's Met Gala). It was incredible, the pieces demonstrate the balance of the "inbetween." It's a must-see.
The rain definitely squashed our plans for Central Park so instead we decided to check out the cookie dough place started by a St. Louis native that's been hugely popular since it opened. DŌ is right next to NYU, so we caught a cab back to the hotel and then walked over. There was a line but it moved quickly. Word of warning, the cookie dough is SWEET. I got the chocolate chip and sugar cookie and those were probably the best. My sister got peanut butter cookie and brownie batter and could barely have three bites. But good news is, you can take it home and bake it into cookies! Its all safe to eat since they use pasteurized eggs and heat treated flour.
To get out of the rain for a bit we walked down Bleecker to the Blind Tiger, a cozy craft beer bar with excellent selection. Then back to the hotel to change for dinner. We went to a new restuarant called Pig Bleecker, a modern take on southern food. It was small and packed, but in a good way. I had the brisket filled ravioli and it was perfection. Don't missed the grilled oysters with spicy garlic butter or the candied bacon. After dinner we headed uptown to a caberet! We usually always go to a Broadway show when we're in New York, so we wanted to try something different. We went to Feinstein's/54 Below. It was INCREDIBLE. The hour and fifteen minute show featured four signers performing Broadway hits from over the years. It was in a basement room with cocktail tables. We ordered Manhattan's (because duh.) and were delighted by the performance. My only complaint was that it wasn't long enough! I could have had three more hours of Broadway songs. A nightcap at the St. Regis hotel was the perfect way to end our New York night.
You can take in a lot in 48 hours, but don't forget to give yourself time to just experience a city, grab a coffee or a cocktail and just watch the city go by. My advice, pick a must-see for you (for us this trip it was the Met) and base your trip around that. What's your favorite part about New York? Tell me below and I'll add it to my list for next time!
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write a bit more about my passions.