I turned 26 on July 14 and had such a wonderful day. Friday birthdays are always the best! Between a visit to the movies to see Despicable Me 3 and a delicious Mexican dinner and margarita at Brooklyn's Gran Electrica, one of my favorite birthday surprises came from my good friend Luis Moreno.
Not only is Luis one of the kindest people you will ever meet, he is also a super talented artist! He can take a photograph of someone and use it to create a colorful and adorable animé-inspired portrait. Luis has created portraits of everyone from professional wrestlers to K-Pop artists, and I've always told him that one day I'd love a portrait of myself drawn by him. Much to my surprise, Luis did just that and sent it to me the day after my birthday. To see the way he imagined me as a cartoon character is so fun! I think he's captured my spirit - what do you guys think?!
It has made me so happy to watch Luis' artwork take off in the way that it has. You can check out his work on Instagram @morenoartwork - and if you want a custom portrait of your own, you can contact him on his Etsy page. Thank you, Luis, for making my day with this adorable surprise!
Happy Friday, friends! I've decided to try something new on the blog with a new post category I'm calling Friday Fix. With these Friday posts, I'll kick off the weekend by sharing my favorite online window-shopping finds from the week. Because there's so much cute stuff out there!
Below are my favorites from this week. Enjoy and happy online shopping! : )
Bow Hair Set from Anthropologie
How cute are these hair ties?! I've never seen anything like these, and I think they would look so adorable on a low pony - just to dress it up a bit and make it look special. All three of the color options are nice, but my favorite for my hair color is the Copper.
Available at Anthropologie, $12
Granite Jumpsuit from Albion Fit
I've heard so many great things about Albion Fit and I loooove this jumpsuit. It looks like it's super comfy and I could picture throwing it on over the weekend with a pair of white sneakers and a denim jacket for a relaxed, sporty look. It comes in a few different colors options - I love the granite or the olive color.
Available at Albion Fit, $118
The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Adventures. By: Adrianna Adarme
This book is definitely on my to-read list... I love all things cozy, so a year of cozy?! Sounds good to me! I am so excited to order this book and give some of the projects a try.
Available at Barnes and Noble, $18.54 SALE
Halogen Cardigan Stitch Cashmere Wrap
Nordstrom is having their huge Anniversary Sale right now and there are so many great deals. I ordered this cashmere wrap (it was under $100 - a great price for cashmere!) in dark grey (there are tons of other cute color options too) and I am so happy with it. The fabric is the perfect thickness and it's so amazingly soft. It feels like I'm wrapping myself in a warm hug or a favorite blanket. You can wear it as a wrap or as a scarf. I can't wait to layer this over everything this fall and winter.
Available at Nordstrom, $98.90 SALE
If there's one thing to know about my extended family, it's that we are defined by our traditions. We run/walk the Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving morning, we slow clap after each present is unwrapped on Christmas Day, and (probably my favorite tradition of all) we vacation together in the Finger Lakes each summer.
Ever since I was a baby, the week at the Lake has been the central point of my summers. Our family rents a cottage right on the water and we all cram in (all 18 of us) for seven days of sunshine, beers, boating and campfires. We've done this every summer for the past 26 years without fail - and last year we added my boyfriend, Adam, into the mix. The Lake has become like a second home to me and I look forward to the trip every year.
The Finger Lakes region of New York is full of beautiful lakes, and over the years we've tried staying on several of them, but our favorite of the bunch has become Keuka Lake. The lake is peaceful and beautiful, with warm water and gorgeous cottages. We just returned from our annual trip a few days ago, and I wanted to share some of the wineries and breweries we visited and some other photos from the week. If you're looking for a relaxing place to get away, definitely check Keuka Lake out!
Wineries and Breweries
The Finger Lakes region is a popular place to visit for wine tours. The area is full of vineyards and I love spending time at the different wineries (and now some breweries!) doing tastings and finding yummy wines to bring back home. This year, we visited three - Ravines Wine Cellar Tasting Room, McGregor Vineyard, and Abandon Brewing Company.
The Ravines tasting room sits on a hill with a beautiful view of the Lake. The building is rustic, cute and surrounded by rows and rows of grape vines. I felt like I was in the French countryside. Inside, the space was small and intimate, with several stations set up around the room. The space was light and bright - I loved it! We were taken to a station where we did a tasting paired with New York State cheeses. The cheese was such a nice feature and made the tasting extra special, and the man who led our tasting was great! He gave us useful descriptions and information on each wine, without coming across "snobby" as some wine tastings can be. I left with a delicious bottle of Gewurtzstraminer that I can't wait to drink this summer. This was my favorite winery of the two we visited during the trip and I would definitely recommend it.
McGregor Vineyard is a five minute drive from Ravines and also has amazing views of the Lake. The space is larger than Ravines - they have a front deck with rocking chairs that makes for a great photo-op and space to relax after your tasting - and the space is a little more on the casual side. The tasting area is rustic and cozy, with string lights decorating the ceiling and wooden picnic tables where you sit and taste. We even got a visit from the winery's resident dog - so cute! The nice part about McGregor is that you get to choose all of the wines you taste. They also give you a small snack plate (with crackers and chocolate) to pair with the wine. My only complaint was that after pouring our samples, the woman who led our tasting would walk away, without giving any descriptions or thoughts about the wine. But it was a very relaxed, easy atmosphere that's perfect for a larger group of friends. I ended up leaving with a bottle of Muscat Ottonel that I loved - and everyone at the tasting gets to take home a complimentary wine glass!
Keuka Lake is also surrounded by some fun, laidback breweries. This year, we spent an afternoon at Abandon. The brewery is up on a hill surrounded by hops vines and beautiful lake views. The space is rustic and cute with both an outdoor patio and an old, wooden barn. The barn space is adorable and I love spending time there - I've even heard from some people that they host an amazing New Years Eve party there each year. While snacking on complimentary peanuts we each tried a flight of beers ($2 per sample) before deciding on our favorite and ordering it full-size. My personal favorite was the Abbey Ale, but they also have some delicious sour beer options if that's what you're into. The bartenders are all super knowledgable about the flavors of each beer, and the atmosphere is really friendly and relaxed. They even host yoga and beer night each week and have live music on the small stage in the barn! Abandon is a great place to kick back and relax while sipping on delicious beers.
More Photos from the Trip
When we weren't off sampling the region's wines and beers, we were relaxing lakeside and soaking up the sun. If you're renting a cottage on Keuka Lake, I definitely recommend renting paddle boards or kayaks from Regan's Kayak, or even a small boat. Our family always has so much fun taking after-dinner boat cruises, getting some exercise by paddle boarding around the bay, and relaxing with a beer while floating in a tube. Check out some photos from the trip below:
My name is Abby Formella and I'm a 27 year-old working girl living in the lovely borough of Brooklyn, New York.