Monday, May 31, 2010


Thanks a million for the many congratulatory comments and birthday wishes! Yesterday was such a fabulous celebration.
It began quietly in Chappaqua at Le Jardin du Roian adorable French bistro and one of the few places in the area that serves breakfast on Saturday mornings. 
My dad was working, my sister was in Jamaica (yeah, Jamaica--her friend invited her on the family vacation), and my brother was in Arizona (his ASU orientation). I felt like an only child again ;).
Although my mom and I loved the outdoor seating, it looked like it was going to rain, so we dined inside. The interior was adorable, it was rustic yet sophisticated with the most wonderful French accents.
Not to mention that it was incredibly authentic: behind me, the vintage wine shelves, before me, crusty bread and butter. Gosh, how I miss le France.
It was a coffee kind of morning and I was so pleased to find that they served a strong yet ridiculously flavorful roast. As for the actual meal, it was no less delicious. I had a buckwheat crêpe filled with scrambled eggs, goat cheese, and ratatouille (great movie) with a side salad while my mom had the lox omelette.
What followed our petit dejeuner was a ridiculously low-key day with a side of excitement. Besides running errands, reading, and playing with Cleo (that's for tomorrow, get excited), I also got an iPhone! I like it a little ;) a.k.a. it's awesome and such a generous gift. My birthDAY was nice and relaxing and then, well...
I went out and really celebrated :). I had fears that it was going to be cold, I was worried that it may rain, but the weather turned out to be perfect for the outfit that I had been envisioning for the past week.
Dinner was scheduled for eight at Spring Street Naturals. You're right too, it does look familiar. I love this place, always will. "Our philosophy from the beginning has been to serve whole natural foods that are minimally processed. Where ever possible we produce our items in house from fresh natural ingredients-- from organic whole wheat flour pie crusts to house made breads, fresh pasta, organic seitan and free range chicken sausages. We make the effort to ensure our produce and grains are certified organic wherever possible."
I was, ironically enough, the first one there, but before long, eight of my favorite people strolled right on it. We began with a bottle of champagne and a toast. Bubbly is best, especially as an apperitif.
Between drinking and sharing stories, and photos, and hilarious 30 second videos (long story) we also ate. Crazy, I know. As an appetizer, my friend Catherine and I shared the SEITAN SUMMER ROLLS chopped romaine, jicama, carrot, fresh mint, Thai peanut sauce.
And for my entrée, I caved and ordered the same exact thing I did my first time, ORGANIC RICE AND VEGETABLE DINNER organic brown rice with tahini sauce, organic seasonal vegetables, organic steamed tofu, black beans and arame seaweed. I only felt bad for about a second because (1) it's amazing and (2) out of all the spectacular choices on the Spring Street Naturals' menu, Leslie had it too.
I must also just mention that the restaurant has an incredible drink selection. Most of my friends ordered absolutely fantastic cocktails, and true to form, Leslie and I split a bottle of French Pinot Noir. It was a Bourgeuil, I believe. 
And what would a birthday be without a song and a candle, and the most mind-blowing flourless chocolate torte with cappucino gelato?
In addition to heaven, we also ordered the cinnamon apple brioche pudding and rhubarb pie. I had bites of everything and beyond enjoyed each one.
Afterwards, we did leave, eventually, but not before a surprise lemon drop.
I'm so thankful to have been surrounded by such amazing people. Between childhood, freshman year roommate placement, sorority life, and blogs, I have been so lucky. I have the best of friends.
Anyway :) the night certainly did not end there. We went from the Spring Lounge (/shark bar), to the Nolita House, and onwards. Just because I may not recall the names of each and every bar, does not mean that I didn't completely enjoy the live music at our very last stop.
You only turn twenty-two once, right?
That, of course, brings us to today, a day for which perhaps there are no words.
At least I ate.

(P.S. The alphabet soup pictured above is not my own, but my friend Laura insisted I "blog about it." So silly.)

Happy Birthday to me! It may have just about been the best one yet, and, it makes me look forward to my twenty-second year of life that much more. Away we go!

Sweet dreams, my darlings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

lovely bunch of coconuts

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh... I am so excited right now! Life is good, life is great, and it's getting even better. In addition to the various wonderful things I shared with you yesterday, I am now an official editor at Go Backpacking, the independent travel website and community that I've been contributing to for the past few months, AND I've landed a fabulous freelancing position as a trend blogger for a certain newspaper located in New York's summertime playground. More details to come :).
Do I sound too braggy? Gosh, I hope not. It's just, I've worked really hard, and everything seems to be falling into place all of sudden, and I am just thrilled! Whew. Bring on the food-ish news: As I have the past few mornings, I once again started my day with some delectable coconut water. If you've never tried the real kind, I highly suggest it. It's incredibly creamy and refreshing and amazing. Not to mention that it's also supposedly a hangover cure. I believe I can get back to you on the truth to that one following my Saturday night birthday celebration ;). Spring Street Naturals and the surrounding Soho nightlife, here I come!
Until then, I may very well make a stop at this fresh produce stand in the new Yankee stadium when I pair up with Leslie for our umpteeth reunion :). Side note, I hope that our "twin power" brings some luck since my lovely Yanks didn't exactly pull through yesterday. Fingers crossed! And, wow. Can you say random thoughts and run-on sentences? I think I'm overexerting my own writing. Before I get too carried away, I will bid you adieu, and probably until Monday because...
  • Friday: Lunch date, Yankee game
  • Saturday: Family time, Birthday dinner & drinks
  • Sunday: Relaxing day at the Lake House (boat included)
  • Monday: Blog, Read blogs, Unplanned fun, etc. 
  • Tuesday: First day at Quirky
Have a spectacular and safe Memorial Day weekend, my darling friends! See you soon! I promise to hype down beforehand ;).

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Good morning, my sweets! I have really got to get into the habit of waking up earlier. I haven't been able to sleep in this much, or this often, since at least the summer between eighth and ninth grade... er, in that case, I suppose I should just enjoy it ;). Anyway, I thought I'd share one of my unique qualities with you today: my nearly OCD desire to plan and my "irresponsible" yearning for spontaneity. Oh, yeah. Life is a series of moments, most of which you can prepare yourself for, but every now and then, people and things come out of seemingly nowhere, and even a control freak like me has learned to run with it. Pull in my innate sense of optimism, and most of these surprises are good ones, great even.
For instance, I haven't quite yet told you about my internship, have I? Well then :) I will at least spend the next three months interning for Quirky. They are a social product development company that works directly with inventors and turn dreams into reality through production, promotion, and distribution of whatever the product may be. Pretty cool, huh?! And yet not at all what I thought I'd be doing, having been formally trained in magazine journalism with professional experience in the online world... that's what makes this opportunity, all the more exciting. I can't wait to start next Tuesday!
I also could not have foreseen my sudden obsession with eggs, I have literally been craving them from morning until night. Thankfully, because I now have an entire kitchen at my disposal (sigh), I can create my meals accordingly, be it in the form of an omelette, scrambled, or even this frittata which I forgot to photograph but came out amazingly. If it weren't so hot the past few days I'm sure I could've thrown eggs into a few baked goods as well ;) but for now, I'm sticking with goat cheese and vegetables into them alone. So. not. complaining.
Or this one: Guess who is going to the Yankees game this Friday? Yep, this girl. And it's especially exciting because I just went to one last week. The new stadium is nothing short of incredible, and although I don't follow baseball to a fault, I do enjoy cheering for the winning team, otherwise known as the Yanks ;). This week I'm joining one of my best blog friends, her sister, and their generosity to watch our favorite team play the Cleveland Indians. Looking forward to a great game!
Another example is my ever-expanding blog world. I'm sure that I'm biased but I'd like to share two particular links with you. One is my friend Jenn's blog, A Knack for Nutrition, that follows her journey to healthy, happiness, and strength. She also happens to be studying abroad in Strasbourg, which is, of course, awesome.  And the other is my friend Kate's NEW blog, A Fresh(er) Look. She describes her writing as bits and pieces of her life as a college design student and she is absolutely fabulous. Enjoy. It is funny to have my friends become bloggers when so many others seemed to have gone the opposite direction like the wonderful Liz and Kailey, both of whom I've caught up with, or will catch up with, this week. How I adore my blog friends so!
Then there's this little thing: my summertime goal to join a gym. Do you know that I fundamentally hate gyms? I can't stand the meat head or the twiggy environment and I am what one may call a self-conscious exerciser (okay, okay, I can't imagine being labeled anything else). But! I want to try some new exercise classes. In the next few weeks I hope to join a studio, or fitness center, or even a class or two, I just need to find one(s) that works with my budget, time constraints, and location limitations. Any suggestions for what to look for? Newbie-alert.
And finally, I will be 22 years old on Saturday. It shouldn't actually be unexpected at all, especially not to me, (I know this,) but I've practically been forgetting daily that my birthday is this upcoming weekend.  It is a nice thing to remember :). I intend to spend the day with my family before meeting my crew (ha) at Spring Street Natural for a late dinner of natural cuisine and exquisite cocktails/wine. After that? We shall see, a little bit of the unknown is a wonderful thing. I am convinced. On that note, what's made your summer exciting so far?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Why hello! I have literally been "trying" to blog for the past four hours. I started outside, it was too hot and bright, moved inside, got hungry, ate lunch, received a phone call from one of my favorite people in the entire world... and then spoke to her for about three hours. Love that. Plus, since I can't sit still while I'm gabbing away (I walk around instead), it was quite a good workout ;).
Anywho! As I mentioned yesterday, I dined at Haven last night for dinner. 'Twas phenomenal, my friends :). It is located in Pleasantville, NY, an adorable little restaurant tucked in around the corner from my beloved Jean-Jacques. Chef Daniel Petrill founded it with one goal: to provide our customers with excellent, market driven food. Sounds like my kind of place, I know...
And then instead of the simple bread and butter, we were served flatbread and hummus along with our chilled "message in a bottle-type" bottle of tap water. Yep, they had me at hello. To drink, my date and I (most of my friends bailed last minute) wanted wine. Or I wanted wine, he just agreed to it, and then we ordered a bottle. I didn't photograph it but it was a deliciously light pinot noir from the Martin Scott Winery. Have I mentioned that Haven has an incredible wine list, and micro-brewed ale selection, and an array of micro-distilled spirits?
The entire experience was perfect, until it came time to order. Everything sounded fantastic! Another wonderful quality about Haven? Since they serve "market-driven"food, the ingredients, and thus menu, are constantly creatively changing with the seasons. They claim, however, that the comfortable and friendly atmosphere stays the same and I'd agree. I was ridiculously pleased with the service; and not just because we were having a late dinner, on a Tuesday night, and were one of two tables, although we were :). 
By the way, eventually we did  chose our dinner entrées. I enjoyed the Ravioli of Wild Mushroom, Olive & Spinach topped with the Truffled Cauliflower Puree (one of many vegan options) and my friend had the Five Spiced Pork Chop with Roasted Potato, Leek & Raisin in a BBQ Sauce. Ahmazing. I can't say it enough.
I'm so glad to have found such a great restaurant so close to home, and I can't wait to go back. In addition to just being awesome in every way (I am such a foodie dork) they are hosting quite a few events this summer: New York, New York, wine dinner hosted by one of Long Island's best wine estates, East Meets West, sake tasting, and Rediscover California, wine tasting from one of the lesser well known but equally as impressive regions of Cali. If you could join me, (can you?) which one would you want to go to the most? And, what's your favorite local (nearby & serves food from the area) restaurant?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

home sick

Hello again! Oh it feels good to be back. First order of business: don't take this post's title too seriously :) it's not that I've been missing home (I'm here for "good," after all) or even that I'm sick of it yet but this is literally the first day I've been feeling 100% well. I've basically been a mess with a bad cough, major congestion, and a multi-day headache... in addition to losing my voice. Gross ;) apparently ten days of non-stop "senior/graduation" partying doesn't deliver the best of health. Who knew?!
After the first few days of not really eating much at all, I broke out the stove-top oatmeal last Friday morning. I had mixed my steel cuts with the last of the rolled oats that I had brought from school for a multi-texture bowl that I made the usual way with banana and fresh blackberries. Then, of course, there are the staples of the morning green tea and verre d'eau.
I've also made a return to peanut butter... for no other reason other than the fact that my mom bought a fresh container upon my return. It's a nice change but I do miss my Marantha almond deliciousness. What's your favorite nut butter?
The weather has been gorgeous, so even when I haven't been feeling in tip-top shape, I've been taking my dogs for walk to combine fresh air and a bit' o ejercicio. Walking alongside the Bronx River Parkway path in the late morning/early afternoon issuch a pleasure, mostly when Sable and Colby aren't pulling on their leashes in different directions :).
Besides today's treat, (of which I'll get to tomorrow,) lunch, has been boring.
I haven't been feeling like anything heavy so toast with hummus and spinach was usually just enough, without being too much, to get me by. Fruit was also unappetizing at the time so there goes that snack. Talk about bland!
Thankfully, the afternoons that have followed haven't been half bad. On Wednesday, I went down to the Bronx Zoo and was really excited... like really, really excited. When I was little I used to adore going to the zoo because I've always found animals to be so amazing to watch. I wanted to be a vet, after all.
This time though, as much as I enjoyed it to an extent, a couple of animals and their exhibits just made me sad. Quite a few are ridiculously far from their natural habitat and just didn't seem to be content with their manmade home. I don't know, I guess ignorance really is bliss. Still, they were beautiful, and I'm glad that I went to pay them a visit (since the money spent does go towards some conservation projects). How do you feel about zoos?
The best photos I got are the four above: a peacock, red panda, elephants, and sea lions. The red panda has always been my favorite animal. Why? I think because red is my color of choice and I like bamboo. Or some concrete reason like that ;).
By Sunday, I was much more back to my usual chipper self. My best friend Chrissie (and Laura too actually) just graduated from Fordham University and I went over to her house that evening for a little celebration. They had a delectable dinner spread of salad with gorgonzola, penne vodka, tomatoes and mozzarella, garbanzos, and Italian bread. There were quite a few carnivorous options as well :) but I obviously did not help myself to that part of the table.
If nothing else, being home is good for ^this^. Although I have stayed very close with a few of my high school bests, there are far too many people that I've lost touch with. Now, between Sunday night at Chrissie's party, and last night at a nearby bar, I have reconnected with dozens of these wonderful people. And I will actually be dining with a couple of them at a new Pleasantville soon-to-be (I can feel it) favorite, Haven tonight. This is going to be one great summer, I just know it.