Friday Faves: The 3 coolest things I did in NYC

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Good morning Loves. I am back from my week-long trip to NYC and I am coming back with some awesome memories, 3 very cool experiences and a whole bunch of really great stuff – including a cold.  I was under the weather for two days of my trip and at $200 a night I wasn’t happy to be stuck in my hotel room.  But hey, it is what it is.

Now I’m home, feeling a little bit better and ready to share all of my great experiences with you.

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore New York City.  Along with hitting up my favourite shopping spots such as Canal Street and eating at my favourite restaurants such as Magnolia Bakery and Ray’s Pizza, this trip I tried 3 new experiences and they were all totally awesome.

Before I tell you what they are, let me give you three hints:

The first one was very quiet and a little bit dark. Totally vague, I know.

The second one was awesome and delicious.

The third one let me dance the night away with my favourite songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

OK so what do you think I did in NYC this past week???

The American Museum of Natural History

Total cost $22 for an afternoon of total fun, interesting facts and some really great pics.

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I went to the Cake Boss Cafe at 42nd and 8th

Buddy wasn’t there, but I did take a photo with his cardboard cut out. Total cost $7 for a cannoli and a cupcake.

Cake Boss CakeBoss1

We went to see Motown the Musical on Broadway

Tickets were $100 and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house – except when we were all standing up dancing in the streets. Did you get the reference?

Motown Motown1

More fun pics of me at the museum and my family:

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What is the coolest thing (experience) you have ever done?

Love Always,

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Awesome Things To Do in NYC for Cheap

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Good morning Loves.  Three weeks I gave a friend some advice about fun things to do in NYC for free. Well, I’m happy to say that he is back from his long weekend New York and he had a great time with his fiance and their friends.

Over the last few weeks I received a few emails from other readers who wanted more tips on fun things to do in NYC.  One reader asked – What can I do in New York if I don’t mind spending some money?

Well, I’m so glad you asked. I am off to NYC this Thursday for a 5 day vacation and I am happy to share what’s on my list-to-do in NYC.

NYC can definitely be an expensive city, but it doesn’t have to be.  If you don’t mind spending money – but you don’t want to spend too much – here are some other awesome things to do in NYC.  Come on Loves…Let’s help a fellow reader out with some ideas of fun things to do.

Awesome Things To Do In NYC That Are Worth The Cost:

- Spend the Day at Coney Island.  Contrary to popular belief, Coney Island is not only an amusement park, it’s an entire neighbourhood in Brooklyn.  If you want to spend a day outside hop on You can spend all day at the beach on the boardwalk.  Food and amusements are only as expensive as you let them be.  You can visit the NY Aquarium for only $10.

- See a Broadway Show.  I love the theatre and whenever I’m in New York City I always try to see a musical.  I like to book my show tickets on Broadway.com because they usually offer great discounts.  Last April I saw Mary Poppins for only $59. When you get out of the theatre you are in the middle of Times Square…what can be better than that.

- Visit The Museums. I know that everyone loves the Museum of Modern Art, but I love the American Museum of Natural History, mostly because I love animals.  I absolutely adore the upper Westside of New York City and the American Museum of Natural History is right in the heart of it. The entry fee is approximately $20 per museum but some have free admission on Friday afternoons.  New York City has a Museum of Sex…I’ve never been, but I’m sure it’s interesting – admission is $17.50.

- Walk through a Street Sale.  Every Sunday a ton of streets in Manhattan close down for traffic and vendors set up for a street sale.  It’s a great way to spend the afternoon because there is a little bit of everything from food and fresh lemondade to jewelry and clothes.  Some of my favourite items that I bought at a street sale in NYC are a floral scarf for $5 and a black stone ring, also for $5. I have seen street sales all around Manhattan from Grand Central Station (42nd and Park Ave) to Chelsea (26th and 6th Ave)

Let’s help a reader out…What is your favourite thing to do in New York City?

Love Always,

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Fun Things To Do in NYC for Free

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Good morning Loves and Happy Labour Day.  I hope that you are all enjoying this long weekend.  As you know I absolutely LOVE New York City.  I try to visit as often as my schedule – and my budget – permit.  The last time I went to NYC was in May for SELF Workout in the Park and I am so excited that in exactly one month from today I will be in NYC again.

My next trip to New York City is especially special because I will be there to celebrate my 33rd birthday on October 9.  I am taking a glorious 10 days off work to take some me time and travel around the East Coast.  I am following my trip to NYC with two days in Philadelphia and two more days in Washington D.C.  So Obama get ready, I’m on my way.

This past week I received an email from a friend – and long time reader of My Diary Entry – who is in New York City this weekend and wanted some ideas of fun things to do, fun things that don’t cost a lot of money. Here is his note:

Hey girl, can I ask you for some advice ? I am going to New York this weekend from Friday to Monday with another couple and it’s their first time in Ney York. Any suggestions for fun things to do that are within a reasonable budget?

There is so much to do in NYC that I didn’t even know where to start, so in true Tahnya Kristina fashion I made a list.  I like to plan my trips with different activities in different neighbourhoods, this way every thing I do brings new scenery in a new part of the city.

Fun Things To Do In NYC for Free:

1. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s an experience in itself, the bridge is made of wood and it’s not as scary as you may think.  Trust me, I’m afraid of heights and I did it…twice.  The Brooklyn Bridge is a subway stop, but you can also get off at City Hall.  When you get off the bridge in Brooklyn take a cab to Junior’s Cheesecake and have some lunch.

2. Spend the Day in Central Park.  Start at The Plaza (5th Ave and Central Park) and walk your way into upper New York.  You can go East or West and either way you won’t be disappointed.  Cut out of Central Park and admire the brownstones, shops and bookstores of two awesome New York neighbourhoods.

3. Talk a Walk.  You don’t even really need to plan activities in NYC because walking in the city is an activity in itself.  Whether you are walking along 5th Avenue or through the posh Upper Eastside or downtown near Canal Street New York is always awesome. Pick a subway station, get off and just take a walk.  If you are walking around all day, don’t forget your healthy snacks.

4. Or Take The Ferry.  The Staten Island Ferry is totally free and it gives you a great view of The Statue of Liberty.  You can get there by Subway at the South Ferry station or the Bowling Green station.  It takes 30 minutes to get from Manhattan to Staten Island by Ferry and 30 minutes to get back.  When you get off the Staten Island Ferry in Manhattan you will be right downtown so you can visit Wall Street, The World Trade Center, Battery Park or the Southside Sea Port.

Did I miss anything?

What is your favourite thing to do in New York City?

Love Always,

Photo by SarahA.

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Amazing what we can learn on vacation in Niagara Falls

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Good evening Loves. I hope you all had a lovely weekend, I have to say that my tan is coming along quite nicely this year. Last night on Facebook I promised to post pics from my recent vacation to Niagara Falls and I am a woman of my word.

I had a really great time during our five days in Niagara Falls and to my surprise I learned a lot. I loved spending five days playing arcade games and gazing at the amazing water – but my five days of fun came with a hefty price tag.

Did you know???

Niagara Falls has not yet discovered the paper toilet seat cover – this makes squatting in public restrooms a challenge, but my thighs are forever thankful.

There is not much to do in Niagara Falls that doesn’t cost money.  The city is full of arcades, haunted houses, mini golf courses and outlet shopping – I bought a brand new set of dishes for only $40! If you want to walk around and enjoy a city full of life then Niagara Falls is not the place for you.  If you want to have a fun filled vacation full of activities that take you back to your childhood then book your summer vacation in Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls does not have any four star hotels – at least not on Priceline.com.  My stay at the Days Inn was, shall we say, interesting.  I am not a travel snob, all I really need is a convenient, safe, clean place to rest my head at night – a hotel’s luxury is just an added bonus. Niagara Falls was definitely different from my normal Hilton digs in downtown NYC.

Dining was not cheap – it cost $30 for breakfast. There are no little corner mom and pop restaurants or food trucks in Niagara Falls. We ate good food but it was all from national restaurant chains such as Applebee’s, IHOP, Denny’s and TGI Fridays.

If someone tells you that Niagara Falls is the Canadian Las Vegas they are lying. I went to Vegas in January and trust me when I say that nothing compares to Vegas.

Here are some more pics:

Me and Katy Perry at the wax museum.

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Accepting my Oscar at the MGM store.

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Finally…I got to meet the Obamas!  Well, the wax version.

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Playing dinasour mini golf, it reminded me of the movie Ice Age.

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I (almost) met Bethenny Frankel

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Good morning Loves,

Well, I am back from my trip to New York City and as always I am a little bit sad. NYC is such a great city and I am always sad to leave. I try to visit NYC as often as my schedule – and my budget – permits because there is just so much to do and no two trips are ever the same.

What is the one city that you just can’t live without?

This time I went to NYC for SELF Workout in the Park.  It was a full day fitness event with classes by Crunch gym and lots and lots of healthy living swag.  In between yoga, dance and sexy stretching classes I snacked on salads and enjoyed a facial and massage from Garnier.  I came home with Victoria’s Secret workout gear, snacks from and of course the new issue of SELF magazine.

My favourite workout was the 90’s dance cardio routine with 2 Fly. These two white girls can really work it out – and to Bell Biv Devoe.  It was the perfect end to an awesome day at SELF Workout in the Park.

What was the best part of SELF Workout in the Park?

Bethenny Frankel made a guest appearance and for the entire 45 seconds of her speech I was in total awe.  Technically I have never met Bethenny, but for some reason I feel like I know her. I have watched Bethenny grow her business from being on The Apprentice with Martha Stewart to having it all with Bethenny Ever After. Personal Confession: I never liked this Jason either!

Bethenny’s signature brand Skinnygirl Daily had a booth at the event and the lovely ladies in red were handing out energizing snacks. It was great to actually see her in person and hear her speak.  Just in case you are wondering – Yes! She is really THAT skinny in real life.

PS – Bethenny if you are reading this (LOL) I am not a crazy stalker, I am just a huge fan!

Check out some pics from my day at SELF Workout in the Park:

 

 

Love Always,

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Friday Faves: The top 4 attractions in Las Vegas

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The primary reason for my trip to Las Vegas was to escape the cold Canadian winter because I had a little bit of time off while in between jobs.  But as an added bonus I went to a media/blogging conference while I was out there. Oh and I saw Dennis Rodman at Planet Hollywood…score!

If you follow me on Twitter – and I’m sure you do because you are awesome – you know that I had a great time in Vegas and you have already seen some of my pictures.  But for those of you who don’t (yet) follow me on Twitter or may have missed my tweet pics here you go!

Have a great weekend everyone; be sure to check My Diary on Monday for tips about how to feel skinner before you go to bed.

My 4 favorite things to do in Las Vegas:

1. The Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.  The cost is $18 for admission but it is totally worth it.  There are sharks, exotic fish, sting rays (which you can touch) and jellyfish.  There is even a komodo dragon and an anaconda to see.  You get to walk through an underground tunnel (yes just like the scene in Jaws 3 at Sea World) as the sharks swim over you and all around you.  It should definitely a must do on your Las Vegas list.

2. Peep Show at Planet Hollywood.  This is a Las Vegas show that turns your favourite fairy tales into a musical.  Little Bo Peep takes a journey through her dream as she is on a quest to find the perfect man.  With a little guidance from red riding hood and the three little pigs Little Bo Peep gets the confidence (and sexiness) she needs to find the man of her dreams.

This show stars Coco from the reality TV show Ice Loves Coco and Josh Strickland from the reality TV show Holly’s world.  PS – I sent Josh a tweet after the show and he actually tweeted me back! Tickets for this show usually start at $80 but I purchased mine for only $45 with Tix for Tonight. So I saw an amazing show at half price, thank you Las Vegas.  There is some partial nudity in Peep Show so brace yourself for that – it was a total shock to me!

3. Eli Roth’s Goretorium.  I went to this Las Vegas style haunted house because all conference attendees were offered a free ticket.  To my surprise it was really fun, of course it was scary but I had a good time as I screamed all the way through it.  The Goretorium is an interactive haunted house with live actors, a tour guide and news breaking real life Vegas story to set it all off.  The tour through the multi-storey haunted house takes approximately 30 minutes and I believe that the regular ticket price is $30.

4. The roller coaster at New York New York Hotel and Casino. This was a new attraction last time I was in Las Vegas and unfortunately I did not get a chance to ride it so this time I made a point to buy a ticket. It costs $14 to ride the roller coaster and if you want to ride it a second time in the same day the ticket is half price.  You have not seen Las Vegas until you have seen it from 1000 feet in the air. Good times!

Love Always.

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I’m in Vegas Baby

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I am in sunny Las Vegas for the Blog World new media expo conference.  The blog conference is only a few days but I decided to extend my stay for 6 days in an effort to escape the cold winter weather and take advantage of everything that the west coast has to offer.  I am definitely looking forward to having dinner with friends and spending some relaxing time by the pool.

I have been to Las Vegas many times but I have never been to Vegas with friends or on my own.  I went to Las Vegas with my parents and I went to Vegas with my dad on my 21st birthday…but that was 11 years ago. So I think that I’m due to check out all of the new sights and attractions that Las Vegas has to offer.

This time I am staying on Freemont Street which is in downtown Las Vegas that will be a new experience for me because my entire Vegas experience has always been confined to the strip.  If you have a favourite restaurant, shopping spot or a favourite something to do in Las Vegas send me a Tweet because I’d love to hear about it.  I have a mini to do list but there is always room for more.

My Las Vegas To Do List:

- Ride the roller coaster at the New York New York hotel

- Go to L.A. for a day and visit Universal Studios (it’s only a 4 hour bus ride from Las Vegas)

- Check out the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

- Do a little shopping at the Miracle Mile shops (Barnes and Noble, Sephora and of course American Eagle)

- Gamble a little bit (You will find me at the craps table or playing black jack)

- Stay tuned for lots and lots of pics from my trip to Las Vegas.

Love Always.

Photo by danquella

 

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26 Days Later…I Ate Pizza

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Last month I decided to give up eating pizza for one year in honour of next year’s BlogHer conference being held in Chicago.  I have always wanted to visit Chicago and I also have a nasty little habit of eating pizza a couple of (sometimes even several) times throughout any given week.  Therefore in anticipation of eating some of the best pizza in the continental U.S. next summer I decided to give up eating pizza until I visit Chicago for the BlogHer conference. The first two weeks of my no pizza mission was definitely difficult because pizza is an easy meal to eat on the go; between work and school I am always on the go.

By some miraculous event brought on by the pizza gods themselves, this past weekend I found myself in Chicago and I couldn’t resist the temptation to finally eat a Chicago deep dish pizza.  On Sunday night my return flight from Denver, Colorado to Montreal was overbooked, and I was in turn booked on a connecting flight through the city of Chicago.  I had one and a half hours at the Chicago airport; in this short period of time I managed to eat a Chicago hot (veggie) dog from America’s Dog and a deep dish pizza from Reggio’s Pizza.  Let me tell you that food never tasted so good.

Now that I know how great Chicago deep dish pizza actually tastes, I have something else to look forward to when I visit Chicago next summer for BlogHer.  I don’t feel bad about breaking my “no pizza mission” because my goal was to give up pizza for one year until next summer when I visit Chicago.  Since I was able to visit Chicago 11 months early I decided not to wait.

Due to the fact that I am really excited about visiting Chicago next summer and thanks to the wonders of Social Media, I found a Chicago restaurant owner named Billy Dec on Twitter and I asked him where to find the best deep dish pizza in Chicago. He re-tweeted my question to his 28,000+ Tweeps and it seems like there are two must-eat restaurants for deep dish pizza in Chicago;  Gino’s East and Lou Malnati’s I will see you both next summer.

In an effort to make healthier food choices and in an effort to actually finish something that I started, I have decided to continue with my “no pizza mission” until next summer.  I also added a few things to my list; in addition to not eating pizza for a year I have also given up eating French fries and ice cream.

Keep reading My Diary Entry for updates on my “no pizza, no French fries, and no ice cream mission.” A little side note – I am already having cravings for ice cream and it’s only been three days.

If you want to see more pics from my Denver/Chicago trip check out my album on Facebook (Tahnya Kristina).  I promise to accept your friend request.

Love Always,

 

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I am on my way to Denver, Colorado

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Good Morning. As you read this post I am off to Denver, Colorado for a work-vacation.  I am taking a four day vacation to Denver, Colorado to attend my second official blogging conference.  You may remember that last month I went to NYC to attend BlogHer.  I loved the experience so much that I have decided to do it again.  For the next three days I will be in Denver learning how to use my blog writing to further my career as a hopeful author and how to get my blogging noticed by the main stream media.  I have never been to Colorado and I am excited to spend the next four days learning about blogging and exploring the city of Denver.  My travel book for this trip is White Girl Problems by Babe Walker, it’s supposed to be very funny…I’ll let you know.

I will post lots of pics next week.  If you have been to Denver send me a tweet @TKBlogs and let me know where I should go/eat/shop in Denver.

Tomorrow is the first My Diary Entry giveaway in a series of several giveaways throughout the month of September.  I won’t tell you what it is, but I will tell you that it’s totally awesome.

OK I know the excitement is killing you so I will give you three hints.  If you guess what it is you will be entered to win.

Friday Giveaway Hint #1: It can be used by yourself or with “a friend”.

Friday Giveaway Hint #2: It can be used over and over again.

Friday Giveaway Hint #3: I discovered this company and these products on my recent trip to NYC at BlogHer. 

BONUS HINT:If we are friends on Facebook check out my pics from BlogHer, if we are not yet friends on Facebook then send me a request (I promise to accept).

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think it is.  All comments will be entered to win. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s post to see if you guessed it right.

Love Always,

Photo by Loco Steve

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4 Tips For Your Next Business Trip

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Last weekend I attended the annual BlogHer conference in New York City; I had a wonderful time and I want to share my experience with others.  I met some amazing people, I discovered some great new products, and I learned a lot about treating my blog as a business and branding myself as a professional writer.

In the past I have attended several business conferences for my regular 9 to 5 job in personal finance, but those conferences were always very structured with a fixed schedule; I have never attended a freelance conference like BlogHer before last weekend.

I learned a lot about blogging and about branding myself at BlogHer, but I also learned a lot about attending a conference as an individual as oppose to as an employee.

Keep these 4 Tips in Mind on your next Business Trip

1. Set Personal Goals.  Why are you going to the conference or trade show and what do you want to achieve while you are there?  At BlogHer I wanted to make connections with people who could be potential resources or employers.  I also wanted to learn about branding myself and using my blog as a new business.

2. Dress Comfortably.  Conferences and Trade Shows are 3-4 days of absolute chaos.  The hectic schedule is definitely worth the networking opportunities, but it’s chaos nevertheless.  The key to surviving 3 days of conference learning, smiling, hand-shaking, and note-taking is to dress comfortably.  Dress professionally, but comfortably at the same time.  Flat shoes with a nice summer dress, jeans with a blazer, or your favourite skirt with a cardigan are all professional and comfortable outfits.  Men can wear polo shirts and slacks or a darker shade of jeans.

3. Always Bring Enough Business Cards.  It was surprising to me how many people ran out of business cards by the third day of BlogHer.  When you are attending a conference or trade show you should always have tons of business cards with you at all times.  It’s better to bring too many business cards rather than not have enough to last until the end of the conference.  Always keep them close and easily accessible because you will be handing them out left and right.  After all you are at the conference to make contacts.

4. Make Some Time to Enjoy the Location.  For some people the only time that they get the chance to travel throughout the year is to attend a conference or a trade show, this is why it’s important to take some time to relax and enjoy or explore the conference location.  This year BlogHer was in New York City, but next year it’s in Chicago. I am so excited to visit Chicago because I have never been and I have always wanted to go.

Love Always,

Photo by vizzual

 

 

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