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30 April 2014

Travel Tips for NYC

NYC is a wonderful place and a tourist attraction for millions each year . Obviously tourists help the economy, and make NYC the beautiful city it is but I think travelers should be given some tips when entering this crazy concrete jungle.

1) Taxi Cabs- these are greatest things in existence but to hail one you first need to find one that is actually open. Want to know the trick? If the numbers on the top of the cab are lit up then 95% of the time that means the cab is available! No lights- no cab. I can't even tell you the amount of dirty looks tourists give cabs when they drive-by and don't stop. And if you see a light on- scream TAXI! Sometimes they don't see your hand out..

2) Times Square- and other popular tourist areas. I get it, these places are featured in every movie, show, whatever takes place in NYC. But stopping in the middle of the sidewalk is only giving you the opportunity to be ran over or smacked by a local. Picture taking is highly encouraged- just step to the side when you do so.

3) NYC is a grid. Uptown is north, downtown is south. That means the higher the street number the further north you are going. The city also has avenues that run East to West. 1st Ave is on the east side, 12th Ave is all the way on the West side. Central Park is in the center of the city, surprise!

4) Use the Subway and Buses! NYC has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. If you have questions about it, ask! Googlemaps is also fantastic and there are many other apps that will help out. Another great new addition to the system is MTA Bustime. This has been a lifesaver for me. You text a code, located on each bus stop, to a phone number and it tells you exactly how far away the bus is. Magical!

5) And on the note of questions- New Yorkers are actually quite friendly, and we are very helpful. Multiple times a day I help a tourist find a building, street, or museum. And I notice others do the same. WE are happy to have you here and want to make sure you have the best time possible. That means helping you when you are lost, or to find a great restaurant to try or the best shop with a discount. Don't be afraid- we may walk fast, but we are not scary.

And don't forget to check-out this awesome giveaway!!

Love & Wrinkles // Becoming Adorrable // Blue Giraffes & Concrete Jungles
Marry Mint // Jessica J. Marie // Sprinkles & Sundresses
A Labour of Life // Near & Far Montana // A Hundred Tiny Wishes
Enter using the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
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29 April 2014

Listed Tuesdays! + Giveaway!

10 Great TV Shows That Everyone Should CHECK OUT! (old and new)

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer- this was one of the first shows I was allowed to watch on a regular basis, and my whole family enjoyed it with me. As I start singing the theme song in my head...

2. LOST- honestly I was fine with that series finale but I love LOST, every actor/actress from that show will always be their character on that show to me

3. Arrested Development- the newest Netflix Season of this was okay, but the previous original series was amazing, hilarious and oh so quotable...

4. Pretty Little Liars- This show is such a guilty pleasure but it really is very entertaining. Besides the fact the girls have some fantastic outfits, the whole plot line keeps you on your toes. Always.

5. Gilmore Girls- Amy Sherman-Palladino is a genius with this loving story about a mother-daughter duo. The witty remarks and binge eating/tv watching is perfection. And if you like this then you should watch the few seasons of Bunheads that exist- totally shouldn't have been cancelled but brought back a lot of the old Gilmore Girls gang. and Amy's witty scripts.

6.  United States of Tara- this about a woman with multiple-personality disorder and one of the best sources of acting. Toni Collette plays multiple characters so convincingly and John Corbett is sexy. enough said.

7.  Fringe- if you have any interest in sci-fi, Fringe must be on your watch list. I'm pretty sure I will be naming my future children Peter and Olivia because of it. It has great twist and turns, some funky science stuff, and a man named Walter who is the cutest thing ever.

8. Jericho- this show unfortunately only had a few seasons but it was about nuclear bombs hitting all of the major cities and America and a small town, Jericho, learning how to deal with the side effects while also trying to figure out who did it.

9. New Girl- I can never decide who my favorite character on this show is but each person brings comedy to a whole new level. Jess moves into a loft with 3 male roommates after her boyfriend cheats on her and hilarity ensues.

10. American Horror Story- I'm a huge fan of horror, and Ryan Murphy. Every season of this concoction of his has been my dream of scary/crazy/weird. Each season is a different storyline, characters, and time-period. Many actors/actresses come back for each season playing someone completely different which in itself is amazing. So far season one is a haunted house in L.A, season two is an insane asylum in the 1960s and season 3 was about witches in New Orleans. Ryan says they are all connected somehow but I don't know..

 Linking up with Erica this week- check out all the other lists!

Erica Jacquline

And check out this other awesome giveaway I am also currently participating in.. lots of goodies up for grabs!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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28 April 2014

these boots were made for walking + $100 Target Giveaway!

For those of y'all who don't know- I am planning on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2016. This a big trip that will take 4-6 months. I'm haven't bought anything yet, and I don't plan to for a quite a while but that hasn't stopped me from making some epic lists of what I need to bring. As of now these are my essentials:

- single person, all-weather tent
- summer sleeping bag
-winter sleeping bag
-hiking boots

 I know they seem obvious but there are so many options! I seriously don't know where to start but I'm also super excited and wish I could fast forward two years.. but much planning is to be done and more money is be saved.

On that note... I'm excited to give you all the opportunity to enter an awesome giveaway for a $100 Target gift-card. I don't know about you, but Target is a weakness of mine and $100 there could do some very nice things. Enter Away!!

Love & Wrinkles // Becoming Adorrable // Blue Giraffes & Concrete Jungles
Marry Mint // Jessica J. Marie // Sprinkles & Sundresses
A Labour of Life // Near & Far Montana // A Hundred Tiny Wishes
Enter using the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!
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25 April 2014

Friday's are my Friends

Another Friday- another week gone by.. I spent a lot of the week packing for the kids and plan to spend my weekend packing for myself and potentially cleaning my room. We will see how that goes. I do also have some appointments to finally try on some bridesmaid dresses for my sister's wedding. woo-hoo!

Some things I have been loving this week...

1) Threes. This game may or may not be ruining my life- I just want to play it ALL THE TIME!

2) Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. This craving seriously came out of nowhere, which I expect all cravings do, but I've seriously have to restrain myself from eating more than a spoonful or two pint a night.

3) Harry Potter- as if this would come as a shock to anyone but I have been re-reading the series for the millionth time. I just love it so much though. Even so, I have had an interesting thought about something that happens in the second book.. more on that next week.

4) My sweet little munchkin, Little J. He has started this adorable bedtime routine of climbing on his brothers bed and hopping around. Melting my heart on a daily basis.

5) Sister Time! I had a lovely time spending last Sunday with my eldest sister and my oh so sweet nephew! My sister was kind enough to take some pics for me for the blog and of course we did a #selfie with the little boo. yay family time!

Happy Friday!

Valerie (The Voice Performance) by Amanda Brown on Grooveshark
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24 April 2014

Attack of the Cab Driver

NYC is usually a wonderful place- I currently call it home and adore that fact. Even so, you can encounter some nasty characters including evil cab drivers.

Last fall I unfortunately had the experience of meeting one of these crazies- one who I almost had to call the police on- it was not my most favorite night.

To start with I lost a great pair of shoes. We went out to celebrate a friend's birthday- and since I knew my feet would be dying  from my heels at the end of the night I planned for once and packed a pair of flip-flops in my purse. Late into the night, we are all decide to head home and as I pick up my purse to change my shoes I realize that someone has taken them out! I looked all around, with the aid of my friends, and no luck, they were gone.
shoes that were lost stolen.. so sad! 

We headed outside to find cabs, which is a bit impossible in the meatpacking district, and my feet were hurting something awful . Finally I couldn't take it and I did something I'm disgusted to admit- I took off my heels in the streets of NYC. I can assure you I thoroughly washed my feet, several times, when I did finally manage to arrive at home. My good friend's gentleman boyfriend offered me his own shoes after a few minutes- and I was oh so thankful, I only wore them for a step or two though because then I found the impossible- a cab, a gypsy cab (meaning not a metered yellow taxi), but a cab nonetheless.
gypsy cab

 yellow cab

I hopped in and told the driver where I was going- 110th and 6th Ave. He repeats 110th and 6th. I told him yes and gave him a price $30, more than reasonable for the distance and time of night. He agrees and we are off.

View Larger Map
general idea of route I was meant to be taking...

About 3-4 mins later, we stop. He tells me we are here miss. Um excuse, no we are not. Yes, Yes we are at 110 6th Ave, give me my $30.

WTF? No sir, I told you 110th and 6th Ave- not 110 6th Ave. I could have walked here. I'm giving you $30 to go to Harlem. I am not a tourist I know where I am going and how much it costs to get there.

This man demands I give him $30- I tell him I will give him $5. I'm not paying $30 for having gone 5 blocks, that's insane. I mention a yellow cab would be around $30 to go to Harlem and that is what I expect to pay him to do the same. He is not happy with this sentence.

Then sh*t really starts to go down- I try to open the car door to leaves, and he locks it. LOCKS the door- to his car. I reach to grab my phone- and he turns around in his seat and grabs my purse strap, holding me there, telling me I have to give him his money. I'm practically in tears at this point- upset at the situation and the way I'm being treated, as well as terrified. Thankfully I'm able to keep my cool and dial 911. Just before I hit send I inform the driver of what I am about to do. This breaks his spell because he releases me, unlocks the door and I jump out as fast as I can. And then I nicely flicked him off while screaming that now you didn't get paid at all!

I was able to flag a yellow cab- a legit metered vehicle at that point. I calmly explained where I was going, was assured the driver understood and was then officially on my way home to wash my nasty feet.

And you know what- my cab ride, with tip, was only $28.50 in the end. Boo-ya.

I've avoided gypsy cabs since then- and am very thankful the night didn't end differently, but geez there are definitely some a-holes out there.

Welcome to NYC
Happy Little Friday!

The Grits Blog
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23 April 2014

A Day in the Life

M-F for me is crazy crazy crazy, I leave for work early, get home late and usually have a million things to do in between...Here is my typically day (I'm using this past Monday as an example)

 6:30 AM : My alarm goes off- I dress quickly, feed the cats, grab bfast and check my email

6:55:-7 am: I walk out the door and to the subway. At the station I read theSkimm- sign up for it, now- and catch up on the news and then take either the 2 or 3 train to work, whichever comes first.

7:20am : Stop for coffee- this step is very important!

7:30 am: Walk into work- If Big J isn't awake yet, I wake him and prepare his breakfast. I also make lunches, get Little J up and dressed, Big J dressed, brush teeth, pack bags and snacks.

8:30 am: We all walk out the door and to the Bus Stop
typically bus ride

9 am: I drop the kids at school and head back uptown to do some grocery shopping

9:30-12 pm: Grab groceries, make dinner, tidy up the apartment, make beds, do any online shopping/refills, make any needed appointments, put pictures into a new album, wash kids winter coats and hats.

12-2:15 pm: I take a break! Grab lunch, blog my heart out, pop in the yoga dvd

2:15 pm: Pack up swim stuff and head to the subway to pick up the kids

2:45-4:15 pm: Grab kids from day care, ride bus to swimming. Change everyone super fast- Big J does private lesson with teacher, Little J and myself do the Baby and Me class. Finish swimming, change clothes and run back to work.

4:15-6 pm: Play with kids, finish anything that is needed for dinner.Big J does a yoga dvd, while Little J has speech.
my favorite yoga dvd for kids- buy it here!

6-8 pm: Eat dinner, playtime, and baths- everyone gets changed into PJs.

8-8:30 pm: Clean up from dinner and misc. around apartment, pick up toys, run dishwashers, prep for breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

8:30 pm: Go HOME!

9-9:45 pm: Get home, relax, feed the cats, have a glass of wine, read a book for a few minutes and then pass out.

what I find when I come home when I leave my house in a hurry
Everyday varies- there are always different activities in the afternoon and Wednesday are super crazy because we have some classes in the morning, but you get the gist. It is long and busy but for the most part I love it!

What does your day look like?

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22 April 2014

Breaded Lemon Chicken Roll-Ups

 I made this for the first time a few weeks ago and OMG it is delicious. The chicken is yum, the flavor perfect and yeah- it's just awesomesauce.

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
4.5 tsps minced fresh parsley
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 butter, melted
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minched
6 boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
Dash of paprika

1. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice and garlic. Dip the chicken in the butter mixture, then roll in the crumbs.

2. Roll-up the chicken jelly-roll style; place seam side down in a greased 11 in x 7 in baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining butter mixture; sprinkle with paprika

3. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35 minutes or until juices run clear.

Bam- dinner is served!

We ate our chicken with corn muffins and steamed green beans. Enjoy- and check out the rest of the link-ups this week! 

Martinis & Bikinis
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21 April 2014

Wiggity Wiggity Weekend Update

Hey friends- I hope everyone who celebrates had a great Easter, and for those who don't, an exciting Sunday. My weekend was pretty chill- I did some shopping on Saturday. In the city we have this pretty cool complex on 116th and the East River that has just about everything you want, a Marshalls, an Old Navy, a Costco and a Target. Needless to say, I spent several hours wandering and did some damage to my bank account. but... in my defense everything was on sale...

On Sunday I caught up with my sister and her family, spending a relaxing day with my adorable nephew going to the park and taking some pictures.

Not too much else in the Rebekah news now. I was able to finally get to the Brooklyn Children's Museum on Friday with the boys and it was really cool- much better than anticipated and both kids had a wonderful time.  They had this super cute turtle exhibit that Little J literally could have sat at all day.

I plan on spending a lot of this week preparing for our trip to Barbados, we are leaving next week! I'm looking forward to getting some color on this paper white girl and not cooking for a week and a half. Priorities people.

still being [molly]

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17 April 2014

How do you do that?

...laundromat? Make my clothes perfectly folded and creased every time, but when I try and fold the shirt it looks like a rag

... bargain shopper? Find the best deals, always, on the racks of forever21/h&m/goodwill that fit you perfectly and are then marked down another 50% at the register wearer? You are wearing an adorable skirt, your legs look great and it doesn't even seem as if your hoo-ha is about to fall out

...Chipotle? Make such delicious concoctions that make my mouth water and keep me coming back on a (more than) weekly basis

...Santa Claus? Get to every child's house on one night of the year, delivering toys to all the well-behaved girls and boys- your magic mystifies me.

... small child? Fall into the deepest sleep in the blink of an eye when I can only ponder my life away each night for hours.

Excited for this fun new link-up from Jackie over at Jade and Oak! 
Jade and Oak
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16 April 2014

These are my Confessions

Last Wednesday I noticed a lot of posts going around with this link-up, which I somehow missed in my two months of blogging. They were all funny and honest. I also recently read Erin's (from Living in Yellow) post about secrets- which you should definitely check out- and it was very eye-opening. That one, along with post-secret, we all feel a lot more comfortable about telling our secrets anonymously, but that two, a lot of our secrets are all the same.

I confess: I've lived in NYC for almost 5 years and I have never been to Staten Island or Governor's Island. Both very different things- but both things I feel like I should have done by now..

I confess: I actually kind of hate warm weather- in an every day sense. I love warm/hot weather when I can sit by a pool, or at the beach or just do nothing, i.e vacation/weekends. But when I have to function in normal life with weather over 70 degrees- I hate it. I seem to be the sweatiest person ever (tmi, I don't care) and I just feel miserable- I'm sticky, gross, usually carrying a million things- I never feel put together while everyone around me does. ugh.

I confess: I took a cab 3 times last week! I know, I know- but with my sinuses acting like crazy pants I just wanted to get home each night, and get home quick.  We can count this as emergency situations.

I confess: I now know how to decrypt and rip DVDs to a flash drive. whoops! My boss made me do research it, I swear...

Thanks for the fun link-up Kathy!

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15 April 2014

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is having a good week so far- I know it's only Tuesday but hey.. I'm linking up this week with a tasty pasta salad that works all year long.

For Dressing
1 tsp finely choppen, peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/4 vegetable oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 (1 oz) package dry onion soup mix
2 tsp white sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed

For Pasta
1 (8z) package of bow tie or fusilli pasta
1/2 cucumber- scored, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
2 diced roma tomatoes
1 carrot, shredded
1 (6oz) bag fresh spinach
1 (11 oz) can mandarin orange segments, drained
2 cups of cooked chicken
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

* my boss does not like cucumbers or red pepper, so I omit and subsitute with radishes. We also don't add almonds because of nut allergies, and I'm lazy so I just chop the carrots. I like extra oranges as well. *

1. Make the dressing by whisking together the ginger root, rice vinegar, oj, vegetable juice, sesame oil, soup mix, sugar, and garlic until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.

2. Cook your chicken- I like to salt and pepper the chicken and bake in the oven at 350 for about 20-30 mins. Let it cool and then chop it up. Typically I use 2-3 chicken breasts. 

3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the bow tie pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or whatever the directions on the box say. drain, rinse and put in a large bowl.

4. Add your salad ingredients by tossing in the cucumber, red bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, carrot, spinach, oranges, chicken and almonds into the pasta. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Serve immediately- or cover and put in the fridge until you are ready to enjoy!

Probably not the recipe to post during passover but whatevs. I'm eating my matzo like I just don't care. 

Martinis & Bikinis

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