Top 5

The 5 Best Lobster and Seafood Rolls in NYC

Lobster Rolls have become the new popular summer time lunch favorite. I remember when cheeseburgers were all the rave. But now lobster rolls, crab rolls and shrimp rolls cover every top foodie’s fav food list. So I’ve comprised a list of my favorite seafood hot spots that serve up the best rolls in the city!

1.The Crabby Shack, 613 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

The Crabby Shack served me the most delicious Crab Roll that I’ve ever had. Their shack is the cutest midday seafood lunch spot in Brooklyn.

The Crabby Shack

2. Luke’s Lobster, 19 locations across the country

Luke’s Lobster is a go to for the best lobster and shrimp rolls in the country.

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3. Burger & Lobster 39 West 19th Street (Between 5th and 6th New York, NY 10011

Burger & Lobster has become a crowd favorite. Where else can you dine at a fancy restaurant and dig into lobster rolls and fries?

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Photo courtesy of @burgerandlobster

4. Red Hook Lobster, 7 Locations across the country

You can find a Red Hook Lobster truck at almost every major food festival in NYC. How delicious and convenient is that?

Red Hook Lobster

5. Lolo’s Seafood Shack  303 W. 116th St. NYC 10026 (Harlem USA)

I’ve had Lolo’s Seafood Shack on my bucket list for a while and the day I went, I was too early and they weren’t open yet. Have you tried a roll from their restaurant? If so, tell me all about it. Which roll was your favorite?

Lolo's Seafood Shack

 

5 Different Ways To Eat Your Favorite Cereal on National Cereal Day

  1. Kith Treats

Kith Treats is New York’s first cereal bar, located in the entrance of the KITH Brooklyn flagship store. Choose between 23 cereals, 25 toppings and 5 milks that include our favorite Fruit Loops. When cereal meets ice cream, what else could you ask for?     Location: 233 Flatbush Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

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2. Emack & Bolio’s

Hopefully by now you’ve visited Emack & Bolio’s because you read my “5 Ways to Celebrate National Ice Cream Day” post but if you haven’t, now is your time. Mack & Bolio’s is known for their cool ice cream cones piled with gooey marshmallows and your favorite sweets including Fruit Loops. My favorite is the Fruit Loop cone with cookies n cream ice cream. It’s the best sweet combo ever! Locations: 3 Locations in NYC

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3. Doughnuttery

Doughnuttery created a spin on the normal donut holed treat. They have shrunk their doughy treat and made it a mini-sized delight covered in specialty toppings. The specialty topic of my choice is “Fruity Cereal,” a fruity pebbles cereal sugar blend. These bite sized donuts are addicting. I suggest ordering a minimum of 6 because 1 is not enough.   Location: 425 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011

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4. Holey Cream

By now you should know that you can “Build Your Dream Donut At Holey Cream” because you’ve read my previous post on it, right? If you haven’t, here’s a quick recap. Holy Cream has taken the plain donut way past anything you could have imagined. They give their customers the choice to pick a freshly baked donut, add your desired icing and then add toppings. Which cereal do they specialize in as a topping you ask? Fruit loops of course! Location: 796 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

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5. Big Daddy’s

Remember that time Big Daddy’s offered the Fruity Pebbles pancakes and it was all over our Instagram news feed because of our favorite foodies? Yea well I missed that opportunity and I didn’t get to try the Fruity Pebbles pancakes so I’m kindly asking Big Daddy’s to bring it back, please! Location: 3 Locations

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My 5 Favorite Florists and Flower Shops

Events by Nikki Diaz 

Events by Nikki Diaz  arranges unique floral arrangements for all occasions. They specialize in baby showers, birthdays, religious sacraments, weddings,  times of grief and beautiful bouquets of flowers as a gesture of love.  They   offer a wide variety of flowers including roses, tulips, lilies, daisies, orchids, carnations and more.  They’ve also just been featured in The Knot  as  the  florists  for a  beautiful NYC Wedding! Order your  Valentine’s  Day  floral  bouquet by Friday, February  12  and tell  them I  referred you.

Company: Events By Nikki Diaz

Website:  www.eventsbynikkidiaz.com

Phone Number:  (347) 229-5806

Email:  eventsbynikkidiaz@gmail.com

Instagram: @eventsbynikkidiaz

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DIYA Flowers by Shanta  

Did you see my  Certified  Wedding  and Event  Planner   post?  If  you  did,  you’ll  notice the beautiful  florals  by  DIYA Flowers by Shanta.  This  is   a family owned business that specializes  in  all events and prides  themselves in the delicate  care  of  flowers and customers.  Speak  to  Shanta, she’ll  make sure you have everything  you need  for  any  occasion.

Company:  Shanta  Flowers

Website: www.shantaflowers.com

Phone Number:  (718)  322-3301

                     Address:130-14 Liberty Ave, Richmond  Hill NY  11419

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Roses and Blooms

While on  one of my many city strolls, I came  across  Roses and Blooms. I looked in the  window and saw their  very clean  cut and beautiful  designs and had to go inside.  The prices were  a bit shocking  at  first look but I understand  why. They offer the  finest hand picked florals.

Company: Roses and  Blooms

Website:  www.rosesandblooms.com

Phone Number:  (212) 758- 7673

                     Address:  599 Lexington Ave • New York, NY 10022

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Lexington Flower Shop

I kept passing Lexington  Flower  Shop and  one day  I  decided  to  go  inside and purchase  white flowers.  As  a  blogger,  keeping  fresh  flowers  on  hand  is  a  must.  I  chose  a  few  white  roses  and  went  to  the  register  to  pay  for them.  To my surprise, the  owner  tells  the  cashier  to give them  to  me  for  free because they were starting to wilt.  They  also  wrapped them up for me and  cut  the stems.  I kept  thinking “wow,  they  have  wonderful  customer  service  in here,  I  have  to  let  my readers know about them one day.” So  here’s  my chance.

Company:  Lexington  Flower  Shop

Website:  www.lexingtonflowershop.com

Phone Number:  (212) 759- 6070

                     Address:  669 Lexington Avenue ,  New  York, NY 10022

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Saffron Brooklyn

My sister absolutely loves Saffron Brooklyn. When she lived in Brooklyn, she would visit this flower shop frequently. The beautiful  bouquet pictured below is  one of  the  bouquet’s  my  sister  purchased from their  shop.  I  used the  photo  in  the  invitation  for the  surprise   Birthday  Picnic  Planned  By  Me   I  hosted  for  my  sister’s  birthday.  So  you  know,  Saffron  Brooklyn  is  close  to  our  hearts.

Company:  Saffron Brooklyn

Website:  saffron-brooklyn.com

Phone Number:  (718) 852-6053

                     Address:  31 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217

5 Sites To See In San Francisco

1.Golden Gate Bridge

I know you’re thinking well obviously Pam, the Golden Gate Bridge is the most known landmark in San Francisco. There’s no surprise there. But hey, I had to include it.

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2. Dolores Park

Dolores Park is an ideal place to chill. It’s perfect for the park obsessive person like myself who loves to lay out in the sun, read a book or play a game with friends. By the way, when you visit Dolores Park, don’t forget your “5 Picnic Essentials For A Day In The Park,” you will need them.

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3. Twin Peaks Viewpoint

Twin Peaks are two small hills that sit at the highest point of San Francisco. Which means it has the most amazing panoramic view of the city. As you know from my “5 Places In NYC With The Most Amazing Views” I’m obsessed with views so Twin Peaks is my favorite site to see in San Francisco.

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4. Painted Ladies

Painted ladies is a multicolored row of Victorian houses made popular by the 90s show Full House. Remember the intro of the show when the Tanner’s were sitting on a blanket in the grass across from a scenic row of houses? That row of houses are the Painted Ladies. How’s that for a trip down San Francisco memory lane?

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5. Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers is a beautiful greenhouse located in the Golden Gate Park filled with exotic plants and flowers. This beautiful floral sanctuary reminds me of “A Breathtaking Day at the Orchid Show” in New York. Flowers make me very happy so the Conservatory of Flowers is my “happy place” in San Francisco.

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11 Restaurants to Reserve for Winter New York Restaurant Week

  1. Beauty and Essex (American) 146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002                                                                                                            Beauty & Essex has been one of my favorite dining experiences. It is not only a restaurant, it is a two floor lounge, bar and restaurant. If you are looking for a two for one experience, this is the place to go.Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 8.46.06 PM
  2. Bodegra Negra at Dream Downtown (Mexican) 355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011                                                                               Think “fiesta any day of the week” especially on a Monday. That’s what you’ll get at Bodegra Negra. You’ll also get amazing Mexican food. In addition to the Restaurant Week menu, order the Don Huevo for dessert. Trust me on this one. Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 8.54.19 PM
  3. Catch NYC (Seafood) 21 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014                                                                                                                                 Indulge in delicious seafood while sitting on a rooftop in the Meatpacking district. Enough Said. Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 9.04.37 PM
  4. Dos Caminos (Mexican) Various Locations                                                                                                                                                    You have five restaurants to choose from which means you have no excuse to miss out on Dos Caminos. How does tacos on a Tuesday sound? Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 9.10.29 PM
  5. Fogo de Chao (Brazilian) 40 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019                                                                                                                       This Brazilian restaurant is my number one choice for Restaurant Week. The experience is like no other. They bring eight different options of meats around to each table and you can eat until your heart is content. Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 9.21.36 PM
  6. Miss Lily’s (Caribbean) Both Locations                                                                                                                                                          Miss Lily’s serves some of the best Caribbean food at both locations. What I love most is their ambiance that gives you an island, fun and fresh feel.                                                             unnamed-9
  7. Nobu (Japanese) Both Locations                                                                                                                                                                       In the words of Future, “Nobu, Nobu, Nobu, Nobu, Nobu, Nobu.” Don’t you want to know what is so great about this restaurant that he put it in a song? Find out during Restaurant Week. Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 9.44.54 PM
  8. Spice Market (Asian Fusion) 403 W 13th St, New York, NY 10014                                                                                                                Spice Market is a spicy, sexy restaurant located in the Meatpacking District. If you like spicy, which this restaurant specializes in you should give it a try. Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 9.52.36 PM
  9. STK Midtown (Steakhouse) 1114 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10036                                                                                               “STK puts the modern steakhouse & chic lounge together in one sexy package. With a high energy atmosphere unlike anywhere else, this is vibe dining.” – @EATSTK Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 9.56.42 PM10. Tao Uptown and Downtown (Pan-Asian) Both Locations                                                                                                                            Though I strongly suggest you visit Tao Downtown because it’s one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. Both Tao Uptown and Downtown will give you a Pan-Asian experience like no other. If you do dine at Tao Downtown, order the fried snapper whether it’s on the menu or not because it is absolutely amazing!
    FullSizeRender 1511. Bagatelle (French)1 Little W 12th St, New York, NY 10014                                                                                     Bagatelle is the “IT” place to be in the Meatpacking district. Don’t believe me? Make your reservation today and find out why!IMG_3878

5 Ways To Enhance Your Thanksgiving Experience

Thanksgiving is here and I know we all have food and family on our minds. It’s finally holiday season, a time when we partake in holiday traditions and enjoy this time together. To enhance your holiday fun and happiness, I’ve compiled a top five list of ways to enhance your Thanksgiving experience. There’s more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, here’s why…

1. Fried Turkey

I was going to save this secret for last but to me it’s the most important. For the past two Thanksgivings I’ve indulged in fried turkey. It honestly has changed my Thanksgiving forever. I no longer want baked turkey. I no longer want to douse my turkey in gravy in hopes that it will ignite flavor. Fried turkey has flavor, it’s moist and absolutely delicious. The secret is, I didn’t make my turkey (judge me, it’s fine.) I took my turkey a day in advance to Seamorhen  (11829 Guy R Brewer Blvd, Jamaica NY 11434) and dropped it off. Seamorhen just opened a new location at 190-07 109rd Farmers Blvd 11412. For $60 you can get a delicious fried turkey. Trust me when I tell you they will change your Thanksgiving dinner experience forever.

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2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 89th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is on Thursday, November 26th and begins at 9am. The parade marches down Central Park West from 77th Street to Columbus Circle along Central Park South to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 34th Street and along 34th Street to Macy’s Herald Square (34th Street.) As New Yorkers, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying “I’ve done this before,” or  “I live in New York, this isn’t new to me.” But every year is a new experience with new floats and new entertainment. Maybe you can take someone knew that has never been and make it a memorable experience.

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3. Black Friday Deals

Thankfully, Black Friday deals are not only on Friday anymore. You can begin your shopping now! If you’re brave and want to battle the black Friday crowds on Friday, I applaud you. If you’re like me and rather shop online, then I’ve compiled a short list of my favorite stores and their Black Friday deals. Also, if you have been moved by the recent events of our country and will not be participating, I completely support your decision as well.

  • Target – 10 Days of Deals
  • Victoria’s Secret– Free Shipping with a purchase and more
  • Bloomingdales– Big Brown Bag Sale, save up to 50%
  • H&M– Deals starting as low as $4.99
  • Sony– Great online deals on tv’s, cameras and other electronics

I have also been told about shopular. A app that delivers the best deals from your favorite stores to your phone. Good luck and happy shopping!

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4. Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer!

The most promising way to enhance your Thanksgiving experience is to enhance the experience of others. What I mean is, volunteer! Volunteer to serve food to the homeless, lend a hand to your church or organization’s Thanksgiving food drive, participate in an activity or event that puts a smile on someone else’s face. The most rewarding feeling is to help someone else. “Remember that today you may have everything and tomorrow you may have nothing. Be thankful and gracious always.”

Visit newyorkcares.org, newyorkcommonpantry.org, cityharvest.org and foodbanknyc.org for volunteer opportunities. If your church or organization needs volunteers, contact me: simplypamarie@gmail.com I would be happy to publicize your event.

Salvation Army Feeds Homeless On Thanksgiving Day

5. Dine Out

Have you decided to dine out this year? Maybe you don’t feel like cooking and cleaning. Maybe you like the idea of eating dinner at a restaurant and then indulging in an array of desserts at home because cleaning up pie pans is way easier than cleaning pots and pans. Well here are a few restaurants offering Prix-Fixe dinner menus for Thanksgiving.

Chocolat Restaurant–  $48/person

Miss Lily’s– $38/person

Clyde Frazier’s Wine & Dine– Taking reservations

Seasons 52– Taking reservations

Tavern on the Green– $125/person

For a full list of Thanksgiving dinner options, visit opentable.com

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                                                                                      HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Fall Fun In New York City This October

Fall literally came overnight. We all woke up one morning and had to dig out sweaters and put away our tank tops. While we adjust to the weather change, here are a few ways we can enjoy the transition. You can still have fun in Fall, even when it’s 50 degrees out.

1. Apple Picking

I remember apple picking as a child with my grandma and my sister. After we picked the shiniest most juicy apples, we would take it to “mama and papa’s” house and she would turn our apple treasures into a sweet apple pie. I think as an adult, this memory is precious and can be just as special to do with your friends or your “bae” now. Some of the best apple picking farms can be found on timeout.com. Once I go apple picking, I’ll let you know in full detail about my experience.

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2. Festivals

The festivals continue even in the brisk, breezy days of Autumn. These are a few festivals that you may not want to miss:

New York Film Festival: September 25- October 11

Pumpkin Picker At Decker Farm: October 11- November 1, Weekends from 11am to 4pm

White Light Festival: October 14-November 22 at Lincoln Center

NYC Wine and Food Festival: October 15- October 18

Oyster Festival: October 17- October 18; 11am to 6pm at Oyster Bay, New York

Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch: October 18; 11am to 6pm at Queens Botanical Gardens

Garment District Arts Festival: October 22- October 24

Food Film Festival: October 22- October 25, Brooklyn

Big Apple Crunch: October 24, Main Event is at Union Square Greenmarket

Craft Beer Festival: October 25 at Barclays Center

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3. Parades

October has two holidays that are celebrated with world renown parades. These are the parades you don’t want to miss this month.

Columbus Day parade located on Fifth avenue from 44th street to 72nd street on October 12.

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on October 24 at Tompkins Square Park from 12pm to 3pm.

Annual Halloween Parade located on 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street from 7:00pm – 10:30pm on October 31st.

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4. New York Comic Con

Surprisingly for me, Comic Con is one of the biggest  annual events in New York City. From October 8 to October 11 all of the geeks and humans with imaginations gather together at the Jacob Javits center to share comics, graphic novels,  video games, toys, movies and television. If you have a vivid sense of imagination and love super heroes, this is where you need to be.

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5.Post Season and Playoff Games

Catch a game and watch your favorite sports team play. This year I attended a Knicks game, a Yankees game and a Mets game. All three experiences from the non sports fan that I am, were the most fun events I have attended all year. Probably because it was a way to make the most important men in my life (my grandpa, my dad and my man) happy. Ladies, surprise your man with tickets to a game. He’ll love it and your Christmas gift will be that much bigger.

Purchase Yankees tickets here.

Purchase Mets tickets here.

Purchase Knicks tickets here.

Purchase NY Islanders tickets here.

Purchase Brooklyn Nets tickets here.

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5 Ways To Enjoy Labor Day And “Escape” NYC

Let’s face it, the summer has come to an end and this weekend is your last chance to soak in the sun and live freely. I hope you’ve checked off everything on your summer bucket list including rooftop hopping in the city, basking in the sun poolside, sipping tropical drinks with the ladies, a beach day with your family, indulging in the best food festivals and partying with your guys. If you haven’t done those summer to do’s yet, this is the time to do it all. But most importantly, if you haven’t taken a vacation and don’t have one planned for this weekend, this is five ways you can enjoy Labor Day weekend and not feel like you’re in the city.

1. Fire Island

I bet you haven’t been to Fire Island as of yet. I suggest you pack your swim suit, a cute summer outfit and a light sweater because Fire Island is a must before the summer ends. I visited Ocean beach and was pleasantly surprised with beautiful seashells on the beach, friendly little kids with lemonade stands, and a long street of bars and restaurants. You can only get to Fire Island by ferry. A round trip ferry ticket is $19 (Cash Only.) This is a wonderful experience that is right in your backyard.

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2. Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City is not as far as you think. It is only a four and a half hour drive from Manhattan. It probably is your closest option for a beach type vacation. The water is no comparison to the islands but if you party and dine at Seacrets you will enjoy their island vibes.

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3. Labor Day Parade

If you have the heart to dance through the crowded streets of Brooklyn then the West Indian Day Parade is a great way to celebrate your Caribbean heritage. The parade is on September 7 at 11am. It begins at Eastern Parkway and Schenectady Avenue and continues to Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park.

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4. Hamptons

A day trip to the Hamptons is always one of my favorite getaways when I want to run away from the craziness of the city. Whether it’s East Hampton or Southampton, there is always something to do and great beaches to relax on. I usually visit Southampton. My favorite ways to enjoy the day are shopping at the Alex & Olivia store, dining at Red Stixs and taking a short relaxing ferry ride on Lake Agawam.

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5. Made In America Festival

Made in America is the hottest event happening this Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia. With headliner Beyonce (Happy Birthday Queen Bey) and a line up that includes Future (whom I love), Meek Mill, Fabolous, Nick Jonas, Jidenna and countless others, this is where you want to be this weekend. Tickets are unfortunately sold out but if you already have your tickets, I’ll see you there!

BEYONCE AND THE WEEKND TO HEADLINE 2015 BUDWEISER MADE IN AMERICA FESTIVAL (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation Entertainment)
BEYONCE AND THE WEEKND TO HEADLINE 2015 BUDWEISER MADE IN AMERICA FESTIVAL (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation Entertainment)

5 of the Best Summer Parties

1. Braccos Clam & Oyster Bar 

Braccos is the best party every weekend on Nautical Mile in Freeport. Think sand, drinks, good music and great food. When you put this all together, it’s like a beach party every weekend. This weekend don’t miss their hot parties on Friday and Saturday! Follow @braccosny for information!

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2. Everyday People at La Marina

If you haven’t been to an Everyday People party yet, now is your time. They are hosting another fun event at La Marina. Think partying on the sand and everyone is turned all the way up. There is no better way to party in NYC. Visit their Facebook page for information.

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3. First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum

Every first Saturday (excluding September) is a party and free entry at the Brooklyn Museum. I have posted these events in the past so hopefully you’ve attended already. These events mix culture, with cool people and is always a great experience.

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4. The DL

The DL or The Delancey and Ludlow has been the venue for some of the hottest parties all summer. They also have the cutest design, the first floor is a restaurant with gorgeous chandeliers, the second floor has a small bar and the third floor is a “lituation.”

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5. PS 450

No this isn’t a school, this is the location of one of the best brunch parties in NYC. Every weekend PS 450 holds a brunch party. It’s a great place to celebrate birthdays, kick back with friends and toast that the weekend is finally here.

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Plunge Into These 5 NYC Pools

1. Gansevoort Meatpacking Rooftop Pool

Located 20 stories up on top of the infamous Gansevoort Meatpacking hotel is their pool. It’s open from 7am to 7pm to guests. The general public can purchase a “Daycation package” for $300. It includes pool access Monday to Thursday from 9am to 6pm, a complimentary cocktail, a 30 minute massage, a pool day kit and other goodies.

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2. The Beach At Dream Downtown

The pool at Dream Downtown brings Miami fun to New York. Daily passes are available Monday through Friday at $55 for all access to the pool. The pool is also open to the public on weekends.

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3. Le Bain

You’re looking for the best pool party in NYC you say? Then Le Bain is where you want to be. They have a disco party at their penthouse pool.

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4. McCarren Hotel and Pool

McCarren pool is the perfect local hideaway retreat. I promise you wouldn’t even know it was there walking by the front entrance. This is the perfect spot if you want to chill and kick back. It’s open 9am to 9pm for guests and 11am to 9pm for the public. Non guests can purchase pool passes here.

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5. Le Parker Meridian

Now this pool is new to me, I may have to go check it out before I give a full review. Pool hours vary but you can purchase a pass for $150 here.

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My 5 Favorite Rooftops In NYC

It’s officially summer time! The time we’ve all been waiting for. I kicked off my first day of summer by rooftop hopping in the meatpacking district. What better way to soak in the sun than on a rooftop with friends and drinks. Follow my rooftop hopping experience on my snapchat at simplypamarie

1. STK Rooftop

STK Rooftop is my idea of the perfect location if you’d like to gather a few friends, enjoy the sunset on the Hudson River and be located right above STK Downtown. I instantly loved the ambiance which has a splash of color and is fun and refreshing. Also, try their sangria, it’s the perfect drink to add to your experience.

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2. Le Bain

Le Bain is a penthouse and rooftop located in the Standard Hotel. The penthouse has a full bar, and a plunge pool with a dance floor. The rooftop is “grass covered” and has a crepe restaurant. It’s pretty much a location that is an all in one. Pool, drinks, DJ and an amazing view of the city. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

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3. Loopy Doopy

Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar is located at the Conrad Hotel. This rooftop is small and intimate. It’s great for an after work drink when you want to just kick back and chill while taking in a view of the city. Their famous drink is Prosecco and Ice Pops served in a large wine glass for $19. It’s absolutely delicious!

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4. Penthouse at Dream Downtown

Think music, good vibes and a good time when you visit PH-D Lounge at Dream Downtown. I enjoy Dream because they have a high end clientele and they provide a high end experience. By the way, they also have a pool called the Beach at Dream Downtown. I always love a location with a two for one.

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5. 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

230 Fifth Rooftop has one penthouse floor great for a party and they also have an outdoor rooftop garden. The garden area is my favorite. It has an amazing view of the Empire State building and on colder days, they supply their guests with a cozy red robe. This is one of those places you can’t really explain, you would have to go to really see for yourself.

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Looking for more rooftops? Try Empire HotelPenthouse 808, the Plunge Lounge at the Gansevoort, and Sky Room.

5 Picnic Essentials For A Day In The Park

Let’s have a picnic in the park just because the weather is gorgeous. Whether you’re on an hour lunch break at work or you want to spend your weekend at your favorite park, these are five picnic essentials you should have to enjoy your picnic experience. I say if you have a nice park near your job, like I do, (I’m lucky enough to be 3 blocks from Central Park) these are five things to keep at your desk. If you and a few friends are heading to the park (and even the beach) for a day of fun, these are five things you do not want to leave the house without. Keep in mind, to enhance your picnic you can bring whatever you’d like, but these are the basics.

1. A Blanket

Though this essential is pretty obvious, let me give you some tips on which blanket to choose. When choosing a blanket, please leave your momma’s good sheets in the linen closet. For one she will be pissed to know you laid her good sheets in the grass and spilled juice on them. Also, choose something that is slightly thick if possible because the grass may be slightly damp or there may be little pebbles or tree wood laying around. Lastly, I like to choose a sheet that’s bright and/or colorful just to add to my happy outdoor experience.

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2. A Book or Magazine

A picnic is a great time to catch up on some good reads. That book that you’ve been meaning to read is perfect during an outdoor picnic because most likely, you’re not going anywhere for a while anyway. If you’ve subscribed to a magazine like Essence or Vogue, and you haven’t read the last two issues, this is the perfect time to catch up. The background noise of birds chirping and people laughing bring a very calming experience to your read especially while on a lunch break.

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3. A Game

Normally in a group setting at a picnic everyone is talking and laughing but it’s nice to have an activity that everyone can join in on. I suggest bringing a ball, or playing cards, or a board game that doesn’t have a million pieces that you can lose. This will add an activity to your picnic so people don’t become bored just sitting around. It will create competition and teams so that people interact with each other and have fun.

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4. Sunglasses

Yes sunglasses look really cool and give you a celebrity look but when you’re at a picnic and the sun is beaming, they are a necessity. They are also really important if you’re laying down and he sun is directly on you. If you have more than one pair, keep a pair at your desk at work just in case you forget to bring a pair one day.

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5. Food

Obvious essential you think again right? Well let me once again just give you a few tips. You want to bring food that is light enough to carry, doesn’t need to be kept warm or out of the sun, and can be eaten with just your hands (no utensils needed.) I normally bring a sandwich and chips on my picnic outings. It’s easy to eat and can be kept outside. Sometimes I bring cupcakes because they’re delicious and also can be eaten easily. What’s your favorite picnic food?

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5 Free NYC Secrets You May Have Not Known, Until Now…

Did you know that it is possible to get something for FREE in NYC? It’s almost shocking isn’t it? Since we were always taught that nothing in life comes free, (especially not in NYC) it’s hard to believe that you can catch a break in this city. Well I decided to share 5 tips that you may have not known. Some tips are totally free but some you have to give a little to get a little, but hey isn’t that how life works anyway?

1. Get a Free Personal Shopper Experience

Select H&M and TopShop locations offer a free personal shopper experience! All you have to do is contact them, tell them your personal style preference, your size and what kind of outfits you’re interested in and they will pull outfits for you to try on. The service is free and you are not forced to purchase anything. With H&M you receive 20% off your first purchase when you use this service. These services are offered in the 5th avenue stores and you can make your appointment today!

Read about Mommy Blogger Tiffani’s Personal Shopping experience on her blog, mymommyvents.com

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2. Receive a Free Cupcake Every day

I mean why wouldn’t you want a free cupcake? That’s like turning down happiness if you ask me. Every day Georgetown Cupcake offers a free flavor of the day cupcake to the first 100 customers (1 per customer) at each of their locations. If that’s not enough free sweetness for you, Sprinkles Cupcakes offers a “BOGO” when you whisper their secret word. You can find out the secret word of each day on their twitter page. Today’s secret word is “TWO-sday!”

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3. Share Your Uber Code and Receive a Free Ride

I have a new found addiction to Uber and it’s getting way too expensive. So one way I save on my travel, is sharing my code. When you share your code and someone signs up for Uber, they receive a free ride up to $20 and so do you. Want to use my code? (And I truly hope you do.) Download the Uber app and enter my code: 5EMKV 

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4. Share Your Hotel Tonight Code and Receive $25 Off

Another code I have is for Hotel Tonight. On this app you can score great deals on last minute hotel reservations. I used this app for my stay at Dream Midtown. When you share your code, and someone uses it and books a hotel, you receive $25 off your next stay. So use my Hotel Tonight code: PGIBBS11  I would love another staycation!

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5. Free Events, Free Movies, Free Museums

The summer is coming and each and every summer, NYC hosts free movie nights, free events and free museum entry. I’ve posted all of this information before. For a reminder visit my posts for KidsCouples and Summer Events.

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My 5 WCW’s

This Wednesday I’m feeling especially inspired. Maybe because International Women’s Day just passed on March 8th or maybe because it’s Women’s History Month. On top of those special celebrations, it is also Woman Crush Wednesday better known by the social media world as #WCW. They also have a new spin on it with the hashtag #WIW or Woman Inspiration Wednesday. So in support of these holidays, I’ve decided to share some of the women that truly inspire me. These women inspire me to continue on my path to greatness, they provide me with ideas on ways to improve my blog and brand, and they encourage me to stay focused and they represent the woman that is beautiful and intelligent.

1. Sharae

I know I’ve shared this before but my sister really is my biggest inspiration. It’s actually a beautiful thing that as my younger sister, she inspires me to always be the best me I can be. She always encourages me to go after what it is that I want and not let life negatively effect me. You honestly wouldn’t even be reading a blog if it wasn’t for her. So thank you Sharae!

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2. Shiona T

Don’t laugh but I saw Shiona last year while I was volunteering for Fashion Week and something about her presence made me want to find out who she was so I snapped a picture of her and sent it to my best friend. My best friend who I also call “Snapple Facts” tells me she was at that time the Fashion Market Director of Cosmopolitan. I instantly knew that she was the kind of woman that I would look up to because she was so fashionable and respectable. She has since decided to pursue her own ventures, and I wish her the best of luck!

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 Photo via @shionat

3. Karen Civil

I consider Karen Civil the young Oprah. She inspires us woman to be driven, smart and well rounded. She’s also an entrepreneur, something I aspire to be, and she travels around the world inspiring others. I mean there’s not much more to say besides, “she’s it!”

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Photo via @karencivil

4. Shirley B. Eniang

Shirley is one of the leaders in the Style and Beauty blogging/vlogging world. I came across her instagram page on one of my random instagram scrolling sessions and I thought wow her aesthetic is very impressive. Her photos are awesome, her presentation is perfection, her following is phenomenal and she’s beautiful. Not to mention she has a cool London accent. But yea she’s definitely a true leader in the blogging world and someone us bloggers look up to.

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 Photo via @shirleybeniang

5. Angela Simmons

Angela has created her own brand and individualized herself as a woman. She inspires me to stay rooted in my belief in God and also be exactly who I want to be and how I want to be. Plus it’s pretty cool to have an app, I want an app too!

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 Photo via @angelasimmons

Top 5 Ways To Enjoy Your Valentine’s Day In NYC

This may have been my most awaited post ever. I have answered your wishes, here is your top 5 ways to enjoy your Valentine’s Day and it’s also your Valentine’s weekend bible. I’ve done all the work for you, romantic pre fixe dinner menus, fun outings for you and your boo and the best hotels for a night recap *wink wink*. Yes, All Star Weekend (and Fashion Week) is the same weekend and will probably outshine this special day but this list is catering to the lover in you. (I may get to the sports fanatics in a later post.) Okay, I will spare you with any more talk, just read below!

1. Restaurants

Manhattan

Spice Market is a Southeast Asian exquisite dining experience offering a special dining menu for $95 per person Here

Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar is your go to place for romance and intimacy. They are offering a 3 course dinner menu at both locations for $68 per person Midtown Here and West Village Here. Date night packages on Groupon (not valid 2/14) Here

STK Midtown/Downtown Steakhouse offers steak specials for two and a DJ on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Further details on opentable.com

Buddakhan specializes in Modern Asian Cuisine and is a great option. They don’t have a specialized menu but I dined with them last year for Valentine’s day and had a wonderful experience. They are pricey and the portion size is smaller but the ambiance and the taste of the food is wonderful.

Serendipty 3 is a great dessert option. It is also romantic and playful. They aren’t offering a specialized menu but it’s still a great choice for dessert.

Clyde Frazier Wine and Dine is a sports themed restaurant and bar. Shoot hoops and have dinner with your boo. Pretend that you’re just as excited about All Star weekend as he is.

Queens/Long Island

Blend on the Water‘s authentic Latin Fusion cuisine is your option if you want a little sas in your food and a view of the city. They’re offering a $140 per couple, 3 course menu plus a glass of Moscato for each.

Simply Fondue is very similar to Melting Pot. Think cabanas, chocolate fondue, intimacy and romance. They are offering a 4 course meal with wine/champagne for $65 per person and $85 which includes lobster.

Penthouse 808 is a rooftop Asian Pacific Bistro. They are offering a 3 course Prix Fixe Dinner Here

Brooklyn

Milk River combines Caribbean and Asian cuisine deliciously. They are offering a specialized menu that has not been released yet. Please check back for updates.

Bronx/New Rochelle/White Plains

Don Coqui specializes in Puerto Rican cuisine and has a beautiful ambiance. Eat and party the night away!

More of my favorite Valentine’s Day picks are HERE. For details on more restaurant options visit my Food page. For a list of all participating restaurants with Valentine’s Day specials visit opentable.com

2. Couple’s Classes 

Paint Nite for two is a great idea. Put on your Picasso hat and book one of these 16 choices of paint nites all over NYC for $65 each Here (Use the code: creativenite for 40% off)

Butter Lane Bakery offers a cupcake making class for two Here Contact classes@butterlane.com for questions.

Cooking with Chef Jeff is a unique cooking experience where you’ll learn how to create 3 of his specialty dishes for $90 Here

Wine Tasting Tours includes 5 tastings, live music and a discount on wines (transportation included) for $79 for one and $149 for two Here

Couples Massages with a Jacuzzi and Champagne for two at Cynergy SpaTribeca Spa of Tranquility  and Body By Brooklyn

3. Sightseeing Activities and Museums

Museum of Sex has spiced up their exhibits and offers an aphrodisiac cocktail “treatment.” Tickets are $18 until February 12 Here 

Tropical Paradise at the New York Botanical Gardens is a conservatory that brings the islands to NYC. Valentine’s Day is sold out but it’s still a beautiful exhibit to experience.

Celsius at Bryant Park offers VIP Ice Skating for two with optional three course dinner Here (Groupon deal not redeemable on 2/14 but other days are available and you can still go ice skating and dine)

Visit the top of the Empire State Building. If you’ve never been, this would be a fun date. Tickets Here

For more couples activities visit my Holiday List and Dates.

4. Hotels

Andaz Hotels offer a Champagne and Chocolate Delight package that includes breakfast for two HERE

W Hotels offer a “In Love or Just Lust” package that wakes up al your senses with a special surprise in the room Here

The London offers The Modern Romance Package which includes a couples massage in your suite, martini’s and canapés Here

Dream Hotels offer a Romance Package of a bottle of Chandon Brut with chocolate-covered strawberries and a continental breakfast for two Here

Conrad Hotel offers a Romance Retreat package of a floral arrangement, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a continental breakfast for two Here

Gansevoort Hotels offer the Get Intimate package of bottle of champagne and strawberries, a continental breakfast for two and couples monogrammed pillowcases Here

*Please note that due to the holiday, All Star Weekend and Fashion Week, MANY hotels are already booked this weekend. If your Valentine’s plans are flexible, you may have to choose another day for these hotels but they are great options nonetheless.

5. Events and Shows

Valentine’s Day Weddings 2015 at the Empire State Building. Get married at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day Here

Burlesque Show with a 3 course Prix Fixe dinner for $95 at 9pm and $125 at 9:30 per person at Duane Park Here

The Slipper Room offers 3 burlesque shows on 2/14. Tickets range from $10 to $20 at the door Here

Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Tyga Concert Jan 29, Feb 6 & 21, Tickets Here

P. Diddy and Snoop Dog Concert Feb 12, Tickets Here

Valentine’s at Hotel Chantelle includes unlimited Rose Champagne for 2 from Feb 11-14 Here This fun French restaurant and lounge is great for an intimate Valentine’s day. They also have a Burlesque show every Friday.

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5 Ways To End Your Rainy Day Blues

Are you experiencing the rainy day blues? You probably have already seen every episode of Sex and the City, you’ve perused through Netflix and came up with nothing and the walls are slowly starting to move in on you. Maybe you don’t want to snuggle up in bed and eat everything inside of your refrigerator while waiting for the rain to end. I mean every once in a while these indoor plans seem fun but today is just not one of those days. If you feel this way, I’ve got a solution of five ways to end your rainy day blues.

1. Spa

Relax, unwind and escape the rain at Spa Castle. Call up a friend or family member and treat yourself to a day at the spa. For $40 weekdays or $50 on weekends you can spoil yourself by relaxing in the saunas, pools, jacuzzi’s and massage rooms. Cynergy Spa and Tribeca Spa of Tranquility are also great spas. For other spa options and deals visit livingsocial.

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2. Museums

There is a pretty cool panorama of the City of New York exhibit at the Queens Museum. The suggested admission for adults is $8, $4 for students and seniors and children under 12 years are free. (Suggested means it is not required.) Another option is the Sony Wonder Lab, a free technology and entertainment museum for children and adults. The Sony Wonder Lab also has free weekly weekend movie screenings. For a list of the movie screenings visit sonywondertechlab.com. There are many museum options in NYC that are perfect to stay dry and warm indoors. Click: Kids for children’s museum options and Adults for adult museum options.

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3. Indoor Shops

Don’t let the rain stop your show. You can still always go shopping! But, if the mall doesn’t excite you, you can still visit these indoor shops and have a all in one experience of food, shopping and fun. Four places that provide all this is the Chelsea MarketGrand Central TerminalBrooklyn Night Bazaar and Rockefeller Center Shops.

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4. Gyms and Sports Center

Even though the rain normally makes everyone extremely lazy and not in the mood for anything, take the initiative and head to the gym. You’re not missing out on anything going on outdoors besides getting wet, so you mind as well break a sweat indoors. The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers has everything you’d want to do from sports, to work out classes to personal training options. It’s pretty much an all in one. For something closer to your house try LA FitnessBally Total FitnessNY Sports Club or Equinox. For membership deals visit livingsocial.com.

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5. Be Productive!

You know those errands you had to run but you kept putting them off? Or the junk drawer that’s overflowing with nonsense that you keep ignoring? Or the fact that you haven’t packed away your summer clothes and it is now winter and you know you need to do some cleaning? Or maybe there’s a friend or family member that you’ve been meaning to call or go visit and you just didn’t have the time? Possibly there’s a book you wanted to read, or a really cool blog you wanted to check out and comment on *hint hint*. Well guess what? Now is your time to be productive!

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5 Ways To Enhance Your Thanksgiving Weekend Experience

Thanksgiving is here and I know we all have food and family on our minds. It’s finally holiday season, a time when we partake in holiday traditions and enjoy this time together. To enhance your holiday fun and happiness, I’ve compiled a top five list of ways to enhance your Thanksgiving experience. There’s more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, here’s why…

1. Fried Turkey

I was going to save this secret for last but to me it’s the most important. Last year I had the Thanksgiving experience of a lifetime, I indulged in fried turkey. It honestly changed my Thanksgiving forever. I no longer want baked turkey. I no longer want to douse my turkey in gravy in hopes that it will ignite flavor. Fried turkey has flavor, it’s moist and absolutely delicious. The secret is, I didn’t make my turkey (judge me, it’s fine.) I took my turkey a day in advance to Seamorhen (11829 Guy R Brewer Blvd, Jamaica NY 11434) and dropped it off. For about $40-$50 they will fry your turkey and you can return and pick it up. Seamorhen just opened a new location at 190-07 109rd Farmers Blvd 11412. Trust me when I tell you they will change your Thanksgiving dinner experience forever.

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2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is on Thursday, November 27th and begins at 9am. The parade marches down Central Park West from 77th Street to Columbus Circle along Central Park South to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 34th Street and along 34th Street to Macy’s Herald Square (34th Street.) As New Yorkers, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying “I’ve done this before,” or “I live in New York, this isn’t new to me.” But every year is a new experience with new floats and new entertainment. Maybe you can take someone knew that has never been and make it a memorable experience.

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3. Black Friday Deals

Thankfully, Black Friday deals are not only on Friday anymore. You can begin your shopping now! If you’re brave and want to battle the black Friday crowds on Friday, I applaud you. If you’re like me and rather shop online, then I’ve compiled a short list of my favorite stores and their Black Friday deals. Also, if you have been moved by the recent events of our country and will not be participating, I completely support your decision as well.

  • Target – Deals on everything!
  • Victoria’s Secret– Angel Card Early Access, Free Black tote with $75 purchase, Buy one bra and get one 50% off
  • Bloomingdales– Big Brown Bag Sale, save up to 50% through 11/29
  • Express– 50% off everything in store and online
  • H&M– Deals starting as low as $3.95, free shipping on orders over $50 until 11/29
  • Sony– Great online deals on tv’s, cameras and other electronics

I have also been told about shopular. A app that delivers the best deals from your favorite stores to your phone. Good luck and happy shopping!

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4. Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer!

The most promising way to enhance your Thanksgiving experience is to enhance the experience of others. What I mean is, volunteer! Volunteer to serve food to the homeless, lend a hand to your church or organization’s Thanksgiving food drive, participate in an activity or event that puts a smile on someone else’s face. The most rewarding feeling is to help someone else. “Remember that today you may have everything and tomorrow you may have nothing. Be thankful and gracious always.”

Visit newyorkcares.org, newyorkcommonpantry.org, cityharvest.org and foodbanknyc.org for volunteer opportunities. If your church or organization needs volunteers, contact me: simplypamarie@gmail.com I would be happy to publicize your event.

Salvation Army Feeds Homeless On Thanksgiving Day

5. Holiday Shops, Display Windows and Ice Skating

You’re off of work, you’re out of school, you don’t really have to be anywhere so I suggest you spend this time doing everything! Everything like visiting NYC’s holiday shops, going ice skating and viewing the beautiful display windows at Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Lord and Taylor, Macy’s and Tiffany & Co. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, enjoy it!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Haunted and Helpless on Halloween 

Halloween is for those who enjoy being haunted and helpless. I personally am not one of those people at all but I thought you’d appreciate a list of the top five ways to spend this spooky holiday. After you choose a plan from this list, all you need is a costume and  maybe a bag for treats.

1. Halloween Parade

New York City’s 41st annual Village Halloween Parade takes place on October 31, 2014 from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. The parade marches from Spring Street to 16th street on 6th avenue. This parade is the livest event in NYC. Everyone is welcome to participate in the parade but you must arrive between 7pm and 9pm and you MUST be wearing a costume. Everyone else is more than welcome to watch.

For more information visit halloween-nyc.com

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2. Haunted Houses

There’s nothing like being haunted and helpless at a haunted house on Halloween. If being frightened is your kind of thing then a haunted house is your place to be. Three haunted houses that will absolutely scare you to death are BlackoutNightmare and Blood Manor . Ticket prices are between $30 and $60. Visit each site for further details.

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3.  Halloween Themed Restaurants

How about a dinner out at a halloween themed restaurant? It’s the best of both worlds, food and fun. The famous Jekyll & Hyde Restaurant provides live entertainment and food. The Witches Brew provides a creepy yet cool environment for you Halloweeners with great desserts and nice scenery.

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4. Fright Fest at Six Flags

Since Halloween lands on a Friday you have more than enough time to visit Fright Fest at Six Flags over the weekend. Grab a group of friends, take a mini road trip and have some fun. Tickets are still on sale and hey, be a big kid and live a little.

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5. Halloween Parties

What better way to celebrate Halloween than a costume themed Halloween party? The best parties always have a winner for best costume. A few parties that I’m sure will leave you haunted and helpless are pictured below:

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Visit websterhall.com for information

5 Sweet Indulgences For National Dessert Day

No dining experience is complete without a sweet indulgence at the end. Dessert is always a happy ending to a great meal. Today we are celebrating that happy ending. It’s National Dessert Day! If you constantly have a sweet tooth like I do, this list is for you. I’m sharing five of my favorite desserts and where they are located. I suggest you grab your happy ending partner and indulge in something sweet. 🙂

1. Apple Pie

The apple pie from Witches Brew is amazing! The crust is flaky, the pie is warm and paired with ice cream and whipped cream the experience is delightful. Fall is here and apple pie is always a fall favorite, trust me this pie is worth it.

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2. Red Velvet Cupcake

Have you been to Georgetown Cupcake? If you haven’t, you need to go to one immediately! Georgetown’s cupcakes are freshly baked and they are delicious. My favorite cupcake is their red velvet cupcake. It is soft, has a great red velvet taste and is topped with a cream cheese frosting with a fondant heart. My second favorite cupcake is the chocolate sundae. (Unfortunately this cupcake is seasonal.) Both are delicious and great to order for celebrations or to pick up for an after dinner dessert.

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3. Warm Chocolate Molten Cake

Nothing warms my heart more than chocolate cake. I am absolutely a chocoholic and chocolate cake is my biggest addiction. So for me, nothing is better than a warm chocolate molten cake paired with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. One of my favorite molten cakes is from Martha’s Country Bakery. The cake is a nice sized, it’s delicious and my heart is always warmed with happiness at the end of my experience.

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4. Mandarin Cheesecake

Now I know this choice is a bit far fetched because this cheesecake is from a restaurant called The Rock Grill on the Bahamas Celebration ship but I had to include it on my list. The Mandarin Cheesecake was so perfect that I ordered two. It was light and refreshing, sweet and satisfying. It was the perfect ending to dinner and honestly I want to eat it again!

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5. Mini Indulgences

At the end of every meal at Seasons 52 the waiter brings out a tray of 7 mini indulgences. Your eyes will light up when this tray arrives and you will want every single one displayed, even if you don’t normally eat it. I have tried a few of the indulgences but I can’t suggest a favorite because they change every season. I do know that after you a great meal, these desserts are the perfect happy ending.

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Top 5 Taco Tasting on National Taco Day!

Remember taco night at home with your family? I’m sure everyone has had taco night at least once. My sister and I use to have fun grading cheese and preparing all the taco toppings. Those were the good ole days. Well now we’re all grown up and we head out for taco night. By going out for tacos, we can taste as many as we want at some of our favorite taco spots. Let’s all celebrate National Taco Day with a special taco tasting at some of my favorite spots!

1. Blockheads

If you’re a true New Yorker, you should already be familiar with Blockheads. Blockheads is one of the most well known hang out spots. During the warmer months, you can catch everyone at Blockheads sipping margaritas and eating tacos. The food is good and the atmosphere is relaxed and great for friends. This is one of my favorite mexican taco spots. Have you been here? What’s your experience? Comment below!

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2. Rosa Mexicano

Rosa Mexicano is well known for their delicious guacamole. But not only is their guacamole good, so is their tacos. I devoured the “Alambre de Camarones” or “Skewered Shrimp” tacos. They are absolutely delicious. Rosa Mexicano is more of an upscale mexican restaurant. It’s perfect for a date or a business dinner. Either way the food is great and so is the atmosphere.

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3. Iguanas Mexican Grill

Iguanas is a “go to” after work spot. It’s a great place for drinks, letting your hair down and unbuttoning your shirt after a long day at work. You go to Iguanas for shots at the bar and tacos to soak up the liquor. That’s really all it’s about. We all need one of those taco and drinks experiences at least once right?

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4. Habana Outpost

Habana Outpost is an indoor and outdoor restaurant. You walk inside the restaurant and order your food. Then you go outside an pick up your food that is freshly prepared on a truck. Your next task is to find a seat, then drink, eat and laugh with friends. Habana Outpost is a favorite spot amongst everyone for the summer time. The food is good and so are the drinks. I usually go for their corn and pair it with their catfish tacos (with added hot sauce.)

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5. Dos Caminos

I saved the best taco tasting experience for last. The best way to celebrate National Taco Day is at Dos Caminos. They offer Tour de Tacos which is a eight taco spread of four “flavors” of tacos. These “flavors” include asada, carnitas, pescado and pollo tacos. My favorite were the pollo and carnitas. Both were flavorful and split between two people the platter was very fulfilling. What better way to celebrate than with a taste of all flavors. Happy National Taco Day!

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Celebrating National Coffee Day With My 5 Favorite Coffee Shops

Let’s celebrate National Coffee Day with five of my favorite coffee shops. Truthfully, I’m not the biggest coffee fan but I love a warm cup of hot chocolate or a latte. As a blogger, coffee shops have become my favorite places to collect my ideas and put them down for you to read. Also, nothing seems to get my brain moving like liquid inspiration. Do I have any blog readers that can relate? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. For all my morning coffee drinkers who can’t begin their day until they get a cup of liquid motivation, this is for you.

1. Witches Brew

I went to Witches Brew for a late dessert. I was craving a frozen hot chocolate and found exactly what I was looking for. I paired my frozen hot chocolate with a warm apple pie. Both were delicious! Witches Brew’s eery and creepy yet comfortable and cozy  atmosphere is a cool chill out spot. I suggest you go with a small group of friends or on a late night date with your boo. Either way it’s a fun and intimate experience.

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2. Martha’s Country Bakery

If you have a sweet tooth or you’re looking for a sweet ending to the perfect date, go to Martha’s Country Bakery. It is not only a bakery, it’s more like a cute intimate coffee shop. They have every kind of pastry, cake, cupcake, cookie and warm beverage you can imagine. Also what’s perfect is they stay open to midnight and 1am on the weekends.

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3. Serendipity 3

Serendipity 3 has taken our normal winter time treat to a different level and created a frozen hot chocolate that is absolutely refreshing and divine. For $8.95 you can indulge in the sweet joys of winter time during the summer with their frozen hot chocolate. Serendipity 3 is the cutest restaurant with all types of decorations and collectors items. It is like a coffee shop, mixed with an ice cream parlor, mixed with a restaurant.

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4. Starbucks

Starbucks has become one of my favorite places to go when I’m blogging, doing personal research or just need to get away and take a break. It is also my number one food addiction. Nothing can brighten my day like a tall (iced or hot) caramel latte with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. (Only true Starbucks addicts know the difference between tall, grande and venti and can say their order in one breath.) Also, Starbucks offers free wifi. In 2014 having free wifi and a quiet space is like finding a rare diamond in a pile of sand.

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5. Toby’s Estate Coffee

This coffee shop choice is especially shared with me by my sister Sharae (@amantedeart) . Her favorite coffee shop is Toby’s Estate Coffee. She enjoys the decadent designs and deliciousness of their coffee. Her drink of choice is a vanilla latte. She enjoys doing some of her best design work at this coffee shop because it provides her a nice quiet getaway, in a comfortable shop with a cheerful drink to sip.

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5 Spots To Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day!

Hurray, it’s National Cheeseburger Day! Where are my burger lovers? This post is for you. Now I must be honest, cheeseburgers are not high on my foodie list so I had to consult a dear friend of mine who is THE burger expert. We put our heads together and decided on 5 perfect spots perfect to celebrate this national holiday. Get your mouths ready, this one is going to be good!

1. Bareburger

Bareburger is popping up everywhere so that means they must have a lot of delicious burgers to offer. More so, they pride themselves in offering pasture and humanely raised meats. We believe that’s what makes Bareburger a step above the rest. What also provides elitism to these restaurants is the option to create your own burger.  You not only have a choice between a variety of meats (such as beef, turkey, buttermilk fried chicken and veggie patties) but you can choose your bun, veggies, cheese, bacon and sauces. (By the way, we think buttermilk ranch is delicious!) These days, everyone loves options and Bareburger provides all the options you need.

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(Photo via @Bareburger on Instagram)

2. Bobby’s Burger Palace 

Bobby Flay is the chef behind Bobby’s Burger Palace so you know these burgers have to be good.  Their menu is pretty small but each burger is packed with flavor and personality. My favorite burger is the Bobby Blue Burger which is topped with blue cheese crumbles, bacon, lettuce and tomato. But before you order any burger on this menu make sure that it is crunchified! Crunchified means that your burger is topped with potato chips. Chips in a burger? Who would’ve known. Also whichever side you choose to accompany your burger, make sure you taste bobby’s dipping sauce, it is amazing. Lastly, the Frozen Cactus Pear Margarita is a must add to this combination, it has and will put a smile on my face each and every time!

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3. Soho Park

Soho Park is a hidden treasure in Soho. I honestly randomly stumbled upon it while walking around in Soho. What drew me in was their open, relaxed and garden-like feel. Soho Park is a nice place to  grab a burger and chill out with friends. You order your food, they give you a license plate and you take it to your seat. When you food is ready, they bring your food to you. Their burgers are light and refreshing yet filling.

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4. Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake has an old fashion twist on the more modern burger spot. Our favorite part of this old fashion twist is they serve Coke in the old school Coca Cola bottles. That’s something you definitely don’t see anymore these days. Harlem Shake is located in the heart of Harlem and is named after the infamous dance, “Harlem Shake” which means it has history and flavor. This combination is demonstrated in their decor and their burgers and hot dogs.

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(Photo via @HarlemShakeNYC on Instagram)

5.  Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is famous for their huge 7 oz burgers. These massive burgers can not entirely be eaten by the average burger lover so most people take half of it home. Not only are their burgers huge and delicious, their milkshakes are amazing! Jackson Hole is a diner but it’s burgers are not average and don’t give you that boring diner food feel. Trust me, this burger experience is like none other.

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5 Ways To Celebrate Labor Day Weekend In NYC

Labor Day Weekend in NYC can be pretty dull and it feels like the entire city is desolate. Some people use this weekend as their last hurrah before the summer ends and they run to Long Island, New Jersey or The Hamptons or even Philly for the Made In America Festival. Most New Yorkers preplan and book their summer end travel to a nice island or even Miami, Florida. Well for those that are left in New York, here are a few ways to make your Labor Day Weekend in NYC not so boring.

1. Rooftops In NYC

If I were you, I would use this last opportunity to soak up the sun before the weather drastically changes. It’s already starting to feel like Fall if you haven’t noticed. But lets hold on to this last bit of sun and grab some friends and go for a drink. The Conrad Hotel is a perfect small rooftop where you can experience their cool drinks at Loopy Doopy. The Dream hotel and the Gansevoort Hotel located in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area are classy and perfect for the slightly bourgeois individual. Also in Manhattan is 230 Fifth Rooftop which is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. They have an indoor part and a heated outdoor part that directly faces the Empire State Building. Speaking of the Empire State, the Empire Hotel also has a really nice rooftop that you definitely want to experience before the summer subsides. For partying, dancing and fun, I suggest Sky Room and 760 Rooftop which are both located in the heart of the city, Times Square. Lastly, Penthouse 808 is a great place to have an intimate dinner while gazing at the Queensboro Bridge and Z Roof Rooftop is a great place to go and just have some fun.

For a full list of NYC rooftops visit thrillist.com and timeout.com

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2. West Indian American Day Carnival Parade

Annually West Indians and Caribbean Americans celebrate our heritage on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. September 1st is a day filled with food, music, fun, celebrations and non stop dancing. The floats travel down the parkway, while dancers play mass in their beautiful costumes and celebratory dress. This to me is the biggest Labor Day festivity in New York City. For more details visit wiadcacarnival.org

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3. Electric Zoo Festival

Randall’s Island Park hosts the Electric Zoo Festival this weekend. It’s a celebration filled with friends, music and fun. I’ve never attended this event but it looks like wild fun. Have you been to Electric Zoo or do you plan on going? If so comment below with your experience or hashtag #simplypamarie to share on social media. For more information and tickets to this event visit electriczoofestival.com

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4. US Open

The US Open is already underway. You can celebrate this Labor Day weekend by attending one of their tennis matches. For tickets to these events visit ticketmaster.com

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5. Beach or Pool  

The best way to end the Summer is in a pool or on a beach. You can pretend to be on vacation by going to a beach like Long Beach, Jones Beach, Coney Island or Manhattan Beach. If I was you I would make the best out of this skeptical weather and have a party with your friends and family. If sand isn’t necessarily your thing then find a nice pool. McCarren Pool is open to the public until September 1st. There is also McCarren hotel that has a really cute pool that costs $55 for a day pass and $30 for an evening swim pass. This pool isn’t so public and is a great place to bring a few friends to relax and chill. For a list of free outdoor pools visit nycgovparks.org

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Top 5 Winners Of My Guacamole Challenge

My guacamole challenge was on this summer! Nothing refreshes my stomach more than digging chips into a glorious fresh avocado mix of onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper. So I decided to seek some of my favorite spots for awesome guacamole. Everyone may enjoy their guacamole a bit differently but I like mine a little salty and chunky. These are five of my favorite guac havens!

1. California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen has a unique spin on guacamole. Their diced avocado is filled with white corn, black beans, jicama, bell pepper, cilantro and serrano peppers. It’s served with black and white chips. This unique combo is chunky and more filling because it includes different veggies. I loved their version of guacamole because it was different from the normal guacamole and was a perfect start to a great meal.

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2. El Patron

El Patron does something that I think is so imperative to creating perfect guacamole for your customer. They mix and mash their guacamole right in front of you. This gives you the option to adjust the guacamole to your liking. If you like it a little more mushy then chunky, you can ask for them to keep mashing. If you like it a little saltier than normal, you can ask for that too. I loved their guacamole because it was the perfect combination of everything and it was fresh.

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3. 5 Burro Cafe

5 Burro‘s atmosphere is great if you’re looking for a intimate mexican spot with good people and good food. 5 Burro’s guacamole is a light and refreshing start to a great meal. Their guacamole is a bit mushy and isn’t filled with a lot of ingredients but it’s tasty.

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4. Rosa Mexicano

If you like fresh guacamole, you will love Rosa Mexicano. They put the “Guac” in Guacamole! The fresh guacamole and all its ingredients are mixed right in front of you. You also have the option of making it spicy or keeping it mild. I may have to crown it the best guacamole I’ve ever had.

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5. Chipotle 

Now now now, don’t laugh but I absolutely love the guacamole and chips from Chipotle. Well I think it’s more so the combination of the salty and flavorful chips and when mixed with the guacamole the combination is addicting. I also must have my burrito bowl with their guacamole on top, and no I don’t mind paying the extra $2.30. It’s all worth it.

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5 Places In NYC With The Most Amazing Views

One thing I appreciate about New York City is that we have the most amazing views of water, high rise buildings and bridges. Besides relaxing on a beach, nothing else is more soothing to me than laying back and taking in an amazing view. I’ve decided to compile some of the most awesome skyline and waterside views for you so that maybe you can appreciate them as much as I do.

1. Riverbank State Park

Riverbank State Park is located on Riverside Drive. It overlooks the Hudson River, the Palisades and the George Washington Bridge. This location is perfect for picnics, family days and has amenities such as a pool, skating rink and carousel for kids. This park is an all in one. For more details on the amenities visit www.nyparks.com.

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2. Gantry Plaza State Park

Gantry Plaza State Park has become my favorite location this summer. This park is located in Long Island City and has the most amazing view of midtown Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge. Gantry Park is also an amazing location for pictures, picnics, family fun and romantic dates. If you haven’t been here yet, please put it on your “To Do” list before the summer ends. To read everything about this park visit www.nyparks.com.

Gantry State Park

3. Brooklyn Bridge Park

What more can I say about Brooklyn Bridge Park, it pretty much has everything. The view of the East River, the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge are memorable and breathtaking. This park has everything from basketball courts, to a carousel, a pop up pool and many other activities. Check www.brooklynbridgepark.org for their activity list.

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4. The Highline

Located from Ganzevoort Street in the  Meatpacking District to 30th street is an elevated linear park called The Highline. When you walk up the stairs to the Highline you are met with a beautiful view of the West side of Manhattan and the Hudson River. Along the highline are seating areas, gardens and vendors. For more details visit www.thehighline.org.

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5.  South Street Seaport

Another location that is an all in one is South Street Seaport or Pier 17. This location is filled with shops and restaurants as well as an amazing view of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge. Also, located in this area is one of my secret spots called The Elevated Acre located at 55 Water Street. At this location, you can watch helicopters take off from the helipad while having a picnic and absorbing a view of the East River. Another one of my secret spots is Pier 15 (on South Street between John Street and Maiden Lane.) It’s about a block from South Street Seaport. It’s also an amazing place to catch the sun and have a picnic.

If you’d like to share your experience at any of these places email me at simplypamarie@gmail.com or tag me on Twitter/Instagram at @simplypamarie.

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Cheers To 5 Of The Coolest Drinks In NYC

Everyone raise your glass and let’s cheers to the summer time and to some of the coolest drinks in NYC! Whether you are a tequila, rum, dark or vodka drinker, this list is for you. It was hard for me to narrow down to just 5. I wanted to add Brother Jimmy’s with their famous fish bowls filled with a million straws and rubber alligator and Dallas BBQ‘s with their well known texas sized drinks but I thought hey we know about those already. So I’ve composed some of the coolest drinks that I think you may not have tried yet. If you have already, then I’m sure you will agree that others need to try them as well.

1. Loopy Doopy at the Conrad Hotel

Located in the Conrad Hotel is the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar. Their famous drink is Prosecco and Ice Pops served in a large wine glass for $19. I had the Strawberry Margarita. The ice pop alone was absolutely amazing! It has actual strawberries in the ice pop and when dipped in Prosecco, the result is everything you need to enhance your rooftop experience.

2. Punch at 67 Orange

This coolest drink is not just for you, it’s for your friends as well. So call up at least 3 of your friends because you’re going to need them to help you finish this big bowl of punch at 67 Orange Street in Harlem. For $48 this punch serves 4 to 6 people. The Caribbean Punch shown below is a mix of everything that will have your hips swaying and wining while laughing and joking with your friends.

3. Goblets at Sugar Factory

If you have not been to the candy and food factory that is Sugar Factory in the Meatpacking District of NYC then you are very much behind the times. But let me catch you up to speed, you want to dine at Sugar Factory and indulge in their huge candy filled goblets. The goblets are $36 and can be shared with a friend. I would suggest choosing the goblet that best fulfills your candy and alcohol preference. Also, the most exciting part about the goblets is that they are filled with dry and regular ice so when filled with your chosen alcohol mix, they fiz, sizzle and smoke. Trust me, I’m sure it’s something you’ve never experienced before.

4. Cinco Sampler at Cozymel’s

Raise your hand if the hardest thing to do while you’re at a restaurant is to choose what drink to order. Don’t you wish sometimes you can taste them all, or at least see a picture of what it looks like? Well luckily at Cozymel’s in Westbury, you can taste them all with the Cinco Sampler. For $10 you are able to have Primo, Mango, Raz Rita, Blue Peach and Clásico mini sized tequila filled frozen margaritas. Now the hardest question to answer is “which one is your favorite?”

5. Flavored Margaritas at El Patron

Margaritas with Patron at El Patron. If you haven’t read my post on this drink yet, then you are a little behind. But that’s okay, I’m giving you another chance. You must try your favorite flavored margarita in an actual Patron bottle at El Patron. I mean the drink tastes great and it’s in a Patron bottle, what more is there for me to tell you besides Drink Up!

5 Ways To Celebrate National Ice Cream Day

If you haven’t heard, today is a unique Sundae Funday because it is National Ice Cream Day! Today is the day you should indulge in Americas favorite frozen treat and celebrate the deliciousness of it. So to kick off your celebration, I’ve created a list of 5 delicious, creative and cool places to indulge. Yes, we all are familiar with Baskin Robbins who by the way offers a Buy One Sundae Get One Free  deal from Monday to Wednesday every week until September.  We are also familiar with Carvel who also offers a Buy One Sundae Get One Free deal on Wednesdays. And who doesn’t revert to their childhood days upon hearing the joyous sound of Mr. Softee driving down the street. But hey, let’s try somewhere different today because today is a Sundae Funday national celebration!

1. Sprinkles Ice Cream

Whoever came up with the idea of Sprinkles Cupcakes and Ice Cream was a genius! What better way to enjoy the best of both worlds but to combine a cupcake and ice cream? The combination is absolutely heavenly. May I also tell you that the Cupcake ATM is also genius! You can walk up to the ATM window and choose the cupcake you want, purchase it and out comes a box filled with the sweet wonders of the world. But back to the ice cream, I enjoyed a chocolate marshmallow cupcake filled with red velvet ice cream. It was amazing!

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2. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a nice touch to the Brooklyn Bridge location and a great place to visit if you are in the area. They offer a simple menu but it is absolutely worth it. I had a simple vanilla cone but the combination of the view, the ice cream and spending time with someone special makes the whole experience magical.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

3. Big Gay Ice Cream

Yes, this place is called the Big Gay Ice Cream. How funny of a name is that? Well along with the funny name are funny named ice cream specials such as “Cococone,” “American Globs,” and Bea Arthur. Check the website to see what these specials entail. But I indulged in the “Salty Pimp” which is a vanilla cone with dulce de leche and sea salt dipped in chocolate. Besides the sea salt that I personally didn’t love, the cone was great. Either way, you should check this place out. I’m sure it will leave you feeling gay (happy) as ever!

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4. Emack & Bolio’s

Now I must be honest, I have not visited Emack & Bolio’s but it is absolutely high on my “To Do” list. The creativity of the flavors paired with the craziness of the cones has to satisfy the sweetest tooth in my mouth. Have you been to Emack & Bolio’s? If you have, tell me everything in the comments box. What should I try? Which location should I go to? I want to know everything.

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5. Coldstone

Coldstone as you probably know is the most popular ice cream haven available across the country. It is one of my favorite “Go To” places to make my day better and to satisfy my ice cream craving. I think I’ve had more “Like It” cups with Sweet Cream Ice Cream, Brownies, Caramel and Fudge topped with whipped cream than I could remember. What is your favorite Coldstone combination?

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Top 5 Activities For Guys

First and foremost I would like to apologize to my male readers, I feel like I’ve neglected you in some sense so this post is specifically for you. I’ve consulted my male panel and these are some of the activities and events you don’t want to miss! Call your boys and tell your girl to go out with her friends because this is your time.

1. Athletic Sports Centers

Gym time is your time. It is time for you to work out, build those muscles that us girls love and blow off steam. So instead of hitting your normal gym, or your nearby park for their basketball court, go to Pier 2 Sports Court at the Brooklyn Bridge Park or the new Jordan Terminal 23. I randomly stumbled upon Pier 2 while in Brooklyn and I immediately thought of you. (You being my male readers.) The Sports Court is basically an outdoor gym. It has basketball courts, handball courts, fitness equipment and more. It also has the most amazing view to enhance your athletic experience.

Also, Jordan Terminal 23 is a new indoor basketball court created in the honor of Carmelo Anthony. It’s located in Hotel Pennsylvania and is an invite only court.

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2. Sneaker Con

Sometimes I wonder which one you guys like better, sneakers or woman? But hey that’s just me. Well for all you sneaker heads reading, Sneaker Con is where you need to be on July 26, 2014 from 12pm-7pm. Sneaker Con showcases the hottest and most exclusive footwear, apparel and accessories. This is a one day event so purchase your tickets and mark your calendars today!

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3. Sports Bars

If there is a big game on, I know guys are happy kicking back at home in front of your big screen. But, if you have the urge to get out and Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters is way too packed then try Suite 36,  40/40 Club, or Tonic. That’s if you are looking for something more upscale. If you are looking for somewhere that is more chill and laid back, try Croxley’s or 123 Burger. May I point out that Suite 36 is a very nice bar and Croxley’s wings are delicious! You also can’t go wrong with great drink and food specials at 123 burger or the eliteness of the 40/40 Club.

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4. Auto/Car Shows 

The International Auto Show is one of the most fun events of the year for guys and for girls. This is an annual event you will want to attend every year. But not only does the Jacob Javits Center hold this event, there are also car shows year round. Funkmaster Flex has a Car show and so does DJ Magic. DJ Magic’s car show is August 17. For future car show information, check back at a later time. For a list of upcoming auto shows, visit carshowsnational.com

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5. Celebrity Basketball Challenge

What do you get when you put basketball and celebrities together? A really good time if you ask me. On July 27, 2014 at 4pm the infamous Power 105.1 Breakfast Club will host a Celebrity Basketball Challenge at the Barclays Center. There will be 3 games, Meek Mill’s Team Philly versus Wale’s Team DMV and Fabolous’ Team NY versus Kendrick Lamar’s Team LA. I’m cheering for my home team plus I love me some FABO. Who are you cheering for?

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Top 5 Free Kid Friendly Summer Events

School’s out for summer! That means all of you parents have to find creative ways to entertain your kids for the next few months. Well I’m here to make your life a little easier with great ways to entertain your kids for FREE!

1. POOL DAY

New York City pools are now open! So to beat the heat bring your little one’s to a pool. There is a new pop-up pool in Brooklyn that I think would be great for this day of fun. The new Pop-up Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park is open from 10am to 6pm. Other great pools for families is McCarren Park Pool. It’s clean and huge, your kids will love it. For a full list of pools in your area visit nycgovparks.org

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2. OUTDOOR MOVIE

Take your kids on an outdoor family date! There are several outdoor movie screenings for families and kids across New York City. Some of my favorite’s are RiverFlicks Family Fridays every Friday beginning July 11th with a showing of  Despicable Me 2 at 8:30pm. Another outdoor movie event for families is Front Row Cinema on South Street Seaport. For a full list of all outdoor movies visit nycgo.com

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3. FAMILY DAY EVENTS

This suggestion is going to be your best friend this summer. There are several free family and kid friendly events all summer. Summerstage Kids hosts several family events all summer. Also, South Street Seaport hosts their KidAround events every Sunday. Lastly, Union Square Park hosts several events for kids such as Yoga Storytime. For a full list of all kid friendly events visit timeout.com

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4.  M– — USEUM/ZOO

Your kids will be so excited when you take them to the zoo. You will be just as excited because a day at the zoo means they will be exhausted and asleep afterwards. On Wednesday’s the Bronx Zoo is free for everyone. If you choose, you can donate whatever amount you’d like. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden‘s are always free for kids under age 12. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum  is free on Thursdays from 3-5 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. For a full list of free museum’s and times visit nycgo.com.

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5. PLAYGROUNDS

Even though the playground is such a cliche activity to do with your kids, you have to take them to the best kid friendly playgrounds. A few playgrounds that I believe are great for kids is Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Hudson River Park on Pier 25 in Manhattan, Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens and the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, Brooklyn. For a list of 25 best playgrounds in NYC visit timeout.com

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Top 5 Free Summer Date Ideas

Love is in the air everywhere you look around! Or at least “like” is. Anyway, I’ve comprised a list of my favorite free summer date ideas for you and your “boo” to do this summer. Guys, put away your wallets you don’t need them this time around. I promise she’ll be impressed with the thoughtfulness of these dates. Girls, prepare to be romantically woo’ed and instead of him spending money on your date, he can use the money on those shoes you were eyeing. Thank me later 😉

1. WALK THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

How romantic would it be to walk across the bridge with your special someone, snapping pictures and sharing stories? The Brooklyn Bridge on a nice summer day is one of the best sceneries in New York City. That’s what makes it an excellent date idea. I suggest you do this date towards the evening so you can watch the sunset. Also, you can choose to begin or end your journey at the Brooklyn Bridge park and Carousel area. This idea is also great if there is something special you want to ask your “hunny.” I’m just saying.

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2. OUTDOOR MOVIE 

Throughout the summer, different locations in almost every borough are providing free movie screenings. This takes the normal “dinner and a movie” date to another level. My favorite movie date locations are Bryant Park on Mondays, Hudson RiverFlicks on Wednesdays, and Syfy Movies on Thursdays. Each of these locations are extremely romantic and have the best views of the city. A full list of all of the summer movies can be found at nyc.go. Also, bring a blanket and a picnic of your favorite snacks to this movie date. Your date will be like a movie if you make it special.

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3. M– — USEUM

Museum dates are more romantic than you think. I know you’ve seen in the movies where  two people bump into each other while viewing the same painting and begin a long conversation and later fall in love. It sounds cheesy but it’s actually really sweet. So I believe a museum date would be just as cheesy and romantic. The MOMA is free every Friday from 4pm to 8pm. Also, every first Saturday of the month the Brooklyn Museum is free from 5pm to 11pm. Lastly, the Museum of Sex is another option. It isn’t free but it is still a cheap date. For a full list of museum rates visit nycgo.com.

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4. PICNIC IN THE PARK/ON THE BEACH

My absolute favorite free date is a picnic in the park or on the beach. Both the park and beach are perfect for creating the date that you want. Maybe you and your guy like drawing cute pictures that share your story or playing the childhood game “I spy.” Maybe you enjoy throwing a football around in the beach water and playing in the waves together. Whatever cute little ways you have fun and show your love, this is the perfect option to do it. Guys, if you need help creating the perfect beach or park date, I am always available to help. Trust me, she’ll love this option. Ladies, if you’re planning to go to the beach with your man, wear that sexy bathing suit you know he likes. It will make him happy and there will be more great dates to come.

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5. THE HIGH LINE

I  suggest you pick a day or night where it’s warm or slightly breezy and take your “boo” for a long stroll on The High Line. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be your “boo”, just someone who is special to you and you’d like to share a special moment with. The High Line is located in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area. It is the perfect place to go before or after a dinner date. For dinner options, check my Food page. Specifically, my favorite restaurants in this area are Sugar Factory and Spice Market.  Anyway, make sure your phone’s battery is charged because you will want to take pictures. Trust me, you’ll want to capture the moment.

Love

5 Ways To Enjoy Your Sunday Funday

“Sunday Funday” has become a popular coined phrase for enjoying your Sunday like it’s Saturday. No longer do we spend Sunday doing laundry and laying around until the dreaded Monday arrives with it’s blues. We now spend time with friends, attend events and if it’s nice out we go out and enjoy the weather. So I thought that I would share with you some of the most enjoyable ways to spend your Sunday Funday. Before you know it you will be back to work so you should enjoy the last few hours of freedom to your best ability!

#1 BRUNCH

Brunch has become a weekenders must do! With almost every restaurant providing brunch menu’s now a days, brunch has become the most popular thing to do. The menu options are always pleasing to everyone, a mimosa is a must have with any meal and it’s a great way to get everyone together one last time before the week begins. If you have a favorite restaurant, find out if they have a brunch menu. Some of my favorite brunch spots include Cafeteria in Manhattan, Soco in Brooklyn, Sanfords in Queens, Diwine in Queens and Chocolat in Harlem. If you are located in the Maryland/Washington DC area, try OyaSax or Rumors.

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#2 DAY PARTY

Who would’ve known that there would come a time when we partied on Sunday? Isn’t partying normally reserved for Friday night if you can muster the energy after a long work week but more specifically Saturday night? Well not anymore. The party God’s said we need one more day to have fun and enjoy our weekend. The most popular day party that I’ve been to numerous times and highly suggest is Pranna Day Party. Their day party is every weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-7pm. It’s a good mixed crowd, good music and you can eat then party. Other day parties include, 760 Rooftop Day party from 3pm-10pm and Sky Room Rooftop Day party from 3pm to 11pm.

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#3 OUTDOOR RECREATIONS

Sometimes you just want a nice, chill, relaxing Sunday. No loud music and no massive groups of people. Sometimes that is exactly the mood that I’m in so one of my favorite ways to spend my Sunday Funday is at a park, with a blanket, a sandwich and a book or magazine. You can spend your day at the park, beach or pool however you’d like. I just find this option to be the most mentally and physically relaxing. Some of the best locations for this type of Sunday are Cunningham Park in Queens, Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, Bryant Park in Manhattan and Central Park in Manhattan.

Picnic

#4 FESTIVALS/STREET FAIRS

Every weekend in the summertime there are Festivals in New York City. I promise you they are each and every weekend. These festivals can be for food, music, fashion and everything else us New Yorkers love. A festival is another perfect way to spend your Sunday Funday. It all depends on what you are looking to do but there is something for everyone. These festivals/street fairs include Smorgasburg in Brooklyn which I think you should attend at least once this summer. All other street fairs and festival information can be found on nycgo.com or timeout.com. Those two websites are your Go To’s for all summer events, festivals and street fairs.

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#5 NAUTICAL MILE

Nautical Mile in Freeport is like a hidden secret that not everyone in New York City knows about. Ever since I found out about it I go when I need a close-by quick relaxing get away. The mile is a long strip of restaurants and bars along the water. Boats are lined up and they are able to pull up right to the restaurants and just chill out. If you want a combination of food, relaxing and partying on your Sunday Funday, this is where you need to be. My absolute favorite restaurant/bar on the mile is Bracco’s Clam and Oyster. I literally go there every time I go to the mile. I can’t seem to find another place. Trust me you will love it.

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