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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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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Baking for a Cause with The American Cancer Society

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I am not going to lie, I have never really been a girl who likes to spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen becuase it’s very time consuming and I am not a huge fan of washing dishes.  However my new life plan to get fit by making healthier food choices and exercising on a regular basis has encouraged me to spend more time in the kitchen; surprisingly enough I actually like it.  I find time in my daily routine to cook at least 4 dinners every week and on Sundays I try to bake something.

I actually love baking because it makes my apartment smell great and it’s a really relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  When the American Cancer Society asked me to share one of my favourite recipes for their A Healthier Holiday Table initiative I was more than happy to do so and I immediately knew which recipe I wanted to share…Hello Low Fat Banana Bread!

Eat Healthy with The American Cancer Society

I met the good folks of The American Cancer Society last summer when I attended BlogHer’12 in New York City; it is a good cause that is near and dear to my heart.  Over 4 years ago I lost my best friend Kevin to cancer and since then my life has never been the same.

Thanks to my new friends from The American Cancer Society I have learned a lot about how your diet can affect/reduce your risk of getting cancer. For instance studies have shown that eating large amounts of processed meat increases the risk of stomach cancers; all the more reason to join me on the vegetarian wagon. Eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies every day can help prevent your risks of cancers, and drinking more than 1 alcoholic drink per day increases the risk of mouth, liver, breast and colon cancer.

5 Reasons Why I Love Banana Bread:

- There is a low fat option

- You can eat it with tea or coffee for breakfast

- You can eat it with fruit for a snack

- You can eat it as dessert after a meal

- You can eat it on the go

I used the Joy of Baking Low Fat Banana Bread Recipe and made a few minor changes.  The recipe is easy to bake and your home will be filled with the scents of bananas and brown sugar. YUM! If you decide to bake Banana Bread I would love to see your pics. Enjoy!

You Will Need:

1 cup (240 ml) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large   bananas)1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 cup (120 ml) low-fat plain yogurt1/4 cup (60 ml) canola, vegetable, or corn oil3/4 cup (165 grams) light brown sugar

1 large egg or 2 large (60 grams) egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla   extract

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (65 grams) whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the baking soda and yogurt. Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the batter.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg or egg whites, and vanilla.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt.

Then combine the banana mixture with the oil mixture and then add to the flour mixture. Stir just until all the ingredients are moistened. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 – 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Love Always,

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