Spontaneous Friday Night Fun in Red Bank, New Jersey

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Hey, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I am glad to be back. With the madness of Thanksgiving finally winding down, it’s time to begin preparing for the Christmas season.

What better way to begin than with wine and cheese sampling followed by French pastry? We couldn’t think of another way, either, so we headed into Red Bank, New Jersey, (Black) Friday evening and began our date night with The Cheese Cave’s $5 Friday.

cheese cave

It was a very cool experience. It was fun, romantic, spontaneous, and the food was phenomenal. For $5 each we enjoyed five different cheeses accompanied by freshly baked artisan bread and gourmet jams. We decided to spend an extra $15 and ordered the charcuterie platter, which included three different meats, marinated olives, toasted almonds and bread, and grapes. The Cheese Cave is BYOB, so we brought a bottle of Hess Cabernet Sauvignon that someone gifted to us.

The atmosphere is comfortable, cozy, and very intimate. Upon entering, we were greeted at the door by the friendly staff who opened our bottle of wine for us and explained all of the cheese selections.

We didn’t need a reservation, the place was packed yet comfortable, and for $25 we enjoyed great food over a bottle of wine and the soft sound of Dusty Springfield’s voice. It was a really exciting and relatively inexpensive date night in a festive little town. I would highly recommend attending The Cheese Cave’s $5 Friday if you’re looking for something new to do.

After we left, we walked a few doors down to Antoinette Boulangerie where we picked up a mini crème brûlée and oatmeal cookie sandwich to split. Antoinette Boulangerie has been a favorite of mine for a few years now. Whenever I would come home from college for a weekend I would make sure to stop in for the croissants. If you have not visited the boulangerie, you must ASAP. Not only are the pastries absolutely delectable, but they are beautiful.

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*Fresh croissant + black coffee = heaven*

We were not planning on doing anything this Friday evening, and instead had a great night out that I highly recommend to everyone!

As always, feel free to contact me at antoinette@yoururbansuburban.com.

What Am I Loving this November?

loving in november

 

Hey, guys! For those of you who do not know me, autumn is my favorite season. Between the warm seasonal colors, yummy food, and stellar fashion, how can it not be? I made a very brief list of my autumn essentials for you guys, as per request via email. So, here we go:

  • Thigh-high boots
    • I love sweaters with jeans or crop pants. The high boots take that simple outfit to a whole new level. Plus, they’re super comfy.
  • Karl Lagerfeld Paris plaid flats  
    • I love these flats because they can be worn with chic or preppy outfits. Give me a monogram and red plaid and I’m on board.
  • Yankee Candles 
    • I have once considered working in a Yankee Candle just for the discounts. And you have, too. No need to lie. They just make the whole house smell so cozy and I am all about that.
  • Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara
    • Okay, seriously this is the best mascara I have ever used. The Monsieur Big Mascara really brings out your lashes and makes them look thicker. My tube has also lasted me a while, so it’s definitely worth the price.
  • William Sonoma turkey gravy base
    • William Sonoma’s turkey gravy base easily makes the Thanksgiving dinner. Stock up if you plan to try it, because I guarantee you that you’ll be using it again… and they don’t sell it all year.
  • Chunky pearls 
    • I am of the opinion that a lady can wear pearls with a track suit and it would be stylish. Chunky pearls are definitely a wardrobe staple for me.

As always, please feel free to contact me at antoinette@yoururbansuburban.com. I look forward to it!

5 Things to Do in New Jersey on a Whim

Hey, everyone! If you’re anything like me, after a busy work week the last thing you want to think about is having concrete plans. Therefore, I try to keep my weekends open to allow myself flexibility. I have compiled a simple list of 5 fun activities to do in New Jersey on a whim.

1. Visit Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ

If you’re a music lover who lives in New Jersey and have not visited Vintage Vinyl, bless your heart, child. Whatever genre, platform, new or used versions, etc., you’re looking for, this store probably has it in stock. If not, which is unlikely, they can order it for you. In one visit, I once walked out with music from Janos Starker, Adam Ant, and Norah Jones.

Better yet, keep an eye out on their website. Famous bands sometime stop by and perform some hits on their small stage. Circa Survive just visited the store this past September, and All Time Low visited in June.

2. $5 Friday at the Cheese Cave in Red Bank, NJ

Every Friday from 5:00-8:30 the Cheese Cave in Red Bank offers a sampling of their artisan cheeses for just 5 bucks. The event is also BYOB and if you bring a bottle they’ll supply the glasses.

The atmosphere is very cozy and the cheeses are fantastic. The time of the event, too, is ideal because Red Bank is a fun little town with great restaurants and shops. Sampling some cheese with friends before catching a movie at the Bow Tie Cinema is a pretty cool way to spend a Friday night.

3. Poetry and Open Mic Nights 

I did not offer a specific date and time for open mic and poetry readings because they are scattered throughout NJ and are happening quite frequently. My favorite open mic nights used to take place at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport every other Thursday. I’m a huge fan of local arts and it was great to see flourishing creativity in my hometown.

A quick Google search of open mic nights in your area will be your best friend if you’re interested in these events. Cafe Enigma in Toms River hosts a weekly open mic on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. Capitoline in Asbury Park hosts an open mic every other Thursday. Check out these events!

4. Visit Fox Hollow Vineyards in Holmdel, NJ

Once again, my fiancé and I love wine. When we heard about this local vineyard we were very excited to visit. The grounds are beautiful, the wine is great, and the staff is very friendly.

For 12 bucks, you get 5 samples of various wines and a souvenir glass. For 20 bucks, enjoy 5 wines paired with 5 chocolates that compliment the wines, and a souvenir glass. This is another venue with a website you should check out. This past Friday the vineyard hosted a local music guest during their tastings.

The vineyard is an awesome local experience. If you have friends coming in from out of town, chatting over a glass of wine while overlooking the vineyard grounds is a great way to catch up.

5. Friday Nite Specials’ “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in Aberdeen, NJ

Every Friday at midnight the Bow Tie Cinema in Aberdeen hosts a traditional screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS).” If you’re interested or curious about what the RHPS was like at the 8th Street Playhouse in Manhattan, this event hosted by Friday Nite Specials might give you a good snapshot.

So bring your newspaper and rice (or purchase prop bags from the cast), and enjoy a late Friday night out!

 

I’m always looking for new and fun events in the area. If anyone has any suggestions or questions, feel free to contact me at antoinette@yoururbansuburban.com

 

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View from the terrace at Fox Hollow Vineyard

 

 

Gettysburg Getaway

Distance from Monmouth County, NJ: 3 hours, 20 minutes

 

I always enjoy visiting Gettysburg, PA. Not only is it the hometown of my fiancé and his family, but the town has an aesthetic I am naturally drawn to, especially during the autumn months. The wide streets are lined with cozy red brick homes, big trees, yummy restaurants, and quirky shops (including a shop called “Dirty Billy’s Hats” where I purchased a pillbox hat last year during an obsession with Jackie O). Oh! I almost forgot. The town is also home to this little blip in American History called the Battle of Gettysburg.

So, if you’re interested in shopping, food, autumnal aesthetic, or American History, Gettysburg is a great place to visit for a weekend trip. Last weekend I was visiting my soon-to-be in-laws and had no concrete plans. Upon arrival, Danny took me to one of our favorite diners, aptly named “The Lincoln Diner,” where we split a slice of cheesecake and had coffee. It was pretty late when we left the diner so we were not expecting much action of entertainment in the town, but we were happily wrong!

As we were driving downtown, the lights were on in a local wine shop. I inquired about what was happening, so we parked our car and walked to get a closer look. We were soon waved down by at least 25 people in the winery all drinking and singing. It was not a difficult decision to go in because if there are two things we love, they are wine and music.

We walked in to the Knob Hall Winery accompanied by cheers, two glasses of the Cabernet Franc (HIGHLY recommended), and an acoustic version of “Me and Bobby McGee.” For at least two hours we drank, listened to great live music, and made new friends.

The Knob Hall Winery is on Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg and, according to the server, has a live open mic every first Friday of the month. The atmosphere is very welcoming and warm. Even the seats are close, practically forcing patrons to be become friends with the couple next to them. So, if you’re in town on a Friday night, stop by the winery. Between acoustic versions of classic rock and amazing wine, you will not be disappointed.

After the winery we headed home. The next day we visited the Snack Food Capital of the World. Who doesn’t love Utz Potato Chips? Well, we do and make it a point to visit the factory store whenever we are in the area!

Hanover, PA, is also home to one of our favorite restaurants called the “Warehouse Gourmet Bistro & Brewpub.” Danny’s favorite from the restaurant is the cream of crab soup, and I highly recommend the ham and brie sandwich, accompanied by the French onion soup. The atmosphere is eccentric, featuring brick walls and antique-looking tables and chairs. The wine and beer at the restaurant is also something to note, as most of their selection is local to the area.

We had a fun, unplanned weekend in Gettysburg, featuring a 30 minute trip to Hanover. Fortunately, I have future in-laws who I stay with during my visits. However, if you don’t have future in-laws or an alternative free place to flop, I would recommend checking out some of Gettysburg’s unique bed and breakfasts. Many of them were around during the Civil War, so if you’re interested in ghost stories, you’re in luck. Check out places like the Brickhouse Inn B&B.

I visit that area quite frequently, so stay tuned for more!