Friday, May 31, 2013

newbies in nyc

how do you entertain visitors in NYC who don't want to site-see, don't want to see museums, and don't want to walk a ton?

you do like the locals, and eat and drink yourself silly through the weekend!
....and insist they at LEAST go up in the empire state building (with prepaid tickets of course, less, line-waiting) and force them to put on their walking shoes (unless you want to use your entire vacation budget on taxis, you have to walk at least a few miles blocks to get anywhere).

i mean hey, i don't really want to see the statue of liberty AHHHGAIN, and in this food mecca, who wouldn't want to eat and drink all day?  besides the fact that i think i was in a food coma for the rest of the week, it was a pretty darn good weekend... you know, one of those ones where you forget to take your good camera with you because you go to restaurants so small there's only seating for 22 and bars are so rowdy the drinks are always 2-for-1 and the bartender brings them to your table 20 beers at a time (in 2 hands, no tray needed, 10 beers a hand, no big deal).

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(ok ok, so they DID want to see times square... but afterward, they agreed with me: it's fun for about 5 minutes, then you wanna get the heck outta there but there's so many people you're stuck for a good half hour)

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when my dad and his wife tina came into town a few weekends ago for the first time, we were on the go non-stop (well, except for the day the weather decided to drop a few 20 degrees and pour down rain  with insane wind)

we found out that skinner's loft in our neighborhood has a rockin' steak
(good lord it was good, tasted like summer)

i finally found a time at the frying pan when it WASN'T jam-packed
(turns out you have to get there before everyone ELSE gets off of work.  i mean, a bar on a boat really IS the prefect happy hour spot, isn't it?)

we got lucky at yunnan kitchen and walked right in to a table at 7pm on a friday night
(was it just me, or did that tingly-spicy fried chicken get even spicier?!)

we brunched and lunched at westville
(ahhh that dill dressing is to die for)

...and LITM
(hellllooo boozy watermelonade)

we had our fix of light and dark beer at mcsorley's
(those were the only two options. tina was not amused, but the rest of us could have stayed there all day :P) some more at our favorite weeknight happy hour spot, phebe's
(too bad it wasn't a weeknight and they didn't have 10-cent wings)

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...and of course it wouldn't be a weekend at OUR house if we mr p cooked dinner for the guests.  this time it was pork loin, red cabbage slaw, salad with our version of westville's dill dressing, and bread with a sampling of our many infused oils and vinegars :)

next time they come we'll have to spend a day at the beach, because that was an exhausting 4-day weekend!!


Monday, May 20, 2013

this jean jacket

so many things going on, so busy lately, lots of things i want to tell you all!
but... all i can think about is jean jackets.

you know those cool kids who can throw on a jean jacket with anything and it looks cute?
i was convinced i was NOT one of those people.
i bought a jean jacket that fit on the day i spent my free $300 to Gap/Banana Republic (helllloooo credit card rewards points :P)...

that's my size usually.
i try it on.
looks aight.
not great, not awful.
it's free.
i'll make it work.
i wash it to get most of the leftover blue dye off.
i wear it a few times.
i think i look like a whale each time.
(why can't i make this work? i'm wearing it JUST like the girl in the picture)

today after popping into the Gap looking for a shoulder-covering-and-below-the-knee-but-trendy dress for a traditional Jewish wedding i'm going to on sunday, i walked out with a maxi skirt and another jean jacket.... instead of a dress.

same jean jacket, same style.
(as in i now have two of the same jean jacket... i guess i'll be selling the other one on ebay or something since i already washed it :/ )

EXCEPT, i dared to try a size smaller.


fellow small-chested friends, you must know that the key to finding a great jean jacket is trying on a smaller size.  you will be amazed.  a lot of times i can't go down a size because of my waist, and the chest and shoulders end up being too big.  but for a jacket or top as short and open as a jean jacket, the smaller size is key.... you just gotta try it!

call it the summer of jenn's jean jacket.
....because i'm not taking it off.


p.s. i got a hair cut. so much for trying to grow it long, it's all chopped off!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the little things: a sammich and a sweet

in january we lost one of the nicest, kindest people i know.
everyone who knew him would say the same thing.

...and today would have been his 29th birthday.
from the big heart of his mom, at least 29 random acts of kindness we carried out in his honor.

each day i walk through the streets of new york city, whether it's 5:45am and i'm racing to catch my train to boston, or it's friday night rush hour, i see homeless people everywhere.  sleeping at a storefront,   walking through the warm halls of penn station, i even saw one man this past monday who had a stroller stacked to the brim of belongings NOT belonging to a baby.  i wanted to be mad at him, thinking he probably stole it.  but i couldn't stay mad, because that's all he had.  moms who have it all push full strollers around the city with big smiles on their faces, then bring them back home where they may have even more strollers.  but for this man, the stroller WAS his home.

tonight i decided to go to whole foods, pick up a nutritious sammich (and a justin's peanut butter cup because everyone loves something sweet), walked out of the store destined to give the brown bag of goodies to the first homeless person i saw.  this is the wealthiest neighborhood in boston.  although i kept my eyes peeled, i expected to walk at least a mile to the park (the only place i have EVER seen anyone who looked homeless in boston).

little did i know, though i only had to walk about 3 blocks before finding an elderly aftrican american woman asking for change in a cup.

she totally caught me off guard, but before i had a chance to think "how about a sammich instead" burst out of my mouth.

a genuine "thank you" and her open arms for a hug put a big 'old lump in my throat.
a hug and a "have a good night" later and my job was complete.

maybe you think that buying a sammich for a homeless person is cliche (walking through the store trying to find a good sammich felt like it too, but i couldn't think of something more creative). but lemme tell you, i didn't feel an ounce of cliche after doing it...

i can't think of a better way to remember tyson, by doing something that makes me feel good inside :)

see you on the flip side, tyson! 
and happy birthday.


here comes the...

here comes the...
most beautiful wedding i think I've ever been to!
the perfect California weather MIGHT have had a little bit to do with it (and you know, that beautiful bride too :P).  it was just warm enough while the sun was out, sunny blue skies, just cool enough for the OUTSIDE RECEPTION for dancing-without-sweating in the evening....
big high fives to the newlyweds! we love you guys!
you might have seen the bride here , or here .  she's a good friend i met during a trip to asia almost 5 years ago (so are the other two girls in most of the photos!) we hardly get to see each other, as we're split up between the east coast, west coast, and in between, but after spending 2 months with each other way back then, we know we are the best travel buds, and when we see each other it's like no time has passed.  we are so glad we got to celebration vi's big day with the 4 of us all together!  none of them had met mr p during any of our visits, so it was nice to see that he fits right in with our little group :)

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congrats huy and vi :)
p.s. if you're in the LA area and need a photographer, the groom is your guy!  check out his work here .
p.p.s. remember to follow me on facebook , instagram , and bloglovin !

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

music that makes you smile

a little scene from last week went like this:
"hey babe, you need to listen to this new song I just heard"
"ok i'm working now, i'll listen to it later..."
"later" comes when my boss goes out to grab lunch, but apparently it only takes 2 minutes to go downstairs and grab some au bon pain because he walks in just as i have this song blaring on my computer...
"sorry boss, (mr p) told me to listen to this song"
"oh yeah? ....i guess that's good? ...that he sends you songs?"
(phew, he's only confused, that's ok, as long as he's not upset)
(afterall, i do work long hours, through my lunch, 4 hours from home)
anyways, if you haven't heard of a fine frenzy, here's an awesome intro, courtesy of mr p's awesome skill of finding music that makes you smile:

how's that for a tuesday?
does anyone else want to put this song on a boombox, strap it to the handlebars of your bike, and ride through central park?
just me?
(gosh i miss being home)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

it's hip to be square

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#1. 10 monitors for 3 people. weird.
#2. breakfast burrito for you, strawberry banana smoothie for me
#3. a peak outside my kitchen window.  not too shabby
#4. boston marathon bombing memorial before Boylston opened again
#5. last day with my mom, drinking good beer at the iron monkey
#6. so... i discovered brow color. where have i BEEN!?
#7. new 'hood.  with a big steep hill.  next fall my calves won't even be able to fit into fat-calf boots.
#8. i want that hideaway. if only i had a few million dollars.
#9. mom got artsy-fartsy at the bar
#10. lenny and his soufflé experiment.  not a spec left of mine. you would have licked your dish too
#11. asparagus soup from a beautiful mess.  this will be a staple in my away-from-mr-p-diet.
#12. Tehehe. rice and nori pandas at the sushi counter at whole foods.
#13. I've seen Christmas lights in trees, and i see cherry blossoms.  but lights IN the blossoms!? (sigh)

cheers to the weekend!  
today is my friday, heading to see a beautiful friend marry her one and only this weekend in sunny California!  first stop, though, is the happiest place on earth :)

p.s. follow me on instagram (@beyondthestoop) and pinterest!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

too good to NOT share

the weather is perfect.
the flowers are blooming.
it's already MAY.
summer is just around the corner...
so why on earth would you make SOUP!?
(um, because it's my favorite food, that's why...)
...and because I recently saw this recipe on a beautiful mess .
...and because asparagus is in season
... AND because I was simply intrigued at the idea of a "creamy" asparagus soup.
after putting everything in the pot, I took a shower, let it simmer, came back out, tasted the broth and immediately thought "what on earth am I doing, it's already 10:30 at night, i'm making a terrible soup, and i don't have another option for food"  ....don't let this fool you.  after you let it cool and get that stuff in the blender, the flavor explodes.... add a pinch of salt if you need to, squeeze a bit of lemon into it, and plop a dollop of plain greek yogurt on it and you will be impressed.
while asparagus is still cheap and in season, I encourage you to go try the recipe!

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do it.
you won't be disappointed.
p.s. those speckles in the soup are black rice.  I forgot to get a potato, whole foods was closed, and I had some cooked rice in the fridge.  though it's still delicious, it would totally be better with the potato that's listed :P