Friday, September 6, 2013

The Food Post (NYC)

So a tad bit late (that of course is an understatement) but, doling out the honors...

: Breakfast :

Best bagel and coffee for breakfast! #nyc #food #breakfastforchampions

Best Bagel and Coffee
225 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

It literally is the best bagel in town! It's the best because you can build your own. We heaped salmon, capers, onions and cream cheese on top of an everything bagel. You know, the works.

: Lunch :

Vongole at Pelligrino's yum yum!! #food #nyc #littleitaly

138 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

Tucked away in a little corner of Chinatown is a charming spot that is Little Italy. There are plenty of Italian restaurants to choose from, but we parked ourselves in the al fresco dining area of Pellegrino's. Here's a picture of my favorite appetizer - Vongole Oreganata!

: Tea time :

Followed the recommendations of a local. All Cantonese speaking crew in this Dim-sum joint. Has to be legit right? #chinatown #nyc #dimsumdollies


When our trusty Google failed with provide us with a lead for Chinese dim sum, we stopped to ask a local where to go. He pointed us to a local joint, complete with a Cantonese speaking crew, pushing dim sum trollies, and serving up piping hot dishes in bamboo baskets. That has got to be some legit dim sum.

: Mid Day Refreshments :

After waiting 1.5hr in line to get my cheap Avenue Q tickets, it's time to reward myself with a nice cold beer... #allagash #nyc #hellskitchen

815 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Hopping on over to Hell's Kitchen, we stopped by Valhalla to quench our thirst after sifting through the flea markets. Surprisingly, the prices were pretty decent. Since we didn't have to drive, we made sure we quenched our thirst right and proper.

: Dinner:

Most expensive bibim bap ever! But delish! #nyc #koreatown #food

Gahm Mi Oak
43 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

Our hotel is a stone's throw from Koreatown in Midtown NYC. We randomly walked into one of the many restaurants, but I believe they would all have been just as good. I love bibimbap and was pleasantly surprised as this one was super delish!

There were other cuisines we were sad we didn't get to try, like Japanese and Thai. But we were able hit the spots we wanted to go most, so in all, it was a really satisfying gastronomic journey for us!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Primped up Kicks

Had to share these cute little things from Kate Spade.
Might also be a little post-NYC blues.
Just sayin'

Sunday, August 18, 2013

New York New York!

View from Central Park #nyc #skyline #reflections #centralpark
Picture taken from across the Jackie Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.

Here's an overdue post of my recent trip to NYC! I had a fabulous time! The weather was in the mid 70s throughout and we had sunshine for most part of our trip. When it was raining, we sought shelter and wandered around in the museums!

Here are the highlights of our trip in pictures!

Front row seats for Avenue Q!! #offbroadway #nyc #latergram

We stood in line for rush tickets for a production of Avenue Q! It's an Off Broadway musical about the humans and muppets living on Avenue Q (a less than desirable side of town), trying to find a purpose in life. It's the adult version of Sesame Street, with hit songs like "The Internet is For Porn" and "If You Were Gay". The tunes are so catchy I caught J humming the songs days after we watched it. And mind you, he isn't the musical type of guy! I had missed this production in several cities, and I knew I had to catch it this time! And I wasn't disappointed! We got front row seats at the price of $26.50 apiece when the regular tickets cost anywhere from $40 - $90! Score! Here's a tip if you want to get rush tickets for the same day show. Check out New World Stages for a list of Off Broadway productions, and for its opening hours. Stand in line about an hour before they open, and voila! You're guaranteed a seat in the house! (limited to two per person!)

Good morning New York! Birding in #centralpark this morning! #birds #happiestnerdalive

Birding in Central Park had been on my bucket list for the longest time. I watched a documentary called Birders: The Central Park Effect a while ago, and I knew I had to do this one day. So, check!

Found it! #aliceinwonderland #centralpark #nyc

Central Park is my favorite spot in NYC. It probably isn't fair to say so, since I've spent only 4 days in the city, but I am in love with the quiet solitude, the calm amongst the hustle and bustle. The air is cooler and fresher. The people are all smiles, and they actually STROLL. J and I walked for a long time, but we managed to cover only about half the park. We wanted to see how many statues we would come across, and we found Alice in Wonderland, amongst others.

Paid a visit to the famous Purl in Soho! And got myself some pretty fabric. Note: I had a lot of restraint #purlsoho #nyc #soho #fabric

What's a trip to NYC without going to Purl in Soho! I bought myself some pretty fabric, which I'd probably hoard and stash aside, instead of putting them to use. I couldn't decide on what to buy because I wanted a little bit of everything. So when I stood in line with a stack of fat quarters, and a none too pleased husband, I was a little sad that I had to go. But my dear fellow crafters, you have to pay them a visit if you're ever in NYC!

T-Rex!!! #latergram #dinosaurs #happiestnerdalive

The Natural History Museum is absolutely a must see! Well, depending on what you like. The place is so big, we had to pick and choose to see our favorites! My favorites were the section on the dinosaurs and fossils, and the exhibits of the Birds of the World (d-uh). I was so excited I even took pictures of all the dinosaurs and sent them to the kids I usually babysit, because they love dinosaurs too!

At the Met: a collection of some of my favorite pieces #Met #museum #nyc #latergram

Here's the other museum we visited - the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The above picture is a collection of some of my favorites. But this next abstract piece is one that stood out for me. I am drawn by the shapes and colors!

Fun piece by Stuart Davis - Arboretum by Flashbulb #abstract #met #art #nyc #dunnomuchbutsurecanappreciatethecolors #latergram
Arboretum by Flashbulb - Stuart Davis

Macy's original wooden escalators, built in 1902! #heraldsquare #nyc #latergram
Shopping at Macy's
Traveling between levels on the original wooden escalators from the early 1900s!

We did a quick shopping trip at Macy's and H&M just because they were right next to our hotel. I love H&M, I can't get enough of it because you can stretch your dollar and buy in bulk for less. And not to mention they've got cool stuff. I did a double take when I saw the Macy's building. It stretches one full block and is at least floors of shopping!

Now there's definitely more to write about NYC, but I shall stop here for now. I'm gonna keep all the food pictures for the next post so watch this space!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Start spreading the news....

NYC Skyline

So my dear blogger friends, I'll be visiting New York City in a week, and I'd like to hear some of your suggestions on what to do, where to go, and food to eat! I pretty much have an itinerary, but I'd like to see some off the beaten track places. If you have any suggestions throw them my way!

I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You've got mail!

Phew, what a long absence, although I do enjoy my time away from the computer! I sit in front of the computer all day at work and the last thing i want to do when I get home, is to sit in front of it again!

Here's what's been going on in my long absence. Remember I told you I signed up for Postcrossing? I get fun cards in the mail, and it makes me feel like I've traveled a little, by association, anyway. Well, for every postcard I send out, I get one in return!

My first Postcrossing card was from Sicily, Italy!

And then I received another, all the way from the West Coast, from sunny ol' California.

My most recent card came from Belarus! How exciting! I wonder if the postcard was a photograph-turned-postcard. What a neat idea! I'm struggling to find places to buy postcards. I bought my first set off Amazon because I couldn't find any in the stores!

But here's one from a Postcrossing buddy I found on Instagram! This one's a keeper!

This one is from my buddy, who was visiting New York City and decided to drop me a note. She saw this postcard and remembered how much I love fairies.

Finally, here is my favorite, because it was hand drawn by my friend in Singapore. He loves doodling and illustrating cartoons that remind me of "The Far Side Gallery". I think he's super talented!

I just sent out two more, so there'll be two more postcards coming my way! Can't wait!

Now on to catch up on all your blogs!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Puppies' Big O-N-E!!


What a fun 4th of July weekend party the puppies had! We were hoping for good weather as it had been raining all week. We took the dogs to two different dog parks over the weekend and boy were they all tuckered out!


On the first day we took them to the William R Davie dog park and then the next day we took them to the Ramsey Creek Park. The first was a big 5 acre piece of land, with lots of shade and swimming tubs for dogs to splash around in! The dog park is divided into two - 20lbs and under for small dogs, and 20lbs and over for big dogs. Scuffy borders between the two so he followed his brothers to the big dog park!

The puppies loved mingling with the other dogs. The largest dog in the park that day was a Great Dane named Friday. Sadly, Scuffy was one of the smallest. He was a little intimidated at first, when other dogs came over to sniff him out. But after awhile, he was having a riot running around with the rest! It's Scuffy first time ever visiting the dog park. I think I will continue to take him on a regular basis. It's good for his socialization!


Then their birthday presents arrived! We bought NFL jerseys for the puppies to get them ready for football season. It's also Scuffy's first time wearing anything other than his harness. He's a little squirmy in it, and in this picture he actually looks kinda miserable. But it pleased his Papa to no end that his boy is wearing the Bears' colors!

I am so glad that Scuffy's brothers went to our friends, so we can always meet up for play dates and gatherings. It is a joy to see how different their personalities are, and to watch them grow! I hope you had a 4th of July celebration too!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

What are you plans for this weekend? I hope all my American friends get a nice long weekend even though Independence Day falls on a Thursday. Me? I have to work Friday, so I'm going to make the best of my Wednesday night and all of Thursday. My holiday weekend started out perfect -- I come home to sunflowers!!!

Most of them look like this, but I have three sunflowers in full bloom! 
Just waiting for those finches to come feed on them! *birding heaven*

Happy first birthday my 4th of July puppy! Your mama and papa love you to the moon and back!

Today is also very special for another reason. This is the day my puppy turns the big ONE! 
We had plans for a grill out at one of our friends'. She is the owner of Scuffy's brother, Buddy. 
But she had a last minute trip to Florida, so we're watching Buddy instead! This afternoon, we're heading out to one of the biggest dog park in Charlotte to meet up with Scuffy and Buddy's other brother, Beckham! It's a dog playdate birthday party!!!

I can't believe how much Scuffy has grown. I know it sounds silly, but I never thought i was capable of raising this little munchkin from 8 weeks to now! What with all the potty trainings and spankings and snuggling and cuddling, this little baby stole my heart completely!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and beautiful weekend! 
We're off to the pet store to get some birthday treats for the puppies!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 29 : What's in my bag

June 29 : in my bag #birdingessentials - binoculars, bird guide, umbrella, sun screen, Advil, mosquito repellent, moisturizer, sunglasses. So gu niang!

|| 1. sunglasses || 2. citronella mosquito repellant & balm || 3. Vaseline moisturizer ||
|| 4. Banana Boat sunscreen || 5. Advil || 6. umbrella || 7. bird guide || 8. binoculars ||

We took a short birding walk at Jetton Park today. It has nice trails, BBQ grills, a beach, lots of trees, mushrooms and birds to be found. I wish I was better at identifying bird songs and sounds. I couldn't really watch through my binoculars because I was holding on to the leash as well. Impatient little Scuffy always wants to be on the go. So, when I stop too long to try get a glimpse of a bird amongst the trees, he tugs repeatedly at his leash as if to say "Let's go, let's go, let's go Mama!"

What's in your bag today?

Friday, June 28, 2013

OMG is it July already?

July is out. #fmsphotoaday

Happy Friday, folks. July is just around the corner. Can you believe we're in the second half of the year?

This summer, we've got exciting plans lined up. We're headed to West Virginia in a couple of weeks with the family for a short getaway. Then come August, we're going to NYC, and for Labor Day we're going to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina!

I've also recently started PostCrossing after reading it about it on Debie's blog. I love getting actual mail. I used to own a stamp collection as a kid, and had several international pen-pals for awhile (such a nerd). Postcrossing is a nice cross between the two, without the long term commitment (i know, I'm terrible!)

Happy summer y'all!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Birding: June 20 - Cute little baby robin!

June 20 : cute #fmsphotoaday Took a picture of this little fledgling while it's Mama was harassing me from a nearby branch. #robin #birding #ilovebirds

I was walking through our garden when I spotted this little fella' hidden amongst the leaves. I don't know what made me look, but I'd seen the mottled orange chest, and did a double take! A little baby robin, perched on a disused fence, looking a wee bit scared. I think it was learning to fly and perhaps was just taking a break when I spotted it. It then tried to sit very still, hoping and praying to its bird gods that I don't notice him.

And what did I do?

I stopped in my tracks, stooped down and started to talk to it. I mean, if someone were to see me, they'd probably think I was crazy, squatting amongst the trees, talking to myself. Actually, I just wanted to do encourage the little bird to fly. I was tempted to reach out and let it perch on my arm, like I did with those orphan starlings a year ago, but this little birdie didn't know me, and I shouldn't get too friendly too soon. And of course, in a minute, I heard its noisy Mama on a nearby branch, chirping and squawking, telling me to leave her baby alone.

I'll let nature do its thing. This little birdie will fly very soon. Good luck and fly safe!

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 15 : From Above -- A day in Blowing Rock

June 15 : from above in the mountains #fmsphotoaday #mountains
Taken from above in the mountains!

This past weekend, my friends and I made a trip to Blowing Rock for Art in the Park. For one Saturday each month, from May through October, the town of Blowing Rock hosts this event that showcases about 90 artists, featuring handcrafted jewelry, pottery, paintings, photography and more!

Have you ever seen such a cute little bunch of #hummingbirds? Made from acorns and leaves!! #ilovehandmade #crafts
Here is a hummingbird mobile I found.
The birds are made of pinecones and leaves, how clever is that?!

Can I have one of these for my little birdies please? #crafts #birdhouses #handmade
A whole array of decorative (and possibly functional?) birdhouses,
dressed up with everyday objects like doorknobs and old license plates.

#magnolia wall painting I acquired today. I love it!  #flowers
This is the painting I bought to dress up my plain white walls. It is a painting of magnolias,
for the magnolia trees that flank the sides of our house. I love it!

Beautiful day to be out and about! #blowingrock
At the end of the day, we drove to Moses Cone Memorial Park to take an evening stroll in the park. It was such a beautiful day with skies so blue, we couldn't have asked for better weather!

I hope you had a great weekend!

June 12 : 11 O'clock

June 12 : 11oclock #bedtimereading #gonegirl #ilovemykindle #fmsphotoaday

Currently reading : Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Here's one thriller I really got into. It's so fast paced I cannot put it down! The last one that captured my attention was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not the whole series. Just the first one.

I'm doing a GoodReads challenge of 15 books this year. Not many, that's only about one a month. I'm giving myself some slack for the weeks I go without reading *die! Candy Crush!* But I'm halfway through. 7 books into the year. Add me on Goodreads so we can share some books and compare some notes! I love science-fiction / fantasy, historical fiction, as well as classics! On occasion, I veer over to the Bestsellers' list. Some authors I adore include Orson Scott Card (for his Ender series), Neil Gaiman, and Oscar Wilde.

What are you reading at the moment?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 11 : Something funny

June 11 : something #funny father's Day card this year #fmsphotoaday

Here's a card I picked out for J's dad for Father's Day this year.

J's dad is a funny man, he says things like "Oh no, the Browns are going to the SuperBowl!" when he needs to use the bathroom. Or he turns abruptly to ask you "you know what?" And when you answer "What?" he says "I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy" totally dead-pan and serious. *Face palm*

I think J inherited a lot of that silliness and light-hearted banter that I love. He has certainly made me take myself less seriously, over the years that I've known him. It's pretty apt, because in my daily yoga reading, the entry today says
"The ability to laugh at yourself is a sign of mental health" (in a good way, i suppose!)

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 8 : An animal

June 8 : an animal #peacock I painted at a painting party #fmsphotoaday #whenyoudrinkwhileyoupaintyoucanbearty

For our friend's bachelorette party, we threw her a surprise painting party. There is a place in Charlotte called Painting with a Twist, where they hold painting classes. You pick a painting you like and they teach you how to paint it step by step. Our bride-to-be Jessica, loves peacocks, and her wedding colors are peacock-inspired hues of blues and purples. So this painting was perfect!

@jben0923 bachelorette party! Love you girl! Hope you had fun!

I can't wait for her wedding in August! It'll be in Binghamton, so J & I will head on down to NYC after! If you have places to see or restaurants to recommend, send them my way pretty please!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

News from the garden : After the rain...

Since my next few photo-a-day entries revolve around the garden, I decided to compile everything into one post, to save you from the agony of my blog-bombing.

June 5 : #environment this is where I'm at - my garden!! #backyardfarming #organic #swisschard #mint #herbs #squash #vegetables #fmsphotoaday #onedaylate
June 5 : Environment -- My garden of course.

Clockwise from top
| swiss chard | squash | herbs | mint |

First squash blossom! #toeatornottoeat our squash and zucchini are coming up next! #backyardfarming #gardening #organic #growsomethinggreen
Here's our very first squash blossom! Once they start blossoming, there's no stopping these plants! My marigolds are right next to them, and I'm so afraid they'll be overshadowed by the squash! My marigolds need plenty of sunshine!!

June 7 : my first #bright #nasturtium bloom after the rain! #flowers #fmsphotoaday #nature

June 7 : Bright

My entry for today is our very first nasturtium! Did you know you can eat the flowers?
But after seeing the flowers, I don't think I can bring myself to eat them.
J is a little less sympathetic. This one he plucked right off and popped into his mouth. :(

June 9 : from down low, somewhere on the ground, the #swisschard is quietly growing #backyardfarming #growsomethinggreen #fmsphotoaday #yummy

June 9 : From down low

Somewhere on the ground, the Swiss chard is quietly growing.
I just love how Swiss Chard looks. Especially up close.
The hues, the patterns of the veins, the contrast of the yellows, greens and reds.

We harvested our green beans! #gardening #backyardfarming #organic #ilovevegetables

Then finally,
a very uninspiring picture of our harvested green beans.
But they do taste oh so delicious!

That's all folks!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 4 : After dark ...

June 4 : #afterdark entertainment one of my favorite shows!! #fmsphotoaday

One of my favorite shows on TV right now ... So You Think You Can Dance! I just watched an audition tonight of a geeky looking guy that did an amazing contemporary audition piece! I thought he was going to embarrass himself horribly because of his goofy interview before his audition, but man, he wowed all the judges and every one else in the audience! Which reminded me again to never judge a book by its cover! The judges invited his dad to dance on stage with him, to which they were both very good sport and danced their hearts out! I wished I remembered his name, but if you watched the episode too, you'd know who I was talking about.

The other show I'm crazy about now is Gordon Ramsey's Master Chef! It's back again! I'm already forming opinions of the contestants and taking sides! It's amazing how these shows suck you in! I need to watch less TV!! What are you watching at the moment?

June 3 : On my Table...

June 3 : on my table - a co-worker brought in some flowers to brighten everyone's day! #fmsphotoaday #flowers #colors #rainbow

My co-worker brought us some flowers from her daughter's wedding over the weekend! It was a small but colorful wedding with a tropical theme. They filled mini vases with gerbera daisies dyed in different colors as their table centerpieces. It was a small wedding so we didn't get to attend, but I can only imagine what fun it was! These flowers brightened my morning, and I was able to take on the rest of the hectic day!

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 2 : A moment ...

June 2 : a moment of rest after a weekend of fun #tiredpuppy #petstagram #dogs #dogstagram #miniboz #fmsphotoaday

A moment, please. A moment of quiet and rest for our little Scuff-ster.

He's recuperating from a wild weekend of fun with the others at the farm. We were there around the same time last year (sans puppies), but it proved to be a little challenging this time, with 3 dogs and a cat all under one roof! Mayhem!

Which explains why he looks at the camera pleadingly, "Mama, no more pictures pleaseeee".

June 1 : B is for ..

June 1 : B is for Benny!!! Still babysitting Benny, he's going home tomorrow, but for now he's enjoying running around the horse ranch #fmsphotoaday #dogs #dogsitting #dogstagram #petstagram


We now call him a myriad of names like Ben-Ben, Benny-Foo-Foo, Benjamin, Benjy, Mr. Benergy. I'm surprised he responds to all of them. He has been with us for a week now because his family is currently at Disney World in Florida. This past weekend we took him to the in-laws' horse ranch, and he's had a ball. We chased chickens, romped around with other doggies, terrorized a newborn stray kitty, and challenged a pony. Benny is going to be called the Dare-devil next.

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