Posts Tagged ‘New York’

All or Nothing

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“I refuse to let others walk thru my mind with their dirty feet.”

-Gandhi.

I’m a walking contradiction, a conundrum even to myself. For I have everything and nothing at the same time. At the onset of my  ordeal(the stroke) I  missed out on a few social engagements, a tropical vacation, a raise, my apartment in Astoria Queens was no longer, and  I lost the job I had been working when the stroke occurred.  Oh, and I woke up back where I started before I moved to New York  City and physically worse for wear. To add insult to injury my boyfriend also broke up with me. This all accumulated into a waking nightmare. As if life isn’t hard enough, my blood and brain had conspired against me. I rarely(if ever) have written about how I felt after waking up in the hospital in my home state; but its safe to say complete and utter loss while in a black abyss. I  can recall  myself loudly and randomly letting out screams of emotional pain in the rehabilitation department. However, there’s a catch because, better a delay  than a disaster. Also, it didn’t hurt that I  am surrounded by an incredible group of family and friends; who helped me through my pain, and very often their own. At this point and especially in the hospital, most would concur  that I had lost it all and nothing remains. Even as I am writing this with one hand because my left arm is currently paralyzed, I know I haven’t lost it all. In fact just as the night is darkest before the dawn in nature, so is life sometimes. Indeed the days are getting lighter as time passes. How could they not!?  You see I have everything because, I’ve  been instilled with an indomitable spirit, the determination and perseverance to succeed, and  the wisdom to recognize tiny daily miracles. This all adds up to my main goal, numero uno… which is to get back on the tracks my train was derailed from.  Each one of us encounter disasters in life, but with the right  glasses on we can still see the light in the darkness. There is never complete darkness in nature or in our lives. Even when we imagine  it to be so, the reality is that it is not. I can honestly  tell you that it does get better. Except, there is one thing…. No matter  the mountain, you must never give up!

may God be with you!

bleu

Margarita Monday

It’s that time again… no, not Christmas thank God. Whether you wanted it to happen or not, it’s here  Monday funday! So, cheer up and make the next  five days and 120 hours count. The question isn’t  will you, but how are you going to do that? Well, for starters take stock, make some lists, and decide which goal  you’re going to focus on. Therefore,( for now) sit back relax  and enjoy this list of seven things that should be on your radar. One for each glorious day of the week.

#1) Jonathan Adler vice collection.

Oh, Jonathan you pricey and chic designer you.

As much as I wanted these when they first came out, I couldn’t justify spending a small fortune to hide my imaginary(or not) stash of uppers. However, these are not only funny but quite cute and functional. If you’ve ever read Valley of the Dolls(you so should) you’ll probably want one. Just try not to clutter up your vanity top with too many cute boxes, although I’m guilty of doing that too!

#2) Marimekko Target collection.

The sixties  may have been over forty years ago, but  this company has kept its style alive. However, not at 1960’s prices. Fortunately  though, you’re in luck because Target has swooped in(yet again) with an affordable designer collaboration. You can bet when it drops in stores and online April 17th I’ll be there, ready to warm up my credit card by sliding it through check out.  The odds are decent that this collection will go fast, so give it a looksie(made up word) for yourself.

#3) Vfish Chicago.

Not only is this a super comfy and cute brand but the origin of its name is spectacular.

The name was inspired by the founder’s  beautiful and  bad ass Grandmother Vera Fishbough, hence the name. It’s worth giving them a visit, and you  can do that online here.

I have a few very soft and comfy pieces from them that I really like, so  here’s a hint  get the leggings!

#4) Lola Star.

There are quite a few shops and eateries lining the infamous Coney Island boardwalk, but nothing caught my eye quite like this  awesome little shop. Not only is it super cute and kitschy, but the   adorable owner designs all the  cool shirts herself! Not to mention She attended   a  good art school located in my “home town!” So of course I was drawn to this shop even more, and not just because of the pink unicorns. It’s simply just a   unique and cool shopping destination on the boardwalk. Can’t seem to get to the East  Coast of the U.S? Well, you’re in luck because you can shop online! Just go here, and while your at it look up Her new shop in Rockaway too. Overall this girl created a  good brand, and is full of fun things(ie  hula classes, roller rinks, and LOTS of pink!

#5) Conscious Closets.

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This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s not just for hippies and tree huggers. The fact is, our culture is incredibly wasteful. A large part of this waste has been what they call “fast fashion,” so try to avoid those bargain stores like Forever 21 and H&M. The video below will help explain this a bit more, so watch it! Pretty please?

I can’t rep this place enough because it’s so unique and cool. Not only does it support local artisans and independent business but it  is SO FUN! One building that houses a collection of cool vendors that you won’t find anywhere else. If you’d like to get more details  about this place check out my blog post about it here.

Lastly, Cheers! with a blackberry thyme margarita. Find the recipe here.

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Drink up!

bleu

Margarita Monday

Welcome to the fourth edition of celebrating Monday! Geeze, I’m still a newbie when it comes to  liking Mondays. A hard won battle I can assure you. As a recovering weekend  warrior it’s no small change that I now like Monday. How could you do such a thing!? you may ask…

Well, once I realized that the beginning of the week left me with  five days and  120 new hours of possibilities, my tune began to change. Therefore, here are some things that should be on your radar, one for every  day of the week!

#1) Ivory Ella

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  If you love elephants but hate the  exploitation and abuse  of them, then consider showing your support  of this company. Not only do they donate 10% of their profits to help save the elephants(most give 1%) but they do it in style. Check them out here  and consider donning  a shirt to spread the message! Not only that, but how cute would a tee be for the gym?

#2)Choccywoccydodah

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Since I love British culture and chocolate, and even better when they’re combined! Not to mention, with a funny name to boot.  This shop has made a  name for itself  in the chocolate world and with celebreties  alike. They are one of the few places that turn  cocoa beans(chocolate) into art. Just check out some of their creations and shop here.

#3)TCHO Mokaccino chocolate

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Speaking of beans, this one combines both chocolate and coffee! All wrapped up in a cute package.

beans(coffee that is) all in a pretty wrapping. With this bar, you can have a pretty capuccino whenever you want. The Easter bunny was kind enough to bring me one of these.All the more reason to love cute bunnies .

#4) Juice Beauty

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Many know of  Gwyneth Paltrow from movies and Her ventures into health, food,  and beauty, but must it come at celebrity prices? Rather then purchase Her skincare from  Her hailed site Goop, try going to the  affordable source instead. Her other line Juice Beauty manufactures the products  for Goop as well, but at much higher prices. Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to buy the products under the Juice Beauty name instead. Your pocketbook(and bank account) will thank you, and so will your skin.

#5) Heads Up by Ellen

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I love Ellen Degeneres, how could you not!? Among Her many talents She also comes up with fun games. This one you can download to your smartphone for  99 cents, and it’s worth every penny.  Think of  it as charades gone mobile. It’s a fun party game or even just for two people  that are bored on a weekday. Not only that, but  with its fast game play you could do it on your lunch break, with  a fun co-worker.

#6) The Pixies!

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It’s time to give credit where credit is due. I have heard this band in the background  of so many advertisements that the hipster in me is slightly annoyed. So, if your digging a song you heard on an American television advert, this is likely the band your ears took a liking to. I have also seen a play built around the music  of this group, so needless to say they can carry more then just a tune! Therefore, perhaps you’d like to give them a listen?

#7) fab.com

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I have found some of the coolest items on this site. Hello, bluetooth shower speaker and David Bowie umbrella! They not only work with some pretty amazing designers but also have  some on point customer service(trust me I would know)  in all my online shopping they’ve been a favorite. Check them out here.

Last but not least, cheers! A roasted blueberry basil margarita. Get the recipe here.

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Love and possibility,

bleu

good food, good places.

 I Thought I’d do something a little different, and give you all a new “taste,” of this blog(pun intended.

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First on  the platter is Rue 57  New York.  with a deliciously rich atmosphere,and it’s fair share of celebrity sightings it’s no wonder this  midtown Manhattan  eatery is  full of patrons.                                                

                                             Rue 57 offers  everything  from brunch to sushi, the service is attentive and  timely. The presentation of the food is lovely, and more importantly everything is prepared perfectly at this French American Brasserie in the heart of the city. The kitchen, overseen by chef Rich Robson churns out  dishes  from eggs florentine  or  brioche french toast to duck ala orange, and bread pudding. There isn’t much you can’t get at this delectable dining spot.

#2)The Dor-Stop Restaurant, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

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If you prefer quaint and homey to rich and fancy this place should be your second stop!

The Dor-Stop Restaurant in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is a breakfast fan favorite.

The atmosphere  is casual and feels more like  your home town diner, even if your from out of town. Don’t discriminate it based on looks alone however. Famous for being featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, this place packs a punch for your tastebuds into it’s tiny booths. The coffee is warm and the rasberry french toast is sweet. Not to mention, the prices are reasonable and their breakfast  selection is hard to beat.

In keeping with the home town vibe, if yours is in Poland then your sure to love this next place!

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#3) Podhalanka in Chicago, has  an old world with a  circa 1956 Poland feel. It’s a  Polish diner owned   for a quarter of a century by a woman from Krakow,and located in the city’s old Polish Triangle. Yet another quaint  place, serving up authentic home cooked Polish meals.

For a more coastal(and warm) atmosphere, let’s head to Half Moon Bay in California.

Here in this serene and beautiful space you’ll find Sam’s Chowder House.

#4) Sam’s Seafood Market and restaurant  at Half Moon Bay, Palo Alto California.

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You know a place is good when a television show( Good Morning America) on the opposite side of the country reports on their food. In this case it’s the best lobster rolls I and many others have possibly ever had. The internet is rife with recipes trying to duplicate it’s greatness. However, nothing is quite like the real thing. Not to mention  the location and atmosphere, is  well worth the drive to this seaside Seafood Market and restaurant on the Pacific Ocean. The views are glorious, the fare(in this case sea creatures) are fresh and the price is also reasonable.

Speaking of  our fishy friends, get ready for some of the best sushi and it’s stateside!(go America,go)

#5) Totoro Sushi Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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imgresNot only  does this artistic(former very hippie)town offer good shopping,and tasty drinks but great sushi too! They have a variety of rolls and they’re always fresh. A personal favorite of mine is the yam-yam roll(hello sweet potato goodness!) If your not a local, no need to worry as it’s easy to find, right off of State street and next to an Urban Outfitters(I did say shopping didn’t I?

If you like shopping, then you know about New York City. However, your probably unaware of a lesser known(and equally great) place that’s just a hop skip, or a   zipcar away.

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#6) The Frog and the Peach, New Brunswick New Jersey. This place boasts all of the swank(valet parking anyone) with none of the attitude. Not just the  main  entrees are delicious, but so is the bar. During happy hour(4:30-6:30) you can enjoy bar food such as mini croissant wrapped kobe beef hot dogs(so good!) with a delicious drink. Not bad at all for a swanky place such as this. Even though it’s off the beaten path from New York, don’t discount the possibilities New  Jersey has to offer. As well as it’s lesser known delicious dining  destinations.

Last but not least some yummy eats that are far from the East!

#7) Boudin Bakery and Cafe.

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Ah San Fransisco,

Your hills,your  iconic bridge,the flower children,and the salty air in your yeast!?  Yup, the San Fransisco air does something a little bit  special to it’s famous sour dough bread. Which is why you should try some while your there. Enter Boudin Bakery and Cafe. These can be found dotted around San Fransisco and serving up it’s tasty bread along with soups and sandwiches. Move over Panera, because here comes your  laid back and hipper older sibling.

Cheers! live well and eat well,

bleu