Entries Tagged as 'This Must Be the Place'

My birthday in Burlington

August 16, 2015

People tend to take their final vacation of the summer the first week of August — the week of my birthday. I learned this as a kid, when my birthday parties were heavily under-attended. In mid-July, I looked at our out of office calendar and realized all of my coworkers were going to be out that week…so this year, I finally wised up and decided to do the same thing.

Burlington, VT

After I put a call on Facebook for a destination that would “include good food, historical stuff/antiques, nature, and other things one might Instagram” and got a bunch of great suggestions, Eric and I settled on Burlington. Neither of us had ever been to Vermont before. Burlington is a six-hour drive from Brooklyn, so we left early Friday morning (my birthday) and arrived around 1:00, and then headed headed home Sunday around 12:30. I was worried we wouldn’t have time to do everything we wanted to do but we were able to fit a lot in.

Burlington, VT

Jericho, VT

Burlington, VT

Here are some things we both loved about it:

The weather. As we made the drive north, Eric noticed that the temperature kept dropping, even though it was getting later in the day. By the time we’d arrived, it was a cool 72 degrees. I repeat: IT WAS SEVENTY-TWO DEGREES FAHRENHEIT OUTDOORS IN AUGUST. It was also breezy and sunny and just all-around lovely.

How clean it was. In fairness, I don’t know if it’s actually clean, or if New York is just so incredibly dirty that anything would feel clean at this point, but all that fresh mountain air felt very clean.

It’s beautiful. The drive up took us through a lot of beautiful farmland with a great Americana vibe, and I noticed colorful flowers everywhere we went in Burlington. It was nice to get out of the city and spend time in such lush surroundings.

How motivated we felt. As I was researching things to do, I learned that Burlington has been named one of the happiest and healthiest cities in America (especially for women), which I think made us feel a little more motivated overall. But it would be hard not to be motivated there; everywhere we went had a very crunchy-healthy vibe. We spent the majority of the trip hiking, which was awesome; I felt so smug by the time we left.

Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

Hiking Mt. Philo

Mt Philo

Mt Philo, Burlington VT

We did this hike later on the afternoon we arrived; I wasn’t sure we had it in us after a 5 a.m. wakeup call/six-hour drive, but I’m so glad we went for it. It was about a 25-minute drive from our hotel and the views are amazing. The first 15 minutes of the hike will get your heart rate up, but it’s not too punishing overall. (And if you just want an awesome view, you can also just drive to the top.)

Hiking Mt. Mansfield

Mt Mansfield

Burlington, VT

Mt. Mansfield was a 45-minute drive from our hotel, but it was definitely worth it. The drive was really pretty and took us through a bunch of very charming small towns. (This was the case with most of the drives we made through Vermont.) After some debate, Eric and I decided to hike Sunset Ridge Trail and the little spur that shoots off of it (which had an awesome view of its own). The hike ended up being three hours round-trip, including the hike up to the trail itself from the parking lot.

Mt Mansfield

Some parts were definitely challenging (I’m not a huge fan of scaling steep rocks; I prefer ~forest floor~) but we saw a girl who I’d guess was about seven years old hiking it with one arm in a cast. The people I assume were her mother and father were hiking with a baby on their chest and a toddler on their back, respectively, so…either people from Burlington are ridiculously fit, or the trail is just pretty manageable.

Mt Mansfield

Jericho Country Store

Jericho, VT

Jericho, VT

Jericho, VT

This little store was one of my favorite things about our trip. We first stopped there for water on our way to Mt. Mansfield; it’s like a bodega in an old-timey general store. It has kombucha and root bear on tap and a wooden checkers set set up on an old barrel. As we were finishing up our hike and getting hungry, Eric suggested we stop there for lunch on our way back. All I wanted was a classic turkey sandwich with lettuce and mayo, and I figured they could make me that, so I was down. We ate our foodstuffs in the park across the street and my sandwich turned out to be, like, the best classic turkey sandwich ever.

Jericho, VT

Also, fun fact: Jericho, Vermont is the home of Walter “Snowflake” Bentley, who I wrote about earlier this year.

The Ben & Jerry’s factory

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

The Ben & Jerry’s factory was about a 30-minute drive from our hotel; we headed out there on Saturday evening after returning from Mt. Mansfield. The 30-minute tour was fun (though I felt like I learned the most interesting tidbits from reading the stuff in the lobby area, so be sure to check that out too!) and included a free sample, and it was just a beautiful night so it was hard not to feel happy about life. I wish we’d had time to check out Waterbury and Stowe a little more, but we did pop into the Cabot Cheese Annex on our way back to Burlington. (If you ever spot Cabot Private Stock Extra Sharp Cheddar in a store, I highly recommend it. We unknowingly walked in five minutes before they were going to close and I impulse-bought two blocks of the cheese, along with a souvenir wire cheese slicer, and all of these purchases were 100 percent worth it.)

Vermont Tap House

Vermont Tap House

Vermont Tap House

BuzzFeed’s travel editor Annie recommended this restaurant, and I’m so glad she did. After looking at the menu, I was expecting something a little fussy, but it was in a more commercial part of town and looked/felt like a suburban chain restaurant. (Whether or not that’s a good thing depends, I suppose.) In any case, the pizza was fantastic.


Juniper — Hotel Vermont

Juniper — Hotel Vermont

A press contact invited us to have breakfast at this restaurant (located in the Hotel Vermont); the food was great and it had a very chill vibe. After breakfast on Sunday, we walked around the waterfront and Church Street Marketplace area, just generally loving shit.

Green Mountain Suites

Green Mountain Suites

We mainly chose this hotel because it’s dog-friendly and budget-friendly, but it was pretty great overall. The location was solid, the breakfast was good, and the suite was really big/nice. (The decor actually reminded us a lot of our bedroom in Houston, so that was kind of sweet.) While a lot of the things we did required 25-45 minutes of driving, there really aren’t really hotels that were better located if that’s what you want to do. (Like, the state parks are just kind of in the midst of all the farms.) If you’re planning a trip. I’d definitely recommend Green Mountain Suites.

Mt Philo, Burlington VT

Burlington was great; I hope we’ll go back at some point, but until then, Eric and I both want to take some day trips/do more hiking closer to home. The trip was was everything I’d want in a vacation (and a birthday); we escaped the city for a few days and returned feeling happy, inspired, and content.

Places to Go: Fishs Eddy

June 23, 2015

Have you heard of ASMR? Fishs Eddy is my version of that. The store is just dreamy and it makes me feel kind of tingly all over.

fishs eddy

I’d come across Fishs Eddy products online several times — uh, I Google “cake stands” like…a lot — but the fact that it was a store that was basically made for me hadn’t ever really clicked. But last month, I saw a blurb in Time Out that mentioned it and I added it to my list of places to check out…and then the next day, I happened to find myself standing in front of it, so I decided to go in. And after about 30 seconds, it was all over for me.

Fish's Eddy

The vibe is a little bit Anthropologie, a little bit Crate and Barrel, a little bit antique store, and…a whole lot food stylist’s wet dream. I wanted to buy pretty much everything, including those adorable cone-shaped ice cream cups for myself and RBG mugs for all my friends…along with the gorgeous white hotel dinnerware that just sort of beamed at me whenever I walked past it, the cute party cups, the charming food storage bowls, everything from the Amy Sedaris collection (!!!), and I don’t even know what else because at that point I’d pretty much turned into Lily when she found out her parents were taking her to Disneyland. (To Eric’s credit, he didn’t respond to me with a side-eye as epic as Chloe’s.) But like…there are only so many jadeite berry baskets that my heart can take, you know?

My new party dress

June 4, 2015

Last month, I found this ASOS dress in my search for something to wear to my sister-in-law Kelley’s wedding. I loved the look of it—it’s very similar to the ASOS dress I wore to the last Miller family wedding! #uniform—so I went ahead and ordered it.

ASOS Wiggle Dress

But when the dress arrived, it looked horrible on me. The size 6 was too big in the hips, the back gaped around my shoulder blades, and it was a really unflattering midi length on my 5’4″ frame. But I loved the color, the pattern, the heavier fabric, the fact that I could wear a regular bra with it (!!), and the POCKETS. Since I had already sent back another ASOS dress twice (the petite was a little tight in the arms and the 6 regular was a little baggy/long overall, plus the fabric was on the thin side), I decided to see if a tailor could save it for me.

I’ve gone to the tailor for a bridesmaid dress, but never for more everyday-type clothing. If something isn’t the right fit, I just don’t buy it. (I was also raised by two experienced seamstresses, so that helped.) Because despite watching enough episodes of What Not to Wear to know that tailoring is The Secret to Everything (right after wearing the right size bra), I’m never quite sure how to find a good tailor, how much the job should cost, or what to ask for. (Like, how long should my jeans be?) Also, who wants to add another—errand especially one that involves going someplace twice in the same week—to her to-do list? Ugh.

In the interest of time, I decided to go to a place near my office (Fifth Avenue Dry Cleaners & Tailors on 23rd and Fifth) and everything went perfectly. My friend Tashween spotted me as I was walking there, so she came along; we squeezed into the teeny shop and we were both impressed by how quick and professional the tailor was. I had actually forgotten to mention I wanted the back fixed, but he noticed how it was gaping and asked me if I wanted him to do that too. I dropped it off on a Friday and asked if I could pick it up on Tuesday and the timeframe wasn’t a problem. The final bill was $50—it would have been considerably less if I’d only gotten it hemmed—which may be a lot (is it? in NYC? I have no idea) but I was in a time crunch, handing a brand-new dress over to a stranger and asking him to hack eight inches off of it, and Mercury was retrograde, so…whatever. It brought the total cost for the dress to $150 which is a little more than I wanted to spend, but now I have a pretty versatile party dress that was virtually unwearable before.

summer wedding guest dress

P.S. I left my heels at the office and had to take some very old wedges on the trip instead. I was so bummed!
P.P.S. After I put considerable effort into doing my hair and makeup and applying fake eyelashes the day of the wedding, I realized that I hadn’t even surpassed the Mormon-fashion-blogger-going-to-church basic level of glam.

BuzzFeed: Get Ready To Fall In Love With Danish Store Flying Tiger

May 28, 2015

If Ikea and the dollar store had a baby — and Crate & Barrel and Party City were its crazy aunts — you’d have something close to the Danish store Flying Tiger.


Read more about it here.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

May 4, 2015

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Since yesterday was such a beautiful day, Eric and I headed to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Unsurprisingly, pretty much everyone else in Brooklyn had the same idea.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Going on such a busy day was just one of our many rookie mistakes. We didn’t make a point to go early and we went hungry…meaning we had to wait in the cafe line for like 40 minutes to get our insanely overpriced and rather underwhelming lunch. It was also way warmer outside than we expected, so we were both overdressed. And it was just a very, very busy day at the garden, making it a less relaxing experience than I was hoping for.

ALL THAT SAID…the gardens were lovely. My favorite spots were Osborne Garden and the fragrance garden. The herb garden was pretty legit too.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

I’m excited to go back before too long—the rose garden wasn’t in bloom yet, but it sounds like it should be soon!—with a better plan overall and some reading material. 

The week in review

April 19, 2015

This week was pretty good—there was a very fun day spent in a nail art shoot, an afternoon trip to the ice cream truck, lots of literal LOLs at my desk thanks to my funny coworkers, and some good after-work shopping.

ice cream

But this weekend was a blast! Yesterday, New York FINALLY got the weather we’ve all been waiting for. It was 70 degrees and sunny and everyone went out to play. For me, it was one of those lovely New York City days where you just basically spend your time eating and then walking to your next food destination.

nyc day

Eric and I started our day with breakfast at Brunswick (I had the avocado toast, which was fancy, yummy, and quite filling), and then took the train to High Street because we’d been wanting to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. (If you haven’t ever done it, it’s a fun little thing to do!) After we crossed into Manhattan, we walked up Broadway all the way to 19th Street (stopping here and there to browse interesting-looking shops) until we got to our next destination: Dough. After Dough, we went to Fishs Eddy, a store I had never been to before (um, WHY NOT?) and it filled my heart with so much joy.

RBG mugs

After the longest wait for the F train maybe ever, I headed to Macondo for a late brunch with a group of my black female coworkers. Everyone showed up in bright spring colors and great moods. I had the chicken chilaquiles (good, though a little spicy!) awith my bottomless mimosas, and it was just a wonderful few hours.


Later that night, Eric and I walked to the grocery store to get some soup later in the evening (because, unsurprisingly, I was kiiiind of out of appetite at this point) and then we spent the rest of the might watching Scandal. (Which: UGH. I know it’s been over-the-top since the first season, but this season is basically unwatchable. We hadn’t watched the last six episodes until this weekend because I just needed a break from it.)

I’d planned to have a lazy day today but…that’s not how it worked out at all! Eric said he wanted to go to a diner for breakfast, so we decided to try Park Plaza after seeing it in this article. It was a good choice choice; Park Plaza is pretty much the definition of unfussy, and the food was pretty good. (Eric’s challah French toast was SO delicious.) From there, we wandered around Brooklyn a bit, and then headed into the city. (On the way, I spotted Joanna Goddard‘s husband and son Toby on the train, which was kind of funny/weird.) Once in the city, we did a lot more wandering, mostly in the pursuit of new, comfortable work/commute shoes for both of us. (Apparently, yesterday we took about 20,000 steps and today we took 24,000! So yeah, we’re both thinking a lot about shoes.) It was just another really lovely day!

Here are some other highlights from the week…


Things That Scare Me, Design*Sponge. “Do you know what it feels like to have an entire forum of people devoted to hating you and your work publicly, year after year? I do. And a lot of other people do, too.” I just love when Grace Bonney writes from the heart like this.

The Perfect American Road Trip, Shareably. Fun! 

Behind the Scenes of Barbie’s Insanely Popular, Painstakingly-Produced Instagram, Racked. God, I love that Instagram.

The world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, CBS News. Nice.

Planning For A Future We Can Actually Imagine, BuzzFeed. I LOVE this essay—which was written by one of my coworkers (who I just adore)—on attending a gay wedding expo. *Cry warning*

Growing a Minimalist Wardrobe: Affordability, Reading My Tea Leaves. Good tips for anyone who is trying to build a grown-up wardrobe.

How Living in a Tiny Apartment Made Me Happier and Saner, Apartment Therapy. I’ve always preferred smaller living spaces so I appreciated this.

Here’s Why You Should Make Your Bed Every Single Day, BuzzFeed. I judge people who don’t make their bed daily tbh.

Amy Schumer Made the Perfect Send-Up of Booty Anthems, Slate. This video made me LOL and the song got stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Worth it.

How Outlander Finally Won Us Over, Tom & Lorenzo. If you’re not watching Outlander yet…maybe this will convince you! (And if you are watching, I really enjoyed this kinda relevant history lesson.)

31 Black Girls Who Slayed Prom 2015, Coloures. Will give you life.

The Eternal Return of BuzzFeed, The Atlantic. Relevant to my life, and also worth reading if you’re interested in journalism.

Dat cover.


A genius trick for fancy chalkboard writing

What’s The Most Underrated Place To Buy Bras And Underwear Online? 

17 Times Every Bride Is Thinking “CAN U NOT?”

21 Women Who Slayed In Their White Jeans 

25 Lazy Couple Wedding DIY Ideas

The week ahead…

Dinner/drinks with friends/coworkers, drinks with an old friend, and avoiding the rain!

The week in review

April 5, 2015

This week, I was out and about more than usual! On Sunday, Dallas came up from D.C. and we did a little shopping, grabbed dinner at the new restaurant Oxido (which she described as “if Urban Outfitters made a Chipotle”), and then went to the ballet.

 Joyce Theater NYC

Thursday was filled with free food, so…the best kind of day, basically. (The warmer weather didn’t hurt either!) Everyone at BuzzFeed got hooked up with free grilled cheese from Morris Truck (the flyer announcing it said “It’s a havarti party!”) for lunch. Around 5:00, I headed to the New York Magazine weddings event. There was an array of beautiful and delicious foods, including a lot of freshly-made donuts and a pretzel cart (which I nonchalantly circled like a shark as I waited for the owner to return so I could get one). I also discovered the rad jewelry and accessories from In God We Trust and now want basically everything.

After the wedding event, Eric and I went to the Putt-Putt Park party at the Hudson Hotel. On Friday evening, we wandered around Chelsea Market for a bit after work, which was fun. (He’d never been.) And yesterday we went out for breakfast and then did our taxes. Later we went to L Train Vintage, where I stumbled upon a sweatshirt with my initials monogrammed on it. If you want a thrift store for normal people who just want a $5 skirt and not a perfectly-curated collection of expensive vintage designer dresses, I’d definitely recommend checking out L Train. In exchange for the lack of fussiness, you have to be willing to dig more and there’s a lot of duds but…that’s what I expect at thrift stores, so it’s fine.

L Train Vintage

After Eric and I went to L Train Vintage on Saturday, I wanted to go to a store called Homecoming…and getting there turned into the weirdest, Brooklyniest walk through Brooklyn ever.

After taking the M to Hewes, we decided to walk the rest of the way instead of getting on the G. We had been walking for about 15 minutes when we came upon a MASSIVE wall of apartments that take up the entire block at Bayard and Union (across from McCarren Park) and our walk suddenly took a very surreal turn. Eric described the area as “going to look perfect in ruins in a dystopian future” right as I was thinking Huh, so this is what Katniss felt like when she arrived in the Capitol. Something about the late-afternoon sun, lack of leaves on the trees, lack of humans, and sheer mass of all these new hip buildings (which were unlike anything I’d ever seen before—clearly expensive but also kind of hideous and out of place) was just…eerie. Like maybe we were in an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?

We continued our route along the industrial-feeling 14th Street, where we saw a bunch of model-looking dudes rocking overalls and man buns/undercuts as they worked in a vintage motorcycle restoration shop…and then saw several more lumbersexuals out painting logos/art and like bespoke fonts (idk?) on the outsides of a bunch of the buildings. (Me, every 60 seconds: “Is this real life?” Am I in an inception?” “WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?” “Where the fuck are we?!”) We also passed a building—the glass front door said “(Root)Brooklyn” and it was all minimalist chic inside so it could have been LITERALLY ANYTHING—with the most beautiful garage doors on their “delivery entrance” that I’ve ever seen. And I couldn’t be mad about the amazing garage doors—like, they were totally beautiful, and why not make an ugly, everyday thing more lovely if you can?—but it was just. So. Weird. (Also, apparently Root is just a studio space. Or so they claim. Everything we saw during this outing was part of The Kinspiracy. )

Then we walked up Franklin, which Eric described as “lots of stores that have a single word and a hip symbol on their sign, and neither is related to what they actually do.” Like, there would be a tomato and the word ‘parlor’ but then it was actually a clothing store. Eventually we reached Homecoming. And like every other store in that neighborhood, it was a surreal step into a hip minimalist Pinterest board. But it was my kinda Pinterest board, so I couldn’t be mad, and I bought a couple teeny-tiny succulents.

Homecoming Brooklyn

On our way home, we stopped at a (thankfully normal) bar for a couple of not-insanely-artisanal beers and a plate potato wedges so we could feel like regular people again.

Here are some other highlights from this week!


(Shorter list this week because I made an effort to get back to my 2015 goal of reading more books!)

Dating Advice You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self, BuzzFeed. Funny/smart/interesting/good.

On living alone, A Cup of Jo. I love pretty much everything Caroline writes.

Why Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Bradley, and Oprah Love Mellody Hobson, Vanity Fair. I had never heard of Mellody Hobson before, so I appreciated reading this.

An Easy, Do-It-Today Prescription for a Clean & Happy Home, Apartment Therapy. This was just a sweet little post!

Self-Portrait Of The Artist As Ungrateful Black Writer, BuzzFeed. Really good.

Adult Children of AIDS Victims Take Their Memories Out of the Shadows, The New York Times. Cry warning.

I Followed My Stolen iPhone Across The World, Became A Celebrity In China, And Found A Friend For Life, BuzzFeed. This story is so crazy/charming/wonderful.

Did Katie Holmes Have a Secret Entrance to Whole Foods in Chelsea? + The Update, Gawker. More weird and funny stuff.

This racist column is fucking ridiculous.

This video made me LOL.

We Heart: The Perfect Comeback to a Sexist Jab, Ms. Also made me LOL.

I spent most of my downtime reading Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer this week and it was SO FUNNY. Definitely recommend!


Going Clear, the new documentary about Scientology. (Also, if you’ve watched it, this spoof of the weird Scientology video is perfect.)

And Outlander and Mad Men are finally back!


How To Be A Friend To Someone Getting Divorced

Here’s What Happened When We Weighed Women’s Purses (Fun fact: the first doctor I interviewed for this story kept talking about how big purses/bags are ugly and not “sexy.” He strictly referred to women as “girls,” and when I asked him if backpacks were a good alternative, he said, “Well, that depends. Do we want girls to look like girls or do we want them to look like men?” I ended up interviewing another doctor—who was fantastic—because I didn’t want to promote the first guy in any way.)


This sweatshirt. Why is everything from Ted Baker so lovely and also at least $150? And so many of the dresses from the new ASOS bridesmaid line. (Like, hiiiiii.)

The week ahead…

Is it spring yet? I found myself missing Houston a lot this week, mainly because this time of year is the best in Houston, and last spring was just such a lovely, creative, happy time for me. All I want is a week of nice weather…and some flowers. Is that really so much to ask?

Putt-Putt Park at the Hudson Hotel

April 5, 2015

On Thursday evening, I met up with Eric and we went to the launch party for a new putt-putt pop-up park at the Hudson Hotel. Though the press release had me feeling a little salty (maybe don’t ask people if they are “ready for Augusta”—the famously racist and sexist golf club that is home to the Masters) it was actually really fun.

putt putt park

The course is pretty cute and definitely worth checking out, especially since one game is only $10. It would make for a really good date or friend outing. (Unless you’re as embarrassingly bad at putt-putt as I am…in which case, go for the mini fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, which are really delicious.)

Ms. Dahlia’s

April 5, 2015

On Saturday morning, Eric and I went to Ms. Dahlia’s Cafe (on Nostrand between Hancock and Halsey) for breakfast. We were alllllll about that biscuit bar. And the fact that they open earlier on Saturdays than the all other cafes in the area.

Miss Dahlia's Cafe Bed-Stuy

A biscuit with gravy is my favorite thing to order when I go out for breakfast, so I was pretty psyched about the menu. I ordered the Mos Definitely (biscuit, gravy, and a fried egg) and Eric got the Southern Comfort, which cost twice as much money but had bacon and a piece of fried chicken in addition to the egg.

Miss Dahlia's Cafe Bed-Stuy -- Southern Comfort

Ms. Dahlia’s doesn’t serve the classic white gravy I was expecting; this was andouille sausage gravy and was thinner, like a sauce. It had a pretty spicy kick to it, but it was very good. Next time, I’ll either order the gravy on the side or just ask them to go easy on it; all the extra gravy on the plate made it sort of difficult to eat. Eric liked his Southern Comfort but said next time he’d opt for a classic because the fried chicken and bacon didn’t add enough, taste-wise, for it to be worth $12 to him. The menu also includes gravy-less biscuits options, cucumber lemonade, a $7 grab-and-go breakfast that includes coffee, lunch options, a bunch of cakes that looked very promising (apparently the owner also runs Cake Bliss), and pastries (which we also tried).

Miss Dahlia's Cafe Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

The overall vibe at Ms. Dahlia’s was very friendly and charming; the food was good and the prices weren’t outrageous. (And it’s owned by a black woman, which I appreciate!) We’ll definitely go back again!

BuzzFeed: We Tried Martha Stewart’s New Cafe In NYC & Here’s What Happened

March 13, 2015

Big Martha is watching!


Read more here.

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