dinner Lifestyle Monday Mask Series Skincare Travel Uncategorized Weekend Recap

New York, New York and this Week’s #MondayMask

April 16, 2018

Hiya! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I made a very impromptu trip to New York to visit my best friend and her husband and to attend another close friend’s 30th birthday dinner. The weekend was amazing, and as is always the case of spending time with close friends I grew up with, it left me feeling very nostalgic and craving more time with such special people. I am stopping in today to share a glimpse of my weekend with you, our dinner menu for the week, and of course this week’s #MondayMask!

Dinner for the Week

This is our last week of HelloFresh for awhile.  Steve and I leave late next week for Europe and now that work is slowing down a bit, I’m ready to get back into planning our meals and prepping them start-to-finish. After a few weeks of HelloFresh, I can say that I think I have mixed feelings on it. Some of the meals have been wonderful, but I have found that I wasn’t a big fan of the quality of a lot of the meat. We eat very lean proteins in our house; for example, when making tacos or burgers we use lean ground turkey most of the time.  If we eat beef, it’s usually 90% lean. Some of the meat we have gotten from HelloFresh is 80/20 (80% lean, 20% fat) and hasn’t always agreed with my taste buds. However, some of the meals have really been exceptional! It all depends on preferences which is never-ending when it comes to food!

  • Monday: Spanish One-Pan Chicken with Chorizo and Bell Pepper over Rice (HelloFresh)
  • Tuesday: Korean-Style Chicken Thighs with Sesame Cucumber Salad and Jasmine Rice (HelloFresh)
  • Wednesday: Dinner Out. Steve and I are attending an event.
  • Thursday: Rib-Eye Steak over Gruyere Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Carrots (HelloFresh)
  • Friday: Pizza


My Weekend in New York


I hopped on an Amtrak train after work on Friday and headed up to New York to stay with my best friend, Jenna, and her husband, Chad. They just moved into a new apartment on the Upper West Side and I was eager to see it, as well as them.  By the time I got into Penn Station, made my way to their apartment, and showered up after a day of working and travel it was pretty late.  We opted to have a late dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant and made a 9:45pm reservation. Side note: I really enjoy eating late. I don’t know if it’s because my family always ate between 7pm and 8pm growing up, but I absolutely love having a glass of wine and catching up with no rush to be anywhere and no need to deal with the dinner crowd and packed restaurants. I don’t usually eat at 9:45pm, but when I can I opt to eat between 7:30 and 8pm, usually leaning towards the later end… especially when dining out.

Our late dinner took us to Maya where I had the best spicy margarita I’ve ever encountered, delicious spicy guacamole, and chicken tinga tacos.  All things spicy for this girl. After dinner, we stopped to check out a bar in Jenna and Chad’s new neighborhood for one drink before heading back to go to sleep.


Saturday began with a walk to a nearby grocery store to pick up ingredients for omelets and to walk Joey, Jenna and Chad’s adorable Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Once we were back, Chad made us all coffee and whipped up omelets with mushrooms, spinach, onions, and a bit of white cheddar. It was the perfect fuel for the shopping adventure Jenna and I had planned and we set out shortly after to check out a local boutique as well as some of the larger, well known stores, like Zara, nearby.  The weather was GORGEOUS and the perfect walking weather. All in all, I walked just over 17 miles from Friday to Sunday, according to my Apple watch ha!

After shopping for a couple of hours, Jenna and I picked up lunch from Le Pain Quotidien for the three of us to split.  Jenna and Chad were awaiting delivery and installation of their TV, and unfortunately the company was not honoring the original time slot they’d planned to come between, which meant that someone always had to be at the apartment waiting for them. After they finally came and installed everything, Jenna and I showered up to head to my friend Alison’s 30th birthday dinner at Brazil Brazil. They specialize in authentic Brazilian cuisine. We decided to split the mussels (which were incredible) and a small entree consisting of shrimp, peppers, onions, coconut milk, and yucca over rice. It was the perfect amount of food and was delicious!

The rest of the night was pretty low key. Jenna and I headed up to a bar on the Upper East Side where we caught up just the two of us before meeting Chad and their friends for a little bit. I was exhausted from the busy day so we eventually made our way home to bed, but not before a late night New York slice. That’s a must, right?


I had a train to catch on Sunday, so we didn’t have much time, but managed to squeeze in a few last activities together. The three of us headed to breakfast at a diner around the corner and I had the first Belgian waffle I’ve had in years probably! We also each got a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice with coffees. Our last stop was Dylan’s Candy Bar because I’m an 8-year-old at heart. The weekend came to a sweet ending consisting of all different flavored gummie bears (champagne, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon), sour belts, and a mixture of chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered mini oreos that I made for Steve.  I did nearly miss my train due to several road closures and gridlock traffic. Jenna and I exited the cab and proceeded to run, walk, and sometimes sprint the remainder of the way to Penn Station. I had to carry my bag, which is a small rolling carry-on bag and my biceps really got in a workout alongside the cardio of running to the station. I was legitimately sweating by the time I got on the train (with 7 minutes to spare I might add).

This weekend was special for so many reasons, but it’s always good to come home to Steve and Gina. I spent the rest of my night relaxing with them.


Monday Mask

After a weekend in New York where I spent a lot of time outside, walking around the city and exposing my skin to sunlight, pollution, and even rain on Sunday, today felt like the perfect day for a mask that had exfoliating properties, and would detoxify my skin and enrich it a bit. Sleeping in a bed that’s not my own, no matter how comfortable, is rarely as satisfying as sleeping in my own bed. I wanted a mask that would wake up my tired skin and refresh my face. Enter Sephora’s Blue Clay Mask. I see these little pouch masks every time I’m in Sephora and was itching to try them out.  I opted for Blue this week, which is supposed to detoxify and oxygenate the skin.

I love the color of the mask, which really doesn’t mean anything in terms of the results it produces, but it reminded me of sea foam and had a delightful, fresh scent. The mask had tiny, exfoliating beads in it which seemed ideal to wipe away the toxins of the weekend. After 15 minutes, I found my skin-tone to be ever so slightly brighter and very, very smooth.  I like this mask, and I’m looking forward to trying out the rest of the line of colors. You can see before and after photos below. I notice a very subtle brightening and less redness.


BEFORE – slight dullness; some redness







AFTER – brighter skin, less redness



















Cheers to surviving Monday!



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