sweltering saturday & a second smash cake!

a couple weeks ago, harvey's bff ella celebrated her 1st bday in the park near strawberry fields. ella & harvey are 2 days apart (she's the older woman;). ella's darling mom, marlene, was sweet enough to include harvey in the cake smash! 

BUT FIRST, shake shack.

i was actually on my way home from a shoot when i ran into mike & the family & everyone wanted shakes and burgers. no line at the shack. so we went in. i really dislike the shack. they never cook their meat (ESPECIALLY AT MADISON SQUARE PARK! barf)... mostly, i just ache for in-n-out when we go to shake shack. and i long to spend $15 instead of $40 for some burgers and fries, but i digress. 

mike made his own fry sauce. that helped. it tasted mostly decent this particular day. i was also impressed by the chocolate chip marshmallow shake. two thumbs up on that one, shack!

back to the day- it was SO humid & sticky, but the park is as green as can be, so i've all but forgotten about the heat now that i'm just looking back at the photos.
looking up at the roof i remembered that this was the first shake shack we went to- mike and me- years ago when we visited nyc to see if we wanted to make it our home. it sucked that time, too. but sentimental nontheless:) 
*elle stole these glasses from when she went to a movie theater birthday party- they saw star wars in 3D & she took the glasses as a souvenir........😬 she took out the lenses and vowed to wear them constantly, but started to get headaches the next day, so they've since been lost (?).
ella's party was in the shade of the giant, fluffy green trees, just next to the imagine mosaic & strawberry field... #pinchme
watch this play-by-play...
got it! way to make it work, ella girl;) harvey wasnt've loosening his grip on that ball, and she wanted IN. done.
easily distracted. 
ella took advantage of the situation, as any smart girl would;)
hbd, ella!!


an update: (still) living in 518 square feet...

this post is a follow-up to this post i made after we moved into our "tiny" apartment last spring. we just re-signed our lease for another year- 15 months in, and we've committed to another year:)

living in a small space. living in a tiny house. living in nyc. i think because we had space before we didn't have space, it's a lot easier of a lifestyle than most assume. it hasn't gotten old yet, and it's still a conscious choice we're happy to make. it's liberating. and it's really fun in a lot of ways.

conscious decisions

the decision of re-signing for another year was a harder than i thought it would be, mostly out of pride because our management company raised our rent more than i thought they should (normal, but annoying), and i really wanted to move out of principle, but i realized they wouldn't care if we stayed or left. and i also realized we have neighbors who have never complained- not once. which is like a unicorn in nyc. plus, we never smell cigarettes, and only smell pot in the halls in the summertime, so we decided to quit while we're ahead and stay. 

plus, who wants to move a murphy bed? that saves $500 right there. moving a murphy bed is nooo joooke.

the unfortunate news is that rumors are circulating that a high rise is set to be built RIGHT next to us. feet away. too close. first, they'll demolish the shorter building that allows us a view- that'll be loud i'm sure. and dusty. then they'll build. and we'll lose our view. and gain one of a construction site. men peering in our windows at eye-level. flood lights on 24/7. blegh. really, i'm hoping all that will take longer than a year, and by then, i assume we'll have officially outgrown this tiny home. we'll see.

(the bathroom. the bathroom is the one space that i curse. it's SO small- you can kind of see how the width of the bathroom is literally the size of the door. that's it. it's like an airplane bathroom. the size sucks, but the water pressure is a dream.)

the space is very similar to how it was last year- the biggest addition (aside from adding another human being) has been the metal rack by our front door, which became necessary to hold diapers, shoes, and hang winter garb since we don't have an entryway or a coat closet! otherwise, we've replaced a few picture frames (#indoorsoccer), baskets, and added hooks. that's about it.

speaking of winter, we just switched out winter for spring attire- which is refreshing. winter was hard with coooooats, gloves, hats, boots, stroller sleeping bags, sweaters, and an all-around extra bulk that doesn't seem to exist with lighter summer clothing. we store our items in suitcases mostly- swapping out seasons is a full-apartment-experience. seeing everything you own get moved around a few times a year reinforces the feeling of only keeping what you neeeed.

stuff & storage

hanging pants (above) was still my best- albeit, stolen from pinterest- idea i've had in my 33 years of life. they hang in our closet. we have 2 closets- a regular closet in the kids' room, and this small walk-in closet that acts like a regular closet, basement, garage, pantry, medicine cabinet, laundry room, and more. that closet is packed, but it is meticulously packed.

i have a whole different perspective on "stuff" in recent years. stuff is very much like food- disposable for the most part (enjoy it, realize it's coming at a cost, but it's just temporary). if i'm buying a shirt or a bowl or a toy, i ask myself in an oh, so philosophical voice: 'am i ok donating/disposing of this in a season if it no longer serves a useful purpose?' or 'is this worth replacing another item in order to hold on to?' i find it makes us re-think why we do what we do. what are seasons/celebrations for? do we need to buy decor? if i want a new coat, is it time to part with one i don't wear as often? can my kids share rain boots? socks? it's a constant process. i'm still learning. but it's a fun learning. it's like hyper-organizaiton. i organize and purge items at least weekly. sometimes a couple times a week. every drawer, box, cupboard... everything has a home at all times. items without homes are evicted.

i've also realized that the difference between small and smallER isn't as bad as i thought. our last apartment had more space for sure, but if harvey's up screaming during the night, both spaces were small and little difference would be noticed in that circumstance. 

a friend sent me this article a while back, and i love it- it captures the one caveat of living in such a small space: the need for a breather every once in a while. overall, our time in this apartment has been wonderful. it's been overwhelmingly freeing. it's easy. SO EASY. 

miscellaneous items of noteworthiness: 

- after harvey was born we replaced our double stroller (which i LOVED) with a single stroller (uppababy cruz) + ride board. mike and i have had countless arguments in our 9ish years as parents- 99% of parental arguments have been about strollers. as proof of the fact that i totally won this (and most other) stroller argument, i direct your attention to our "stroller parking nook" which basically proves that space was made for the stroller. (said nook is in the corner of the apartment, next to our closet & kitchen table, and fits the stroller perfectly.) an annoyance is that we bump this stroller up/down 10 steps because our apartment is not on the same level as our elevator. which drives me batty. but that's ok. could be worse. either way, strollers are lifelines. my stroller is my car. if the stroller isn't working, life cannot go on. groceries, the park, errands of any sort... all are reeeeally hard (dare i say impossible) with 3 little kids in the city if one is down a stroller. we have stroller parking in our apartment, which is fantastic:)

- trader joe's has some of the best flowers in the city (i can't confirm in other cities, but i can in this one). $7 for peonies that are the most lovely i've seen *outside of your yard, kerry!!* mike's the biggest proponent of flowers in our apartment- way more than me. i love that about him:)

- when all else fails, go UP! we store things so high in the air! we have high ceilings, so we take advantage of the space in our closets, and above our cupboards. 

- hanging laundry baskets was a game changer for us. i mean, i'd give up a kidney for a washer & dryer in my apartment, but i'm trying to remain realistic here. i'll take what i can get.

so why stay in a micro-apartment you ask?

light is a big deal in nyc. and views- at least to me. we certainly give up space, but we have light. and a view. i love the sounds of the city, and i love that i never feel trapped in this little space. we also still have access to our roof for tiny amounts of time (aka: run up and take it all in, then come down before we get caught). and we have an elevator & laundry & a doorman. we could give all those up for a 2nd bedroom, but we'd pay at leeeeeast $300-400 more/month (or $4k more- the range is quite broad:); it's not worth losing money and amenities for space right now. 

the main reason we stay is because we love these blocks. this neighborhood is still our favorite part of the city. we love our routine. the kids' school is close. there's a hardware store, bodega, movie theater, tons of food, shopping, endless treats, drug stores, the best parks & playgrounds, and constant entertainment, all within 2 blocks. we don't "need" to leave to be entertained. we can fully function here, and that's worth the sacrifice of space. 

here's to another year!
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