Friday, July 13, 2012

Permission

A friend recently recommended that I sign up The Daily Love, described as a "FREE daily e-multivitamin for your soul!" Some days have spoken to me more than others, but today's really struck a chord, so much so that I thought I'd share a blurb that is pretty much rocking my world right now. (FYI I changed "The Divine" to "God" because that's how it speaks to moi. Also fixed a major grammatical error - who's vs. whose = major pet peeve.) Merci, Mastin. I needed this.

"So whose approval or permission do you think you need to live your dreams? Make a list. And then realize that the only person’s approval or permission you need is your own. Give yourself permission to live your calling, your purpose and your dream. God gave it to you so express in this lifetime. Giving yourself permission to be yourself is the best way to let God guide your life – because that’s why He created you."

 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Eat NYC

One of the best things about living in New York City is undeniably the food. The food here is so good. It's SO good. So unlike food I've had anywhere else. Seriously, the possibilities are endless, and the convenience is ridiculous. I honestly don't know how I'll ever live in a city where my quick and easy (and usually vegan!) lunch options are so limitless (Hale and Heart, Chop't, Pret, Organic Avenue - I'm looking at you).

Not that's lunch. Let's move on to dinner where the true magic happens (well, and brunch, too, but that's a whole 'nother post...). After a bit of hiatus, I'm re-embarked on my mission to taste as much good food as the city has to offer. In the last couple of months, I've been lucky to dine at:

  • Birreria (lovely spot, delicious beer, but I wasn't crazy about the eats - I mean, how many fried mushrooms can one gal eat?) 
  • En Brasserie (very interesting and unique menu; cool space)
  • Luke's Lobster (best lobster rolls I've had yet and DEF. the best deal)
  • Cédric (fantastic French bistro - I can't wait to go back)
  • Peacefood Cafe (seriously I could eat their dumplings every. single. day. and the fact that they're vegan is just plain ridiculous and ahmazing)
  • Café Cluny (adorable adorable adorable - I'm going back for brunch this weekend)
  • Todd English Food Hall at the Plaza (my new favorite space)
And coming up in the next few weeks?
  • Scarpetta (probably my favorite Italian restaurant in the city - I've been once with a dear amie who has since moved to DC and am going back tomorrow night avec une autre dear amie who's visiting from Austin)
  • Candle 79 (stellar, albeit pricey, vegan restaurant; going avec Lauren - yay!)
  • Salinas (I have high hopes, especially since this one's in the 'hood)
And last, but certainly not least... 
  • Gramercy Tavern (a splurge for sure, but I've been dying to try it since moving to the city!)

I'm also taking a pie-making class at Havens Kitchen in a few weeks, which is beyond exciting because I've always wanted to learn how to make pie AND Havens Kitchen sounds like just my cup of tea (and is also in the 'hood).

P.S. I realize this is an absurd amount of eating out that I'm doing, and no, it's not my norm (nor will it be because there's only so much 3x weekly visits to the gym can do to counteract the ridiculous, buttery rich foods at this restaurants, and that's if I actually make it to the gym 3x a week which... yeah.). I have no doubt in my mind all this indulgence will end by the end of August, and then it'll be back to cooking simple, easy meals like Trader Joe's cappellini and roasted brussels sprouts. (And hopefully by then it won't be 150 degrees in my apartment, and turning on the stove/oven won't be the worst idea ever. Because right now? It is.)

 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Life Lately

It's no surprise that so many of my original blog friends bid farewell to blogging (at least for now). It's more or less what I've done as well despite many half-hearted attempts and promises. The reality is that life is full and gorgeous, and although there are aspects of blogging that I miss (like the friends and connections!), it's just not the right time for me right now. That being said, I'm going to write now because I feel so compelled, and perhaps I'll drop by time to time (or maybe I won't).

Unlike my last summer in the city, this summer has been a blur. A chaotic, fun and somewhat exhausting mix of brunches, dinners, museum visits, long walks, old friends, new friends, a busy new job, jury duty (yes, I got picked!), oodles of reading, countless visits to Laduree, rooftop bar soirees and the like. Tonight was my first night off in awhile, and it was much needed and deserved. I came home and promptly fell asleep for an hour and a half. Since then I've been lazing about, enjoying having the apartment to myself, reading blogs, listening to Birdy's album (obsessed) and doing laundry. And since I have a little time to breathe, I want to fill you in on my latest loves, passions and pursuits...

Paris, je t'aime
I've been a self-declared francophile for quite some time, but after reading Amy Thomas' Paris, My Sweet, my love for this city is reignited and has pretty much consumed me. Since reading inhaling her delightful memoir, I've been to Laduree at least four times and visited places like La Maison du Chocolat (ridiculously expensive chocolate; heavenly and better-priced eclairs), Levain Bakery (insanely good chocolate chip walnut cookie) and Lady M (famous for their Mille Crepe cake) for some sweet treats of my own. I've also dined at Cafe Cluny (absolutely adorable - the wait staff all wear striped Saint James tees, and the french fries and ice cream are to-die-for) and Cedric (ah-mazing gem in Harlem - merci, Tiffani!) in the hopes of recreating a little Parisien bistro magique in the City That Never Sleeps.

I've also been going through Amy's blog archives, and by doing so, discovered the British delight that is Rachel Khoo. I've no idea how I've never heard of her until now, but I am in love (and full on stalker-mode). I've watched all her episodes of The Little Paris Kitchen and can't wait until her book is published in the States.

And I'm going to sign up for a French language course at alliance francaise this Fall.

AND I'm planning a trip to Paris and London for Spring 2013. :)

Art
I've always enjoyed museums and have made the requisite trips to the Louvre while in Paris, the Galleria delgli Uffizi in Florence and the Tate Modern in London. But since moving to the city and particularly in the last six months, I've been having a bit of a love affair with museums. The Frick, the Met, the MoMA... j'adore them all. Last Friday I got out of jury duty early, so I hopped on the subway and headed uptown to spend some time with my favorite European artists at The Met. I spent hours wandering around the galleries, spending quality one-on-one time with Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Mucha, Vuillard and of course, my favorite Bonnard.



Tomorrow I'm visiting the Neue Galerie to see the Klimt exhibit and dine on some Viennese delights at the gorgeous Cafe Sebarsky. Still on the list? The Guggenheim, the Whitney, the numerous Chelsea galleries and a trip to the Bronx to see a recreation of Monet's Garden at the NY Botanical Gardens.

After reading Object of Beauty (a tres interesting book on the art world in NYC by Steve Martin (yes, that one), I've been more inspired than ever to take a course on art history. Regrettably I never took one in college and am hoping to find a continuing education course here in the city, one that actually works with my schedule.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 


It's not all Monet and macarons though. In other news...


- I've also recently developed a rather unhealthy obsession with The Vampire Diaries and all things Stefan/Paul Wesley. I mean, with a jaw like that, how can you not?


- My poor white craptastic macbook is on its last leg. I think a shiny new macbook pro is going to be my birthday present to moi this August.


- I have a new roommate, and I'm not a big fan. Our little friend (read: MOUSE) absolutely refuses to eat the delicious peanut butter in the fancy new traps I purchased and instead enjoys making random appearances in the kitchen and in the hallway (only, of course, when I'm looking) causing me to scream, shout, jump on the bed and generally act like a crazy person. Le sigh.


- I actually have another new roommate whom I adore who's subletting for the summer. She's a wicked smart Harvard and Oxford grad who is currently getting her MBA at Wharton, interning at Godiva. She's lived in London and Mexico City, is from the Bay Area and loves good food as much as I do. We have a date at the esteemed Gramercy Tavern in July, and I cannot wait. 

Gros bisous, mes amies. I hope life is good.




 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Week in Review & Weekend Wishlist


This week has been challenging, to say the last, and I'm glad the weekend is here. I'm currently sitting at my sister's kitchen island in sunny California, sipping some Awake tea and playing with my planner. Mom and Sis will be back from the doctor's office soon, and I'm looking forward to a day of running errands, getting last-minute stuff for the baby shower (see sneak peek of decor above) and just relaxing.

Week in Review
- 2 gym dates (4 miles, 2 miles + strength training)
- goodbye dinner avec Rachel at Red Farm (AMAZING and totally worth the wait)
- weekly a cappella rehearsal followed by din at Westville
- minor emotional breakdown (more on this later)
- one very long Virgin America flight from JFK -> SFO
- decision to take the month of April off from socializing

Weekend Wishlist
- have a lovely weekend in NoCal with Momma Park and Ma Soeur
- host kick ass baby shower for Ma Soeur
- get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
- re-read Hip Tranquil Chick (it's about that time)
- don't check my Blackberry

 

Monday, February 27, 2012

An NYC Weekend

[I've definitely been doing a lot of this lately, and it's made such a difference.]


Totes forgot to do my Week in Review post, but I had such a lovely, productive, NYC weekend that I will do a weekend in review and work week wishlist, if you don't mind. :)


Weekend in Review
- fabulous brunch w/ friends, old and new, @ Blue Ribbon Bakery (It was my second time there, and I've decided I'm perfectly okay with not going back. The place itself is adorable, but the food is overpriced and mediocre.)
- baby shower for my NYC big sis on the Upper East Side
- The Met's member preview weekend for "The Steins Collect" gallery
- a surprisingly lovely impromptu Italian dinner with my roomie post-Met (we may have split a bottle of wine... yes, it was that kind of week)
- viewing (my first) of Shakespeare in Love
- a wonderful church service (minus the loud, annoying kids sitting behind us)
- a haircut and delectable brunch @ The Roebling Team Room (My second time, adn I will definitely be returning.) in Willamsburg
- solo Oscars viewing party whilst working in my planner and munching on my newest fave - Trader Joe's roasted veggie frozen pizza


Work Week Wishlist
- 3 runs
- goodbye dinner avec dear friend moving back to TX
- black tie optional party at which I will not be wearing a ballgown 
- weekly a cappella rehearsal
- potential TV appearance
- comfy Virgin America flight to San Francisco
- host fun and fabulous baby shower for Ma Soeur
- spend quality time in NoCal w/ Ma Soeur and Momma Park
- easy breezy redeye flight back to NYC


 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Le Weekend (in pictures)

I managed to squeeze in not one, but two nights of art journaling. Voila my Springspiration collage and fitness goals for the next 3 months:



My guy BFF and I are doing a book swap for February. He's reading a book of my choice, and I'm reading one of his. My choice for him is Eating Animals (bien sur), and his for moi is Anna Karenina. Admittedly I'm surprised at how much I love it and have found myself unable to put it down lately. Thank goodness for my new Kindle Touch - the hard copy is HUGE!


I've decided that fresh flowers are a new "must" for moi, particularly now that Spring is right around the corner. My room gets very little (read: ZERO) sunlight, so I need something to remind me of the beautiful outdoors. I picked up these babies at a corner bodega yesterday afternoon and felt very SATC-esque whilst doing so.


I hope your weekend felt long, luscious and full of creativity. Gros bisous!


 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week in Review & Weekend Wishlist (merci, KW!)





J'adore when Kimberly does her Week in Review and Weekend Wishlist. The practice of reviewing all I've done/accomplished during the week is satisfying and helps me see the bigger picture. And putting into words what I hope to accomplish over the weekend, particularly a long weekend like this one, helps me stay focused. And so, I begin my first WiR and WW post!. Merci, Kimberly, for the inspiration!


Week in Review
- 3 runs (4, 3, and 2 miles respectively)
- 1 upper body strength training mini session (must get better about incorporating these)
- 1 a cappella rehearsal (we are holding auditions and finally decided on our group, after hours of deliberation)
- 1 apres-work drinks celebrating my promotion (adore my coworkers)
- 1 dinner date with bestie coworker Pallas and bestie roomie Annika @ Serafina (surprisingly delicious - had a YUMMY strawberry basil martini)
- 1 lunch date @ L'Oreal 
- 1 real date @ Kuma Inn (Date went surprisingly well, but I don't think I'm interested. Still, it was good practice!)




*Weekend Wishlist*
~ Saturday Cookshop brunch (it's my fave/easiest brunch place within walking distance), hopefully followed by a long walk around the city 
~ 4.5 mile run on Sunday
~ Oodles of sleeping in and laziness
~ Art journaling artist date avec me, myself and I
~ Catch up on my personal email (it's appalling)
~ Send out a few snail mail notes
~ Make spicy three bean chili & vegan cornbread
~ eye doctor appointment
~ yoga! (preferably of the hot variety)


 
 
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