Links I Like

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Photo taken at City Museum of New York

I love terrariums. Pretty plants in glass cases just make me happy. It would be fun to make one like this.

Rachel is moving to New York City this weekend! Read her story.

A letter to my college-aged self. I could relate to this post and found it encouraging. We never know where life will take us.

I like mushrooms. I should try to cook this.

A girl on my school team wrote this article for the City Year blog. Hopefully it gives you a glimpse to the needs our students face.

This giveaway looks pretty rad.

I wrote a guest post on Life is a Stream of Thoughts. I also found it humorous how exciting snow is down south. ;)

Get ready! I will do this blogging challenge in February. Check out the prompts below.

Juice Cleanse: Preparation

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's time. I need a cleanse. I want to feel fresh (2014 word) and rejuvenated. My eating habits also need a little shake up. After talking with people I know who have done a juice cleanse, I 'm ready to tackle it myself. 

I have the dates set: February 15th through the 17th (3 days). I'm going back and forth about whether to do 5 days or not. I have heard that the first 3 days are the hardest, but once you get over the 3 days the extra 2 days feel amazing. Then again, it's another two days.... 

Next question: HOW?
I'm don't know whether to do the juice cleanse DIY style and as a result I would drink blended juices (yum) with a few booster shots, or if I should buy a cleansing package from a juicing co. 

  1. I googled DIY juice cleanse on the interweb and found some good stuff. There is lots of variety and recipes out there for me to experiment with. Here are some examples: Avocado Smoothie and Honey Dew-Kiwi Smoothie
  2. Blended is better. Liquids get so boring. Blended also equals fresher than bottled juices
  3. Cheaper. The DIY cleanse will cost me no more than $50. Read Clean Eating on a Budget
  4. Pride. I love making smoothies and there is some pride in the DIY aspect. 
+ Boosters I can buy affordable boosters for the "cleansing" effect and consume them with the smoothies.

  1. It's easier to cheat. If I'm throwing stuff into a blender it would be pretty tempting to slip in some yogurt...or ice cream. 
  2. Time. Making healthy smoothies will take a lot of time. It will also take time to pick recipes. 
  3. Not very portable. It will be difficult making these smoothies travel-friendly. There is nooo way I'm staying in my apartment all weekend. 


  1. Simple and Organized. The bottles are clearly labeled. They even tell me what time to drink the bottle. Who needs a brain?
  2. Real. I think I'll feel more legit if I do a cleanse that comes from a company opposed to my blender. 
  3. Reliable and liable. If I purchase a cleansing package I know that it will truly cleanse. If it doesn't they are somewhat liable and I can sue. :) Or at least write terrible reviews and maybe get my money back ???
  4. Super Cool. New York has some sweet juicing shops. Here are the ones I am considering: The SqueezeUrban Remedy, and Juice Press
  1. Expensive. I can't find a 3 day cleanse that costs less than $150 total. So yeah...
  2. Not completely fresh. The juices are bottled after all.
  3. What if they all taste disgusting? I'll be stuck with the bottles. I know some of them have cayenne pepper. eeww. 

Now that this is published, there's no turning back. 

What cleanse should I do?
What cleanse would you do?
Would it be possible to combine both methods? 

Scenes from the Weekend.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Another great weekend! I enjoyed time with my roommates, a dinner with extended family, bird-sitting, Greenpoint, church, and other New York adventures. Enjoy the pictures!
I visited a chalk-paint shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Suite Pieces. This shop was right across the street from a friend's apartment, and I would love to take a class here to learn about painting can even paint the fabric on furniture!

I'm bird-sitting for a couple in the Upper West side this week. Bob the bird loves to sing and sit on my shoulder :). And I love staying in the Upper West Side. I discovered a cat shelter on the streets of Greenpoint (it startled me for a second). I also discovered a tug boat (it's a tug boat, right?)

Angie took me to the coolest coffee shop I have been to in my WHOLE life. Milk and Roses. We spent hours there. The decor had a vintage-New York-farm-classy-elegant-rustic feel to it. It was so great, and if you are in New York you have to visit! Address: 1110 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222. I had a latte and a croissant with chestnut butter.

The Table (a church plant that I am helping to start in Greenpoint) is coming along! Angie moved here this month and landed an amazing apartment. Check out that view of the skyline on her rooftop! I can’t wait to hang out on the roof when it gets warmer! We will start meeting as a church community in February. The whole team isn't in New York yet, but we are off to a great start!

I love grapefruit and I needed a taste of Summer because it is cold here! I enjoyed some yummy Korean food too!

Want to see more weekends?
Check out:
 Weekend Flavor
Scenes from the Weekend: Early January

Links I Like

Saturday, January 25, 2014

               I love reading blogs, and I wanted to share some of my favorite posts from this past week! 
Maybe you'll like them too.  

Check out New York City Backstage Pass because we all know that NYC is the best.

A simple post, but I love and want this calendar!

I served at City Year MLK day this past Monday. Check out the pictures to see what we did!

 New York City ice skating hot spots.

Life is precious. I like the perspective found in A story for you to think about.

Isn't this dress awesome?! I would totally wear this in the winter.

I'm all over this wishlist!

I like Anna's poetry.

This family makes me laugh every time!

I want to make these Quinoa stuffed bell peppers!

Here's to a great week ahead! 

Thriving and Surviving in NYC {Tips}

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The city is fabulous, but it is also expensive. Lots of people dream about living in New York City, but they don't because they know it's extremely hard to afford the cost of living. There are certain areas in my life where I do my best to pinch pennies (i.e. utilities. If I'm not in the room, the light is OFF). However, there are some areas where it's important to spend a little extra money because they increase my quality of life and make life easier.

I will discuss a few categories of common expenses when it comes to city living and how I deal with them:

What I was doing - At first, I was doing the standard: go to the Laundromat and do it all myself. A standard wash cost $2.25 (pretty cheap for NYC) and a dry was $.25 for 8 minutes (usually $1 total). Laundry detergent and a dryer sheets also cost money :). That sounds relatively affordable BUT it was not worth it. WHY? because going to the laundromat takes TIME and a good chunk of it! The laundromat is 2 blocks away from my apartment, and I don't want to spend the time going back and forth or just chilling at the 'mat for two hours. Doing laundry takes about 2 hours because of the waiting,  changing the laundry over, and FOLDING. ughh. Not worth it.  
What I do Now - 3 words: wash and fold. It changed my life. I drop off my laundry at the laundromat, and they take care of it! My clothes smell amazing and they are folded much better than I know how. It takes like two minutes out of my day because I just drop my clothes off on the way to the subway and when I come back they're done! It only costs $0.80 per pound and everything is included (washing, drying, detergent, folding). Bam! A weeks worth of laundry costs around $6 to $8 dollars. Now I can enjoy my Saturdays a little more and not have to hang out in a laundromat!

What Some People Do and I Don't Understand:  I don't understand why people who live in NYC pay per ride. $2.50 each way / $5.00 for a round trip. It's so limiting and annoying because you have to fill up and keep track of your rides. I feel like I swipe my metro card hundreds of time in a month, so I'm not sure what I would do without the monthly $112 unlimited card. The MTA also offers a 7 day metro card option for $30. If you are visiting NYC for more than 3 days, than the 7 day unlimited is for YOU. The card pays for itself after 6 round trips, and if you are a tourist in the city I certainly hope you would take more than 6 round trips.... there is so much to see and do!
The subway is the best way to maneuver the city. There are other ways like a bus, taxi, ferry, or even a carriage. These can be addressed at a later time.


Get a Smart Phone! I wouldn't be able to survive in the city without my iPhone. The camera, the map apps (I get lost a lot), Yelp!, the alarm clock, music, text messaging, it's all there on one lovely device. Before I moved to the city I had a standard T-mobile phone, and it did me no good. Having a smart phone will help you make the most of the city. I promise! Plus, I can take fun pictures like the one above :)

In order to eat healthy and not live off Ramen noodles I make sure to save leftovers and freeze food when necessary. I get $190 (excluding eating out) to spend on food per month, so that's actually a good chunk of money, but it can still go fast. One rule I follow is that I don't go out to eat by myself. I think going out to eat is meant to be a shared experience, so whether I go to Chipotle for a burrito or Max Brenner for a nice dinner, I always do it with people. Otherwise, I always eat my own food and I bring a lunch to school. There's lots of yummy food to enjoy in NYC, I just want to enjoy it with people! 

There are many ways to get by in the city. What would you add? Do you have tips for living in your city? 

New York Boroughs

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I have lived in NYC for almost 6 months. 
And I love that I just typed that sentence.

I haven’t been to all the boroughs until this past MLK weekend. Now that I have been to them all I want to tell you about them. I’m sure some of you know the boroughs like the back of your hand, but most of you don’t. A year ago, I didn’t even realize New York City is made up of boroughs. I thought Times Square was New York City, I didn't realize that the city was made up of the other parts and neighborhoods.  Fast forward a year, and here I am: Living and loving the city.

I still have the energy and excitement of a tourist when it comes to exploring the city. During the weekend I took my aunt and cousin from Minnesota to all 5 boroughs plus Roosevelt Island.
Brooklyn- Brooklyn is Big. I don't know much about Brooklyn outside of Greenpoint and Prospect Park, but it's a fun place. The people are super hip(ster), and there are lots of cute shops and apartments. The Brooklyn bridge is a 1.1 mile walk from Manhattan into Brooklyn, 
Roosevelt Island- Read about Roosevelt Island. Roosevelt Island is somewhat creepy. There used to be lots of hospitals on this island and all the buildings are made of concrete. The Island is famous for the tram that glides over the East River, but other than that, it's a boring place with great views of the skyline. 
Queens- Is an artsy and diverse area. Queens has houses and not a ton of tall buildings. I like these places in Queens: 5 Pointz (now demolished) and Socrates Sculpture Park
Staten Island- blahhhh. No wonder it took so many months for me to visit Staten Island, there's nothing there. The only thing exciting about Staten Island is taking the ferry to get there. 
The Bronx- I practically live in the Bronx during the week. I know a lot about Hunts Point in the Bronx, but I don't know a lot more about the Bronx as a whole. The South Bronx isn't that safe and it's very run down. Yesterday, my manager was mugged right in front of our school-- not cool. There's lots of pollution and lots of brokenness. The Bronx will always have a place in my heart, but I'm not too fond of the area. Read more about the Bronx: East River Park  and This is where I serve
Manhattan- AKA New York. Manhattan is where it's at. I live here, and I love it here. It's packed, it's diverse, it's colorful, crazy, and the greatest city on earth!

My ranking of the boroughs: 
1) Manhattan 2) Brooklyn 3) Queens 4) Bronx 5) Roosevelt Island 6) Staten Island

What's your favorite borough? What do you know about New York City? Do you like the city as much as I do? 

Weekend Flavor.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

This was a tasty weekend! I want to share glimpses of some of the yummy places I went to.
1. Doughnut Plant. Highly recommended. Popular and super cute. Ari and I split a Valrhona Chocolate Donut.
2. Starbucks. A link isn't needed for this one. They dominate NYC. We went here twice because they had a taste-testing thing going on which gave us $1 off each drink. Free samples and a discount?! score!
3. La Lalanterna Caffe. This was the cutest restaurant I have ever seen! It was right by Washington Square Park and their Italian food was superb.
4. Dylan's Candy Bar. A HUGE candy shop created by Dylan Lauren (Ralph Lauren's daughter). It was fun to explore, and the place smells amazing. Pure Sugar.
5. Big Gay Ice Cream. My roommate took me to this ice cream shop a few months ago and I was super excited to come back. I had a Monday Sundae (Nutella, salt, caramel, ice cream, chocolate) and Ari had the Salty Pimp.
6. New York Burger Co. I don't love burgers, but this place was cool. They have super yummy sauces (I had pesto+basil) and all their burgers were named after neighborhoods in New York City.

Have you been to any of these restaurants (excluding Starbucks :)? What looks good to you? 

Socrates Sculpture Park

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I think I discovered something pretty sweet today. Socrates Sculpture park is practically an outside museum in Long Island City, Queens. The work featured at this park is great for playing on and admiring. Sculptures are made from recycled/re-purposed materials. There's so much variety, you're sure to find a piece you love! If you're in New York, I encourage you to visit! It's FREE. We were the only ones there at the time, which was actually really fun. It must be a secret to most people....


And please, we must respect the fact there is sun and nooo snow on the ground and it's the middle of January! New York, you are wonderful. 

Check out their page: Socrates Sculpture Park

WORD {CC 1/23}

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Doing a year of service is exhausting and it sucks a lot of energy out of me. Lately, blogging has been a great release for whatever creative juices I have left in me. Blogging is fun and there ain't nothing hard about sitting in front of a computer screen.*

I'm going to follow along with the Creative Collective by Nectar Collective for creative prompts throughout this year. Some of them look super fun! If the topic looks interesting to you, feel free to click the link at the bottom to see what other people created too! This week's prompt:

January 15 // Think of a word that you want to focus on in 2014.

Fresh. I want to look at the world with a fresh perspective. I want everyday to truly feel like a new day! I want to make changes in my life this year, and maintaining a fresh perspective will help me change for the better. I still feel "fresh" when it comes to grown-up life. 2014 will be the first full year of independence. I want to continue to make good and wise life choices. I don't want to be bogged down by past mistakes, but I want to make sure to look ahead with confidence. 

Here's to Staying  Fresh!

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

The Creative Collective
*I spend too much time with middle schoolers.  

Journal it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The following post was sparked after I read Journaling: Why bother?

I have been going through a rough patch in my life lately (okay, the past week and a half). I have picked up journaling again and it's been a calming and helpful practice for me to get back into. I process nearly everything internally before letting it out verbally, and writing it down is the best way to process those complicated things that shouldn't stay floating around in my head.

Journaling is another way for me to communicate meaningful and coherent prayers to God. I know that praying verbally is also important and effective, but sometimes I just need to let it all out on paper.

The candle is very necessary :)

When I'm not consistently journaling, my normal routine includes writing a few sentences EVERYDAY in my 1-sentence journal that will last 5 years. I have been writing in this journal for over 2 years now. It's fun to have it because I can read what I did on any given day.

Here's a random example that I flipped to:
February 1, 2013: "I failed a calculus quiz. Slightly overwhelmed by the research paper. I'm going to have hardly any time this weekend to get things done. Excited for NYC! Tonight was a good Friday."
(the next lines are for February 1, 2014 and so on....)

Okay, so it's pretty simple. Sometimes I use a little more detail, but sometimes I'm just really tired and I write without thinking in order to have SOMETHING written. Yet when I read those words, they can take me back to what I did that day, and I like that. Even if it's a little.
Note: I was referring to NYC because I was going out for the weekend to look at a college. I was not referring to City Year.

Here's to Journaling! My folks gave me a Moleskine journal for Christmas, so I'm going to enjoy filling it up for the next few months!
The said 1 sentence journal and Moleskine.
What about you? Do you spend time journaling? Do you journal to vent, reflect, pray, dream?

Scenes from the Weekend

Sunday, January 12, 2014

It was nice to have a normal New York weekend again. I have been in Minnesota for the past 3 weekends and before that there were lots of holiday festivities going on during the weekends. It was nice to just relax, explore, and enjoy good company in the City.

Weekend[left to right] Crema coffee shop.  Jazz Club at Columbus Circle. Bikes in Brooklyn. Fire Escapes.

[left to right] Flatiron. Harlem Shake- Yam fries included. Apartment hunting in Brooklyn with a friend (I’m not moving). Visiting my friend’s apartment.

[left to right] yoga @ yoga to the people in East Village. Hillsong Church at Irving Plaza with a friend.

No Soup For You

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I grew up watching Seinfeld and I still love that show. Seinfeld probably sparked my love for New York, too.  Whether you are a Seinfeld fan or not you should definitely try soup from the Original Soup Man . The soup is amazing and it's perfect for these dreary and cold days. Okay, I guess you have to be in the city to try it, but when you visit NY come get some. I had the Lobster Bisque. If you order the soup right, they will even give you bread, a banana, and chocolate. What a lovely surprise! If you're wondering why I said order the soup right, watch the video below and you'll see what I mean. :) 

Things Said {Classroom Edition}

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I work with an interesting bunch of students. I want to give you a taste of what it's like to tutor in a class of 6th graders. The following outbursts, conversations, and sayings were all recorded over the course of ONE class period. Yes, one class period. There's never a dull moment in a middle school! They keep me laughing.....

Student sayings
One final quote for good measure: 

After I wrote down the first quote, I couldn't stop. I just paid attention and wrote away. These kids are full of material! :P

Planning Ahead? {internships}

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Are you like me and you're trying to figure out what in the world to do this Summer? Maybe you have ideas, but when it comes down to it, you're stuck. I know Summer seems far far away (It currently feels like Antarctica), but it's never too early to plan.
City Year told us about this program: H'UNIVERSITY and I applied right away! The program provides a series of webinars from entrepreneurs and business people. They have office hours in Union Square (the best area in the city) and after the 6 sessions are over, they will help you land an interview at some amazing companies.
p.s. you don't have to live in NYC to participate

Part resume builder, part internship matchmaker, H'university connects you to leaders at some of the coolest companies around and gets your foot in the door at those companies. The online/offline curriculum is a combination of practical webinars taught by your professional crushes as well as on-campus challenges that apply what you’re learning. H’university exists to prepare you for and propel you into your first internship or job.
These businesses seem especially cool to me:
Poppin / Pencils of Promise / Thinkful
One Day, One Internship | Internship for college students

I have also subscribed to One Day One Internship. They send internship opportunities to my email everyday. The internships are designed for college students so if you aren't in a rush and want to explore what kind of internships are out there, I would encourage you to subscribe. Click here
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have internship resources too!

For the New Yorker

Monday, January 6, 2014

....or the wannabe New Yorker

Here are some interesting links to get you thinking about living in or visiting the greatest city on Earth:

This Blog Reading My Tea Leaves talks all about living in a 250 square foot apartment in NYC. The author provides 80+ survival tips complete with pictures and well-written explanations for thriving in such a tight space.

This might make you drool a bit: 31 Delicious Things You need to Try in NYC this Winter. That Chocolate Babka is looking pretty good right now.
 ( photo: Melissa Hom,

So maybe you want to move to New York, but you would like to know more about getting settled. Check out 10 things to know before moving to nyc from the College Prepster. I especially like number 3, 6, 8, & 10.

There was a winter storm this weekend in NYC. I was still in Minnesota, but these blogs Soho: Weekend in Photos and The Daily Muse: Snow in the city captured what winter in the city looks like. so peaceful.

Cup of Jo created a A guide to New York City and how to Not look like a tourist when roaming around. Cup of Jo has plenty more resources about living in NY if you are interested.

And for good measure, this was my post on Beauty in the City and the late 5 Pointz.  

photo credit: Daily Muse Blog

A Sweet Place

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I found a pretty sweet donut shop close to uptown in Minneapolis the other day. It's called GlamDoll Donuts. These donuts brought a smile to my family, and the shop has flare that can only be found in Minneapolis. Even though these donuts are pricey (I don't love paying $8+ for three fattening pastries), the shop is cute, and I'm all about supporting local and small businesses. If you are in Minneapolis I encourage you to try them! Or at least peak through their window. 

My Happy Place

Friday, January 3, 2014

I love the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I was so happy to go back there today and visit with my old boss. This is the place I had my first job and I learned to APPRECIATE art. I started working there because I really wanted to work with kids, but I experienced much more. The MIA is in a season of change right now which is exciting. They are slowly becoming more than just a traditional museum. They are bringing in new restaurants, they revamped the museum shop, they started a teen night, and they are changing the way they inform people about the artwork in the museum. Check it out!

There are some pretty sweet museums in New York, but the MIA will always be my favorite. It's a welcoming and colorful place to be. It feels like home. 

Check out the MIA site for more information!

Aspirations {2014}

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

14 for 2014. 

I wasn't able to classify all of these as resolutions because I'm not promising myself that I will do them, and they aren't all worthy enough to be called dreams. So instead I'll call them aspirations (def: an aim or desire). If I do them this year, great! If I don't, well at least I tried. 
  1. Run a half marathon. 
  2. Learn more about coding. Building websites is fascinating.
  3. Tour the east coast! I have only seen New York so far. The states are so close, I should really be able to see more. 
  4. Help all my students pass the 6th grade. This would be amazing, yet the chances are low. 
  5. Visit 5 museums in New York. 
  6. Balance social media use. I probably use Facebook and Instagram too much, but I don't use Twitter and City really wants us to be Twitter users, I just don't have the time. I would like to balance the 3 out.
  7. ABP (Always be purging) I like having a clean and clutter-free apartment and I want to keep it that way in 2014. This requires throwing things out and donating things before they get too comfortable in our place.
  8. Write more letters and send more postcards. Mail is the best! 
  9. Read the bible every morning. I'm not consistent enough.
  10. Focus on photography. Maybe this will be the year that I purchase my own DSLR camera. Otherwise, I'll still work on photography with other cameras or my iPhone. 
  11. Travel abroad. London and India are on my mind. 
  12. Do something in the for-profit field. I have always done non-profit work and babysitting. I want to mix it up a little. Even if it's for a few months in the summer. 
  13. Shop local. I want to know where my money is going, and who it's supporting. 
  14. Eat at a restaurant in my neighborhood (in East Harlem).

Shelby date @ MOA

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Living in New York has taken me away from all the sweet kids here in Minneapolis. Shelby is a cousin of mine and she has been special to me since her birth. I was excited to plan a little outing with her because I haven't seen miss Shel since the summer! Too long. We went to a New Year's Eve party for toddlers at the the mall of America. Every Tuesday is Toddler Tuesday, and each week has a new theme to keep the kids entertained! The rides at Nickelodeon Universe are also discounted so I couldn't resist letting Shelby go on a few. Ringing in the New Year!

Here are some pictures from our time: 

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