Time To Decorate For The Holidays… And Dance!
The Best Travel Mug That Looks Pretty
New Adventure… We bought land in Upstate NY! And this is how we closed on it.
Escape The Room, anyone else try it?
How to Make a Whale Tissue Box
How to Throw a Inside Out Party!
Making of new Brooklyn Farm Girl Banner – lots of cats!
Apple Picking + GIVEAWAY for a $120 JORD Watch for YOU!
DIY Black Cat Halloween Decoration
Our trip to Doha, Qatar – Part 2
What I Love: Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter + Giveaway for you!
What I LOVE: My Awesome Dad and his Garden Peppers
Our trip to Doha, Qatar Part 1 – Food and friends!
The Great Big Bacon Picnic in Brooklyn
Food Blogger YOGA 3 Pro Laptop Review
Staying Connected with Family and Clients When Traveling
Tour of Disney World’s Behind The Seeds Greenhouse!
Won’t You Be My Valentine? Join the February Tea Swap!
Staying in Luxury in Cleveland @ Metropolitan at The 9
DIY Loft Bed

Time To Decorate For The Holidays… And Dance!

Yesterday I begged Matthew to climb up the ladder and get all the Christmas containers down from the loft.  I’m not good on a ladder so I leave the dangerous chores to him. After passing each one down to me I dragged them to the other side of the room.  Then I coughed because goodness, it’s crazy how dusty this place can get in one year! 

The lids came off the containers, the snowmen were released from their plastic homes and then Mariah Carey came on Spotify.  And then I danced.  And then the cats stared at me as they usually do when Mom is one of her dance moods.  Check out that flip dance move on Bofinkles.  Also apologies to my neighbors but this song is on replay for the next 24 days. 


A video posted by Pamela Reed (@pamelaz) on

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The Best Travel Mug That Looks Pretty

This weekend we were Upstate (have you heard about our new adventure?) working hard.  On Sunday morning we were on the land bright and early and it was 27 degrees.  I saw ice on the land.  I shivered and shook as I dove into my work clothes.   Then I immediately grabbed my cup of tea that I made 30 minutes before at the motel.   I knew this would warm me up over the next few hours.

No matter if it’s cold or hot outside I always start my morning off with tea.  During the Winter it’s a hot cup of Oolong.  During the Summer it’s a cold cup of Green Jasmine.   When I walk to work in the Winter I carry my tea in my hands just in case I need a quick drink to warm me up while waiting for the Walk sign.  It helps a lot!

So with a Pumpkin bagel in one hand and Contigo’s Travel Mug in another, I was ready to get dirty and work all day long.

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New Adventure… We bought land in Upstate NY! And this is how we closed on it.

I’ve been so excited to tell you…. we bought land!

Did you notice the new menu category up above called “P+M Upstate Adventure“? Well if not I’m here to tell you about it! Our new adventure we’ll be starting is the journey of starting a once in a while getaway in Upstate New York. This is somewhere we’ll escape the hustle and bustle of NY, where we can expand our garden and eventually build a small home and maybe even a pond!  We won’t be leaving NYC, this will be a place we run away to maybe 30 days out of the year,  some place to call our own for the first time.  

We’ve lived in a big city since we were 18 years old and sometimes you grow tired of all the rules and not being to do what you want.  Plus there’s the issue of space, does anyone know of 7 acres of open land we can buy in Brooklyn? Unfortunately Prospect Park won’t sell us any.

 We have the garden on the rooftop and that’s  awesome (and we’ll be keeping it) but in the past years our building has gotten stricter and in reality any day they could tell us we can’t garden on the roof anymore and it would be gone.  So we set out to see if we could purchase land that we would be able to do all sorts of things with that we wouldn’t be able to in the city.   

I will be posting every step of the journey, from buying the land (below) to building to figuring out how the heck we’re going to build things and make it all work.    We will be trying to do everything ourselves, but thankfully Matthew is Mr. Handy Man!

 We are first time land owners so this will be full of ups and downs. I hope you enjoy the ride and I hope if you’re visiting the page for the first time and are in the same situation you’ll find some helpful info.
I’m excited!

What we wanted:
-At least 5 acres
-A section of open meadows
-About 3 hours max drive from NYC
-In budget
-In the Catskills
-Amazing View

The dream:
A large garden full of fruits and vegetables
Fruit trees along with pine trees
A modern shipping container home with deck with full view of Catskills
A pond
A place for friends to stay when visiting
A basketball court (I can dream!)
Lots of animals (I can dream!)

I think it was in late August that we seriously started to think about buying property.  We’ve always tossed it around but not seriously because at the time we couldn’t afford it.  Plus it seemed far fetched.. we could own land?

This is something that many people own all over the world but living in a city often erases that possibility from your mind.    We looked at our finances, figured out our max budget, named our wishlist, drew a map of where we’d want to settle and then started to look at endless listings of land online.   

Buying Land Upstate

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Escape The Room, anyone else try it?

Have you heard of Escape The Room adventures? They’re getting popular in big cities. The basis is that you get locked in a room for usually an hour (sometimes more) and you have to figure out a bunch of different puzzles for the door to unlock win the mission. The room isn’t scary at all, it’s usually Detective or Space themed. The puzzles aren’t easy and they take alot of brain power and team work. They also make you work quick. Weirdly enough it’s a good stress reliever because while you’re in the room, you think of nothing else. It’s like this escape into another dimension. It’s awesome.

This was us after our first Escape The Room experience, look at how excited we still are.  Also that camera flashed totally didn’t work with my shirt… ooops!

With the holidays coming up you might be thinking about what to get your boy. There’s video games, new gadgets, the never ending pairs of socks and the other usual items on a male’s Christmas list. But you know what I think is some of the best gifts? Experiences. For example, last year for Christmas, the last gift I opened was tickets to see Aladdin, the Broadway musical, in just a few days. It was a present where we got to get dressed up for, go to a new place, enjoy a few hours together and then chat about it after. Right now I am all about date nights. I’ve been trying to set something up for once every two weeks as it’s really easy to fall into a routine with home life. Over the past few weeks I took Matthew to Escape The Room and then a few days ago we went to see the Ghost In The Shell movie (only in theaters for 3 days) and ate at Malaysian restuarant that we never tried. Oh and then we got cake truffles from Milk Bar which always makes me think “How can something be so delicious?”.

One night when Matthew got home I gave him a piece of paper with a smile. With a raised eyebrow he opened it up.

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How to Make a Whale Tissue Box

This weekend was a chilly one.  Last week I was saying how confusing the weather was and this stayed true.  Over the weekend I was in Upstate NY where the temperature was in the 40’s and I was spending much of my time outside.  With a Ninja style face scarf on, double pants and a pocket full of Kleenex Facial Tissues, I was ready to brace the cold.

I’ve been lucky the last few years without getting sick in the Winter.  Last year Matthew didn’t get his flu shot and long and behold, he got hit with the flu mid Season.  The things I can never control in Winter though is a runny nose and dry skin.  When I think back to being a kid my Mom would have tissues stocked and ready to go everywhere, how did she always have one within grabbing distance?  As a I grow up I’ve turned into that… anyone need a tissue? I got your back.

What else do I love with my tissues?  Like everything else in our home, I need a cute tissue holder.    So let me introduce you to Mr. Whale.
How to Make a Kleenex Whale Tissue Box_8

Matthew and I teamed up on a weekend project a few weeks ago to make him.  Not to brag, but I got myself a handy man.  I told him I wanted a tissue box and it was cut and put together in about 2 hours.  So by “teaming up” with him I mean telling him I want a whale box and picking out the color.  Any ideas for complicated projects I can give him next to test him?  

How to Make a Kleenex Whale Tissue Box_4

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How to Throw a Inside Out Party!

Directions on how to throw a Inside Out Party on a budget!   This provides tableware, menu, games and more!  

Guys, have you seen Inside Out? Isn’t it AMAZING? Kids love it but adults really love it. When I first saw it I think there was more adults smiling in the crowd than kids.  I was one of them.

Well now it’s time to bring the fun into your home as Inside Out just came out on DVD last week!  Who’s ready for a party?
How to Throw a Inside Out Party_9

If you haven’t seen Inside Out, it’s a 3D animated film made by the always amazing Pixar.  The film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley.  Throughout her life there are 5 emotions that try to help her out in life problems, especially when moving to a new city.  The emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.  I’m not going to tell you more because you have to watch it. 

How to Throw a Inside Out Party!

Because I was excited for the film to come out and I had many friends (and Matthew!) who haven’t seen it I decided to throw a rainbow filled party to celebrate the release and get everyone to think about their feelings. No, don’t worry, we’re not getting psychological deep here where we’re going to sit around and talk about our darkest hours, but instead it’s a time to celebrate joy but also totally be ok with sadness and fear too.  

Supplies for a Inside Out Party

Throwing a Inside Out party is pretty easy because it’s all about color. For not much money you can have a entire party zone set up.  You want to keep in the colors of Yellow, Blue, Red, Green and Purple.  

Things you’ll need:
Inside Out  DVD (to have a viewing party or to play throughout the entire party)
Inside Out Toys
Crafts section – colorful markers and paper
Tablecloths – to be used on tables and walls
Napkins, Plates, Cups
Food!  Have a good selection of vegetables, hand food, sweets (cake, muffins, cupcakes, popcorn balls (see below)), and then something easy like pizza or sandwiches.

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Making of new Brooklyn Farm Girl Banner – lots of cats!

Have you guys seen my new banner yet?  If not, take a look up top on the main page! If you’re not seeing the new one, make sure to refresh.

I shared my banner a few days ago on Facebook and your comments were so nice I thought I’d make a post about the banner and the process of  how you get a custom made banner for your blog.  

I love supporting the Etsy community and I’ve had success there with a bunch of custom work so I relied on it on finding someone who could make me a banner in a fun style.  I came across LaurynGreen‘s shop and fell in love.  She had the exact aesthetic that I wanted.  I wrote to her immediately asking her to do a custom job and she said yes.  Just a quick side note if you’re looking to get a custom banner done, Laura is awesome, creative, talented and very patient with every change I wanted.  She never discouraged me from wanting something changed and was timely in sending me the assets.  I’m already thinking of contacting her again for a holiday project!

Now banner making time…!
(PS, you can click the images to enlarge if you want to see the changes bigger)

My blog is called Brooklyn Farm Girl so the banner was pretty easy on the content.  I wanted rooftop gardening in the city with me and the cats.  That’s pretty much one half of my life.  Besides that I wanted something colorful, customized and fun.  After I told Laura a little bit about my blog and what I wanted to see on the banner, then I sent her some reference photos. She asked about the color palette and I wanted something more on the pastel side that popped at readers.  I sent one photo of me and about a million photos of my cats.  The silly part is that I was more concerned about the cats looking perfect than me.

Here’s my cat photos with short descriptions.


A few days later she sent me this sketch.   Besides some image changes I needed Brooklyn spelled right (lol), I wanted tomatoes instead of a pineapple on Goblin’s head, we were missing a cat and I needed water towers on the roofs in Brooklyn.  Also I wanted long sleeves because my arms kinda looked chubby. :D)

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Apple Picking + GIVEAWAY for a $120 JORD Watch for YOU!

I’m going to take you on a apple picking adventure and give away a beautiful $120 JORD watch so you know when it’s apple time in this post!  Make sure to read the entire post on how to win the watch!


It’s Fall so that means it’s time to go on our annual trip to the apple farm.  There we pick bushels of apples, eat way too many Fuji apples going down the rows and rows of beautiful trees, and picking up a few pumpkins in the nearby patch. I think we have a hundred apples which we’ve been nibbling away a few at a day.  Oh and there’s the delicious apple cider donuts that we ate within a day and apple cider that I’m about to break into. Right now would be the time where I text you emojis of apples and hearts in eyes.  

We always head to Hurd’s Family farm that’s about 90 minutes away from NYC.  It’s a big apple and Christmas tree farm that has a bunch of activities for the kids, but also so many rows of apple trees you’ll get a workout. Most people only stay up front in the orchard but the real treasures are the trees in the back which are just covered with hundreds of apples. 


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DIY Black Cat Halloween Decoration

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween decoration.  Super easy craft to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Cats and candy, who doesn’t love in that combo?  I’m going to show you how to make Halloween Black Cat Garland, perfect for decorating this holiday while I eat a bunch of candy.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Nibble Nibble.
Reese’s Pieces, yum.
Twizzlers, yum.
Jolly Rancher lollipop, yum.
Kit Kats, Peanut Butter Cups, yum.
Please help. 
It’s Halloween time and I can’t stop nibbling on candy.

 This Halloween I wanted to have fun making some new decorations that fit my cat love, so I decided to make some black cat garland.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

At our studio we’re lucky enough to have access to a laser cutter.  If you aren’t familiar with laser cutters it uses a laser to cut out materials, very quickly and very precise.  It can cut through practically everything from acrylic, cardboard, rubber, nylon, paper, aluminum, mdf and more.  Think of the possibilities!  I made 40 cutouts of cats within minutes that have very intricate details.  If I was hand cutting this would have took me forever and never would have looked as good.  I do love using die cut craft machines as well but for this cat garland I wanted a specific customized design that I couldn’t already find a die for.

First you’ll need to find a design you like or custom create it as a vector file in Adobe Illustrator. There you’ll define the lines on the design on what gets cut out and what doesn’t.    Once it’s set up, you’ll send it to the laser cut, put your material in and watch the magic.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

The laser cutter is a serious machine that has to be watched.  It’s very powerful so everyone at the studio needs to be trained on how to use it.  If you look closely here you’ll see the laser is cutting out the design very quickly. At this time I was a little worried that the whiskers would get cut off as they were very thin.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

But when the laser cutter finished I saw the whiskers worked out!  This cat was cut out in seconds, I can’t imagine how long that hair on it’s back would have took me to cut out by hand.  After this I keep putting paper in the laser cutter and letting do it’s job until I have the amount of cats I need (I never can have enough cats).
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Once I got home I turned it into garland with some black and white twine I found in the dollar Halloween aisle. 
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Along with some mason jars I filled with lights and candy I quickly had a fun decorated area.  I’ve been putting this garland all over from the windows to the doorway to walls to around Matthew’s bike.  He doesn’t appreciate that, I have no idea why.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Hope you guys liked this quick tutorial and I hope you’re getting excited for Halloween!
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Our trip to Doha, Qatar – Part 2

Did you miss Part 1 of our Doha, Qatar adventure with lots of food and friend pictures? Then check it out here.  

In April we flew over to Qatar to teach a class in relationship to what Reed + Rader does, make fun videos and gifs! The experience was one of a kind and amazing in all sorts of ways.  Part 3 will be coming soon where I show you what the students made and how the class went.  But for now, Part 2, I want to show you around Doha and show you how they do everything big and beautiful.  Actually that’s a understatement, they do everything bigger than big.    The trip was long but comfortable.  I had the tea flowing and the entire season of Downton Abbey was available to watch for me to catch up on.
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What I Love: Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter + Giveaway for you!

A little weekend post with some love…

If you visit this blog then you probably know I love all things pumpkins. I love growing pumpkins. I love eating pumpkins.  I love hugging pumpkins.  I love doing the pumpkin dance.  It’s a great time of the year.  I mean who can’t love me in my pumpkin sweater (great eBay find, I was the only bidder, I have no idea why)?
Nets vs Bucks. Who's going to win?  THE PUMPKINS!

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What I LOVE: My Awesome Dad and his Garden Peppers

In this new series, I’m sharing current things that I love.  Maybe it’s cats, maybe it’s a new restaurant, maybe it’s a new cookie, maybe it’s… anything!

The title of this should also read: Dad’s Green Peppers, AKA My Dad Is Cool

We grow peppers and they do pretty good.  We grow bell peppers and jalapeno peppers and we pick multiple pounds a week.  But then my dad shows up and shows me how he grows them in Pennsylvania.  Goodness gracious, Pennsylvania grows them good.  

Every year my dad starts a garden in the back yard.  As a kid we had a very small yard but he would still grow tomatoes.  The tomatoes would grow so tall they would block the kitchen window.  It also made it easy because we could use the sink hose to water these tomatoes out the window.   My dad moved into a new house a few years ago and he has a much larger garden area now.  Every Spring he buys his plants from farmers and he always buys alot more than one person usually buys.  And every year halfway during the Summer he tells me he’s never buying them again because he has too many.  And then the next year comes around and he does the same thing.  And this Summer he continued this tradition and bought even more.  My dad has over 20 pepper plants, for one man.  I laugh because it’s funny, cute and amazing all at the same time. 

A few weeks ago when he started planting the peppers he made a joke that he would ship me them as they started to grow. I laughed.

So you can imagine that I burst into laughter when a big box appeared at my door and when opening it up, I saw this:

 Dad Rules Green Peppers_1

 That’s right, my dad shipped me peppers.

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Our trip to Doha, Qatar Part 1 – Food and friends!

I have been waiting to make a trip post for weeks but I was unsure how to do it, so I’ve decided to break it up into sections.  The first part – food and animal friends!

In March, Matthew and I were traveled on a  journey across the world to Doha, Qatar.  While there we would be teaching a GIF, VIDEO, ANIMATION, EVERYTHING COOL workshop to students at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.  The trip was amazing and so much more. We were in Doha for almost 2 weeks so got to see alot which means I have a ton of pictures to share.  Instead of making one looooooong post, I’m going to break it up into sections which will be more concentrated.  

The flight to Doha was about 13 hours and thankfully nonstop.  We flew with Qatar Airways which had a night flight which worked nice to sleep on.  On the flight there and back our row of 3 only had 2 (us!) so I was able to take up to  2 seats, eat some decent airplane food and catch up on nearly the entire season of Downton Abbey.   

Almost there…

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The Great Big Bacon Picnic in Brooklyn

After you attend a picnic called “The Great Big Bacon Picnic” you say things like “What a ride” afterwards.  You’re in a different state. You’re not the same person you were when you walked into that picnic.  Your taste buds are going wild.  You tell yourself you can’t eat anything else.  You need a nap.  

Brooklyn’s FIRST bacon festival, The Great Big Bacon Picnic, happened May 16th and May 17th.  The event featured three different sessions of inspired bite-sized bacon dishes with the best in craft beers and local craft spirits, giving bacon lovers a truly unique culinary experience.  Also, The Great Big Bacon Picnic had the FIRST EVER “Bacon Bar” – yes, a bar supplied only with different varieties of bacon.  I won’t tell you how many times I stopped by that bacon bar.  

(This is 1/3rd of the bacon bar!)

There was even a “Boss Hog” awarded to Bareburger who received the highest percentage of Licks (votes) for all the sessions.  Other awards went to Streets who had a Tuna-Bacon-Truffle Roll With a Roasted Jalapeño- Avocado Creme Fraiche and a Kimchi Aioli. Goodness, that was good.  For Creativity URBO won with their Smoked Bacon Stuffed Oreos which was well deserved.  I wanted to go back for Oreos every 2 minutes but I feared they would tell me “no more!”. 

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Food Blogger YOGA 3 Pro Laptop Review

First, I’m so happy to make this post because I’m giving away a Lenovo YOGA 3 Pro Laptop (worth 1,499.99) to one of my readers.   Please make sure to enter because I know you’ll love it as much as I do!  Now keep reading….

There’s a photo of me taken once.  I’m at a party, dressed like Hello Kitty sitting on a couch.  Sitting on my lap isn’t a drink, it’s a laptop.  I’m on a laptop at a party dressed like Hello Kitty.  If we had some cats sprawled out on my lap too it would be the perfect description of my life.

My laptop is one of my best friends, I can’t live without it.   It goes to work with me, it travels with me on flights, it goes to bed with me, it helps me in the kitchen, it inspires me, it lets me create films and animations and it lets me communicate with you guys on Brooklyn Farm Girl.  It’s the perfect fit for my artist + blogger + cat  mama lifestyle. 

 Are you guys ready to meet my BFF? Ok, here she is (yes, it’s a girl).  Her name is Computer!  She enjoys tea and cats too.  Of course my beloved Essy is on my desktop photo. 🙂


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Staying Connected with Family and Clients When Traveling

The month of March is has been full of traveling. We started out in London, flew to NYC for a few days, and then flew to Doha, Qatar for 2 weeks.  Traveling is not always luxurious; I always prefer to work and shoot in NYC if at all possible.  One main reason is that I miss my family, friends and most importantly (sorry family) our cats.  We have a live webcam set up in our home that we can tune in and watch the cats throughout the day, but what I need is live interaction.


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Tour of Disney World’s Behind The Seeds Greenhouse!

Do you remember when we went to Disney World for my birthday in October?  Yes, it was great!
Disney World October 2014_5

We went to Disney a few years ago and we did the automated tour through their greenhouse.  It was fun, but I wanted to get personal with the plants.  Not only did I want to see all the vegetables up close but I also wanted to  learn about their hydroponics system.    When I got home that year I found out they have a behind the scenes tour of their greenhouse so I was sure that on our next visit we scheduled this tour in.  

Was it amazing? Yes.
Should you check it out when you’re in Disney?  Yes!
If you love to garden or cook you will love Disney World’s Behind The Seeds Greenhouse tour.

The tour takes place at Epcot and runs pretty much once an hour from 10AM-5PM.  The price is $20 for adults.  You can make reservations ahead of time, but we just stopped by and signed in and then came back at our time.   Our group was only 8 people so although this tour is amazing it doesn’t seem to get that busy.  

You’ll meet your guide at the time you made your reservation for and will be whisked backstage from a back door. Then you’ll walk through a few more doors and end up directly in the greenhouse.  Your guide will be one of the employees  of the greenhouse who is knowledgeable about hydroponics and can ask answer (almost) all of your questions.   Our guide was Ashley who was great.  
Behind the Seeds Tour at Disney World_2

 And then you’re off on an amazing adventure through their hydroponic garden.  The entire greenhouse is inspiring and when you see how quickly the vegetables grow (and to what size) your jaw will be hanging on the floor. 

Behind the Seeds Tour at Disney World_41

Behind the Seeds Tour at Disney World_36

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Won’t You Be My Valentine? Join the February Tea Swap!

This weekend was a dreary one.  On Saturday we hopped all over Brooklyn and Manhattan visiting hobby shops and picking up acrylic in Chinatown.  The day was extra chilly so I was happy to finally sit down for a late lunch with a big bowl of Udon Noodles near Washington Square Park.  It was the perfect way to warm up my bones.  On Sunday, it was cloudy and rainy all day long.  It was one of those days where it feels like it’s morning all day long as the sun just won’t peek out.   So on Sunday afternoon I curled up with a nice cup of tea (ok, a couple cups) and decided you know what we all need during Winter?  Tea and love.  Welcome to the February Tea Swap “Won’t You Be My Valentine?”

 It’s been a long time since we did our last tea swap here and I’m not really sure why. Each one was successful and caused smiles around the world.  Schedules were a little crazy here so I’m going to use that as a excuse but I’m happy to say they’re back!  If you have never joined a Brooklyn Farm Girl tea swap, let me know explain how it works.  You will sign up for the swap and receive a partner over email.  You and your partner will swap with each other.   There’s always a theme to a swap so you can have some fun with your swap package.  By the sending deadline, you will send your partner a collection of teas and whatever else the swap theme calls for.    In return, your partner will send you your package out.  Most likely you’ll both be smiling ear to ear and become friends.   

Because it’s February, the month of hearts, the theme is “Won’t You Be My Valentine?”.  You will send your partner a collection of teas and a gift that fits this theme.  For teas, it’s up to you what you want to send but you can always ask your partner if they have a preference.  I ask that you send your partner at least 10 bags of tea, but I usually go wild and send them tea for a month.  For the theme gift, it’s up to you!  Maybe it’s a homemade cookie, maybe it’s a tea mug with hearts on it, maybe it’s a candle because you read on their Instagram account (hello Internet stalking) that they love the smell of peppermint.  Have fun!    

How do I sign up?
You sign up here.

When is the deadline to sign up?
The deadline is January 31.

When is the deadline to send my tea swap out?
You should send your tea swap out by February 7.   

How do I get my partner?
I will send out a email a few days after the sign up deadline has passed with a link to partners.

Do I swap with the same person who sends me a swap?
Yes, it’s 1:1.  You and your partner are paired up.

Is this only for USA?
No, it’s International but you will ONLY get a partner from the same country as you.  If you live in the USA, you will only get a partner from the USA.  If you live in Australia, you will only get a partner from Australia.  If you sign up and there is no match in your country, then you won’t receive a partner.

How much money do I need to spend?
There is no minimum or maximum price, but this is meant to be a simple swap, so don’t feel pressured to over perform.  The point is to cause a smile, that’s it.

How should I package my items to ship?
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.  If you’re sending a pastry, package it good so it stays fresh.  If you’re sending a mug,  really wrap it up to protect it.  

Can I post on my blog or Instagram when I receive my tea swap package?
Yes! And hashtag it #bfgteaswap


If you have any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments and I will answer it there.

I hope you will be joining the swap

Staying in Luxury in Cleveland @ Metropolitan at The 9

Looking to stay in comfort when visiting Cleveland?  Look no further, you have to check out Metropolitan at The 9!

Metropolitan is a boutique hotel located in Downtown Cleveland that will dazzle you with it’s style and amenities.   How much did we love it? As soon as we got back to NYC, we went and bought the same bed that the hotel had.  We loved it that much.

The hotel has 10 floors of rooms (91 rooms , 65 suites)  that are each decorated with a colorful modern twist.   As soon as you can walk into your room you can tell it was curated carefully to make sure everything was just right.

So why don’t we walk into our room?

The bed is king size with a plush pillow top.  I can’t express how comfortable it is. I mean I can because I told you already that we bought this bed when arriving home.  The first night here we were supposed to wake up early but instead we just snoozed our hearts out.   A wow moment was spotting there were plentiful media connections wired next to the bed.  We always pack HDMI and numerous other cables and adapter dongles when we stay at hotels so that we can share our laptop screens to the televisions so this was a really nice surprise after dealing with most hotels that are stuck in the dark ages. 


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DIY Loft Bed

2015, I’m coming for you!   I’ve already checked off a few things off my list.  I know it’s January 5 and it will slow down, but I’m so happy 2 big things are out of the way… new bed and new closet! WOOOOH!

We needed a new bed.  It’s not that our bed was bad, but it just wasn’t right for us.  We bought it a few years ago without Matthew even testing it out.  It did it’s job for a few years but then we both started to get lower back pain.  We needed something more comfy and we needed something larger.  I know you’re thinking we’re only 2 people, yes but we’re 2 people and 4 cats, do you how much room that takes up?  I mean have you seen a cat sleep? Each of them spread out to 5 feet long.  

In November we went on a trip to Cleveland and we stayed at a beautiful hotel (review coming soon) that had the most comfortable bed.  The first night we slept in for hours!  After a few days Matthew’s back pain started to go away.  So we did what we had to do, we stripped the sheets off down to the mattress and wrote down the model.  One day back in NYC, we made our way to the mattress store and found the bed and bought it.  

So there we were, with the most comfortable king size mattress, but no bed frame.

We looked online for bed frames and it seemed like everything we loved was thousands of dollars.  I wanted something big and light colored. Our room is rather dark so this would be the perfect opportunity to lighten it up.  But again, the prices – ugh!  So then Matthew said “I’m going to make us a bed”.  I trust Matthew, he’s built our farmhouse table, all of our storage, walls and as a kid he would build houses with his dad.  Even though still slightly worried I gave him the green light.   I don’t know how he did it, but he built, painted and transported this bed from studio to home in 4 days.    I nearly cried (ok maybe I did) when I first saw it in our bedroom.  It’s the nicest piece of furniture I’ve ever owned before!  

King Size Loft Bed DIY_3

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