The New York Trip

Happy almost-Thanksgiving, everyone! Brad and I aren’t traveling this year, because a) Brad is working The Stuffing tonight, and b) we just got back from New York on Sunday night.

We had SO much fun staying in Brooklyn. The apartment we rented was right across from Fort Greene Park, which is very pretty and full of dogs and white birches.

Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The neighborhood of Fort Greene is pretty great, too. We stayed right on the border by Downtown Brooklyn, so at first, we were like, “This is the charming little hood that we keep hearing about?” Then we walked a bit further east and got the attraction. Adorable.

Fort Greene neighborhood via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Fort Greene street via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Our first day there, we walked from Fort Greene to Prospect Heights to Park Slope, saw Prospect Park briefly and got sushi at a place called Yamato. We both ordered a lunch special that included two sets of eight-piece rolls, soup and salad for $10. We literally could not stop talking about it. Who says New York is expensive?! OK, I’m kidding, but seriously, there are deals to be had.

Other highlights included amazing Italian meals at Broccolino (ORDER THE BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD), visiting friends in Carroll Gardens and Greenpoint, lattes in Park Slope, dinners in Cobble Hill and Bushwick, a show in Gowanus and a visit to the Winter Flea in Crown Heights, during which I ate a magical burger with a bun made of ramen noodles.

We packed in a lot. I haven’t walked so much since … well, I’m actually not sure. My legs have felt like rubber since we got back. Despite the exhaustion, though, it was just really refreshing to see old friends and feel the cold on our faces.

The point of our trip, I guess, was to answer the question, “Could we live here?” And generally speaking, the answer is yes. Getting around is fine – I wouldn’t say I’m a huge subway fan, but I’m not a huge driving fan, either, and at least you can ride the subway drunk. (Priorities.) The prices are frightening, but we could adjust. The cold is frigging fantastic. I was a little worried about feeling trapped without a car, but obviously, that was a silly concern, considering how much is available on every block.

Still, though, I worry about the apartment situation. What we learned is that we don’t really want to live in an up-and-coming/was-dangerous-a-couple-years-ago-but-isn’t-so-bad-now neighborhood. We walked around a couple, and our suburban sensibilities just weren’t prepared. Baby steps, people. So, that’s fine – there are tons of quieter, safer neighborhoods – but unless we want to commute for 45+ minutes, that probably means sacrificing space, which is terrifying. Our house has three bedrooms and eight closets. And they’re all FULL. Adjustments will have to be made. I think it’s probably worth it, though, just for the $10 sushi specials alone. And the bagels.

So, that’s the trip recap. Now, Thanksgiving time. This year, I’m thankful for options. If I find an amazing job in New York, we can get up and go, and that alone is something to appreciate, I think.

21 Creative DIY Projects To Prepare Your Guest Room (& Bathroom) For Holiday Visitors

We don’t have anyone coming to stay with us for Thanksgiving this year, but if we did, I’d definitely be trying a few of the projects on this list (which I created for BuzzFeed Community) to make our guest area cozy, cute and welcoming.

21 Creative DIY Projects To Prepare Your Guest Room For Holiday Visitors

I can’t be the only person to save guest room (and guest bathroom) decorating for last, right?!

Indecision & Ankle Boots

I’ve been called impulsive. Not a complimentary word, but not entirely inaccurate. It’s just that once I make a decision, I tend to act on it. Quickly.

Remember how I posted back in early October that Brad and I were thinking of moving to Brooklyn? And how I said that we’d been thinking about it since mid-August? The fact that we don’t have a solid decision made yet is very unusual for us as a couple, and it is KILLING ME. There are few things I hate more than being in limbo.

Obviously, this is a major life choice, and I know that it’s probably better to take our time. But still – I have no patience. Especially because so many things in our lives are on hold until the decision is made. I’m a woman of action, and I just. can’t. sit. still.

Aside from the bigger things I’m hesitant to do (scheduling holiday travel and medical procedures, making updates to the house, etc), I’m also not letting myself do any shopping, and it’s so, so sad. Fall is usually the season when I pick out some new clothes, but it seems kind of silly to do that when I don’t know what climate I’m going to be living in. I also feel like I shouldn’t be spending money on unnecessary things if we need to be saving for a move.

If I was allowing myself to make wardrobe additions, though, I’d be picking up a pair of basic black ankle boots. I have a million pairs of shoes, but somehow, I don’t have any of those. And there are so many good ones out there right now!

Basic Black Leather Ankle Boots via Glitter and Goat Cheese
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Which ones are your favorite? I’ve been sitting here trying to pick mine, and … I can’t. So I guess I need all of them.

Shop this post:

Punch Up Your Holiday Party

Brad and I aren’t having a holiday party this year – the next couple of months will be busy and a wee bit complicated – but if we were, I’d definitely be making a punch of some kind. At this stage of our lives, we can’t really afford to set up a full bar, so we usually encourage BYOB-ing, but I always like to have something just in case, and punch is the easiest (and most festive) solution.

With that in mind, I pulled together a list of 23 boozy recipes and shared them over on BuzzFeed Community.

23 Boozy and Festive Punch Recipes to Serve at Your Epic Holiday Party (by Stephanie Shore Fisher, via Glitter and Goat Cheese)

I found cold punches; hot punches; punches that use bourbon, vodka, champagne, rum; caffeinated punches; creamy punches … it’s, uh, a pretty comprehensive list. Hope you’ll check it out!

10 Kitchens That Prove Mixing Metals Is Totally OK

As we’ve been making minor updates to our home to make it more attractive to potential buyers, I’ve wrestled with whether to match our faucets to our light fixtures, our cabinet hardware to our doorknobs, etc. I’m a bit stuck between my own eclectic style and the more conservative look that Brookhaven buyers seems to favor.

There’s no question about where I fall in the mixed metals debate. I am all for it. The key, in my opinion, is to make it look deliberate. Your home shouldn’t look like you’ve been swapping out builder-grade features one at a time and haven’t gotten around to all of them. The goal is to create balance by juxtaposing styles and finishes that complement each other.

A note: Because many appliances don’t come in warm metals (and not everyone can afford a La Cornue range or cabinet-paneled pieces), I generally consider stainless steel appliances to be a neutral. There are some exceptions, but I say ignore ‘em.

We’ve done some amateur metal-mixing in our home, but for a master class, check out these insanely beautiful kitchens:

10 Kitchens that Prove Mixing Metals Is Totally OK (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)

#1: Chrome, Antique Brass and Bronze
Modern kitchen with Hicks pendants in Rue Magazine (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
With its glossy flat-front cabinets, contemporary chrome barstools, marble waterfall island and mirrored tile backsplash, this kitchen from Rue Magazine could have skewed toward cold and unwelcoming very easily. The antique silver pitcher and bronze/brass Hicks pendants add a lived-in touch. See a few different angles here.

#2: Brass, Bronze and Copper
Smitten Studio Brass and Copper Kitchen (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
In designer Sarah Sherman Samuel’s recently updated kitchen, she used warm metals exclusively. Again, those and the rustic wood elements keep the mostly-white kitchen from feeling too cold and modern. See more photos here.

#3: Brass and Stainless Steel
Husman Hagberg Kitchen with Brass Accents and a Stainless Pot Rail (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
With chalky-finish cabinets, subway tile and a farmhouse sink, the overall feel of this kitchen is heading toward country. The stainless steel pot rail (from Ikea!) gives it a utilitarian edge. Photo from HusmanHagberg, via Apartment Therapy.

#4: Silver and Wrought Iron
White and Wood Kitchen from House and Home (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
Once more, we see a mix of modern finishes (glossy solid surface countertops, a chrome coil-spring faucet) and rustic elements (reclaimed wood shelves with wrought iron brackets, terra cotta pots, wood cutting board). Modern + rustic is one of my favorite kitchen combos. From House & Home’s June 2014 issue, found via SF Girl by Bay.

#5: Brass, Copper and Chrome
Brass, copper and chrome kitchen - photo by Aubrie Pick (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
In contrast, if you want to mix several metals without losing cohesiveness, it helps to pick one style and stick with it. This kitchen, photographed by Aubrie Pick, uses modern fixtures across the board, which allows for some flexibility in finishes.

#6: Silver and Gold
Philadelphia Modern Bohemian Kitchen by Design Manifest (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
Luckily for renters, light fixtures and hardware aren’t the only way to mix metals. If you’re dealing with generic builder-grade finishes, add a collected, custom vibe with gold-framed vintage art and a well-loved rug. See more of Naomi Stein’s Philadelphia loft (one of my all-time favorite homes, FWIW) here and here.

#7: Silver and Bronze
Bronze and silver kitchen by Benjamin Dhong Interior Design (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
For those who think you can only mix warm with warm and cool with cool, I bring you this beautiful kitchen by Benjamin Dhong. The warm bronze cabinet hardware and sconce play well with the putty-colored cabinets and pops of yellow, but the big silver banded globe chandelier takes the otherwise-traditional kitchen to another level. The standout piece would have been a focal point in any finish, but the contrasting metal really draws your eye.

#8: Gold and Polished Silver
Farmhouse kitchen with gold chandelier from House Beautiful (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
I absolutely love the bravery that Tobi Tobin employed when she updated her 100-year-old farmhouse’s kitchen. The high-gloss black cabinets modernize the room a bit, but the visible brush strokes keep things cozy. In this case, I think brass cabinet knobs would have taken away from the ornate gold and crystal chandelier. Using polished silver for the hardware and faucet is the perfect way to keep the eye where it belongs. See more at House Beautiful.

#9: Steel, Gold and Silver
Steel, brass and silver kitchen from Design*Sponge (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
Technically, I think those pendants might be glass, but let’s call them gold for simplicity’s sake. In any case, you certainly wouldn’t expect to see them paired with industrial steel bar stools, but there they are, and I think they look fantastic. The flea market stools, glam pendants and brass deer head give a curated feel to what would otherwise be a pretty typical modern white kitchen. See more of the loft at Design*Sponge.

#10: Brass, Stainless Steel and Bronze
Gray and white kitchen with brass steel and bronze from House and Home (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
There’s a lot going on in this kitchen: industrial stainless appliances, reclaimed wood shelves, brass bin pulls, a copper colander, a bronze pendant … And you can’t even see the two gold chandeliers over the table in this photo. Somehow, though, it all contributes to a lived-in bistro style that never feels schizophrenic. It helps that the decor is minimal: The shelves are sparsely-styled, there’s not much on the counters, and even the two patterned fabrics in the room (the roman shades, not pictured, and the rug) are tone-on-tone, close in shade to the lower cabinets. Makes you feel like you could pull off a kitchen with about seven different finishes, right? See more at House & Home.

So, what do you think? Would you try mixing metals in your home? What parameters would you use to keep things from looking crazy?