Sunday, Funday

Last Sunday I had brunch at a place I’d been intrigued by for awhile. Some friends were organizing a brunch, and they had mentioned Five Leaves as an option. As soon as I heard that, I secretly hoped that it would be the final choice. And it was!

There was a long wait, but with good company. I guess a hungry belly would be the only thing sensing any urgency. We were seated and greeted by the friendly staff. That’s one thing I took note of the whole time. Despite the busyness of the whole place, the staff wasn’t rushing anyone at all or giving off any bad vibes. It’s funny because I’m realizing now that I was initially intrigued solely by pictures, not by raving reviews. However, when I got there that’s when I realized I was in for a real treat when strangers were even telling me that “no joke, everything here is great!”

Everything here was so inviting.

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Feels Like Summertime in New York: Part 3

Finally we get to the part of my recap when it was my birthday!

I met up with my friend at a park near where she works.

There was a charming farmer’s market right outside of the park as well.

Yum!

I brought the same dish I had made the previous day--still delicious!

A little birdie wanted to taste some too.

She painted me these beautiful birthday cards! It was such an enjoyable lunch in the Tribeca neighborhood of the city. After enduring enough heat we sadly had to part ways. I was on my way to meet up with another special friend though! My phone had died and luckily I vaguely remembered what stops were along the way to where I wanted to go. I got off at a stop, found a Starbucks, and asked if they knew where Lula’s Sweet Apothecary was. They didn’t know what I was talking about so I decided to ask them where the nearest AT&T store was so I could hopefully charge my phone. So I walked two blocks down and found the store and charged my phone for about five minutes. Who knew how long it would last! I looked up directions to Lula’s on a computer. I was in luck because it wasn’t too far away. I was excited to meet up with Marina and enjoy some delicious vegan ice cream on a hot day. Ice cream that won’t upset my stomach–hooray!

I finally arrived, and look who I found!

Marina, there’s no way you can escape my camera mwahaha! This place was tiny but had tons of charm. I felt like I was transported to another decade. A decade where men wore suspenders, groomed their mustaches, and everything was served on a real spoon! They have everything from sundaes to shakes, sodas to malts, egg cremes, and even banana splits! Can I remind you that everything is vegan? I’m not vegan but I can’t really handle dairy ice creams, milkshakes, things of that sort. So it was nice to go to a place where I had choices and I didn’t have to worry about getting sick.

SO GOOD!!!

They make all of their ice cream on site and they use a base of either cashews, soy, or coconut. What to choose, what to choose? Want to sample some? Not a problem! The caramel ginger cookie flavor caught my eye, but they hadn’t finished making the batch yet. I waited around for a bit, but I could wait no longer. I got the cake-batter soft-serve with crumbled ginger creme cookies, coconut whipped cream, and a happy birthday to me with a cherry on top. I ended up not feeling like I settled for less, this was the best vegan ice cream ever–so thick and rich!!! ! I also couldn’t have asked for better company as well. Although it was my first time meeting Marina we hit it off right away and I felt like we’d known each other for ages!

A happy birthday girl, indeed.

On my way home my phone died again, but by then I knew where I was going. Funny story though–on the way home I was approached by a hottie, but as usual I am brilliant only once the chance has passed… when it comes to guys anyway. Anyone else have this problem? I need some tips!

Later on I met up with my friend and some other ladies to watch the opening of Sex and the City 2!

So much estrogen.

I thought the fashion was great, but where was the story? They seemed to just skim on the surface, and not really get into any of the stories. I definitely liked the first one better. After the movie we took the cab home and I just about passed out in my clothes. It was a long day!

The next day was a day of wandering around Williamsburg.

And perfect for riding around with the top down.

Then I headed over to my other girlfriend’s place for a girlie night!

A sleepover isn't complete without a sauna!

I love this part of her room.

And there's Theo again in all of his glory!

A cat that likes to snuggle? I love!

It was so nice to just wind down and be super lazy. I don’t get to see my friend very often, but it never feels like we’ve lost touch.

I have one more recap before the New York adventure is over. There’s much to catch up on while I’ve been back in Florida! You better believe that I’ve gone on many food adventures while I’ve been down here.

Feels Like Summertime in New York: Part 2

Last Monday started out the same as usual. Scratch that! I went out to one of many parks in Brooklyn and went exploring. That’s one thing that I love whenever I go to New York. I get a lot of chances to just walk around and discover new things. I plan on moving there after I graduate so it’s better if I feel comfortable getting around before I move. Anywho! Eventually I made my way into the city to meet up with one of my best girlfriends.

At a Free People store with a really awesome store display.
I miss her already!

After just shopping around we made our way to Whole Foods and sampled some goods and my friend got her groceries. Oh wow I got to try things like my favorite Greek yogurt (I just pretended to be amazed for the first time), dark chocolate-covered coconut bits, and this amazing cookie that I can’t even remember what it was but I know it was in the raw foods section.

We came back to Brooklyn for a hot second and I reunited with my other friend and her doggie.

Meet Theo
Then I went to my other friend’s place and we started working on the special surprise!
We were invited to a girls’ night so we wanted to make something yummy that would not fail!

Any guesses?

We made mini-sandwiches...

But not just any mini-sandwich.

PB&J's, PB&Banana, PB&Chocolate-Banana

Don't they look kind of like macaroons?

These were so much fun to make! There was definitely lots of finger-licking done.

Ready?

Then we headed back into the city.

It was funny because girls’ night was hosted by none other than a guy. We got to the building and we told the man at the front the code phrase “we’re here for girls’ night.” It was so funny because at first we thought it was a joke, but he knew exactly what we were talking about. So then we were headed to the top floor and were greeted by the funniest and witty group of girls + the host! Everybody loved the mini-sandwiches.

The next day we went on a bike adventure.

We rode over to the waterfront and just sat around for awhile.

And jumped around too!

Riding a bike while sitting Indian-style, naturally.

When we came back I fixed myself a perfect hot-weather lunch.

Broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cous cous, chickpeas, dried cranberries, feta, cashews, olive oil, and lemon pepper. YUM! I was inspired by this recipe.

I also tried a lychee jelly snack.

Met up with a friend and headed over to Dean & Deluca.

I wanted to find something special. But there were so many things to choose from. From wine-infused marmalades that cost as much as Matilda’s grooming to confections that could make the sourest of hearts melt.

I decided to get a pear hazelnut fruit spread.

After doing some more window-shopping we decided to head back over to Brooklyn.

Then we got ready to celebrate someone's birthday.

And I was excited because my birthday was just in a few hours as well.

Then we headed over to a bar where a lot of people signed to the same record label hang out.

We got down to Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and No Doubt’s “I’m Just a Girl”. It was such a fun night and it turned out that the other birthday girl’s birthday was the same as mine! So at midnight we were both given a birthday serenade. Next post is a recap of my birthday and then some. Can I say the word birthday one more time? Oh! I just did.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. I’ve been eating delicious meals put together by the whole family, hanging out with my homegirl before she goes to Peru, and just taking it easy. With the heat we’ve been experiencing down here it seems that things sometimes just get done at the pace of a slug. Let’s just call it… cruising through life.

Feels Like Summertime in New York: Part 1

Later that day when I got back from the beach, I made it to New York.  I took the AirTran and met up with my friend at the station–finally someone to help me with my luggage! But before anything we gave each other bear hugs. I definitely missed her.

Finally we made it to her place and met her new baby.

Nice to meet you, Albus!

Freshly ground cinnamon

Apple and cinnamon oatmeal with cashews

My friend took Albus out in style with turquoise shoes.

I've also missed this backyard!

A backyard in Brooklyn is definitely a rare treasure.

Too bad he couldn't go to yoga with us!

After getting the morning things out of the way we went into the city to take an incredible class at Yoga to the People, a donation base studio.

Remember when I went last time?

After some shopping and walking around we came back and started making dinner.

And white sangria!

Yum! I love that she also loves Indian food.

She made a delicious lentil curry with veggies over basmati rice, and I added some cashews for good measure.

As Julia would say, "bon appetit!"

Puppy love!

Later that night we stopped by a friend’s place and to my surprise one of my best girl friends lived right across the street! Eventually we made our way back home–bike bound in Brooklyn!

The next day my friend's roommate got back in town!

We stopped by a cheese shop that also happened to have an incredible chocolate selection.

Thanks to this shop I have found a brand of chocolate that my friend believes is worth dying for. She highly recommended Mast Brothers‘ Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Sea Salt.

Then met up with two other friends!

Headed out to Artists and Fleas--a really neat market with all sort of vendors, like mini-pastry vendors!

Then we went into the city and stopped by a quirky pizza shop.

Who could this be?

Cookie monster!

We just shopped around and made our way through a few parks.

It was funny because as we were walking along some random guy blatantly snapped a picture of us with his fancy camera and just kept walking. My friend and I just looked at each other and started laughing.

Stopped by the dairy-free "fro-yo" shop Stogo and fell in love with their toasted coconut almond joy flavor.

A nice old man had us laughing when he took our picture.

And of course we were standing in front of my favorite store!!! It pretty much goes without saying but I’ll just refresh your minds in case you’ve forgotten–Anthropologie!

And here's to looking forward to a great week!

Next recap includes a classic childhood favorite with a twist! I promise you will love it. In fact, I forwarded the idea to my beloved Dean & Deluca in hopes of getting my foot in their door. Okay so I’m going to keep quiet now because the suspense of sharing it with you all is killing me!

New York Recap Part 3

Since I’ve been lacking in the food photo department, let me start with something appropriate. There’s this place called Foodswings in Brooklyn that serves fast food and diner food but it’s all completely vegan. So if you’re ever over in that borough – check it out! Next time I go back I’m going to try The Seymour (Pistachio Ice Cream, Cookies & Peanut Butter). Sounds like an awesome “milkshake” doesn’t it?

Vegan fish sticks with tartar sauce.
Vegan fish sticks with tartar sauce.

I haven’t had fish sticks since I was probably 8. It was awesome! I felt like I was reliving when I was still in ballet class and my favorite song was probably something from the Lion King soundtrack that had a crack on the case.

I remember that mid-week, there was a rainy day. I took that as a cue for me to just take it easy. My feet definitely were in need of some rest. However, I did want to do something. I looked up the classes at this yoga studio called Yoga to the People – they offer a donation based class.

So many people in such a tight space.

So many people in such a tight space.

This was my favorite yoga class that I’ve ever been to. They offer a hot yoga, and honestly… I took the power vinyasa class and I started sweating from the first minute. I can’t imagine what the hot yoga class is like. I love how that time was really made into everyone’s own practice. They played great music and gave words of encouragement about life. How sometimes it sucks, but it’s up to us to make what we want of it. Oh! And never have I heard that many moans, groans, and orgasmic noises in one room. My favorite part was probably the happy baby. We all made sounds like a baby does, and someone ended it all with a delightful baby sigh.

Yup, I packed my yoga mat with me!

Yup, I packed my yoga mat with me!

After that, I met up with my friend on St. Marks and we had to run a very important errand. Then we headed home but stopped by Foodswings, where I picked up my fish sticks. When we got home I just relaxed some more. I was in desperate need of a shower because after that yoga class, I was drenched in sweat. My friend went to go get a quick back massage while I showered.

Our station in the kitchen.

Our "station" in the kitchen.

And she picked me up a candy.

And she picked me up a candy.

I peacefully went to sleep that night. This was much needed because the next day I planned to go to the MoMa. So here’s part of my cultural experience for you guys to see!

A part of the Song Dong exhibition.

A part of the Song Dong exhibition.

The idea was about not being wasteful.

The idea was about the Chinese concept of wu jin qi yong - "waste not".

View from above.

View from above.

It was very interesting, and there was so much to take in. For some reason I always find myself being drawn to Chinese artists. Maybe it goes along with the idea that Eastern religions also appeal to me. The philsophy of experiencing vs. intellectualizing.

Eyeballs scaling up the wall.

Eyeballs scaling up the wall.

I feel like this is referencing so many things.

I feel like this is referencing so many things.

This is an example of why I create art: I strive to make the unimaginable present in our world.

This is an example of why I create art: I strive to make the unimaginable present in our world.

Some works by Merce Cunningham.

Some works by Merce Cunningham.

Neat projection.

Neat projection.

Broken dishes.

Broken dishes.

Hey there

Hey there

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Van Gogh

Van Gogh

Ron Arads No Discipline

Ron Arad's No Discipline

Arad has created some stunning furniture. I think you can really see his fascination with technology through the amount of innovation his pieces portray.

I enjoyed my museum visit very much! I was able to look at the pieces for as long as I wanted to, or as little as I wanted to. I managed to spend a few hours there, and I felt like time was standing still. I wasn’t completely alone though. I had my friend PB&J Larabar help get me through! I usually don’t eat my friends though.

Afterward I headed to Chelsea Market.

Afterward I headed to Chelsea Market.

They had a lot of bakeries with really cute cupcakes!

They had a lot of bakeries with really cute cupcakes!

I went to Amy’s Bread in search of a delicious Red Velvet cupcake. Unfortunately, they weren’t making any that day. So I put that on my To-Do list: come back later.

I took a break and sat down in a tea lounge.

I took a break and sat down in a tea lounge.

Enjoyed a nice cup of chocolate almond tea.

Enjoyed a nice cup of chocolate almond tea.

I also got some produce at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange, and went into this small shop called Chelsea Market Baskets. I talked to the store owner for a bit and he was so nice! Too bad I don’t live there because I recommend the Delouis Fils mayonnaise to him, and he added it to this inventory list. I tried various things, which I’m afraid I can’t remember! I also made a small purchase.

Oatmeal Lavender Biscuits

Oatmeal Lavender Biscuits

I’m going to buy goat cheese and chives to go with them. I tried making a dip out of sour cream, strawberries, and vanilla though – but I think goat cheese would be better.

I headed back to Brooklyn and met up with Liz and Sean.

I headed back to Brooklyn and met up with Liz and Sean.

Their friend Adam came too.

Their friend Adam came too.

And he made the best calendar ever!

And he made the best calendar ever!

Crossing the bridge!

Crossing the bridge!

Subway passing by.

Subway passing by.

Look!

Look!

We were headed back to the SoHo area to checkout one of their friend’s play.

Liz putting on some finishing touches.

Liz putting on some finishing touches.

One of the bands that played, but they were a little too girly for my taste.

One of the bands that played, but they were a little too girly for my taste.

Surprise attack!

Surprise attack!

Attempt to seduce me.

Attempt to seduce me.

...working?

...working?

Check please!

Check please!

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

Wish I could remember his name, but the guy on the far right was their friend that played.

Wish I could remember his name, but the guy on the far right was their friend that played.

It was late and we hadnt eaten so we stopped by Curry in a Hurry!

It was late and we hadn't eaten so we stopped by Curry in a Hurry for some late night Indian goodness!

This makes me want to go back even more now! I have some tasty pictures for you guys in my next post. Actually, my next post will be the final recap, and then it’s back to reality! But don’t worry, that’s fun too. So far I’ve been loving the new place with my roommate. Life is good. All I need now is someone to cuddle with, now that fall is slowly making it’s way back. I hope you’re all doing incredibly well and living life to the fullest. I feel like so many changes are going on. Maybe it’s something in the stars? Nah, must be something in the almond buttah’!

p.s. To answer your questions: I just keep my hair in a loose bun when I put on the coconut oil. And, yes, I did buy the romper! It’s so cute and easy to dress up or down. Also, I’m not sure when the next time I go to New York will be, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be before the end of this year. Next time, I’m going to make a big announcement, then maybe I can have a few meet-ups. That would be nice.

p.s.s. What are a few of your dream cities? Either to visit or call home.

New York Recap Part 1

Ladies and gents, and now what you’ve all been waiting for!

I took a break from posting any entries on my blog, but I’ve been trying to keep with all of you guys! So many things going on. Especially since my semester starts tomorrow. Ack!

Anyway, let’s get to the nitty gritty of this post, shall we?

On the way to New York, stopping in DC.
On the way to New York, stopping in DC.

So as I mentioned in my previous post, my trip started off on a crazy foot. Crazy indeed! Luckily, I was able to refresh myself when I finally arrived at my friend’s, Liz, place. After that, her loverboy came over and we just walked around her neighborhood in Brooklyn – Williamsburg.

Liz is very lucky to have a backyard in Brooklyn - and its big!
Liz is very lucky to have a backyard in Brooklyn – and it’s big!
We walked to a nearby bakery.
We walked to a nearby bakery.
Buying some bread to break with friends.
Buying some bread to break with friends.

As we were walking around, we just tore pieces off the loaf of ciabatta. So good!

Talk and eat at the same time.
Walk, talk, and eat at the same time.
Oh heyy!
Oh heyy! Check out the juggler to my right.

We walked through a couple parks and decided to sit by a softball game. Liz is in love with every dog in the world, so she was having a great time at the park. If anyone knows of any pet adoption agencies in New York, please let me know!

Theyre so cute!
They’re so cute!

After walking around and just hanging out till there was no more sun, we came home and Liz got to working on dinner. She’s Italian so of course she made pasta!

Looking at Shaun.

Looking in love!
Looking in love!
Stirring it all together.
Stirring it all together.
Sangria and a Jollyrancher!
Sangria and a Jollyrancher!
We had dinner in the backyard.
We had a candlelit dinner in the backyard.
Penne with vodka sauce, broccoli, and cannellini beans.
Penne with vodka sauce, broccoli, and cannellini beans.

After dinner Liz invited some friends over and we played this game called for Botticelli literally 6 hours. It’s this crazy guessing game, but we didn’t play it the “real” way. We didn’t use personal pronouns at all, but it could pretty much be any word we could think of. Later in the night, Liz’s friend – which she claims to be her hottest friend from the batch – came over. Oh my!!! He was so good-looking and reminded me of a hot pirate. I actually flirted a bit, which is unusual for me. I usually have a hard time even looking a guy I’m interested in, in the eyes.

The next day we headed to a free concert out by the Waterfront. But before I left, I whipped up something really fast.

IMG_6865
I added some Kashi cereal for some sweetness and crunch!

And I used this bomb-ass dressing from Trader Joe's.
And I used this bomb-ass dressing from Trader Joe’s.

Liz and Shaun working it.
Liz and Shaun working it.
Uh oh!
Uh oh!
We stopped by this place called Pennylicks.
We stopped by this place called Pennylicks.

You get a scoop of ice cream for $1. They have vegan flavors as well! I tried the vegan chocolate chip cookie dough since it’s Liz’s favorite. It was so good and the place’s decor was endearing. They had little funny signs everywhere.

The Waterfront.
The Waterfront.

It was kind of annoying getting into this place. I had to dump out my water and we all ate our apples. Luckily, I was able to hide my bar at the bottom of my bag. When we went to get in again, one of the security guards swore he recognized me from somewhere. I told him I wasn’t from New York and then he introduced himself. Sounds like he was just trying to pick me up!

Sitting by the water with the cityscape in front of us.
Sitting by the water with the cityscape in front of us.
Being cute once again!
Being cute once again!
Meet Shaun!
Meet Shaun!

We played Botticelli for another couple of hours. Shaun got us hooked! After we were over sitting, we went to get $1 pizza slices.

At the pizza place.
At the pizza place.

Later on we went into the city and walked around Union Square. Of course we made a stop at Trader Joe’s. I’ve never seen a Trader Joe’s that was as busy! And I was also surprised that the prices were just as low as they usually are. So after we each got out groceries we headed back home.

So guys, that’s it for the first two days of my stay in New York. Trust me, it got more exciting as the week progressed. I did my fair share of exploring, and by the end of this trip I was ready to call this city my home! Thank goodness it’s not too far, so I can visit more often. That is… if school doesn’t get too crazy. Stay tuned for Part 2!

By the way for all you ice-cream lovers out there. Check out this vegan ice cream!

p.s. Zoe’s Food has a discount on Amazon

p.s.s. Checkout Katie’s amazing Spiralizer Giveaway