Five Things (12)

This post is brought to you by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – particularly the part where Hermione accidentally put cat hair in her polyjuice …

Next month is NaNoWriMo and I’m probably not going to do one of these Five Things posts … unless I’m in procrastination mode, then I’ll probably do quite a lot of them! 

Harlequin Teen Rocks!

This was my second Harlequin Teen event and I feel so privileged to be a part of their community! I got the opportunity to attend a wonderfully bookish event at Trump SoHo where we had a spectacular view of lower Manhattan as we heard about some new releases and received news of Julie Kagawa’s new series! I absolutely love Julie Kagawa, so being one of the first to hear the new of her new series was exciting.


Wedding, the Last

The final wedding of the season! The music was fun, the friends were awesome and the couple was radiant! I’m so glad I got to witness the joining of these two! Woot! 🙂


Oysters taste … slimy?

I tried raw oysters for the first time! I won’t call it slimy, though that’s the popular opinion, I think silky might be a better word. It was a fun experience and I loved it so much I went again the following week!

My friends and I went to the Mermaid Oyster Bar in SoHo, they have a happy hour menu and their oysters were fresh (and delicious!) I tried both the East and West Coast types… I don’t think I have a specific preference, the west coast was meatier, so perhaps more filling.

Mermaid Oyster Bar also gave us a cute little chocolate pudding dessert and a Fortune Teller Fish when we received our bill. The chocolate pudding was made with dark chocolate and was delicious! A perfect end to the meal.



I went hiking twice in October! I love walking so hiking is pretty much one of my favourite things to do. The first hike was pretty easy, we went to Mohonk and took a wrong turn and ended up at Mohonk House – which is beautiful. The second hike was Breakneck Ridge and is more rock scrambling than hiking, that was awesome!

They were two very different hikes, the first one was more relaxed pace and you could chat the entire way. The second, while you could make stops along the way took more concentration as you had to figure out how to get up and then back to the road. Both completely different, but both lovely. 🙂



The San Francisco Ballet was touring NYC and performed Cinderella – I got to see it! 🙂 It was fun and sassy! I especially loved the carriage scene – great concept!

Chistopher Wheeldon's Cinderella

image via Daniel Brodie


Five Things (11)

This post is brought to you by the fading days of summer – and Back to School season.

Summer is over, and I’m completely swamped. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I leave you five thousand words for September.

Broadway Week

20130903_184008In which I saw both Annie and Cinderella. Both were good!

Wedding the Third

20130908_161656A fun, and exhausting, but mostly spectacular wedding weekend.

That time I beat everyone at everything

20130915_113350Spent some cousin time, bowling and laser tag!  (and beating them in both)

San Gennaro Festival 

20130918_133951Ate so much while walking through the festival with friends and workmates.

Five months of cycling

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 6.34.32 AMI feel pretty good about myself right now.


Five Things (10)

These five things are brought to you by all that jazz!

The bee’s knees and the cat’s meow! 

Twice a year, Governor’s Island takes a step back in time to the era of flappers, speakeasies and jazz. Michael Arenella & his Dreamland Orchestra throw a 1920s themed party where men and women dress up in their 1920s rags and picnic on Governor’s Island lawn. This year I got to partake in the celebration.

I didn’t go in costume even though I purchased a dress from Modcloth for the event. I decided that I didn’t like it and ended up sending it back the week before. I did buy a cloche hat from Modcloth, and I had my pearls, so I felt a bit in the spirit of things. To be quite honest, I felt a little underdressed for the event, so many people went all out, I was impressed!

I took a picnic – fruits, cheese and crackers – with me and my friend and I had a feast! We got a spot close to the dance floor and spent a few hours eating, chatting, people watching and having an all around good time. I’m so happy I went, I almost didn’t, ALMOST, but in the end I am so happy I did go! It was exciting, there was a contagious excitement in the air. I am looking forward to next year, I hope to attend both sessions.


Wedding, the first

The first wedding of the season happened on the first weekend in August and I caught the bouquet. It was a sweet ceremony, the food was delicious, the bride was gorgeous and the groom was dashingly handsome, and there was a lot of dancing with friends, overall it was a fun time!

I didn’t mean to catch the bouquet. I was hiding out in the back, minding my own business, when it came flying through the air at me. I stepped out of the way and it landed with a thud on the floor. I looked around and no one was picking it up so I did, unthinkingly, and tried to hand it off. No one would take it, so I was left with it.


Wedding, the second

The next wedding happened the following week, in Wyoming. To get to Cheyenne we flew into Denver and then drove to Cheyenne. The morning of the wedding we ran the 3K in support of breast cancer. I didn’t run the entire way, but when I was running I didn’t feel winded at all, which in itself is a success. The wedding happened that evening, and it was a great time. I enjoyed hanging out with old and new friends, we had some fun times in the city.

Cheyenne is really fun! There was a farmer’s market that day, so after the run a few of us ventured into the farmers market and I came away with some jam, tea and a taste of the best organic, grass fed, real cow meat I’ve tasted – ever.

Oh, did I mention that I got me some cowgirl boots?


632 on Hudson

I attended a networking event at 632 on Hudson, the food was catered by Gotham Bar and Grill – it was delicious – but the place was the best! The place was amazing. So beautifully laid out, each room had a different feel to it but it worked. I spent some time on the roof with my coworker, chatting and enjoying the view. It was a lovely time, I’m so glad I got the opportunity to attend.

Showers galore!

Along with all the weddings comes showers and I got the opportunity to plan and implement my friend, J’s, shower! It was supposed to happen outside, but with the threat of rain we moved it indoors.

I like event planning, I like coming up with ideas and seeing them come together so it was a lot of fun for me planning this event. But, at the same time I grew to appreciate event planners. It’s a lot of hard work! There are so many little things and details that you need to consider in order for things to go out without a hitch. If I’m being honest, I must have been running on adrenaline all day long because I’m not sure how I managed to pull it off! Everything came together, everyone had a good time and in the end that made me ridiculously happy!

The party was hosted by a friend of ours, who helped a TON in the setting up! When the guests arrived, we served them drinks – I found this great virgin mimosa concoction online, and I knew my bride loved OJ but not alcohol, so it was a great find. You mix 2 parts OJ, 1 part Seltzer water and 1/4 part Elderflower syrup. The elderflower syrup is what makes the drink. I discovered this wonderfully delicious drink/syrup only this month!

We played the wedding taboo game, but instead of clothes pins or hair clips we used bangles. We also played  the he said/she said game and I got the idea to use mustaches and tiaras from a blog online. We gave away jewelry trees for the big prizes and necklaces for the smaller ones, and these gifts made the perfect – non floral – centerpieces (I have a thing about flowers off the plants).

The food was catered by a woman from the church and it was delicious. I’d recommend her to everyone! She doesn’t have a website but I can pass her information along if you want someone to cater for you.

Planning events are difficult, but seeing happy guests is rewarding. Hats off to all you party planners out there!


Five Things (9)

These five things are brought to you by the Fall in the Summer.

Sparks Fly on the 4th & Zombies Walk the Streets

I had a pretty surreal 4th of July weekend. Had a wonderful barbecue at a friend’s place (a sort of house warming event), after which we walked to the school nearby to see the fireworks. The next day I spent with a friend, just hanging out, watching World War Z (not bad but, not great) and talking about life, love and other mysteries. Finally rounding off the weekend with new jewelry, a swim in a pool and book club.

I know it seems like a pretty normal thing, but the topic of the weekend was a bit surreal and it got me prepared for the next big adventure …

Road Trips to Small Towns in Massachusetts

I went on a personal retreat with two friends. I know what you’re thinking; how is it a personal retreat when two other people are there? Well, that’s easy, the idea is to get away from the normal and do nothing, either with each other or by yourself. It’s a time to refresh.

I definitely needed to get away, to relax, to journal, to think. I did all of that and more! Coming back was hard, but at least I was at peace.

shanella retreat

Big Screens in Little Parks 

One of my favourite things to do during the Summer is to see a movie in Bryant Park. Every Monday, the park is packed with New Yorkers and visitors as they wait, on blankets or chairs, for the sun to set. At sunset the movie begins. This month I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, it was a fun time, even though it rained, even though the sounds was off, even though we were VERY FAR BACK! It’s just fun to share the time with friends.

shanella in the park

A Ferry Ride to the Island

I finally went to Governor’s Island again! After about three years! A few things have changed, but overall it’s just as I remembered it.

It was a fun day, hanging with friends as they came and went. Being on a Ferry for 30 minutes before they finally decided to move and then seeing my life flash before me as the ferry decided to dock in the same spot as another Ferry. It was quite the adventure!

They still have the bikes, so it was fun to ride around the island and see a closer view of the Statue of Liberty. They also have a new food court pavilion with Waffles and Dinges! I’m looking forward to visiting the island again, this time in 1920s garb for the Jazz Age Lawn Party!

shanella on gov island

The Great Tomato Report

I am really excited for my garden. This month I planted some peas and bought a mint plant, but the most exciting part is the number of tomatoes that keep growing! I’ve also got a lot of basil and quite frankly I don’t know what to do with them – other than smell their awesome scent.

Did I mention that I also have lavender?

Seeing my little garden makes me very happy. I did a lot of work to get it going, so much so that I was in pain for a week after digging up the ground and getting rid of old stumps! I’m so glad that tomatoes are so easy to grow! Basil too! I really cannot wait for the peas to grow, then I can make a veggie dish, using the fruit of my labour. (heh heh)

shanella garden tomatoes



Five Things (8)

These five things are brought to you by the sunny days of summer!

— Thing One —

I took a plane to Canada for my cousin’s 30th (again) surprise birthday party. His wife put it together for him and he was very surprised! It was fun hanging with my family for the weekend. I don’t get to do to Canada often because the price of tickets are often ridiculous – I mean, the flight is not even an hour, do I really need to pay 400$ for a round-trip? – and when there are folks driving up I usually cannot go due to work.

I had a great time there, the birthday was fun and the food delicious but, the best part was the cake! Not only was it delicious it was a beautiful thing to behold.


— Thing two —

I went up to a retreat at Nyack college. First off, that campus is AMAZING! The views from the campus are spectacular, the grounds are quaint and quite beautiful and the buildings are fun! The retreat was also AMAZING. I had a great time and hung out with friends and met some lovely people. It was rainy the first night, but the next day the weather was perfect. A few of us went into town and the stores in the town were so adorable! There was a bookshop called Pickwick (I know, cute!) and I wanted to go in to see if they had any Dickens. Such a lovely place, I’m so glad I went away for the weekend.


— Thing three —

I was at a conference where the speaker was talking about the power of word of mouth advertising and he mentioned a speakeasy that exists in New York where you enter in via a telephone booth inside of a hot dog shop; when I heard this I knew I had to go visit!

It was definitely an experience. They took reservations on the day off, but you had to call after 3pm! I called about 10-15 times before finally getting through and making our reservation. I think it’s a great spot for a small group of friends to relax and have a good time. I loved that it wasn’t crowded and that we were able to hear each other talk. It was strange, but it was really peaceful, I’d go back again!


— Thing four —

I have a set of pink clubs, I haven’t taken it to out in about three years – since my black car! A weekend ago I did take them out, I went with a friend and her hubby to the driving range where I attempted to teach him how to hit a golf ball. For me though, the best part of the trip was seeing that I was better than I expected. I hit the balls about 95% Of the time and got it out past the 100 mark most of the time – which is pretty amazing since I only recall barely making the 75 mark. There were a few times where I even hit it past 150! I was shocked!

I forgot how therapeutic hitting a golf ball was, I think I’ll have to do it again!

— Thing five —

When you get the right group of people, the right music and the right mood, Karaoke is pretty awesome. I definitely had the right group of people this past Friday. I loved it! We wanted to go for an hour more, but alas, the rooms were all booked!

You know, I really love New York. It might not be as old as European cities but there is a lot of history here. I also enjoy the cultural mix. The fact that I can go to a speakeasy one night, Karaoke the next night and if I want some Korean food with girlfriends, I can find it if I just walk down a block or two.