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santa monica

I just spent my second birthday in a row on a work trip to Los Angeles. This year’s birthday maybe wasn’t quite as epic as last year’s in Disneyland with Jackie, but I’ll take it.

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On Monday we had a big Zagat event in Hollywood honoring the best and brightest in the restaurant industry in Los Angeles under the age of 30. It was awesome. The two highlights for me on a personal level were the fact that I never changed into the heels that I brought and also that there was a photobooth on site with our hashtag #Zagat30under30. If you know me and you know Kelly Purkey, you know a photobooth is not something we pass up. You also might know that recently Kelly Purkey broke my heart a little bit when she moved out of New York. But a heart can be repaired. She flew into LA to meet up with me! Kelly came to the event on Monday along with Amy Tan, whom I have heard about many times and finally got to meet, and then we had a dinner reservation for some of us at Osteria Mozza on Tuesday, my actual birthday.

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And there we are in the director’s chairs when the event started winding down. And some of my favorite picks from the Photobooth:

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Me, Kelly, and Amy being silly and then me and the Zagat crew below.

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Good times. I ain’t mad.

Also, there were paparazzo outside Osteria Mozza when we went for my birthday dinner, and when I got inside I saw Jason Bateman, Adam Scott AND Charlize Theron. Happy birthday to ME.

Welcome to Miami

Um… Have you been to Miami lately? My goodness.

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Here’s a blackberry bourbon lemonade for ya. Yup.

I went to Miami a couple of weekends ago on a kind of late-minute vacation with my then-roommate (Lucy, I miss you!) and our friend Susan. We stayed at the new St. Regis Bal Harbour and I am officially wrecked for life. I have never stayed in so nice a hotel. Gorgeous everything and enormous space. On top of the bedroom, two bathroom areas, and walk-in closet (and two other regular closets!), we also had a beautiful porch overlooking the ocean that we maybe ate our room service breakfast on. The whole space was bigger than my entire two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment. So there’s that. If you’re reading this and thinking DANG, she’s fancy, you should know our stay was actually free. :)

Now back to the food. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. The chef spent time working in Virginia and Lucy called it straight off the back. Said it was just like home. I said to myself I should spend more time in Virginia.

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Yardbird is known for its fried chicken. And it is GOOD, my friends. As is the spicy Tobasco honey that went with it.

But my real favorite was actually Mama’s chicken biscuits.

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If I go back, I am getting these again. Fried chicken and pepper jelly (what is that? Don’t care) on a buttermilk biscuit. You may think you don’t need both the Liewellyn’s fried chicken AND the chicken biscuits but you’d be wrong. Two completely different flavors.

And how about some sweet-tea brined Southern ribs to go with that?

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I never know if the meat is going to fall off the bone when I’m ordering ribs, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for. Well, these ones sure did! I could do without the chilies because I don’t LOVE the spicy but I did love everything else about these ribs.

So that’s a lot of food. I’m not even including photos of the mac ‘n’ cheese (very good!) or the greens (who needs greens?! Just kidding). And after all that food split between only three people, it may surprise you when I say this, but… we did NOT get dessert. Ribs were our dessert. So yeah, pretty dang good Southern food happening in Miami I guess!

 

 

 

Here’s to 2013

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Oh look, it’s me on my phone. I’m having an identity crisis with this blog, FYI.

BUT ANYWAY. That is me texting on New Year’s Eve. While wearing a baller necklace from Kate Spade that I got for Christmas. I love Kate Spade jewelry, FYI, if you ever need to get me a gift.

Um, New Year’s Eve was fun this year. Totally a different scene from what I normally do. I love and hate New Year’s Eve at the same time because there’s so much pressure for it to be the BEST NIGHT EVER and it usually ends up being just okay.

For your reference, my past five New Year’s Eves:

2012/2013 aka The Most Recent: A relaxed dinner at Balena in Chicago with my two girls and our very favorite server, Mitch. Although, there was a solid ten minutes where Miss Kelly Purkey did not think she liked him at ALL. Then we all had some wine and relaxed. And proceeded to eat some of the best steak I’ve had in perhaps years.

2011/2012: Texas with Nora. Time in Texas was fun but the actual night where we couldn’t decide and quite frankly, didn’t know where the hell to spend the change of the year was not. We spent the whole night moving one bar to the next and saying “This isn’t it!” Woof.

2010/2011: Hudson Hotel in NYC with 15-20 of us. Actually a super fun night of dancing. I may or may not have found Nora with some random dude who was trying to pull a fast one get a hotel room for the two of them. I was Big Momma and put that nonsense to a halt. When we left the party, I did enjoy walking through Times Square after the ball dropped. The space was dead minus the confetti on the ground that a serious crew was working diligently on cleaning up. It sounds silly but it felt like magic. One of those moments you truly love New York.

2009/2010: Omg was this seriously only four years ago? My girl Abby came to town for a visit and we had terrible plans. We bought tickets (mistake number one) to some club hosting a “poker party”. There ended up being only one poker table and the space was gross. It was the biggest joke in the history of time so we left after 20 minutes to meet up with this guy I had met recently via Twitter  and his friend that I did NOT like at all. Funny how things change over time as said friend was actually the one and only Tim Revell and now we are #besties.

2008/2009: Apparently this year I flew back to Detroit and a group of us got a hotel room in the D. Half of the us went to an Irish Pub and the other half had tickets for the Fillmore. Was it called the Fillmore then? Some of us (Aka Kayti Dicks and her boyfriend) forgot their IDs and never made it to the hotel or party. I was PISSED. People forgetting their IDs is one of my biggest pet peeves in life. Like, how is doing that even possible?

So ha! I am hoping that this next year I will be having another low-key New Year’s Eve or be at a party at my fabulous cousin’s apartment on the UWS.

And now it’s 2013 and things are happening. The biggest of which is Kelly Purkey has LEFT ME for Chicago. Well, she didn’t leave me specifically. But she left New York. I basically turned into a hermit crab the last few weeks she was here and by that I mean I put on this totally hard shell because at any moment I knew I could break. It’s not easy when one of your closest friends if not THE closest friend of yours in NYC for the past three years decides to ship herself away. It kind of sucks. A lot. It’s a good thing we’re both addicted to buying plane tickets and traveling because I know I will see her again very soon. It’s also very good that we’re both addicted to Gmail. And Snapchat.

mitchAnd here’s one more photo of us on New Year’s Eve. With Mitch. Haha. Here’s to 2013 and the hope that I pick up this blog again. Stay tuned.

So, it’s been a little while. Just a little. I’m currently stuck at the Newark International Airport on a 4 and a half hour flight delay. I’m now scheduled to depart at 12:20 a.m. for my last-minute #puremichigan weekend. But I’m pretty excited to go home to the Mitten State and hopefully take advantage of the sun, go swimming and boating a little up north.

But what have I been doing this summer? Well, it’s been quite an unexpected summer. Things always happen differently than you expect, I think. Sure, there’s the awesome stuff you know will happen, such as the rooftop party me and some girlies are on our way to in the photo above. Rooftop parties are my jam. Seriously. If you’re trying to get me to go somewhere with you and you say “Rooftop” somewhere in the sentence, you’ve just increased your odds of my attendance at least 60%. So that’s good.

Something that was unexpected: A trip to Hawaii! Yep. That happened. Booked it about three weeks before we were leaving and I got to use Delta Sky Miles so my flight was all of $10. Deal of a CENTURY. And the trip was amazing. Some photo highlights below.

 

This is my hair doing some amazing tricks at Pali Lookout in Oahu.

 

AMAZING fish tacos at Paia Fish Market. Maybe my favorite meal there, but don’t tell Jackie because she didn’t have any. (Crazy girl)

Hello adults-only pool! Aka the best creation ever! You didn’t have to worry about some kid throwing a ball at your head or accidentally being kicked by some 8-year-old boy wearing Googles. Yeah, I’m not into that. I was, however, very into the SLIDE, which was not a part of the adults-only pool, obviously, but was worth dealing with a bunch of ten year olds every time.

One of the coolest things we did: ZIPPING! Can you see how high we are? Can you see how easy it would be for us to FALL INTO OUR DEATHS? I kid. Safety first! But it still was a little freaky deaky. I am dying to come back and do this with my mom and sisters, the look on all their faces while we did this together would be PRICELESS.

So that’s pretty good. Not sure if I can beat a trip to Hawaii the rest of this summer, but I’m going to see what I can do. Summer is funner, even when it’s 900 degrees like it currently is all over America. Global warming is serious people. And next year there will be no Polar Bears and we will all be sad.

Omg the airport lady is walking around giving out blankets right now while we’re STILL SITTING IN THE AIRPORT! A little over an hour and a half to go until we finally, finally (supposedly) board. Cross your fingers for me! Until next time, City Mitten.

 

 

I’ve had a lot of visitors lately. One of which is my dear old Canadian, Tim. Love this kid. And the fun part is that I didn’t always. You never know who will turn out to be a really loyal friend, especially when you maybe did NOT like them at all when you first met. Haha.

So… Timmy. He has a new appreciation of Brooklyn after I showed him the beauuuuutiful Brooklyn Heights Promenade at sunset:

And here’s me:

Another awesome thing we did: Skating at Rockefeller Center

I think Tim forgot I used to be a figure skater because A) He was really impressed by some of my skills (hence the photo) and B) he showed up in a suit (per usual) while I was in Lululemon pants and a sweatshirt ready to SKATE. We raced around a few times and tried not to run over anyone, which we did pretty successfully.

Who is going to visit me next?

Beverages

One of my favorite things to take photos of is beverages. They can look so pretty and delicate. And honestly, any sort coffee splurge can turn any kind of day around for me. Most days I’d take an iced mocha over a beer or cocktail nine times out of ten. And there’s another little splurge that makes me smile, pictured in two of the photos below. Let’s see if you can guess what it is. May I present my  Four Beverage Photos of the Week!

1. Blue Bottle Coffee Co

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If I ever leave the office to go get a coffee beverage of sorts, it’s probably not the best day. I REALLY needed a pick-me-up. This particular day and this particular coffee drink was the worst kind of dashed hopes disappointing day. But as you can imagine, I (gasp!) got through it and am still alive. And a little coffee drink helped. Actually, to make matters worse, Blue Bottle is for real coffee aficionados, of which I am not. They didn’t have any chocolate of sorts and this beverage, while sweet, did not do the trick for me. But it sure was pretty!

2. Stumptown Coffee Roasters

I love me some Stumptown. And I love me some Ace Hotel lobby, in which Stumptown is located. I get my dad different kinds of coffee beans every Christmas and he really liked the Stumptown varieties, so the last time he was in town, I made sure we checked out the Ace Hotel. Enjoyed our beverages in the lobby, where there is always some quality people-watching, and then surprised him with tickets to that night’s Rangers game. That was a pretty damn good day.

3. Think Coffee

One of my favorite iced mochas at the moment is at Think Coffee. It’s a cool space and there’s a few located in the city, one pretty close by my office. This particular day with this particular iced mocha wasn’t a bad day, but I had a meeting off-site and wanted to make the most of it.

4. Brunch cocktails at Colonie

Stop the press, here’s a drink with alcohol! When my mom was in town, we had a boozy brunch and got tooooooootally wasted. Just kidding. But we did get brunchy cocktails. Mine was a Perfect Pimms and I basically really like any sort of Pimms drink ever. And with a cucumber in it!? How could I go wrong?

And there you have it, folks. Four Beverage Photos of the Week!

P.S. These were not taken the same week. At all. But we can pretend.

P.P.S. My other little splurge was nail polish. :)

Call Me Maybe

I feel like I have sort of abandoned this blogmobile for my Google+ page. But it wasn’t on purpose! The new update page on WordPress is not my favorite and all my photos automatically give me the option to share on Google+ anyway. But City Mitten, I’ll always love you. So I’ve decide to say hello with some of my favorite (cell phone) shots from the past few weeks.

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My homegirl Michelle came to visit this weekend and one of the many awesome things we did included a trip to Yankee Stadium to see The Detroit Tigers (and they won!). We got some garlic fries and moved to the lower level and had an overall good time. She’s easy to hang with when she’s here, I don’t have ro run around like a chicken with my head cut off so I really appreciate that.

Here’s a work-related photo of myself that I really dig:

That’s me, on the internet. Or more specifically, that’s me being projected onto a wall at the latest Zagat 30 Under 30 party in New York. Holla!

Speaking of 30 Under 30, after the event (and after the after-party), a group of us headed over to Parm for some late-night eats. These eats included ice cream cake, as you do.

Well, hello.

And finally, the last picture I’ll include in this update is me and some of my girlies after Easter brunch at Almond. My dad was in town for Easter and was really impressed with Almond (as was I, great place!) and so here I am with some of my girls.

Good times!

I  may have some other updates in the pipeline here, but this is all for now. Good night!

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