Turn the beat around (ch-ch-changes)

2 Aug

I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months since I last posted! I feel like a let down of a blogger, but when I think about why it’s been that long, I realize it’s because I’ve been living life, and it’s been awesome! There has been so much going on this summer  and I feel like time is rushing by because of it. This made me realize that I really do want to blog again, but I wanted to be more serious about it. Find my niche. When I started this blog, I didn’t know where I wanted it to go. I wasn’t all that familiar with blogging and tried to do it in my own way, but I don’t think I knew what that was yet.

What all of this means is that I am starting a new blog. It’s been almost 9 months since I first started this baby of a blog and I think it’s time to move on. I started a new blog, Worries and Wisdom, in hope that it will be a more genuine version of this one. I’ll still write up restaurant reviews, move reviews, concert reviews (the Wisdom part) but I’d also like to get more personal and reveal more of my own thoughts and stories; connect more with readers and passers-by.

I hope that you will join me on the other side as I try to find my place in the World Wide Web, and in life. And to those of you that are reading this now, thank you SO much. You have all supported me and rooted me on in times of question, left me comments and kind words and I truly appreciate that!

Hope to see you soon!




Restaurant Review – Graffiti NYC

2 Jun

Sorry for the almost one month delay on this one, but I TOTALLY forgot to write up a recap of our New York trip. I won’t bore you with the whole thing since we didn’t do that many touristy things to report on, but I did want to review the restaurant we had dinner at for my friend Kevyn’s 25th birthday. She said it was her favorite restaurant in all of New York City so I was really excited to try it. Even more so excited when she told us that the head chef, Chef Jehangir Mehta, was a contestant on The Next Iron Chef.

The restaurant is Graffiti Food and Wine Bar on East 10th Street. If you don’t know where you’re going you will miss it because the only sign of the restaurant is the bright orange door with the name “graffiti-ed” across the front.

Sadly, this is the only photo I took at the restaurant!

When you walk up to the door, you almost feel like you are in the wrong place. To your right is a set of stairs that leads down to some creepy, unknown place. To your left, more doors. Luckily, Kevyn had been here several times before so she knew we were in the right place. We opened the door and even though I had been warned about the size, I was shocked to see how tiny this place was. The place already had about 12 people inside but it felt like it was full. I honestly didn’t know where they were going to fit our party of 6, with a 7th on the way. You might think I’m exaggerating, but here is a shot of the restaurant taken from their website.


This photo was probably taken standing just inside that orange door. The two tables in the front already had two parties seated at them so we were escorted to the third table you see in the picture. But it was turned sideways so we were sitting parallel to the wall. This meant squeezing in behind the table and sitting on tiny stools. Did I mention there was another party of four sitting at our table? That’s the cool thing about this place, it feels like everyone there is friends even though you are sitting next to complete strangers. Behind our table, to the left, you can see the kitchen and the door to the bathroom. Smallest kitchen I’ve ever seen!!

Once we were seated, our waiter came out to introduce us to the Chef. The Chef said hello and explained how it worked and then let us get to ordering. First we ordered Lychee Martinis. I don’t particularly like martinis, but these were divine. Full of flavor, and alcohol. For our first course we ordered Zucchini Hummus Pizza. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The next thing to come out was the braised pork buns with apricot chutney. Since I don’t eat meat, Chef Mehta made me veggie buns with apricot chutney. They were mouth watering and all the meat eaters said the pork buns were too. After the buns came the green chili shrimp with mirin daikon moong salsa. Don’t ask me what it means, because I don’t know, but I can tell you these were delicious as well. We licked the plate clean on that one! Next up, the graffiti burgers. Once again, Chef Mehta took care of me and made me my own special veggie burger. By this time I was so full I could hardly finish it, but it too was delicious. No meal anywhere is complete without dessert and this was no exception. We ordered a hazelnut chocolate caviar cupcake with chocolate chip ice cream and warm truffle almond strawberries with pepper ice cream. I didn’t try the hazelnut chocolate caviar cupcake but Noah was raving about it. The strawberries were delicious and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed pepper ice cream.

At the end of the meal, we were stuffed and even though the plates were small, they packed a big punch of flavor. If you are in New York anytime soon and are looking for a one of a kind, delicious and exciting meal, I would highly suggest Graffiti. It’s not just the food that makes it, it’s the atmosphere and the attention to detail that stands out too. I was astonished that the Chef actually came to our table to explain every dish he was bringing out and made necessary accommodations for my needs that were still delicious. Just keep in mind, this is not the place for a romantic date night, but more so a place to go out with friends for a fun and memorable evening.


Four Things

2 Jun

I saw this fun blog post on another blog I read, KJ Pugs, and thought it would be fun to try out. I think it’s the perfect thing for a Thursday since it doesn’t involve much thought processing.

Four jobs I’ve had in my life

  1. Clerk/snow cone maker at a mini golf/driving range
  2. Clothes bitch at Marhsall’s
  3. Clerk at a card/candy store
  4. Sort-of-slave at a dinner making store for fancy ladies called Dream Dinners

Four movies I would watch over and over

  1. Groundhog Day
  2. Forrest Gump
  3. Talladega Nights
  4. Father of the Bride


Four places I’ve lived

  1. Olney, MD
  2. Northridge, CA
  3. Hartford, CT
  4. Arlington, VA


Four TV shows I love to watch

  1. How I met your mother
  2. The Office
  3. Arrested Development
  4. Pregnant in Heels

Four places I have been on vacation

  1. Outer Banks, NC
  2. Sanibel Island, FL
  3. Ocho Rios, Jamaica
  4. Sea Island, Georgia

Love and the lake – weekend recap

1 Jun

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Noah and I took yesterday off in order to make it a true mini vacation for ourselves. We had a great weekend and were very relaxed.

Friday night we went to our friends’ wedding in Frederick, Maryland. The weather was perfect for their outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour and everything looked absolutely beautiful. I love the attention that was paid to all the details. The food was incredible too!

Then, about halfway through their reception we saw the sky turning black and overheard that there was a tornado watch for the area. I managed to snap a picture of the (somewhat pretty looking) sky right before the downpour and insane winds began. Oh, and the power went out right as I was sitting on the toilet. That was fun! Luckily, the venue had back up generators that they used until the storm passed. The bride and groom weren’t phased though which just goes to show that no matter what, your wedding day is awesome!

All in all, we had a great time! Congratulations Shawn & Michelle!


On Saturday, we drove to the airport to head to Georgia for our extended weekend. When we arrived in Atlanta we met up with Noah’s friend Mario and his wife to hang out and grab some lunch. I’ve been dying to try Richard Blais’ Flip Burger ever since Katie from SheLikesRuffles posted about it during her trip to BlogHer Food. Well, it did not disappoint! I had the “Fauxlafel” burger and fries with a Cap’n Crunch milkshake. It was freakin awesome. Unfortunately, my phone was dead at this point so I did not manage to get any pictures of our lunch, or more importantly, with our friends!

After dinner and some down time we drove out to Lake Oconee. We spent the next three days hanging out at the pool, going out on the boat, golfing (Noah), hanging out with family and friends and eating a lot! We also saw Hangover 2 (which was terrible) one night once everyone else had left. I didn’t take many pictures throughout the weekend (I was too busy sunbathing and/or babysitting my nephew with my sister in law and cousin) but here are a few I managed to get.




We came home late last night, but luckily I am working from home today. I hope you all enjoyed at least one day off this past weekend! Can you believe it is June already?! Rabbit rabbit!

Handmade at home

27 May

I don’t consider myself to be an extremely crafty/artsy person, but I think sometimes I underestimate that. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t let my creative juices flow for a long (very long) time so they need a little tune up!

Recently I’ve been back into crafting and creating and it has been making me really happy. Of course, not everything I’ve done is perfect or even complete, but it feels good to make something with my own two hands. Something that I have either thought of completely on my own or been inspired to make by something else…most likely something I’ve seen on Pinterest.

To give you an update, here are just a few of the things I’ve made recently.

First is the paint chip heart print. This was SO easy. I collected colorful paint chips from Home Depot, cut them into hearts of the same size, taped them onto a sheet of white printer paper and put it in frame I already had. Eventually I want to either get a new frame or spray paint this one white.

The second thing I did was refurbish a little wooden box I found at a thrift store for under a dollar. It was originally a crackled wood  that I spray painted white. Once it was dry, I used a heart cut out of a subway map that I had and decoupaged it onto the front of the box. I love this little box so much! And I love Manhattan!

The next project, which took me about .2 seconds, was framing some dandelion paper I had left over from stationery I used during our wedding. I would like for the frame to be white eventually (I want all white frames at some point) but for now I kind of like the contrast of the blue and green and how colorful it is. I learned that framing stationery is one of the simplest ways to have a brand new piece of “art”.

Last, but certainly not least is the wine bottle I turned into a decorative piece/occasional vase. I say occasional because it is rare that we have flowers in the house since our cat Eddie loves to eat them. But even on its own I love the pop of color this adds to the room! All I did was take an empty bottle of wine, soak it in warm water and dish soap for a little while then peel off the label and clean it off. So simple for such a fun result!

I hope you enjoyed all the crafts I’ve been working on! This post has been several months in the making. Next time I will show you my biggest (and most fun) craft project to date…simple, cheap and fun DIY magnets!

The Boy Scout Motto

26 May


It seems easy enough. You think you know what to do in certain situations and you think that you would have things under control. Until you’re in them.

What I’m referring to is the small fire that we experience at my sister in law’s apartment on Friday night. We had gathered at her place for our monthly fondue night and were really excited to eat some delicious cheese. As we were hanging out and having a few beers, Nancy and Sandi were in the kitchen preparing the food. The oven was on and all of a sudden the smoke detector started to go off. We thought it was weird since nothing was smoking, it just looked like normal steam since there was a pot of water on the stove. Our friend Garrett removed the smoke detector from the wall because the sound was irritating and we figured since the apartment was small it would only continue with the steam from the boiling water.

After a few minutes, we realized that it was not just water steam…there was smoke coming out of the bottom of the oven. Noah opened the drawer to the oven and flames were coming out at full force. He immediately grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the fire.

If you have ever used a fire extinguisher, you know about the white film/powder that fills the air when you use it. So all 6 of us decided to go out onto the balcony, with the two dogs, in order to escape the fumes. We opened the apartment windows and decided to let things air out. Well, that wasn’t really the brightest idea. We realized this as soon as we saw the black smoke filling Nancy’s apartment. We then went inside, all ducking down, and walked through the smoke filled apartment in order to get out. We stayed there for about 20 minutes just to make sure the fire was out and we didn’t need to call the fire department.

Fondue night turned into a night of beers at home and cheap (gross) Mexican food at On the Border. But the most important thing was that no one was hurt and nothing was damaged. After the fire, Noah and I started talking about how it was a wake up call as to how to respond in an emergency situation. You think you know what to do in a situation like that until you are in it and aren’t using common sense. AKA – immediately get out of an apartment where there is a fire!!

Since that night, we have decided to discuss an emergency plan. We are going to pack bags with extra clothes, blankets, water, food, flashlight and first aid kit in each of our cars. We are also going to discuss how we would get out of the house in case of a fire or other emergency and how we would handle wrangling up the pets. It’s a scary thing to think about, but it could be a matter of safety and injury, life or death.

I’m not one to preach, but if you get anything out of this post, it’s to be prepared. It’s to know your plan of action in advance and be ready to put that into place if something were to happen. I hope all of you stay safe, always, but especially over this coming Memorial Day weekend! Make sure to replace those smoke detector batteries and be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen!

That’s right, I don’t eat meat…now move on!

12 May

It has now been about 4 months since I stopped eating meat. I still eat fish, but I refer to myself as vegetarian, mainly because I despise the word “pescatarian”. I don’t know why, I just do. The past 4 months have been great for me. I have felt healthier, had more energy and just feel better about myself in general. The only problem that I’ve experienced in this time has been people’s astonishment that I don’t eat meat. And the dreaded question….WHY.

Here’s a typical scenario for you.

Out to dinner with friends….

Friend: Ohh you want to split the chicken lime tacos?
Me: No, thank you. I don’t eat meat.
Friend: REALLY???
Me: Yes, really.
Friend: Since when??
Me: It’s been a few months now.
Friend: Why??
Me: Because I just don’t want to.
Friend: But isthere a reason…...

It literally happens like that every single time. And it REALLY bothers me. I am so sick of the question. Why do you care so much if I don’t eat meat? Is it a requirement that as a human being I have to eat meat? I don’t feel like I need to provide a reason for the choices that I make, especially when they are not affecting anyone but me! But yet for some reason, everyone feels the need to find out more. As if I need a reason. I don’t ask you why you do eat meat, so don’t ask me why I don’t!

I could say it’s because I love animals or because the texture grosses me out or the whole concept gives me a slight bout of the heebie-jeebies, but instead I always say because I just don’t want to. Because that is the truth! I have no desire to cut into a whole chicken or chomp down on a burger. I just don’t. And I wish people would just leave it at that….and move on.

Rant over.

New York State of Mind

6 May

Tomorrow we are going on our first real trip as husband and wife. I didn’t realize that until right this minute either, but it’s true! Yes, we went to the beach for the weekend the week after we got back from our honeymoon, but since we didn’t actually make it to the beach itself (aka just drank an obscene amount and went to the bar) I don’t really count it as a trip!

But tomorrow, we are off to NYC with my older brother and his girlfriend to visit my friend Kevyn (whom I have known since I was 7!) for her 25th birthday!! We went last year and had an absolute blast – cramming as much as we could into only 2 nights and 2 days in the city. We don’t plan anything beforehand. We just let Kevyn be our tour guide and see where it takes us. The only plan we have is to attend her Tie-Dye rooftop birthday party on Saturday night. I already bought us 2 brand new white t-shirts so we can get our tie-dye on. We leave tomorrow after work and I am beyond excited!! Here is some of the fun stuff we did last year…

Had authentic NY Pizza (and garlic knots – which were amazing)

Walked around Central Park (it was REALLY windy)

Walked to Chelsea Piers and went to The Frying Pan – a bar on a boat!

And drank way too many Coronas

Visited Highline Park – an old subway stop turned into a beautiful raised park

Drove all around town and saw Gramercy

Saw my Uncle’s play “Everyday Rapture” (an awesome show)

And celebrated Kevyn’s birthday at a “Nothing Normal” karaoke party

Even though these pictures show that we did a lot – they only cover about half of the things we did and places we went that weekend! I can’t wait to share my weekend with you once we are back! AND I have been working on some DIY projects (magnets, dry erase board, spray painting and more) that I have wanted to share for awhile but haven’t completed. Well as of next week, all my projects will be done and I can’t wait to show you! I hope you all have a great weekend. And don’t forget that it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. Even if you can’t be with your mom physically, make sure to let her know that you care about her!!

Spring cleaning

2 May

Happy spring all! Yes, it’s been a minute since I wrote my last post, but once again, my dear husband has been getting on my case about writing something. He says that I am letting my readers down. I don’t know about that, but I am working from home today and I’m bored so I thought it would be a perfect time to conjure up a new post!

Things have been going well for us recently. We had been going to dog training and Nixon has done really well. It’s as much about training us humans as it is the dog. Actually, I feel like it might be harder to train the people! But Nixon I have been doing a lot better and feeling more confident and in control when we go on walks. We have also switched to a pinch collar (for walks only) and it has made a world of difference. Pretty sure if someone was pinching me any time I did something wrong I would stop too. I initially thought the pinch collar was a little inhumane, but I’ve done some reading on it and many dog trainers believe that a pinch collar is actually less harmful to a dog’s throat/neck than a choke collar. We don’t use the choke collar at all anymore.

In addition to dog training, we planted seeds for our garden. By we I mean Noah and I just take pictures of the sprouts every day. We planted radishes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, watermelon, canteloupe, onions and sage. Things are definitely starting to pop out of the ground but it will still be a while before we have anything to eat. It’s exciting to watch them grow though! I have been taking a picture of the planters every day to track their growth.

Here’s what it looks like right now…

In other news, I just got back on Twitter. I’m still new to it so I’m learning the ropes but I’m liking it as of yet. If you’d like to follow me (read: I’m begging you to follow me) you can find me there as Clareberrys.

Lastly, we got our tax return check which means that soon we will be booking our vacation for December of this year – I can’t wait to write about it when we finally do! So, what’s been going on with you guys? I’d love to hear how you have been enjoying this wonderful spring so far!

Fun around town

11 Apr

Well 9 days have gone by since my last post but it’s only because I was waiting for my weekend so I could actually have some fun things to write about! The week itself was fairly uneventful. Pretty much every day stuff. Wednesday night we went to dinner at La Sandia with some friends. It was a random get together but fun nonetheless. All four of us had fajitas and I have to be honest, they were subpar. Noah and I were so disappointed and still craving fajitas that on Thursday we decided to make our own. Noah made chicken fajitas for himself and veggie fajitas for me with peppers, onions and zucchini. They were delicious!!

Friday night we went out with my sister in law and some friends to celebrate her recent engagement!! While her wedding won’t be for a couple years she is very excited (as are we) to be engaged to her boyfriend of almost 4 years. Her boyfriend lives in Charlotte, NC so he wasn’t able to join us but that didn’t stop us from celebrating. I think we were cheersing every 10 minutes or so. It was fun! I also got to see my friend Kate who I haven’t seen in a while. There aren’t many good pictures from the night but here’s a cute one Kate and I took.

Saturday was a great day. We went to dog training for two hours and Nixon did a really good job. After our session I had a surprise date planned for Noah. I decided to surprise him by planning for us to go to two record stores in DC. Noah has been wanting to go to a good record store for a while now so he was very excited when I told him what we were doing! The first place we went was called Red Onion Record and Books. It was located near Dupont Circle on 18th St. This place was pretty small and didn’t have a huge selection of records. It kind of felt like a yard sale with a bunch of records instead of an actual record store. I didn’t get any pictures inside (it wasn’t interesting enough) but I did take this picture of the front of the store and the entry way.

Noah bought his favorite Allman Brothers album from this store. Then we walked over to Som Records on 14th Street. This place was much more awesome than the first one. There was a huge selection of records, the decor was pretty cool and they even had a record player there that you could sample records on to see if you liked what you were buying. I got some good shots of this place. In the first shot, if you see the white door underneath the set of stairs leading up to 1843 – that is the entrance to the store.

And on our way back home I of course had to get a shot to prove I am always a tourist in my hometown..

For dinner I decided that we would try what is acclaimed to be the best NY Style Pizza in the area at Flippin Pizza. They have locations in the DC area and California. We were originally going to eat at the one in DC but decided just to get one to go from the location right near our house. Their pizza was really good but I have to say not the best in the area. The best to me is Tony’s in Manassas. It is seriously melt in your mouth NY style. Heaven.

Last night we had a BBQ with some friends. It was nice enough early on that we were able to eat outside. We had chicken, steak, salmon (for me), salad, zucchini and onion kabobs. It was all really delicious. After dinner we walked into Arlington to a place called Crumbs Bake Shop. We got cupcakes and milk and ohhh my gosh were they delicious. But also filling!!

All in all it was a great weekend! I hope you all had a great weekend too – back to the grind!