Friday, January 25, 2013

heavy heart.

i will be absent from this creative outlet of mine for a while.
mr p and i will be making the trek back to ohio again.
this time it's not all fun and games and holiday goodness.
this time it will be full of sadness, tears, and reminiscing.
life is short, sometimes too short.
unexpected, heartbreaking... it all feels unreal.
nobody's life should be cut short, especially at a young age.
we are all harshly reminded that our relationships with others means something..
whether it's the cashier at the grocery store, your coworkers, family members, complete strangers or  close friends, the quiet kid back of the classroom or the loud-mouth you want to hate, those you have lost touch with or those you see everyday.
a simple smile or "how are you?" can brighten someones day, give them hope that this world is a great place to be, and lets them know that there is at least someone out there who cares about them.
a few days ago we lost a loved one.
tyson, our hearts pour out to you.
now and forever, you will be remembered to all as "the nicest, most genuine guy you could ever come across".
rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

the cool kids wear red

the cool kids are wearing deep red lips
the cool kids are shopping at thrift stores
(so i snagged this classic j crew dress from e.tittlemouse & co. near my house)
i guess i'm a cool kid now?
(doesn't matter, i like this outfit regardless!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

obsession: parenthood (the show)

what sort of show ENDS a season in JANUARY!?

the only show i watch, apparently.

clearly i'm upset.

i mean, i rarely watch anything worth watching on television. 
usually, the small amount of time it's on, we watch reruns of whatever-food-network-or-HGTV-show-that's-on, but don't REALLY pay attention to it.

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anyways, parenthood.
it's about the bravermans, a family (of families) in the bay area, each at different stages of familyhood, each with their own issues, but always seem to get it together when it comes to being one big family. the closest i can compare to, is brother and sisters (but way better, of course!)  there are a ton of storylines, though, because the family is so big... i guess it's sort of like a prime-time soap opera, but with better actors and more humor. i'm sure you might recognize many of the faces in the photo above, it's filled with famous actors (like lauren graham , aka lorelai gilmore , she plays a very similar role in this show) ...and wikipedia even went to far as to creating a family tree to keep track of them all, for those of you newbies ;)

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i have this rule where i don't let ANY television show dictate my nightly events.
(it's a good thing parenthood is on Hulu for free)
tonight i've got plans in the city, so, inevitably, i have to miss it...
(biting my tongue for making that rule)

i guess i have to stay clear of where my mouse takes me on the internets so i don't get a spoiler!

if you haven't watched the show before, there's lots of time to get caught of on all 4 seasons before it starts again next fall :)


Monday, January 21, 2013

girl crush: alecia keys

she's woo'ed fans for over a decade with her strikingly beautiful voice paired with her piano talents inspiring her stage name.

she's won 14 grammy's 
(and been nominated a whopping 27 times)

she won over new yorker's hearts with empire state of mind with jay-z

and tonight she's performing at the presidential inauguration.
(don't forget, the brooklyn tabernacle is performing at the swearing in ceremony!)


it's hard NOT to like this girl.

she's certainly my girl crush of the moment...
.....and i'm obsessing over her newest album cover.
.....she nailed it, looking adorable, hot, and sexy all in the same photo.
(i want her hair SOO so bad)

tune in today, it's sure to be a great show :)


Saturday, January 19, 2013

yunnan kitchen

"we know this great place on the lower east side that has rice cakes"
"what do you mean, rice cakes? i don't wanna eat there"
"no... not THOSE rice cakes.  not the crunchy ones dieters get from the grocery store"
"what then?"
"you'll see.  and you'll love them"

ok so the conversation went something like that.
we had friends in town for the weekend, and they insisted that we go to yunnan kitchen sometime during the weekend.
with a name like "yunnan kitchen", i was expecting your typical chinatown restaurant... you know what i'm talking about:
--- bamboo & philodendrons overtaking the place
---those plastic bowls with chinese designs all over them
--- a little of that outdated-but-its-ok-because-its-a-chinese-restaurant-and-that's-the-way-chinese-restaurants-are kind of feel to the place

this place is a complete 180 from that. 
it's trendy, dimly lit, has communal tables, fashionable employees, a view into the kitchen... everything you'd expect from a hot, new york city restaurant.

and the food certainly exceeded our expectations.
if you've never had yunnan food, one of their specialties is their mala sauce.
mala sauce is a flavor i had never tasted before. it's spicy, but in a totally different way. it doesn't set your mouth on fire and make you dripping sweat, but rather gives a bit of heat, but also gives a numbing or tingling sensation.  you just have to try it.  we had this spice on chicken wings and as a dipping  spice for crispy pork belly.
as for the "rice cakes"... oh my... the best way i can describe them, is chinese gnocchi.  they make them in a long roll and slice it.  the texture is sort of gummy like gnocchi, but made with rice flour instead of potatoes and wheat flour. it was served in a sort of stir-fry with mushrooms and greens.  seriously, i could go back there JUST for that...

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side note, if you are the kind of person who just "can't use chopsticks", we suggest taking baby steps by using them with sticky rice first!  i don't know why someone wouldn't like sticky rice, it just about tastes just like regular white rice, but sticks together more.  but, it's easy to eat with chopsticks because it literally sticks to it, helping those chopsticks-impaired folks ;)

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i highly suggest this place!

cheers to the weekend :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

i heart new york

if i ever get homesick
if i ever wonder why i moved so far away
if i ever wonder if being "here" will ever "really" feel like home....
i have to remind myself:
this place rocks.
this week was a quick reminder of that (literally)...

recently mr p and i have been on a (good) routine of coming home from work, munching on something small, going to kickboxing at the taekwondo school, coming home to shower and grab another bite, then we should go to bed stay up way too late watching tv, playing video games, and blogging.  basically, we're exhausted for no "good" reason (except randomly watching jon stewart last night was totally worth staying up late :P) 
wednesday night was different though.  we went to our first concert in the city! instead of being lazy into the wee hours of the night, we spent it just a few feet away from members of the airborne toxic event serenading jamming the night away.  we were still able to come home and eat dinner.  we rode the train to the city for free, got a nice little bit of exercise walking to webster hall from the PATH train, drank beer, listened to good music and danced, walked back to the train and took it home, and were still home and in bed "sometime around midnight".

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(i do a good job of cutting off mr p's face, right? that's what happens when i don't have my nex-f3 with it's flip screen with me)

THIS is why i love this place.
THIS is why i love the city life.
things like this are at our fingertips 24/7.
there's never a worry of how we're going to get there, where we're going to park, who's going to stay sober to drive, or oops! everyone drank, so let's spend a ridiculous amount of money to take a taxi home....
....i love new york....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

REAL ramen

it's no secret that ramen is fully welcomed in our house.
(i've talked about it here  and here )
whether it's the 12-pack for $2 from walmart, the 24-pack for $15 from the asian grocery, or the $15 bowl at ippudo, we love it all. discovering the ramen at mitsuwa in edgewater only confirmed our love for this stuff
(thanks, neighbor, for insisting that we go!!)

the line snakes out the door, it's tough to find seating (it's a food court, basically), it takes a while for your food to come out, but it's all worth it! mitsuwa is a japanese grocery store, so even if you don't plan on buying anything, it's fun just to peruse the isles of unfamiliar (and often strange, check out the photo below) things on the shelves while you wait for your food.

(???? i'm sure there are just as "odd" things if i walked down a target toys isle too..  i just don't get kids toys these days i guess!)
there's also a bakery with curry donuts. i'm not sure if you've had japanese curry before, but it's amazing, and when it's stuffed in a chewy, panko-crusted, deep-fried donut... it's heaven!

over 200 yelp reviews give it 4.5 out of 5, and this girl gives it two thumbs up!
go check it out, or find a REAL ramen shop near you!

pst... and bring friends... eating is always more fun with friends ;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

it's hip to be square

in the past few weeks:
1. i had a much-needed girls night out (and NOT needed sunday hangover)
2. i went for a run along the water, manhattan looks so pretty from the jersey side ;)
3. i went on a successful shopping trip with out-of-town friends in a snowstorm
4. i spent a sunny, but freezing, day in the field for work
5. i reminisced our old apartment, and living in hoboken
6. brunelleschi construction started working on the building across the street (for those of you that don't know, that means there's a potential that HGTV's kitchen cousins or cousins on call will be filming there!! whaaaaa!!)
7. we had a beautiful snowstorm with snow that lasted all of about 2 hours.. boo.
8. my car just got a little more ghetto (apparently i'm not as good at parallel parking as i think :P)
follow me on instagram @beyondthestoop

Monday, January 14, 2013

look good, feel good, do good.

..."famous" words of advice from my college friend who always "looked good" on test-taking and presentation-giving days with the idea that if you think you look good, you'll feel great and you'll do better at these things that might otherwise make you feel hesitant or nervous.

that could have been the theme for the wedding last saturday when he tied the knot with his beautiful bride! the wedding was held at the embassy theatre and hardly needed a spec of wedding decorations to make it feel grand, but yet cozy (those theater people know their acoustics!!)

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mr p and i took off driving from jersey city at 6:30pm to go to my mom's house in ohio, went to the wedding, and came back sunday.  we spent just over 24 hours there, and drove a total of just under 24 hours, all to spend a night with my college friends and see another one tie the knot... we'd do it again tomorrow to spend more time with all of those fun faces :)