NYC Travel Guide

Autumn in New York City is like living a weekend-long dream. The colors are so vibrant, the weather is crisp and the storefronts are beginning to look a lot like Christmas. There is something about New York and the energy in the city that makes you feel as though you can conquer anything; And by conquering anything, I’m talking food!

EAT
NYC is the ultimate foodie’s dream. Endless opportunity for adventurous bites, there is honestly something amazing on every street corner. Everything you can ever imagine is right at your fingertips… or right at the tip of your tongue. If you tend to keep up with my Instagram stories, you know that my primary activity when traveling anywhere is eating! New York City is the type of place that as your eating breakfast; you are already thinking about lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Below are some of the places that I visited which are mostly Asian or Italian influenced;

Drunken Dumpling – You must try the Pork soup dumpling. This is incredible and is unlike anything that I have ever tasted before. The service is really good and the prices are reasonable. The food came steaming hot and fresh, which is never something to complain about.

Momofuku Noodle Bar: I ordered the Chilled Spicy Noodles, which were so flavourful and enough for two people! This was my first time at Momofuku and even though I know that there is one in Toronto; I had to try the original in NYC. The noodles are coated in what I consider; an Asian version of pesto, Sichuan sausage, crunchy cashews. They are not portion shy here, I was as full as I have ever been in a while.  Although, I’m not sure if this was just my stomach giving up after a weekend full of eating 100x my body weight.

Milk Bar: The ever Instagram famous Birthday Cakes and Cereal Milk Softserve stole my heart. Recently I had seen Christina Tosi’s episode of Chefstable on Netflix and fell in love with her culinary style, and her “coloring outside of the lines” view on baking and creating. I was convinced, after watching that episode of Chefstable; Cereal Milk Softserve will be the greatest thing that I will ever try. After waiting in the longest line of my life, finally.. the holy grail of soft-serve ice cream was in my hands. My first bite and I was severely disappointed.  I forced myself to eat just over half of the serving, because of how long I waited in line and how much I paid for s o f t-s e r v e ice cream. I do not recommend trying this.. not worth the time, hype, calories or money.

Cacio e Pepe: Probably one of the greatest restaurants ever, just based off of the Homemade tonnarelli pasta, tossed in pecorino cheese & whole black peppercorns. This is a dish that I had been dying to try for years and finally, my food dreams came true. A truly simple yet incredible plate of fresh pasta. Who doesn’t wish for pasta served to you in a Parmesan wheel? I highly recommend giving this place a try and suggest that you make resos because of the limited space inside.

Ivan Ramen: This is my second time visiting Ivan Ramen and damn does it ever impress. To start, I ordered the Kabocha Squash Tempura which is glazed in miso maple brown butter and crusted in pecan. Then to follow all of that goodness, polished off a bowl of the Chicken Paitan with enoki mushroom. Ramen has got to be one of my faves, especially as the weather starts to cool up!

Boba Guys: My new found obsession. I literally went to every location in New York City because it was so good! I ordered the Strawberry Matcha Latte with boba every time and I have been missing since. The boba is so fresh and all of the ingredients taste so authentic and not artificial; I’m not kidding, I could actually taste the freshness. They also have the option of dairy-free kinds of milk here like; almond or oat for no additional cost!! If you are from Toronto, you know that this is practically unheard of to get dairy-free options for free99. I would head back to New York for Boba Guys any day.

Some other places to try would be; Eataly Serra Rooftop, Shake Shack, Magnolia Bakery, Little Tongs, Maman Coffee and Cha Cha Matcha.

SLEEP
There are a ton of stunning hotels and places to stay in the city and fortunately enough, a family friend let us stay with her in her amazing home. We stayed in Gramercy, which was gorgeous and felt super central to everywhere that I wanted to go. Gramercy is a quieter area with beautiful apartments on tree-lined streets. There are endless fun and happening restaurants and bars. In this area, there are some really nice hotels too. The Marcel and The Gramercy Park Hotel are both great options if you are looking for something in this area. When looking for a hotel or Air BnB, it is important to keep in mind that you most likely will not be spending too much time in the room; so I wouldn’t go overboard in terms of spending on that. Save your spending money for your food and shopping.

SHOP
Shopping may or may not be my middle name. New York City is home to some of the best shopping and makes you want to spend money. A word of advice, bring some comfortable shoes because if you did the city like I did, it was all about walking. I found that the best way to find the stores that you didn’t even know that you were looking for. I believe that the city really has something for everyone, in terms of fashion and shopping. I’d be sure to head back to Soho because the stores there are incredible, the scene is so fun and the architecture is literally made me stop and stare. From Stores like Aritzia, Topshop and Zara to Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Stella McCartney you can really find anything you are looking for. Be sure to visit and pop-ups while you are in the city too!

FUN
Aside from the obvious fun; Shopping and Eating.. there are a ton of other incredible things to do while visiting the city. Definitely going for a walk in Central Park is a must! I had never been to Central Park before and upon entering the park (which is a huge chunk of the city) I felt like I entered a dream. Have you ever seen the movie Enchanted? I sort of feeling like I was a princess and all of these talking animals were going to come out and be my friend. Maybe it is all of the sodium I had throughout the weekend getting to my head. I swear I’m not crazy.  It is such a magical place and it was nice to see greenery in such a busy city.

I can’t wait until my next trip back because I am missing Boba Guys like crazy. I hope this helped and always feel free to ask me any questions about my stay in New York. I love hearing from you guys and enjoy sending over recommendations.

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Getting into Gingham

As the weather slowly starts to warm up, Gigham starts to peek its way out! Step your style game up this Spring/Summer and add some print to your wardrobe. This year im incorporating more Gingham pieces into my everyday looks. Check out my favorites below.

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Tonic Blooms

Flower shops and florists have bloomed in every neighbourhood in Toronto. Giving Tonic Blooms is the perfect gift this holiday season and every day of the year. They select flowers of highest quality and freshness, so that your arrangement can last as long as it should. I highly recommend getting Tonic Blooms delivered to that special someone in your life.

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Gift Guide – Under $50 for Her

These are some cost-friendly gift ideas for that special woman in your life. Making the most out of a budget is something I personally really enjoy and look forward to. Just because the item is on sale or under a certain amount doesn’t mean it’s not as valuable.  How to score a gift for her under $50, without it looking under $50.

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NOCE Restaurant

NOCE on Queen West opened 22 years ago and I just recently went for the first time. I regret not paying this amazing Italian restaurant a visit sooner. They serve the freshest food I have ever experienced. The employees at Noce are outstanding, super friendly and outgoing! They seem to love their jobs and really engage with the guest.  The chefs know exactly how to incorporate the flavours of Italy and work with the most beautiful ingredients. Truffle, Bottarga, and Parmigiano Reggiano to name a few. I grew up eating traditional Italian food and I am very particular when it comes to choosing an Italian restaurant. I was very impressed by all aspects of this restaurant. I highly recommend checking out Noce especially, with the holidays quickly approaching.

They recently renovated and the interior is absolutely stunning. I love how rustic and retro meet modern and eclectic. They have several rooms to dine in which is perfect for a date for two to a party of 20+. I think this is the best spot to take your family or friends this holiday season and would recommend it to anyone who knows what good food is. Noce is a great place to go for any occasion and I highly recommend checking out the features on the board. It’s such a lovely restaurant to spend an evening and I can’t wait to go back during the holiday’s.

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Queen West Room – The main dining room overlooking Queen Street West at Trinity Bellwoods Park. This dining area has the perfect view of the talented NOCE Chefs preparing menu dishes.  
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Noce has a set menu but also offers specials that change accordingly and frequently. They now offer Sunday dinner service.
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“God made food, but the devil made chefs”
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The Tuscany Room – This room offers a lively dining experience is semi-private can be customized to your preferred seating arrangements; perfect for your next get-together. Book your holiday dinners here asap!
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The Queens at 875 – Aperol, St. Germain Elderflower liquor, grapefruit, Fiol prosecco   
Honolulu – Crystal Head Vodka, Mango liquor, Amaretto di Saronno, lemon, orange bitters
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Olive Ascolane –
Fried meat filled olives. These are the perfect appetizer for any olive lover! Yes, they are fried but they are not greasy at all and are the perfect combination of crispy and full of flavour.
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Crostini con Baccalà-
baccalà affumicato, bottarga di muggine. This is a must order!! Creamy cod on house made squid ink bread. topped with a true Italian delicacy. 
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Tonno Scottato – Wood fried tuna, tonnato sauce, infornate olives, crispy capers, pickle purée, parsley. I love that they used the wood oven for cooking more than just pizza. The crispy capers add the best touch on this dish. They add just the right amount of salt to the fish.

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Ecuadorian Shrimp – Giant shrimps fresh from Ecuadore. A variety of imported fish come in to the restaurant on Thursdays. These were to die for and super smokey.
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This was my absolute favorite menu item. Im pretty sure this is one of the featured specials. Pastina with a light tomato brodo, Clams and Rapini pesto. Everything about this was incredible. I love having pastina because my Nonna (Italian Grandmother) used to make it for me as a kid. But this was another level! I love the delicate clams and powerful taste of the rapini pesto. 
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Cauliflower roasted with Gorgonzola
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Crispy brussels sprouts with creamy goodness inside. Every time I go to a restaurant and there is brussels sprouts on the menu, I always order them. I have ordered them 50+ times and Noce makes them the best! Plus they are topped with Parmesan, which makes them 100x better.  
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16 OZ Ribeye – Cooked to absolute perfection. I am not a big steak orderer but I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seasoned lightly with salt and garnished with fried basil leaves. This steak is crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth tender on the inside.  

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Sex in a pan – Roasted base with Nutella, mascarpone whip, chocolate and crunchy. There is always room for dessert when it tastes this good.

Continue reading “NOCE Restaurant”

Gift Guide – Stylish Boyfriend

I know that getting a gift for your boyfriend can be overwhelming and stressful. Thankfully, my boyfriend never asks/wants anything specific and actually encourages me to just buy what I think will look good on him. I have grown to understand and know how to shop his style over the years; But, It wasn’t always that easy. Most of the time reading a man’s mind is basically impossible, So if you need some ideas; I have selected some of my faves.

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Dress for the Holiday’s

Its’s almost Cyber Monday! Now is your chance to score some of the greatest deals, from the comfort of your own home. I always recommend shopping online because during the holidays, it can be super busy and crowded at the mall. I have linked some of the most perfect pieces to shop this season. This is a guide to help you save money and look like a superstar during the holidays. Below are a number of my favourite dresses and accessories that are on sale right now. Happy Shopping!

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CURES STUDIO

Okay, ladies and gentleman… just because sandal season is coming to an end it does not mean you need to neglect your feet. Yes, mitten weather is quickly approaching but your hands still deserve to feel healthy and pretty.

I can admit that growing up, I was never good to my nails and took very poor care of them. I rarely got my nails done because at the jobs I had; they would immediately get ruined. Not to mention… I am a nail biter. I am not proud of this and I am getting a lot better because I don’t want ugly 10-year-old boy fingers for the rest of my life. I want to have natural, long, strong, healthy nails that people assume are fake because they are so beautiful.

I highly recommend checking out CURES STUDIO in Liberty Village, Toronto. I tried them for the first time and what an amazing experience. The studio is stunning and so clean, which is most important to me. The facility is toxic free and they only use high-quality products.. even some local ones too! One of my favorites being the scrub by VO BATH & CO.

Not only is there studio beautiful, they really do an amazing job and the girls take great care of you. This is the perfect place to bring your BFF for her birthday or to make it your regular beauty spot.

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Relaxation with SAJE Wellness

Saje Wellness just opened their store at Scarborough Town Centre. I first discovered this company about a year ago on social media and had been dying to get myself a diffuser from them. They make essential oils which are 100% natural and are distilled from so many plants. This means flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, and trees. They are distilled and harvested from all around the world depending on where that plant grows naturally.  Each of the essential oils offers different healing purposes and depending on the oil, can be applied directly on the skin or diffuser.

What originally interested me in Saje Wellness is that they are based out of Canada. They provide a natural and safe way to heal your body from all sorts of ailments. Most of the time, using chemicals to heal your body will result in future complications. I have honestly used my diffuser to heal a headache, get a better sleep and give me a refreshed feeling when I wake up.

I recommend trying out a diffuser from Saje even if you just want to freshen up a room in your house. My bedroom can get a bit stuffy sometimes or will even smell like whatever was cooked for dinner. As soon as I turn the diffuser on, it transforms my room and makes the air feel clean and smell fresh. I love my diffuser and use it every night, I can’t help it!

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