Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Happenings

These past few weeks have been filled with family, fun and big smiles, so I figured I'd share some of the things that have put those glorious smiles on my face.
 (This photo and a few others may be a bit blurry, but I just couldn't resist those baby blues!♥)
This little nugget's name is Eli, he's Nolan's nephew whose full of smiles, giggles, and that addictive baby smell. I can't help but get all goo goo every time I hold him!
This past weekend, I took a mini trip to hang out with my wonderful sisters and celebrate my oldest sister, Brit's 25th birthday. Being that Halloween was just around the corner she of course had a costume and champagne themed party. It was a blast.  

Halloween isn't really my favorite thing, so I didn't put much thought into my costume. I kept it simple and unoriginal and dressed as a black cat, I had the ears and whiskers to prove it. 
Kim and her friend Alexa were in the same boat as me so they dressed as a dark fairy, or dark woodland creature as Kim put it, and Alexa was a cat, with some adorable lace ears!
Fall is in full bloom so I treated my self to a few bunches of beautiful fall flowers. Some bright, sunshiny sunflowers and an amazing autumn bouquet will be keeping me full of smiles these next few days.
Most recently Nolan and I spent an amazing afternoon enjoying some quality cuddle time, snacking on a sinful spread piled with a few of our favorite treats, while catching up on some shows we're obsessed with!

What are some of the things keeping smiles on your face lately? Share with me on twitter by using the hashtag #laidbacksmiles. Until next time!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Italian Festival in Kingston

This past Sunday Nolan and I wandered around the Italian Festival in Kingston on the Roundout Waterfront. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, full of fun, food, and quality time with my love! 
 After parking way, way, down the street, we finally made it back to the action, where we came across this adorable little stand with some mouth watering aromas wafting in the air.
Mint, located just down the street, participated in this magnificent event and had some adorable little helpers serving some of their specialties.  To begin our Italian feast, Nolan and I shared a bowl of their Rigatoni ala vodka.
 It was heavenly...I even tried distracting Nolan so I could stab the last rigatoni in the bowl!
 We also split a monstrous rice ball smothered in freshly made sauce, or 'gravy' as a true Italian would say! 
 Our bellies were rumbling, so we quickly found a place to sit down and dug in! We are accustomed to rice balls that are stuffed, but luckily their delicious sauce soaked into the rice beautifully.
We hadn't satisfied our craving just yet, so we headed further up the street where more vendors were selling Italian classics. We naturally gravitated to Luigi Oils' booth once Nolan spotted a heaping pile of sopressata. They were selling both hot and sweet flavors, we snagged a sweet.

We didn't mess around and broke into that hunk of meat the next day and devoured almost half with a few happy helpers, all were pleased!

We also tested out a few of their infused oils which were very tasty. We took home a bottle of garlic infused as well as basil infused!

 They also had some scrumptious marinated mozzarella that I should have picked up, but hopefully I'll combine the two oils I purchased and make my own sometime soon!
Next to Luigi's booth was a guy selling some funny Italian merchandise, this sign caught our eye and made us giggle!
After shopping around for a bit we moved on to some food, then had a little bit of food, and ended it with a big pile of food...For starters, we snacked on a delicioussss tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad from Ship to Shore with some of the best balsamic vinegar I've ever tasted. I wish they were selling that by the bottle.  I  also loved how easy and manageable their Chinese to-go containers were!

Afterwards, I moved on to some fried calamari from Mariner's Harbor. I was alone on this one as Nolan despises anything from the ocean. (I must say, he certainly has his boyfriend perks, but this one was almost a deal breaker back in the day!)
Since I focused all my attention on my multi-legged friends, Nolan offered to snap a few photos, wuddaguy!
 Open wide!
 He insisted I look like a lady for at least one photo and made me smile.
While I was waiting for my calamari to be freshly fried Nolan treated himself to a slice of pizza from Plaza Pizza , he just couldn't resist the cheesy smell that filled the air. He also surprised me and snagged one of their little rice balls, so we could compare.
 We were pleasantly surprised once we cut them open to find out that they were stuffed... and quite delicious!
After thoroughly stuffing our mouths we wandered around to pick up a few items from local vendors! 

I couldn't help but to dip into the booth of Cat's View Farm to sniff and test my way around! They sell goat milk soap and lotions made with milk from their own goats!
 I must say, it was a tough choice but I grabbed two soaps, their Passion Fruit & Guava along with their Tuscan Nights bar, in addition to a wild honey lotion! I'm in love.
Usually I'm picky when it comes to lotions because I can't stand feeling greasy after I apply it, but their wild honey lotion doesn't do that at all and just leaves me smelling delightful!
On our way out we ran into another gem of the Hudson Valley, a brilliant business called The Farmers Friend who specializes in bringing quality farm fresh food from Hudson and Rondout Valley Farms to your table! I was tempted to buy a few of their spreads, but just grabbed one of their Pumpkin Butters along with a bunch of home made dog biscuits!
It only took the dogs a second to scarf down these BBQ flavor biscuits when we got home!
This was an absolutely delightful Sunday well spent enjoying quality time with my boyfriend, the gorgeous weather and the Kingston Waterfront!

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Shopping and Gelato in Rhinebeck

After our trip the the Farmers Market and Lunch at Market St. last weekend, Victoria and I decided to do a little shopping and maybe treat ourselves to something sweet before heading home. 

After lunch we stopped by Zephyr on Market Street for a quick glance at what they had to offer. While sipping on a complimentary glass of Champagne, we scoped out the vintage dresses and slips displayed on the adorable back patio. Clever way to lure in customers, I loved it!
 Caitlin, [fantastic name, may I add ;)] the owner of Zephyr, was too adorable, outgoing, and instantly made me want to be her best friend. Her shop, though small, had an amazing selection of dresses, sweaters and belts, most of which are made exclusively for her shop.  She was great with suggesting items that would look good on our figures. Although I only bought one item,[a pale yellow nightgown] I can't wait for my next visit, maybe I will do some of my Christmas shopping there this season-cant wait!

After, we skipped over to Winter Sun Summer Moon to do a little lite shopping. I may have had more luck than Victoria, though most of what I purchased are Christmas presents for my sisters-lucky ladies! Whenever I'm in Rhinebeck I always love peeking into their shop to see what's new and maybe search for any old items I wish I'd bought. 

Unfortunately, one of the most intriguing items I came across I forgot to snap a photo of, which means I guess I'll have to stop in sometime soon to check it out again! Shucks! :D It was some sort of foot massage you stood on that made your feet feel oh so heavenly. (Can someone please help me out with the name?)
After shopping for a bit, we stopped in Artigiani del Gelato for dessert! 
Can I just say, I've now found my new sweet heaven. Ever since I've been, I have thought about their gelato and beautiful macaroons every single day.
 Not sure exactly what to choose, I was given a generous sample of their butternut squash and ginger gelato- MUST HAVE!
They change their selections almost daily, and every one is better than the last! Seriously though, I had pumpkin, goat cheese with honey, and butternut squash with ginger in one divine cup.
 How delicious does that look? I'm sure once I've gotten used to all the splendors Fall brings I will venture out in flavors, maybe to vanilla or chocolate, but why keep it so simple when there are amazing flavors like basil, Cappuccino, and Chai Spice Latte. Oh my lord, my bellys growling for some right now!
Victoria went for the gold and got a heaping scoop of pure pumpkin bliss, can you blame her?
Please don't even get me started on the macaroons, their beautiful silver dollar sized maracoons, I think we bought them out!
 Well if you insist! Victoria and I kind of...splurged and ordered four each of the Cotton Candy and Vanilla. I will say, I wasn't totally sold on Cotton Candy as I'm not a huge fan of such sweet sugary treats, but they were kind of magical. For a split second, no exaggerations here either, I was brought back to my childhood of begging my parents for a big ol' bag of blue cotton candy at the county fair. And just look at those bright blue and sparkly pink sprinkled macaroons, beautiful!

 To say this was the perfect end to our Sunday afternoon is an understatement. I wish we could do this every day, but I don't think gelato and macaroons are figure friendly! Please make sure you visit them in person and let me know what you think! Also, check Artigiani del Gelato out on Facebook as they post their daily flavor selections!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sunday Lunch at Market Street in Rhinebeck

After our trip to the Rhinebeck Farmers Market last Sunday, Victoria and I went to lunch at Market St
 Victoria had been to Market St. once before and L.O.V.E.D it, which made me extremely excited.
 When I first walked in I was surprised by how bright and open the space was. I absolutely love all the little details that make Market St. so unique.  Shades of grey throughout and each table set with mismatched Italian bread plates, that look as though they're from an Italian grandmother's collection. There's also a beautiful wood oven in the back that your eye gravitates to as soon as you enter.

 Their menu is a perfect balance of both breakfast and lunch items.
To begin, we split their assorted salumi, with Tuscan Pecorino, olives, cornichons and pickled onions. It was a perfect choice.  
We also ordered a bottle of wine to share and unfortunately, it wasn't our favorite. Lesson learned, never order a Sylvaner again.
The service at Market St. was wonderful. Our server, Jenna, was on point at all times, refilling our water and wine, as well as checking in to see if we were enjoying ourselves, which we were!
After our salumi plate, we decided on two pizzas to share from their wood burning oven.  I had the Caprina Pizza, with a fig-rosemary spread, goat cheese, pear, arugula, and truffle oil. Seeing truffle oil on the menu is what lured me in.
Victoria opted for the Boscaiola Pizza with mixed mushrooms, mozzarella, tomato, and herbs.
While the presentation of each pizza was superb and looked scrumptious, I wished there was more of the fig-rosemary spread on the Caprina. The crust however, was delicious and had the perfect combination of crispiness and chewiness. It was also a perfect thickness for being cooked in a wood oven. 
There wasn't enough room in our bellies to finish all our pizza, so we took it to go, finished the last sips of our wine and headed out onto the streets of Rhinebeck to do a little shopping.

I'm excited for my next experience at Market St., most likely for dinner, whenever that may be! Remember to check them out and visit their Facebook page.