February 10, 2014

To Boston!

^^Boston at night - image via Anna's blog which I've been perusing for ideas^^
 
So I'm not exactly sure why I thought planning a trip to Boston in the middle of February would be a good idea - especially since we have had the worst winter already - but alas, we are going to Boston for a little President's Day Weekend/Valentines extravaganza! I have been trying to look into neat things to do (indoor things obviously) and am honestly overwhelmed with so many options! It has also helped me become a little more excited after coming to the horrific realization about how cold it will be. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated - we have made a few reservations but are trying to keep our options open to explore new places. Looks like we'll have a good excuse to visit Boston round 2 with the warmer weather!

Hope you all have a had a nice weekend - it was quite the struggle for me getting up this morning , but at least I have something to look forward to on Friday - working for the weekend, always!

February 4, 2014

Mind Over Matter


So I know I have blogged about health and fitness in the past - it's something I always like to learn more about and try out myself. Wellll, the past year and half I have begun to suffer from migraines - my mom and sister have always had them but this is the first time for me and I now somewhat routinely experience them. Now anyone that has been through a migraine knows that they are one of the most painful things because there rarely is anything you can do to ease the pain once they start - save for heavy medication - it's like your skull is crushing your brain. Lovely, right?

About a week ago however, I had one of the worst migraines I have ever experienced - leaving me with what felt like a hangover for the next few days and I still have extra sensitivity even now. These things are not fun and let me tell you, I have way more sympathy for my mom knowing that she experienced these far more regularly than I do andd had three children running around the house on top of it all. I. cannot. imagine.

Anyways (enough with the pity party), I've been researching and looking into different things that cause migraines or set them off - it's important to figure out your triggers (if you have any) because once a migraine starts it's really too late. Obviously, if I am doing anything to cause them in the first place I'd like to know to avoid any future problems.

Below is a list of possible food triggers that I have noticed may play a part in my migraines (I eat a fair amount of these):
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Excessive Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Foods w/ Nitrates (SALT)
  • Nuts
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Gluten
Also, there are many non-dietary triggers like: stress, lack of sleep, strong smells, and your time of the month that can play a strong role as well. 

My last migraine (which was certainly my worst one to date) I noted that I drank alcohol the night before, had cheese and cured meat for lunch, and ate a bag of popcorn (hello, salt!) at the movies. All of the above could be possible triggers for me - and I have the strong feeling that the popcorn+salt was what sent me over the edge. Basically I am going to try to avoid these certain migraine 'suspects' (to the best of my abilities...I mean they are some of my favorite things) and see if it has any effect on my migraines - if I do experience another migraine, I'm going to be sure to review anything I may have had that led up to it.

Now wasn't this a fun/informative post?! Basically I am making myself write this all out in hopes that it will encourage me to stick the plan and thus avoid any future pain. Welp! We'll see!

February 3, 2014

Where We Ate & What We Did - Weekend in Williamsburg

After starting quite the Brooklyn kick back in November, for my first trip up to NYC in the New Year, we decided to spend a day exploring Williamsburg. It almost felt like a spring day with the temps above 30 so we took full advantage of the partly sunny skies. Smorgasburg and The Brooklyn Flea were our first stops. After hearing so many great (and tasty) things about the weekend institutions, I was excited to finally experience it myself. Because it was winter, both the flea and Smorgasburg were held in a huge warehouse together - it was literally piled to the rafters with different vendors and vintage treats - kind of overwhelming when you first walk in but beautiful!

We decided to work up an appetite first and peruse the little shops scattered around. Browning found himself a record he had been wanting and I picked up a beautiful necklace and Turkish towel scarf (I was a little too confident with the warmer weather...). We gradually made our way to the food vendors and my mouth immediately started to water - so many tasty to options, how does one choose!? All in all, we split a lobster roll from Red Hook, an empanada, and the infamous ramen burger - which was actually quite good! We also finished off our feast with a delicious s'more and a marshmellow chocolate cookie.
After all of that you are probably like, "How did they continue on??" - but alas, we did - and it was surprisingly easy :) You may remember that we visited the Brooklyn Brewery a few months back for a special birthday treat - well, we decided to stop by it again for a little mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Little did we know that the line would be down the block and at a standstill soo being the resourceful adults that we are, we walked a block in the other direction and stopped at this bar for a few cold ones. 

We continued this impromptu bar crawl to the Nitehawk Cinema where we bought tickets to see Dallas Buyers Club that evening. Now I am a HUGE sucker for dinner and a movie, especially when you can have dinner while you watch the movie, so I had been looking forward to this all day. Arriving at the movie theater early, we sat down at the retro bar and tried out their fun cocktails and beers named after different movies and actors (I highly recommend the Broken Flowers drink!). 
 
^^ Columbia's special winter lights - they make me so happy ^^

The movie was great (really, go see it!) and the setting was so neat, I didn't want my Brooklyn day to come to an end. Sadly though, we made our way back up to Morningside Heights where I proceeded to run into the grocery store buying ice cream and cookie bar ingredients for the grand feast finale. It was quite a weekend, and it's been quite the rainy Monday snap back into reality. Wahhhhh! 

January 31, 2014

The Last Few Weeks

Well hello there! Happy end of January! It's been a busy and interesting few weeks and I clearly have been spending some time off of the blogosphere. I like blogging - both reading them and recording my own, but sometimes I just need a break from the internet, I also reconnected with my dear friend  Downton Abbey, so admittingly that played a large role in my absence...

Alas! I am back for now and thought I would update you on the few things I've been up to the past few weeks:

Santacon
After participating in my first Santacon last year in DC, I decided to venture up to NYC to  celebrate the occasion with friends. It was already a very eventful and exciting weekend, but with an unexpected snowfall on Saturday - we were literally in a winter wonderland (with lots of drunk Santas that is). It really was such a fun weekend and I hope we can continue the annual tradition!

The Holiday Season
With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year, I was lucky enough to spend over two weeks home in Atlanta with my family. It was so nice to be home and SO NICE to drive around in a car with a radio - oh how I miss singing solo in my car! Our holiday mostly consisted of lots of sweets (my mom's famous bark), Luther marathons (it is THE BEST), and cuddles with Gracie pup. I have to say that it was really hard leaving after finding myself quite settled at home (like really hard), but it has been nice getting back into my DC routine once again.

Polar Vortex Extravaganza
I'm sure if you have watched the news this past month, you have heard of the insanely cold weather around the country. DC has already recieved more snow than it did all last year and the temperatures have been insanely low. The snowy setting was pictresque at first, but it gets quite old after lugging snow boots back and forth to work everyday. Looks like things will warm up this weekend (like get above 35), but I won't hold my breath!

A New Year 
Last but not least, on January 1st I rang in both the New Year and my birthday. 2013 was pretty good to me - I settled into DC, spent a glorious 10 days in London, and changed jobs. Although I am pretty proud of the year and happy with it, I still feel like I am in this adjustment period - which I guess is what your early twenties are for. I mean everyone always said how your 20's are fun and exciting, but no one said how scary and anxiety ridden they can be as well. This year, I am really going to take time to work on myself - both my personal and professional goals. I really want to take advantage of this time and work for a purpose instead of feeling like I am just biding time for bigger things later in life. Does that make any sense?? Oh well - here's to 2014...and February! 

November 26, 2013

Bryant Park in November

Looks a lot like Bryant Park in December... 

I don't mind it. 

November 22, 2013

A Brooklyn Food Tour


After a very successful Brooklyn Brew Tour a few weeks back, we decided to try out the Brooklyn Brownstone Food Tour - because the only thing better than beer, is food of course!

 

This tour took place mostly in Cobble Hill, which is much different than Williamsburg. Although not quite as hip and up and coming, Cobble Hill is one of the most lovely neighborhoods I have ever explored - it has that familiar feeling with an eclectic mix of old and new. I have already decided that I need to live in a brownstone overlooking Cobble Hill Park one day. Our tour guide, Natalie, was great at giving us an extensive background on all of the restaurants/eateries. I found it especially neat that many of the places we tried had been there for decades - old mom and pop bakeries and coffee shops that locals never stopped supporting - and trust me, longevity is easier said than done in New York, so this said a lot about the community.

 
Now my favorite part of the tour was when we to the center of Cobble Hill, past the pretty brownstones, to Cobble Hill Park. Our tour guide brought us out mini pork sliders from the famous Ted and Honey right next door that we enjoyed on the lovely benches, soaking up the crisp fall weather. Although the sliders were amazing, the real magic of the day had nothing to do with food. While listening to Natalie explain the history of the local park, I happened to hear a familiar voice nearby - I turned around (not quite able to place the sound) and right behind us was Michael Cera - sitting in the park, eating his Ted and Honey's too. Now as a huge Arrested Development fan (George Michael), this was one of my biggest celeb sitings to date and I was completely freaking out. The best thing was that Michael Cera looked exactly how you would expect Michael Cera to look - a quirky wool hat and a tan jacket, just mozying around Brooklyn. Browning had to restrain me from following him the rest of the day, but alas the tour continued as did the food.

Below is a little breakdown of all the places we tried, and I highly recommend taking food tours in whatever city you may be in - there really is no better way to get to know the neighborhood and history behind it - plus your belly won't mind!

 

Where We Ate:
- Stinky Bklyn - Best grilled cheese I think I have ever tasted - but really.
- 61 Local - We sampled the spiced nuts and home-brewed kombucha
- One Girl Cookies - Itty bitty cookies with big taste
- Damascus Bread and Pastry - A famous Middle Eastern establishment in the neighborhood and nationally know for its bread (two thumbs up on the falafel)
Ted and Honey - I mean if Michael Cera goes here, it must be good
- Court Pastry - Sweets galore - my kind of place
- D'amico Coffee - One of the oldest shops in Cobble Hill and still family owned today
- Farmacy - Although new to the neighborhood, this retro soda fountain is fun and the egg cremes are tasty!

November 20, 2013

Recently

Hello! It's been awhile - not because I've been too busy, but I've just been fussing around with a lot of different things, you know how this time of year is...Anyways, here are just a few updates about what I've been up to lately (in case you are interested):

  • I decided that I will be crafting my Christmas gifts for my family this year - above is a little sneak peak of my most recent work-in-progress (it's a Mindy Kaling quote - obviously). Turns out that I am quite the cross-stitch fanatic and never knew it - can't quite decide if this is a good or a bad thing yet...
  • I've been hitting up my local gym's spinning classes after work lately. They are offered free by my gym and I don't know what took me so long to start - I'm addicted - the music, the movement, I love it all. It also goes by sooo fast - which is a big thing for me, because usually I feel like I am watching the seconds tick by on the clock.
  • I'll be heading back to NYC yet again this weekend but this will likely be my last trip til the New Year - I still need to share photos from our Brooklyn Food Tour the other weekend because it was amazing andddd involved seeing Michael Cera (aka George Michael) - one of those perfectly Brooklyn hipster moments I'll never forget.
  • And last but not least, I CANNOT WAIT TO BE HOME FOR THANKSGIVING! It is my favorite holiday (tied with Christmas) - but really - good food, Macy's Day Parade, DOG SHOW (hello!), lounging, and the official start of the Christmas music season - what more could you ask for??

Hope everyone's week is going well, now that it's Hump Day, mine is going smoother :) 
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