Things To Do In NYC: Union Square/East Village

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As you know, back in August I jetted off to NYC for a girl’s getaway. As you can imagine it was a great trip and I didn’t want to leave….

Since it was five of us and NYC can get pretty expensive with hotels, we booked an apartment through Airbnb. It was such a cute little apartment in between Union Square & East Village, so we had access to the subway & lots of restaurants/bars. It was a perfect location, not too touristy–away from the mob of people you find in the Times Square area. The apartment was on the first floor and we each paid a little less than $300 for the 4 nights we stayed there. Here is the listing on Airbnb if you are interested. We had a great host and I would definitively stay there again.

I fell in love with our little neighborhood in NYC. There were so much to do just in that area.

Here are some spots you have to check out if you are ever in the Union Square/East Village area.

The Penny Farthing
103 3rd Ave. (corner of 3rd Ave. & 13th St.)

My friends and I enjoyed drinks & dancing two of the nights we were in NYC at this cute bar/restaurant. It was super close to where we were staying and my one regret is not going to this place every single night. We sadly didn’t make it in for food. However, just by glancing at what people were eating as we walked by, it looked delicious (especially brunch). Even Richard Gere likes to lunch here.  So this is definitively a must–the atmosphere is great, friendly bartenders and management, no cover or dress code, great music!

Follow them on twitter @ThePennyNYC

McSorleys Old Ale House
15 East 7th Street

Established in 1854, this makes this saloon the oldest in NYC.  They only serve two types of beer: light or dark. My friend and I stopped in one evening and each ordered the light beer. We were surprised when we were each handed two glasses of beer. At first, we thought the bartender misunderstood us but then we noticed a sign that read 2 beers for $5.50.  I am not a beer drinker, usually I stick to cocktails…however the beer here was really tasty. We also noticed there were a lot of men at this establishment….so if you are looking to meet men you might want to try this place.

Liquiteria
170 2nd Ave

I was missing my homemade glowing green smoothies, especially after a night of drinks. Luckily for me I found this great place on 11th & 2nd that sells cold-pressed juices.  Green smoothie + people watching in NYC= perfect start to my day!

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Big Gay Ice Cream
125 East 7th St. (between 1st Ave. & Avenue A)

If you are looking for a nice cool treat then this is the place to try. It’s really close to Thompkins Park, so we each bought a Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate chip) and sat at a park bench to enjoy this delicious treat.

Papaya King
3 St. Marks Place

You can’t go to NYC and not have a hot dog, right? Forget the street carts, if you want a delicious NYC hot dog, you have to go here. After the ice cream, as we were walking back to our apartment we spotted the bright sign for Papaya King. We decided to go ahead and get a snack because why not? I ordered a hot dog with chili and jalapeños and my friend ordered some chili cheese fries. The jalapeños on the hot dog were diced, they looked almost like relish. And the chili resembled refried beans to me as in Texas our chili is more meaty. It was the perfect hot dog, and I devoured it right away. The fries were curly fries and were also super tasty. It was so good, we were back a few hours later with the rest of our friends who all agreed the hot dogs were pretty tasty.

I still find myself craving Papaya King hot dogs. I wish I had eaten a few more before flying back to Texas.

Café Orlin 
41 St. Marks Pl. (between 1st Ave. & 2nd Ave.)

If you are looking for a place to brunch at check this place out. We had brunch here on Saturday morning, and they were pretty packed. Luckily, we got a table right away. My friends all loved their meal, as did I. I think I had their breakfast sandwich.  My friends had the Eggs Blackstone and Eggs Benedict. Next time I want to try their french toast as it sounded really good.

Joe’s Pizza
150 East 14th St. (near corner of 14th & 3rd Ave.)
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My first meal in NYC was a slice of pizza and a coke for $5. The pizza was delicious, and they had several from which to choose from. It was kind of hard to decide since they all looked so good. There were photos on the walls of celebs and the place was pretty tiny as you can imagine with only a few tables. It is known as one of the best places for pizza. It’s not to be missed if you are looking for an authentic slice of NYC pizza. Yum!

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I hope you check these places out if you are ever in the East Village, or if you take a trip to NYC don’t miss out on this great neighborhood. I loved it and will definitively be back.

 

 

 

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Casual Brunch Outfit

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On Sunday, I met up with Keisha from Blush Steel and our friend Joie for brunch. I met both of these girls last year at the Simply Stylist-Dallas conference. We hit it off and have been in touch ever since. We finally were able to meet up at La Duni’s for some good brunch and to talk fashion. Which by the way if you are ever in the big D, make sure to check out La Duni’s because their food is delicious!

When deciding on what to wear, I knew I wanted to wear something comfortable. So I went for a more casual brunch outfit. I am a huge fan of bright colors as you can see from my photos. I picked up this bright pink lightweight sweater a couple of years ago at J. Crew. It’s not a petite-sized top but it fits pretty nicely. I accessorized it with a black & gold necklace I had bought at Forever 21 a few years ago. I have worn this necklace so many times. It instantly glams up any top or dress.

Do you remember the handbag? It’s one of the handbags I told you about in the Cèline Dupes post. I ended up ordering the large structured handbag in basic black. If you are looking for a spacious handbag, this is the one for you!

What do you wear to brunch? Are you more of a dress kind of girl?

 

Shop

Top: Similar-Victoria’s Secret

Jeans: Loft

Necklace: Similar- Forever 21

Nude Heels: Gianni Bini-Dillard’s

Handbag: DailyLook

 

 

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Do Something New: Lunch for One?

Happy Day!

I bet you are wondering how I did on my “Do Something New” goals for this week. Do you remember what they were?

Try a new healthy recipe

Nope, didn’t get to do this. But…I did try this new healthy muffin…the Karmaffin! It’s gluten-free, no additives or preservatives, it has tons of fresh fruits and veggies. You should really try them out as they are pretty tasty. I got the Orange Cinnamon with Mango muffin at Whole Foods. So this brings me to my next goal….

Have an Almond Milk with Fruit Smoothie or Oatmeal for Breakfast

I failed at this one too, but I had the healthy muffins! So sure I didn’t have a smoothie but I had a healthy breakfast nonetheless, sort of ,because on some days I had coffee with it. It was so cold this week, that a cold smoothie just did not sound good.

Drink 2 of the large Smart bottles of water a day (or that amount in water).

Ok, so to be honest, I didn’t do it every single day. However, I probably did it every other day? I think..

So as you can see, I didn’t do all that great on the goals I set last Friday. That doesn’t mean you can’t do new things spontaneously. I did do something “new” that was out of my comfort zone this week. I had lunch all by myself at a fancy restaurant.

Now, I’ve had lunch by myself before but at places like Chipotle and Chick fil A. This week, I ended up doing lunch all by lonesome because I was looking at venues for the Petite Fashion Week meetup for the Dallas-area. I had been wanting to check out this new place called Mexican Sugar. I had heard of it and as I looked at the reviews on Yelp, I thought this might work. So I took myself out to lunch, which I was kind of nervous about. Of course, I had all those loser thoughts in my head, “what if they think I have no friends.” The hostess didn’t seem to think anything of it when I told her it was just me. And I think that made me feel even more comfortable and I was fine by the time we got to the table.

If you are ever in the Dallas area, or if you live in Dallas, you just simply must try Mexican Sugar at the Shops of Legacy in Plano. The place is very impressive. They call the style, “sultry Mexican comfort.” It’s really really nice and they have a Tequila bar! They use local ingredients and make their cocktails in small batches since their juices are freshly squeezed. Yum, I am getting hungry just thinking about it! I had their spicy chicken habanero tacos and they were delicious! You could tell the tortillas were homemade or at least they tasted like they were. I have to go back for drinks soon, since I was not able to enjoy one that day. The place didn’t end up working out for my meetup because Mexican Sugar  is so popular and the only time they could reserve the tables was too early.

My yummy lunch at Mexican Sugar (I love the glass they served my soft drink in…so fancy)

So for next week, I think my goals will be the same, because I did so horrible on them. I need to continue to improve. Hopefully, I have better results this coming week, because being healthy is important!

Have a great weekend!!

dosomethingDid you do something new this week? Or do you have “new” plans for next week? Then link up with LifeChangesii for Do Something New!

Do Something New

It’s finally Friday! Viernes Feliz! It’s linkup day with LifeChangesii for Do Something New.

Here is what I did new last week…

One of the things I enjoy doing, once in a while, is trying new recipes. Last week, I saw a recipe on my twitter feed that caught my eye. It was @maggieunz ‘s recipe for fishless ceviche. I don’t eat fish, so I have never been able to eat ceviche even though it looks yummy. Maggie’s recipe is super easy, but most importantly it’s delicious! It’s basically pico with cauliflower. It was so addicting, I couldn’t stop eating it! I don’t even know if I have ever eaten cauliflower before. I am so glad I tried this new recipe because now I can eat “ceviche.” Make sure to check out In Mama Maggie’s Kitchen for the recipe, because you do have to let the cauliflower soak in the lime before eating and she gives you all the instructions for a great tasting fishless ceviche.

cevichevegLast weekend, I also went to my very first basketball game! I know can you believe it. I just have never really been into basketball. A few weeks ago, we got free tickets for a basketball game and so we decided to go. It was to see the Texas Legends (NBA Development League) play. And I have to tell you, I really really enjoyed the game! I’ve been to baseball games before where all I did was chat with whoever I went with and didn’t even pay attention to the game. But this basketball game was exciting and I wouldn’t mind going again. So now I just need someone to give me free tickets to see the Mavericks play.

This coming week, I guess starting today, these are my “Do Something New” goals:

  • Try another healthy recipe
  • Have an almond milk with fruit smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast… instead of coffee
  • Drink 2 of the big Smart bottles of water a day (or that amount of water a day).

We will see if I can do this. The one I am worried about is the breakfast one, as I have a hard time getting up on cold days and I really feel like I need something warm like coffee….

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Do you have any new goals for next week? Then linkup with LifeChangesii  for Do Something New.

Gifts for the Coffee Lover

Gifts for the Coffee Lover

Yesterday, I found myself at Starbucks at just the right time. Starbuck’s current promotion is buy a holiday beverage & get a free one! It runs from Nov. 13th-17th from 2-5 p.m. So share the joy! By the way my fave is the Peppermint Mocha…coffee date anyone?

While I was at Starbucks, I couldn’t help but notice all of the lovely gifts for the holidays. Of course my favorite is the Alice+Olivia Bearista! Isn’t she just so fashionable?! I so want her outfit, such a classic look for the holidays. This Designer Alice+Olivia Bearista bear is the perfect gift for not only the coffee lover, but your stylish friend.  And look at the adorable tuxedo mug! I overheard the baristas going gaga for it. You can buy both of these items as a set for $39.90, or separately ($19.95 each).

For the Starbucks fanatic, a coffee sampler or cocoa sampler would be perfect for them. Or you can always buy them the pretty jewel mug and add a gift card. The café cookbook just looked so interesting–a great gift for your foodie friends!

Are you doing any of your Christmas (or holiday) shopping at Starbucks this year?

Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pies & Pan Dulce (Conchas)

Mini Salted Caramel Pies

Whenever I need ideas for what to wear or eat, I go to Pinterest. I no longer go to Google.  Pinterest is just so much easier to use. You get all of these beautiful images of both fashion & food (my favorites).

One of my resolutions for this year (well pretty much every year) is to try something new. This year, I have really been into baking. I am not a great cook or baker. If I bake, it’s usually cake out of a box, and even that is rare. Since I am not great at baking, I’ve always been afraid of trying to bake something more complicated. However, I just could not resist some of these delicious-looking treats on Pinterest. So what if it’s a disaster, at least I tried, right?

Recently, I pinned these salted caramel apple handmade pies by Just A Taste. My son loves apple pie so I though these would be a perfect treat for him. As you can see, the ingredients are pretty basic. And with Just A Taste’s step-by-step instructions, it was pretty easy to make. I will tell you, it was a bit time-consuming. Cutting up the apples into tiny bits & the caramel took longer than I thought it would. Also, the dough was really wet and I had to continuously add flour to it. I am not a great roller, so I probably didn’t roll it as well as it needed to be but in the end they came out just fine. My son & daughter loved them! They were prefect for their little hands too!

Here is a picture of my mini salted caramel apple pies:

Seeing as how today through tomorrow is Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), MuyBuenCookBook has a great recipe for Conchas (sweet bread). I tried out their recipe a few weeks ago and they were so easy to make! I had always thought you could only get conchas at the bakery.  Even my mom was surprised when I told her I had made pan dulce at home. Here is how mine turned out:

Conchas or pan dulce (sweet bread)-recipe from MuyBuenoCookBook

Conchas or pan dulce (sweet bread)-recipe from MuyBuenoCookBook

So if you have some time this weekend and are craving something sweet–both these recipes are easy to make and delicious! Give them a try!

If you are on Pinterest, make sure to follow my board Yummy.

EAT & DRINK: NYC

As I told you yesterday, I spent this past weekend celebrating my 30th birthday in NYC. Besides watching the EXPRESS fashion show at Times Square, I also did lots of eating, drinking, some shopping and tons of walking. When traveling, I really enjoy just walking through the neighborhoods and watching as the locals go about their day.  NYC is a great city to do this in. There are so many interesting neighborhoods and not to mention beautiful Central Park.

If you are planning a trip to NYC anytime soon, here are some places you should check out!

BROADWAY 49 BAR & LOUNGE

Located inside the Crowne Plaza at Times Square this chic bar is a great place to grab a drink and do some people watching. I had a Pink Martini ($15-yeah we were definitively in NYC). The drink was very refreshing and just what I needed to start celebrating.

BARRIO 47

We took the subway to the West Village and got off on 14th street quickly coming across this hip bar/restaurant. We had already had dinner so we were just there for drinks. But I did see a sign that said $1 oysters and happy hour from 5-7 p.m. every day! So if you like oysters and happy hour you might want to check this place out when you are in NYC. Sadly, we missed  happy hour. I did enjoy a glass of their signature sangria, “many try, but only few succeed in replicating the authentic Spanish potion featured in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.” I can’t say if it is a successful replicate of 1964’s  but I can say it was really really good!

Riviera Outdoor Cafe & Sports Bar

Cheap drinks! We stumbled onto this cafe on the corner of Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village. We sat outside and ordered some of their $4 margaritas. I had a strawberry margarita and enjoyed some late-night people watching. We didn’t order any food but it looked yummy.  Their specials are $4 margaritas every night and happy hour on weekdays from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. all beers only $3 (includes imports). If you are looking for cheap drinks in NYC this is a great place to enjoy them at.

Juliana’s Pizza

Take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for some delicious pizza. It’s located next to Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn Bridge on Old Fulton St. Originally, we were going to have pizza at Grimaldi’s but I was quite hungry by the time we made it across the bridge. And of course it was lunch time on a Friday so the line at Grimaldi’s was super long. There was not a line at Juliana’s and since we have a Grimaldi’s in Dallas (which I’ve been to several times) I thought let’s try this place out. And I was so glad we did because the pizza was just as delicious as Grimaldi’s! We had a small white pizza (has 8 slices) with pepperoni. They also have the cute glass bottle soft drinks. It was a perfect lunch date in Brooklyn! So, if you do not want to stand in line at Grimaldi’s, check this pizza place out. After all, I heard it’s owned by Grimaldi’s and they opened it for the over-flow.

Bill’s Bar & Burgers

If you find yourself in Rockefeller Plaza and in the mood for some burgers & fries at a reasonable price then this is the place for you. I think my burger was like $8. I say reasonable because at another place they were like $19.

Cafe Metro

We stopped at a Cafe Metro on Avenue of the Americas for breakfast. It’s a quick-casual restaurant. They have some sample plates to choose from, as well as a menu. It’s cafeteria style, so you let them know what you want & they quickly make it for you. They can make you  an omelet, pancakes, french toast or perhaps you want an egg sandwich. Breakfast was very satisfying and got us ready for our busy day in NYC.

NYC Hot Dog Carts

A super-quick and cheap lunch in NYC is a hot dog and drink for about $4 from one of the many hot dog carts. We enjoyed our hot dogs at Central Park.  Some of the NYC hot dog carts even have Dr Pepper for those of you who are addicted to this particular soft drink (I have several friends who only drink Dr Pepper).

Unfortunately, every time I came across a Wafels & Dinges I was stuffed. Otherwise, I would have definitively had me one or two. They looked delicious and the reviews all seem to be positive. Maybe next time I’ll save some room for Waffles & Dinges.

Glowing Green Smoothie for Gorgeous Skin!

The Glowing Green Smoothie

This week, I am all about green smoothies! During my teens & 20’s, I’ve pretty much eaten everything & anything that I have wanted. With my 30’s right around the corner, I have started to focus on eating better. I want to start my 30’s off a healthier me and hopefully keep it that way.

Green smoothies are a great way to get your green veggies in. I’ve tried a couple of them this week and so far the Glowing Green Smoothie by Kimberly Snyder is my favorite! It’s so easy to make and makes several servings at a time. I was able to fill 2 1/2 mason jars of it.  As long as it’s covered & refrigerated, it will stay good for up to two and half days.  You have the option of adding 1/3 bunch organic cilantro & 1/3 bunch of organic parsley. These are the herbs that Step 2 is referring to. I made mine without cilantro and parsley.

I have had more greens this week than I have had my entire life! You can really taste the celery, banana & lemon juice. It tastes a lot better than it sounds. Personally, I have always stayed away from celery but I didn’t mind it at all in this green smoothie.

As its name suggests, this green smoothie is suppose to give you glowing skin. Which it does! I was really really surprised that after only 2 days of drinking this my skin looked healthier. I was brushing my teeth last night when I noticed that I had a glow. (And no, I am not pregnant!) I decided I needed to learn more about the nutritionist who created this smoothie.

Kimberly Snyder is a celebrity nutritionist and best selling author of The Beauty Detox Foods and The Beauty Detox Solutions. To be honest with you, I have never heard of her or her books. I checked out her blog which is full of helpful information. She has an entry in which she talks about her own journey in eating healthier, which I found very interesting. She even includes before & after pictures of herself. And you can really see how her Glowing Green Smoothie helped her get rid of acne & redness giving her glowing, clear skin.

So make yourself some of this yummy Glowing Green Smoothie and check out Kimberly Snyder’s blog for more information on detox, weigh loss & beauty. A Glowing Green Smoothie a day keeps acne away!

When in Rome..

FLASHBACK FRIDAY!!! Prego!

In 2009, my husband and I went on holiday to Italy & France.  We spent most of the time in Rome and took side-trips to Venice & Paris. We chose Rome since one of my favorite movies is Roman Holiday.   I wanted to visit some of the places Audrey Hepburn goes to in the movie. Sadly, I don’t remember having champagne while sitting outside of a café.  I did drink lots of wine, ate a lot of pizza, pasta and of course gelato. I had gelato for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

At the Boca de la verita

Bocca della Verita

Colosseo, 2009

Colosseo, 2009

At the Spanish Steps.

Fontana di Trevi

Vatican City

Vatican City

We stayed in the charming Trastevere neighborhood in Rome. We wanted to be among the Romans and didn’t want to stay in the touristy areas.  We stayed in a bed and breakfast right in the heart of the neighborhood.  We booked a room & even got our own private bathroom.  It really is a lovely neighborhood. I remember looking out my window and watching the locals go about their business.  Parents walking their children to school, the locals on their way to work, the bakeries opening up– just a typical day in the life of the Romans.

The restaurants were tiny and the food was delicious! I fell in love with their Penne all’Arrabbiata. This pasta has a kick to it, arrabbiata does mean angry after all.  I love spicy food, so I had this dish several times during our stay in Rome.

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Eating my fave: Penne Arrabiata

Eating my fave: Penne Arrabbiata

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Just thinking about the food, especially the gelato, makes me want to go back sooner than later.

If you are planning to visit Rome make sure to visit the Trastevere neighborhood. They have several bars and restaurants in this lovely neighborhood. And remember, “When in Rome, do as the Romans.”

Baci e abbracci!

Aida

Yummy Chicken Stuffed Jalapeño Popper’s

Bonjour!

Did any of you watch the Golden Globes last night?  I didn’t as my husband took over the t.v. to watch the football game followed by “Shameless.”  I did however make a delicious healthy dinner for my family.

One of the food blogs that I love to follow is Skinny Taste.  Gina provides you with easy, low-fat recipes.  She even provides you with the calories and Weight Watcher points.  She does not disappoint.  Every recipe I have tried has turned out really yummy.

Last night, I made the Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken.  It’s really easy to make!  You basically stuff thin 3 oz. chicken breast cutlets with a filling of low-fat cream cheese, cheddar/pepper jack cheeses, crumbled bacon, scallions and diced jalapeños! Roll them in a lime-olive oil mixture and then in bread crumbs. Throw them in the oven at 450° for 20-25 minutes.   Per Skinnytaste.com, the serving size is 2 stuffed breast with Weight Watcher Point Plus of 9 pts., 371 calories.

fillingbaked chicken poppers

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It was so delicious, not as spicy as I thought they would be.  I will probably add more jalapeños to mine next time.  What I love about Gina’s recipes, is how amazingly delicious they are! So if your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier- you might want to visit Skinny Taste for the Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken recipe. And while you are on Skinny Taste, you will probably see many other recipes you’ll want to try.

Have a lovely week!

Bisous chicas!

Aida