Living free because Jesus Christ chose me. Wife to Anthony, mom to Samuel. Love reading, blogging, crafting & cooking! Sac State MA alumni, passionate about life.


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Entries in NYC (8)


Liza's Homemade Brownies

A few weeks ago I participated in the 2nd Annual Ultimate Blog Swap. I shared a recipe for homemade brownies on another blogger's site. I wanted to post the recipe here for all of you to see too.

When Anthony and I were in New York City we met David & Liza and their kids. They are family friends my cousins met while they lived in Brazil. David & Liza opened their home to us and Liza served the most delicious brownies. She said they were really easy and generously gave me the recipe.

Liza's original recipe called for a doctored-up brownie mix. I decided to use her fancy extras for a batch of brownies made from scratch. It took me four tries to perfect the brownies (hopefully our waistlines won't suffer)! They really are easy once you have a recipe to follow.

Liza's Homemade Brownies

(adapted from Suzanne's Best Brownies)


  • 10 tbsp. Butter, unsalted (1 1/4 sticks)

  • 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. unsweetened Cocoa Powder

  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

  • 2 large Eggs and 1 Egg Yolk

  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 (10-12 oz.) bag Chocolate Chips (I used semisweet, use whatever you'd like)

  • 1 cup Pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray. You'll also need a 9 x 13 pan for a water bath.

Combine the butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a heat proof bowl or double-boiler pan. Melt over simmering hot water, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let the water boil or the chocolate might burn. When the butter is melted and the chocolate is smooth, remove from heat. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

If you used a double-boiler, pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Using a wooden spoon, add the vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring in between each addition.

Once the batter is shiny, add the flour and mix just until combined. Stir the entire mixture for about a minute with the wooden spoon. Add the chocolate chips and pecans. Pour the mixture into the 8 x 8 pan.

Place the 8 x 8 pan in the 9 x 13 pan. Add hot water to the larger pan, enough that it covers most of the smaller pan. Be very careful transferring the pans to and from the oven.

Bake for 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the brownie pan from the water bath and set on a wire rack to cool. The top of the brownies will be crisp and the inside will be moist. A perfect combination. Liza recommends freezing the brownies and serving with ice cream. We prefer to eat them right out of the pan.



Mint Julep - Lower East Side, NYC

When we were in New York City, I stumbled across the cutest clothing boutique while we waited for our breakfast at the Pink Pony. Both of these places were on Ludlow Street located in the Lower East Side, Manhattan.

Along this street, Anthony also found Ludlow Guitars. Ludlow is also home to Caffe Vita & Via Tribunali. One street, six different amazing places. Something like this would only happen in New York City!

The Mint Julep caught my attention with it's mint green sign and display window. I'm not really a shopper, but I do like looking at nice things. So, I popped in and met Haley. She was friendly and helpful, something I truly appreciated. 

The Mint Julep has three locations, this one in NYC and two in Massachusetts. This store has been on Ludlow Street for about 4 years and had quite the inventory of designer clothes.

Much to my surprise, Haley informed me that the clothes were primarily from designers found guessed it, California!

In addition to all of the clothes, they also had lots of purses and accessories. I vividly remember an adorable scarf with elephants on it that I would have purchased, had I not found a pretty blouse instead!

The counter has lots of accessories! You can imagine it was hard for me to only buy one thing while I was inside. 

I loved how the store wasn't too crowded, but at the same time had a large selection of items to explore. The best part for someone like me who doesn't live in New York City though, is the Mint Julep's online store!

Thanks again Haley for your wonderful customer service and beautiful smile!

*This is not a sponsored post, although it might sound like one! I just really loved this store.

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Happy Kat Purse Giveaway!


Magnolia Bakery, NYC

Anthony was the one who said we should visit the Magnolia Bakery in Rockefeller Center, NYC. I unfortunately did not even know about it. Some baker/sugar lover I am!

We went on a Sunday night and it was pretty empty inside. The employees said this wasn't the norm. And having eaten their delicious cupcakes and cheesecake, I know why. They bake amazing treats.

There were many reasons I liked this bakery. First of all, the employees were incredibly helpful and nice. Second, the employee who greeted us told us to go to the counter and ask for a sample of their Famous Banana Cream Pie. Seriously, HEAVEN!

Third, there were at least 3 banners/pennants/garlands hanging as decorations. And you know how much I love pennants!

Fourth, their speciality is dessert. Dessert is the main reason I watch what I eat and am mindful of my eating choices. That way I can enjoy dessert without gaining weight.

Well enough of my blabbing on and on. Here are the pictures I took of the bakery. Enjoy. (I'm copying this formatting idea from my Hubster, it's how he does all of his picture posts!)

Linking up with Carissa for:


Guest Post: Haven's Kitchen, NYC

I'm thrilled to have my hubster, Anthony Price guest posting for the first time today! Although, he helps with the majority of my posts, he has never guest posted. We both had a wonderful time in New York City and Washington, DC and he has been documenting our trip on his blog. When I saw this post he wrote about Haven's Kitchen, I asked if he would share it here. A giant welcome to my husband and go check his site out when you have a few minutes. He takes some amazing photos!

One of the days we were in NYC we happened walk by this shop called Haven's Kitchen. We stepped through the door and Malisa was in culinary heaven! While we were at the counter ordering a little cheese biscuit, we found out this space hosts cooking classes, private events and sells speciality foods and tools. We would have ordered coffee but we had Blue Bottle not long before.

Malisa spent a while looking at all their kitchen gadgets while Michael and I sat at one of the tables to rest. There were many things she wanted to buy but knowing the weight/space restrictions we would have flying back to Calfornia, she walked out with only a fancy little jar of rock salt. 

We weren't there long but it was good to see Malisa excited over something she loves to do, cook!

Here are a few photos, enjoy!


Weekly Roundup

Hello Friends, 

It's been a while since I've done a weekly roundup, so I thought today would be a perfect day to do so. Here are a few posts that I've enjoyed recently. Click on over to the posts, you'll be glad you did!

  • Anthony has been blogging about our trip to New York City. He posted 3 different coffee shops we went to and enjoyed. The first shop Blue Bottle Coffee is here on the West Coast, specifically San Francisco. The second post is about Stumptown Coffee, who are in Portland, OR. And the third, Caffe Vita was our favorite find. And guess what? They have stores on the West Coast too! I think it's really funny that all of the coffee shops we loved in NYC were West Coast based. 
  • Rebecca wrote an article about "Helping a Friend Through Pregnancy Loss or Grief" and I cannot express how much I appreciate this post. When a dear, dear friend of mine had a miscarriage two years ago, I did not know what to say. So I did what I thought was best. Nothing. Looking back, I know this was not the best idea. I've always been afraid to say something dumb or insensitive, however Rebecca's thoughts have given me a few tools to use in the future (sadly, if that happens again to someone).
  • Alicia shared a recipe for Morning Glory Muffins that sounds super healthy and delicious. I can't wait to try them! A side note: each week she hosts Try New Adventures Thursday and it's a way for her to be more interesting and help others along the way. 
  • Ashlee is a local Sacramentan. Recently, I was flipping through a magazine and saw a two page spread highlighting her maternity fashion. Very cute! She wrote about Comparison and how she's planning to take 24 hours a week to unplug. Yikes. I wonder if I could even do this? She challenged her readers to do the same. 

What have you been reading lately? I am in need of some crafty ideas, do you have any suggestions?


Five Minute Friday: Loud

I'm joining The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday. This is when we write for 5 minutes without over-thinking or changing what we've written. Lisa-Jo provides the word and other writers link up their "word-of-the-day" posts. I think my writing is getting better because of this free-style exercise! Today's word is: LOUD.

(Start time)

We just got back from a trip to New York City. NYC is the city that never sleeps. It is also the city that is totally loud. Before I write these prompts, I usually look at Lisa-Jo's site and see what the word is. I read the word only and then think about what I might say. Last night I saw that today's word was loud. I told that to Anthony. He immediately said, "Subways are loud." I started going through pictures this morning.

Lots of places we visited in NYC were loud but it wasn't just the volume.

Times Square is loud visually and mentally. There are billboards and flashing signs everywhere. Wherever you look there is a giant ad screaming at you: LOOK AT ME!

When we went to Ellis Island, we paid to get the headphone tour. The tour prompted you to stand in the middle of the great room upstairs where all of the people went to be checked. It was loud in that room.

The subways were loud. When the trains came barreling down the tracks, they were even louder.

We visited Grand Central Station. It was loud and there was a constant movement. I don't even know if the trains were coming or going, but the people sure were.

So when I might be tempted to think that loud is everywhere, the place that I often think of it is my mind. I want to be the opposite of loud (quiet) so that I might hear what the quiet voice of Jesus is saying to me.


Happily linking with to:


Empire State Building & The Kings College

We got to go to the Empire State Building two times during our trip to NYC. Once, we went to the bottom two floors to see the campus of The Kings College, where Michael goes to school. The second time we got to go up to the 86th floor look out. Since Michael goes to school there, he flashed his ESB badge and they let us skip an hour of lines to get to the top!

I loved going to the ESB because that's where a number of scenes from Elf and Sleepless in Seattle are filmed (I'm sure tons of other movies). Photo credit on all of these pictures goes to Anthony or Michael. Thanks guys.

(Anthony & me)

(Michael & me)

Have you ever been to the Empire State Building? What are your thoughts on being so far off the ground?


Back from Vacation

Hello Friends!

(Anthony & me)

We have just returned from a wonderful vacation to New York City and Washington, DC. Let me give you a few numbers about our travels:

  • We were gone for 9 days
  • We flew 5,042 miles
  • We took 2 boat rides in the New York Harbor and Anthony didn't get (too) sick
  • I saw 3 subway rats
  • We stayed in 4 different places
  • We took a train 452 miles between NYC and DC (and back)
  • We rode in 3 taxis, 1 in New York and 2 in DC
  • We met wonderful friends who showed us hospitality I have never experienced before
  • We took countless trains in New York and DC subways
  • We drove in 2 buses in New York and 5 buses in DC
  • We walked an unknown number of miles each day
  • Anthony and I spent a lot of time together
  • We got to know my cousin Michael as an adult and true gentleman
  • We saw Mary Poppins on Broadway
  • I took 161 pictures on my iPhone
  • We were at the gates of 3 zoos but only went in to 1
  • Anthony & Michael took 56 GB of pictures and videos (1000+ photos)
  • We ate lots of amazing food, enjoyed NYC's delicious tap water and drank lots of coffee 

(Michael & me in DC)

There will be more posts about our trip, but for now we're trying to sort through all of the pictures catch up on laundry.

Have you ever been to NYC or DC? What were your impressions?