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There are many things that I miss about living in the south. Real sweet tea might be one of the top 5 🙂

When I first moved here, I was shocked when I tried what I thought was going to be sweet tea.  Nestea? No. Raspberry Nestea? No! Iced tea with a handful of Splendas? No, thank you!

After exhausting my efforts of trying to find the beverage I longed for, I heard a McDonald’s commercial advertising southern “Sweet Tea!” Of course I was excited at first, but then I was skeptical. I have tried so many teas only to be let down time and time again. Plus, even though I was at the McDonald’s drive thru almost every week with my roommates during college, those days are over and I wasn’t sure I was ready to go back 😉

It didn’t take long until I found myself in that familiar path of the drive thru and ordering this proclaimed real deal.

I have to say, I have found it! My heart is complete again. I no longer have that void in my life. And I am strong enough to order the tea without a double cheeseburger every time! Success!

Southern Sweet Tea in the North

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I definitely procrastinated when it came to writing about this particular experience with this particular picture because I’ll admit, it’s a little embarrassing. HOWEVER, I’m here to provide all of my readers with some entertainment, insight on some various foods and remain open for discussion!

So, Baked by Melissa, a genius chain of mini cupcake stores had me in love at first sight. The moment I saw the store front on 7th Ave, I knew it was going to be good. (Side Bar- I absolutely LOVE the branding of the store: clean, simple, modern, only displaying what they need to…their brilliant mini cupcakes!!)

OK so this all started when I wanted to take something in to work around the holidays for my co workers. Instead of getting a bunch of individual gifts, I was trying to think of something fun I could bring in that everyone would enjoy. My mind first drifted to donuts (boring,) then cookies (so not original,) then TA DAH! It dawned on me this was the perfect opportunity to stop in this storefront that I had passed multiple times. Baked by Melissa! I think the reason I put it off for so long was because I know myself too well, and I knew that I would quickly become addicted.

Baked by Melissa is a bakery with the right idea. Instead of walking into a bakery and not being able to decide which dessert to buy, the owner, Melissa Bushell, came up with the idea of having a huge selection of stuffed cupcakes, a tiny bit larger than a quarter, that everyone will enjoy. The best part is, you can try as many as you want and still not have too much of a guilt trip since they are so small.  They have the classics such as red velvet and cookies ‘n’ cream, but the extraordinary flavors such as peanut butter fluff, smores and tie-dye are what really set this place apart from the rest. You cannot go in there and walk out with just one treat.

Let’s just say that these were a hit at work. I was so pleased with the pricing as well that I knew I would definitely be back in the near future.

Now, for the “embarrassing” portion of this entry. When I saw the tie dyed cupcakes, I immediately thought of my friend Amy. Hi Amy! When her birthday rolled around, I wanted to send her something in DC that was unique and obviously something she would enjoy. Well I had her card and I had one part of her gift, but the embarrassing thing is that my intentions were to try and mail her a dozen tie-dyed cupcakes.

They come in nice packaging and I thought for sure it would be secure enough to send for a birthday surprise. As I was in line at the post office, I was trying to shake it around a little to “test” the box to make sure they would all stay in place for their journey to DC. I was starting to panic as I approached the front of the line because I was quickly realizing my plan was not going to work. The real pressure was that it was already past her birthday AND my hour lunch break was almost over. These little desserts were certainly not going to stay in their places in the box, let alone look anything like what they are supposed to look like once the box was opened on the receiving end.

Amy, I’m sorry but I ended up eating half and sharing half with coworkers that day. I can admit to this now because I am making a promise to hand deliver some at the end of May when I come visit you 🙂

Go to Baked at Melissas before the end of the month to try the PEANUT BUTTER FLUFF cupcake: Brown Vanilla Cake, Marshmallow Fluff Stuffing and Peanut Butter Icing. DELISH!

Um yes please!

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My sister made this out of this world cake this Sunday… Seriously surprisingly good!! Don’t get me wrong, it looks beautiful, and decadent BUT once you take a bit you are in for a surprise!

It is light, not heavy at all even though it appears to be quite filling. It is an angel cake with a pineapple pudding, raspberries and blackberries. She made the pudding with crushed pineapples and vanilla pudding mix then layered it on the cake.

Just writing about it makes me wish I brought some back home with me to enjoy a piece, or three, right now 🙂

Perfect Spring Dessert!

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This year for Easter, my mom and I asked what we would like as the last side for our “traditional” Easter dinner. The winner was macaroni and cheese and I don’t think I could have been any happier!

Just look at that colorful, scrumptious plate! I think it topped of the meal just right. Easter is the only time I will ever eat ham. For some reason I never really enjoy ham throughout the year. It’s different on Easter though because I don’t think I left a single crumb on my plate.

Although the meal was amazing, my favorite part of the holiday is spending time with my family! What are some of your Easter traditions?

Macaroni Always Wins

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I heard from my former boss this morning with a “Hoppy Easter” text and it was perfect timing because I was just deciding on a title for this entry. Hoppy Easter, Stan!

I have been having so much fun creating new desserts and creations with my cake pop maker. It is always a huge project and leaves my kitchen in a huge mess, but I’m still convinced it is always worth it.

I made Easter cake pops with little chicks and Easter eggs to bring to my mom and Daves for Easter Sunday. I will admit I could still use some practice, especially because some of the chicks look like they are crying, but they sure taste good and who doesn’t enjoy a mini piece of cake?

Happy Easter!

Hoppy Easter!

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I have said it before and I’ll say it again: damn! That is some good calamari!

Biggies is consistently at the top of my list of favorite restaurants. We have definitely featured their amazing Thai Calamari and always fresh Ahi Tuna Tacos before, but after another great experience there the other night, I felt it necessary to feature this MUST HAVE, once again!

What is your favorite appetizer at Biggies?

Thai Calamari Never Gets Old

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Today has just been one of those really wacky, weird days. Lots of curve balls, running around, non stop! Well, non stop until the fire alarm sounded as soon as I sat down for a weekly meeting.

Im sure every office is the same in the respect that when a fire alarm goes off, there is hesitation like, “do we really have to get up?,” or “do you think it’s real or just a test?” Well we did the same thing until we heard the announcement it was time for us to all head outside. First lesson quickly learned: change out of high heels before attempting to go down 17 flights of stairs. Wow!

So it’s really such a gorgeous day and it’s not bad waiting outside bit I quickly realized I left my gym bag at my desk and it didn’t seem as if we were going back in so that was my immediate justification of not going to the gym tonight. However, a group of us headed to lucys (after we were released for the day of course) and I realized summer is quickly approaching and I shouldn’t let myself out of going to the gym that easily.

After having an amazing margarita in the nice breeze, I headed back to see if they were letting us back into macys. I was lucky to get up to my desk, grab my stuff, including flat shoes and my gym stuff, in time to catch an early bus. So I thought…

To make a long story short, I decided to grab a bite before my spin class tonight and I’m so happy I stumbled upon Toyama Sushi I’ve been here before but never had their version of the Mexican roll- off the charts!!

Spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, avocado, jalapeño, yellow soy bean sheet with eel sauce. (now you can see why I have to drag myself to the gym) Anyway, I highly recommend this roll it is ah maze ing!!

Then I finished my meal off with green tea Mochi ice cream, just learned the name tonight, and I’m leaving extremely satisfied! I love spring, and sushi and getting out early! Now I’m pumped for my spin class, bring it on!

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Pleasantly surprised with this afternoon:)

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haha I was really just laughing while making these because they came out so ridiculous!…but fun, right? I am one of the ones that is now obsessed with the Bachelor. I watched it seasons ago but stopped watching when what’s his name picked Molly at the “After the Rose” episode, AFTER he picked Melissa during the season finale. People are so weird but I understand it’s tv and they most likely make you do things like that for ratings but it was annoying as a viewer.

Anyway, I don’t know why I started watching it again this season but I did. And I was hooked. I was Team Kasey B until the hometown visits, then I liked Nickie and now I really don’t even care anymore because for some reason the tabloids have already exposed the winner! What’s up with that?? What a buzz kill.

None the less, I am going to a “Bachelor Season Finale Party” at my friend Tara’s tomorrow. We both know who the winner is, but it will still be fun to see how the whole thing unfolds, and honestly just to critique everything 🙂 You are allowed to do that since they are on tv 🙂

I wanted to bring something fun to the “party” and even after google-ing different ideas, I couldn’t find anything fun! So then it occured to me that I should make cake pops of Ben and the final two, Lindzi and Courtney. Luckily, the girls have different colored hair because really that’s the only thing that distinguishes my cake pops from one another. (Good luck picking out which ones are Courtney and which ones are Ben since they pretty much have the same hair!)

What did you guys think of this season’s Bachelor?

Team Courtney or Team Lindzi? The Bachelor Season Finale!

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I love wine & cheese bars. I love the atmosphere, the wine and of course, the wide variety of different cheeses to try. I wasn’t really into wine bars before I met my husband. Certainly not because I don’t like wine or cheese, simply because I had never really been exposed to them.

We went to Grand Cru on our first date and I have to say I was blown away. Ever since then, we have made it a tradition to try a new wine and cheese bar each year on our anniversary. For Valentine’s Day this past year, we went back to where it all began at Grand Cru.

My absolute favorite cheese (for now…) is Tete de Moine. This is a Swiss cheese that has hints of nuts and dried fruit. It pairs well with fruit and almost any of the spreads that Grand Cru offers.

We have tried to recreate wine and cheese nights at home before (See Perfect Start to a Romantic Evening) but places like Grand Cru really know how to do it right. The myriad of breads, spreads, fruits and cheeses are right on. I could go for a glass of wine right now!

Where It All Began ❤

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Every morning on my way to work as I would pass by the corner of 37th and 7th, I would wonder what the new restaurant they were working on was going to be. I anxiously awaited the day they would put a sign up on this new construction restaurant. Then one day, there it was. POTBELLY. Potbelly? Never heard of it! I had no idea how much I would learn to love Potbelly in such a short amount of time.

A love so strong that I have been there 3 times in the few months that it has been opened and yet I still have no picture to show for it. This is because I would eat my sandwich before I would remember to take a picture and then it is too late!

There are so many things to love about this sandwich shop. The environment alone is so chill and relaxing that it has become one of my favorite places to go for my lunch break. There is always an acoustic guitarist playing music which really makes it fun. They do a great job of taking your order and having your food to you very quickly. A lot of people go here to pick up lunch and head back to the office, but there is plenty of seating if you chose to stay.

My sandwich of choice is the roast beef on multigrain with melted provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato. They toast it just right and it really hits the spot. The prices are incredible for the quality of food.

Apparently, this chain has been around for quite some time and I was surprised to hear that a couple of different friends of mine, from DC area and Virginia had already fallen in love with Potbelly years ago 🙂 Go find the location closest to you and see for yourself!

New to me! Potbelly NYC

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