April 22, 2013

Tea Time!

I make no secret about the fact that I drink green tea daily. Yes, daily. Always a huge fan of iced tea, I upped the ante to the green persuasion when I started eating sushi (way) back in my (early) 20's. A ceremonious cup of hot green tea came at the start of every meal, and I grew deeply fond of its flavor and health benefits.

When Brooklyn's first outpost of the Canadian tea retailer, DAVIDsTEA, arrived here in Park Slope, stylist Amy was first to embrace the goodness (lucky lady, it's literally right out her front door). The next thing I know, I receive the following:

So last weekend, while prepping breakfast for her family, I was tickled to get this text message: 

Did I love it? Oh, yes. 

So much so that a stop at DAVIDsTEA was first on the to-do list over the weekend!

The team at DAVIDsTEA gives customer service on par to the deliciousness of their beverages - in other words, they are flawless. The lovely Stephanie took me on the grand tour, first off making my iced matcha with soy & agave:

As I sipped away, Stephanie treated us to a lovely tea overview, complete with tastings and the delight of smelling many of the store's offerings. With flavors ranging from Citron Oolong to Birthday Cake, and Rooibos de Provence to Pink Flamingo, there was not one tea I wasn't ready to try! Even the Little Miss - who has never given tea a thought - could not wait to try her iced Forever Nuts:

Because Mr. Newman's iced Coffee Pu'erh was so unbelievably delicious, we came home with the following treats to get our mornings off right:

PS, don't worry. DAVIDsTEA makes online ordering a breeze if there's not a retailer near you. Since I do not want any one of you lovelies to feel left out, I decided that this is going to be one of yours. That's right - it's giveaway time!

Please note: the giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to "twicefivemiles" - you are the lucky winner! xx JN
Here's the deal:
  1. Go over and "like" Delightfully Dishy's Facebook page (if you're already a "Fan" then share the post on your Facebook wall!)
  2. Leave a comment below telling me the DAVIDsTEA flavor you're most intrigued to try.
The lucky winner (chosen at random) will be announced this Thursday!

Why, yes, I'll drink to that!

xx JN

DAVIDsTEA Park Slope: 234 7th Ave at 4th St
Follow DAVIDsTEA on Twitter & "like" them on Facebook!

April 16, 2013

What's for Breakfast?

When my girlfriend called to tell me some of her family was coming to visit, I couldn't wait to host a meal for them at my home! As the schedule solidified, breakfast emerged as the front runner, so I started menu planning.

Now, the catch was, between the food allergies, preferences, and lifestyles amongst the seven guests, here's what I knew going in:
  • 4 cannot eat eggs
  • 1 is vegetarian
  • 1 is dairy-free
  • 1 is gluten-free

How did I come up with a menu?

I decided to serve everything buffet style to keep it simple & relaxed, giving everyone the freedom to pick and choose

Second, I stuck with my rule of only cooking two menu items from scratch and preparing/assembling the rest.

Third, I came to the conclusion that not everything served had to be a viable option for every single person.

Here's what I came up with:

Cranberry & Almond Granola Bars (recipe below)
Easy Sticky Buns (recipe below)
Assorted Fresh Bagels
with choice of Vegetable Cream Cheese, Butter & Preserves or Peanut Butter
Hard Boiled Eggs
Fresh Strawberries
Sparkling Water

Complete with New York-themed favors for our out-of-town guests, it was a simply fabulous way to spend a Saturday morning with friends!

Who's next?!

xx JN

April 12, 2013

One of Those Weeks

Do you ever just have "one of those weeks?"

A considerable amount of time was spent up in my head this week as I continued to mull over such ever-popular questions as, "How? When? Where? and Why?" I have a fairly straight-forward "to-do" list running at the moment, but the Virgo in me is not pleased with how slowly it's being completed. Sometimes (i.e. lately), I get so completely frustrated knowing that I have many irons in the fire, projects I cannot wait to make public, yet at the moment I am faced with variables - necessary to see those projects to fruition - that are completely outside of my control. How do you respond to those moments? I must admit I've been kicking up dirt this week!

But, in the meanwhile ...

  • Mr. Newman got a pair of these as an early birthday gift this week, and looks absolutely unreal when he sports them!
  • LG was especially grateful for her new Hunter Boots this morning as it rained cats & dogs during the morning commute.
  • These gems are my snack of the week - especially with a slather of this on top ... delicious!
  • I'm hosting a breakfast tomorrow morning, and sure hope our guests enjoy this recipe which is one of several treats on the menu.
  • Sunday, we're taking a road trip to check out sleep away camp for LG ... yep, the time has come!

Here's to a wonderful weekend!

xx JN

April 5, 2013

Well-Feathered Nest

I did not fully appreciate that sentiment until I had a family of three + a pooch in a quaint, 2-br apartment in New York City! With a tendency to be fairly anal retentive about my personal living space (alright, completely), I am always evaluating and re-evaluating what stays in and what goes out.

Spring is here - for me, the moment I can open the windows again means it's time to clean every nook and cranny of our apartment! With four distinct seasons and limited closet space, I automatically do the wardrobe switcharoo at then end of every winter and summer.  But there are also a few other things that happen as well:

Clean Those Windows

Yes, this means I pull a proverbial Spiderman and hoist myself out the window and onto the fire escape with a bucket of 1-part vinegar to 2-parts hot water, a sponge, and paper towels. The screens come off and are scrubbed down in the shower (yes, a full bath/shower scrubdown commences afterwards!) and the windows look divine when they are done.

Bring it to the Floor

Sorry, kids, but unless you mop every single week, your floors will need some extra TLC a couple of times a year! I take the opportunity to scour the floors, the grout and and wipe down the baseboards, too!
  • Hardwood & Ceramic Tile: Murphy's Oil Soap will leave a gorgeous shine without a sticky residue. It really does do a beautiful job on both hardwood and faux wood flooring as well as tile.
  • Grout: make a paste of water + Ajax, get a heavy duty scrub brush and a toothbrush and work in sections. You don't want the paste to dry, so after you've scrubbed the grout back to life, take a wet sponge and rinse the area. This combo works far better than any grout cleaner I've used, and it has serious staying power. You'll find that doing this once a year (barring a major disaster involving red wine or marinara sauce) will keep your grout clean and bright. Your biceps will enjoy the process as well as your quads from all of the up and down!
  • Baseboards: If you haven't already vacuumed them, you can also take a dryer sheet and wipe them along the edge where the baseboard meets the wall. You'll be amazed how much better they look after this process! 

The Fridge

Take the time to go through your fridge and purge those mysterious leftovers, expired pickles and anything else that you can't recognize! I like to remove the shelves and the drawers and give them a good scrubbing. It always amazes me what a difference it makes. Also, use this time to replace your water filters and baking soda, too!

Flip the Mattress

If you're like me and you're changing outer linens seasonally, it's a great time to flip the mattress after the good ol' linen strip down! It's also a good time to vacuum up at the headboard where you usually can't get to ... you will more than likely find that spring has sprung with more than a fair share of dust bunnies!

Shake it Out, Baby

Now's the time to take down the curtains and fluff up the rugs by shaking everything out, as well as a good time to either wash or replace your outer shower curtain and liner. If you're windows are curtain-free, dust those blinds!

Virtually Speaking

In this day and age, it's probable that what we lack in actual closet space we make up for in virtual memory! 
  • Go through your Contact List.
  • Clean off space on your iPhone or other device by removing unused apps and extraneous photos. Create new playlists.
  • Organize your Inbox.
  • Clean up your Desktop.
  • Purge the DVR.

Spot Clean

Now's the time to pick up a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and spot clean the walls for scuff marks as you go along. You'll love how much better the walls look!

Filter This

After all that dusting, cleaning, scrubbing, purging, fluffing and organizing, don't forget to change your air filters! Nothing like having a dust-free home until the air kicks on! This is also the time to change your filters on your humidifiers and air purifiers, too. 

Have your own tips you'd like to share? Make sure to comment below!

xx JN