Rooftop at the Met + Shake Shack Lunch in Central Park.

Ah, the Met. It's wondrous. Famous. Timeless. The Metropolitan Museum is one of the grandest in the world. It's so unbelievably huge, it would take weeks to get through all the wings and exhibits. My favorite spot in the museum is The Sackler Wing, where you can walk through the Egyptian Temple of Dendur. It's not even the exhibit itself that is alluring to me - it's actually just the room. I love the quiet waters that run the length of the hall, echoing up into the high ceilings. I love the slanted glass windows that usher in the willowy sunlight. I love this quiet space, centered within a city of maddening sound. And I also happen to be a sucker for Egyptian history. So on all fronts, this is the spot for me. But I also really love the impressionists located in the Lehman Collection - VanGogh or Monet, anyone?

For all those who were devout "Gossip Girl" watchers - these are the Met steps where Blair reigns as Queen B. For all those who weren't devout watchers - DON'T JUDGE.

For all those who were devout "Gossip Girl" watchers - these are the Met steps where Blair reigns as Queen B. For all those who weren't devout watchers - DON'T JUDGE.

His arm is fine. He just really, really likes bandaids.

His arm is fine. He just really, really likes bandaids.

I could have stared at this one all day.

I could have stared at this one all day.

Okay, so this is really fun. Every summer, the Met opens up an exhibit on the rooftop. It's cool because there are obviously gorgeous views of Central Park and Manhattan all around - and because there's a bar, so you can enjoy your wine and watch the sun go down over the city. This has been on my NYC bucket list for a long time, and I'm so glad we finally found our way up there on this particular visit. We enjoyed some mocktail/cocktails and marveled at the strange exhibit this year - a full-scale sculpture installation based on the Bates barn from the classic horror film, Psycho. Art is such a funny, subjective kind of thing. To us, the views of the city far outweighed the impact of this particular exhibit. We were all like, can we go back and see some more of Monet's waterlilies? Cheers.

And this little guy is getting way too theatrical these days when Stevie tosses him in the air. I'm pretty sure he was striking a pose in this one :)

And then it was time for lunch! We walked clear across the park, from the east to the westside, and grabbed lunch at Shake Shack on 77th, then took it into the park for a delicious, shady picnic. We might have overindulged in Shake Shack during this stint in the city. We ate it every Saturday for a month. But you guys - it's just so good. I know they have it in Atlanta now, but still. I rarely venture into my own city these days. When we are at home, we kind of hibernate. But when we're goofing off in New York, I love a regular old shack burger, fries, and of course a milkshake. And the concretes! Oh, and actually the lemonade is really, really good too :)

How cute are these two? I'm so grateful that these sweethearts came to visit and play in the city with me :) Friends forever.

How cute are these two? I'm so grateful that these sweethearts came to visit and play in the city with me :) Friends forever.

If a few of these photos look familiar to you, it's because I shared some from this particular day here. OXO Tot was kind enough to send me some travel toddler products to try out while we were on the road so much in New York, and having the right tools really makes a difference when you're on the go with a kiddo! I'm really grateful for this blog, because it allows me to collaborate with brands that we love and actually use in real life, and share them! I love the OXO brand not just for baby gear, but also for kitchen utensils. But Everett loves them for the snack cups.

Here's the Shake Shack lemonade I was telling you about! He downed it. I have to watch his lemonade intake because he lovvvvves it.

And there you have it, friends. A breezy, fun day exploring the museum and eating our body weight in french fries and milk shakes. The Upper West and Upper East sides of the city are so fun to explore, although I'm extremely biased and think the Upper West is the Upper Best, always.

A few other delicious spots to try in the Upper West Side, if you're visiting and looking for something: Juice Generation (for a seriously delicious and pricey nutritious juice), Alice's Tea Cup (totally girly teatime lunch spot!), Cafe Lalo (the cafe from You Got Mail, and yes, it's magical), Jacob's Pickles (omg the southern BLT will make you lose your mind, and the bloody mary, too), Pio Pio Salon (Peruvian food that is insane, come in a group and get the Matador combo and a pitcher of sangria to share), Levain (Jewish bakery with killer coffee and I-want-to-cry-they're-so-good cookies), Machiavelli (its a little fancy, but if you can sit outside and order any of the pizzas, you will be living your New York moment), and also, if you're here on the weekend, almost every restaurant does an amazing brunch with bottomless mimosas that lasts until like 2pm. There is a brunch culture in this city that I really, really love. So just walk south on Amsterdam or Columbus in the 70s and you will find limitless amazing options for omelets, french toast, the works. Whew. On that note, friends, I am hungry again!

Leave me a comment if you decide to visit any of these places and let me know what you think! Have an awesome day. XOX

Dim Sum in West Village + Dominique Ansel's Ice Cream + Sunset at Highline Park.

This post is a continuation of the longest NYC walking tour known to man. You can read the first part here, where we covered visiting our old apartment on the Upper Best Side :), gazing at the boats on the East River, inhaling pizza at Juliana's, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, and resting/drinking/snacking over at Hudson Eats at Brookfield Plaza. Whew. That was only the first part of the day, and it was already epic-status.

We continued our journey being guided by the best and brightest part of ourselves - the appetite. We cabbed from Brookfield Place up to the West Village, where we ate Nui Noodles - New York's second best dim sum (literally - this award was advertised on the window), and I don't know who won first because this stuff was AMAZING. We ordered seconds. Everett had a stroller nap and then a meltdown while we were here, which was pretty understandable since he had been curiously perfect for the first part of the day. I held him outside for the longest time while he clawed my face and screamed bloody murder after waking up from his nap and not knowing where he was. All the trendy 20-somethings in the Village walked by me like, "Ugh, what a drag, I am never having children" and I couldn't really blame them. It wasn't a fun twenty minutes of parenthood. I have the claw marks to prove it. #motherhood #theneedforwineisreal

But then I offered him fruit snacks and the sun-shiniest smile poured out of his face an we were back in business.

We visited the cutest of all book stores in the Village called Three Lives & Company, and then wandered up toward Dominique Ansel's newest spot, his Kitchen where he concocts insane ice cream (amongst many other addictive pastries). It's soft serve ice cream decorated with basil, balsamic and marinated strawberry and it is killer. KILLER. Even the cone is thick and wafery and buttery and I kind of want to cry now that I'm really leaning into the memory. This guy is a legend, for real.

Quick Note: Other spots in the area that I love are Rosemary's (farm-to-table dining with a veggie garden on the roof!), Olio e Piu (authentic Italian, great wine list, and it's fun to sit outside), The Spotted Pig (a West Village must, where you're sure to spot a celebrity), Grom (gelato! But I actually really love the lemon ice here), Diptique (why do I love these stupidly expensive candles? I can't help it), and of course, the original Magnolia Bakery (I prefer the simple vanilla cupcake. And the banana pudding. And the red velvet cake. Ah!) This part of the city is perfect for wandering the little side streets and discovering bars and cafes tucked into the quiet alleys. Make sure to get a little bit lost around here, because there's always something magical to be found.

We let the sugar rush guide us up to the Highline Park in Chelsea, where the sun was beginning to set over the Hudson River. It was so fun, letting Everett loose to get out some wiggles. The sun was bouncing it's reflection off the water and the skyscrapers and the most delicious shade of pink was cast on everything and everyone. Our feet were tired, our eyes were heavy, but our souls were thrilled to be part of the hum of the city.

Once the sun plunged into the river, we made way for the subway and high tailed it back to our car on the Upper Best Side :) It was a weary ride back to White Plains, but we had seriously full hearts (and bellies!) to remind us of a day gone right.

I am so grateful for friends and family who have made the effort over the years to come visit us when we live in crazy places. This particular stint was a new one for me and Stevie - we don't usually just take off for a month, but I am so thankful for the opportunities we've had to dive deep and explore such mesmerizing places. It's even more special when you get to share it with family and friends - and these girls made it the best trip ever. There is nothing like ladies who know your heart so intimately and believe in you fully - it's such an empowering feeling, being surrounded by healthy, confident women. They truly bolstered my spirit, and boy, I didn't know how badly I would need to cling to their words and encouragement in the weeks that followed their visit. When life sends challenges, you really have to hold fast to the truths you know and encouragement of those around you.

So yeah, this NYC day trip pretty much rocked. Tomorrow I'm sharing more, about exploring The Met (including the rooftop exhibit + bar!) and enjoying the NYC standby of Shake Shack lunch in Central Park. Thanks for reading along, friends!

P.S. - Other NYC travel spots to hit here and ideas for touring NYC with a baby here.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge + Eating the Juliana's Pizza + Views from Battery City Park.

While we were staying in New York for the month, I lucked out because my friends came to visit :) It felt like a little piece of home, having those girls come and stay for a few days. I love New York so much and I rarely get to share it with friends and family back home, so I was a little giddy to share all my favorite spots with them. And they brought ideas for places they wanted to visit, too, so we went all out and explored and ate everything. It was so much fun (and to be honest, in retrospect I probably walked too much), but at the time the adrenaline was running mile-high and I was just going with it. There's something radical about the second trimester of pregnancy. It really makes you feel like you can fly. We did so much over the course of our few days together that I'm going to have to break it up into a few posts, because otherwise, it's like picture/restaurant recommendation overload. But if you're gathering ideas for an upcoming NYC trip, then make sure to check back here every day this week, because it's going to be New York-centric!

We started this day by driving into the city and parking right next to our old building on the Upper West Side. We showed Everett where we used to live (when I was pregnant with him!) and then hopped on the subway and took the quickest route to Brooklyn, our starting point for the day's events.

Showing Everett our old apartment building.

Showing Everett our old apartment building.

I know this is a dweeby picture but I don't care. We lived here! We loved it!

I know this is a dweeby picture but I don't care. We lived here! We loved it!

I instagrammed this photo last week because these boys were so into the boat watching. It was adorable.

I instagrammed this photo last week because these boys were so into the boat watching. It was adorable.

We lost this cute little hat on this particular day :(

We lost this cute little hat on this particular day :(

I promise he's not as close to the edge as it seems in the photo.

I promise he's not as close to the edge as it seems in the photo.

So I've shared before about walking the Brooklyn Bridge here and about eating the AMAZING Juliana's Pizza here, so I won't tell those kinds of stories twice. But all I can say is - do both of these! Get to Juliana's when they open, because then you won't have to wait too long (the line is way out the door for hours), and make sure to get any of the pizzas with scarmorza cheese. You won't be able to forgive yourself for missing it. Everett scarfed so hard and ate more than anyone. He's so my Italian baby.

After our carb-loading we trekked across the Bridge. I'll admit that it's a little annoying on Saturday to walk the bridge because it's so crowded, but the views are really special and not to be missed. Where else do you get to see that particular skyline of Manhattan? It's a stunner.

Vanessa brought one of those trendy Instax-polaroid cameras (I don't know what they're called actually) and Everett went nuts for it. He really likes getting his picture taken these days, but to have the immediate gratification of seeing the photo develop really did something for him. She was sweet to spend so much of her film on him during the trip. He showed everyone that we met his pictures, and would clutch them while we walked him in the stroller. Also, he called her "My Nessa". I almost died.

After walking across the bridge we wandered even further south to the waterfront, through Battery Park, and then wound our way up to Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place. We needed to rest our feet, so we grabbed some drinks and stretched out on the lawn for a bit. This is the perfect spot to take in views of the Statue of Liberty, although if you really want to get up close and personal, you can jump on a free ferry ride down to Staten Island to get a bit closer to Lady Liberty (we did that here).

Note: If you're going to Hudson Eats to really eat, I recommend the brisket at Mighty Quinn's Barbeque, the 5-spice pork belly sandwich at Num Pang, literally anything on the menu at Black Seed Bagel, and the citrus squeeze juice at the Tartinery. Whew, I'm glad I got all that off my chest.

What I love most about this city is that it is a thousand cities in one. It can mean anything to anyone - frenzied, fantastic, mesmerizing, shocking, comforting, challenging, intoxicating, inviting. I've been to a lot of big cities but there is nowhere quite like New York. I think it takes a long time to get the feel for the city - for first-timers it can feel overwhelming, too fast-paced and too crowded. But it grows on you in this sneaky, alluring kind of way. The food is best here. The skyline is exotic. The energy is addictive. The possibilities are infinite. It's truly a dreamer's city and I can't help but get re-bitten by the bug every time I set foot on this maddening island. Isn't it strange to feel most at home in a place that you don't actually call home? That's the magic of New York. It's the greatest city on Earth.

This was not the end of our day but I will split this post in two since we did so much. More tomorrow on wandering through West Village and up into Chelsea :)

P.S. - If you can't hardly wait, check out other NYC shenanigans and recommendations here :)

Baby #2 - 28-Week Bumpdate + Hey 3rd Trimester!

How Far Along: 28 weeks. 7 months and entering the third trimester :)

Gender: Another boy. Oh my grocery bills.

Name: Yep! We've got a name!

Sleeping? So. Sort of. If I don't take a bath at night to unwind, then I can't sleep. There is something magical about the bath tub right now, so I'm not going to dare jinx it by not taking one every night. My sisters got me some really amazing bubble bath for my birthday this past weekend, and I am loving it so much. So I am really grateful for the tub these days :)

Eating: I'm actually trying to scale back the sugar in this final trimester. Apparently this is a big baby already (pray for me guys), so I don't want to add to the chunkiness by packing on the sugar pounds. If you have great healthy recipes for me, I am all ears. And perhaps some treats that feel indulgent but contain no sugar. It's going to be really hard to experience the holiday season without having a cookie here or there, but I really want to avoid giving birth to a 10-lb. baby if I can help it. So if I bake treats, I will immediately be giving them away this fall. You probably want to be my friend right about now, as I am currently littering my dining room table with fall recipes.

Emotional Check: Honestly, I'm officially a psycho. I don't really know another way to put it. I shared last week that I'm having to scale everything back for the remainder of this pregnancy, and I'm feeling frustrated about it. Sometimes I'm really positive and optimistic, but I definitely get hit with some feelings like "I just want to go run 5 miles right now!!!" and obviously I can't. I'm having to keep my feet up a lot and let other people do all my projects for me, which is just really grating. And then when I feel upset I get even more upset at myself for not remembering to be grateful for this baby and all the kindness and support I have around me and the short season that this is. Soon I know I will be cradling this little sweetheart in my arms and we will be back to figuring out how to exercise and meal plan and all that good stuff. So for now, I know I just need to chill. I'm just having some trouble with it. I can be honest with you, right? This pregnancy has really thrown me for a loop.

I do want to thank you guys for being so encouraging and supportive after last week's post. So many of you reached out on Facebook, Instagram, and the post and shared your experiences and it seriously brought so much hope to my heart. I loved all the suggestions of what to do from a resting position over the next few weeks - you guys are the best! I seriously cherish every comment, so thank you for taking the time to reach out. :)

Movement: Yes. I feel like I'm housing Thor up in here. He feels huge, he moves all the time, and if he keeps jabbing me in the you-know-what I'm going to have to discipline him in the first hours of his life.

I'm serious you guys. The movements aren't feeling like the sweet flutters of Heaven. They are a cross between feeling like contractions and a knife wound.

Looking Forward to: I was going to say ,"ending this pregnancy full-term!", but I want to be a little more positive than that. Obviously, everyone is excited for the changing of the season, and fall is such a dreamy time of year, so I am very much looking forward to cooler temperatures. We worked a lot in the back yard this weekend (by "we" I mean that I saw in my chair and told my husband where to plant everything), so now I have a special place to sip my coffee in the mornings and have prayer time, surrounded by herbs and vegetables and autumn flowers. I'm having to do a lot of self-encouraging these days, which is okay, it's good - it's just been a very unexpected month. That's just life sometimes though, right friends?

Here's to cooler temperatures and a full-term baby! What are you looking forward to for the fall season?

*The photo above is a bit of a lie. It was taken a few weeks ago so it's not an accurate portrayal of today's bump. I'll instagram one later today :)