The Hornblower

A couple months back I went to an instameet with a few friends. Usually when there’s a global or borough meet, they have an after party by the sponsors. This time around, the Hornblower was our sponsor. Not only is the view amazing but so are the food and the drinks. This was probably one of my favorite instameets(I know, I always say that lol). I mean what more could I have ask for? Food, drinks, music and of course the lovely view.

The Hornblower caters for different private events as well as nightlife entertainment and sight seeing attractions. You guys should check it out, you would not be disappointed. They run from different locations including Pier 40 in the West Village and Pier 15 in the South Seaport.

a city skyline“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”  2:38pm

-Theodore Roosevelt

a river“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desires to beat others.”  2:45pm

-Ayn Rand

the Statute of Liberty“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid roots.”  3:04pm

-George Washington


a city shore line“Beauty consist of what goes on beyond the imaginable eyes.”  3:16pm


a city bridge over the water“The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.”   3:25pm

-Mignon McLaughliln

Everyone can be a leader

a white card with the words "If your actions inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader"

“Everyone can be a leader. That’s what I learned after going to the leadership retreats with City Tech’s Student Life. To me, a great leader inspires. It could be something you said or something you did, no matter how little or how much. When you google the definition of ‘inspire,’ this comes up first: ‘fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.’


There were many instances that I would have a conversation with a friend, peer, or coworker, or even a stranger, and they leave saying that they feel inspired. Other times they get inspired from seeing my social media updates on my attendance of industry events, presentations and speeches, or creative work. Now, inspiration might not make the person take action immediately but sometimes it does!

I keep screenshots and print-outs of messages/notes that others have sent me, expressing their appreciation for the inspiration I offered them. It’s a collection of happiness. This is what I live for–to inspire others, and thus become a ‘great’ leader. Something very important that people seem to forget is that leaders don’t just try to influence others, but they also listen and try to understand others too.”


An Unforgettable Experience at a Celebrity Chef Restaurant

It’s not every day that I have the opportunity to eat at a celebrity chef restaurant or enjoy food with my family at a fine dining, upscale restaurant. The day after Christmas, my family and I had a family day in Midtown – lunch at LandMarc which is owned by celebrity chef and television food personality – Marc Murphy and we watched the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City.

The inside of LandMarc was quite dark, but definitely an upscale atmosphere and the window seats gives you a great view of Columbus Circle & Central Park. The staff were friendly and helpful. We all ordered individual entrees and a few appetizers/side dishes to share.

food dishes

We ordered the Roasted Marrow Bones, Grilled Octopus, French Onion Soup, and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. The roasted marrow bones was accompanied with onion marmalade, grilled country bread, and fig jam. I’m not a huge fan of bone marrow, but these were excellent and full of flavor! My boyfriend ordered the French onion soup and it was delicious and full of beef-like broth. The grilled octopus was delicious! The Brussels sprouts with bacon was yummy! The Brussels sprouts were sauteed just perfectly and the bacon was had a nice crispy-ness to it.

a plate of meat and greens

My boyfriend ordered a Steak & Eggs which looked really vibrant and tasty! His dish also came with home-fries and a watercress salad. The steak was cooked just the way he likes it – medium well. The home-fries had a little spice to it.

a scallops dish

The Seared Scallops with Polenta & Mushrooms sounded fantastic, so I decided to give it a shot. The scallops had a nice golden shade of brown on top, The mushrooms and polenta was very buttery and filling. There were instances where the scallops were unpleasant to eat because it felt sandy and it gets worse.

Well when I was eating the scallop, the texture felt weird and later on that evening, I felt very sick and the next day it was a family holiday party, where I felt like I had no appetite and ended up vomiting and realized I had food poisoning from the scallops. Luckily my mom only had 1/2 a scallop so she didn’t end up with the damage, I did. It took a few days to recover and I had to be extremely careful of what I was eating after that day.

I really wanted to like LandMarc mostly bause it’s a celebrity chef restaurant, but the very fact that I had food poisoning from the scallops and not to mention the fact that they had sand in it just wasn’t a pleasant experience for me. I may return for a second chance, but I will most definitely not order the scallops and make sure my food is properly cooked again.

Things I want my daughter to know: Be open to all kinds of friendship


Throughout our lives, we will have many friends and many types of friendships. Some friendships will persevere through the major moments of your life and it’s multiple milestones. Others will be brief and only last a short while but might be as equally meaningful as those that last for years. Friendships when you’re a little girl are seemingly simple and are based around liking the same flavor ice cream or the same TV show, they make elementary school memorable and recess more fun but as you enter middle school and beyond, the dynamics of a friendship as well as the ideal type of friends you seek will change as you mature.

You might seek friendships with those who are similar to you or have the same interests, who are “safe”, who don’t try to pressure too far outside your comfort zone, and whose mindset doesn’t stray too far from your own. For a while, these styles of friendships will serve you well with good memories, abundant laughs and dozens of secrets shared but eventually you’ll be forced out of that comfort zone you live in. You may all end up in different schools, careers or even cities and despite the efforts of keeping in touch the dynamics of the friendship will change.

So what are you to do when you shift into the next phase of your life, in a new space, unfamiliar territory with all these unacquainted faces? It might be instinct to discredit people who are vastly different from you, whether in appearance, upbringing, education or interest but instead of avoid something new, embrace it. I can tell you the most meaningful friendships you will ever have are those you never anticipated. Sometimes when we cross paths with people who are from different paths in life, we find our own path is now lined with brighter and more stunning flowers. People who are after more in their own life will bring more to yours. Maybe it’s a different heritage or a different taste in books but small things like this add more meaningful stitches to the quilt of your life.

The moral of my story, Ava is to never discount any type of friendship, big or small. Understand that sometimes you will outgrow a friendship and that doesn’t make either of you, terrible people and even when you feel your life is full always be open to new friendships and new points of view. Unexpected friendships often leave the most memorable footprints in your life. So form bridges with people from all walks of life so when you stop and look around you’ll see you’ve created a diverse and wide world for yourself with many avenues to explore. Never short change yourself the opportunity to get to know a new friend because of the premonitions of an old one and remember there is no maximum capacity on friendships.


Driving In The City

Driving in New York City, is obviously different than driving on a highway, urban, or rural areas.. Surely, everyone has different driving skills, but for many it is a challenge to drive in the city. Have you ever been stuck in traffic in New York City? That could be one of the worst situation to be but, also the most interesting. Well, we know the nature of New Yorkers; some aren’t really nice thus one can imagine what type of situations that can arise.

But New York City’s streets are unlike other cities, thus being stuck in traffic can be very interesting.  Especially in the city where it can be a great challenge to move around. Many even say if you can drive in the city, it is possible that you can drive anywhere else. Some streets in Manhattan are intimidating because they are narrow and pedestrians a lot of the times disregard the lights making dangerous for drivers to deal with. This makes a lot of people want to avoid driving in the city because of the fear of striking someone. However, at least for the most part New Yorker’s respect the laws of the street and the signs, imagine the chaos that it could have been if everyone was going crazy on the streets.

 cars lined up at dusk, with headlights onPhoto taken in Manhattan

the freeway entrance to a tunnelPhoto taken in Manhattan

cars on a city streetPhoto taken in Manhattan

cars on a side street at nightPhoto taken in Manhattan

a city street at nightPhoto taken in Manhattan

the Empire State building from several blocks awayPhoto taken in Manhattan

the Empire State Building, partially hiddenPhoto taken in Manhattan

Food for Thought

a colorful arrangement of vegetables

Image by: Enri Endrian

Sometimes when people hear the words, “vegan” or “vegetarian”, it tends to frighten them to even momentarily consider a life without eating meat. A life without the luxury of hamburgers, steak and more, but for me this wasn’t frightening it was my entire childhood. I was a vegetarian for over fifteen years; my diet was mostly beans, nuts, soy-based protein products, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet so many people couldn’t understand or even try to fathom this lifestyle because of their love for meat-based meals. Meat is simply too valuable for them to give up, whereas most of their favorite dishes were those I had yet to taste or even have the pleasure of cooking.

Although, I now eat meat, I have a greater appreciation for all types of food, which I credit to being a vegetarian. I can enjoy many varieties of meals because of my flexible palate. I am now taking an art of vegetarian cuisine course at the college and it has added to my knowledge of vegetarian and vegan cooking. It is wonderful and reminds me of my childhood. I am no longer a full vegetarian because I was having some health concerns, I was not receiving enough protein to convert to the amount of energy I needed per day. Protein is one of the many reasons that vegetarians and vegans struggle in their dietary lifestyles, it can be difficult to eat enough protein that functionally needed for our bodies. If a chicken breast has twenty grams of protein, in order to equal as much in a meatless product you will probably have to eat more than one serving of tofu or beans. Grains help such as quinoa, which are not only high in protein but also a high source of fiber.

While being a vegetarian or vegan is difficult, it’s slowly gaining more attention. Still though there are not many food options at restaurants that support this diet, unless of course, you want to enjoy a salad every single time you dine out. I do not regret being a vegetarian at all, as it is what made me develop a greater love for food and how it’s prepared. However for more than half of my life I was a vegetarian and now I consume meat products and I wonder how much of a surprise that can be for someone who has always consumed meat and decides to become a vegan/vegetarian.

I wanted to share this video below with all of you; it is about butchers trying vegan and vegetarian food for the first time. They had many complaints in terms of taste, quality, and texture.

Comment below about your views of veganism/vegetarianism as well as if you would want to be a vegan/vegetarian? If so or not, why? How would you transition into this lifestyle? And have you ever tried vegan/vegetarian food?

Easter Recap and Fun Activities

On this Octave of Easter I will like to back track to show some Easter Activities. And if you guys aren’t tired, I know Easter was yesterday but I’m pretty sure you guys are still dolled up with tons of left overs. I spent most of Easter Weekend, from Friday night, with my family in Maryland. Saturday went as followed: family talks, breakfast, doing each others hair, shopping, making Easter things, bbq, games, bbq, chilling, and my departure. It was awesome for the most part, especially helping create the Easter Eggs and Easter Baskets. (Duh the Barbecue was the best but it’s not a food blog, lol.)

My aunt, owner of Kreative Kisses, brung all the ladies together in efforts to make Easter Awesome for the little ones. Easter eggs are usually a tradition in my family, making them and hunting plastic ones with money or candy. But we were also able to help with her usually $25 basket creation. The kids really loved it! Here are some images:

Easter eggsa collage of a woman posing with a young girlhidden Easter eggs

As a female who loves makeup and all things beauty, of course my face was beat to the gawds fir this occasion and I had pink Easter nails with sparkles on Saturday . However, I want to show you guys how to create marbled easter nails, which I did Sunday. If you want the kids to enjoy you can also cut a water-color shaped egg for them to marbelize. Watch Here:

Post dedicated to my family.

QUESTION TO THE AUDIENCE: How did you spend Easter?

Self-appraisals – Know Thyself

a gavel and the words "YOU BE THE JUDGE"

Image Credit

You may not be in a job that gives you an evaluation but I highly recommend that you do a self-appraisal. It will tell you where you stand and you can begin to make improvements if necessay. See the below steps to completing appraisal in six steps by  Dominique Jones | Posted December 3rd, 2013 | Performance Management

Six steps to completing a great self-appraisal.

1. Share your brilliant successes. Look at previous feedback received, projects you’ve completed and initiatives you’ve launched — all excellent fodder. If you haven’t done so in the past, start keeping a performance journal. It will make your next self-appraisal that much easier to complete.

2. Share what you’ve learned. What have you learned in the past year? Look to identify the ways in which you’ve been able to enhance your skills; describe the new skills you’ve mastered and how they’ve helped you in your career development. Describe how you’ve applied these new skills to your job and how they support the goals of your department and organization.

3. Share your challenges. This isn’t an annual opportunity for shameless self- promotion. It’s an opportunity for some humility. Be candid about your challenges in the year. Describe how you overcame them or the steps you will take in the year ahead to address them.

4. Be honest. Don’t embellish your accomplishments. Think hard about how you choose your ratings for yourself. Your manager will likely want you to support your ratings so be prepared to provide examples of your successes (why you deserve that high rating) and examples of your not-so-great performance (why you may deserve a weaker rating).

5. Take time to do it well. Your manager can tell if you rushed your self-appraisal. So take the time needed to do it justice (schedule time for it in your calendar!). After all, your self-appraisal is all about you, and you’re worth it! Use all the space/features provided in the form to tell your story.

6. Don’t attempt to complete it in one go. Treat your self-appraisal like a work of art that builds over time. You’ll be much happier with the end result if you give yourself time to reflect and carefully support your self-assessment. As I mention above, use examples to support your assertions, and please, please make sure that you spell- and grammar-check your documents. These are all signs of how seriously you take the process and its importance to you.

Empty Spaces

As busy as the subway train station can be at times, sometimes there’s a split second or maybe a few minutes when you can actually hear a pin drop. It’s between those moments I take full advantage of and pull out my camera or my phone. I’m not sure what it is about empty spaces that intrigue me but I’m always eager to capture that scene. Not that I don’t like when there is people but sometimes too much will be a distraction as to the kind of image I’m looking for.


lights in a beehive pattern on a station ceiling

“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations”  Bleeker St Station, 12:04am

-Orson Welles


a subway platform with tile art

“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.”  Jay St Metro Tech Station, 12:15pm

-Frank Lloyd Wright


a train in an outdoor subway station

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”  New Lots Station, 2:49pm

-George S. Patton


two orange seats on a subway train

“In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative.”  New Lots Station, 2:54pm

-Twyla Tharp


a subway platform with a "No Exit" sign

“Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm.”  21st St Van Alst Station, 7:11pm

-Robert Schumann




And do not be conformed to this world

a card that says "and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"

“The root comes from my Christian upbringing, and the joy I feel when I study scripture. I always found myself as a straight A- student. I saw the version, known the direction of answers, but always seem to miss the mark, make silly mistakes, forget things I knew, stress over the definition or perspective of other people, or just off by 1 or 2 letters when spelling, then it got me to think, of what I was told that only one man was ever perfect, and that was Jesus Christ. At that moment I thought only God is perfect. It was later during the final year in college I understood, prefect in biblical terms meant perfectly righteous, someone with out sin, one who never sinned, and the only that never sinned and was perfect was Jesus. So that is the background of my personal slogan that relieves a lot of my stresses. Today, I added this piece of scripture since I matured so much since my college days: Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. So my slogan is rooted in this bible verse these days. Since I have been studying the word so much since I left Faculty Commons 5 years ago. That is the story Mandy. It is all yours now.”