Pool Please

IMG_451964402{mini natasha in India}

Just a few weeks away, lies an amazing pool in South Carolina…and it can’t come soon enough. My last mini, amazing, vacation was in Florida (weekend recaps here, here & here) and another couple of days by a gorgeous pool is definitely overdue.

I consider myself a warm weather beach person. I love the sand, the ocean, the salt, the beach chairs, the umbrellas, the sounds –  everything about the beach consumes me. But the pool, the pool does it for me too. Growing up in India, I played with my brother and swam with my friends in pools every.single.day and that’s no exaggeration. I spent hours and hours in that crystal clear blue body of water until my toes and fingers wrinkled right up.

So South Carolina, hurry on up, I just want to jump in a pool already!

IMG_451964354{Boca picture from that amazing weekend away}
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Images borrowed from // 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 //

Frands

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After graduating from college (nearly three years ago, ah!), the making new friends part was a big transition for me. Everyone disperses into their adult lives and the comfort of having a clique of friends suddenly disappears. I love being social and meeting new people but it wasn’t enough to hit the ground running in New York City. It’s actually pretty hard! It took me a while to gain the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and to meet new people, but it’s been so worth it.

My brother graduated from college last year and he is currently having a similar transition period. I found myself 100% relating to everything he was saying and I started giving him some older sister advice. Here are a few things I shared with him based on what I’ve learned along the post college frand journey:

1. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations // Going to any sort of social gathering where you may only know one person out of 50 is pretty uncomfortable. There is a lot of uncertainty and a bit of anxiety – millions of questions used to run through my head. But the best thing I’ve done is forcing myself into these social situations. You have to just jump right in and go with the flow, it might feel awkward for the first five minutes but it’s such a great way to connect with mutual friends.

2. Reach out // Instagram, email, gchat, text, call – there are so many ways now a days to reconnect with old friends, meet new friends and maintain current friendships. Having people over for dinner, inviting an acquaintance out to coffee, or grabbing drinks with a co worker, all happens if you just reach out. Don’t wait for people to come around because they may never come around, be the first to take action and invite, I promise it’s worth it.

3. Sign up for an after work sports team // Playing dodgeball in central park or spring soccer on Randall’s island, sign up for a sports league. It’s a great way to connect with co-workers outside of the normal 9-5 environment and you get to know people on a bit of a personal level. It’s also a great way to network, the whole “teamwork” aspect does actually come into play. And if someone invites you to join their sports work league, that’s the perfect opportunity to meet new people outside of your 9-5 day.

4. Go to work happy hours (even if you don’t feel like it) // Work happy hours are easy to skip out on but don’t skip! They are actually fun and it’s a great way to meet people that you may not interact with on a daily basis. There may be someone you’ve run into on your floor, in the elevator, worked with them briefly on a project, or exchanged a few emails, but it’s great to connect on a fun level too. I’ve found that when I do open up parts of my life, like having lived in India for 5 years or speaking a few different languages, co workers end up really appreciating it.

5. Tag along // I dislike imposing on people. I would never want to put anyone in a  Natasha is tagging along situation. If a roommate or friend used to say “hey, you should hang with me and my friends” my response often “no, that’s okay, no worries” because I really didn’t want to impose. It took a bit of time for me to realize, hey why not tag along? It’s probably the best way to get to make new friends and to put myself out there. And more likely than not, they actually WANT you to hang out and come along.

Is there anything you’ve learned along your post college frand journey? Share your words of wisdom!

Music Festive

renee-shepard-sales.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2xI’m not a music festival kind of gal. The crowds, the heat, the wandering aimlessly, the uncertainty – it’s actually all kind of frightening to me. A few years ago, I attended Governors Ball on Randall’s Island in NYC (aka. Gov Ball) and disappointingly a  huge monsoon struck the city and the entire music festival was drenched in soaking, wet, mud for three whole days. Let’s just say it was not fun at all to be walking around in rain boots, sinking in dirt.

Despite not having any urge to attend music festivals, I do follow Coachella fashion prettyy closely. I love seeing new trends and fresh faces every year on social media (shout out to Gigi Hadid this year). I’ve rounded up a few 2015 Coachella looks that I’ve fallen for which (not on purpose) happen to be all white outfits. What look is your fave?

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PS. Speaking of music, have you listened to my latest Music Thursday post?

Images borrowed from: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 //

Two.

IMG_6575Dear Aust,

Happy two year anniversary. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think someone as amazing as you would walk into my life and change everything for the better. Thank you for loving me for me, for being my number one fan, for taking my pictures for the blog, for picking me up when I’m down, for making me feel like the prettiest girl in the whole wide world, for giving me butterflies every time I see you, for all of the late night chats, for taking wild adventures with me, for having the best sense of humor, and for just being you. I love you.

XOXO,

Tash

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Quality Time

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New York makes me want to rip off my clothes and dance down the street screaming i love this place and i have no intention of ever leaving.

– Pamela Barsky

Quality time with my friends, my family and my significant other is extremely important to me. I recently read an article about how meaningful experiences become a big part of who you are and I truly believe that memorable adventures I’ve taken with my favorite people, has shaped and strengthened my relationships. As I continue exploring NYC,  it’s really exciting to think about the new experiences I’ll continue having in my favorite city with my favorite people. 

This past weekend, I ventured off on a Brooklyn adventure. It was beyond gorgeous out and I’ve always loved exploring Williamsburg with a partner in crime. I love that the adventure took me out of my hustlin’ Manhattan comfort zone. It’s so much fun being a tourist in my own city so I definitely took full advantage of it on Saturday – with my backpack all buckled up and my flowy white dress all ready for spring, I was ready to go.

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Things to do:

+ Take the Ferry // It.is.awesome. Even though it may take a little longer than the subway (heads up: the L train is not working these next few weekends) it’s really fun to be outside on a boat, on the water, with a gorgeous view of the city and the Brooklyn Bridge. It made me feel like a true tourist being sucked right into the huge city.

+ Walk around the Smorgasburg Food Market // Oh my goodness, there is a plethora (yes, a plethora) of food stands at Smorgasburg. It is actually pretty crazy and pretty thrilling. I ended up walking around in circles for hours just looking and watching all of the delicious food being prepped by all of the vendors. It smells amazing too.

+ Walk around the Brooklyn Flea Market // This time around, the Brooklyn Flea Market wasn’t open but I definitely wish it was. There are a lot of super cute, hipster, stores right by the water with an entire view of the city as you thrift shop.

+ Walk around Bedford Ave. // Bedford Ave. is sort of like the fifth ave of Brooklyn but without all of the wildly expensive stores (not that there’s anything wrong with Chanel). There are a lot of cool stores, restaurants and events happenin’ on Bedford Ave. Especially dainty jewelry stores which are probably my absolute favorite.

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Places to Eat:

+ Smorgasburg Food Festival //  I just talked about walking in circles around all of the food vendors but obviously you have to take your pick at some point! I had an amazing Red Hook lobter roll which was perfectly mayod up on a toasted brioche role. For dessert, I scarfed down a Good Batch ice cream sandwich. I was so full but there was just so much more I wanted to try like the Ramen Burger despite the insane line.

+ Juliette // A sweet French restaurant right off of Bedford Ave., great for brunch, lunch, dinner and anything you want. It reminds me of the cute little cafes lined up on the beautiful streets of Paris. It’s perfect to stop by for a small quiche, eggs Benedict or a little something healthy. The bar is super cute too for a nice glass of wine or champagne.

+ Sweet Chick // All I have to say about this place is chicken n waffles. Chicken n waffles.

 Places to have a Drink:

+ Radegast Biergarten // Saturday was the first time I tried Radegast and it was awesome. It is a rather large beer garden with tons of places to sit and hang. There are hundreds of beers to try (I’m a wheat beer type of person) and they cook food right in the middle of the hall. There was a band too which made it more German like!

+ Wythe Hotel // This hotel has a gorgeous view of NYC if you go right upstairs. The cocktails are absolutely delicious and the decor is so chic chic. The roof is a definite must, especially at sunset.

+ Berry Park // This place is so much fun. Inside, it’s a bit of a darker bar with huge TV’s (perfect for sports watchers, which I am not) but you head to the rooftop, it becomes a sunny garden in the heart of the ‘burg. It’s a true gem with greenery surrounding all sides of the bar. The drinks are really great and the fries are even better!

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On my list to try: 

+ Allswell //

+ Brooklyn Bowl //

+ River Cafe //

+ Peter Lugers //

+ Diner //

 

PS. If you haven’t see my San Fran To Do and San Fran Bites/Cocktails guides, check ’em out!

 

1st image borrowed from here.

Marinating

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I am a carnivore. I eat a lot of meat (something I should probably cut down on). One thing I do love (hey, it’s the Greek in me) is a perfect leg of lamb. The way my mom cooks it and most importantly marinates it is perfect and so so good. Last weekend, I asked her to give me some pointers on how to properly marinate a leg of lamb so that is can be really juicy & yummy. We prepped the Greekster leg of lamb together, and here’s what I learned:

Ingredients to use:

  • 1 Leg of Lamb
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • 20 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 lemons
  • Olive Oil
  • White Wine
  • Butter

Instructions:

1. Cut small incisions into parts of the lamb and add a garlic clove (depending on incision size) a pinch of salt, pepper and fresh oregano. Keep repeating until entire lamb is fully marinated. This is so that the lamb absorbs all of the flavors.

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2. Freshly squeeze fresh lemon into a bowl

3. Add fresh lemon into already cut incisions and all over the lamb

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4. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a quarter cup of white wine on top of the lamb

5. Add a few dabs of butter on top of the lamb to finish marinating

 

PS. Here are a few more c’est moi natasha favorite Greek recipes – Fava Dip & Gemista!

Music Thursday ~ No.7

I’ve never had allergies before but this season, I’ve been sneezing and sniffling ever since the looks of spring started to come about. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older? Who knows. Anyways, enough about that. So lately I’ve had this urge to “keep doing better” since I am ultimately the one in control of my own world. Whether it’s working out, my 9-5 job or my personal life – I just want to keep killin’ it. This song has been one of those “motivating” songs I’ve been listening to so I thought it was perfect to share this Thursday since it ties in with exactly how I’ve been feeling lately.

Happy Thursday and keep on killin’ it this week!

PS. Have you checked out my new video? How about Music Thursday No.6?

As Of Late

I’m changing it up a bit today. Instead of writing about what I’ve been up to lately, I put a together a video of a few random snippets from this past month. Here it goes – a day in the life of c’est moi natasha as of late. Hope you like it!!

6 Things French People Find Weird

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My cousin and his fiancé (newly engaged!!) came to visit NYC all the way from France this past week. It was amazing getting to see him because it had been over five years since we’ve seen each other. Yes, a very very long time. Our mom’s, sisters, made sure that we spent a lot of time together growing up (we saw each other at least once a year, keep in mind we’ve always lived in different countries) so we’ve been very close. I am planning a short trip to France in June, so this time around instead of saying our see ya never goodbye, it was more of a see ya lata goodbye.

Christian and his fiancé explored NYC this past week in it’s entirety. I have never seen such a precise tourist schedule/plan before. Tonight, was their very last night in the city so we got together for one last cocktail or two to reflect and chat about their week’s adventures. Naturally, I was very curious about what they found super weird about NYC and what they found super cool too. Check it out, it’s pretty interesting!

6 things French people find weird:

  1. Chicken and Waffles
  2. Tipping
  3. Not having to input a pin number once you pay with a credit/debit card at a restaurant (something you have to do in France)
  4. Segregated (men/women) changing rooms
  5. Very few PTO days
  6. “To stay” at a restaurant still means a lot of food items are wrapped up

6 things French people find cool:

  1. Bagels with lots of cream cheese
  2. So many sports (baseball, basketball, football, soccer) to watch and root for at all times
  3. Brunch
  4. NYC residents being very friendly to tourists (no sarcasm)
  5. McDonalds American breakfast (sausage, hash browns, pancakes, burrito, eggs)
  6. Squirrels

 

PS. Check out 5 Passover Lessons & 10 Spring Cleaning Tips

Dog Walking Chic

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As I was scrolling through my twitter feed, I read a Harper’s Bazaar tweet about Amal Clooney’s pretty chic dog walking outfit as she was out and about on a stroll with George. Could you be more perfect, Amal? It made me start to wonder, are there a lot of chic dog walkers out there? Would I / could I be a chic dog walker? I am not a big dog person to begin with – I know what you are thinking, no sushi and no dogs Natasha? I never grew up with a dog though, so what’s a girl to do?!

BUT if I did have a dog, I would want/need to look as chic as possible while walking him or her. Here are a few dog walking chic inspired looks to start off your Tuesday.

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Images Borrowed 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5