The Superette

I <3 NY

  1. The big bad urban city grit. Quite unlike any other city I’ve lived in.
  2. The immediacy. Everything, anything and then some within a block.
  3. The fashion. Need I say more.
  4. The food. You name, New York has it.
  5. The weather. Snow is still a novelty to me. On the flip side, we are also rewarded with some of the bluest, clearest, sunniest skies ever.
  6. The architecture. ESB, Chrysler, Woolworth, Frank Gehry, tenements, town homes, cast iron.
  7. The melting pot. Of different cultures, sub cultures, ethnicities and nationalities.
  8. The attitude. Straight shooting, assertive, all or nothing New Yorkers who won’t take no for an answer yet are friendly and welcoming once you scratch beneath the surface.
  9. The crazies. Who can forget the crazies that every New Yorker embraces and co-exists with as part of Gotham.
  10. The biggest Chinatown outside Asia. Love it or hate it, this Chinatown is and will always be the bomb.

Some say the 10-year mark qualifies you as a bona fide New Yorker.

Though we are only half way there, I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be living here. New York, we’ll be back.

PS: Happy 50th Post.

 

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Oops.

I feel off the face of the earth. The blogger earth, that is.

Ooops.

New look

How are you liking the new look on the blog? I’m testing this new theme in a bid to make the blog cleaner and more streamlined in its appearance. I’ve also integrated my Instagram feed at the end of the blog for those are interested.

I will be making more edits to the blog in the coming weeks. Stay tuned! xo

 

Promise.

itwillbeok

Baking Binge

I’ve been on a bit of a baking binge lately.

Not sure why. Perhaps the sudden change of seasons compelled me to turn on the oven so the apartment feels warm and fuzzy with the smell of baked goods lingering in the air.

Hmmm.

With this urge to bake, my oven churned out three kinds of goodness this week.

Lemon Yoghurt (Macadamia) Cake

A Lemon Yoghurt Anything Cake. Mostly ‘coz I was feeling lemony and (greek) yoghurty. I threw in a handful of macadamia we got from our NoCal trip. The result was a super moist, delectable and refreshingly citrusy cake that made for a moreish breakfast, tea and supper. I’m sure a cup or two of blueberries would be awesome too. Isn’t that crackling golden sheen divine?

Oatmeal Raisin Dark Choc Cookies

When that ran out, I turned to a staple in my arsenal of cookies.  Not just any (oatmeal raisin) cookie, but Oatmeal Raisin Dark Choc Chip Cookies. Thick, chewy, substantial, most of all, chocolatey. It’s like the breakfast all-in-one with just a smidge of guilt. What more can you ask for?

Double Choc Raspberry Muffins

Finally, I needed to undo the travesty of a quasi chocolate pound cake I made last week, because I didn’t have cocoa powder on hand…. Resulting in a somewhat semi faded used sponge look of a cake that was neither here nor there. I had to do something to eradicate that horror of all baking horrors, so these Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins were the instant memory eraser! I used unsweetened Valrhona cocoa powder which gave the muffins a very intense chocolatey taste and a warm mahogany sheen.  The muffins were rich, moist and kept well for up to five days. A definite keeper.

Now onto next week’s baking spree….

Happy 45th Post! PS: I’m back.

*knock knock*

My dear readers, I am terribly terribly sorry for the radio silence. In fact, I am utterly embarrassed. Geez.

Will you accept my sincerest apologies? It has been an insane three months and I’ve been up to no good.

We finally move. It was intense, laborious, mentally and physically taxing. I won’t bore you with the minute details but I will certainly post pics of the new pad when it’s ready.

For now, here’s a peek at my website http://www.3CTZN.com. It’s finally up and running! There are still a couple of tweaks and bugs to work thru, but for now, it is a fully functioning site with lots of good stuff, and more to come.

And if there’s anything that tickles your fancy, enter FALLING4U to receive 15% off.

Just ‘coz.

3CTZN 1

Fruit du jour

Is there such a thing as “meloncitis”?

If it exists, then I might possibly be suffering from water”meloncitis”. Since the start of summer, I’ve been averaging a consumption pattern of one small watermelon per week.

I took the extra step of shopping for the perfect size – nothing too big taking into consideration our  NY kitchen, a tiny chopping board usually reserved for apples and oranges, and a tinier kitchen knife – actually, I used the largest knife we have which is a 9″ bread knife), nothing too small (I mean, if I’m going to lug this fruit home like a mule, it’d better last a while).

Watermelon

I found the ideal one nestled amongst the chaotic produce section at Mott Street Supermarket in Chinatown – roughly the size of a bowling ball. We all know how heavy watermelons can get, so lugging a bowling ball-sized watermelon back 6 blocks from Chinatown in this scorching heat and now the apparent “heat wave” that has descended upon NY, is quite a work out. Plus, I don’t usually just get a watermelon……. Anyhow.

Once I get home all hot and bothered, I set to make my watermelon “meals” to last me for the week. Two of the favourites I’ve been alternating is a variation on this watermelon and charred tomato salad recipe I found on Food & Wine, and a watermelon-mint-cucumber-coconut water concoction. Sometimes I throw in a couple of strawberries to “berrify” the juice a little. The seeds in the strawbs also gives it a bit of crunch and texture.

Watermelon Juice

Watermelon Salad

To make the salad a little more substantial, I turned it into a panzanella and added kale for greens. It’s been such a refreshing delight, I’ve had it three days in a row already!

Reminiscing on the success of last year’s watermelon granita, I am also thinking of making an updated version this year.

What is your fruit du jour this season and what are some of your favourite ways to eat it?

Upstate_Backyard2

I am utterly sorry for the cold cricket silence these last three weeks. Where have I been?! Geez. Buried under an oppressive combination of heavy rain, thick grey clouds and scorching heat all at once. (Read: housing matters, work matters and “mid-life” crisis matters) Now that the sun is slightly shinning (or the dust is […]

It’s paying off

Words cannot begin to describe the crazy roller coaster ride we’ve been going through the last couple of months.

Home ownership has been top on our list for a while now.

I’m taking a sabbatical from the corporate world (read: very very little pay).

I’m starting my jewelry line (read: expensive hobby).

The husband just started a new job.

So as you can imagine, STRESS is an understatement. Stress doesn’t even begin to describe it.

It has been a journey of high highs and really crazy lows. While we want to be happy, we should be happy, the stress of purchasing a home in times like these, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint of heart. There are days where we question our sanity. Why are we doing this? Is it worth it? Should we even do it? We are crazy. Actually we are beyond NUTS. And then there are many more days when the hubs and I will take turns to talk each other off the ledge. Literally.

Because the NY real estate market is white hot now, every daughter and son with mom and dad in tow is at every open home. 30% down is the new 20% and all-cash offers are winning at every bidding war. With three failed offers in our tally, we knew we had to be strategically aggressive, yet because our pockets aren’t quite as deep as the ones with mom-and-dad-sponsorship, we needed to tread that fine line with very realistic numbers of what we could afford.

We pulled all stops to submit a risky yet calculated offer. Even our mortgage broker proclaimed  this is the fastest offer to contract that he’s ever dealt with in his 20 year career. When we got the call that afternoon that our offer was accepted, we knew there was no turning back. It was exactly what we wanted, so why would we stop now?

The next step was the appraisal. Thinking about it made us hyperventilate. Only because we knew our offer price was a response to the market rather than what we thought was fair value. So when we found out today that our apartment appraised for just over offer, a huge wave of relief swept through us. We made it! *fist pump*

All that said, each and every bit of this crazily surreal journey is slowly but surely paying off. The hubs has been an incredible accomplice and support system. I really couldn’t ask for more. And I sure as hell wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else.

I am truly excited for this new chapter ahead. Home ownership is always what we’ve dreamed of and its now a reality. I look forward to building our nest in the greatest city in the world. What’s even better is I get to do it with my BFF, my husband, my partner-in-crime.

xoxo

134-138Broadway

Perspective

There’s nothing like a good quote to inspire, motivate and reflect on.

The gods must know I’m in need of some wise words to keep the mojo going. Here are some motivational quotes I happened to chanced upon today that have helped me to gain perspective on this particularly trying period we are going through.

I hope it inspires you as much as it did me:

From Charles Swindoll:

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.

~  We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

From Steve Jobs:

~ The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.

From Albert Einstein:

~ I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

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