New York, New York


Last week, Ben and I flew to New York City to watch two friends get hitched. We decided to make a trip out of it and spend a week exploring the city. We planned, quite literally, nothing. We went where the wind took us, and it took us to some pretty good spots.

favorite haunts –

Matcha from Cha Cha Matcha. Plant-based brunch at The Butcher's Daughter. Visiting with our pal, Isaac, at the design shop Exposure. The prettiest avocado smash you'll ever see at Saraghina.  Late night pizza at Roberta's. Champagne on the roof at Juilette.  Oysters and craft cocktails at Maison Premiere (possibly my favorite spot). Mediterranean fare in an old glass factory, Glasserie. Drool over every item at Moucin, Baggu and Beam.

 
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Home Tour: The Bungalow

The Bungalow is our five-hundred-something square feet of bliss tucked in the heart of Costa Mesa, California. By day, the sun streams in from the floor-to-ceiling windows and the ocean breeze flows through the open doors. When the sun sets and we button up for the night, our beachy bungalow takes on a cozy cabin feel.

Coming up on two years, this is the longest we've ever lived in one place. We really feel settled and at home here. Ben and I have designed countless things together, but the bungalow is by far our favorite collaboration yet.

 
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Photos by Amanda Vanvels.

First Annual Friendsgiving

This was not only Ben and I's first Thanksgiving away from Michigan and our families, but our first time hosting Thanksgiving. We opted for a "friendsgiving" with Michigan pals who were also far from family. It was different from any Thanksgiving we've had before but it was perfect. I tend to feel homesick around the holidays but this Thanksgiving taught me that it possible to find home in many different places. 

A Classy Holiday Potluck - Costa Mesa, California - 2014

I was excited to host and have so many guests in our home but I wasn't quite ready to take on the task of preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself. So, I enlisted the help of our friends. I was slightly worried we'd end up with a nothing but a slue of wine and mashed potatoes – so Ben and I designed a menu and sent it around for our guests to fill out to make sure we had all our bases covered.

Friendsgiving / Thanksgiving Menu Idea - Sign up

I had so much fun putting together the tablescape and creating a nice atmosphere for our guests. I clipped greens and strung them together to make a garland centerpiece and lined it with candles. This was an easy and inexpensive way to dress up our table and I love how it turned out.

Thanksgiving Tablescape – Garland Table Runner Eucalyptus DIY
Thanksgiving Tablescape – Garland Table Runner Eucalyptus DIY
Thanksgiving Tablescape – Garland Table Runner Eucalyptus DIY
Ben Biondo Thanksgiving Selfie
Amanda Vanvels, Sara Martin, Travis Martin

If you ask me, we should live every day like its Thanksgiving. Eat good food, drink wine, spend time with the ones we love, take naps, play games, and eat dessert. What's not to love? 

Photos taken by our lovely friend, Mae Stier .