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LIFE: Adios 2013, Hello 2014!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Today you are you. 
That is truer than true. 
There is no one alive 
who is youer than you."
- Dr. Seuss

Mirror selfie at Eataly
Eataly 12/2013
I used to sit and make a list of resolutions for the New Year, but I'm not a fan of doing that much anymore. I often find it a lot more personal to kickstart major personal changes on my birthday, but even then - I have a theory that waiting for a specific time to start something only puts unnecessary pressure and stress on getting it done and sometimes the "challenge" of having a deadline can often cause you to fake success in fear of disappointing yourself or others. On the flipside, you may just abandon ship if hitting the finish line isn't in sight by the "time's up" mark.

Fundamental changes are important and they take time. Anyone who successfully loses weight and keeps it off can tell you that. 

So while I don't have any resolutions, just goals that I'm still working towards and hoping to realizar next year, I will make this promise to myself - from here on out I promise to be as true to who I am as I possibly can. 

Hoping you all have a great New Year's Eve & Day! I'm looking forward to what 2014 will bring us :} 

LIFE: Put your "trash" on Craigslist

Friday, December 27, 2013

"One man's trash is another man's treasure."

Every time I hear that saying I remember the days when I lived out in Long Island and how I'd window shop my wealthy neighbors' trash from the car. Perfectly good TV's, desks, chairs, couches ... it hurts even now to think that all that went to waste and not instead donated to the Salvation Army or Good Will. 

Good thing that in the age of technology, you don't even have to donate to an organization - you can find a pool of "trash" window shoppers right on craigslist! 

Earlier today I posted an image of a Encyclopedia set in the trash and an IG-er commented the following: "Why couldn't someone post this on Craigslist? (Sigh)" There are "appropriate" responses to this, but none of them could really make up for the waste. 

Perhaps people don't think anyone would want this... but then again I've seen crazier stuff given away on CL and even crazier people who jump on the opportunity! 

What do you think? Have you guys posted your trash on craigslist? 

EVENT: Indie Video Game Exhibit at Museum of the Moving Image

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo Source: Museum of the Moving Image Website
TGIF!~ Although I haven't been keeping up with my Blogmas challenge as religiously as I would have wanted to, I'm really proud of myself for having posted A LOT more frequently than ever (and not just garbage nada kinda content either...) Take a few minutes today to pat yourself on the back for the effort you put into life! 
Okay, on the post!

Earlier today I saw Flavorpill's post about the Indie Video Game Exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image that opened on December 14th. The exhibit is interactive allowing visitors to play up to 25 original arcade games for the awesome price of $12! There are also chances to enroll in tournaments!
For more information check out the Exhibit's Page.

TECH: LINE Camera App = Christmas Fun Photos!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Last night I downloaded the LINE Camera App which was recommended to me either on LINE itself or somewhere in the App Store. I'm a sucker for free camera apps, so I went ahead and downloaded it to check it out for myself. I haven't been able to stop!~ I took pictures (I already had) of all the animals I know and made cute little Christmas card-like images of them! 

This is a perfect way of making a Christmas card on the go if you don't really have time to take the perfect holiday picture or if you can't find time to go online and search through hundreds of layouts and such. I made two of these on the train ride to work!!  

I'm thinking of getting the one of Nestle and Mr. Cadbury (my guinea piggies) printed as holiday cards!

Instagram Tip: If you're going to use LINE Camera to make images for Instagram, make sure to set the ratio of the crop 1:1 so that Instagram doesn't cut out any of your amazing creation in the transfer over!

LIFE: Wrap it up!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Things you used to do in college that you don't do anymore... 
Decorate your [front] door with wrapping paper! 

Living in NYC is expensive and it's no surprise that most of us here don't own - we rent.
Elevators aren't mandatory, doormen even less so and cheerful decorum? - hahahahahahaha! 
So, you really have to take charge and spice up your life :) 
Make coming home more exciting even before you walk through the front door! 

My roommate and I threw a party this past weekend, and I thought it'd be real exciting for the guests to get into the holiday spirit from the moment they walk into the apartment. It's amazing how a $8 investment can really liven things up. I loved the way this turned out, and the wreath my roommate made really popped against the red! 

It's always the little things :) ~ How do you guys get yourselves into the holiday spirit?
What are ways that you guys spice up your everyday activities?

VIDEO: What are YouTube Fans Called?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Going off of True Blood's "Trubies," I'm thinking Tubies? (Too-bees) Yes? Alright, we'll figure that out later.

Anyway, earlier today I received an email congratulating me on being part of the first 5% to "discover" one of the top ten videos of YouTube in 2013!~ Finally (!!) recognition for all the hours that I've spent on YouTube watching cat video after cat video ( I kid, I kid. ) but seriously, it was pretty cool to get that email. (Props YouTube, props.)

Of the 10 videos, this was the only one I hadn't seen! (/gasp) Evian totally blew me away with this cute and clever ad for their campaign. Still can't believe I missed it, but better late than never right?


Btw, with the exception of last Saturday and the first two days of December, I'm not doing too bad with this Blogmas challenge! :) 

FILM: "A Band Called Death" & "The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Today is the first official Snow Day of NYC!~ :} It's a day for hot chocolate, PJs, Christmas lights and working your way down the Netflix queue and FINALLY getting around to some of those films you saved for just this kinda day! (That Charlie Brown Christmas joint would really hit the spot right about now.)

This past Sunday was cold and cloudy, the right combination for staying home and re-discovering my Netflix account. I got to watch two documentaries A Band Called Death and The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. Both films were motivational and inspirational. If you're looking for thought provoking non-fictional films, look no further! 

If anyone else has seen any of these, I'd love to know your thoughts! 

MUSIC: "Right Down The Line"

Monday, December 9, 2013

Today's Blogmas post is #MusicMonday oriented.

I'd usually rave about a recently released track obsession, but actually this track by Gerry Rafferty is a 1970's throwback and it's been on repeat for the past week on my Spotify.

It's such a sweet and honest track - the perfect dedication song! (hint hint fellas ;})

Although I'm at work late tonight, this week's already starting off great!~ And  listening to this is only making it better.

LIFE: The Interborough Playdate

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Was so excited to finally get a chance to hang out one-on-one with my girlfriend yesterday. It was a much needed ladies day out! First we hit up the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg for some browsing pleasure - I can see how someone could easily go through 4-5 hours of their day shopping around in there. The food court alone is a maze of delicious smells! Before heading out, we made sure to stop by and take some pictures - Christmas sweaters, lights, hats and all!~ 

Then we headed on over to the Lower East Side to check out what all the hype about Otto's Tacos was all about.  (I'm about to drool just thinking about it... ) Between my girlfriend and I, we got to try out four of the six tacos they offer - Carnitas (Pork), Chicken, Mushroom and Shrimp. Let me just say that what really makes these tacos stand apart from others I've tasted is at the foundation - the tortillas that are used are all handmade (right there, in yo face!) and are oh so tasty! Nothing is greasy and everything is cooked to tender perfection. My only complaint is that there's no bathroom !! :{ Since tacos are eaten with your hands (usually) it'd be nice to have a place to sanitize my hands. I'd recommend bringing a bottle of hand sanitizer with you. But overall, I'm marking it down as a successful discovery! 

Fueled with taco goodness, we were energized enough to both find some great dresses on sale at MACY*S and Banana Republic! 

Shopping Tip: If you're on a budget, (Hello!) start your shopping from the BACK of the store. Most sales racks are housed there, and there are often GREAT finds that are more affordable! ;} 

Oh! And here's a picture of me and the infamous Astor Place cube - I was getting my Superman on!

FOOD / DIY: Spiced Orange Air Freshener

Friday, December 6, 2013

Earlier today I was craving my grandma's bacalao, so when I got home I settled for second best - rice with octopus, squid, tuna & a red onion salad!~ ay ay ay que rico! ;} 
As much as I love these seafood dishes, the lingering smells aren't as pleasant - especially when it sticks to your clothing! And naturally, abuelita's got a home remedy for that!

For this you'll need the following: 
- 1 orange

And one or more of these: 
- cloves
- cinnamon (sticks or ground) 
- ginger (preferably ground) 
- ground nutmeg 

-  Peel the orange**
- Fill a medium size pot with luke warm water
- Add the orange peel and a pinch of any of your ground ingredients and/or a few cinnamon sticks.
- boil on a medium low heat
- Enjoy the amazing smell!~

**If you keep the orange peel in tact all the way through the peeling process, you'll have the chance to make a wish at the end. This belief was passed down to me from my grandma, and till this day, I always do my best to keep the peel together :)

Happy wishing!

LIFE: "Practical Genius"

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'll begin with an excerpt. (page 59)

The "Nothing"
Remember the 1984 children's film, The Neverending Story? It was based on a German fantasy novel about a young boy's quest to save Fantasia, a land without boundaries that was created by the dreams and hopes of mankind. Fantasia was slowly dying as people lost their imaginations and ability to dream to an emptiness and despair that were referred to as the "Nothing."

"People who have no hopes are the easiest to control," said the servant to the power behind the Nothing... I think that today many of us are unconsciously falling under the power of the Nothing, abdicating our imaginations and courage to dream and hope and tell our whole stories in the real world. (end quote)

I got the book Practical Genius: The Real Smarts You Need to Get Your Talents and Passions Working for You a few weeks ago when I attended a Latina Empowerment conference hosted by Proud To Be Latina. I've finally gotten around to reading it (and I'm about half way through), and it's been a very encouraging and empowering read thus far and although it is FILLED with quotables, I felt that the excerpt above hit close to home.
It's always worth examining and learning different ways to discover and incorporate our personal passions into our professional goals and this does a good job of providing a solution.

(Photo source: Guardian Express)
I'd like to take a second to acknowledge the passing of a hero and great inspirational leader, Nelson Mandela. The passing of our heroes often remind us of how human they still are, despite their greatness and how in being human ourselves we have within us the same capacity to be as great.

Mandela, I promise to honor your legacy through my words and through my actions.

FOOD: DOUGH (Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Welcome to the second Blogmas post (inspired by Anna Saccone).

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I was introduced to some of the best doughnuts in NYC (and they happen to be a few blocks away from my apartment !!!). Dough is a quaint little spot in Bed-Stuy where the doughnuts are made by hand (Bonus: you get to watch them make it from behind the window in-store!). They've got your typical glazed and cinnamon sugar flavors, but I wanted to try one of their more exotic flavors including their blood orange filled doughnut and their passion fruit glazed sensation!

A bite of these and a good ole cup of Cafe Bustelo made my Saturday afternoon all the better.

For a dose of dough on social, check out their Facebook page.

And while we're on the topic of food, here's a picture of the amazing enchiladas that my roommate cooked up a few weeks ago when my Mexican food craving was going hard.

LIFE: Making Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The countdown has officially begun! In a little over three weeks I'll be celebrating Christmas 2013 with the family. The year feels like it flew by, but when I look back to where I was last year I see all the amazing progress that I've made and all the hard work seems that much more worth it!~ :}

Before I dive into anything else I just want to highlight my awesome find first!
While on Google searching for Uncle Grandpa memes (don't ask... ) I found these awesome images featuring Pizza Steve (Uncle G character) and I clicked through to the source and hit the mother load of awesome!

Nina Levy is a mother of two that takes "napkin lunchbox notes" to a whole other level!
Definitely check out her blogspot and Facebook page! This is pretty f*cking dope (excuse the language)!

Artwork by Nina Levy ( source: Daily Napkins)
With 22 days left until the big day I'm quickly assembling my present pile and since my gifts will have to be a bit smaller than usually I wanted to try and up my gift wrapping game. I've been watching YouTube videos on different styles of wrapping and bow making.

Here's one I'm going to keep as creative arsenal :}

FOOD: Dominican Style Hot Chocolate

Monday, November 25, 2013

Is there anything more comforting than something out of your grandma's kitchen?
(check out this link of grandmas around the world and their favorite cultural dishes: Happiness Here!)

With the weather dipping below November appropriate temperatures, I can't help but reminisce over mornings when I'd wake up to the smell of my grandma's hot chocolate and a toasty breakfast sandwich!~ (ay! I had it good)

Lucky for me a few weeks ago when I visited my abuelita, she sent me home with a nice little bundle of cocoa balls - fresh from the campos of DR! <3

I've whipped up a few cups since then and every time is better than the last (I'm anxiously counting down my stash!!) Besides the 100% Dominican cocoa, what makes Dominican hot chocolate different? Well in my opinion, if you want to make yourself a good cup of chocolate caliente you gotta add two things - salt and cinnamon sticks.

Although this isn't exactly a recipe, here's how I throwdown in the kitchen when it comes to hot chocolate:

  • Measure 2 cups of milk and pour into a small pot.
  • Add two cinnamon sticks BEFORE boiling. 
  • Start off with medium low heat and add your chocolate.
  • Stir until chocolate is dissolved and then add a pinch of salt (taste and add more if needed)
  • Serve and allow the cinnamon sticks to sit in your drink :} 
Not everyone has a stash of Dominican chocolate at home, so if you don't already have a favorite cocoa, I'd suggest using Nestle's Abuelita brand hot chocolate! - I suggest the brick chocolate over the powdered form. And just like that you've got yourself a good ol' taza de felicidad!~

And since we're on the topic of chocolate, check out these pancakes I made a few weeks ago! That chocolate layer is actually Trader Joe's Speculoos - the recipe for the pancakes themselves can be found HERE. If you try them out, let me know how it turns out! :}

MUSIC: Choklate & Kwabs

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall is here, and if these mustard colored leaves outside my window aren't enough to convince you, the icy breeze will! ~ Sometime in the last two weeks we hit the low 30's and that officially marked the beginning of "cuffing season," and with it comes the cute layered outfits and the cuddle-worthy sexy time music :}

If you haven't already, check out these artists below and make sure to add them to your "in the groove" mixes!~ ;} You'll be glad you did.

First up, Choklate's "Carbon Copy." (via SoulBounce)
I've checked out the rest of her 2012 Fly EP and it's definitely worth the iTunes splurge.

Next is Kwabs (short for Kwabena Adejpong) :} "Perfect Ruin." (via okayafrica)
Another amazing British artist to add to my rapidly growing list!

LIFE: Halloween Photo Dump

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Must have partied too hard on Halloween, cause I was sick with some kind of ick for a good week and half after! I've got some coughs and sniffles left in me, but I'm finally well enough to get out a post or two, so here goes! Figured I'd kick things off with photos from my Dia De Los Muertos inspired Halloween getup :} 
Found this wine at Trader Joe's Wine Shop on 14th st. (NYC)
Anyone who knows me personally knows I often use "Dearly Beloved" the name of my favorite 
Kingdom Hearts song as a User ID, so I had to take a pic! 

At the local bar - NoBar on Nostrand Ave. 

My partner in crime dressed up as a sexy wild cat! Our makeup and outfits are SO on point :} 

Outfit details: 
Dress: Jimmy's, Bangles: H&M, Shoes: F21 Japan, Tights: UNIQLO HeatTech Tights

FOOD: Tenoli Eats...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Do you like my Jessie Steele apron? :}
When I moved I knew I'd finally be back to cooking on a daily, so I wanted to invest in a cute apron. I was able to snag this one on Ideeli for something like $20~
Usually I'm exhausted or just too engrossed in my cooking to stop and take a picture, but I've been on the ball recently and wanted to share some snapshots of the dishes I've been whipping up!

And if this isn't right on topic... On gothamist today I saw a poster for a movie called Spinning Plates. The movie follows the story behind three restaurants and their owners. Unlike Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Spinning Plates promises to be a real tear-jerker! Burnt down restaurant? Bankruptcy? Tongue cancer?!
:{ For a little taste, check out the trailer below!

Pumpkin PieMini Pumpkin Pies

This past week the roomie and I tackled pumpkin pie production from SCRATCH! 
And much to the delight of our taste buds, it turned out amazing!~ Buen provecho!


As for dinner, last Friday I made tilapia sandwiches and paired it with Ommegang's Three Philosophers Ale - Strong! Coupled with full stomachs, it knocked us out fast! 
(Sandwich: Portuguese bread, red onion, basalmic vinegar, ground pepper, spinach & tartar sauce)

Earlier this week I paired some artichoke ravioli with spinach, mushroom & yellow zucchini. 
Add some garlic, olive oil (or butter) and parmesan cheese on top, and you've got perfection! 

FOOD: New York Cider Week & Edible Escape!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Did you know that if you look up the word "Foodie" in the Urban Dictionary that you get THIS?

Earlier this week while I was waiting in line at the Geek Squad counter, I had a conversation with a fellow customer and I used the word to describe myself (for the first time ever). He replied with my opening question... /facepalm

Doesn't that kinda ish always happen? You do something for the first time and it goes "wrong." lol

Anyways, back to the fun stuff!~

NY Food Festival
A few days ago I stumbled upon a deal for the 3rd Annual Edible Escape so I took a second to check around on their site.

The one day food festival is perfect for lovers of international cuisine. The idea is to travel around the world by tasting dishes from different regions - sushi, croissants, pasta - don't mind if I do!~

Tickets are $80, but you can snag this deal and get them for $35!

My other great find was New York's Cider Week! (Fitting since I live in the Big Apple...)
I browsed the list of events (skimming mostly for the word "Free Tasting" - don't judge me, I'm on a budget!) and was excited to find out there will be two events kicking off the week in Brooklyn!~

Saturday October 19th
10AM-1PM Apple & Cider Festival 
(Grand Army Plaza)
2PM-6PM Bed-Stuy's 1st Annual Oktoberfest
(Bed-Vyne Brew) Woo-hoo!~ 

Speaking of beer, I'm looking forward to the Girls Pint Out event at the Brooklyn Brewery next week!

A friend from out-of-town and I were celebrating his birthday at the Brewery last week, and we each snagged their designed-for-Comic Con beer glass <3

Beer Defenders? Yes we are!
(btw, their Defender ale is DELICIOUS!)

FOOD: It's October! Time for Bier!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hoppy October everyone! Beer festivals are popping up left and right and us beer aficionados couldn't be any happier!~
"Got Beer?" Shanis circa 2011
My love with beer began sometime in my second year of college. Although most of my friends dubbed it "Mexican piss water" - Corona will always be my first beer love. (Proud of it! - Squeeze a slice of lime in a chilled bottle and taste heaven.) As a college student, I felt the only thing I had to know about beer was which ones were drinkable (Corona, Heineken, Guiness) and which were meant for drunken frat boys and beer pong (steel reserve, keystone light, etc).

Things quickly changed after I graduated and mingled with real world adults; I suddenly found myself drowning in a sea of brewery names and beer types I had never heard of (IPA? Stout? Lager? Pilsner? Ale? - Say what?). And that's when I realized that I needed to step up my beer game. I went on to try all different kinds of beers.

Since my visit to the Brooklyn Brewery earlier this year, I've been determined to visit more local breweries and try to attend the myriad of New York based beer festivals.

The (growing) list of Fall bier events kicks off this weekend! Check it out below! ~

The Village Voice Brooklyn Pour
It's this Saturday October 12th 3-6PM in Fort Greene (Brooklyn) at the original Williamsburg Savings Bank (Sweet!~)

General Admission tickets are $50 - for a chance at sampling over 100 brews, that's a deal! It includes a souvenir cup, music, access to delicious food vendors and admission to beer talks - ranging from Beer Photography to Urban Homebrewing to Beer + Technology!~ Super excited!

Girl's Pint Out NYC Inaugural Event
Just the other day, as I was complaining about how sad I was that so few females I know enjoy beer like I do, I came across the Brooklyn Brewery's tweet about the event happening on October 21st. Not only is it it the celebration a kickoff of GPO's NYC chapter, but there'll be ladies who work in the brewing business present to talk about working in the industry. And if that wasn't enough - the event is also the 8th birthday of Hollaback! - a nonprofit organization dedicated to cracking down on street harassment by using the aid of digital technology (<-- this is so kick a*s!)

Tickets are $35! For a night of beer, pretzels & cake - that's a bargain!

NYC Craft Beer Festival
Although this Festival's not until the end of next month, it's worth to note that the ticket volume has decreased, and although there will be three separate sessions (two on Saturday November 23rd and one on Sunday November 24th), it'd probably be best to try and snag your tickets sometime before the end of this month! :}

Ticket prices range from ($49-$135*)
*Note: there are early bird ticket specials and different packages!
I will say that the Connoisseur tickets are extremely tempting - an extra hour of sampling, free food, an exclusive lounge area, a "fast check out" line and music?! :} I just might break the piggy bank for this one!~

Cheers! And may you all have a wonderful (beer-filled) Fall! ~ :}

FASHION: Falling Into The Red

Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's that time of year again in New York when everyone starts making a transition from summer to fall. The weather's not sure it's ready to give up the heat and neither are you, but you're loving layers (yes, you are!) and it's hard to say "no" to the perfect September day. 

ASOS Curve (like so many of my favorite online retailers) has most of their summer best on sale! ($$$) So I snagged this Body Conscious Egyptian Print Dress and rocked it with my "leather" UNIQLO jacket and fresh-out-da-box Adi-das! :} I have to say, I'm really liking how the red, green and black came together so nicely (I usually plan outfits out in my head, so when they turn out right, I'm one happy gal!)

Red Adidas

I’m excited to finally own a pair of (mostly) red kicks and just in time too! Red is one of my fall go-to colors, which is why I was so devastated when I discovered that Sephora OPI had discontinued their metallic red "Sample Sale" nail polish (RIP). Determined to find a comparable red, I picked up "Jag-U-Are" by Essie at Harmon's last week; it was perfect! I've been a pretty loyal OPI fan, but let me tell you - the Essie polish required no top coat for the shine, dried quickly and lasted a fairly long time (& I wash dishes and all that housework crap - so you know that's something).

Also decided to spice things up and pick up a pack of nail sticker decorations. Revlon has a collection that's inspired by the Fashion Week runway trends and this mosaic one caught my eye! :} The stickers were easy to use and lasted more than a week!! (A+) I'd definitely recommend them~

Essie and RevlonRed Nailpolish

My Fall red collection is far from complete! I'm hoping to add a red coat and dress to the mix real soon!~
Would love to hear what others go-to colors are for Fall :}

FASHION: November Rain

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Valuable life lesson number #45: Be proactive, not reactive. 

In life, there are the actions we take in reaction to a situation (i.e. buying a shitty $5 umbrella from some man on the corner during a "sudden" thunderstorm) and actions we take in preparation for certain situations. Now, while we can't be prepared for everything in life, it's good to eliminate running into certain situations (read: soaked socks) whenever possible.

In other words, this Fall I promised myself I would save up and get a decent pair of rain boots, so that I won't have to walk home in squishy wet socks ever again... (this has happened more than it should - the shame)

The other day while perusing the Fall edition of InStyle I came across Rag & Bone x Hunter rain boots. Now, I've always considered a pair of Hunter boots but I've never been thoroughly convinced I should own a pair or that the money was even worth it. This collaboration, however, has got me SOLD.

The equestrian style, the slanted opening, the two toned boot overall and let's not forget my favorite feature, the side zipper, which eliminates the horror of having to pull the boots up over my jeans, calves, etc.

While the price isn't necessarily my cup of tea ($265-$295 a pair) they seem to be worth the investment, and this time, not only for their quality but also their style. (I heard great things about Hunter, like "They don't make your feet sweat!" & that's quite the plus!)

Gonna wrap things up with the song that inspired the title of this blog post! (Bringing ya back to 1992! ;})


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On the list of sh*t you should never draw on, money is WAY up there, so you can imagine my tabooish delight when I attended the opening reception of James Charles' art exhibit at ArtNow NY. But this ain't like your ordinary break-the-rules doodling. James Charles takes money art to a whole new level. As far as I know, nothing like has ever been done before. No canvas, just mula

And it's not just the faces he's altered, take a look at the text on each of the pieces... It's all customized to spell out phrases that go along with the familiar faces. From Ren and Stimpy to Willy Wonka and his overworked Oompa Loompa to Jack Nicholson's Shinning Johnny and even Chairman Mao - James Charles does a GREAT job of capturing each character's most defining details and transforms the everyday commodity into a work of (pop culture) art. 

The show "333 Portraits On The Devil's Toilet Paper" is running from now till September 28th! Don't miss your chance to check out the exhibit and if you're lucky, snatch up one of these pieces for your own collection! Guaranteed, you'll never look at your Benjamins the same again.

LIFE: Environmental Consciousness

Monday, September 16, 2013

Since my move to Brooklyn, I'm once again in charge of shopping for groceries and household necessities.

So, the other night when I went on a run to get some much needed detergent I purposely forced myself to check out alternatives to my usual Tide of choice and came across Walgreens' eco friendly brand, ology.

I bought the detergent (w/o scent) and the fabric softener (lavender/vanilla) to test it out. For $5.99 it wasn't very much of a financial risk, so why not?  I didn't have very high expectations, but I used it for the first time this weekend and was very happy with the results. It worked great on stains and left a soft clean smell.

It's too soon to claim my loyalty, but so far so good.

You can also check out Savvy Brown's review on these ology products. She's got a great site where she talks about how to be eco-friendly on a budget! (bookmarked!)

MUSIC / EVENT: Earthtronix X Vampires @ Happy Ending Lounge

Friday, September 13, 2013

What better way to shake off the superstitious blues than to dance them away? Fall into the funky trance tonight at Happy Ending Lounge and catch DJs Archetyp and Earthtronix' Moleculez spinning from 10P-4A!

While you wait to get down, check out the Earthtronix EP that dropped earlier this week: The Unknown. Unseen.

A drop of knowledge: All months that start on Sunday have a Friday the 13th ;}

FOOD: Batman Bakes Cupcakes [ Nerdy Nummies ]

Saturday, September 7, 2013

With Comic Con 2013 right around the corner, all us geeks are eagerly prepping to party it up that weekend. In my case, this year I'd like to host a video game/comic themed gathering and have been researching the different kinds of foods I can mold to fit my theme :} 

Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE Batman - so why pass up on a chance to show case my affection the best way I know how - food! :} 

Not only is this video helpful, it freakin' hilarious! I couldn't keep a straight face at work when I came across it, so I was forced to save the rest of it for viewing at home. (Btw, Nerdy Nummies is a GREAT channel for learning how to translate all your nerd love into delicious treats! I recommend subscribing!) 


MUSIC: KING & Laura Mvula in NYC!

Friday, September 6, 2013

!!!  With Amber (KING) 9/4/13 @ Music Hall of Wiliamsburg
When KING announced their tour a few weeks ago, I dropped everything I was doing at work and bought the tickets!

There are very few artists/groups that I feel this strongly about (Michael Kiwanuka, Gary Clark Jr., Adele, Kendrick Lamar - to name a few), but it's hard NOT to fall in love with KING. They're a melodically soulful trio from the West Coast generously gifting us with the sound of music. REAL music. (this is opinion, we can agree to disagree...) Their 3 track EP is easily one of the most played compilations on my iTunes, and I haven't come across a single person that I haven't shared their music with since I was introduced.

So now finally, after almost two years of (not-so) patiently waiting, the hour was here! On Wednesday, their first night performing in NYC, I got a chance to witness the magic first hand :} All the YouTube videos in the world couldn't prep me for this. They were charming and humble women who are obviously passionate about their music and that made the show all the more enjoyable!

Laura Mvula! 9/4/14 @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Laura Mvula was up next. I hadn't had much exposure to her music before the tour announcement, but "Green Garden"'s not an easy song to ignore. It's infused with so much positive energy, you find yourself clapping along - voluntarily.  Any great artist surpasses expectations and Laura was no exception. Her connection to the fans was top shelf! She was a real person - humble and grateful. There's a magical grace in the way she laughs and moves; she's really going through something when she sings. Her honesty and the level of intimacy in her performance style, and consequently the vulnerability of those moments, really connects you to her. That's one of her greatest strengths.
Needless to say, next time you're in NYC Laura, I'm there!

After the show I copped a vinyl copy of KING's EP which includes two unreleased interludes (score!), and I also got a chance to meet Amber who was incredibly sweet (pictured at the top)! Fans can expect their debut album to drop sometime in January 2014! 
"In The Meantime" I'll keep replaying the sweet memory of my experience :}

LIFE: Own Your Happiness!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hands down, 2013 kicks ass in terms of most productive year so far in my adult life. 
That's not to say that any of my triumphs came without hardship, but I'm already looking back at this year and thinking "Oh man, I did that? Sweet!" 
And there's nothing wrong with a doing a little victory dance every now and then in your honor! (*cue FF7 victory music!*) 

Own Your Happiness! 

All things walk a fine line, it's all about how they're done. 
For example, knowing how to talk positively about yourself is a great skill to have, I mean, afterall that's what a good job interview requires, but humbly so and in the right setting or else you're just a narcissist. See what I mean? 

So make sure you take the time to remind yourself of your blessings, don't be ashamed of finding yourself at a high point and invite your friends to celebrate and partake of your beautiful life!

On a similar tip, this song's got all the right kind of vibes ~ :}

Discovered this song at work. So lucky to have co-workers with such great music tastes!

TRAVEL: Doing it SOLO!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New York, US to San Juan, PR
"Why the hell would anyone want to travel alone?!"

But anyone who has shopped alone will tell you, there's a freedom that comes with doing things solo dolo.

Recently I took a spontaneous trip to Puerto Rico, and had I had it my way, Mama Dukes and several of my closest friends and family members would have been on board with me, but a last minute plan means you risk your offer getting declined - and that's EXACTLY what happened.

So, I either had the option of losing the chance to fly ROUNDTRIP to San Juan for $110 or go to a place I've NEVER been and make something out of nothing, ALONE. So I said "F*CK IT!" and booked the flight!

After my trip I can honestly say that traveling alone is underrated :}

Why? Because you do what you want, when you want & how you want! Best deal, if you ask me ~ :}

Best lone travel tips? 

Stay at a hostel. Yes, a hostel! 
Despite the terrifying horror movie series that gave hostels their bad reputation, they are actually great places for lone travelers to meet OTHER lone travelers. Everyone at the hostel I was staying at (Island Time Hostel) had traveled there alone. It reminded me of college or better yet my study abroad experience in Japan!
Hostels are great for your budget and usually have staff that is knowledgeable about the area's local activities, best transportation options and cheap food hot spots!

Don't bring your valuables! 
This mostly applies if you're staying at a hostel. Personally you have less to feel responsible over which equals less worry. Some hostels offer some form of a safe box, but I find it easier to eliminate the problem altogether (leave the Louis and Kors at home ;})

Bring cash. 
Even though I'm talking about this from an international travel experience standpoint, this could apply to domestic travel as well. Bank fees are a pain, especially if you're traveling on a budget so avoid that ish all together and carry a good amount of paper mula, dispersed or well hidden among your belongings.

Create a one page information print out.
Despite this being the almighty digital age, there are times when it fails us. It never hurts to create a simple one page word document of all the information you'll need on your trip including addresses, flight confirmations and even phone numbers of loved ones (remember when people actually remembered those?)

I hope this has inspired all of you considering the venture to toss the hesitation aside and go for it!

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