Friday, May 31, 2013

Help a mother out: New baby gift guide



I don't know about you guys but for me the last year and the remainder of this year has been filled with new babies!! While I am not a mother myself I have seen the use of and heard talk of things you must have for that new little one. Obviously these things are all relative. Just feed that baby and rock it to sleep...that is about all it needs. Well, maybe a diaper change here and there. But anyway, as buying for new moms is on my mind I figure it must be on the minds of some of you guys too. If you are looking for some fun and maybe unique items I thought I would help you out. And some of these items are as low as $25!


  1. Bob Stroller: I have actually babysat a sweet boy once who had one of these...it was super awesome. 
  2. The Yellow Pacifier Unisex Diaper Bag: Don't give that new dad an excuse to not carry the diaper bag. 
  3. Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine: I read some reviews and this one was at the top. 
  4. Bumbo seats: Everyone loves these. And they look cool too. 
  5. Ergo Baby: So everyone loves these too. And men aren't scared to wear them. And sometimes babies don't like to go to sleep but for some reason these help. 
  6. WubbaNub: So apparently these things help keep the paci in. 
  7. Pack n Play: So when travel with a baby happens this is a must. And look how fancy this one is. 
  8. Garland & Pendant Art: Ok, every baby needs some art for their walls. Love this Etsy shop. 
  9. Fisher Price SnuggaBunny Bouncer: Also all the rage. 
  10. Finley Twisted Custom Clothes: Put your baby in some custom designed clothes! There are also some great items for the big brother or big sister if this isn't your first. 
  11. Fanciful Ink Stationary: Last but not least...While not every mom writes Thank You notes it is nice for them to know that is something the don't have to remember to buy. You could also gift some birth announcements with your favorite designer so all they have to do is send in the info once the baby comes. And more than that, I have a client who is gifting a newborn photo-shoot ..how sweet is that?! Gifted photos with gifted stationary or announcements...pretty amazing. 
Go forth and gift confidently and congrats to the new parents out there! 

-Alison

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Sounds





Even though it is not summer on the calendar, it is officially summer. In my mind, after Memorial Day, you are good to tan those toes, jump in the water, and bask in the glow of the sun (with SPF of course!). In July, we will be driving down the Florida Keys and it's about a 3 hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West. So of course, we need an awesome playlist to take us along that journey. I put one together to test out for our trip to Louisiana this past weekend and now I'm addicted to it! I can practically feel the warmth of the sun on my arms and smell the coconut sunscreen as I listen. Put these in your Spotify playlist, kick back with a cold sipper and enjoy. -Laurie

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: NYC Style


The moment you have all known was coming is now here! My first food post from NYC!! I have a whole lot to share. Not as many photos as I would wish but it is only because it has all been so good I cannot slow down long enough to snap a shot...get in my...you know.


Where to begin?! Breakfast I guess. We have had breakfast out twice so far. And I cannot decide if I have a favorite of the two. I don’t think I can have a favorite. I just cannot do it! Our first breakfast stop was Clinton Street Baking Company (CSBC). Oh my goodness. I don’t think I can say that Aretha Frankenstein's pancakes in Chattanooga are my favorite anymore. They are certainly my favorite in the South. Well, Pancake Pantry in Nashville is pretty amazing too. Ok, sorry. CSBC's pancakes are so sweet and melt in your mouth they don’t even need syrup. I had their blueberry pancakes and oh my word. I just can’t even describe how good they were. The hubs had a delectable omelette with chorizo and it was oh so stinking good. You can taste the freshness of the ingredients in everything they serve. I usually can’t do orange juice due to the all the acid but CSBC’s fresh squeezed orange juice was absolutely amazing. I don’t know where they get their oranges but I need some of them. And then I need to plant a tree in my yard. The cafe is very quaint and cozy. It only adds to the excitement. There may be a wait and they may tell you more than an hour but stick around because not everyone does. It is so worth it. Another quaint spot we have found is Petite Abeille. This little Belgian place is quite a gem. They have more than one location too so that helps if you are ever in the city. They also serves what sounds like some awesome dinner and the hubs said the Belgian beer selection was quite splendid. “I think we must go back for dinner,” he said.  Their waffles are, of course, to die for. The waffle we shared was covered in fruit and surrounded by a mote of fresh strawberry sauce. Oh. My. It was so so good. Their yummy syrup wasn't even needed with that fresh sauce and whipped cream. I tried their bacon, mushroom and onion omelette and it was oh so divine. It is served with the best oniony, garlicy mashed potatoes. Such a great find. Both of these places are in Greenwich Village.


We still had not had a NYC bagel as of yesterday so we stopped in at Murray’s Bagels in the Village. So fun and such a classic experience. Long line, order quickly, hope for a table and get out! The variety of cream cheese was overwhelming. The bagels were awesome. I had Cal’s Club on a whole wheat everything bagel. This club is homemade chicken salad with lettuce, tomato and bacon. It was huge!! I could barely eat half of it! The hubs had a classic Scottish Salmon bagel. It had Scottish Salmon, capers, red onion and a solid helping of cream cheese. It was also large and very yummy. That is a must stop for any time of day. They close just before dinner so don’t wait all day.




My craving for Mexican food was finally satisfied with a trip to Dos Caminos this weekend. Their menu is a little steep compared to what we are used to at home but it was quite tasty. They make super fresh and yummy guacamole and they have a trio of salsas for any palate. The Asada tacos were amazing and their mushroom and shrimp quesadilla was equally stunning. Their margaritas aren’t terrible either. If you are looking for sweet the blueberry/pomegranate was tart and tasty. As for pizza, we have enjoy Arturo’s brick oven pizza in the Village. Their caesar salad is also so so good. The atmosphere is perfect. The tables are close, the room is dimly lit, there is interesting art on the walls, the piano can hardly be heard over the chatter and the waiters are friendly but brief. Cafe Henri is a quiet little French cafe with a long list of crepes and incredible coq au vin chicken. This place feels like a true neighborhood stop. We felt certain that we were the only first-time patrons. That is always a fun experience in a big city.


There are sweets on every corner in this city. We have had some delicious gelato at L’Arte del Gelato. The marscapone and nutella are an easy must have. I don’t feel like I really have to tell anyone in their right mind that you have to get those two. I mean, duh. Pasticceria Rocco. Oh my. Their cookies are the size of your face and they don’t stop with cookies. Cheesecake, danish, cakes...it goes on. I got a fruit-filled shortbread cookie that was amazing. A must for sure. A trip to Little Italy will secure a cannoli on every corner.  I have heard Ferrara is the place to go. We stopped by but were so full from dinner a tiny cookie was all we could manage. We will be back though. Oh, and I am told Stumptown coffee is the place for a perfect cup of Joe. Their new location in the village will brew your joe any way you want it at their fancy new brew bar. The hubs needed his fix this weekend and we ran into Mario Batali! You know it must be good right?




Check back if you are looking for more foodie insite. I highly doubt this will be my last Tasty Tuesday NYC post.


-Alison



Friday, May 24, 2013

NYC: Parks and Skylines from AMP


Of course everyone has heard of Central Park. Of course everyone knows the NYC skyline is one of the greatest. But, do you have any idea how big Central Park is or have you explored different vantage points for skyline sights? Well, I have caught a glimpse of some pretty impressive views of the city skyline and am happy to say that I have almost traversed the entire length of the Park (2.5 miles long). I even found myself there very early this morning enjoying my first Mariah Carey concert thanks to Good Morning America. Just in case you were wondering, yes, even at 7:30am she can hit the high notes. 
Back to the sights. Another park you may not be familiar with is Washington Square Park. This is in Greenwich Village where most of my time is spent. You will see a few shots from that park as well. It is fun to enjoy a smaller neighborhood park every once in a while. Makes you feel a little more communal. I also included one photo of the Brooklyn Bridge taken from Brooklyn Bridge Park. When I was there the weather was dismal so a quick photo with the phone was all that happened. I look forward to getting out there again and taking my camera with me. 
If you follow AMP on facebook you saw a photo I posted a few days ago of some old Kodak Brownie cameras. Well, I got my roll of film developed and I didn't totally fail! The group of four photos below are a from my very first Brownie experience. It was so so much fun to get the film back and learn what that little camera can and can't do. If you are wondering these are from the Brownie Reflex 20 (aka the one with more silver on the front if you look at the photo of the cameras).  
-Alison


Skyline views from the Hudson River Park. 



Washington Square Park


The new One World Trade Center tower as seen from Greenwich Village. 



 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

College grad necessities

College grad necessities





Congratulations to all the college grads and soon to be grads! If you have a grad that is headed into the "real world," prepare them for the workplace with some awesome Kate Spade must-haves for a stylish, classy and confident lady. After all, now is the time to really become a grown up. If you invest in classic pieces, the will take you far into the future. A strong watch that incorporates gold and silver can always be worn with anything. Beautiful bangles in mixed metals also go with anything and can become your signature style, as well as a sophisticated nail color and perfume. I love dark blue-it's sophisticated and edgy. Kate Spade's new scent is so fun and flirty, it just reminds me of sunshine and summer. Having a pair of studs to go with anything is an awesome staple. I wear mine constantly. Going in to the work place, you'll probably be toting work stuff, workout gear, lunch and maybe even a change of clothes to grab dinner out with friends sometimes. A big stylish tote is a must. It's so great to have something you don't want to use as a purse but as a catch-all. With Kate Spade, you can easily find coordinating patterns or colors to match your everyday purse to. Having a clutch for special occasions is a must too because in this time in your life, you're meeting friends or co-workers for drinks, going to a party or even weddings. A metallic clutch in a nice shape is versatile and will match or punch up any outfit for any occasion that calls for a clutch. 
Happy Trails, graduates! -Laurie

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NYC Street Fashion

Chic Women's NYC street fashion




It is the post you have all been waiting for!! What are people in NYC wearing? Answer. Everything. I haven't gotten brave enough to start photographing stylish New Yorkers so here are a few boards of inspiration. Above is the more polished look I have seen on women. I have seen more ankle boots in NYC than ever before. And I haven't seen many people wearing them in a bad way. Lots of leggings too. Sometimes those are bad but not too often. Boots, jackets and scarfs are still being worn during the cool spring days. I'm sure the temperatures are much warmer down south...

Polished NYC Lad



With a larger urban environment comes a more chic man. I am seeing lots of slim fit suit pants, high hems and bold socks. The pink polka-dot item above is an example of socks destine to peep out from under the high hems. Super fun. Lots of long sleek shoes as well as a few pocket squares here and there. And don't forget the man-purse. Necessary for the man about town.

Casual NYC Lady



Finally, the casual girl. Again, leggings and ankle boots. I'm telling you, all over town I see this. And quirky sunglasses are also all over the place. I have some myself. Makes me feel pretty hip. No big deal.

As the temperatures rise and the rain subsides I'm sure attire will adapt. I will share again when changes occur. Until then, be bold like these city folk and introduce some eclectic, unique items into your wardrobe.

-Alison
 

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