Category Archives: Reviews

Playing Catch-Up

Well, hey there! Remember me?

As I have been consuming most of my free time with hitting some freelance deadlines, I have neglected my little blog. Working and drawing isn’t the ONLY thing I have been doing, though!

1.) I’ve been enjoying walking around the city. Coop is moving from his awesome house in Old City Philadelphia next month, so I am trying to soak up all the fun things within walking distance while I can.

Ikea and Fro Yo kinda day….

2.) I’ve also been attempting to enjoy the Flyers….although they are making it reallllly really difficult for me.

…I even turned the boy onto it! He’s been to a good amount of games with me as we have season tickets. He has lived in Philly for like seven years now, and he (thankfully) wasn’t a Bruins fan, or had really followed hockey much before. And now he bought a Jagr shirt at the last game! Stacy thinks he is a keeper.

3.) I got new business cards, mailing labels, and blank notecards.

4.) Also, food and drink has consumed the other portion of my life while not drawing, working, or workin’ it out.

I won a giveaway on Alyssa’s blog….well, sort of! The number of entrants was wrong when she first did the random number giveaway, so it totally wasn’t fair to the others that entered. My girl did the right thing (and apologized profusely)….aaaand Lauren from Sharkies still hooked me up anyway! Verdict? Get these organic, delish fruit chews and energy chews if you see them in stores. LOVE them, can’t get enough!!!

Made some pasta salad with kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, roasted peppers, onions, and garlic, and veggie rotini. And avocado. Always. Psh.

Tone It Up inspired me to make a roasted portobello mushroom, stuffed with red quinoa and veggies…a new fave!

I fell in love with Wegman’s, just like I knew I would….

AND they had pumpkin ale (my fave)….a really good one!….amongst all of the summer brews.

And also have started brewing my own kombucha each week!!! Anyone interested in a how-to? The pictures may terrify you a bit….that “scoby”? Yeah, it’s a huge mushroom-like culture that grows a baby (also a huge mushroom-like culture) on top. Scary!!! But it tastes just like store-bought for the most part and will definitely save me some bucks so that I am not buying (freakin’ delicious) Synergy all the time. I added pineapple juice to some of my last batch. So good!!

My dad, the antique car guru, has a customer from Italy who delivered these awesome little guys to me…..luckily, the cookbook has some English. Not so luckily, the coffee, which is “not like that dark water you Americans drink,” is straight-up in Italian. Anyone care to interpret??

I also have made a giant, shrimp-infused version of my Roasted Veggie Pad Thai. I would like to marry that TJ’s Soyaki sauce. Oh. Man.

Saturday night we went to Philadephia Bar & Restaurant again….because after watching my boy Guy on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives eat the best looking mac and cheese around, we decided we needed some fried mac and cheese balls. And crab guacamole. Best idea ever. AND look what is happening in two weekends?! So there.

AND Sunday brunches with Coop have been amazing lately. Like this past one at Revolution House. Totally my new favorite Bloody Marys in Philly.

Eggs in Purgatory! Similar to the Shakshuka I love at nearby Cafe Ole.

We made new friends and learned about traffic apps...

I don’t normally do sweet, or cocktails at all for that matter, but this pineapple juice & Chambord deliciousness our bartender whipped up for me was uh. mazing. Despite what my face would infer, here…

And has anyone else ever heard of a Bloody Maria?! Aka, a Bloody Mary…with tequila! Be still my tequila-lovin’ heart.

Okay, I am still a ball of sweat after a kickbutt BodyCombat class and I have some freelance to work on….and some Flyers to cheer on. Later gators!

Let me know if any of you foodies want a “how to make your own kombucha” post….it’s super easy, albeit a little time-consuming!

Vegas Part II: Oscar Sings the Sexy Sax

….and thus begins Part II of about 4! (Coop has not even arrived yet!) As promised, once I finish switching the blog over to its new name and domain, I will make a “Best Of” Vegas post…along with some recipes and fitness posts I have in mind. 
You can find Part I here. 
We concluded with a teaser about a certain video about a certain someone singing the Sexy Sax Man song to strangers along the Strip.
Here is a taste of our trip. Enjoy my snorting.
Allie really wanted to see Cirque du Soleil‘s Love while we were out here. I had seen it before (along with Zumanity and Mystere), but could never turn down an invite to a Cirque show! They are AMAZING, from the tricks to the music to the choreography, and I marveled at how gorgeous and fit the women in the show were. Talk about talent…and muscles!!!

This was when the phone we picked up in the booth actually started talking to us…

The Don’s first vacation picture with another male! Lucky guy, surrounded by women all day! 😉

Volcano at The Mirage

Look at that blue guy’s snout!!!

Seasonal display at The Bellagio

Had to stop for the iconic water show at Bellagio!

Stay tuned for Part III and IV….Coop arrives and adventures ensue, more videos,….and yes. More sexy saxophone.

The Mustard-Colored Apartment

Tomorrow is the day….my return to Vegas! I haven’t been there in two years, and for someone who was relatively a local for a few years, I CANNOT WAIT to get back there!! The southwest owns my heart.

Before I leave, let me recap a bit.

Although most of my meals have been super nutrient-and-veggie-dense this week (hey, pool parties!) and have looked like this:

….the week before, not so much. First was dinner I cooked at my parent’s house last Friday…homemade guac, green chili chicken enchiladas, and blackened shrimp tacos with cabbage, radicchio, an avocado cilantro crema (made with plain Chobani), and homemade pico de gallo. I could eat like this every day.

Then St. Paddy’s Day in Philly.

First we met a friend at a house party. Coop called to get the details about where to meet, and when he said, “Oh okay, the mustard-colored apartment?” I scoured the horizon for a bright yellow, French’s colored building. Then he pointed here.

“That’s mustard-colored?”
“Yes you know, like, spicy brown kind?”

…really? I would never consider that mustard-colored, but okay!

After the mustard party, we headed to Moriarty’s for some drinks and apps. If you are ever in the area, Moriarty’s is known for their wings. They are amazing! I didn’t have any this time, but they are killer. The  girls from my dance studio and I used to go here before we would see any Broadway shows at the Forrest Theatre.

Even Stacy was in the St. Patrick’s mood!

The next day, Coop and I wanted to try something a little different. Sunday was gorgeous here, so we opted to walk to South Street again. This time, German food was on our mind.

Two Germans at Brauhaus Schmitz!

Ohhhh my goodness. We both agreed this is one of the top places we have ever been. The atmosphere was awesome (the front of the restaurant was open-air since it was so nice out), our server was fab, beer selection was amazing, and the food was spectacular. Fresh-baked bread, a delicious soft-pretzel, smokey fish spread, spatzle with veggies, housemade bratwurst (I just typed “mousemade”…..Ratatouille on my mind), sauerkraut….everything was on point. So different and so fun!

Oh….and two mustards came out with our pretzel. One is what I would consider “mustard-colored”, and the other is what Coop apparently considers “mustard-colored.”

Just like the building! He is a treat.

I also laughed at “WinterFahrt.” Because I am a twelve year old boy.

We then stopped in the Adidas store where Coop picked up some sweet new high-tops and I lusted over interesting kicks and gear of my own….


And then I talked him into sharing a humungous fro-yo on the way home, in true foodie form, of course. 🙂

Hope you all had a great week…happy Friday!!! Enjoy your weekend….I know I will! See ya when I return!

Oh….and to hold you over here until I get back from my vaycay… you may watch the penguin cam.

…you’re welcome.

The ‘guin Cam <- click here for instant happiness.

As my BFF said (thanks for the penguin links, Biggie), “Penguin has to get to the stock markets. Penguin has work to do.”

Freakin’ penguins. So cool.

Just So You Know….

First, I discovered this via coupon attached to my receipt after buying out my grocery store’s stock in Chobani….

And then last night, this happened….

……and they are all as phenomenal as you may imagine.

(I obviously had to taste-test each one before feeding them to my family for dessert tonight.)

Buy them, like, now. Or yesterday. That Blueberry Vanilla Graham? Oh. Gosh.

Tonight I am making blackened shrimp tacos, chicken enchiladas, and skinny “jalapeno poppers,” which will essentially just be mini, spicy, baked mozz sticks. Well, pepper jack and habanero cheese sticks. Just another trial in the kitchen, I will post the recipe if they turn out!

So happy it is finally Friday. And although I am not sure what our plans are tomorrow, I can promise you that I will be celebrating my Irish heritage and wearing the best green shirt ever. You HAVE to drink beer on St. Paddy’s Day. And then a week of eating super clean (the TIU 7 Day Slimdown, perhaps?) for my trip to Vegas. So that I can indulge guilt-free! That is what vacations are allll about.

In other news, I am officially a nail polish addict. I have bought so much Essie nail polish that CVS has decided I get a free one.

I love receipt surprises!!!!

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo
Have any plans for St. Paddy’s Day?

Caution: Do NOT Read If You Are Hungry!!

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have been non-existent lately…I have been super busy with some freelance gigs (that I just can’t share yet, up in here!) and preparing for my upcoming vacation. Promise I will share more art here when I can! Hopefully I will have time to work on some personal art ideas when I return from Vegas with the fam. Next Saturday! Can’t wait!

I will have a foodie-based giveaway the week that I return, so be on the lookout for that! I have been super active in the kitchen lately, trying new-to-me things like chia pudding, homemade pesto, overnight oats in a jar,

and new creations like healthy Bang-Bang Shrimp Pasta, taco pie, and a Southwestern chopped quinoa salad inspired by one in the newest Fitness magazine. Agave + apple cider vinegar + lime juice + olive oil + spices makes the BEST dressing….oh man. And for some reason, when fresh salad ingredients are chopped up into itty bitty pieces, they just taste so much better! This reminded me of a salad I would be able to get at Choice Greens in Tucson. MAN I miss that place…and their ciabatta bread. Yum.

We have also checked out some amazing local food joints…South Street Diner in Philly made my dreams come true with a Crab Cake Eggs Benedict,

and La Laconda del Ghiottone in Old City proved to be one of the best Italian joints I have ever encountered. The staff was knowledgable and fun, and oh-so-South-Philly-Italian, the setting is unique and intimate, and the menu…ohhhh the menu….

I was craving mussels, so we ordered those in a red sauce while we sipped on red wine. I planned on sticking with a relatively healthy fish dinner, but when I saw that they had gnocchi on the menu that they make with ricotta (the authentic Italian way!), I had to try! It is a signature dish of theirs and after hearing rave reviews, I went with it. The time that I made my own gnocchi, it was a ricotta gnocchi, as well! So I was pumped to try theirs. It was absolutely delicious; the gorgonzola and tomato sauce was perfectly creamy but not too much so. We all agreed it was the best dish of the night. The serving wasn’t huge, so I didn’t walk away feeling like a blimp…plus, we all shared a little of each dish that we got. The veal was also spectacular, and the sauce was just as good as mine. No sauce was left behind, thanks to the bread basket at the table.

Plus…BYOB always makes me happy. We came armed with plenty of Malbec! Definitely check out La Laconda if you are in the Philly area.

We also went to our friend’s 30th birthday party at Clipper City Brewery in Baltimore (they make Heavy Seas beer) for a beerfest;  Black Cannon IPA was on point. Lots of good brews. We took a pitstop at Little Havana before heading home to Philly. Little Havana….best. Mojitos. Ever. I didn’t take many pictures, but hopefully I can get a few from friends who did.

Pup has also gotten plenty of outdoors time, especially since the days have gotten longer (wahoo!!) and the temperature has been hovering around 60-70 degrees around these parts! Spring is in sight!!!

He’s also been extra-spoiled since my dad is still at home recovering from his surgery, so Koda gets a lot more social time and extra walks.

And jelly beans. Goodness gracious, does this dog LOVE jelly beans. Even more than spinach and cheese (his two formerly-favorite foods).

Enjoy your Thursday! xoxo