Happy Hour

tomato can flower pot {Old tomato can turned flower pot}

We kicked off last weekend by going on a double-date with one of my dear blogging friends and her husband, who were in the city for her birthday. We had such a blast hanging out with them and it reminded me of all the wonderful connections and friendships that blogging has brought to me. Connections to a new brand, a budding entrepreneur, to people who live right next door or on the other side of the country, people who love bacon and Chanel as much as me, to a girl who went to the same college as me, and most importantly, to people who have become truly wonderful friends. I know I (along with plenty of other bloggers) have said it before, but when I started blogging, I certainly had no idea so many connections could be made through this space. The relationships that have developed out of blogging are truly an unexpected blessing, and definitely one of those little things that makes me super happy!

I’d love to know, what makes you happiest about blogging? And if you’re not a blogger, what’s making you happiest this week?

outdoor lights {Enjoying a double-date rooftop pizza dinner overlooking lower Manhattan with one of my best blogging friends and her hubby}

chocolate and cherries {Chocolate + cherries = one sweet snacking combination}

Lobster ale {A beer I tried strictly on a name and looks basis….for the record, I didn’t like it, but I guess that’s what I get falling for something on looks alone}

shag carpet {Taking some more baby steps to get the apartment finished..finally got our living room rug down and have started organizing our coffee table tray}

Mr. Rogers quotes {This quote, from one of my favorite people growing up, seemed appropriate for today’s post; via}

 

Brooklyn Backyard Reveal, Part 1

urban gardening It’s finally time for the big backyard reveal! I know, I know, it’s already halfway through summer and I’m just getting this up here. I blame…..the fact that we’ve been enjoying the yard so much, I almost forgot to take pictures??! Does that work as a valid excuse? Excuses or not, the backyard pictures (part one) are finally here!

I wanted to start by first sharing our garden and all the veggies we’ve been busy growing (yup, we’re #28goingon60). One of the biggest reasons why Mr. RC and I wanted outdoor space was specifically so we could have some home-grown produce. I grew up in a family of gardeners and home-grown produce was a part of every summer meal. Of course, when I was younger, the only reason you would find me in the garden was by force (weeding was on my chore list) or because I was sneaking a veggie snack. Of course, now that I’m older (and wiser) I realize how much I missed the simplicity of fresh picked tomatoes and lettuce for a supper salad, or picking a few green beans to snack on, so, despite everyone telling us that a garden in Brooklyn would never work, we decided we would make it work (we’re such #gardennerds). Currently we have 4 types of tomatoes, 4 types of peppers, peas, beans, swiss chard, radishes, carrots, beets, lettuce, chives, parsley, basil, sage, dill, rosemary, cucumbers, yellow and green summer squash, and a grape plant. Below are a few pictures of our plants plus a few tips for “urban gardening” (mostly courtesy of my 13 year-old brother who spends his spare time working on a farm and is quite the little gardening whiz). Stay tuned next week for part 2 of the Brooklyn backyard makeover reveal.

herb plants squash blossoms Brooklyn Backyard Reveal, Part 1 || Runway Chef urban garden tips vegetable plants grape plant mini grapes Brooklyn Backyard Reveal, Part 1 || Runway Chef tomatoes green beans Small Gardening Tips

Know when to start something by seed and when to buy a plant already started

  • Seeds are great for things like lettuce, herbs, spinach, peas and beans as well as things that grown into the ground (i.e. beets, carrots, onions)
  • Buy starter plants for things that take longer to germinate, so tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, and cucumbers are all good examples

Use pots to make your space go further

  • Anything that grows up and not out is great for a pot, i.e. things like tomatoes and peppers.
  • Herbs are also great in pots. While some of them do spread out, we tend to use herbs enough in our cooking that the plants are always getting trimmed back.
  • Of course, keep the shape of your plant in mind when picking out pots. Tomatoes will need something very large, herbs mostly work well in smaller, round pots, and things like thyme or mint spread out so I would recommend using rectangular shaped planters.
  • Don’t be afraid to try growing something less traditional in a pot. We have both cucumbers and squash in planters, and while the squash have yet to produce fruit, both plants are doing really well. In a way, the pot replaces the mound of dirt traditionally needed to plant things like squash so I think that’s why it works so well. Just make sure you have room to let the vines spread out.

Combine plants to maximize your gardening space

  • Coordinate your plants based on how they grow to get the most gardening space out of your planters. What I mean by this, is place plants that grow up with plants that stay low or grow out. So for example, peppers grow up and squash spreads out, so in one box we have the peppers in the middle (along with some dill) and then the cucumbers are on the edge growing down over the sides of the box. Thyme is another plant that grows low and does well on the edge of a flower pot. If you have a wall or trellis, put things like peas and beans next to that and then put something low growing beneath them.

Make sure you consistently water, weed, and fertilize

  • I know this kind of goes without saying, but the biggest key to a successful garden (big, small, or just in pots), is making sure you keep things cleaned up and weeded, water consistently, and fertilize (or use soil that has fertilizer added to it).

Do you have a garden? If so, I’d  love to know what you are growing.

Happy Hour

Lobster Landing {Lobster roll lunch spot in Connecticut}

Do I want to be funny? Inspirational? How about motivational? Or maybe just plain informational? These are the thoughts that run through my head as I sit down to type out each week’s Happy Hour post………Who am I kidding?! That’s a total lie. The thoughts that actually run through my head consist more of “I wish I had another one of those lobster rolls”, “I would so much rather be back at the beach”,”What are you going to write Alyssa?”, “I could go for a happy hour cocktail right now” “Alyssa! Focus! You need to write something!”…Ya, well this week’s “something” is what you just read. Neither inspirational nor motivational, but as they say “That’s all I’ve got for now kids”.

Hope you’re all having a great week and, in case you missed it, I’m giving away 2 gift cards for FREE ICE CREAM. It’s almost too easy to enter…simply leave a comment with your favorite ice cream flavor on this picture or here on Facebook, and that’s it! Winner will be chosen by random on Sunday, the 20th.

old records {The start of our record collection}

antiques {Some vintage finds from over the weekend}

summer squash {Unusually shaped squash…apparently this type is referred to as “Eight Ball”}

fabric {Fabric to make new covers for our bedroom pillows}

Happy Hour - A Weekly Round-up of Happy Things on Runway Chef {via}

 

July Beauty Favorites

July Beauty Favorites || Runway Chef I realized this week that it’s been a while since I did a beauty favorites post (last one here), but the blame for that issue is entirely on my crazy skin allergies because Lord knows I love beauty and skin products enough to have these posts at least twice a week. Apparently, I’m allergic to more than just rubber components (which I discovered thanks to yet another visit to the derm), meaning I’ve had to narrow down my beauty products even more. As promised in the last beauty favorites posts, I will be sharing more about my skin allergies, my new beauty routine, and what products are safe to use, soon as it just so happens that the issues I was dealing with are quite common. But for now, let’s talk about my July beauty favorites….

bareMinerals bareskin bareMinerals BareSkin c/o (I use shade ‘Bare Skin 09′) // I have always loved bareMinerals products, but since finding out that they are one of the few cosmetics brands that I can still safely use, I love them even more. Their newest foundation is an absolute dream…and I don’t even like foundation! Where as I used to avoid putting foundation on at all, I now actually find myself wanting to wear it. BareSkin goes on smooth, you use a little or a lot depending on the amount of coverage you want, and it never feels like or looks like you’re wearing anything. This foundation has totally won over my little foundation-hating heart!

summer lip color Chantecaille Lip Gloss in ‘Glee’ & Maybelline Lipstick in ‘Coral Crush’ // Neither of these products are new to me and I have been using each individually for quite some time. But the combination of wearing them layered together didn’t happen until about a month ago, and I can’t figure why as it makes for the perfect summer lip shade.

highlighter cream Inika Light Reflecting Highlighting Creme // My old favorite Nars highlighting cream and my allergies don’t get along, so I decided to give this creme a try, and so far I’m loving it. It reminds me a lot of the Nars highlighter, but I think it actually blends in more smoothly and the color is a bit lighter, which is perfect for summer.

summer makeup Above I am wearing my July beauty favorites along with Benefit Erase Paste under my eyes and bareMinerals mascara, all of which you can shop below-

Happy Hour

buoys {A wall of buoys that reminds me of my favorite state, Maine}

There’s an intense amount of ocean infused into this week’s happy hour and that’s because nothing makes me happier than the sea….and my favorite holiday…and fireworks….and lobster rolls…and long weekends…and birthdays…and lots of time with my husband. So considering all of those things happened over the last week, I’m one very happy girl right now. The only thing killing my vibe? A killer case of sun poisoning that both I and the Mr. got (#sunscreenfail)….and the fact that this coming weekend isn’t another long one (womp, womp).

I’d love to hear what you enjoyed most about your long holiday weekend in the comments below!

Jones beach {Finally made it to the beach}

lobster dinner {Mr. RC’s birthday dinner- crazy good lobster rolls from a place on our summer to-do list}

summer nights {Summer nights}

fireworks {Fireworks on the 4th, of course}

advice from the ocean