Two weeks ago, I attended my first ‘Eat Something New in Queens’ meet-up at Hug Esan, a Thai restaurant in Elmhurst.
I had such a great time. It was a date night/food adventure/reunion kind of night. An old friend from high school, small world, planned the event, and Andrew and I got to venture out, try new things, and meet new people.
In March, I took part in the ‘Eat Something New in Queens’ Challenge. The purpose was to step out of your comfort zone, try new restaurants and food, and support local restaurants around Queens. Although I took a little staycation during the challenge, I still tried to participate. All the food I tried was excellent!
Here are the restaurants I tried.
Nneji is a West African spot in Astoria. It’s more a pickup type of place but has fantastic food. Don’t feel shy and ask the owner for recommendations on what to eat.
Coco Malaysian Cuisine in Elmhurst.
I’m half Filipino, so Filipino food is life, but I did find a new dish I had never had before at Kabayan Authentic Filipino Cuisine in Woodside.
My family stayed at the TWA Hotel in JFK, in Jamaica, during the challenge (more on the hotel in another post), but we still tried some great food.
Yardie Bistro was in the food court area of the hotel.
Splurged a little at the Paris Cafe by Jean-Georges. It was well worth it!
I had a blast trying all the food. The challenge has an awesome Facebook group page that offers food ideas and recommendations year round. If you love food and live in Queens, or don’t mind traveling to the borough, join the group!
I randomly came across the company Fahlo. Which partners with non-profit organizations to create bracelets that come with an animal to track. Some wildlife organizations they work with are the Sea Turtle Conservancy, Save The Elephants, Polar Bears International, and Saving the Blue.
For Earth Day this year, I decided to support the Sea Turtle Conservancy, so I bought the sea turtle bracelet.
I love it and I wear it all the time. The best part is that the bracelet comes with a QR code to track an actual sea turtle. I’m currently tracking Pop Tart.
It’s a really cool concept and something I enjoy and feel good about supporting.
My next goal is to have my own small edible garden. Let’s see if I can make it happen this Spring!
It’s only fitting that on Earth Day, I would give a shout-out to my go-to park, Cunningham Park.
I have been going to Cunningham since I was a kid. Now my husband and I bring our daughter here all the time. The park has a great playground, space for sports, a path for running/walking, exercise equipment, and even a dog park.
The park also apparently has some walking/biking trails that I never knew about! I haven’t had a chance to explore those yet, but when I do, I’ll share my thoughts.
Here are some shots of little Maxine over the last few weeks.
My daughter Maxine celebrated her first birthday on December 19. She is growing up so fast. I really can’t believe it! My cousin’s girlfriend told me about a fun Chinese ceremony when a baby turns one. It’s called the zhua zhou ceremony, where symbolic objects are laid out in front of a baby to grab. Whatever the baby reaches for and plays with can indicate future employment prospects or interests.
We are a little late, but I thought it would be fun to do! I researched and found more information and potential objects to use via Gathered Gifts’ blog story.
Here is a list of some objects and meanings.
I substituted the following:
Abacus to Cash; Paint Brush to Hair Brush; Calculator to Whiteout; Chicken leg to Bamboo; Lego to Puzzle Piece; Microphone to Fan; Stethoscope to Thermometer; Sword to Shield
Moment of truth. Maxine’s top three…
1. Shallot = Intelligence
2. Measuring tape = Designer/Architect
3. Shield = Law enforcement
Rounding out top 5…
4. Cell phone = Tech Entrepreneur
5. Celery = Industrious
Not bad! LOL. I can’t wait till she is older to see what she likes and is passionate about.
My 2021 wasn’t terrible. I became a Mom, and I celebrated and enjoyed life as much as possible. I explored and pushed myself to try new things. I got creative with ways to motivate myself, and I continue to move forward. It sucks that I’m spending the last day taking care of a sick baby, but such is life.
Below is my picture recap of the year. I choose one picture to sum up each month.
It was great to reflect on the year. I hope you had some time for reflection as well.
Last year it was hard to get together for the holidays. Not only was I pregnant, but Covid happened. So I’m not surprised that pretty much everyone is jumping on the holiday bandwagon early. I started the holiday season with my Mom at the beginning of November. We did an Ethel M Chocolate tasting and went to a holiday market to benefit The New York Junior League.
On November 5th, we participated in Ethel M Chocolates- Holiday Cactus Garden Lighting Online Tasting Experience. The event came with hot chocolate, a chocolate tasting kit for two, and some paperwork to remember and enhance our experience. This was the first virtual tasting experience for my mom, so I was excited for her.
The event kicked off via Zoom with speeches and the Cactus Garden lighting ceremony. Then our Chief Chocolatier did a hot chocolate demonstration focusing on three ways you could up your hot chocolate game. Lastly, it was chocolate time! We sampled a white chocolate peppermint silk piece, milk chocolate pecan pie, a pumpkin spice piece, dark chocolate egg nog, and then milk and dark chocolate fudge pieces. My mom’s favorite was the white chocolate peppermint silk, and mine was the milk chocolate fudge.
We had the best time! Ethel M has tastings all the time. Check out their website; they should have a holiday and a New Year tasting coming up.
On November 12, Mom and I attended The New York Junior League’s Golden Tree, a shopping event where the vendors give 20% back to the nonprofit. The league’s mission is to promote volunteerism, develop the potential in women, and improve communities. I also volunteer with the league, and this was the first event that I brought my mom.
Before we shopped, we enjoyed tea and yummy bites from Kings’ Carriage House.
After tea, we enjoyed three floors of vendors.
Golden Tree is done for the year but looking forward to more holiday markets like the Queens Craft Brigade event.
What holiday markets and events are you excited for?
It’s the season of giving thanks and one of the things I’m truly grateful for is my love of adventure.
My husband and I participated in The Edge’s City Climb earlier this month. We climbed an angled staircase of a skyscraper and leaned out over the edge. It was scary, thrilling and liberating all at the same time. Extra bonus is that you get an amazing view of New York City.
The whole experience was about two hours. The first hour is all about safety. You fill out waivers, get suited up and checked multiple times, and learn about using the equipment. The next hour is enjoying the climb on the staircase and enjoying the view. I found the climb a little strenuous, because you have to pull your gear with you, but the view is totally worth it. I highly recommend it!
It’s officially Fall, but I’m still reminiscing about summertime. This year I got to enjoy the Catskills twice. The first time, I went camping with friends, and the second time, I stayed in a house with family.
Camping was fun, even with a seven-month baby! We stayed at a Tentrr campsite. Tentrr locations are unique because they provide all the camping material for you, and everything is already set up ready to go. We had a huge canvas tent, chairs, an area for campfires, and an area for eating. Another bonus of Tentrr locations is that they are pretty private. The place we chose is part of an abandoned zoo, and it was great because we were able to explore the area if we wanted to, and even though we were camping, we were able to use some bathroom facilities it had.
Here are some pictures of us camping.
While in the area, we enjoyed the local Farmer’s market and ice cream shop, hiked Kaaterskill Falls, and did a tasting at the Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company.
In late August, Andrew and I, with his family, rented a house via Airbnb. The house was by Hunter Mountain. It was simple, but it had plenty of room for us and had a pool and jacuzzi; we didn’t need anything else!
Sadly enough, this summer just flew by. Before it is officially Fall, I want to recap some of my summer adventures.
I was able to visit my family’s Long Island house in Shirley twice. Once to celebrate my Dad’s birthday and another to have a relaxing week away from the city.
Here is a pic of my Dad.
My Aunt found these gems of my Dad.
My Aunt and Uncle are really into clamming, so much of what we had eaten was clam-related, but it was delicious. My Aunt and Uncle work wonders in the kitchen.
During our week away, we enjoyed the house, visited the beach, and even went clamming ourselves. My husband Andrew, friend Patrick and I got to enjoy my Uncle’s boat. I need to come to the Shirley house more often.