Tuesday, June 13, 2017

All the #DessertGoals Met at Spot Dessert Bar

A couple months ago, my friend invited me and a few others to Spot Dessert Bar down in the West Village and holy yum! I'd never heard of it before, but I was certainly glad we went with a group so that we could each order—and taste—a few things on the menu. In fact, Spot encourages this by offering these dessert tapas in sets so you can share or indulge your taste buds. I loved that the Asia-inspired seasonal desserts were really satisfying and delicious without being over-the-top sweet. In clockwise order from the top left:

Yuzu Eskimo: frozen Japanese citrus cream bars with chocolate ganache, strawberries, and Oreo crumbs.

Golden Toast: crispy honey buttered toast with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and condensed milk ice cream.

The Harvest: layers of berries, soft cheesecake, meringue kisses, raspberry sorbet, and black rose milk tea.

Milky Puff: warm flaky puff pastry served with milk ice cream, corn flakes, brûlée bananas, and white chocolate honey comb.

And yes, they all tasted as delicious as they look. Not pictured are my Nutella hot chocolate, which tasted so much better and less sweet than one I'd ordered days earlier, and my friends' bubble teas served in plastic light bulbs! A+ for cuteness and presentation, no?

By the way, I've been on such a dessert kick lately thanks to work. I've been writing so much about sweets, including safe-to-eat raw cookie dough, an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival, fancy banana pudding, kids' birthday cakes, and the best rainbow foods around NYC, that I've been wondering if I shouldn't just say goodbye to my teeth and hello to becoming the resident dessert expert.

Monday, May 29, 2017

New Leaves

Hey all! I know I keep popping in, disappearing for six months and then coming back in, but things are getting better…


I’ll start off with a health update since that was still in topsy turvy mode when I last checked in. After my mastectomy in December, I underwent radiation for five weeks ending in February. I remember struggling with it much more the first time I went through this in 2013, but the fatigue set in strongly about midway through. I could hardly stay awake during my commute into midtown for my daily sessions and then I was staying up too late come nighttime. Thankfully, it didn’t last terribly long and towards the end, I was feeling much more rested and alert throughout the day.

What did hit me like a bomb was the skin discoloration around the radiated area. DAMN did I get fried. Hormonal therapy injections are still going on, but I’m almost done and after this week’s injection, I’ll have just three left to go. That’s a hooray!

You know what’s not a hooray though? The fact that the hormonal therapy plus the new medication have led me to develop osteoporosis. Fantastic. Moving on because this crap is depressing.


A few weeks ago I finally jumped back into the office/full-time magazine life. That’s right! After six years of freelancing, I'm now the associate editor for Time Out New York Kids! I’d been freelancing for them since last fall and for Time Out New York for the past year so the transition has been pretty smooth—I just have to get used to the commute again. Here’s a positive point for the commute though: I’ll have time to write blog posts again! Those of you who’ve read Dry As Toast since its early days back in 2008 remember how often I’d publish (Every. Single. Day.) and how many ideas I’d generate from traveling to and from work every day. So there’s that! Plus, maybe I’ll have time to read all these books I keep collecting on my Kindle. Has anyone read The Handmaid’s Tale yet?

Porcupine Hugs

There’s also a HUGE bit of news I wanted to share with you. I exhibited at the National Stationery Show last week!! As some of you might remember, I was set to make my tradeshow debut with Porcupine Hugs at the National Stationery Show in 2015. It had been a longstanding dream of mine, to showcase my cards and my art at the Jacob Javits Center here in New York City alongside big greeting card companies and smaller business I’d come to know and respect. After five or six years of walking the show and befriending so many in the community, I felt ready to take the leap. Unfortunately, a few weeks before the show, life exploded and I had to back out. It took me a long time to feel confident enough to try again. Funny enough, it was while I recovering from my mastectomy in December that I decided I wanted to exhibit this year. I figured if I’m not going to be living in Europe, I might as well make the most of my time here. So NSS 2017 it was! More on that journey later, but I’ll just say that I’m so proud and thrilled that I finally accomplished that goal.


As for the rest of life...I feel like that's only just about to start back up now. My time and energy has been consumed by surgeries, treatment, and recovery and it overlapped with preparing for the stationery show. Now that the most stressful parts are behind me (I hope!), I'm looking forward to tackling my next business and career goals, becoming social again, and enjoying my summer. More goodness to come as I get the writing juices flowing again...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hello 2017 + Hello 35

Hi all, just popping in since it’s been a while since my last update. In case you were wondering, I am alive and well. In the coming weeks I’ll share more details on December’s mastectomy, recovery, the ongoing hormonal therapy, and the new round of radiation treatment I just started a few days ago, but for now just wanted to wish you all a happy new year. I hope 2017 is filled with goodness, strength, and health.

Last week, I also hit the 35th year mark and celebrated the occasion with a surprise dinner, drinks with a whole wonderful group of friends Saturday night, and then ice skating around Bryant Park on Sunday. I might have packed in quite a lot - and might have been dreading the ice skating commitment early Sunday morning - but every year I’m humbled by the love I receive on my birthday. That reminder of how much warmth is around me has been helpful because the last month and a half hasn't been smooth sailing throughout. Not super hard, but not incredibly easy either. I’m usually thrilled to reach another birthday and have never dreaded turning a year older. In fact, I love it! And probably will for as long as I continue not really looking my age, but this year’s was a bit different and it wasn’t until I woke up the day after when I realized man, I AM LAME.

I hid under the covers thinking about my current circumstance: I’m sleeping in my mom’s living room on an air mattress borrowed from my sister. Most of my belongings are still in a storage room. I’m dealing with cancer again. I’m still recovering from surgery. And I have a serious case of "I just don’t give a crap" in regards to many of my work commitments. It’s been really difficult to get rearing back into life and career again when I'm trying to juggle so many appointments and side effects from medications. It’s as if my brain has filtered out whatever it’s deemed unnecessary for survival and joy.

I think I was especially eager for 35 because it sounded firmly adult, a good milestone, but my life does not mirror that to me at the moment. But onwards, right? I’ll try to be gentle with myself, honest with those around me - including friends and colleagues about what they can feasibly expect from me in the coming month - and seek out more things to feel genuinely happy about. More details on the other goings on to come. I promise there’s some good + exciting mixed in!

How has your 2017 begun?