Between our trip to Utah, work travel, and general summer in the city, we’ve been super busy. I’m happy to say that things don’t seem to be slowing down. On top of that, I’m starting (and only starting) to schedule myself in a way that I can do things for myself. I actually managed to get in four workouts last week – the first time I’ve done that [I think] since the bambino was born. I’m really hoping I can keep it up.

While vacations with a baby don’t exactly feel like vacations, it was cool bringing Finn to Utah with us for my cousin’s wedding. I may not have been able to go on a hike like I wanted (I was dying to hike up the same mountain in the summer that I ski down in the winter), but we did get to stroll Main Street in Park City and I loved seeing Finn in new environments. He was a champ on the plane and adapted to the many new faces super quickly. The wedding was also stunning with incredible florals and the happiest bride and groom. Also, I gave myself an updo and I’m still proud.

It’s been forever since I’ve seen my friend Amanda (who I met while serving Grand Jury duty), but now that Finn is in daycare full time and we’ve hit on a routine, we were able to plan a hang. She invited me over for a full-on dinner party for the two of us and it was heaven. Amanda really knows food and wine (and is, in fact, a book editor for the category) so she prepared the most incredible meal. It was wonderful to catch up over a few glasses and play with her adorable basset, Georgie. I’ve already reached out for recipes so I can recreate.

We planned to spend the 4th in Connecticut with friends and family, but Finn woke up with the runniest nose. We knew that would mean a very fussy boy during the 2-hour (each way) car ride and had a feeling other parents would not appreciate us exposing their kids to a potentially sick child. He’s totally fine and didn’t seem at all uncomfortable, but it was the right move to make. While the actual Fourth of July may have started out on a slightly disappointing note, we made sure we still enjoyed plenty of time outside, decked out in our red, white, and blue attire. Over the course of the long weekend we checked every summer holiday weekend foodie box: burgers and hot dog (at Harlem Shake – yum), grilled supper (swordfish & veggies), block party (finally hit up the guy in our neighboorhood who does jerk chicken on his stoop), seafood (shrimp and oysters in Chelsea Market, pictured above), and a picnic style meal during summer movie night. We also hit up Via Carota, which may not serve traditional 4th of July fare, but it is emblematic of my favorite part of NYC in the summer. While everyone hightails it out of the city in favor of places like the Hamptons, I stay put. As long as you steer clear of high traffic tourist spots like Times Square, the city empties out and feels like a personal playground. Nobody is elbowing you on the sidewalks and you can suddenly stroll into restaurants that are normally packed. In fact, last time I tried to go to Via Carota, the wait was over 2.5 hours. This weekend, we popped right in…and had the most incredible artichoke/avocado/parmesan dish that will make you re-think vegetables.