Author Archives: Lily O'Dare

wolffer estate vineyard

A glass of wine during sunset at Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagponack, NY might be one of the most beautiful glasses of wine you’ll ever drink. I think it has become my favorite vineyard to visit, and certainly one of my top places to spend the beginning of an evening while out in the Hamptons. I recommend visiting at this time of year (September/October), right before their annual grape harvest– to catch a glimpse of all the rows naturally decorated with beautiful dark purple and golden grapes.

I love their Chardonnay (fruity, crisp & mineral driven) or a glass of their famous summer Rosé (the best! but available only during the summer months).





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Milk Pail Farms

Over the weekend my boyfriend, Brian, and I ventured to Milk Pail Farms to enjoy a traditional fall activity we both hadn’t yet experienced. Local orchards and patches are fruitful and loaded with apples and pumpkins in New York right now, and we decided to take advantage by picking our own Saturday morning. Milk Pail Farms is located in Watermill, a small town near Bridgehampton in the Hamptons. What we saw at Milk Pail amazed us! Thousands of the most perfect and beautiful tree ripened red apples glittered the trees and hundreds of pumpkins all shapes and sizes nestled in twirling vines colored the grounds. We settled on the cutest “cheese” pumpkin I’ver seen, after learning it was the most popular pumpkin variety to eat :).







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getting centered in the city

Today was a good day.

I feel like I haven’t taken a moment to pause lately — to breathe, to feel the weight of my body or the security of the ground below my feet. To just not think about anything at all besides the calmness of my breath and how grateful I am for each inhale and exhale. Feeling like I needed some assistance in finding peace – I took a yoga class today at the Twisted Trunk in Soho, and after felt like a new being.

Living in New York City is definitely different from the slow paced Florida I grew up with, coupled with the stress of finding a job, navigating 5 burrows, and learning to live on a very strict budget — things have been seemingly chaotic. But taking the time this morning to participate in a yoga class for an hour and a half really made all the difference in de-cluttering my mind. In fact, it helped me to really re-focus and re-evaluate what’s most important.

After a challenging yet enjoyable session of poses, stretches and deep breaths, we laid in silence during the last 15 minutes of class. My mind was able to completely clear as I focused on my breathing. Slowly, my body and mind connected and I thought of what I’m grateful for; my physical health, my happiness, my amazing family and finally, the person I want to be with for the rest of my life. A tear or two fell down my cheek from the overwhelming feeling of love and peace that filled my heart.

I left the studio feeling grounded, centered and grateful-

and felt stronger and ready to take back on the busy streets of NYC.



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Filed under Creative Writing, NYC


Between signing my first apartment lease and searching for a job — the last few weeks have been busy! Finding the right home for the right price seemed nearly impossible, but with some hard work, determination and a little luck – the perfect place surfaced. I am so excited to finish furnishing and decorating, and then post before and after pictures of my beautiful Upper East Side apt.

Even though I’ve had a pretty full schedule, there has still been time for exploring the city, Levain Bakery cookies, boat rides, beach time in Montauk and delicious home cooking. I fall more and more in love with New York every day.








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August 19, 2014 · 1:27 pm

love & adventure: summer 2014

Where do I even begin? I haven’t blogged in so long!

Well for one, I am currently sitting at the Orlando International Airport awaiting my (delayed) flight to JFK in NYC. Thoughts crossing my mind are reflective (of this summer and my last week at home), excitement (to get back up to NYC, find an apartment for this next year, and see the love of my life tonight in Tribeca!!) and also slight frustration– “How have I not learned by now that afternoon flights to NYC from Florida ALWAYS get delayed??” At least I am in a comfortable seat and with a free wifi connection (something that I really valued during my travels this summer) and can do some writing on Candied-Life :).

The last time I posted I was just coming off the high of graduating University of Miami – completely relieved to have finished four years of college with solid grades and a diploma and was relaxing at home with my family (well deserved r&r that consisted of cooking, sleeping, swimming and playing tennis). My boyfriend Brian and I were about to embark on a long and exciting summer journey. Although my last blog post was only two months ago, it feels like it has been a lifetime!

It must be because in those two months Brian and I traveled from Miami to Manhattan by car – stopping for a night each in Charleston, SC, DC/Georgetown and then finally to Sagaponack, NY for a week of sunshine, beach walks and crisp rose. Our road trip/hamptons stint was then followed by another mini-vacation — enjoying NYC together! -walking, eating, talking and exploring our favorite city (and new home!) as a couple.

After that we packed our bags one more time, grabbed our passports and began our 5 week Euro-trip (the best idea ever). We traveled all over- starting with London and Paris, and then to Italy for Florence, Chianti and Rome. We then spent a week in Greece, and truly experienced an entirely new type of island life in Mykonos and Santorini. Finally our vacation came to a close with a week in Amsterdam.  Each place brought new adventures, flavors, memories and excitement. I’m sure I will post about our travels, and I did take plenty of pictures (because how could I not?). But I must say I don’t think it won’t do what we experienced much justice because in the end it wasn’t really about the food, the views, the swims, the wine or the grapes – the best five weeks of my life were honestly about our love and the moments that will forever be just ours.

So now I’m off to JFK- to my new life and to the start of my biggest adventure yet. I’ve really got a great feeling about this one.


{ drinks at Scarves, in the Rosewood Hotel London}

IMG_0220{ Brian and Ben}


{ one of my favorite views in Paris }


{ Brian and I at the W Paris Opera }


{ my favorite cookie in Paris from Eric Kayser }


{ Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy }


{ Il Salviatino Hotel, Florence, Italy }


{ Il Salviatino Hotel, Florence, Italy }


{ A snapshot from our private cooking lesson at a small vineyard in Chianti, Tuscany }


{ Oia, Santorini, Greece }


{ Sparkling Rose at the Colle Beretto Winery }


{ roses and grapes in Chianti }


{ Mykonos }


{ Greek Iced Coffee in Santorini }


{ our secret sunset spot in Santorini :) }


{ cacio e pepe in Rome }


{ Florence, Italy }


{ Rome, photo credit: Brian :) }


{ our cruise around the canals of Amsterdam }


August 4, 2014 · 1:23 am