A Day in the Life

20140602-225555-82555632.jpg

1. The sunflower booth at the Saturday Morning Market always has a line wrapped around the block. // 2. Homemade salted caramel brownie cookie sandwiches; the cousin to my famous red velvet cookies. // 3. Root beer floats under twinkling lights at Urban Brew & BBQ. // 4. Colorful cocktails overlooking Beach Drive at The Canopy. // 5. Checking out Scarlet Johansson’s newest indie flick “Under the Skin” at the enchanting Tampa Theater. // 6. Ridiculously delicious Nutella banana waffles at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe. // 7. Lady Gaga in Ft. Lauderdale kicking off the first night of her artRave world tour! // 8. Quiet afternoon underneath the wall of lamps at Mandarin Hide. // 9. French macarons and blood orange mimosas for brunch at Birch + Vine.

Advertisements

A Day in the Life

1. Beautiful glass stars overhead at Red Mesa Cantina. // 2. Celebrating the start of “autumn” with rooftop drinks at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach. // 3. First cool morning so I took full advantage of reading + morning coffee on the porch. // 4. Spontaneous afternoon at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino for a little blackjack. // 5. The best orange margaritas at Casa Tina’s in Dunedin. // 6. My favorite Ladurée macarons shipped straight from NYC. // 7. Fancy dessert night at the Bern’s Dessert Room. // 8. Giuliana Rancic celebrating her one year anniversary at HSN. // 9. The most perfect Florida sunset. The sky looked like it was on fire.

Nothing but the Best

The worst of winter has finally passed and I believe that spring is right around the corner. Although we had an inch of snow last week and it’s barely gotten out of the 40’s, I have hope that the flowers will soon blossom and that birds will chirp outside my window.

I’ve been spending my weekends venturing through different parts of the city and I always stumble upon something new. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to see Lady Gaga at Madison Square Garden. Liza Minnelli was sitting a section over from us- it was so cool to see her in person! We only sat a few feet away from the stage and even though it was my third time seeing Gaga, she seems to top herself every time. She is one of the most talented performers I’ve ever seen and I know she has a long future ahead of her.

On a Friday night a few weeks ago, Courtney and I were headed out to dinner and on our usual walk to the subway through Lincoln Center, we were offered tickets to the Metropolitan Opera, Armida. Even though we were starving, we decided to take the free tickets and go to our first opera. It was all in Italian and quite beautiful, but after the first act, we decided we had gotten a taste of the opera but didn’t want to sit through the whole three and a half hour show.

I went to visit my friend Alyssa at her college in New Jersey for a weekend. I had a great time reliving my college days, staying in her dorm and grabbing late night dinners. She lives really close to Princeton so we spent Saturday walking around the campus and exploring the city. The historic buildings on the campus were covered in ivy and so much northern charm. We popped in to a quaint coffee shop and ended the day with ice cream cones at a local campus hangout.

I went back to Florida to visit the weekend before my birthday. The weather was absolutely beautiful the whole time I was there and it was so nice to see all of my family and friends. My mom and I spent a day shopping at International Mall and having lunch at Cheesecake Factory. One of my favorite desserts is their red velvet cheesecake. I spent Saturday afternoon laying out on Clearwater Beach. I forgot how pale I had become throughout this winter and the Florida sun was not forgiving. I got one of the worst sunburns I’ve had in years. At least I came back to the north with some color! I had a lovely birthday dinner at Bahama Breeze with my family. We had a BBQ on Sunday and my brother pulled out his chef skills to prepare us a fabulous meal. I was so happy to be able to see some of my friends as well. Always good to catch up with my girlfriends. What a fun weekend!

I turned 23 this month. I always like to celebrate my birthday for the whole first part of the month. On the actual day of my birthday, a few of my friends and I went to dinner at Cafeteria, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I always get the pulled pork tacos- one of their best dishes.  That weekend, we decorated the apartment and had a party to celebrate the big 2-3. Birthdays are always a great time to get friends together and eat unnecessary amounts of cake.

One of the best places to get dessert in the city is Serendipity. Although it’s full of tourists and usually at least an hour wait, it’s totally worth it. Courtney and I wanted to get something besides the famous frozen hot chocolate so we ordered a strawberry cheesecake sundae. Between the both of us, we only ate half of it. It had at least 3 scoops of ice cream and was topped off with a slice of cheesecake. One of the coolest things about Serendipity is all of the unique lights and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

One of my favorite authors, Emily Giffin, who wrote the book and soon-to-be movie “Something Borrowed”, was hosting a party for her fans in NYC. I had it on my calendar for weeks and was really looking forward to the party! It was at a trendy lounge called Pranna on Madison Ave. Emily hosted the event and even brought some of her most eligible bachelor friends to the party. I can hardly wait for the movie to come out on May 6 and if you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend you do so!

Last weekend we decided it was time to venture out of the city and into Brooklyn. It was a beautiful, sunny yet cold day but the perfect time to spend outside. We went to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory right below the Brooklyn Bridge. The ice cream shop was shaped like a lighthouse and sat right on the edge of the water in the perfect view of the city skyline. That night we decided to go bowling at Bowlmor in Times Square. It doesn’t even compare to a bowling alley back home. Each set of lanes represented a different part of the city. There was a waiting list to get a lane so they ended up giving up a private VIP room because it was all they had left- we didn’t complain! It’s not very often you have black chandeliers hanging above you while you’re bowling.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold- when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”  -Charles Dickens

I’ve Got the World on a String

Happy 2011! It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. I know I say this every year but 2010 really flew by. It was a monumental year in my life. I was so lucky to graduate from UCF (in 4 years), travel to Greece and Turkey, and live my dream by moving to New York City. I have high hopes for 2011 and believe it’s going to be an amazing year for me.

I just spent a wonderful 2 weeks back home with my family and friends for the holidays. Going home to 50 degree weather was a treat! While everyone complained about how cold it was, I took advantage of wearing shorts and no coat. On my first night in town, we had a belated 21st birthday celebration for my brother Tyler. We went to a Brazilian steakhouse in Tampa and it sure was a fabulous meal. The next week was followed by plenty of Christmas festivities- looking at Christmas lights, baking with my mom (and eating WAY too many cookies), and my annual Christmas party. I’m so happy I got to spend time with all of my friends back home.

I had a wonderful Christmas with my family. It was a beautiful 70 degree Christmas day, as usual. Although it was warm, we sat around the fireplace and pretended as if we were somewhere much colder. I was lucky I missed the blizzard in NYC. They said it was the fifth largest snowfall in the city’s history. Two days after Christmas, the temperatures in Florida got close to 80 degrees so needless to say, I spend the next few days at Clearwater Beach. I spent my last day of 2010 soaking up the sun with friends. I can’t complain one bit except for my bright red sunburn. I refuse to use sunscreen in the winter but this time I finally learned my lesson!

One of my favorite things to do back home is visit the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs. I’ve been going there since I was a kid and it reminds me of my trip to Greece. I had a delicious Greek salad and baklava. The gift shops are filled with sponges, seashells, and tacky Florida souvenirs. There’s just something so comforting about this place that reminds me of home.

I spent New Year’s Eve with two of my best friends, Kate and Alyse. On New Year’s Day we had our traditional meal of pork and sauerkraut. Every holiday is a reason for a big meal in my house. After a great time back home, it was time for me to return to the snowy north. I was greeted by snow showers and plenty of ice. It was my first real snow of the season and I must say, I was pretty excited. Although it’s really cold, the huge snowflakes and icicles have turned the city into a winter wonderland. I was also looking forward to coming back to the city because Courtney now lives here! I’m so happy to have one of my best friends living here. New York City sure is the place to be.

I’ve had a great start to the new year and can’t wait to see what 2011 holds…

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”