To The Cardamones!

I am back from New York and want to go back already! Does anyone want to sponsor this girl to explore? (Kidding, not really kidding).

This past weekend, Bailey and I celebrated the unity between our good friend Jacque and her new husband Michael. My whole trip start on Thursday night, when we caught a red eye from SF -> JFK. I always thought the idea of a red eye didn’t sound so bad, but now I know better to avoid them at all costs. I am the type of person to knock out before take off and wake up a few minutes before landing. Apparently, my Circadian Rhythm didn’t agree.

It was all worth it by the time we got to Jacque’s lake house in the Catskills. Being born and raised in the city really made me appreciate the outdoor scene. The house didn’t have WiFi, so I spent a lot of the time sitting on the porch, watching the clouds roll by, reading old issues of National Geographic and East of Eden.

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An air-conditioned bus picked us up on the corner of the abandoned Dairy King and gas station (welcome to the Catskills) and took us to the wedding site twenty minutes away.

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I immediately fell in love with Jacque’s wedding because everything pieced together perfectly without seeming too over done.

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The boys all looked very handsome,

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but it was the bride that stole the show. Jacque looked absolutely stunning. Breathtaking, even.

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Their vows reflected their personalities so well. For example, Jacq recited a silly (and impressive) rhyme to express the love she felt for M.

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I had about half a second to grab a picture with the newlyweds before they were whisked away by the photographer. Too bad I was looking at the wrong camera. 🙁

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Luckily Bailey and I caught her again for a re-do.

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I thought I took more pictures but I guess I was distracted by all the shenanigans surrounding us. It was such a incredible time and I was delighted that Jacque allowed us to join her during her special day. All in all, I met a lot of charming people and had a great time eating, talking and dancing under the stars.

We went back to the Big Apple (does anyone really call it that?) Sunday afternoon and went straight to chow down on NY thin crust pizza. Grimaldi’s came up on everyone’s recommendations and was near where we were staying so it worked out perfectly. When we got there, the line was long and people actually recommended Juliana’s next door, where Patsy Grimaldi re-opened another pizza place after retiring and a long game of business politics.

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I really wanted to try the Scamorza, which was their best seller. However, it had pancetta and my friend is vegetarian. Next time, Juliana’s.

Instead, we ordered a classic Margherita, which was more than I could ask for.

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A taxi ride later, we were finally at a mutual friend’s enchanting Williamsburg apartment. They had an amazing view of the New York skyline and graciously gave us tips on what to do the next day.

Seven hours later, we schlepped our way to this beauty.

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I was surprised to see so many people walking to work! It made more sense after learning that it’s only about a mile long.

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We found ourselves in the Lower East Side, eating brunch at Clinton St. Baking Company. I heard that the lines get as long as two hours, but I believe we only waited around 30 minutes which was a nice change from the San Francisco hanging game.

Clinton St. Omelette- spinach and mushroom w/ hash browns & sourdough toast

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Next, my favorite thing I ate the whole day. Brioche French Toasted w/ caramelized bananas, roasted pecans and warm maple butter.

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I pretty much said I ate the best french toast here, here and here but this might take the cake. Especially with their house made raspberry jam. Divine.

Finally, we wrapped up our day at the number one must-see location in NYC, Central Park. I could of spent a whole day here! Bailey and I were on the move non stop, it felt nice to just stop and smell the flowers for the first time all weekend.

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New Yorkers, where must I go the next time I visit? Any late summer weddings in your near future?

Mail That Never Fails

I never get mail. I love handwritten letters, post cards, coupons. I’ll even take a flyer or an appointment reminder from my doctors, but every day it leaves me a little empty. A nonexistent girl that doesn’t even live here gets more mail then me! I don’t know where she came from because we were the first ones to live in this house since it was built.

With that, imagine my joy when I had two things waiting for me when I came home yesterday!

Our garbage company gives out free compostable bins to encourage people to stop throwing away everything in the trash. Since I took over the trash bill for our house, I ordered one for each floor. I thought I was able to use the Whole Foods produce bags for a liner but they were too small, so now I have to buy bio bags. Ah, always one thing after another.

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Second, I finally got Jacq‘s wedding invite! It’s getting real! I haven’t even bought a dress for the outside wedding yet, I’ll have very little time after my trip from Asia so I’ll have to try to figure it out soon. I love her unique invitations. I see that the date is wrong, but she told me it was totally okay because they had some behind-the-scenes technical difficulties.

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A bonus picture of my dinner last night, sautéed kitchen sink veggies and 6 ounces of chicken.

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I also came across 18 mangos and became giddy and panicked at the same time. What the hell am I going to do with 18 mangos?!

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I had a few days to try them out different ways so here’s my favorite ways to eat these champagne mangos.

Five Different Ways to Prepare and Eat Mangos

1. Cut In Half

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My mom always cut them for me this way, so I thought it was really weird when I saw Chi eating them differently the first time. I feel like my way is the best, because it’s not as messy and you don’t waste any part of it. Simple cut the mango in half and use a knife to cut them into squares. Then, flip the mango! My kids love eating them like this.

2. Chile Con Limon

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This is how Chi grew up eating mangos, with chili powder and limes. I usually hate mixing my sweet and salty but I came around and love eating mangos with a little bit of spicy. I know Trader Joe’s does something similar too!

3. Popsicles

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What doesn’t say summer like mango and banana popsicles! I just bought the popsicle molds in the last few days and I’m already obsessed with seeing how many flavors I can come up with. I’m already dreaming of raspberry and strawberry banana popsicles. Mmmm.

4. Smoothie

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I took the leftover juice from the popsicles and just drank it straight. No preservatives, extra sugars (not that mango juice needs anymore) and so refreshing. What you need is a silent blender. I just want to spike the smoothie and lay out on a beach with my Raybans and towel.

5. Habanero Salsa

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You guys will need to say thank you to Chi for this one, he conjured this one up after an intense workout. I love the habanero flavor in the salsa with the queso fresco on top. If you guys are interested, I don’t mind posting the recipe!

Last week’s Friday Five: Five Snacks To Feed Hungry Boys During Sport Finals

The Bride To Be

It’s been so, so, so long since I’ve ate with Jacque. I’m pretty sure I saw her sometime in between, but I can’t find a post about it.

We are both so busy with school and work, it’s hard to find a time for both of us to meet up. Fortunately, Thursdays at 5:30p works well for both of us (as long as we don’t have any tests that day). We planned to meet on Union St. and stumbled into this bar/restaurant that was sporting a pretty mean happy hour.

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There was so much to catch up on, such as:

1. Her upcoming nupitals (!!)

2. A pair of old classmates that engaged in some chemistry (if you know what I mean)

3. My BodyPump class yesterday (oh my god..)

The last time I saw her she was happily living with her boyfriend and now she is planning a wedding! When I found out she was engaged a few months ago, I was ecstatic because it means that I get to attend a beautiful summer wedding in upstate New York! Also because Jacq and her fiancee make a badass couple.

(Jacque wanted me to remind you that she just came from teaching yoga. I think she looks b-e-a-utiful!)

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I mesmerized over the ring, awed over her dress and looked over wedding invitations with her. It’s so exciting to plan a wedding, however, there are so many components that I felt overwhelmed just listening to all the things she had to do.

Look at this clear cut, 1.5 carat beauty. M did a good job and made sure it was a fair trade diamond, which was something that is important to her.

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The waitress, who I fell in love instantly, served both of us whisky gingers. Jacque never had one before so I’m happy she tried it! It’s my favorite drink. I really wanted to try a Poor Man’s Black Velvet (Guiness & Cider), but they didn’t have any cider. Next time!

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Happy hour included $5 dollar appetizers and guess what we ordered.

Totchos.

Tater Tot Nachos. What.

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Did I just die and go to heaven? I know I’m not the healthiest eater, but I also don’t indulge this much. This was just on another level.

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I was actually really upset at myself because I promised myself I would eat healthy for the rest of the week. I did my first BodyPump class on Wednesday and I seriously had no idea how intense it would be. I honestly would rather do Tough Mudder again than have to do attend another class. With that being said, I have another class scheduled for Friday night. 🙂 I’m feeling the pain but it feels so good at the same time.

We were really full after eating half the tots, but still wanted to try other items they had so I ordered a chicken slider. It was accessorized with bacon, avocado and sprouts. Although it’s made to fit in a toddler’s hand, it was honestly the perfect size.

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The bride to be ate a vegetarian taco; sweet potato, beets, tomato and lettuce.

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Time flew by so fast, we seriously were there for 2 1/2 hours! I couldn’t believe it when I looked at my phone after. We did a little window shopping before going home and made plans for our next outing. Tuesday Trivia, perhaps?

Any weddings you’re attending soon? What would be your dream exotic taco?