Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New York Apartment Search - UGH!!!!!

I am in the VERY stressful process of looking for an apartment in New York. For those that have ever gone through this experience, you know its the hardest thing in the world to do. You think you found the perfect apartment, all to find out someone else got approved for it before you. Or the pictures that were shown on line were NOT AT ALL close to what the actual apartment looks like. Or you schedule an appointment to go look at it, thinking you are the first to see it, but find out the leasing agent already showed the apartment a half hour before they said they would be available to 3 other people. Or on top of paying a month's rent, and then another month's rent as a deposit, the brokers want to add another 15% for the amount of the apartment for the entire year. So let's do the math.  Let's just say I'm willing to pay $1,600 per month - that would be $1,600 (1st month rent) + $1,600 (deposit) + $2,880-ish (brokers fee) = a whole hell of a lot of money JUST TO MOVE IN. Or the fact that if you want to pay said $1600 for a 250 sq ft freakin STUDIO (I swear one apartment all I could fit would be my bed and MAYBE a chair - don't even think about a couch or ever having anyone come over to visit) - the only areas that you can afford to do so is WAY UPTOWN. You work hard, and you make a very nice salary - but in New York - it.does.not.matter. 
Needless to say, I'm not having a I love New York moment AT ALL. This apartment hunt has taken over my life. Until I find something, I will be taking a break from the blog (unfortunately). I am really trying to tie something down by this weekend, so if you happen to think about it - please send some good thoughts up to the apartment gods - I really need every bit of help I can get. Bah-humbug!

Monday, June 9, 2014

4 Fun Things To Do For Summer Fridays

So I realize I'm jumping the gun a little by already planning for Friday, but for those that are lucky enough to get Fridays off during the summer - how can you not start to think about what you are going to do? Check out 4 fun things to do on your days off - whether its on Friday or simply the weekend: 
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Some other fun things I like to do on my days off are going to street fairs, block parties, festivals, outdoor bars, and alfresco screenings (just to name a few). What is it that you like to do on your days off?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekend Plans + Friday Finds

Morning! First I want to apologize for being MIA over the last couple of days. I've had a rough week, lots of decisions to make, and my brain wouldn't allow me to think creatively for a couple of days. Thank you so much for your emails checking in to make sure all was well. Anyway, the weekend is here (yippee) and I have a few fun things planned:
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1. Later this morning a friend and I are going to stand in line to get free Shakespeare In The Park tickets for this evening. The pick up place is in Harlem, so after standing in line we're going to treat ourselves to lunch at Red Rooster.

2. As I mentioned above, I am going to see Much Ado About Nothing in Central Park. We get to bring in our own wine and snacks and will watch the show under the stars. Can't wait!

3. Tomorrow I'm gonna walk over to the BBQ Block Party in Madison Square Park. Ed from one of my favorite BBQ restaurants (The Pit) in North Carolina will be there - so hopefully I can find his booth and show him some love. 

4. Later in the evening, another friend and I are going to restaurant/bar hop in the West Village. We aren't sure where we want to go - so we'll just walk around until we see something interesting. I love doing this - but let's hope we won't have to wait the typical 90 minutes to get in somewhere! #nyproblems. 

5. On Sunday I'm going to chill out. I may exercise in the morning (I'll need to work off all the eats and drinks from the weekend) but other than that, I plan to lay it low. 

I'll be posting my whereabouts on Instagram this weekend - so follow me there!

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1. What an inspiring story of a woman who lost 135 pounds in 1 year. Please find some time this weekend to read this article - I definitely got the boost I needed.

2. If you've been looking for a bar cart - check out this DIY Ikea hack! Why haven't I thought of this?

3. My dream NY apartment - there isn't a thing I would change. Loving the black walls!

4. It's that time - how to pack for a day at the beach!

5. Cajun shrimp guacamole - yummmm.....

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bite: Roasted Artichoke Hearts

I find that artichokes are very rarely chosen at the store because many people aren’t sure how to cook them. They might look tough, but artichokes are really good for you. They are low-calorie and naturally fat free, plus they are packed with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C and fiber.
Roasted Artichokes
To me, there is something about roasting a vegetable that makes its flavors provocative and intensely more delicious. The dash of lemon, garlic, and parmesan cheese only add to the beautiful freshness of these crisp artichokes.
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Roasted Artichoke
The hardest part is preparing them, which is just more tedious than anything else. Don’t be discouraged, really. It may take a little preparation but it’s so worth it.
How To Trim An Artichoke

Oven Roasted Artichokes
What you need:
3-4 artichokes
3 tbsp butter
1-2 tsp fresh minced garlic, your preference
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. grated Asiago/Parmesan cheese

What you do:
1. Trim the artichoke (as shown above)

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and add in garlic and lemon and mix.

3. Place the artichokes face up on a baking sheet covered with foil.

4. Using a spoon, drizzle the artichokes with the butter mixture, making sure to get in between the leaves.

5. Once they’re all done, quickly flip them over face down.

6. Roast in a 375 oven for 35-45 minutes on the top/middle rack or until a sharp knife or fork can easily pass through the thickest part.

7. Remove from oven and using tongs, flip the artichokes back over.

8. Sprinkle the freshly grated Asiago/Parmesan on top and stick back in oven for 2-3 minutes so it can melt.

9. Enjoy!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day undoubtedly brings up fond memories. Whether it’s the time dad taught you how to ride your bike or that feeling you felt when you saw him in the stands at every volleyball, track, band, choir, gymnastics and cheerleading event, Father's Day is that one day a year when you can really go all out for the first man you first fell in love with. 
Fathers Day Gift Guide 2014
I'm sure your dad will be appreciative of whatever you get for him, and while a heartfelt card and hug are nice, why not do a little something special this year? Buying gifts can be incredibly hard, so I've put together this handy guide of great Father's Day gifts that includes the perfect gift ideas for every type of dad, from the avid griller to the obsessed sports aficionado.
Fathers Day Gift Guide - Beer Club of the Month
Fathers Day Gift Guide - Carcoal Grill and Supplies
Fathers Day Gift Guide - Baseball Tickets
Fathers Day Gift Guide 2014 Ideas
1. Craft Beer Monthly Club / Chilsner / Pilsner Glasses
2. Charcoal Grill / Sauce Baster / BBQ Sauces
3. Baseball Tickets / Vintage Hat / Vintage T-Shirt
4. Weekender Travel Bag
5. Classic Timex Watch
6. Tom Ford Sunglasses
7. Wooden Outdoor Cooler
8. Jawbone Fitness Bracelet
9. Omaha Steaks

I hope you found this guide helpful - happy shopping!