Monday, April 21, 2014

I Freakin' Hate Mondays

Oh! It's freakin' Monday again!

Tip #17- Plan out the weekend already, look forward to it & this week will pass by like a breeze~

How are you with making plans for whichever days, occasions, weekends, etc? Are you the planner + organizer or the one who doesn't see the need to make plans until the day of or the one who expects the plans to be ready for you??

I am a huge fan of making plans & organizing events! For me, it's a whole lot of fun! It depends on the event of course but generally, I very much enjoy being the one to research on the places to go back to, to try out, & suggest to others. It's even nicer & a tad easier for me when I hear suggestions from others on what they prefer to do, their preferable time frame to meet, any reasonable feedbacks… because sometimes, you don't want to be the one to always plan out and/or hear complaints from those who didn't bother planning at all.

Don't get me wrong though! I'm also a fan of being spontaneous ;) When you have those unexpected successes from last minute calls on new places & activities... they turn out to be more fun, memorable & simply priceless. But then again, having spontaneous highlights around a planned out schedule (what can I say, I'm a planner) is even better just in case.

Within my group of friends, I'm the planner of hangouts, even for those coffee dates since you gotta pick a cafe right & for my past birthdays so far. It's a great feeling when we all gather and do the reliable old & new things together. Of course, it's not always rainbows & butterflies… there are those times of frustration from coming up with plans that everyone would be content with, some people wanting to just "wing" it & some expecting for special & fun things to do.

Perhaps it's better to just sit back, relax and rely on others to do the planning sometimes? I've had one friend say to me, "Hanna, just go with the flow", after I asked where we would be going for dinner. And this friend eventually became someone who was too warped up with his/her life & M.I.A. I guess we missed the concrete agreement in our lives to be the friends we used to be.

Here's my view when it comes to planning. Taking the time & effort to come up with locations and things to do are values of considerationappreciation & importance of the day. It's showing consideration & appreciation to those who took time out from their own schedules to be with you. And let's say it's your turn or you took the responsibility to organize something but you decide to go with the flow… that is a lazy excuse, an I don't care situation plus no respect to family & friends who were looking forward to that day.

You might say that you suck at planning & you were usually the one who depended on others for plans but really, it's not hard to go online and look for things to do! Or suggest to others on the things you like to do & eat. It's a GIVE & TAKE. It takes (at least) two to… plan.

Especially on this Monday, I am more excited to plan out this weekend~! This coming Saturday is when my boyfriend, Lou & I began our relationship six years ago :D and we will be celebrating all throughout this weekend. Gratefully, our weekend of celebration will be starting from Friday morning! Here's what we kind of planned so far~~~

(Image source- Ladym)

Our choice of cake to celebrate: Green tea mille crepes cake from Lady M

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Finally watch The Grand Budapest Hotel before it goes out of theaters

Dedicate one day from this weekend to head over to Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Admire at & take loads of pictures of Cherry Blossoms and... 

… other beautiful flowers & plants. Going all the way to Brooklyn this weekend will be a challenge though so we shall see! If not, we will go when all the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom. 

(Image source- huffingtonpost)

It's been awhile since we shopped at Trader Joe's. I'm missing their grapes & the English Cheddar with caramelized onions!! 

(Image source- thiswastv)

We're going to attempt new recipes along with cooking each other's requests for our meals

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Maybe try to squeeze in some baking

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Have plenty of eatings together

What are your plans for this weekend?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Resolution Not Yet- You're A Classic

Hi! Hope you guys had a restful weekend & a very good start to this week so far~

You know what's crazy actually… it's almost the end of April & in about 2 months, it's going to be halfway into 2014! I'm always amazed on how time flies on by…! It has me wondering & checking up on what I have done so far & of course which resolutions have I scratched off from the list for this year.

You guys know that I'm all about making & trying to keep up with my resolutions ;) It's one of the themes to my blog. It gets hard though when you start a resolution and try to maintain a continuity then check it off the list as an accomplishment (the best part). Of course, it depends on the type of resolution you are striving for. There are the somewhat easy to do ones like, reading a lot more then there are the dreamy ones like vacationing in another country. I say have all the easy & questionable resolutions on your list because you never know, right?

My resolutions for me are the basic guidelines & in a way, a tracking system on my productivity. So when I have those days of not wanting to do anything & feeling unproductive, I can take a look at my list to get an idea on what to start. This same list is also my motivation. From seeing the things that haven't been checked off yet, they remind me to work harder & find means to achieve them.

For this year, my all around hope & want is to enrich myself & my lifestyle. Enrich my body by doing the necessary things to be healthier… enrich my soul by helping out if I can… and enrich my thoughts, curiosity & knowledge with answers.

For my knowledge in particular, I thought there was no better way than to enrich my literary mind with the CLASSICS. I hate to admit it but the last time I read a book that was considered a classic or the book that changed history in literature was in college. And even when I read these influential books in school, it was pretty much, skimming the words and in one ear & out the other sort of reading moments. Now that I'm no longer in school anymore & not forced to read these sort of books, I came upon my own enthusiasm on wanting to read ones I've never read & to reread ones from school.

This is my list of Classics for this year…

(Image source- wikipedia)

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I remember seeing parts of the movie when I was young but I had no interest whosoever since I never read the book. But I couldn't forget the alluring & whimsical parts of the secret garden.

(Image source- goodreads)

1984 by George Orwell 
The eye-opener & frightening aspects of being part of a nation & censorship. 

(Image source- goodreads)

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A woman's choice, love story, happiness, family & society. 

(Image source- wikipedia)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
I believe that we all have the crazies inside of us :P Plus Jack Nicholson portrayed the main character in the movie which makes it easier & more interesting to imagine while reading this book. 

(Image source- wikipedia)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Who doesn't know this book? Either you read it or you know of it just by the title. I remember reading this book during high school & vividly remembering my feelings while we read it as a class. It was so raw with a heavy & dark side that I was surprised my teacher was allowing us to read it. I knew this was one book I have to read again as an adult. 

(Image source- wikipedia)

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Read this also in school & watched the movie. Rereading this is a must for me because I remember having an attachment with the main characters & sad emotions during the film.

(Image source- amazon)

The Giver by Lois Lowry
I read this book as a child during elementary school and thought it was a good book. I was probably more inclined to saying this was a good book because there was an award on the front haha. 

Have you read any of these books? I would be thrilled to hear your thoughts on them! 

AND what are your ways for enrichment??

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Straight Up Burgers

42-38 Bell Blvd Bayside, NY 11361

Not only do I love their interior but their exterior is worth mentioning as well! I like the fact that the restaurant looks like a cool garage to chill & hangout in + the look of a rustic cabin house inside.

A theme of Grizzly bears

Quite inviting, colorful seats. A very nice contrast to the mostly wooden furnitures~

Could not get enough of the natural appeal from their light fixtures! All of our basic cutleries brightly shining through. 

Beaming ladles

My cousin, Karen's drink- all natural Sarsaparilla

The ultimate 1st highlight!! Organic strawberry milkshake

Love that the milkshake was served in a stainless steel cup instead of the usual glass. It kept the milkshake very nice & cold and thick & frothy. 

Fries & onion rings combo with 4 various sauces

A basket filled with fried up goodness... Huge onion rings & potatoey fries

Smokehouse sauce / Smoked paprika mayo / Special sauce / Curry ketchup
My personal fav was the curry ketchup!

My cousin's burger, Supreme- colby jack, country bacon, chopped fries (although she doesn't remember it having chopped fries inside :P), onion rings, green leaf lettuce & special sauce. Choice of meat- beef & choice of bun- brioche bun. 

My boyfriend's burger, Western- smoked mozzarella, country bacon, homemade red slaw, cornmeal crusted spicy pickle spears & smokehouse sauce. Choice of meat- bison & choice of bun- brioche bun. 

My burger, Original- colby jack, green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, raw red onions & special sauce. Choice of meat- beef & choice of bun- brioche bun. 

All up in the sheer goodness. Worth pinching the bun for ;)

Almost relished into Supreme burger

Devoured bites into Western burger

Needs to be savored into Original burger

SPRING started days ago…! There have been days where it felt like, "Ok... spring is really here" then there were days where it got me thinking, "Where the heck are you, spring??". Lately it's been raining a whole lot which I guess there's no surprise there since it is April. (April showers!) And really, the weather in NY has a mind of its' own along with quickly passing by seasons like spring & fall. I call them the "fling like" seasons because they aren't here for long & they swiftly transition into the extreme seasons like summer & winter. 

Anyhoo, when there have been springy days with 60 & up temperatures… they got me thinking of all the warmer fun activities to do soon as well as the foods I like best under the sun! The perfect activity with food? Barbecue :D Sizzled, grilled & charred hot dogs & burgers! Not a huge fan of hot dogs but definitely for those juicy, meaty burgers!!

Fortunately, you may have your own grill out back to fire it up OR if not, you're still fortunate to just step outside & go eat at your favorite burger place to satisfy those cravings~~

Address--- 42-38 Bell Blvd Bayside, NY 11361

Reservations--- Sadly, they don't take reservations but it's worth waiting for! The longest I waited (I think it was on a Saturday) was for 20 minutes or so for early dinner. 

Interior--- Not only do I need to hype over the burgers at Bareburger but their all around interior & even a little of the exterior needs to be highly complimented! I can't say it enough but it's a very cool place to try out & come back in. I love the vibe & comfort level you instantly feel from the garage look, the yellow garage looking door from the outside & the cabin house grilling up organic food inside. Like the "look" of an open garage with a blue vintage Mustang inside being tuned up & "that" cabin house you dreamed of renting to spend with your closest friends for one summer. Then again, seeing the eye-catching light fixtures & colorful chairs reminded me also of that garden from the movie, "Harriet the Spy". Check out that scene, here. The garden that was filled with everyday tools recycled to more interesting & fun objects to test out! 
It's certainly a swell change from the expected & usual fast-food restaurants and diners for our burger fix.   

Dress code--- Casual. It would be actually fitting & cute to have on a plaid shirt / flannel with distressed jeans there haha.

Type of food--- The popular foods you would find in a diner like BURGERS, fries & onion rings, sandwiches, salads & milkshakes. They serve breakfast too like panini egg sandwiches. If you wanted to brunch it up, you can eat your food with the company of drinks that are generally served during brunch. (Bloody Mary, Mimosa, & Bellini) It's super cute that they have meals specially for children called, cubby meals. 

Service--- Attentive, fast & easy-going! They asked about 2 times or so if we needed anything else and it was nice that the manager came over to see if we were doing okay. 

Highlights--- A majority of the food they serve there are all organic. I'm not the type of person that only seeks for organic foods nor would I say no to the burgers from McD's but, it is a pleasant switch up at times for your American food. Knowing that the food is all natural, hormone-free… makes the price A-ok to pay for & a more satisfying experience.
Biggg burgers with tender & juicy thick patties!
The fact that you can pick other meats besides beef, turkey or chicken for your burger- bison, elk, ostrich, lamb or wild boar! They serve veggie burgers too. I like & accept the challenge of maybe trying out different meats for my next future visits. 
Another highlighted fact is that you can pick & trust from their list of burger creations. If not, you can be creative and make a whole new burger from the pick of meat, the add-ons to the type of bun at the end.
The greatest highlight of all….?? MILKSHAKES!! Shook up with organic milk, organic ice-cream & organic fruits. Different flavors to choose from or you can go for the Banana Foster or Hot Honey. You can have your soda on the side but you have to have to order 1 of their milkshakes too! If you think that it will make you too full to finish up your burger then just share the milkshake with someone else then. It's not to be overlooked & not ordered! That creamy, cold, milky dessert which isn't light but also not so heavy that you get sick of it. So good that it will get slurped to the very last drop! 

Warnings--- If you're like me who hates finding parking for hours & want to avoid the bustle and crowds inside restaurants on Bell Blvd in Bayside... then do not go on any weekends at night! They do have other locations if you check on their website. 
The burgers do not come with a side of fries or onion rings. You need to order them as extra charge or as an appetizer/starter. 

Suggestions--- If you're iffy on ordering an unfamiliar burger & meat then just go with their Original or Classic. You can't go wrong with these. Lucky for me, my boyfriend is a lot more adventurous when it comes to ordering food at restaurants so sometimes I will try his order or I get persuaded by him to step outside my food box. 
Lastly, get. a. milkshake.

Overall experience--- To come back or to never come back…? Yes! See you there for early dinners on the weekends!

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