Happy Hour

whopper eggs {A favorite Easter candy}

I’m beginning to think I’m cursed when it comes to seeing the D.C. cherry blossoms. Since moving back to the East Coast, I’ve tried unsuccessfully to see the cherry blossoms every year, and every year something I have no control over comes up. This past weekend was no exception. After all our prep work, planning and excitement, our plans to head to D.C. ended up falling through, through no fault of our own. Luckily, we had some great weather here in New York, so the Mr. and I checked a few more coffee shops/bakeries/restaurants off our “to-try” list, had a picnic, took naps outside, and spent lots of time at our favorite place (the park by the water). I’m already looking forward to another weekend full of wonderful weather and celebrating Easter. 

How will you be celebrating Easter this weekend? Any special family traditions?

Hyacinth {This hyacinth flower is not only gorgeous but it’s also making our entire kitchen smell heavenly!}

King Eider {I’m one proud sister when it comes to my younger brother and his impressive drawing skills}

lard bread {Trying out Lard Bread, which is a million times better than it sounds}

easter eggs {Pulling out the Easter decorations…you can find the tutorial to make those egg candles here}

hope quotes {Remember to rise above your fears via}

Happy Hour

stripes {Adding to my never-ending stripe collection}

Things have been nonstop over here at the Runway Chef household and headquarters. All very good things, but all leaving me feeling as if I’m drowning in drying concrete (I’m so dramatic, I know). This past weekend had Mr. RC and I living like true New Yorkers, as a series of unfortunate events left us carless (FYI, for a city full of public transportation it’s surprisingly obnoxious to get around sans car). Despite no car and having to shoot 5 different blog posts, we still managed to make the most of this past weekend by fitting in brunch, a stop at our favorite bookstore, trying a new-to-us restaurant (with legit the best gnocchi I’ve ever had), and even having a picnic down by the water. This week, I’ve had work events almost every evening so I’m already counting down the days to the weekend when we will be heading to D.C. for a mix of business and pleasure. I haven’t been to D.C. since I was in high school so any recommendations are wanted and gladly accepted! Do you guys have any exciting plans coming up over the weekend?

D.C. {Planning for D.C.}

Chanel {Finally warm enough to pull out one of my favorite pairs of shoes}

Peter Som for Kohl's {The box for my Peter Som clothes has me itching to go to St. Barths}

Buttermilk Channel sticky bun {Sticky bun from brunch}

Strive for Progress not Perfection {Remembering this as I progress through a busy week}

Operation Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning list Since the weather has decided to stay above 50 degrees for the past three days, I feel comfortable in saying spring is really here (fingers crossed that I’m actually right). Up until now I’ve continued on in winter mode, avoiding all spring related activities (which I was made well aware of when I picked out only black and white pieces for this). But now that the weather has caught up to the season, so must I. This of course includes the usual spring cleaning check-list of packing away the sweaters, shredding old papers, and cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. But there are a couple of other places you should be spring cleaning too.

beauty-closet-spring-cleaning Beauty Closet// Go through hair products, makeup, nail polish, soaps and lotions. Throw out anything that is expired or hasn’t been used in 6 months. Make notes on anything you are low on, and, if possible, consolidate (i.e. if you have two of the same lotion try to incorporate them into one container). Switch out heavier body butters for lighter lotions, change your shampoo to suit your summertime hair needs, and switch out lipsticks for lip gloss. In the nail polish department, go through and clean out any polishes that have separated, started to turn yellow at the top or that have become gooey. 

sock drawer spring cleaning Sock & Underwear Drawer// Ok, I know this might be an awkward place to venture, but a little awkward never stopped me before (which probably isn’t saying much because I’m an incredibly awkward person). Anyways…..the biggest thing here is to get rid of any socks missing their mate. We all know and have those socks and we all hang on to them for far too long, desperately awaiting the return of its long-lost love, er sock (sorry, my hopeless romantic side got carried away). But it’s time to put a ‘sock’ to all this and just move on already! Instead of tossing the lonely socks make sure you switch them over to dusting duty. Also, clean out and remove anything else that has lost its stretch or has gotten holes (pantyhose, underwear, sports bras, regular bras). Remember, most of these items really only have a lifetime of a year.

craft closet spring cleaning Craft Closet// I don’t know about you but after lots of crafting (especially from the holidays), my craft closet can be a bit of a mess. I like to go through and get rid of any loose scraps that haven’t been used up, check for dried paint and glue, see that my markers haven’t dried out, roll loose string up in balls, and make sure I have essentials like tape, pens, and glue.

handbags spring cleaning Handbags// Us ladies have gotten into this simultaneously genius/dumb habit where we switch bags for every occasion. Genius because our bags always match our outfit, dumb because something always, without fail, gets left in the wrong bag. After months of switching bags, there can be quite a few things that ‘go missing’, but if you clean out your bags, you just might be surprised at what you find (a favorite bracelet you thought had gone missing, that lipstick shade you so desperately wanted to wear 2 months ago, an old Mickey D’s wrapper reminding you of the one time you thought you were still in college and attempted to have more than 2 drinks….).

magazine rack spring cleaning Magazine Rack// We all hang onto magazines for far too long, saying we will reread an article or bookmarking something we just have to get/try/cook but then never do. Take a few hours to go through your pile, cut out anything worth saving, and then, unless it’s Vogue, toss everything else into the recycling bin. Then take your clippings and put recipes in a recipe box, craft ideas in the craft closet, workout routines by your workout gear (I keep a binder by my weights filled with different routines I’ve pulled from magazines over the years) and inspiration pieces on a bulletin board.

jewelry spring cleaning Jewelry// Of course, you always think to go through your closet and shoes while spring cleaning, but did you remember your jewelry? As with your clothes, get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last year (unless it’s a sentimental piece). Check for missing parts and pieces…if an earring no longer has a partner and it’s not something that can easily be replaced, it’s time to let it go (a lot of times I take old jewelry pieces and make them into new jewelry pieces, i.e. an earring on a dainty chain becomes a necklace). Don’t forget to untangle any necklaces and bracelets, and if necessary, find new or additional ways to store them (like this cool DIY).

spice cabinet spring cleaning Spice Cabinet// My spices always start out nicely organized, but after a night in the kitchen they end in disarray and I can’t even tell what I have and don’t have anymore. Take time to relabel or repackage things (I put all my spices in small glass canisters now), throw away items that you are unsure of or anything that has lost its potency, and make a list of anything you need to stock up on. Keep in mind the different spices you use depending on the season as you write your list of what you need to get.

How do you do your spring cleaning? Any special tips?

Happy Hour

Tribeca {Sunset off the pier in Tribeca}

While March was one of the best months I’ve had in a while, the universe decided to play it’s own April Fool’s joke on me by kicking off April with the worst day ever. After I sulked around in my sweats, ignored my massively ridiculous to-do list, and stuffed my face full of chocolate, I remembered I needed to write today’s HH post. Go figure. I mean have you ever tried to remember what you’ve been happy about when you’re in anything but a happy mood?! It’s no walk in the park! So after 9.764 attempted starts to this post, 23.67493 minutes of staring at the computer screen, and approximately 59.678 times of telling myself to “Get it together, Alyssa!”, I realized I was happy that I had these HH posts for days exactly as dreadful as yesterday’s.

Also, I realized I had made this, and let’s be honest, it’s kind of hard to be sad when there’s bacon around…

purple scallions {I’m always excited to discover new-to-me foods, like these purple scallions…has anyone else seen these before?}

My Social Canvas {I’m a sucker for good totes, but I love it even more when they’re for a good cause}

Lips artwork {I loved this artwork & light fixture so much I couldn’t just share it on Instagram…I’m thinking I want to recreate this light fixture for our kitchen}

Anne of Green Gables {Thanks to Christmas & birthday gifts I finally have the complete set of my all-time favorite movies…did anyone else love these movies growing up?}

anne of green gables quotes {Favorite quote from said favorite movies…couldn’t be more appropriate for today’s HH; via here

Dress & Dine- Easter Brunch

Easter Brunch One of my favorite things about Easter has always been the big breakfasts we would have following church and our Easter baskets. Of course, the best part was the hot cross buns, of which I would have at least 4 (following a healthy appetizer of 20 chocolate eggs, nonetheless). I still enjoy making big breakfasts for holiday mornings, but cooking up brunch for friends has also become a favorite way to entertain. This month’s Dress & Dine would be perfect for either occasion, whether it’s for a spring or Easter brunch and whether you are hosting family, friends or both. 

spring brunch entertaining entertaining ideas easy easter brunch ideas Dress// As the hostess for a morning gathering you want to be comfortable, yet put-together, in something that is practical yet elevated. Loose fitting maxi skirts or pants made from flowey, breathable fabric (preferably with a stretchy waistband) are my go-to. I’m loving poplin striped shirts for spring, and tying this one at the waist is the perfect way to make the shirt look simultaneously dressy and casual. While hosting I like to keep my accessories at a minimum, instead choosing a bright pink shoe, a loosely braided hairstyle and a statement watch to make my outfit come alive.

To dress the table, I kept things simple as the food already added quite an array of color. I used a glass vase for the skewers, and a variety of serving dishes to add texture. I gave a few additional pops of color with some spring colored towels. To finish the table off, I scattered a few artichokes throughout. I love artichokes as decor because they add a subtle hint of color while also neutralize the table and unifying all the decor together. Their shape also provides another variety of texture.

Dine// A DIY breakfast bar may sound complicated to set up, but don’t be fooled by the name. This breakfast skewer bar couldn’t be easier and your guests will love the fun of “making” their own breakfast. I set up this skewer bar with both a sweet (mini donuts and fruit) and savory (prosciutto and asparagus, my twist on Easter ham and asparagus, along with mini egg cups) option. For drinks, I put a springtime spin on everybody’s favorite brunch drink. Instead of mimosas with orange juice, I served mine with a strawberry guava juice. The pretty pink color was the perfect finish to this spring/Easter brunch skewer bar.

Sweet Skewers
Donut Holes
Fruit (strawberries, raspberries, melon, pineapple, kiwi and star fruit are all great for spring colors)

Savory Skewers
Asparagus (Oven-roasted and cut into bite-sized pieces)
Mini Egg Cups (egg, cheese, seasonings)

To make the mini egg cups, simply beat together eggs, grated cheese (I used parmesan), and some seasonings (I used salt, pepper, chives and parsley). Pour into well-greased mini muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, or until puffy and cooked through. Serve immediately.

easter brunch what to wear to brunch spring brunch ideas spring casual outfit breakfast table mini baked eggs brunch ideas fruit spring brunch brunch how to dress for brunch spring entertaining ideas Poplin striped top *A special thanks to my father-in-law for letting us shoot this at his house.