Gotham.

A rather impressive (by my standards, at least) assortment of pictures of the big APPLE (see what I did there? *raises brows*)

Also keep in mind that some of the pictures are from my phone, so excuse the quality- this is really more of me adding commentary to stuff that I saw/ate/stared at.

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“N…Y…C…Just got here this morning…Three bucks, two bags, one meee”

If you don’t know the song I quoted please reconsider your taste in musicals.

Anyway, let me whisk you off for a bit and share my experience in New York through pictures. We stayed near the touristy spots so we wouldn’t have to walk very far to get to the fun areas. Unfortunately, I got pink eye after day one, so I got to wear my glorious glasses every.single.day. after that. That is why I didn’t show up so much in photos here, but also so I could be the one to snap creepy candids of my family, which were unwillingly taken but now look hilarious.

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Behold!! The Russian Tea Room where Fran from “the Nanny” hangs out casually with Mr. Sheffield. 90’s sitcoms taught me about New York well. Β They charge extra per table if you want personal breathing space.

Next stop was Central Park!

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Oh you expected a shot of the actual park. Nope. This Colombian guy selling coffee out of the back of his vintage Colombian car made my whole family stop and have a mutual moment of respect/awe/admiration. Bonus points for him for wearing the authentic hat.
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The queen of coffee, Juan Valdez. I don’t do caffeine period- but I went to hear the familiar accent in spanish and for the lemonade, which they prepare differently and I swear it tastes like home.

 

 

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At left: a buΓ±uelo (fried cheese dough), and in front, a sweet arepa with fresh cheese.

I confess I smelled the two items above when my parents weren’t looking. They got coffee on my behalf, which I also smelled too, because the smell is heavenly.

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In a surge of pride or maybe because I was happy the weather was nice, I stood in front of the cafe. Not pictured: the lemonade I was desperately trying to make last, and the napkins I took as a souvenir.

 

Okay, here is a story for these food items. Now I know the vegan community is HUGE in NYC, so I found this place called Fresh & Co. where all they do is make these gigantic salads for you. You better believe I was happy. I almost high fived the lady making my salad. If you were wondering, it was called the Superfood bowl, and I got falafel on it.

On the right, there’s those squishy pouch things. I was in a pop up food market with kiosks and food trucks, and this girl came up to me from a start up trying to sell healthy wholesome products. I said no because I had no cash on me, but then I saw her shirt which said “Cruelty Free” on it, which always represents the Vegan community, so I automatically started talking to her and telling her that it was good to spread the message around. Long story short, she was so excited to meet another vegan that she gave me three packets free of charge. And they were delicious!

And now I’ll segue into the architecture aspect of my trip.

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The Empire building, from an angle that makes it look small and generic (my bad)
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A siren near 30 Rock, that appears to be squishing Ursula from the Little Mermaid into a pulp.
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A cool shot of Broadway or Lexington that I took with an outstretched arm because I am terrified of heights and can’t stand near windows this high up, hence the windowsill.
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Jersey trying to be cool with its own skyscrapers. Its a solid effort, but is it really competing with the next photo?
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No, no its not. It’s okay Newark, you tried.
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Spotted: the Bard standing alone mid thought in Central Park on the Literary Walk, also being the only statue to be facing the wrong way. He was a trendsetter in life, and posthumously too. Β Damn William.
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You know, the smell of this underground area does not do the architecture justice. Not to mention the dog I cut out of the shot who was smugly pooping in the corner. Anyway, this is where Serena and Blair talked in season one of Gossip Girl. This is also near the water fountain where the intro to Friends was filmed, I believed- don’t quote me, I was never big on Friends.
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St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. I still don’t get how they fit this church in the tiny block it takes up.
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This contraption that looks like two white plastic combs sticking out of the ground is apparently a train/subway station? It is next to the World Trade Center.
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This was me in awe of how pretty the Manhattan Community College is in comparison to the community colleges I have seen elsewhere.
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Don’t get it twisted, I could not tell you anything about the Federal Office Building right there. But WAIT that’s a balloon dog, like the ones by Jeff Koons!!! That deserves a picture.
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I’ll give you a break of my writing now while you stare at Long Island.

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And this was where I stood on top of the country in the Freedom Tower, which deserves credit for a lot of the shots in this post.
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Bad jokes aside, I had a moment of silence here at the 9/11 memorial.

And NOW the Met! Which let’s face it- it was a major factor in my wanting to visit NYC again. From left to right, audacious Madame X (who was actually that white in life), and this creepy lady that I forgot I had taken a picture of. Imagine a lifesize cutout of her pasted on your enemy’s wall.

Some Manet for you…

Some sculptures that I stared at for a while in the sculpture gallery. And a friendly tip for you today: the sculpture gallery is a great place to eat a snack inconspicuously.

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A little (ironic because this painting takes up almost a whole wall) Matisse for you as well…

Van Gogh, who cut off his ear but seemed to get even more artistic after doing so. The portrait on the right has a great background, if you want something to stare at without thinking.

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This was one of my favorites. It’s a picture of a woman in the sixties, so you get the big hair, the cat-eye, and the ultimate “you’ll-never-be-me-MWAH-HA-HA” face.
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When you slay as a building and you know it.

I know I already said this, but more is coming! Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Vegan Chia Breakfast BowlsΒ 

It’s been a while, but to sum it up for you, it’s been 

Rainy

Muggy

Humid 

Grey 

And if you are a fashion blogger, you know that means pictures are out of the question. So I’ve been waiting and watching forecasts but it’s not looking good. I felt the flow of creativity slow down a bit (more like a lot) and I was a bit annoyed. 
Then I looked down at my breakfast this morning and realized how much I love making it everyday. I normally alternate between porridge and granola, but I bought some chia a few weeks ago and immediately added it to my routine, throwing it in everything possible. Here’s the most common iteration: the breakfast bowl. I leave the chia seeds to soak overnight and throw the toppings together in seconds the morning after, changing them up every time.

What to do:

Add 2 tablespoons of chia to a bowl. (I add around 2.5) 

Then add around a cup of the plant milk of your choice (I use cashew, and then add a shot of water to avoid it becoming too thick a paste).

Cover it and put it in the refrigerator overnight, or if in the early morning, you can wait around 20 minutes for it to thicken a bit, although I’d still recommend putting it in the fridge for the best results and waiting as long as possible. 

TOPPINGS – aka the best part when you actually feel like you’re making something awesome and you can raid your pantry for anything topping-like.

  1. I like to use pumpkin seeds for another bit of protein, and granola, sometimes sprinkling cinnamon over all of it.
  2. I chop fruit sometimes and place that on one side and then added unsweetened coconut yogurt on the other side to add variety to the texture of the bowl. 
  3. I’ve seen the fancy schmancy vegans on Instagram go all out and go to extreme lengths to make their bowls more visually appealing by drizzling melted cacao nibs over the entire thing, or using goji berries on one side and funky exotic fruits as well and making it symmetrical. All I have to say is, if the bowl tastes good to you, it’ll be fine. If you hate cacao nibs don’t add them. I’m pretty basic and straightforward and don’t like super sugary foods, so I won’t be going out of my way to add anything super weird like algae to my bowl (although algae is a number one in my book if it’s in kombucha). 

And now some amateur pictures of my food! Where I forced myself to wait before devouring my food to take pictures of it. Because what’s a food post without pictures??? 

Up close of chia paste- it’s like a lumpy porridge, if you were wondering. 

Today’s iteration of the bowl: {from left to right} crumbled homemade vegan banana bread, vegan cereal with granola clusters, and pumpkin seeds. Also featuring my Doctor Who mug and Fuji Apple.

A chopped Fuji Apple and maple cereal.


Pineapple, the same maple cereal, and coconut yogurt. 

I hope this served as some inspiration for vegans and non vegans alike:) it’s never a bad thing to incorporate something like chia once or twice into your breakfast routine, especially once you realize the benefits of eating chia(calcium, protein, fiber…etc) and the ease of just tossing stuff into a bowl. I personally consider it the leftover bowl, where I add all of the stuff I didn’t use from another day. 

Under the Arch To Follow my Mother.

So yesterday was Mother’s day. I woke up and made my mother brunch with my sister, and we actually made some pretty delicious stuff, including a fruit and yogurt parfait using coconut milk (#teamvegan), and a sweet potato hash that used maple syrup and almond milk (pulls out pom poms and cheers for veganism) and an apple for me! I also made a huge frittata for everyone else in my house – I did not have that, obviously – and some Brazilian Pao de Queijo (I opted out again), and a zucchini bread muffin that I literally went to the grocery store for exclusively. Everyone else was stuffed by the frittata I made, so I actually ended up taking the sweet potato hash from my brother and mom (MWAH HA HA that was actually my suspicion).

         The final product pre-foodfest

My mom’s plate, with my freestyles frittata and maple sweet potato hash and our cards


My parfait and apple…

We went to Agora later, where I found out they sell Sinful Bakery’s vegan cookies and now regret not getting one, and where I got the saddest chamomile tea that tasted more like a foot and what I imagine a poisonous mushroom in SuperMario tastes like than a sweet and soothing herb, and we ended up getting some crepes later, at Sweet Paris (strongly recommend if you’re in the H-town area). I ate mine too fast to save a picture, but it was the vegan crepe!


My subpar tea

We stopped at Rice University, where I found a glorious archway that had so much depth that I couldn’t handle it, and my sister kindly took these pictures. Maybe its the amateur photographer in me, but look at that archway and it’s shadows! Look at it! Architecture man.

I’d also like to note that while I hate the color pink, my sister gave me this scarf and the pattern has grown on me. So while the color is questionable in my book, the pattern itself is really nice. Also, in some lighting – in very very generous lighting- I look somewhat tanner, which is nice.

 

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my face, 90% of the time, and most likely more than that.
Wearing:

Top/ H&M … Scarf/Gift… Shorts/Gap… Belt/AE… Sandals/Nine West

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Whenever they tell me to “smile softly,” I kind of laugh at those comments and end up half smirking. Exhibit A.  
Also, don’t be fooled into thinking that the title of this post requires some deep level of literary/cinematic/Spongebob knowledge. I literally walked under this arch following my mom, taking creepy stalker style photos as our family walked around Rice campus.

Which isn’t to take away from the bigger picture of the day. My mother is a fabulous, stylish, classy lady with a good sense of humor and a signature hairstyle who never has a hair out of place or a doubt in herself. I spared her a cameo today because like I said before, my pictures were seriously creepy. As in, she’s walking and I snapped a photo that I accidentally zoomed too much on, so it’s a photo of her hair alongside a tree branch.

Brace yourselves. More style posts are coming.

Corner Bakery Chit Chat || Food Post

On a Friday a few weeks ago, my dad invited us to lunch- and by us, I mean my mom and my brother and moi. We had planned on going to the new Corner Bakery near us, and we excited pulled into the parking lot when I had a face-palm moment.

I didn’t check the menu to see if it had anything I could order vegan style.Β 

With this in mind, I stalled a while during our wait in line trying to figure out what I could order. And then I dropped the menu and saw the salads. Salads are a safe bet for me most of the time, so I took that route and ordered the hummus and veggies, southwestern avocado salad, and tabbouleh *insert flashback of me doing a victory dance at the restaurant* .Β 
My family always notices that I tend to take a lot of pictures of food- still not ashamed! πŸ˜€ – and they pushed their plates at me too, finally jumping on the foodie bandwagon.Β 
I ate this massive salad sampler as mentioned above. As a vegan who struggles to eat out, this was the jackpot. And it was a lot of food. And I like food. The tabbouleh is next to the cucumber, and the avocado is the southwestern salad, and the hummus is pretty obvious, and some greens with olive oil.Β 

My brother Nick thinks that by ordering a salad he is healthier, so he ordered the Chicken Carbonara with a side of Caesar. Yeah, that chunk on the plate of pasta is bread.

My mom, ever the health nut, chose the D.C chicken salad, switching the cheese for mozzarella.

And my dad followed through with his consistent and foolproof order; a sandwich and a soup. He chose a bowl of chili and half of a chicken pomodori sandwich.
We ate a lot. More importantly, they have vegan options! And I didn’t have to explain that I need a vegan friendly mean to the lady at the register! So it was really a win-win-win-win situation. As always, thanks for reading!Β 
xoxo

My Sunday Sendoff feat. Ruggles Green

On Sunday, my sister invited my family to eat lunch and walk around a bit and mainly enjoy each other’s company. The point was to have family time and send me off with a vegan meal. Obviously I was estatic all of a sudden when they told me I could choose a vegan friendly restaurant, so I almost immediately responded with Ruggles Green in City Centre, even though I was silently hoping someone would ask to go to an Indian restaurant, because I have wanted to go try Indian food for a very long time.

**Disclaimer**
All pictures on my post today were taken with an iPhone six, so don’t be alarmed by the drastic change in the quality of the pictures!Β 
Carry On! πŸ™‚

I got the veggie wrap and a side quinoa salad, both vegan! And I grabbed some pickles that were prepared in-house.Β 

I think now would be a good time to also mention that I am a huge fan of food-porn, also known as a pre-food ritual of being grateful for the food — actually, I just really like taking pictures of food. There’s no legitimate way of justifying it, just that I like looking at food. So just expect more food posts in the future!

After somehow destroying the wrap ( I hate being such a messy eater) and being joyful and staring at my vegan feast in awe, we all ended up walking around City Centre and staring at macarons- I need to find a place that makes vegan macarons…does that even exist?– and not getting them because I couldn’t find vegan versions. In the end, we packed up and moved our sunday party to Starbucks, and I decided to take pictures because I honestly don’t have casual candid pictures of my whole family, and I figured this was a great time to record in pictures.

Aww, look at the kids. Behold the closest people I have to me, genetically speaking.Β 

My mom is so classy that she refuses to cover her coffee with the plastic covers and prefers to drink her beverages as if they were tea-cups.Β 

And Dad loves the covers.Β 

Behold! Β My sister MP drinking what appears to be snow. (Vanilla bean frap FYI)

I had a Mango Black tea lemonade…I’m really predictable.Β 

Behold! My brother/photographer, contemplating the simple things in life, like his mocha frappuccino.Β 

He requested a selfie. And it looks like my straw is up my nose.Β 

The family who drinks Starbucks together stays together.

Thanks for reading, and have a happy Tuesday!