Top 5 NYC Summer Sites

Now that summer is winding down and fall is starting to make its appearance, I decided to share some of my favorite places we were able to visit this summer.

  1. Roosevelt Island – Roosevelt Island is located in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. Shortly after we moved to NYC, we had some friends tell us about the Roosevelt Island Tram which takes you from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. With the fare being a free subway transfer or simply the cost of a ride on the subway, this is an inexpensive way to take in some unique views of the city. On the southern tip of Roosevelt Island there is a cute, little park (with nice water fountains and decent public restrooms, FYI), a tree-lined walkway along the water, and a lookout point at the very tip of the Island where you can get great Manhattan and Queens city views. IMG_4227
  2. The Bethesda Fountain – Located in the central portion of Central Park, the Bethesda Fountain is by far one of my favorite spots in NYC. Between the street performers and incredible architecture, there always seems to be something new to see no matter how many times you visit. IMG_4199
  3. Top of the Rock – This tourist attraction offering stunning views of NYC, especially of the Empire State Building, is located on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors of the Rockefeller Center. Tickets do cost $34 for an adult, but it is definitely worth paying for the experience at least once! IMG_4613
  4. Flushing Meadows Corona Park –  Home to the iconic Unisphere, this 1,255 acre park is nothing short of impressive. Between the vast amount of green space and the many attractions — including the Queens Museum, Arthur Ashe Stadium, and the Queens Botanical Garden, to name a few — there is never a shortage of things to do and see. A favorite event of ours is the Queens International Night Market held every Saturday (in the summer) from 6 PM – Midnight.  This is a great place to try new foods, hear live music, and learn about the many different cultures that make up NYC. DSC00873
  5. Jones Beach – OK, I know this one isn’t technically within the city limits, but since it’s less than an hour drive from where we are in Queens, I thought I would throw it in the mix. Taking a break from city life is a necessity, so being able to take a day to relax at the beach was definitely a highlight of the summer for us. IMG_4649


Menu Monday

Your weekly dinner inspiration is here!


MondayOven Chicken Fajitas (I use this fajita seasoning mix)

TuesdaySlow Cooker Everything Beef (The recipe for the beef gives you many different options for serving — we usually pair it with rice, a vegetable like edamame, and some teriyaki sauce)

WednesdayMeatball Subs with asparagus

Thursday – Sloppy Joes with mac & cheese (we have recently discovered Annie’s mac & cheese and love it!) and green beans — I am a Manwich sauce fan myself, but here is a recipe for a healthier sloppy joe recipe.

Friday – Homemade Pizza with a salad — Nothing wrong with keeping it simple for the start of the weekend!


Happy Cooking 🙂

My Healthy Obsession with Trader Joe’s

It is no secret that Ryan and I are HUGE Trader Joe’s fans. Shortly after we got married, we decided to find out what all the talk was about and check out the Trader Joe’s store close to our apartment. It was love at first sight. The many interesting products, friendly staff, and delicious samples were some of the first things that grabbed our attention and kept us coming back on a consistent basis. Since that first visit, we have learned so much more about Trader Joe’s, which has only encouraged our obsession. In the months to come, I will be sharing some of our favorite products, but first, let me share with you a few of our reasons (in no particular order) for making Trader Joe’s a staple in our home.

  1. Friendly Staff: The workers at Trader Joe’s are always so pleasant (yes, even here in the city!). They are willing to stop what they are doing and help you find exactly what you are looking for. Also, it is not uncommon to strike up a friendly conversation about recipe ideas or TJ products with your cashier.
  2. Samples: Not only does Trader Joe’s allow you to taste test selected products at their sample stand, but they also allow you to sample ANY product in the store (with the exception of items you need to prepare like a cake mix, frozen items that need to be cooked, and liquor). If there is an item that you want to try before purchasing, simply take the item to a TJ worker and ask to sample it. Ryan and I take advantage of this ALL the time!
  3. Return Policy: Trader Joe’s allows you to return any item for a full refund even if the item is half-eaten because you just didn’t like it. No receipt is required making the return process super simple. I have taken advantage of this return policy and can say with confidence that it really is as simple as it sounds. I opened a bag of salad and it smelled bad even though it was not past the expiration date. I simply took it back to Trader Joe’s and got my money back…no questions asked!
  4. Low Prices: Trader Joe’s prices are noticeably lower than other major health-food grocery stores which makes it much easier to eat healthier on a budget.
  5. Quality of Trader Joe’s Brand Products: In addition to low prices, Trader Joe’s private label products contain NO artificial flavors, NO artificial preservatives, NO MSG, NO genetically modified ingredients, and NO partially hydrogenated oils. This is stated in their stores and on their website.

If you have never set foot in a Trader Joe’s store, I would highly recommend that you pay them a visit. Although — just a warning — it can be slightly overwhelming during your first few visits due to the (typically) smaller size of the stores and the vast amounts of people shopping for their essentials. DON’T LET THAT SCARE YOU! Soon enough you will know just what you want and will be able to find your favorite items in a flash.

Menu Monday

Ever have trouble figuring out what to cook for dinner? I’m here to help! Enjoy a little dinner inspiration as I share with you what is on our menu for this week. Happy cooking! 🙂


Monday – Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas

Tuesday – Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl – This recipe makes so much that I usually end up freezing the leftovers to reheat for a quick dinner when I need it!

Wednesday – One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Thursday – Chicken Broccoli Shells and Cheese

Friday – Pulled Pork Sandwiches with sweet potatoes and broccoli


If you try any of these recipes this week, let me know what you think!

NYC Broadway Week

While searching for deals on Broadway tickets, my husband, Ryan, and I stumbled upon an article talking about NYC Broadway Week. As we continued to read, we quickly figured out why this event was advertised so much — they offer a two-for-one ticket deal during the specified dates for select shows! This event happens twice a year and is a great way to see some of Broadway’s most popular shows.

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take advantage of this great deal, so we decided to buy tickets for Anastasia — one of the newer musicals on Broadway.


We had only heard rave reviews since the show opened earlier this year, and our experience did NOT disappoint. The story line and songs kept us engaged throughout the entire performance. The Broadhurst Theater also played a huge role in our wonderful experience. We felt so close to the stage despite sitting in one of the last rows of the mezzanine section. There truly didn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house.  If you are looking for a good show to see next time you are visiting the city, we would highly recommend Anastasia.

Ryan and I are already looking forward to what show we will see next time Broadway Week rolls around! Fellow New Yorkers or Broadway aficionados, leave me a comment with your favorite Broadway shows!

Accidental New Yorker

My husband and I didn’t choose NYC; NYC chose us. Transitioning from our nice, quiet suburban life to the hustle and bustle (don’t forget the noise) of a borough of over 2 million people has definitely come with its fair share of challenges.

I have found that living in NYC is like riding an emotional roller coaster. One day, you feel like you can do anything; the next day you find yourself crying because all you want to do is get your groceries from Trader Joe’s, but the parking lot is so full — not to mention small and poorly laid out — that it takes you 20 minutes just to find a spot.

I will be sharing periodically what life in NYC really looks like for us — the good, the bad, the exciting, and the mundane. I invite you to come on our journey with us as we learn how to navigate the madness of city life.