NYC Restaurant Week Reservations Now Open

Good day, Foodies! I have some exciting news for an otherwise mundane Wednesday: you can now start booking for NYC Restaurant Week.

By now, I’m sure you know the drill: three-course prix-fixe menus at over 300 of NYC’s best foodie digs ($25 for lunch and $38 for dinner). Visit nycgo.com to see participating restaurants, peek the menus, and most importantly, book your reservations! My Foodie partner-in-crime, Alycia, and I will be on the hunt to visit some restaurants on our 101 list, so stay tuned for updates.

This post is cross-posted from Feel Good Foodies, a fantastic food blog, if I do say so myself!

Foodie Friday: Finding My Favorite Local Bar

As I’ve referenced quite a few times, my boyfriend and I recently moved to Brooklyn. We’re living in Bedford Stuyvesant, and though our weekends have been busy with lots of travel, we’ve been working to find our new favorite spots during the time that we are in town.

An important element to the ‘favorite spot’ list is, of course, the local watering hole. Who doesn’t want a bar where everybody knows their name? Ok, maybe we don’t frequent bars often enough to gain that status, and maybe that’s a good thing, but finding our token neighborhood favorite is definitely important. And, big news, we may have a winner!

Enter Dynaco. Jamie and I visited this unassuming bar late on one of our first Fridays in the neighborhood, and left just as quickly. It was so crowded and…warm. We planned to get one drink, but upon realizing it was cash only and waiting just a little too long to get to the bar, we thought it would be best to come back on a weekday.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

And that is how we spent the following Monday night. When I walked into the bar I almost didn’t recognize the place. It was cozy and warm (this time in a good way) from a wood-burning stove in the back, and the decor was absolutely beautiful. I sat at the bar and felt like I was visiting someone’s home. I was itching for a good cocktail and Sean the bartender recommended a Kentucky Mule (bourbon/ginger beer). It was perfect.

Now that we’ve had some time to explore the neighborhood, I think that it’s safe to say Dynaco could easily become our favorite neighborhood bar. The drinks are well-made, the bartenders are friendly, and the cash-only policy will keep me honest. Win.Win.Win.

Location: 1112 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Where to Shop in NYC This Weekend: Fab Warehouse Sale at Chelsea Market

Fab’s first-ever brick and mortar warehouse sale at Chelsea Market is going on now, and ends tomorrow!

Image

Items are going for up to 90% off MSRP. I’ve been in the process of the most drawn-out move ever from Manhattan to Brooklyn (woo!), but I am going to try my best to get there tomorrow. We’re trying to upgrade just about everything, and our new apartment could use some serious finishing touches. Plus, I give Fab five stars in interior design.

Here are full details on the sale, belated, but there is still time!

The sale will run March 25-30

Hours:
Tuesday through Saturday 10am – 8pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm

At Chelsea Market: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

For her, there will be spiffy, springy dresses, jewelry, shoes, iPhone cases and other accessories from nOir, Fred Perry, L.A.M.B., Sven, Ted Baker, and many more.

For him, they have POP handsets, May28th watches, OnePiece loungewear, wallets, headphones, and watches galore.

For everyone, they have luggage, pillows, posters, cookware, lighting, and home accents that will keep you in style at home or on the go.

The best part? Merchandise will be restocked daily, and new deals will be announced each day. So no big deal that we’re tardy to the party! And plastic is accepted, shopaholics!

Foodie Friday: Juice for All

I’m a juice-aholic. By now, this is a well-known fact among my friends, and I receive requests for juice cleanse recommendations on the regular – I’d say about once per month.

Even if it doesn’t feel like it, Spring has sprung, and Summer is JUST around the corner! I noticed today that there are a ton of juice cleanse sales on all of our favorite daily deal sites, so I thought I’d do all you healthy-minded New Yorkers a favor and put the top ones all in one place:

Cleanses I’ve Tried

1. Cleanse:Jus By Julie

jus by julie cleanse

The deets:

  •          $99 ($200 value) for a 3-day juice cleanse + meal plan
  •          $175 ($350 value) for a 3-day juice cleanse for you and a friend + meal plans

Where to buy: Get it on LivingSocial

Thoughts: This is my favorite juice cleanse. I had a customer service snafu once, but they reached out and compensated with a free 1-day cleanse. The juices are so tasty, and they have puree in them, so you’re still getting some fiber and protein, and you don’t feel as hungry (or in some cases hungry at all) while cleansing.

2. Cleanse: Liquiteria

Liquiteria

The deets:

  •          “Juice, Eat, Repeat” $79 ($99 value): Four cold-pressed juices per day for three days (12 juices total)
  •          Level One Cleanse: “Explore & Nourish” $118 ($147 value): Six cold-pressed juices per day for three days (18 juices total)
  •          Level Two Cleanse: “Restore & Energize” $118 ($147 value): Six cold-pressed juices per day for three days (18 juices total) – same deal as level one, but different juices
  •          Level Three Cleanse: “Deep Dive & Heal” $160 ($200 value): Seven cold-pressed juices per day for three days (21 juices total); One coconut water per day (three total)
  •          All cleanses come with One-on-one coaching session with an expert cleanse coach. They basically walk you through the cleanse and answer any questions when you pick up your juices

Where to buy: Get it on Gilt City

Thoughts: The “Juice, Eat, Repeat” is awesome for juicing rookies! Juice all day and have a nice raw dinner – it leaves you feeling so refreshed! I really like Liquiteria, but you have to pick this cleanse up in person, so it takes a little extra prepping. They have three locations: Liquiteria Chelsea, Liquiteria East Village, or Union Square

Other Available Cleanses

1. Cleanse: The Squeeze

The Squeeze New York City Deal of the Day   Groupon New York City

The deets:

  •          $119 for a three-day juice cleanse ($177 value)
  •          $235 for a six-day juice cleanse ($354 value)

Where to buy: Get it on GroupOn

Thoughts: I haven’t tried The Squeeze yet, but maybe I will!  This is another ‘pick-up only’ cleanse. There are three locations: Battery Park City, Hell’s Kitchen, and Union Square

2. Cleanse: beQu Juice

bequ juices

The deets:

Where to buy: Get it on GroupOn

Thoughts: I haven’t tried beQu yet either, but here are some additional details from GroupOn: Recipients receive a supply of six bottles for each day of their cleanse, which includes three lemonade and three sweet greens juices that can be alternated throughout the day. Shipping is not included in this deal; beQu Juice will confirm delivery dates by email. Based on this, I would look up cost of shipping before buying!

Crock Pot Chronicles: Turkey Three-Bean Chili

It pains me to write about chili on day three of a juice cleanse, but baby, it’s cold outside, and if I weren’t cleansing I would be whipping up another batch to warm up this dreary day.

Last week I made the most phenomenal chili to ever pass my lips. It was hearty and thick, and so perfectly spicy.  And I know I’m not just tooting my own horn, because Jamie couldn’t get enough of it either! The best part? It was SO easy.

turkey three bean chili recipe

Turkey Three-Bean Chili

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb fat free ground turkey breast
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 (10 oz) cans hot or mild Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies (if you can find a 28 oz can, more power to ya!)
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, undrained
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can small red beans, undrained
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (flour can be used as an alternative)

Seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Brown the turkey with red onion in a medium skillet over medium high heat until cooked, and drain any fat remaining.To make life easier, I did step one the night before, and kept the cooked meat in the refrigerator overnight, so all I had to do in the morning was put everything in the crock pot. So easy!
  2. Add the meat, tomatoes con chilies, tomato sauce, green pepper and seasoning mix to the crock combining well.
  3. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. If you’re like me, and a work day could potentially last 10-12 hours, leave the pot on the low setting.
  4. In the last hour or two of cooking, add the beans, and turn the crock pot up to high, if it isn’t already. The world won’t end if you have he beans in the whole time, but they might come out a bit mushy, so I choose to add them later.When you’re almost ready to serve, incorporate the nutritional yeast or flour, little by little, until your chili is at desired consistency.

Top with cheddar, cilantro, sour cream, lime, etc. Whatever your little heart desires, and enjoy!

Awkward and Awkward Thursday: Where’s the Juice?

This week has been an especially frustrating one, and all of my frustrations revolve around juice.

Think I’m crazy? Don’t worry, I do too. Let’s start with awkward part one, from the beginning. I arrived at work Wednesday completely pumped to start a Jus by Julie three-day cleanse. I LOVE juicing, and my friend had said this was her favorite one.

When I realized at 8 a.m. that Jus by Julie had sent me an order confirmation but no tracking information (which they had referenced would follow), I immediately sent an email and also gave their receptionist a call. I won’t bore you with the play-by-play, but essential I reached out by phone, email, Twitter, carrier pigeon, you name it, and judging by their latest tweet, the company was indeed on vacation.

Christina Marcus  christinamarcus  on Twitter (1)

I tried to reach Jus by Julie all day.

Christina Marcus  christinamarcus  on TwitterAfter 4 p.m. I finally sent an outraged email outlining all of the reasons it was inconsiderate and poor service for the company not to get back to me. The email in itself was awkward. I do not get angry. It’s not something I do. But here I am, very angry, and feeling completely outside of my skin because of it.

I received a phone call immediately. The person on the other end sounded a bit annoyed and  explained that something was wrong with their delivery tracking, and I would get my juice the next day. Seriously? Was that five-minute phone call so difficult? This tells me two things:

  1. There is not reward in being a calm and collected, friendly customer, which is so disappointing. Hours of this approach got me absolutely nowhere, but when I got angry I got answers.
  2. The FedEx issue was, as I suspected, a widespread problem yesterday. In this case, a blast email or even a tweet to explain the issue and tell customers to be patient might have been a good, considerate idea. I mean, one thing I loved about the idea of this cleanse is that it is delivered early enough to start on the same day. I literally ate nothing the first half of the day thinking they’d get back to me before lunch on my delivery ETA.

After the awful 8 hours of lack of customer service, I thought surely they would apologize in a genuine way and even offer something extra, or an added incentive for a follow-up order. I’m not a freebie-hound, but this was the first time ever that I really felt it was something I deserved. You shouldn’t upset people who are giving up solid food to enjoy your product, it is just unkind, and disappointment coupled with extreme hunger should be compensated.

Today I received my juices “on time,” and was happily drinking through my cleanse until awkward part two happened.  I got to juice 4 and realized that my juice 5 was missing from the fridge at work. Almond Breeze. I was actually excited to drink it and have been anticipating it all day. I considered blast emailing my coworkers to call a search for the missing juice. Other people are cleansing this week as well, I saw a ton of BluePrint bottles in the fridge, surely my juice was taken in error and could be returned. This sounds silly, but understand that i am consuming six juices for the day – that is all the nourishment that I get, and one is missing! And it’s my favorite one! Juice #5 on days 2 and 3 is a different  juice. A petty thing to complain about in a life where I feel all-around blessed, but it felt tragic. It still does. Go ahead, laugh at me.

The Jus by Julie juices are awesome, and I’m really enjoying them, but I feel like I will forever associate this cleanse with feelings of stress and frustration. And lots of awkward.

Awkward and Awesome Thursday: Mid-Summer Check In

Oh boy – where do I start?

AWKWARD

It has been so long since I logged in to Christina Does, that I forgot my password, and was locked out of my account for too many attempts to get in!

It has been SO long since I logged in to Christina Does, that once I was logged in, I realized  Wordpress had upgraded to a sleeker design, and was so distracted that I could not find the button to create a post.

It has been SOOO long since I logged in to Christina Does, that I’ve received three CSA veggie deliveries, and cooked countless “farm to table,” delicious meals – and have not shared a single one.

AWESOME (with some more awkward thrown in for good measure)

I’ve visited Florida, got a haircut that I love (for once!), planned and executed a FABULOUS bridal shower and bachelorette party for my sister, got sunburnt TWICE, attended a Fourth of July BBQ, saw one of my best friend perform in NYC, workworkworked, FINALLY had brunch at La Birreria in Eataly, learned A LOT about solar energy even though I don’t own a roof, cooked (pesto, pickled radishes, lamb/mint meatballs, watermelon/mint salad, etc.), had the most amazing date at Hospada on the Upper East Side…the list goes on. If this all feels like a run-on sentence, good. That’s what my life feels like right now, so this is the best way to share it with you!

Oh yea, and with pictures (which I’ve also been spotty on updating these days). This is my first time embedding photos from instagram, and I am totally geeking out on how easy it is:

Beach day:

Jamie’s parents’ house was infested with baby tree frogs:

My sister was a beautiful bachelorette:

Heaven:

Jamie bought an ugly shower curtain. I want to kill him for it.

…So yes, that’s all for now. I hope your summer is as busy as mine, partially because that would mean that you don’t really care that I’m neglecting you and my blog. I promise to return to a regular schedule (eventually), stick with me!

 

 

Awkward & Awesome Thursday: Compliment Your Cab Driver?

AWKWARD

  • I keep forgetting the password to my blog. That MIGHT be why I haven’t posted in two weeks. Every time I get the motivation to share something, I try to log in so many times, that I have to reset my password, and then wait until WordPress will let me try again. I usually lose interest by that point…so sorry readers, for my shotty short-term memory. I’m working on it!
  • Boyfriend has a new job that is much more demanding of his time than the old one, and I’m learning how much he really does keep me on track to living a productive life. Case in point?
    • I have watched far too much Kardashian nonsense in the past two weeks
    • I have been surviving on take-out and leftovers because I just cannot motivate myself to cook for one person
    • There might be more random shoes and clothing (clean) strewn around the bedroom than usual. But at least I’m still making the bed every day, right?

On the up side, I have been a bit more focused on my work and maid of honor duties, and I have been going to the gym more than usual.

AWESOME

Sonas Denim Polk Street Ultra Skinny

Sonas Denim Polk Street Ultra Skinny

Sonas Denim Nopa Skinny

Sonas Denim Nopa Skinny

Sonas Denim Broadway Skinny

Sonas Denim Broadway Skinny

  • I loved the article in the New York Times yesterday showcasing compliments to NYC taxi drivers. This one really made me think – there have been a handful of situations where I’ve actually written down the driver’s information with the intent of complaining to 311, but I never knew that there was also a section for taxi riders to complement their drivers!  

After three years of living in this amazing city, I have probably come across every type of cab driver possible. For every few awful drivers (incessantly talking on cell phones, taking the longer route, break-slamming, being creepy to the point that I get out and take the subway, etc.), there has been at least one amazing cab experience. Three or four specific situations come to mind, where the driver either did me a favor by picking me up while he was off duty because it was raining, did everything he could to re-route out of bad traffic or had a conversation so good that I felt like I was exiting a therapy session as I entered my apartment. I cannot wait to compliment my next good driver – they get a letter of praise in the mail when you do!

I want to hear your awkward and awesome cab driver stories! Please share in comments!

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What You Missed: March

I’ll admit, I’ve been slightly inconsistent with the blogging this past month. I promise you the intention was there, but this little thing called life can sometimes get in the way. So, here are my March highlights, via Instagram.

THERE WAS FOOD

Pho at Obao, NYC

Pho at Obao in NYC

Guinness on St. Patrick's Day

Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day

healthy smoothies for weight loss

Healthy Morning Smoothies

homemade French Toast

Homemade French Toast

A LITTLE STYLE…

before/after straightening hair with CHI straightener

Some before/after hair action

JCrew Factory Mint  Oval Necklace

A mint statement necklace to help will Spring to come! (JCrew Factory)

ShoeMint Francoise Booties

Some studded booties (ShoeMint)

bright colors and makeup

More bright colors and a rare day with makeup

vintage earrings

My favorite vintage earrings (gift from boyfriend)

… SOME ART

Painting Lounge in Brooklyn

Painting lounge with my BFF (Brooklyn)

ArmyOfOne street art

Army Of One street are on Spring St./ Bowery

postup street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Random postup in Bushwick

…AND SOME BOYFRIEND

boyfriend

Isn’t he lovely? (@MrJamieKline)

Let me know what you think of the “what you missed” photo load. If you guys like it, I’ll make it a monthly thing.

These aren’t all of my Instagram photos from the month, just some favorites. For the full effect, visit my Instagram!

Event Alert: Shop Discounts in SoHo Tonight

shop_the_night_away_NYC_ChristinaDoes

A thoughtful friend just sent me a link to a lovely little shopping spree, scheduled for tonight. RSVP to shop the night away in NYC, with names like Kate Spade, Theory, DVF, and C. Wonder (just to name a few) offering 25 percent discounts on full-priced items.

Happy shopping!