Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 100 of 2014

Well, it has been forever since I wrote an entry! Probably because I will be starting a new blog in 2015 and 2014 was one insane roller coaster to be on. As per usual, I'd like to share my Top 100 of 2014, something I have been doing since 2007. I was going to retire the tradition, but after sitting with that decision today, I decided to buck up and figure out what I would consider my 'Top 100'. It was a weird wicked year, but I think I am ending it in a really great place. 

So here we go: 

100. Following every experience with gratitude set the tone for a year that was filled with the highest highs, and pretty low, lows. 

99. Probably the prettiest snow followed the first half of this year, and I loved every second of it. 

98. Yogi Tea and my new love of a cup of tea in the evening to settle my stomach and my mind. 

97. Ispy and my monthly new bag of make-up

96. Making more time to walk, get fresh air, and self care

95. Getting better at making more adult responsible decisions (gross). 

94. Cleaning out, purging, and getting rid of A LOT of the clutter 

93. Snapchat and all of the hilarity it continues to bring into our lives 

92. Crazy Crepe and their awesome catering 

91. Hot chocolate 

90. Crisp notebooks, and more effort in my writing ventures 

89. Traveling to Brooklyn more and exploring parts I never had before 

87. Taking myself on 'dates' to spend some time figuring out what I need, what I want and where to go from there

86. Long Island being a beautiful place to live 

85. Getting my hair waved and it lasting for almost 8 months of no blow drying or insane styling

84. Going blonde! 

83. Colored lipstick

82. Pizza. 

81. Anticipation 

80. Lowering expectations and learning when ones were just way too high 

79. My new camera lens for the New Year and just overall taking more and less pictures at the same time 

78. Veronica & Joey visiting 

77. NYC's restaurant week 

76. Learning how to use the subway system better

75. "Your number one better not be $10 on a Starbucks card" - Steev (he has a lot of faith in me) 

74. Seeing Imelda May twice and her being unbelievable 

73. Slippers and morning coffee 

72. Project Hope coming to an emotional and heartfelt close, me leaving knowing I was a good Leader, with an amazing team of beautiful people. I miss them every day. 

71. Setting limits with my cell phone. We needed some space. 

70. A growing belly :) 

69. A full body pillow 

68. Aromatherapy body lotion 

67. My Oswego gear from my awesome cousin Alyssa 

66. Buzzfeed and Bitstrips 

65. Amanda the Florist and her overall loveliness 

64. Feeling so much support from my family and friends when Paisley needed votes for countless things on-line. It was so gratifying knowing people believed in us. 

63. Facetiming with my little cousins, my little cousins in general - it's been a great year for cousins

62. Gilmore Girls and binge watching 

61. Netflix marathons 

60. My Catcher in the Rye print from Nicole 

59. Street Art & Doughnuts 

58. The Meetball Place

57. Unearthing a lot of old family photos and preserving them 

56. Causing a commotion in Victoria's Secret with our 'New Year's Tradition' 

55. The Rangers Making the Stanley Cup Finals 

54. Kaila's Sweet Sixteen 

53. The Mini-Van 

52. Max Brenner's with Nicole, Kjell and Steev to celebrate Paisley and how far we've come

51. Whole-Assing Everything

50. Viva Juans & Project Hope having a love/hate relationship and GREAT karaoke memories. 

49. The 'date jar' and exploring new places on Long Island and cooking new foods we never had before. 

48. The Walt Whitman Museum being charming, simple and just a lovely place to visit. 

47. The Redneck Louie-Q since it was hysterical and I got to wear my good denim 

46. Prospect Park and their free concerts outside in the gorgeous summer weather. 

45. Long visits at Tracey's Table, you really feel 'family' when you go to Tracey's 

44. Annie. because she's still the best dog ever 

43. Little kicks. Little rolls. Little bouts of pure joy. 

42. Voo-Doo Doughnut 

41. Easter Brunch, at City Cellar, not only delicious but a really nice touch to the holiday. 

40. Weekly dinners with my Dad (for the most part)

39. Salem in Halloween, our last actual Halloween there for a while 

38. Crazy Beans being my favorite new Breakfast place

37. Way more trips to Avalon with really awesome people

36. Pumpkin Picking and BBQ in Riverhead on a perfect fall day

35. Another magical Christmas with beautiful decorations, and fun Christmas Eve, a nostalgic Christmas and lots of love 

34. Traveling to CT with Katie to see Lana Del Rey in all of her moody glory - the road trip, weird lunch, and concert is now one of my favorite memories. 

33. Another pretty, fun, and full of laughter trip to Lake George 

32. My cousins in general, they are the greatest. 

31. My Brother's Paintings 

30. Alyssa's 20th Birthday in the city - the bad Italian place, finding Alice's Teacup, dealing with weird comedians, and just an overall wonderful day out with my awesome cousins

29. Visiting Cedar Point for a whole Saturday of Family Fun 

28. My pink typewriter. The hunt is over and my husband is the best.

27. Being more conscience of how and where I spent my time and energy. This year was filled with more of events, outings and visits than years past. 

26. Anti-Gravity Yoga coming into my life and proving to me that I am stronger than I think, and can have fun while reaching goals. 

25. My 25th birthday starting at The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Kings Park with my whole family singing to me and Amanda which was just hysterical. 

24. My 25th Birthday Celebration with friends at the shitty Bowlmor - ridiculous circumstances, best company. 

23. Steev's Birthday celebration for me, taking me to 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder' and a lovely dinner in the city on my actual birthday, it was perfect. 

22. This Picture: 

21. Babysitting Rylie & Haylie for a fun day of crafts and projects in the spring. Love those kids. 

20. My Valentine's Day Flowers - Steev worked a wrap and I didn't see him for two days but my flowers were gorgeous. 

19. Gunshow, the best restaurant we have ever experienced.

18. The Atlanta aquarium, I love aquariums and this one was out of this world. 

17. Flip Burger, being the best burger I have ever had. 

16. Visiting SIX new states together this year 

15. Paisley overcoming a lot of challenges and knowing enough to refine and refocus for 2015 - my business partnership with my best friend is one of the best decisions that I have ever made personally and professionally. 

14. Spa day with my Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Laws for Mother's day. 

13. Paint the Town for Mother's Day with my Mom…I need to 'brush up' on my skills. 

12. My trip to Plattsburgh - a beautiful train ride to see my awesome cousins for a weekend of fun. 

11. The Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium with newbies Big Steve, Seb & Kaitlyn - which was a below zero day and yet so incredibly fun. 

10. Seeing Shovels & Rope (one of the best and coolest bands ever) across the country and in NY 

9. Jack White in Boston - a fun mini fall vacation and a killer concert at Fenway Park where we were SIX rows from the stage. Incredible. 

8. Vacationing in Seattle and Portland. A beautiful, relaxing and overall cool trip to the West Coast together was much needed and much appreciated. I'd go back to Seattle in a second - we really loved it.

7. Georgia for Lenny & Laura's wedding where we connected with old friends and experienced a lovely, wonderful union of two amazing people. This trip turning into friendships reforming with Chris, Lauren & Pat and that just being way cool. 

6. Finally getting to Florida to see Jen, Brandon (meeting Bruno) and my cousins after about a year of planning. The trip was cut short, but it was still really great to see my friends and family in their homes. Cannot wait to make this trip a tradition. 

5. Boston with the siblings for St. Patrick's Day. Liz & Seb invited us along for their annual tradition and it was a blast, plus The Dropkick Murphy's were awesome and we love Boston. 

4. Krystal's Bride Day, which was a labor of love, and just overall everything I wanted it to be for her. From the bonding over decoration making, to the surprised look on Krystal's face when she walked into her brunch, and then had an 18 hour day of Bridal Celebration and held fast like a champ, it was awesome. Any day with my cousins is lovely, but this one was special. 

3. Our Gender Reveal Party - there is something so wonderful about making a huge announcement in front of everyone you love to share such a moment. It was stressful to put together (planning while pregnant is not my forte) but it was a memory I will always cherish. 

2. Starting the year off with Steev's Surprise Graduation Party. I worked so hard to put a day together to show how proud I am of how hard my Husband works for me, and for everyone. The look on his face and the happiness that carried him throughout the year knowing everyone was proud of him was worth every second of suspense keeping this surprise a surprise. So proud of Steev and everything he does for us and everyone - this was the best way to kick off the year. 

1. Our Three Year Anniversary - it started with us talking about how lame this celebration was. We were so used to going away, and this one was just being spent in the city for dinner. After a delicious meal at David Burke's Kitchen, we arrived home. While at home, we found out that we were expecting our son. After two months of being tested for Lyme, it turns out I was pregnant all along - the news was an exuberant surprise, and seems to overshadow everything of 2014, and is something that we are so looking forward to in 2015!

All I know is that this year I surrounded myself with people and places that I love - and it turns out that I feel like I am missing SO MUCH from 2014. Thank you all for participating in this silly tradition again and I hope 2015 brings you everything you wish for!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Support Small Business: Events by Paisley Needs Your Votes!

I know I do not have a large blog following, but it cannot hurt. 

Last year, my best friend and I dove in and started our own business. 

The first year has been educational, fun, and awesome. We have had 3+ experience working together, now we are on our own. 

Obviously starting a business is tireless, and expensive, which is why we would benefit a great deal from the Small Business, Big Grant from FedEx. 

You can check out Events by Paisley's website here 

You can vote for Events by Paisley here 

Your efforts are greatly appreciated, your time is not spent without gratitude. We are truly humbled by the support of our community and by total strangers. Every day from now, until Feb. 23rd you can vote once a day. We would love to be finalists - and if you can find a few moments to help support local business we truly appreciate it!

Thanks so much,
The Paisley ladies 
Stephanie & Nicole 

Monday, February 3, 2014

January Date Jar

Thanks to Pinterest, my post: Nice to Meet You 2013 gained a ton of popularity. I figured I owed some sort of progress of this project/idea since the tons of re-pins. 

To tell the truth, last year was a bust. My husband had back surgery the second week of Jan. and we had one date, and one recipe and one on deck. The days passed by, the jars stayed full, and I was pretty disappointed. So, in 2014, we started up again. January was awesome because of it. We got to three dates and three recipes, we skipped week one because we got one date and meal in last year so now our  jar is even. 

Week 1
Date: Go see a movie Meal: Presto Pesto Chicken from Rachel Ray 

This was great because we really needed a low key night out, the theaters had a lot of great choices and we decided to go see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 

This movie, was really incredible. The write ups did not do it justice, Stiller did a superb directing and acting job. The cinematography was beyond beautiful and the story was touching a realistic. Not to mention the soundtrack was perfect. I loved this film so much and it put me in the best mood ever afterwords. 

We got home and opened our cookbook. The best part of the recipes we put in the jars was that we put what we were cooking, what cookbook it can be found in and on what page. We have a cookbook holder and we decided to keep the recipe we will be enjoying should be displayed through the week after out first experience. After coming home from a great movie we got to cooking. 

We cook together, as a team. For this, I was in charge of the 'pesto' and pasta and my husband was in charge of the chicken (butterflying and tenderizing). 

This was yummy and perfect to op off our night with. We score recipes as 'remake' or 'rematch'. The 'rematches' get made again with mixed up ingredients to hopefully make it better. The 'remakes' get stored to be learned as a regular meal option. This meal became an immediate 'remake'. 

Week 2
Date: Go to Babylon village and find a new place to grab a bite Recipe: Stuffed Eggplant from Rachel Ray 

Because of the nature of this week's date, we did the date and recipe on different days. 

We went to Babylon and stopped into the Argyle Grill and Tavern and had a delicious meal in a beautiful casual setting. Before we ate, we actually stopped by a little bakery for a cupcake and indulged in some dessert first. My crab cakes were perfect, and my husband's steak sandwich made him exceptionally happy. The best part of this date is it brought us to a village that we do not frequent yet we love. 

Then, the recipe came on a different night. 

Two Rachel Rays in a row! This one became a 'remake'. The stuffing was flavorful and delicious, but the eggplant was a little odd. As we ate, we decided the stuffing would taste better with a little spice and possibly in a pepper instead of an eggplant. So, this month we plan on 'remaking' this recipe (I will write about it in next month's summary). 

Week 3 (Last week of January) 
Date: Go to Walt Whitman's Birthplace Recipe: Spicy Chicken Tacos (Rachel Ray again) 

This week actually came with a bonus date:

We attended the Rangers Islanders game at Yankee Stadium. Froze, but had a BLAST. 

The next day, we traveled to Walt Whitman's Birthplace in Huntington 

I'd like to say this: This small, simple attraction is right in our backyard. They do poetry readings, and events for children and adults. We were the only two there to tour the home and walk around the displays. The volunteers there are so sweet and we got to see something new and refreshing. Me, being the nerd I am was overly excited to see American Poetry displayed so proudly. I think for any parents out there, making this a 'family date' is a definite. 

Then we came home and got to cooking 

We love tacos. We normally just buy a kit, use the seasoning and boom tacos. So this, was an awesome twist to a normal favorite. Making our own seasoning and cause was more delicious than we thought - this is a for sure 'remake'. 

Forcing us to make time for these dates has gotten us out of the house, exploring the place we live, and has also improved the contents of our refrigerator. Cooking together has been a blast. 

For those who missed the original post I linked it up top. These dates we hand picked by the two of us - not knowing what the other ones wrote (26 each, adding up to 52 so we can pick one a week for the whole year). Every week it is so exciting to see what is in store for the next. 

If you have any questions about the places or recipes above feel free to comment. I will update about this month next month as well! 

Without Wax,