I spent this weekend with my siblings to celebrate my sisters' birthdays. I have two twin sisters and a baby sister, all of whom are younger than me. I'm the oldest, but probably the least in touch with reality. Actually, if I think about it, my entire personality is an anomaly. I'm the oldest of 5, most adulting and somehow, I'm still not an adult. I dress like I might as well be the youngest sometimes.
Anyways, we got together to celebrate my baby sister turning 18 and my twin sisters turning 25. I put together a gram bucket list walk for us that day before our lunch date. Basically, I picked a bunch of places that we would walk to and explore, for the gram. And yes, I shamelessly compiled them from watching other IGers explore NYC. I'm not in the city as often as I would like because I do live kind of far so I figured let's get hit it all at once or as much as we can. These are the lame adventures I go on. You'll learn through my blog a lot of my life is smokes and mirrors, lol.
The first stop of the day was Dominique Ansel Kitchen because I wanted to try the Watermelon Soft Serve. They had it last year but only for 2 days, neither of which aligned with the stars for me to come try it. That's another problem with NYC sometimes. A lot of the stuff is really limited in terms of quantity or availability. I wanted to try a Jasmine ice cream a month ago and this ice cream shop only had it for legit one weekend. Like WTF man. Not everyone's availability is so flexible that they can just say fuck work and hop off to grab highway robbery millennial ice cream at the drop of a hat. Anyway, I learned that day that Dominique Ansel Kitchen and Dominique Ansel Bakery are not one and the same, lol. They are distinct different locations and the watermelon soft serve was only being served at DAK. We got there early in the day and there was no wait or line. There were plenty of seating available so we were able to sit, relax, enjoy and snap pics for the gram. The actual dessert is pretty good. The taste and consistency is somewhere between soft serve and an Italian ice, I would have to say. It's a refreshing unique dessert for a hot summer day and its presentation is really cute. Although $10 is really steep for a small dessert. The actual watermelon slice is huge but the soft serve part is not, I'd say. I wouldn't say it's worth $10 but this is also Dominique Ansel. These are bougie treats.
The second stop of the day was Laduree. This was a fairly quick stop since I was simply craving macarons since I finished the ones I bought in Paris. I used to get them all the time from Payard but since they closed down, my supply line has been cut off. It's funny because I haven't had them in a long time and having them again from Paris made me realize how much I do miss and enjoy them. I got one of each flavor to try and I'm curious to try the bubblegum macaron. So far, rose macarons have been my favorite. The shop is so pretty, I wish my room looked like this. It's so French and regal and girly and dreamy. We're thinking of bringing my dad here for Father's day. Not exactly very "father-y" but we figured maybe we should try something new for my dad since he enjoyed trying new restaurants and foods on the cruise we recently took as a family. Plus my baby sis wants to try it and well, am I ever going to say no to an occasion to get dressed up for an Instagrammable meal? Let's be real. Total photo op.
The third stop was the Magnum Pop Up shop in Soho, which was literally around the block from Laduree. It was here last summer but again, I didn't get a chance to stop by last year. I wanted to go for the rainbow ice cream bar but they won't have it until pride week so fingers crossed I have an opportunity to come back up for it. That's another thing. Every year I want to go to the Pride Parade but I always forget to plan ahead and take off from work to go. And of course, for the past 5 years, I've always worked on the day of the parade. Blargh. Note to self, take off next year!
Anyways, I got a pink chocolate ice cream bar with rose petals and raspberries. Truth be told, I just wanted a cute pic for the gram after seeing it on @feedyourgirlfriend's feed but it didn't come as nice. The girl who made my bar waited too long to place the toppings on so it didn't stick to the ice cream as nice and stable for a pic. Gram fail. Hopefully when I come back for the rainbow bar, it'll come out nicer. The ice cream itself was delicious though. Albeit, I do think the bar was too small for $8. But again, you're paying more for the presentation and experience, not so much the product. The construction of my ice cream bar was like performing surgery. They even use tweezers to meticulously place on your desired toppings, as well as several trays to put it all together. It was a process. The store even has little mini booths with lighting and backdrops for you to take a selfie of your creation. This is how extra this generation is.
The fourth stop was the Galeria Melissa shoe store. I was introduced to this store by my friend Christine sometime after graduation. It was dangerous times. I started buying overpriced bougie jelly shoes. I own 4 pairs now. I do have to say though that the quality is very good. I wore a pair all through Paris on my trip last month and they still look beautiful regardless of how much walking, dust and dirt I trudged through. I don't even see wear and tear on them despite it all. My crystal flats are still beautiful as well and I've had those for 5 years now, without any crystals missing. The shoes themselves are very comfortable too since they're a soft plastic material. And they smell so good, lol. I know this is a very weird thing to say, but the shoes are scented and smell really nice. Kind of like bubblegum.
I didn't stop by the store to buy or even look at shoes, ironically though. I was on a mission. They installed a cute room for selfies for the gram. I stopped by vainly for that. It was free to stop by and take as many pics as you'd like. The guy at the front door was also giving away buckets of candy. I've never had a bad experience in that store. Everyone is always really nice, friendly, and patient with you as you shop or browse. I love that stores nowadays have cute photo walls or rooms like this. It's a really smart way to draw customers in and create foot traffic as well as free advertising as Instagrammers share their pics.
After Melissa, we finally headed to Pardon My French for lunch. I love the decor of flowers everywhere, although the loud music blasting is odd for lunchtime. The service was good and everyone was really nice and attentive and accomodating. I had steak and they cooked it perfect. It was so good I ate it all. Man, I love steak. I can't imagine why people don't eat meat. I didn't climb all the way to the top of the food chain to eat a fucking carrot. Nor do I care about the whole "humans can sustain on non-meat foods" bullshit. I could never go vegetarian or vegan or any of those restrictive bullshit. I love food too much to restrict myself. It was hard enough eating healthy for the past 6 months, restricting myself on my favorite delicious and savory foods.
Back to PMF, they were so nice! I forgot my sister's candles at home and they provided candles for our cake as well as gave each of my sister's complimentary chocolate mousse. They do a really good job at birthdays with sparkler candles. Everyone was really upbeat and nice. I would revisit for dinner in the future to try the dinner steak if the opportunity ever arises. We also brought our own cake from Stax, which was really good as well. I had them make it half strawberry creme and half ube. Man, their flavors are delicious. I tried the new lychee flavor when picking up the cake and and man, I can't wait to go back and get a cone with it. The lychee flavor is really present and delicious and not artificial tasting. And I love how colorful and bright their flavors are.
After PMF, we walked over to Big Gay to try the Cheetos ice cream before they took away for the month. It's an interesting unique flavor, but I would have to say it's not for me. I'm not a fan of salty ice cream I'd have to say and the cheetos salty flavor is odd to me for an ice cream experience. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. Not a fan, unfortunately.
The rest of the night was just walking to more places for the gram. We found a cute small storefront called Rose and Basil where I snapped a few quick photos, and I finally was able to hit up the Yumi Kim wall without any trash impacting my photo op. Last time I stopped by to try and get a picture for the gram, the bins were unfortunately filled and overflowing. Maybe it's for the better because my outfit this time was also a lot nicer than when I first went. And yes, I was extra and changed outfits after lunch, LOL. We even stumbled upon a cute art gallery about dreams and doing what you love. It spoke to me because I feel like I'm still trying to figure out my dream and calling in life. And trying to overcome things thrown at me. I don't dream as big as other people in terms of fame and fortune, but I do spend a lot of my time trying to do what I love and focusing on my happy. If you don't take care of yourself first, who else is going to? Make sure you're in control of your own happiness.
The last stop of the day was CTea NYC. We wanted to try the New York green apple milkshake for the Instagrammable donut but it was all sold out. I had the Paris drink while my sister had Kyoto. The drink was actually really delicious and I love the hint of rose in it. It was so good. I would love to go again and try their fruit teas. The cafe is cute but unfortunately not all the tables have the same cute decor for your gram shot. This one hoe was sitting at the best table in the shop taking forever taking pics of herself with her boyfriend, but instead of taking a bunch of shots, she kept taking one at a time and reviewing each one before continuing. It's 2018. Take a bunch and review later, bitch! Even I'm not this inconsiderate when taking vain pics for the gram. I snap, snap, snap and move on before it becomes too long for someone else to have a shot at the sweet spot. She wasn't even cute. She was so basic and generic and old lady looking, it hurts. She legit sat there for a good half hour hogging all the cute decor and the table with the best lighting. Eventually Christine walked over when they stopped taking pictures and took the props for our own use.
After, we walked over to Pietro Nolita for another quick gram shot and then I stopped by the Gumshoeart mural to snap quick pics with my friend Jason Laboy. You can view the photos from the shoot here! It was a very fast shoot since Jason was already working with another friend and I was basically crashing before I left the city for the day, but the pictures came out awesome. I loved how the originals came out in 2015 and I love how this second set in the series came out. I hope to one day be able to afford and own a piece of Gumshoeart to hang in my house one day. I love her work.
The next day I had to drop off the boy at the airport. He's going to be away for the next couple of weeks training for his new job. He's cute. He texted me missing me 3 hours after he took off. I hope he's going to be okay for the next few weeks without me. He hasn't gone without me in...........forever. Since college ended, I think we've always been by each other's side. He's cute though. He can't bare to be without his wife for too long. I'm going to miss him too but you know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder. <3
After dropping him off, I spent the rest of the day with my mom and baby sister. I haven't taken my mom out to eat in a while so I took her to one of my favorite summertime resturants on Long Island, Porter's On The Lane, since I found that they brought the lobster roll back in time for summer. I also love their strawberry lemonade. It was a little chilly Sunday so unfortunately we couldn't sit outside on the veranda and dine comfortable so I sat inside, which is nice too but I love outside dining. We also tried the crab cake, which was absolutely delicious. There's basically nothing I don't like at this place.
Afterwards, we stopped by the mall for my mom to do some returns and of course in typical RxBarbie fashion, one does not simply go to the mall without a once through at Forever 21. I found some cute piece for summer and snatched them up. And like the day before, I changed into another outfit for the remainder of the day. I grabbed Bambu on our way out. Bambu is basically my favorite drink place. I'm not crazy about bubble tea like most Asians. I basically only drink water but I tried the che drinks at this place back when they opened and it was so bomb I kept coming back. I love coconut juice and I love that they put fruit in their drinks so it's like a refreshing dessert. The Bambu Special is my go to. If I could drink this everyday, I would. I should probably learn to make my own che at home. Growing up, my aunts used to make a pitcher and leave it in the fridge in the summers and I would drink/eat out of it constantly. The only unfortunate thing is these drinks are very sugary, and fruit is a lot of sugar too, which isn't great for my diet. So I can't indulge in these too often to maintain the hard work I put in these past 6 months on my body. These are going to be a once in a while treat and only on cheat days for me. But so worth it.
For the last leg of the day, I drove out to Patty's Berries and Bunches to pick up peonies. My coworker texted me earlier in the day that peonies were back in season finally at the farmstand near her house. I love peonies. They're such a beautiful flower. I love that they were everywhere in Paris. I fell in love with them after seeing them in Gossip Girl. I love everything about Blair Waldorf.
I picked up a big bunch for $12.50 which is the cheapest I've ever paid for peonies and especially straight from the farm fresh peonies. In the city, they're always like 3 stems for $10 and even in Paris, they were expensive (although less than in the US, funny enough). The boy always pays an arm and a leg getting them for me. Next year when I go back, I'm going to buy a whole bunch to fill my house. I bought my mom a potted peony for her to plant in her front yard since she likes planting flowers, while I like bouquets to keep inside the house. I probably should plant one outside my yard too but I have a pretty pink one already on the side of my house that was planted years ago and now it's a nice big bush with multiple blooms and only growing bigger and more each year. It's just on the side of my house that I never see unfortunately. Maybe I should plant one outside my window or my mailbox. Next year I'll go back and pretty much buy the farm, lol. It was a nice day with my mom and sister. The rest of the day, I simply drove my mom and sister back home and my mom made dinner for me and I spent the rest of the night watching Coco with my sister.
I told you in the beginning. My life is boring. But to me, it's not boring. I find joy and happiness in the little things. I did a lot of stupid things this weekend, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I really love spending time with my loved ones. Sometimes I don't realize it, but I'm a lot closer to my siblings than some people and we all are able to lean on each other and rely on each other for support. We have a lot of fun together and it's always a nice time. I'm looking forward to more adventures and time with them as we get older. Cherish your loved ones always. You never know what tomorrow brings.
Time is always limited amongst my friends and family and it's very hard to align schedules. But when it does, it's beautiful. I'm looking forward to this summer and making a lot of memories. I can't wait till the boy gets back and we can go kayaking sometime this summer. I started going a few years ago after seeing my friend Jamie do it and I really enjoy it. It's therapeutic. I'm also hoping to be able to plan and put together a rafting trip in the Poconos towards the end of summer and attend the Lantern Fest. I want to release a lantern in the sky like Rapunzel!
Okay this is a lot for a blog post about mostly nothing, lol. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Till next time. (Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, you can click on the pics in the gallery to view the whole thing, not just the cropped version. You're welcome to those technologically challenged stalkers scrolling though this.)