Another good day in NYC.

On Saturday, my mom and I decided to make an impromptu trip into the city and have a little adventure for ourselves.

Bright and early, we hopped into the car and made our way into the city. The drive was quick and easy- probably because no one besides us is crazy enough to be adventuring at 8 am on a Saturday…just a guess.

To start the morning, we ran by the Chelsea Market. Most of the shops were still closed, but it’s always fun just to window shop.

Next, we headed over the High Line. I’ve always wanted to check it out, but never have. The High Line is the revamped site of a historic freight rail line over the streets of the West side.

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These pictures speak for themselves but…it was gorgeous on the High Line. There are plants everywhere, and some beautiful overlooks.

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This amazing painting was one of the best things we saw. An old classic made new!

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We stopped by Tenth Avenue Cookshop for brunch. I had the Huevos Rancheros- eggs, salsa, beans, and cheese. I couldn’t finish it all, but it was awesome nonetheless.

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The rest of the morning was filled with a long walk downtown –> Times Square, enjoying the sights. After that, we hopped on the TKTs line (discounted broadway tickets) and were able to If/Then– the musical Idina Menzel is currently starring in.

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After grabbing some water, we walked around and then headed to our show. Idina Menzel sang so well- and the rest of the cast was amazing too. The story line wasn’t the most fascinating ever, but the performance was outstanding.

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When we came out of the show, it was pouring rain. My mom and I hopped on the subway to get downtown. We were both pretty hungry- considering we hadn’t eaten since brunch! We ended up back at the Chelsea Market to have a quick bite. I had some salmon from a little market, and my mom grabbed a delicious sandwich.

The drive home went (surprisingly) without much traffic. By the time we got home, however, I was starving again. All the NYC walking + way less food than usual made me a hangry girl!

Snacks to round out the night (while I caught up on some studying at my computer):

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^^Gluten Free Banana Bread, almond butter, and chocolate chips^^

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^^Popcorn. Always a winner^^

It was an amazing day with my mom, and definitely a good mental break from all the time I’ve been spending with my MCAT notes!

Where’s your favorite place for a day trip?

And: check out the Treat Yourself Tuesday for more fun posts!

Christmas Classics

Do you guys have any special Christmas Classics//Holiday Season favorites? Living in New York the past 10 years {+ the fact that my mama grew up here} has turned me into a NYC Christmas addict. I am a firm believer that there is nothing like New York City at Christmas time…it’s simply magical. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend that you get into NYC– even just to walk around, window shop, and take in the spirit of the season!

Last week, my best friend Krista, her mom, my mom, and I headed into Manhattan together. It’s about a mile from my house to the train, so it’s easy for us to hop on and zone out for the trip! It’s almost a 2 hour train ride but we always have too much catching up to notice.

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^Good ol’ Empire State Building^

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^Macy’s decorates pretty well :)^

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^We ate at John’s Pizzeria— super touristy! But it used to be a church, which is really cool. Also see above ^^ we tried to take about 1000 pictures but… we only got one where we were both looking at the same camera.^

After lunch, it was time for the main event– the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!! Featuring our New York City Rockettes. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do during the holiday season. It has lots of numbers– from the Reindeer, to the Santas, to the famous Tin Solider number, and finally– it ends with a gorgeous nativity scene. Nothing like it to put you in the Christmas spirit. And there is a live orchestra to boot!

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^Holiday ready^

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^Nativity Scene… breathtaking.^

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^oh yea… it snowed inside!^

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^The Rockettes!^

After the show, we wandered around the city for a bit longer before realizing there was a train in 20 minutes… so we sprinted to the station and make it there 30 seconds before the doors closed. I was pretty sleepy on the train ride home.. but that just meant snuggle time with the best friend.

The perfect start to the holiday season!

Do you have any holiday traditions?

Anything that makes you feel like it’s really time for the holiday season?

roadtrippin’- day 1.

Yesterday was the first day of roadtrip 2013- Livi and Madre take to the road. The drive down to my school is only 14 hours {is that an oxymoron?}. The morning started with making sure everything was squared away.

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^not going to lie….I have a lot of stuff. Clothes is one thing, but I’m also moving into an apartment for the first time {with 3 other lovely ladies} so my mom and I have been collecting pots/pans/furniture/anything you could ever need EVER and…let me tell you, it all adds up! above is my leeeeeetle car packed to capacity. it’s like a really boring game of tetris.^

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^and yes…my mom’s car too. oops. told you we have a lot. She was already planning to drive her car down though, so thankfully it wasn’t a problem!^

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^we caravanned across the way, with me basically following her lead. It was painful at times. My mom is a great driver, but her preferred speed is at or 5-10 BELOW the speed limit…mine’s the opposite, aka 10-15 above. Don’t judge, we all do it. When you’re driving 50 miles on the same road….you can’t make me believe you stick to the speed limit the whole time…^

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source.

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^After driving for about an hour, we started to come up to the midtown tunnel, one of the ways to get off my beloved island. Then suddenly…it hit me. The route we had chosen was taking us right through Manhattan {traffic vs. distance was in our favor because of the time/day. Weekdays in the city…that’s another story}. I’ve never driven through Manhattan! And taxi drivers are scary man! I almost started freaking out but I just slapped myself on the leg {literally} and gave some positive self talk. I’m not going to lie…driving through Manhattan was definitely a stressful experience. At one point a lane ended right with no warning, and I had to merge right in front of one of those dreaded taxi drivers. A minute later a HUGE bus tried to edge me out of my lane. Hey bus, I may be small but I’m fierce.

Anyway, I made it. And managed to snap this cool picture while stuck in traffic!^

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^a little while later, we hit traffic in New Jersey, and I started to get antsy. I broke out my veggies, and started blasting some tunes. Diana Ross and the Supremes were excellent company :)^

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^traffic pics? why not.^

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^driving through the countryside of Pennsylvania was amazing.^

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^a quick lunch stop- yum berries!^

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^and then we made it! To stop numero 1…. the National Christmas Center. YES. There is a National Christmas Center, in Paradise Pennsylvania. It’s pretty perfect. I definitely recommend this to anyone and EVERYONE! It’s awesome for children, but I didn’t feel out of place either. You can learn all about the different Christmas traditions around the world, and see amazing artifacts from Christmas pasts. The property is ~20,000 square feet, and it is all filled with Christmas joy 🙂 The last 1/4 of the exhibit {it wraps around in a self guided tour manner} is dedicated to the real Christmas story. Oh. my. gosh. All the nativities were so beautiful, I wanted them. I loved that the tour ended with an emphasis on Jesus and the true importance and joy of Christmas.^

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^A giant train track from inside, wrapping around an entire room! Children’s dreams come true here! Long story short- go visit! You won’t regret it.^

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^by the time we arrived at our hotel for the night, we were both pretty wiped, so dinner consisted of some random car snacks we brought. Carrots, apple, and chickpeas for me {these are LEGIT delicious!}^

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^Followed by a quick 4 miler on the hotel treadmill. Ugh, my legs were definitely stiff after driving all day so it felt good + bad to stretch them!^

happy monday! I’ll be back with another update ASAP!

weekend in the city.

Fun fact: I am a twin!

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^do we look alike?!^

My twin is a Lance Corporal in the US Marine Corps- and I am so so proud of him! He lives far away in New Orleans now, so we only get to see him a few times a year 😦 He’s home now for 1.5 weeks, so we are taking full advantage of our time and living it up! This past weekend we went into the city for a little adventure. We went to see the Book of Mormon! Growing up just outside, NYC always calls to us when we’re home. Broadway always seems to get at least one visit from us.

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^a quick train ride in, and bam! Hello, Times Square…^

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^it was only about a half mile from Penn Station to our theater, but man it was so hot. By the time we got there, we were all sweating, but never too hot for a picture stop!^

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^I enjoyed the show. However, it was definitely not for everyone. If you’re not ready to laugh it off, it can be taken as very offensive. It looks at a lot of situations (like religion, struggles in Africa…) in a very stereotypical and mocking way. Plus strong language, so beware for children (or conservative parents ha! I know mine wouldn’t care for it). Besides that, the music was great, and the energy was HIGH which is something I always love in a show! So I would say I recommend it with some warnings :)^

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^beautiful daisies, fresh from our garden. fresh flowers just seem to perk up any room :)^

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^we filled the rest of our weekend with celebrations, family time, and working the pool scene^

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^and to round things out….definitely a creation I would classify as a pinterest hah! It was supposed to be a flag cake (like in my 4th of July post) but…. the white was too thick, the red was too thin, an the blue fell apart so I ended up with a slightly altered version. But I have to say…the icing was awesome! I made homemade whipped cream for the icing and I could just eat that with a spoon all day long! Yum!^

Whipped Cream for icing or eating with a spoon…. 😉

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 T sugar

1 T vanilla

        1. put in (preferably cold) mixing bowl and beat on medium-high until it stiffens up to the consistency you want

…..that’s it! literally. And you don’t even need the sugar, if you’re not into that! But seriously guys…if you use organic whipping cream, vanilla, and maybe agave instead of sugar, and you have yourself a pretty healthy treat! I’ll be back with a greek yogurt version soon- even better 🙂

a weekend for the books- part 2.

       On Saturday the boy and I headed into NYC for some fun! He hadn’t visited my amazing city since middle school, so I was excited to show him around.

After a train ride into Penn Station, and a subway ride downtown- we stepped into Chinatown. A NYC classic.

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^ waiting for the subway like fools ^

Unfortunately, he wasn’t too interested in shopping, so we headed from there over to Little Italy.

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We grabbed some double espresso (for me) and a tea (for him). He’s not nearly as addicted to caffeine as I am!

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^Just a cute find on the streets of Little Italy ^

Then a walk over to SoHo and down to Tribeca. I wanted to show him everything! And SoHo is one of my favorite areas of the city. By the time we wandered into Tribeca, we were getting pretty grumbly for lunch.

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We went to Kitchenette Restaurant and could not have been more satisfied with our meals! For Nate it was a bacon, egg, and cheese on a biscuit with grits on the side. So southern- which is ironic considering we go to school in South Carolina and he never eats southern food there!

For me, it was an egg white omelet with spinach and tomatoes, served on a whole wheat honey english muffin with a salad. Yum! I definitely recommend Kitchenette to anyone in the area- tourists or locals!

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After our lunchtime fun, we headed over to the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum. I was really looking forward to seeing this, because I haven’t been before, and it is such an important memorial for our great city and the people who live there. The memorial itself requires reservations beforehand (if you want to ensure getting in), but the actual entrance doesn’t cost anything (only a suggested donation for those who would like to help).

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^ an aerial view of the memorial taken from the WTC Museum and Memorial website ^

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^the memorial fountains inside (there are two) were truly breathtaking. I was surprised but glad to see how the mood changed from hustle and bustle on the streets to somber and respectful inside. It was really moving to be at the memorial and I am glad that we went. ^

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^from the memorial you can see the building of the various World Trade Centers. Of this, the Freedom Tower (aka One World Trade Center) is the most famous- when it’s completed it will be America’s tallest building- and a symbol of New York’s strength and resilience. ^

After our somber moment, we wandered through the streets, making a stop at St. Paul’s Chapel (Manhattan’s oldest building in continual use!)

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and passed a street protest about the political regime in Turkey. (read more here).

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then a quick subway alllllll the way uptown for some juice and some Central Park-ing.

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^ cute little guy chillin’ on the streets ^

before we knew it, our relaxing time in Central Park had flown by, and it was time to get dinner before heading to see our show! We wandered down into Hell’s Kitchen and found and adorable little italian place- 44 & X.

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^ we started with some roasted peppers on garlic bread (so good)

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^ for the main course, the boy had pasta with ‘spicy marinara’ and I went for the ‘stuffed eggplant’ with apples, raisins and cornbread inside. It was unique and delicious! Plus roasted veggies on the side are always a plus. ^

then we headed back to the Theater District to see Once the musical. It was cute and quirky with some really great music! Then a late train ride back home….

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^for the end to a perfect day in nyc!^

it was a great weekend and I’m glad the boy got to see the highlights of manhattan!

do you have some favorite NYC activities?

on my mind.

New York has been my home for the past 10+ years and I love it more every day. It’s quirky, unique, magnificent, and one of a kind.

In my dreams I’ll end up living in a Manhattan penthouse, but who know..so I’ll just enjoy it while I can!

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all images found via pinterest