Friday, June 3, 2016

To Do: Magnum Ice Cream Bar Pop Up Shop

I LOVE ice cream! Yes, more than you... for an after dinner treat, reward for a job well done, or Saturday morning breakfast a snack at the beach/park/pool there is nothing better than ice cream. Recently, when I was in SoHo for dinner with a friend I passed by a store front with Magnum Ice Cream logos outside. You know, the wonderfully decadent ice cream bars at the grocery store that come encased in the most luscious chocolate. I was intrigued but, sadly, I couldn't stop in because I didn't want us to miss out on our reservation. Of course, I needed to know more; enter internet research! I was pleased to learn that what I had passed by was actually a make your own Magnum Ice Cream bar pop-up shop for the summer! Yes, let's all freak out about it together. Apparently, Magnum Ice Cream has been rolling out temporary make your own pop up pop shops like this around the world but, this is the first in the United States. When Hubby and I were heading out for date night, last Friday, this experience had to be dinner part of the equation. Yummy (non ice cream) dinner? Check. Wandering around SoHo looking at interesting street art? Check, (hello, #lovewall.) Delicious make your own ice cream concoctions? You bet!


When we went in I was surprised by the lack of a line or crowds in general. Don't get me wrong, there were people there but, not throngs of crazed ice cream lovers like me. Before they burst out from wherever they were hiding I approached the counter tentatively. I, honestly, wasn't sure where to start my Magnum pop up shop experience (at the cash register on the left so you can pay first) but, the staff was very helpful and ushered us forward. You start with a choice of chocolate or vanilla (no added hormone) ice cream, then comes the fun part. You pick three toppings from the assortment of over twenty different choices like chopped nuts, Himalayan sea salt, espresso sugar, or rose petals. Lastly your ice cream bar assistant will dip your bar in white, milk, or dark Belgian chocolate. While it cools they shake up your topping choices and then methodically sprinkle them over your waiting ice cream bar. They then finish it with another drizzle of chocolate and little chocolate M token.


Despite the overwhelming amount of choices we managed to make important ice cream decisions. Hubby got chocolate ice cream with espresso sugar, cookie crumble, hazelnut crunch, and a white chocolate drizzle. I got vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered sunflowers seeds, Himalayan pink salt, white chocolate covered rice crisp, and a white chocolate drizzle. Since there weren't hoards of people we were even able to take a seat and to enjoy our creations. Yum!  


So, make time and run, don't walk, to the Magnum Ice Cream bar pop-up shop in SoHo at 134 Prince Street, between Wooster Street and West Broadway. Their hours of operation are 12pm-8pm Sunday-Wednesday and 12pm-9pm Thudsay-Saturday from now until mid-August.  I will be heading back soon, as well, and we might bump into each other. Why? Because I need to try every permutation of deliciousness possible before the season ends and they close.


I was NOT compensated for this post the opinions are all my own.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Brunch Best Practices/Avocado Toast

Weekends mean freedom from work, time to relax, and a chance to get some chores out of the way... Weekends in spring and summer are even better! Why? Because, the time we spend relaxing is feels longer with the sun setting later and later; even chores can feel less mundane... One of the best things about the weekend, in my opinion, is the opportunity to eat the magical in between meal that is brunch. Heading out to one of the many restaurants nearby that serves brunch is simple enough. I might be a little spoiled though, as most restaurants in the vicinity of New York City have next level brunch menus. Patrons will come year round and resign themselves to the hostesses whim waiting for a table or for their full party to show so they can be seated and not lose what their coveted reservation. In the summer it's even crazier/nicer without door tables and the opportunity to eat al fresco. While brunch in Manhattan is a New York City institution, most of the times the experience is marred by long lines, watered-down cocktails, and heat lamp eggs. Yuck! Which of course leads me to to wonder, "Why not do this at home?"

You can absolutely achieve the same delicious amalgam of breakfast and lunch at home. It's lovely when you can have a few friends over to enjoy it with you. You don't have to send out formal invitations, a quick email/evite or text message will do. Also, It doesn't have to be an extravagant affair; you can find stylish coordinating tablecloths, napkins, and place mats at bargain stores like Christmas Tree Shops or Home Goods. Most of the items shown on my most recent impromptu brunch table come from the former...   



A brunch menu is always very eclectic but, I find egg based meals to be the most popular overall. An uncomplicated scrambled egg and bacon or sausage or tofu chorizo with toast is always a winner. Which would you prefer? In terms of what I served this time around it seemed appropriate to put together the most popular brunch item right now; that's right I am talking about avocado toast. There are many different variations of avocado toast but, I like to keep it simple.


While everything is better with bacon, I feel like I don't have to explain the process of cooking it but, here is what my version of avocado toast looks like...



Ingredients:
(serves 5)
  • 10 slices of bread (gluten free if preferred)
  • 10 eggs 
  • 3/4 ripe avocados 
  • cilantro
Place all the eggs in a sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil.

While the water is getting to boiling temperature slice open the avocados and scoop out the insides into a medium bowl with a spoon, discard the skin and pits. Mash the avocado until it is a spreadable texture and set aside. 

Also while the water is getting a boiling temperature rise the cilantro and pat dry. Separate some leaves and set aside. 

When the water reaches a rolling boil set a timer to 4 minutes and lower the flame to medium high. That is approximately how long it takes an extra large egg to reach a medium boiled state but, this is to you preference; maybe you want them a little more or less done.

While the eggs are boiling start toasting your slices of bread.

When the timer goes off immediately remove the eggs and drain the boiling water. Fill the pot with cold water so you can start peeling the eggs. When all the eggs are peeled it is time to start making your avocado toasts!

Take a piece of toast an spread avocado on it. Take cilantro leaves and sprinkle them on top to taste. Using an egg slicer slice one egg and spread the slices over your avocado and cilantro. Sprinkle liberally with salt.

Repeat and Refect and Enjoy!



I was NOT compensated for this post the opinions are all my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 27, 2016

Softfooted

Are you ready for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend? I know I am. While I don't have any major travel plans, I am getting ready for summer which is right around the corner. That means making plans with friends, continuing to werk on my summer body, identifying warm weather wardrobe gaps, getting a base tan, you know the regular stuff... One thing that everyone who is not headed to a beach somewhere seems to be doing is hitting their local nail salon for a manicure and intense pedicure; you know, the one where you splurge for the callus remover and extra moisturizing treatment. After all, sandal season is upon us! I, on the other hand, have been doing my own mani/pedis (mostly) for quite some time and I would like to stick with it. The tricky part is getting that same intense level of foot care. Enter Korean foot peeling treatments! I am not one for the latest beauty trends but, all of the Korean beauty products that I have come across seem great. With my feet needing some extra love after a long winter this seemed like a great idea.

I came across Baby Foot Deep Exfoliation For Feet through some quick internet research. At the time, I was still working in midtown so, I headed over to K-Town to check things out in person. While I wasn't sure exactly where I should be headed I ended up at The Mask Bar and had some aggressive knowledgeable young ladies help me find Baby Silky Foot One Shot Peeling as well as some other "necessities". The foot mask sat with my other mani/pedi stuff for quite a while but, as summer is upon us I thought last weekend would be a good time to give it a try. Here's what I learned:
  • One important thing to know right off the bat is that this treatment is basically a chemical peel for your feet just in case you have sensitivities to that kind of thing. 
  • It is important to set aside a good amount of time for the treatment (90 minutes minimum). Read a book, knit, watch a movie, play some video games... whatever floats your boat while you sit around wearing liquid filled booties 
  • From what I could gather from the Korean/bad English instructions you need to start with clean feet which I did. What I gathered from further internet research is that you should soak your feet for at least fifteen minutes prior which I did not. O well, next time... 
  • Follow the instructions and put the booties on your feet, then pour the liquid in, sit back and relax. I would say leave them on for the full 90 minutes if not a little longer. Since I was hanging out with friends having a good old(ish) Mario Kart brawl on Wii U (hence the "ish") they definitely stayed on for an extra 20 minutes at least.



  • When you are done with the treatment, wash and dry your feet. PSA: your feet will look the same although they might feel a little smoother. Further internet research had informed me that I should have been soaking my feet daily afterwards to encourage the peeling which I did not. I did, however, take showers and noticed that my feet were peeling in a totally gross/satisfying way. 
  • While the instructions say not to pick at your feet it's kind of hard not to once they start peeling. It isn't going to hurt so go for it. You can also rub you hands on your feet or rub your feet together to encourage the skin to fall off.
  • Do this now! Meaning, while you are still wearing shoes on the regular to hide your gross/amazing peeling feet. It's embarrassing to be hanging out with family, friends, co-workers, the mailman, while large flakes of skin are separating from your feet and peeling off. 
Overall, I am satisfied with the results form my first foray into a Korean foot mask but, I think next time it will be even better/grosser because I now have a few pro tips (soak, and soak more) in my repertoire to try. Based on recommendations once a month seems to be the agreed upon frequency of use so, I've got some time before I try again. If you want to try this is the mask that I got and used with good results:

[Holika Holika] Baby Silky Foot One Shot Peeling

Here are some other options if you are interested in trying something different. If you do, let me know how they work:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

BERING Watches

While we have plenty of ways to tell time (cell phone, Fitbit, asking someone) nothing beats a good old fashioned watch. They can be excellent accessories (of course) but, also serve the purpose of helping us keep track of time; I am a firm believer in timeliness. I'll be honest, that doesn't mean I'm always on time but, that means I definitely try to be. Wearing a watch naturally helps to support all those efforts. There are so many different options for watches but, a great one is BERING.  Just so you know a little more about it: 280 years ago, the Danish sailor Vitus Bering braced himself for a daring adventure when he set sail for an unknown area of the Arctic Ocean. On his journey he crossed the straits which would later be named the Bering Strait in his honor. Treading new ground and venturing into unknown territory this is the only way in which a vision can become reality. And so the brand BERING is successfully made up of the perfect combination of extraordinarily hard materials, such as surgical steel and sapphire glass, and an extremely slim design. Great, right? Wait until you see the watches...



Click here for more information on BERING - 33125-654


Click here for more information on BERING - 11029-077


Click here for more information on BERING - 10122-366


Let's face it you are the not the only person that needs to be on time. While there are plenty of options for you and the other ladies in your life there are also a plethora of options for the men in your life as well. I'll be honest, I am a little biased with my choices; these are all BERING watches I would get for my husband. 

Click here for more information on BERING - 11233-222


Click here for more information on BERING - 11940-377


Click here for more information on BERING - 32239-747

I could go on for days with different options because there are many great choices from BERING on www.mylovestone.com. That's probably because it is USA's #1 BERING authorized dealer. They have innumerable options, of course, but, also value and savings. We can also all take advantage because they ship internationally (USA (free shipping), Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe, etc.) They also have customer service if you have any questions or if you see a lower price online. That's right, they will match it. Lastly, all BERING watches come with a 3 year manufacturer warranty. So, check out all the great BERING options, I'd be curious to hear what you think. I'm going to keep shopping...

I was compensated for this post as a member of Blogdash, but the opinions are all my own.