Tag Archives: friends

Meet & Greets with NYC Bloggers

12 Jun

Park, ave, nyc, photography

Thanks to the power of Twitter, I became a little busy social bee last week! I had the pleasure of meeting up with two lovely New York City bloggers, Lauren & Caroline, whose blogs I follow and love to read. While I have a handful of hilarious, sweet friends in the city, I am always looking for new interesting people to chat with.

The great thing about meeting bloggers via Twitter is that you get a better sense of who they are. Blogging is such a one-sided street and sometime, meeting a blogger can be a letdown because who YOU thought they were is not who THEY really are. However, the great social media gods remedied this problem with the invention of Twitter. Reading these ladies tweets and seeing their personality in 140 characters (or less) made sack up and see if they would be open to meeting up. And luckily, they were!

If you are looking for two new blogs to add to your expanding Google Reader (seriously, mine is crazy!), I highly recommend these two. During last week’s crazy apocalyptic weather, Lauren and I shared a drink and chatted about everything. Normally I’m pretty nervous about meeting people via the webs but she has been so kind and sweet, I didn’t feel awkward at all.

hotel, new, york, city, photograpy

On Friday, I visited the ever-so regal Plaza Hotel where I met with Caroline, who recently moved to NYC from Texas. Over delicious cocktails, we talked about celebrities, the perils of NYC, and the crazy world of blogging. I can’t wait to meet up with her again in the future and gab some more!

Hopefully, you all visit these two ladies. I think you will be definitely impressed!


The First Day

3 Jan

When planning my trip home, I decided to stay in town to ring in the new year. I couldn’t imagine a better way to start of 2011 than with my friends and family.

2011 started in the best way possible:

  • Tiramisu Cake & coffee with my loveliest friend at a Sacramento hotspot
  • A thrilling movie that had the best costumes and acting I’ve seen in a while
  • The sweet taste of a Champagne Cocktail in a dark bar
  • Some light shopping from my favorite jewelry store
  • A quick cuddle from my furry boyfriend

I leave for NYC in 4 days and while I’m sad to leave, I am ready to get back to my NYC routine. The cafes, bars, museums, parks.

The Transplanted Thanksgiving

28 Nov

Spending the holidays on your own in a new foreign city conjures up images of me, sitting in my apartment with a pie and leg of turkey. By myself. Depressing right? However, that is not how I spent Thanksgiving this year. The universe amazes me. Case in point: my friend from middle school, Gen, happens to live in Brooklyn with her awesome boyfriend. She is also a fellow grad student and a fantastic illustrator. What are the chances, huh?

Since Gen is a fellow food-lover, we discussed doing a Thanksgiving feast and inviting other orphaned students. In between cooking and eating, we chatted about the challenges of living in New York City, and the reasons why we kind of love it. It was comforting to be with other “transplants” in this big bad city during at time when the forgotten bout of homesickness can kick back in to full gear. When I got home, stuffed with amazing food, I felt like my heart could burst. Corny, yes, but true. I never expected to find a little group of nerdy, funny, and sweet people. I’m quite proud to be a part of this tiny community we’ve built. I only wish I lived closer to them so we could do a weekly sunday supper gathering!

As for the fest, we really outdid ourselves. First, can we just give a round of applause to Clay (her boyfriend) for his turkey skills? This man not only prepped, carved, and de-gibletted the turkey, he also had the GENIUS idea to toss some bacon on top of the turkey. HEAVENLY. No joke. Other that our fatty, bacon-turkey, we had cornbread stuffing, sweet potato salad, Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, creamy mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, and green beans. For dessert, I made us a Cinnamon-Crumble Apple Pie and my favorite Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie. I think I found my dream apple pie, guys. The brown-sugar coated the granny smith apples, creating this dark sweet apple mixture and the the cinnamon crumble was sweet enough to bring out the apple’s tart flavor. I didn’t get a great shot of the pie since I was too busy downing it but trust me, it’s going to make a reappearance on this site.

Not to toot my own horn (what a weird expression), but the mashed potatoes were so f**cking good. Seriously, I could have eaten an entire batch. I added splashes of whole milk in between mashing them by hand. I also made sure to salt them appropriately AND added handfuls of Parmesan cheese. The salty Parmesan melts with the potatoes, make them cheesy and flavorful. I featured the sweet potato salad on this site last year and it was just as good as I remembered. I didn’t add the dried fruit which was sorely missed but in my eyes, sweet potatoes can do no wrong.

Well, there you have it! Dinner was tasty, company was swell, and I came home fat and happy. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you spend it with loved ones? Down some damn good pie? Spill, folks!

Going Away Party

16 Aug

On Saturday, my best friend threw a going-away party for me at a very chic bar that served tasty appetizers and kept the cocktails coming. I am so lucky to have amazing people in my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better send-off.

Tales from the Road

23 Jun

What can I possibly say that will sum up my recent trip to Los Angeles? Sometimes, it is hard to put an experience in to words.

You know what I mean? I guess the one word that captures my trip is fun. Good, clean, solid fun. First of all, I should tell you that Linda from ButterSugarFlour is the sweetest, craziest, most lovable girl around. I swear, if could, I’d steal her away. Unfortunately, her family and friends probably want her in Australia. I will have to be content with the week we spent running around Los Angeles.

First of all, everyone says it but, LA traffic is the worst. It can’t be compared to anything else in this world. I don’t know how you Angelenos deal with it. I would go mad! No matter the time, there is always traffic. But you endure it because the Los Angeles is a city meant to be explored in the car. And explore we did. We visited practically every neighborhood in Los Angeles, with some minor exceptions. My favorite area has to be Venice because of its lowkey vibe and cute shops. But we spent most of our time in Santa Monica and West Hollywood where we ate to our hearts content.

We both fell in love with Huckleberry Café located in Santa Monica. Bright and busy, the café boasts a menu for all eaters. Their pastries are fresh and gorgeous while their savory egg dishes leave you completely satisfied. I’m a big people-watcher and this café is the perfect venue for that.

Another place we enjoyed was Joan’s on Third in Mid-City. It reminds me of a smaller version of the famed Dean and Deluca markets. Fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches, and eye-catching desserts. We tried the Vanilla and Raspberry Cupcake, Broiled Lemon Tart, and Snickers cake. The Snickers cake was by far the best thing I have had in a while. Layers of chocolate cake and chocolate mousse with a crunchy nut topping. Seriously, it was heavenly. I’d like to recreate it sometime soon. Also, the lemon tart was tart and sweet in the best way. Their tart dough was light and salty and the lemon filling tasted like pure lemon. The vanilla cupcake wasn’t dry (thank god) and the frosting was exactly how I like it. Not too buttery, sweet, and light.

For dinner, we enjoyed Pizzeria Mozza, a casual restaurant owned by Mario Batali. The menu has a plethora of pizza choices that will please everyone. We had the Fennel Sausage pizza, and while the toppings were divine, it was the pizza dough that won me over. Crispy, thin, and melt-in-your-mouth good.

We also had the pleasure of meeting two fine ladies: Joy and Terilyn. They are both as sweet as can be and I’m glad we were all able to talk for a bit. (By the way, Teri is a lovely photographer and her portfolio is worth checking out.)

Before Linda departed, I introduced her to some of our most “tasty” American foods. She had some Cheezits, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, Hostess cupcakes, ding-dongs, and ho-hos. Also, we had an ice-cream tasting test of the finest ice cream we could fine: Ben & Jerrys Chunky Monkey, Half-Baked, Triple Caramel Chunk. Suffice to say, we saluted our spoons to friendship and the crazy world of the internet for bringing us together.

I’m a little bummed that my partner-in-crime has left me but I know that our paths will cross soon. Till then, I can always look back at these pictures and recall our crazy outings.

Road Tripping, Part I

15 Jun

Too tired and suffering from post-vacation blues to write a proper post. Instead, I have planned a nice set of photo posts for you all. I promise to write a big summary for you all in due time… Till then…

Summer Break

7 Jun

You will have to forgive me but I am a little preoccupied. You see, a very fun Aussie is in town and we are hitting the road.

On Sunday, we met up for a little blogger meet up and guess who showed her pretty face? My favorite lady, Tracy from Shutterbean. We gabbed about all kinds of things while downing some yummy cocktails. I’ve got some major love for that lady.

Anyways, Linda and I plan on taking Los Angeles by storm. I plan on parking my butt on the beach everyday with a cocktail in hand. Be back sometime next week, hopefully thoroughly relaxed and a little sunburned.

New life

15 Apr

When I started working at my job early last year, I immediately hit it off with my coworkers. Hilarious and kind, they make working in my cubicle way more entertaining. It’s funny how your office mates become like family, don’t you think? You work with them on all kinds of projects, see them 40 hours a week,  and even travel with them. No wonder they seem like family; I see them more than my actual family! I feel so lucky to be close with the people in my unit because I know what it’s like to work in a very awkward and unfriendly environment. But when you work in a place like that, you learn to appreciate those lovable coworkers once you get them.

That being said, when my brother-from-another-mother Adam told me he was expecting a baby last August, I was so happy for him. I always joke with him that he is the brother I never wanted because we laugh, we bicker, and we torment each other like real siblings. Hearing about his impending arrival, I felt that in a way, this kid was somewhat related to me. I get to be the cool Auntie Amanda that spoils it with treats and takes it to see rated R movies. How awesome is that?

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28 Jan

I have fallen victim to January. Noted as one of the most depressing months of the year, I can’t seem to get back to my pre-holiday self. Gray skies become the norm, and the sun disappears for days. My uniform consists of black jeans, black riding boots, and a black peacoat. A hopeful relationship with an adorable boy has been squashed. My kitchen has been dormant for the past four weeks, save for the coffee machine and microwave. Not even an impressive new hair cut can lighten my spirits up. If that is not an SOS, then I don’t know what is.

Despite my January blues, I’ve got a couple of fun projects in the works, and I want to fill you in. First off, Linda from Butter Sugar Flour and I have been working on a joint-blog that is gearing up to be unveiled. I can’t tell you how glad I’ve been to have this girl in my world. She literally rocks my socks off. Stay tuned for the welcome announcement; it’s coming soon! Secondly, I’m working with a Sacramento-area nonprofit which is hosting a special Earth Day fair on April 20, 2010. The details are still being worked out but when everything gets finalized, I will do a short mention here. I’ve had a lot of fun working with these folks and it’s a great cause.

Also, did I mention that I recently finished up my 365 Photography project? Well, I did and I can’t believe I actually stayed committed. Impressive, huh? Looking back at those photos, I remember the highs and lows of 2009. Each photo corresponds with a feeling, emotion, and I appreciate having those benchmarks to remind me of the past. I need a little break before I launch myself back in to another 365 project but when I do, I will let you know. To view the photos, click on over to my Flickr photostream.

Well, that’s it for right now. I’m planning on a fun Valentines Day giveaway that I will announce next week and I’ve got a Lemon Custard Pie in the works from a month ago (yikes!). You all are dying to hear about that, right?. I promise this funk will end soon. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter, where I swear I won’t be such a Debbie-Downer :)

Blogs to watch in 2010

7 Jan

Last year, I stumbled over some swoonworthy blogs that perked up my long office days.Visiting these uplifting and insightful blogs made my days go by faster. Not to mention, the women behind these blogs are damn adorable. I give you my list of blogs to watch for 2010. I hope you share some linkage with me too. What sites are you currently subscribed to?

1. Cupcakes & Cashmere– Emily is like my fashion soulmate. I long to go on a shopping spree with her.

2. For Me, For You– Smart, cute, crafty. What more could you ask for?

3. Sunday Suppers– Thoughtful menus, and heavenly photos.

4. Sprouted Kitchen– a healthy dose of greens and cake. Plus, Sara is a doll.

5. Sparkling Ink– Design, recipes, photography. The whole nine yards.

6. Sally Jane Vintage- A serious fashionista, her outfits and photography are stunning. She gives me such style inspiration and she has such an eye for vintage clothes.

7. Felicia Sullivan– Her memoir, “The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here” left a profound mark on me and I highly encourage you all to grab a copy. Not only does the girl write a pretty fantastic book, she also runs her own blog where she documents her adventures both in and out of the kitchen. Beauty reviews, shopping trips, you name it, she’s done it. And, she happens to be one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met.

In fact, she kindly asked me to write a guest blog for her and I couldn’t resist. Please click on over and read my little post.

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