Thursday, September 30, 2010

New York!! Day 3

Ohh, we had another wonderful day in New York on Day 3! The weather was gorgeous, we walked until we (read: I) almost couldn't walk any more, we ate delicious food, explored, and saw another fun show! All of which included: Wall street, Ground Zero, Chelsea Market, the Staten Island ferry, The Stanton Social, Marry Poppins, and Serendipity 3! More dets and pics below :)

Beautiful judicial building (I forget which one!) and very cute guy :)

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Pretty fountain and big preggy ;)

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Ground zero. It was pretty emotional as Hubby and I walked around the site, talking about what happened, seeing a new Tower go up, it was surreal to think about it again while being right where it happened.

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We took the (free) Staten Island ferry ride to glance at Miss Liberty and take a relaxing ride around the water.

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Then we walked to Wall Street to check out where all of the financial happenings... happen. :) The buildings in NY are amazing!

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Cute guy and le bull :)

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We took a short jaunt through Tiffany's, more on that later!! I think it was my first time in a Tiffany's :)

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Then, Hubby wanted to find a whole in the wall pizza place while we were in New York, and we ended up finding the cutest little shop! And the pizza was so yummy!

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Don't worry, we went back for another slice! You don't think this girl could survive on one piece of pizza! ;-) You know me! :) Preggy or not :) (p.s. mine is the huge plain cheese piece!)

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Then we took the subway to Chelsea Market, a c-ute indoor market filled with boutiques and cute little eateries. We stopped into a dairy shop and got some ice cream, made from fresh ingredients from a local farm! Mmmmmm! Cute guy getting ready to dig in :)

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Then we took the subway back to our hotel to rest for a few and get ready for dinner at The Stanton Social! We had heard such good things about this restaurant, and it was SO fun and yummy! All of the food is in small, appetizery portions, meant for you to order many dishes to share. Our waitress said a table of 2 normally orders about 4-6 dishes. We ended up getting, the Edamame, Wild Mushroom Risotto Cakes, Short Rib Soft Tacos (they were beef!), Spicy Lamb Souvlakis, and Potato and Goat Cheese Pierogies :) mmmm :)

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Then it was off to the theater for Mary Poppins. It was really cute, fun set, and musical numbers. :)

(side outfit note: I am not used to wearing outfits like this - sweater dress (I was actually going to return :)) and boots, but it was comfy, and the boots were clearanced at Target before we left for the trip ;), so I thought I'd try it :))

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I only put this in here so you can kind of see the cute sleeves on the dress :)

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After the show, we headed to the much talked about Serendipity for dessert! We got the frozen hot chocolate and cheesecake (they have a minimum purchase per person :)), Hubby was also wanting cheesecake while we were in New York! :)

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It was another great day!! :)

p.s. I really didn't have time to do my hair much so just pretend it looks glamorous and y'all have been so sweet, I felt like the pics, especially from Day 2, were definitely not my most flattering, but it's all about the memories, and those I LOVE!! :))

If you want to catch up here is: Day 1 (Jon Hamm!!!) and Day 2 :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Le Creuset Giveaway Winner

The lucky winner, chosen by random.org, is.............

Melissa Cornell!

Congratulations Melissa! Please e-mail me at naturallycaffeinatedfamily {at} gmail {dot} com.

Thank you for all that entered!! There will be more to come!!!

In case you missed our New York!! Day 2 recap, click here! :) Hope you have a fabulous day!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

New York!! Day 2

To catch up on our amazing New York Day 1 (and our exclusive with THE Jon Hamm!!!) click here!! :)

On Friday, Day 2, we had a chill day walking around Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, and a touch of Chinatown; we had some fabulous meals at some famous restaurants, and the GREAT Broadway show Jersey Boys in the evening!

We bought a quick breakfast on our one block walk to the subway and grabbed a spot to eat after we got off the subway, before walking on our way. We walked just a bit through Greenwich Village on our way to Soho.

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It was so much fun leisurely walking around, seeing all of the beautiful buildings, and shops. We didn't do any shopping; you know we're not big spenders but it helped that I was preggy and could essentially only shop for shoes or accessories :-). I almost got a cute pair of flats but they were more expensive than I normally spend and unfortunately not comfortable enough. But I do love to get a fun souvenir, like a little piece of jewelry or something that I can wear and remind of the places that we've traveled to together! So I up getting a fun pair of earrings from a street vender (story another time!).

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After we saw Soho, we headed to our lunch destination! Katz' Deli! My Dad reminded us that we needed to go to one of the great Jewish Delis for our New York experience! :) So after pre-trip researching we settled on the famous and highly rated Katz'. Their walls are lined with photos of all of the presidents and actors that have eaten there. Annnnnd Katz' Deli is where Meg Ryan's famous "faking it" scene in When Harry Met Sally was filmed! After confirming with our docs/nurses (again), I was good with getting a piping hot, extremely fresh pastrami reuben. It was SO good! They make all of their meats there, everything is so fresh and yummy! We had to get a knish too, mmmm (and some fries ;))!

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Then we walked to Little Italy! We got a real Italian ice, just like ones my Aunt Dottie and Dad used to get when they were little, it was so yummy and refreshing.

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We saw a little bit of Chinatown and were so ready to get back to our hotel, rest for a few, before getting ready for our dinner and show! We walked SO much, my feet hurt so bad, they have never hurt like that before :) I learned that I need to invest in some very comfy flats! :)

After a short rest, we went to Bobby Flay's Bar Americain for dinner. It was such a fun experience! The service was incredible. Hubby unknowingly dropped his napkin off his lap at one point and one of the hovering/roaming (but unobtrusive) waiters picked it up, walked away, came back, and in a slick and obviously trained way, quickly shook and got Hubby's new napkin ready to ever so gently fluff and slickly lay in his lap. :) He was like the Batman of waiters! I wasn't the most fond of our waitress but the food was yummy and the service was fantastic. We got the vidalia onion soup for an appetizer, Hubby got the snapper and I got the filet mignon, and we got creamed corn (very yummy) for a side.

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Then we walked to our show for the night, Jersey Boys! It was so good. We are still talking about it! Great singing, and acting, and story. It was so fun and funny, and we were singing the songs for the rest of the trip. :)

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After the show, partially because we had 12 blocks to walk and partially because my feet felt like they were going to fall off, we took one of the bike, carriage, guys back to our hotel :) It ended up being more expensive than we thought, whew!, but it was worth it :), and he hopped off a couple times to get a pic for us in the middle of Times Square. :)

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cheese! :)
Another fun day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New York!! Day 1

We're back from our vacay!! I couldn’t put the exact dates or dets on the blog before we left, family safety first, but oh we had so much fun! We're so glad we chose New York, it was a great mix between adventure and relaxation (a little/lot more on the adventure side :)). We had a Broadway show each night and then planned our days to just walk around and explore however we wanted. We were so excited about seeing some shows, we hadn't seen many yet, but I just love that we both love to see them together!

This was our first vacation with just the two of us for longer than a couple days since our honeymoon over 7 years ago! We still can't believe that we were able to do it! And it would not have been possible without my Mom!!! More on that later! :-) We spent 3 nights/4 days in New York and then our last night and day in a town close to home. It was perfect! and of course we missed the boys and talked to them everyday :)

Thursday
We left our house at 1:15 am to start our drive! That meant Hubby had gotten less than two hours sleep and I only got a couple hours in the car. But we left so early for two reasons: smooth sailing of a drive, and the attempt to get standby tickets to the Regis and Kelly show! :) Jon Hamm (Don Draper from Mad Men) was on that day (along with Rachael Ray, we were obviously more excited about seeing Mr. Hamm :)). By the time we got there, drove around a little, found a parking garage, walked to the ABC studio, it was about 6:05am and we were #s 6 and 7 in the standby line! It was still dark outside :)

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We ended up being the excited potential audience members right behind the the super excited ones that made it into the show taping. At that point, we had already gone through security and were inside the building. Since they don't tape on Fridays, they do two tapings on Thursday, so they asked the next 4-6 of us if we wanted to stay and see if we could get into the next taping. If some were going to leave after the first taping, we could "get in". So we and the two ladies behind us decided to stay. We were let through the little gates into what we all called the VIP Loser Lobby :), to watch the show and then see if we could get in. :)

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It ended up working out perfectly!! Why??? Because, Mr. Jon Hamm, after his interview, decided to come through the little secure lobby to leave!! Ahhhh! We thought he might come through, so Hubby and I discussed ahead of time, that I would get up, ask for a pic, and he took the camera to be ready! Sure enough Mr. Hamm, came out! I hopped up, and very calm and collected ;), asked if he wouldn't mind taking a picture and he was SO nice!! As Hubby pointed out, he put his arm around me, took our pic, and was so kind! He asked when we were due and if it was a boy or a girl. He was SO nice! We're pretty good friends now, we were going to invite him to lunch or dinner, but knew his schedule was probably quite busy ;-).

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I look ginormous and completely goofy in this pic but it's Jon Hamm!! :) (pic below in same outfit to show I am not as big as an elephant ;-))

Then! we ended up getting into the second taping.

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We saw Regis, before he left for Anderson Cooper to fill in for him.

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and Caroline Rhea (she's a comedian and was on Sabrina the Teenage Witch) was there just for fun. She came in to watch the show and was really nice as well! She went to Starbucks before the show :)

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Between a couple commercial breaks, Kelly came and talked to the audience. She is even tinier in person!

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It was such a fun experience to get to go to a show taping! And even more incredible that we got missed the first taping, and ended up that we got to meet Jon Hamm!!!

Next, we wanted to stay close and leisurely so we walked around near Central Park for a spot for lunch before heading to our hotel. We ate at a yummy Chinese restaurant. We got vegetable tempura (yummmy!!), Peking duck (best ever!), and Hubby's fave, sweet and sour chicken. SO yummy!

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The lady came to the table and made up all of the duck wraps! mmmmmm! :)

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We stopped by the highly recommended Magnolia Bakery for a yummy cupcake :) and then headed to our hotel. We stayed at the Westin Times Square. It ended up being a GREAT location. The subway was less than a block away and it was close to everything. Here was our view :) (see, this is the same outfit as the pic earlier that morning with Mr. Hamm ;-))

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We had 5:30 reservations for Carmine's and the the Broadway show, Wicked!! It was such a fun night. We got the Stuffed Artichoke appetizer and then Hubby's choice, good ole spaghetti and meatballs. It was really yummy.

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It was a wonderful show! and loved Defying Gravity! :) We had such a fun first day in New York!!!


p.s. don't forget to enter my Le Creuset Giveaway :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday Raaandoms

[1] Hubby and I had McDonald's hot fudge sundaes at 11 pm last night. And we enjoyed every last spoonful. :)

[2] Sometimes when microwaving, I enter a very exact amount of seconds, as though I know that it will take only 12 or 43 seconds to get item warm enough but not overdone.

[3] I've noticed the shapes of my eyes are slightly different. I like the shape of my right eye better. I think. And my left is my better side for pictures. I think mainly because of the way I part my hair.

[4] My love handles have a lot of love to give, they are out of control right now. I believe they are the biggest they have ever been. I have lost all my baby weight and been back in my pre-preggy jeans/clothes after each baby and before becoming preggo again, which is wonderful, but I still feel... very big right now. I realize [5] came after [4]. ;-) I gain a lot of weight during my preggies. Though I was back pre-preggy size at 5-6 months with BabyBoy and about 9-10 months with Little. Let's hope chasing three littles gets the weight off pretty quickly. :)

[5] I need to lighten up. I feel like since I am a parent, responsible for little people's lives, that I sometimes (a lot) feel like I can't just really let my hair down because I am always "on call." KnowwhatImean?

[6] I made lemon poppyseed scones this morning for breakfast. Hubby has been working so hard and needed a yummy baked good to go with his coffee. :)

[7] Our big New York trip is coming up! I have our handy dandy notebook, with dividers for each day, all our reservations, confirmations, etc.. I also plotted out all our destinations and potential destinations on googlemaps, so we can see how far everything is from each other. ;-) We can decide to do or not do any of the day activities but at least we know where everything is if we want to do it :) And we're going to see Wicked, Jersey Boys, and Mary Poppins on Broadway! Our first time seeing all of these shows!!

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[8] Hubby's old boss' wife stopped by our house the other day with a present for Littlest! Some onesies and a blanket :) Sooooo sweet!! and so cute!

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[9] Mad Men is intriguing, the characters, the agency plots, but we get so frustrated (especially me) during almost every episode! Especially with Draper. Don, get it together and love 'n be with your fam!

[10] Hubby and I switched sides of the bed and everything looks new! I realized as Littlest was growing and I was increasingly having to go potty in the middle of the night, I had to roll out of bed and walk all the way around (dramatic much ;)) it, to get to the bathroom. It was feeling farther and farther away. :) Hubby normally takes the side of the bed closest to the door or windows so he can hop up and protect in the case of an intrusion. But in our room, both sides work for that and his new side is closer to the windows now too. It's a whole new world. Do you have a "side" of the bed?

[11] The babies sharing a JetPop during an ice cream picnic after the ice cream truck came by!

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and playing another day :-)

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I hope you're having a great week and have a fabulous weekend! and don't forget to enter my Le Creuset Giveaway!! Blog ya soon friends! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Le Creuset Review and Giveaway with CSN Stores and NCF!!

I was so excited about the opportunity to do a Le Creuset Review and Giveaway with CSN Stores!!

This is my first Le Creuset! And it is fabulous! I was so excited to finally receive my bakeware items to review! One was on backorder so I couldn't wait to hear that last knock at the door from the UPS man! :)

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I, along with Hubby's help, ended up choosing the Kiwi green. I was actually a little worried about the depth of color, how it seemed to fade as it worked it's way to the tops of the dishes based on the pictures online. But when I received it, it was beautiful. So much better in person. The only thing is the color of the interior was a little bit different for the smaller two dishes and the larger piece.

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And guess what I made to christen our new Le Creuset??? I took the advice of many of my Southern friends and got in on the Poppyseed Chicken action! We all (especially Hubby and Little) LOVED it! (I also made it for some friends who just had a baby (I found out when we dropped it off it was her favorite meal! I hoped mine turned out ok!) and they LOVED it, AND ate the leftovers, and she doesn't eat leftovers ;)) Thank you Kelly for sending me the link to your recipe!

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So in the 12.5" x 9" I made our main dish: Poppyseed Chicken, in the 10.5" x 7" I made our side dish: Zucchini Herb Rice Casserole (which did not go at all with the poppyseed chicken! I went a little heavier on the rice thinking it would be a nice rice dish to accompany the chicken, nope! :) the flavors did not go, but would be yummy for something else [and I cut the cheese down too :)] and I had made some extra brown rice that I topped the chicken over!), and in the 7" x 5" I made our veggie: roasted broccoli (just a little EV Olive Oil and garlic salt!)!

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Final thoughts on our new Le Creuset cookware: It cooked evenly, it stored wonderfully in the fridge until we finished the leftovers, it washed beautifully in the dishwasher, and it's pretty! :) And did I mention it was easy to clean?! Love that!

Now it's your turn!!! You have the chance to win some fabulous pieces of Le Creuset from CSN Stores!!

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TO WIN!
[1] Leave a comment telling me what color you would choose or what you want to cook in your Le Creuset!

EXTRA ENTRY! You must leave an additional entry and it must be complete for your entry to count.
[2] Blog about this giveaway and leave the link in your comment.

Giveaway will close on Sunday September 26th at midnight EST! Winner to be chosen by random.org. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents (additional shipping charges if shipping to Canada). Winner will receive a $60 promotional code to apply to the purchase of your new Le Creuset (and shipping cost)!

Good luck!!! :) And thank you CSN Stores!!

*CSN provided me with $60 of Le Creuset to review, I paid $5.90 difference for the three pieces I received. They are also providing the giveaway prize. All opinions are honest and my own.

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