Sunday, April 28, 2019

PlantShed



The PlantShed is a gorgeous café inside a flower shop in the Upper West Side. As you can imagine, the space is absolutely stunning. It’s a comfortable and interactive spot where you can browse a selection of plants, potted succulents and gorgeous blooms along with handmade candles and cards.

The café is off to the corner and serves coffee and espresso drinks from Toby’s Estate. It was created out of the despite to enjoy an environment filled with beautiful plants and creates a sense of community amongst plant lovers. They serve delicious pastries – the apple turnover was to die for – along with other floral/plant based drinks and cold brew. They also have a seasonal menu with very unique drinks! I was so happy that I remembered my reusable travel mug as well! 

They are open 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm, and have a few tables so if you’re lucky enough to get a seat make sure you really enjoy your time there! It’s the perfect afternoon escape and I really did feel like I was enjoying some time in an oasis.

Travel Tip: The American Museum of Natural History is a short walk from here! 







Sunday, April 14, 2019

Brooklyn Roasting Company



Brooklyn Roasting Company is a roastery dedicated to sourcing sustainable coffee and supports environmentally friendly farming and trade practices. They have a production facility at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard which is home base to about 60 employees who work in operations, roasting, packaging, sales and training! The roasting process is also very interesting and they actually are more environmentally friendly and 80% more efficient compared to any other roaster of comparable scale!  They really are committed to the environment and package their coffee in reusable cans on tin-steel and even use vintage or built-in-house furniture at their cafes!

Out of their 6 locations, there is 1 in Chelsea right in my neck of the woods. I stopped in for a quick coffee to go and really enjoyed the brew which was Guatemalan blend (medium roast) with notes of caramel, dried fruit and coca notes. 

BRC is a casual space with great coffee and cool merchandise. I love supporting local cafes and it’s even better when I know they do their part to be kind to our environment!

 
 


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Maman NYC


Maman is a gorgeous french café and restaurant in the flatiron neighbourhood. They first opened their doors in Soho in 2014 and have since expanded to other locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Toronto. They also have a retail market – called marché maman – where you can find décor, home furnishing items and of course food items.

I was welcomed in with the smell of something delicious cooking in the kitchen and immediately fell in love with the floral décor and plants!  Instead of my usual coffee, I settled on a coconut rose tea latte which is a French floral tea with coconut milk and honey topped with rose petals. This is a limited time drink to celebrate spring (which is still not here in the city!) The tea was very nice but a bit too sweet for me (my fault - I should’ve asked for no honey). I have to say, drinking it from a to go cup was hard too because the rose petals kept getting in the way of my sips but otherwise this was a deliciously light and fragrant drink.

This space is gorgeous and can be rented out for private events as well. If you have an upcoming party they can cater at your home or office.  Check out their website / Instagram for some stunning photos here.




Saturday, March 16, 2019

Martha's Country Bakery


We spent a day exploring Williamsburg this weekend – including the famous Bedford Ave and some of the shops around the neighbourhood! We decided to stop into Martha’s Country Bakery to warm up with a cup of joe. The café was nice and spacious and filled with young people, old people and families alike. There was no wait, and I loved the casual atmosphere here!  

There were cases and cases of gorgeous desserts and even though I don’t have much of a sweet tooth everything looked so colourful and absolutely delectable! They serve everything form pastries, pies and cakes, to coffee and smoothies. There is something for everyone here! We ordered a mocha diablo and grey vanilla chai latte. My mocha diablo was slightly spiced but I could’ve handled a bit more heat! Al’s vanilla chai latte was an early grey tea with vanilla. This was the perfect way to warm up before we continued exploring the neighbourhood! 

Food Tip: We had dinner with friends at Birds of a Feather just around the corner from this cafe. Definitely a great spot to try if you like Szechuan food!


 


Monday, March 11, 2019

Water Works


I’m so excited to share a charitable activity that I did with my fellow team members during out offsite. We built portable water filtration units through a company called Feet First and their Water Works program!

Water Works enables households around the world to have access to clean and safe drinking water in the homes. These portable systems have been sent to refugee camps in Africa as well as to Beaumont, Texas and Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria barred access to clean drinking water.

Our group split into 4 teams are created four different systems along with a fun painting. Our devices were sent to the Kyaka II Refugee Camp in Uganda and we even received awesome photos from them holding pictures of us!! This was such a great way to spend an evening with colleagues and we really made a different by donating 2 hours of our time. If you’re looking for a corporate event I’d highly recommend this one!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Havre de Grace, Maryland


Havre de Grace is a cute little town nestled on the coast of Maryland. We chose this spot for our corporate offsite just out of sheer curiosity. We stayed at a gorgeous inn called The Vandiver Inn which had multiple historic houses and massive, unique rooms with fireplaces, couches etc. My room was so big and cozy, it was a shame we only stayed for one night! The Vandiver Inn hosts weddings as well!  

I’m always interested in exploring lesser known towns, and this was the cutest and most random spot we could’ve chosen!  The Inn was walkable to the main street but unfortunately it was too cold and dark to take good photos by the water. I did find a pretty photo online of the plaza though! If you’re an east coaster looking for a weekend getaway this could be a great and affordable spot to unwind!





Thursday, February 14, 2019

Grace Street Cafe



Grace Street Café is an Asian dessert and coffee spot in midtown on 32nd and 6th. It’s a huge, open space with lots of seating options. They’re open late every night until 11 pm and even later on weekends. Their menu is extensive, and includes everything from waffles and shaved snow to milk teas, matcha drinks and affogatos.

I decided to try a rose petal milk tea to warm me up. Not only was it beautiful, but it also tasted amazing! It was creamy and a little sweet with real (edible) rose petals on top.  

I most definitely plan on coming back here and trying some of their specialty drinks and desserts next time! This would be a great place to stop by after a delicious dinner in K-Town!


 




Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Prolonging a Manicure


I wrote about my amazing manicure at Yellow Door Salon a few weeks ago! The nail polish was still going strong almost two weeks later. I was frustrated with the blank space where my nails were growing out but I wasn't ready to remove the polish since it hadn't chipped at all!

Photo 1: Long nails, two weeks after my manicure



Photo 2: Trimmed and re-shaped


Photo 3: Base filled in with glitter

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Yellow Door Studio


Yellow Door Studio is a lounge, espresso bar and nail salon in downtown Oakville! A few days before my (surprise) engagement, my cousin brought me to this gorgeous space for a manicure. I immediately fell in love with the cozy entrance! The space is so luxurious and inviting and the owner is such a gem! She made us amazing cappuccinos (beans sourced from a local micro roaster called De Mello Palheta Roasters) and we relaxed a bit on the comfy couches admiring the décor and the bar while picking out our nail colours.

While my upcoming engagement was unbeknownst to me, I picked an OPI nail colour called Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. Was that some crazy foreshadowing or what?! I was so happy with the result and of course it was great to have my nails done since everyone kept asking me to see my ring! We enjoyed our cappuccinos the whole time we were getting pampered too.

You can host parties at Yellow Door, as well as attend their many events like themed dance parties! This is a great spot to catch up with a girlfriend, spoil your mom, or treat yourself. Thanks Yellow Door Studio (and my mom and cousin) for keeping my engagement a surprise and for the beautiful nails! 

 






Monday, January 21, 2019

Cha Cha Matcha



Cha Cha Matcha is a matcha café with a few shops in LA and New York. We visited the flatiron location for some post gym fuel! The space inside is so beautiful so of course I had to have a photo shoot (I mean how could you not take a million photos in this gorgeous pink space). I learned a lot about Matcha along the way thanks to the awesome posters inside and the super friendly staff.

Matcha is a vibrant green powder milled from green tea leaves from Japan. It results in caffeine like energy and lots of antioxidants (think defence against heart diseases etc). You can infuse matcha into just about anything including hot beverages, pastries, candy and cocktails. 

We ordered a matcha chai to share which is one of their more popular drinks! It is essentially their home made chai mixed with milk and matcha. The taste was very smooth – not as bitter as I was expecting – with a great balance of spices. They also offer seasonal drinks such as matcha with hibiscus, rose hips and bee pollen or lavender honey mixed with collagen and blue algae. We weren’t feeling super adventurous but maybe next time!