Saturday, January 24, 2015

Current Candle Crave: SPRING.

I know it's still only January but basically as soon as my birthday passes when January rolls around, I always just wish that we could skip to May.  Because that cannot happen, I decide to make it seem like it does by surrounding myself with colorful, spring/beachy smelling candles.  Recently I popped into Target for some things and I decided to take a visit to the candle aisle and I picked up a few.

I have definitely written about this candle on my blog before because this is the second one that I have purchased.  I was so happy to see this one on super sale when I walked down the aisle.  This is probably one of the candles that actually smells most true to coconut.  When I first saw it I was drawn in by the design of the packaging, it's gorgeous and my favorite color!  Check out your local Target and see if you can still pick one up.  I'm hoping they'll still be on shelves and that they weren't putting them on sale because they're discontinued.  

I really don't think I have to say much about this scent.  I think these are new this year at Target as I haven't seen them before.  I know they come out with their own scents and change the packaging but I definitely haven't seen this one before and it measures up to the 'Coconut Grove' scent that they had I think about two years ago.  I cannot wait to burn these when I'm done with my current 'Lavender Lemon'

Sorry to be annoying about comparing things to Bath and Body Works candles but this one reminds me of 'Spring' from last season and I just LOVE everything about it!  It makes me so excited for the warmer weather.  On the label you can see that I guess it's supposed to be reminiscent of elements in a green smoothie?  I don't know about that.  I just love this and if you love a fresh, herb-y scent you will probably enjoy it as well.

Which candles have you been burning lately?  I cannot wait to burn these and just tell myself that it actually IS spring even though it isn't yet.  Send me a tweet and let me know what you're loving.  Thank you for reading as always.  -Brit.

Friday, January 23, 2015

What I've Been Eating

I believe it's fair to say that I have been eating like some kind of queen lately.  There have been a couple of things that I've been noshing on that I just can't get enough of and I want to share them with you!  Please excuse some of the photos as they have 'Snapchat jargon' on them.

Koa - 12 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
This was my FIRST EVER real ramen experience.  I'll be the first to tell you that I have always been afraid of trying ramen for the sole fact that I didn't like the whole egg thing being half cooked.  I am just NOT into that at all.  When someone told me that Koa ramen isn't like that I knew I had to try it.  When I looked at the menu the Spicy Dan Dan looked liked something I definitely wanted because I love the spiciest of foods.  When I got it I was expecting sooooo much and I have to admit, it wasn't the most amazing thing ever but I don't have much to compare it to.  I think the broth was soy and that's something I'm not used to.  Maybe I should give it another shot, I woudn't be opposed to that.  Mine had noodles, ground beef and spicy soy broth.  Although it wasn't my favorite, I would definitely recommend at least trying it!  Do you have a favorite ramen place?

Juice Generation - 109 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
Juice Generation is pretty much everywhere I think, but this is the one that I have been to recently.  I picked up a Citrus Super C on a day where I was really craving it and it was just absolutely delicious.   I also felt a cold coming on when I had one of these and I honestly think it helped with making the cold brief in my system.  Happiness in a cup but the only bad thing is the price, it was like $7, eeeek!   

Sophies Cuban - 28 E. 23rd Street New York, NY 10010 (L)
Republic - 37 Union Sq. West, New York City, NY 10003 (R)

These two meals are a little interesting for a couple of reasons.  Number one being I have never had Cuban before and the other being that I have never had ramen before (before the above ramen and this one).  I was nervous to try Sophie's because I never had Cuban before and I didn't know if there was going to be anything there that I liked but when I saw the pork and Spanish rice I was like omg this looks delicious.  The onions on top had such a different taste that was distinctive.  The flavor of the pork was subtle and plain but when paired with the yellow rice and those onions that were both packed with flavor it made it taste uber delicious.  

This RAMEN THOUGH.  I cannot even.  It was coconut lime flavored and just made me so happy it's not even funny.  The chicken was very plain but the broth was lime broth and the coconut infusion was absolutely everything.  I also really love the rice noodles that came with this ramen!  it was so delicious and fresh tasting.  I think I have some more ramen and Cuban food tasting to do but I would say that I started off really well.  Happy girl :). 
Crumbs - 124 University Plaza, New York, NY 10003
I cannot even tell you how sad I was when I heard that Crumbs was closed.  Thank god it was only for a short while as I love almost every single cupcake that they put out.  I hope one year for my birthday that I can have one of their oversized cake-cupcakes.  Okay, enough dreaming.  I don't think I have to explain how good this cupcake was because you can just tell by looking at it.  Every Crumbs I ever eat is so delicious so I definitely recommend that you get it when you can.

Hill Country Chicken - 1123 Broadway (Corner of 25th) New York, NY 10010 (L) 
Sunac - 765 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10010 (R)

Three words: Hill Country Chicken.  I cannot even explain.  I'm sure there are some other really awesome places and I cannot wait to try them but this place is baller.  I was recommended to get something else when we were ordering but I decided to go with chicken and waffles because I had never had it before.  Boy was I happy with my decision.  The seasoning on the chicken was so good and in combination with the butter and syrup it was everything you could possibly dream of, lol.  Honestly though my healthy eating clearly went out the window on this day and I was not mad about it at all.  

Sunac has classically been one of my favorite lunch places in New York for the longest times.  I have always, every single time I've been there, found something delicious.  Not to mention sometimes I make the things at home that I find there!  They have an amazing hot and cold foods bar, a sandwich station, a juice station, a coffee station, assorted soups and so much more.  Not to mention they also have assorted baked goods and a grocery section.  I love these coconut mango natural fruit snacks they have omgggg it's delicious!

Mangia - 22 W 23rd St. New York, NY 10010
Mangia was an interesting place.  They had a ton of really delicious looking food and it's definitely a place that you could go for a nice business lunch.  There was a ton to choose from including a bakery section, a place for paninis, a pizza section and a ton more.  I was most excited for my Arianciata Rossa San Pellegrino.  The food was delicious but I definitely would not recommend going back there for a lunch because not only was it underwhelming but it was also super expensive!

Committed Pig - 168 Main Street, Manasquan, NJ 08736 (L) 
Lo's Garden - 2132 New Jersey 88, Brick, NJ 08724 (R)

If you don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you don't know about my love for the Committed Pig and you really should know.  Now I know the meal that I got this time doesn't really look like it's anything special but let me tell you something.. IT IS.  Every single thing on the menu is so different and delicious, it's definitely a place you just HAVE to visit if you're every at the Jersey Shore.  I had the 'Mr. Beautiful' which is a turkey burger with jalapenos, gruyere cheese, a fried egg and avocado.  Mmmmmm, so delicious and look at those waffle fries.  AHHH I cannot.  I want it right now.

I was feeling a little ill this week and one of the days that I came home my dad had an egg drop soup waiting from Los Garden and could not have been more happy and excited about it.  Sometimes you just need a little wanton soup or egg drop soup and it makes you feel so much better.  Everyone is passing something around where it's like this awful cough, stuffy nose and sore throat.  I'm not happy about it but this was a beautiful solution to my former ailments.  :O

The Hummus & Pita Co. - 585 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Probably my second favorite lunch place in New York City.  I don't know why but it is just freaking so delicious.  You can basically get whatever kind of pita (vegetarian or not) that you want, there are so many options.  Also, if you are randomly in the mood, you can get sweet potato fries.  :O  Doesn't that just make you so happy!?  I had a Shwarma chicken or something like that and Harissa sauce omgggg, it was delicious!

Wow guys, this post took me forever to write.  I have been so busy and haven't had a chance to write about anything and then I decided that I wanted to write this one and it took me like three weeks to do.  Ignore the annoying Snapchat graphics and writing on the pics because you know I had to post them there too.  Where are your favorite places to eat?  Tweet them to me.  -Brit.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My 25th Birthday!

I literally cannot believe that I am 25 years old.  It is insane to think that I am going to experience the proverbial 'quarter life crisis' soon.  As if I haven't had enough crisis already, LOL.  As far as I'm concerned though, this year is starting out pretty great.  Ever since I made some of the decisions that I briefly talked about in my blog post about New Year goals, I have started feeling the best that I possibly can.  Emotions-wise, health-wise, etc.  

To be honest, it always kind of sucked having a birthday a week after Christmas.  The only thing I can think about now though, as an older person and as I have been getting older, is how awesome it really is.  I don't look at it as, 'Oh this sucks, presents are the same, celebrations are combined, etc.' I look at it as a new beginning, a full calendar year to start another year long journey of my life.  Awesomeness.

Every year on my birthday I always put on the same nail polish: Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday!  You need multiple coats if it's the only thing you want on the nail but I chose to just throw on Pink Pineapple from Revlon which is one of their Parfumiere polishes.  They are adorable and smell so good!  At least some of them do, lol.  Please excuse the random cut I have on my pointer.

The day started with some adorable messages of love from my Aunt on Instagram.  She gets aggressive on Instagram, so this is a big deal.  Gotta love her and that obnoxious as fuck picture she chose of me to include.  Thanks Aunt Kar, lol.  Also, this banana that we found on the walkway to our house when we were getting in the car.  Apparently my brother dropped it in the dark in the morning on his way to work?

There are no edits on this photo but it just looks perfect for some reason.  We started the day by driving up to Ikea.  The closest location to me and where my family is up north is the one in Elizabeth.  I wanted to look at a couple of things for storage in my room.

We started off at the cafe because we were starving.  Look at all the food on my tray.  I honestly promise you that I didn't eat all of this.  I hated the cinnamon roll.  Everyone always says Ikea cinnamon rolls are the best things ever but there was nothing special about it and it was gross to me lol.  I had one half of my wrap and all of the French fries.  It was my birthday, so even if I did end up eating everything, I wouldn't have cared.  Thank you very much.  #NoJustificationREALLYNeeded

Heres my dad just loving his life.

After fielding all of my birthday texts while we drove all the way to my uncles house, we finally got there.  We had some coffee and then I grabbed my cousin and we headed down Route 4 to Garden State Plaza for some shopping.  There was definitely an accident so it took us like 8 years to get there.  So annoying but we eventually made it and then I shopped my face off for my birthday.

Here are a few glamour shots of the drive up to my uncles house.  We pass Newark Airport and New York City to the East.  Can you see the plane and the skyline?

You know I was Snapchatting the day away.  Here are a few of the ones I included in my story.  

Here are a few eXcEpTiOnAlLy* flattering photos of my family at dinner.  We missed my brother as he was working but it was a nice meal altogether.  It was funny, we were sitting there waiting for our food and all of a sudden we saw JaRule enter the restaurant.  My cousin Pat spotted him and now all I have been singing for the past two days is 'Always On Time.'  Oddly, I can't say I'm mad at it.  We ate at Grand Lux Cafe in Paramus at the GSP.  They are owned by the same people that do Cheesecake Factory so you know it was delicious!    

I had a great day and I can't wait to celebrate with my friends soon!  How do you all celebrate your birthdays?  I will be continuing the celebration for the rest of the month :).  I also did a cute vlog of the day that I plan to maybe upload tomorrow or Monday.  Tweet me!  -Brit.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year, New MINDSET.

5 Things for 2015

Tbqh, I don't really know where to start with this.  I have been thinking about this blog post for a long time, but I didn't want to start writing it until December 31.  I just feel like this is such a reflective day and to begin writing it anytime before then is just not right.  Thinking about and planning it in my head is one thing, but to literally take my hands to my keyboard and begin typing is another.  I did not want to do so until now.  

I also grappled with whether or not I actually wanted to even write this post.  I still don't really know how open I'm really going to be with it.  There's really something about letting people into the depths of my life that scares the shit out of me and I know a lot of people feel the same way.  Just know that I am certainly not judging you for having that feeling.  With that said, let's get started.

Being that I started this post with 'internet jargon,' that might be a subtle clue as to how I feel about 2014.  Can you feel the tone of this already?  I sure can.  It was the shittiest year I think I have ever had in my entire life.  Even when my parents got divorced in 2006 and when I have almost died multiple times in the hands of my mother as she drove us around drunk as kids were better than this.  I'm getting a bit ridiculous here and I don't mean to be morbid, but it's true.  So rather than celebrating a new year coming along, I am mainly celebrating the departure of this one.

So with that being said, lets get this thing going.

 I really am looking to lean on my friends this year for the support that I NEED to make 2015 the best year that I have ever had.  I am willing to admit, finally, that I don't really make my feelings known and that is what has contributed to being the death of me this past year.  I have my best friend to thank for this.  I've never had someone in my life like Ally.  Although we've been friends for a while, this year, she really helped me realize something: I ALWAYS have a wall up.  I need to let that down and depend on my friends who are here to help me, not just excuse my feelings because I feel like I'm a burden.  I'm not a burden, I just have a wall up.

I cannot wait to make myself the happiest person I have ever been, career-wise, this year.  All I have ever wanted, since I was a little girl, was to be successful in a career and I am BEYOND stoked to make this happen.  Career of my dreams in the city of my dreams, coming right up!

My family is stronger than ever but there are things that can use improvement.  I always influence my brother in many different ways but I hope that this year, I can persuade him to spend more time with us.  He's been doing better with it recently but being that I have such a small family, I try my best to make sure that I spend AS MUCH time with them as possible.

I want to eat better.  I don't really know how many promises that I can make but I just want to eat waaaaaay better than I have been for the past couple of months.  I did so well and lost a TON of weight about two years ago and then life happened and I gained ALL of it back.  Imagine losing 60-ish pounds and gaining it all back after all that hard work.  Eating right is going to be the first step of doing this because my eating habits have ridiculously gone to complete shit.

I don't want to make anything concrete or say anything with confidence, but I want to exercise a WHOLE LOT MORE.  Reason for this?  It's the perfect coupling with eating right and I used to be so keen on running all the time and I just never do it anymore.  I even have a gym membership that I pay for and never go to!  Im convinced thats definitely how those gyms make their money.

Lastly I would like to just include something positive because I feel like often people only state negatives, things they want to change about themselves, or resolutions.  I am so proud of my strength and focus this year.  I have been thrown a PLETHORA of curve balls and my ability to try and remain focused and strong has been enough to show everyone what kind of person I am.

These couple of things are among many others that I want to accomplish this coming year.  Lets not call them resolutions but goals, for sure.  Being that I have been writing this throughout the day, I have finally finished.  I've been opening and closing my laptop multiple times at multiple hours and have been thinking about some of the things I've wanted to include.  I specifically haven't listed ANY blog goals because I have some plans.  What do you want to see happen in your life this year?  Tweet me your goals for the year or comment them below.  Perhaps we can stir up some inspiration.  -Brit.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tartufo & Heads Up!

So let me just start this off by saying that I have been feeling SO FESTIVE in the days following Christmas than I had been for the whole season.  I don't even know why.  It has NOT been the easiest year for me AT ALL and it has really taken its toll, but being able to spend time with family and be filled with happiness for a week or two out of the year is just the best thing ever.  

Chances are that if you didn't grow up in Jersey or the surrounding area, you didn't experience Nasto's.  Maybe I'm talking out of tune here, I could be wrong.  One thing is for sure though, if you've never had it before, you haven't lived.  When I was little, my dad used to bring home Italian Ice and Sorbet in the little coconut and orange.  Ugh it was the best thing in the entire world.  On Christmas, Tartufo is an exceptional tradition.  If you've never had it, you NEED to try it one day.  

After having some leftover Tartufo the other day, we decided to play a little Heads Up, the Ellen game.  It was the best thing in the entire world.  As you know, I have been playing it at family get togethers lately just because I think it gets so intense and it's quite funny to watch family members get excited over a random word.  It just a family-appropriate, fun activity.  Don't get me wrong though, there are categories like 'Adult Supervision' that you can BET we tried playing too.  I criiiiinge when I watch back the videos, they are hilarious.  With Heads Up, it records you while you're playing and you have the option to save the video.  Needless to say they are hysterical to look back on the following day, or even five minutes later.  This was a random photo of my cousin Billy who came downstairs in the middle of one of our games.  He was showing off his outfit and watch.

I'm pretty sure I haven't mentioned on here that my one of my neighbors have moved.  I am so upset about this and miss them already!  I know I've written about some of the shenanigans we've gotten into on here before and I really miss them!  Needless to say, they were cleaning out their freezer and brought us over some of the pizza dough that they had left.  Seriously how hilarious #neighborlythings.  I cannot even explain how much I love them and wish they were still around haha.  So needless to say you better RECOGNIZE that I made this ballin' outrageous pizza.  I was so piZZed (see what I did there) that I didn't get a picture of the final product but it was still ridiculously delicious.  I took the dough and rolled it out, added some oregano and olive oil.  After that, I just literally took jarred pasta sauce, frozen peppers and mozzarella and put it all on top!  For being thrown together last minute it was really delicious.  I plan to do something interesting with the last ball of dough my neighbor gave to us.  I'll be sure to report.

Let us all take a moment and let this view sink in:

Honestly how beautiful?  The sunsets just keep getting better and better and it makes me happier and happier.  I know for a fact that they are pretty epic in the summer but when you get great ones during the winter it just makes you appreciate life that much more.  Sunsets and pretty skies are just those little things that make you think about everything you have, where you are and where you're about to be.  Do you agree?  I appreciate random moments like these because if you feel like nothing is going right in your life, you're left with a MOMENT of beautiful happiness and in that moment you feel like its possible that everything IS or CAN BE right in the future.

Have you ever tried Stroopwafel before?  I don't remember where I first heard of it but it has been a LOOOONG time since I have had it!  When I saw it in Marshalls (of all places) I had to pick it up because it's almost as if I got instant cravings for it.  I had one with peppermint tea tonight (kind of a random combination) and it was supremely awesome.  

Weather has been unseasonably warm here in NJ lately and this is proof.  The other day I was sitting in bed with the window OPEN!  It was just a stunning day outside and I was relaxing with my lavender lemon Yankee Candle so I said what better way to add to the relaxation than to open the window?  AND I DID.. AT THE END OF DECEMBER.  Little things here, little things.

Let me know how your days have been following Christmas?  Are you still feeling relaxed?  I'm trying to still feel relaxed.  Send me a tweet or leave a comment below.  -Brit.