NYC & Brooklyn: Things To Do

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-1

Our daughter recently graduated from college and we celebrated with a champagne brunch for family and friends and a surprise trip to Brooklyn. She’s always wanted to visit NY and it was the perfect Mother/Daughter getaway…lots of shopping, eating and sight-seeing. Here are some highlights from our trip in case you’re planning a future visit of your own!

1. Visit the Top of the Rock – I’ll admit, I was a bit reluctant as I thought it was touristy, but I’m so glad we did it. The views are spectacular, truly. It’s easy to pin point landmarks of the famous city from above and fun to visit with tourists from all over the world. From there, you can walk to Times Square and see Japanese girls take round-about photos of themselves with selfie sticks.

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-5

2. Eat at Buvette or Via Carota – Both places are utterly charming. Owner Jody Williams, wrote one of my favorite cookbooks – Buvette. In fact, I love it so much, I often give it as a gift to friends. The simplicity and beauty of simple ingredients shine through in her recipes and restaurants. While Buvette has a Parisian vibe, her newest venture, Via Carota honors old world Italian roots.

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-2

3. Explore the neighborhoods – Whether you stay in a hotel or rent a brownstone, you’ll definitely want to spend time walking the neighborhoods. We spent days doing just that…stopping for coffee, popping into small shops, photographing graffiti, strolling the waterfront parks and people watching. We got a kick out of the coffee drinking yoga hipsters in Williamsburg and the early evening porch stoop gang yelling, “How ya doin’ Snowflake?” Ha! Only in NYC!

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-6

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-4

4. Coffee culture – There’s just so much seriously good coffee in Brooklyn. A few of our favorites were: Sweetleaf, Blue Bottle, and Toby’s Estate. We also loved Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Bakeri…if you’re looking for pie to go with it.

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-3

5. Get a Slice – Roberta’s Pizza is a hipster joint with wood fired pizzas, homemade pastas, and refreshing salads. The atmosphere is lively and completely laid back. We had the Bee Sting Pizza which isn’t on the menu but I highly recommend. It’s drizzled with honey just before serving!
Other great places to eat – Pok Pok NY for the most amazing Thai food, Saraghini Brooklyn where everything and I mean everything was delicious, Reynard at the Wythe for an early supper then up to their rooftop bar The Ides for sunset views!

Heather Bullard | NYC2015-7

6. Retail Therapy – A few of our favorites were Bellocq – very small tea atelier, Catbird – tiny jewel box of a shop, Sprout Home – lush garden store, Aesop – skincare at it’s finest, Spoonbill & Sugartown – great little independent bookstore, and Holler & Squall – well curated antique shop. There were many more I can’t remember, but as you explore, you’ll be sure to stumble on plenty!

Heather Bullard | NYC Finds

7. Hit the Brooklyn Flea – We went to both Brooklyn fleas,  Williamsburg and Fort Greene and had a great time. They’re much, much smaller than the CA fleas I’m spoiled with but that didn’t stop me from finding a few treasures. They also run the Smorgasburg food festival in conjunction with the flea markets…selling everything from handmade hibiscus donuts to Korean tacos. Unfortunately, we we’re too full to try anything when we went. Most likely from all the pie and coffee we consumed around every corner of Brooklyn.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Heather Bullard | Asian Cucumber Salad |

It’s hot over here. I’m guessing the temps are high in your neck of the woods as well. Summer has arrived in all her glory and no one in America wants to fire up their stove for fear of adding even a single degree farenheit to their home. That’s where this salad comes in…just slice cucumbers, add dressing, and keep chilled until you’re ready to serve. It’s great with steamed rice, pot stickers or grilled barbecue chicken. You could also add it to a Bahn Mi type sandwich with rotisserie chicken and shredded carrots on a baguette. It keeps well and transports easily for picnics and impromptu beach trips. Stay cool my friends! Hope you give this one a try!

Heather Bullard | Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 5-6 Persian cucumbers
  • ⅓ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice cucumbers with a knife or mandoline.
  2. Combine vinegar, oil and honey in a small bowl.
  3. Toss over cucumbers.
  4. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes.
  5. Chill 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Serves approximately 2-4

Finally, Spring

Heather Bullard | Fleur-102

So, I was a bit surprised to find that my last post was in January.
Why is time flying by at lightning speed? Goodness.

I won’t bore you with details of a busy life because I for one, know we all have them. I have a few more weeks of travel for styling projects and then some much needed time at home. There are grand plans to “get things done” as they say. Around the house things like finishing a few window treatments, adding to the still sparse furnishings, building planters for the front porch, and whatever else can be checked off the list. There are also reasons to celebrate…graduations, birthdays and such. Those days that make life extra special.

I’m looking forward to catching up with you here.

My wish is that you are all well and have been enjoying spring and all its wonders. xo, H

How to Make Vanilla Extract

Heather Bullard | Vanilla Extract-102

Who wants to talk about the holidays in January? Yeah…me neither.
But one of the most popular gifts I give is my homemade Organic Madagascar Vanilla Extract and it takes a very long time to cure. In fact, I think it should cure a year or more so the depth of flavor borders on decadence. So here I’ve included everything I use to make mine in hopes that you’ll feel Girl Scout prepared for next season!

[Read more…]

Holiday Scenes at Grove House

Grove House Holiday 5

I know things have been quiet here on the blog the last month. Most of it was due to a heavy work schedule but some of it was by choice. After I finished my last shoot of the year, I knew I’d have a few weeks at home to prepare for the Christmas season. And I thoroughly embraced it. Some highlights for me were documented on my Instagram so I thought I’d do a small round up here.

Having the studio has given me a quiet place to wrap gifts (and hide them!) and I did the majority of it in this little corner of the room. The Man surprised me with a rescue puppy a few weeks ago! Her name is Liberty and she’s been my constant sidekick ever since coming home to us.

[Read more…]