travel vignettes: VALENCIA

I went to Spain this past summer, and traveled to several cities in the country during my 10-week trip. I’ll spotlight those in this series later on, but I wanted to begin with Valencia.

palm trees



pin-spiration, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: cauliflower

I am obsessed with cauliflower. I love vegetables in general, and never really ate cauliflower growing up–unless it was served steamed (read: bland AF) at a relative’s house. Cauliflower turned my life around when I went on this clean eating challenge after coming home from my booze-filled second year of college. One of the meals was roasted cauliflower with lentils, and man oh man, that was life changing. Cauliflower takes on a whole new personality when you toss it in olive oil, S+P and garlic and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes–smoky, caramelized, and nutty flavor develops in this incredibly bland vegetable. Now, I’ll regularly roast an entire head of cauliflower and just eat the whole thing for dinner.

The other great thing about this veggie (besides being super healthy) is how versatile it is. I know people who are gluten-free that turn cauliflower into pizza crust and breadsticks, and I’m a die-hard fan of cauliflower soup. My go-to non-recipe is to puree roasted cauliflower with vegetable stock, sautéed garlic and onion, and a spoonful of milk for a ridiculously creamy concoction. Check out more of my fave recipes on Pinterest.


who you should follow on instagram (besides me)

If you follow @nycismyboyfriend on Instagram, you might have noticed that I frequently repost photos from other users. I want to be able to post quality content on a frequent, regular basis, so it’s often easier to use someone else’s photo of a mimosa on Sunday morning than it is to shower, get dressed and actually go to brunch (nobody goes to brunch every week, FYI). Plus, I’m kind of busy and don’t always have time to run around taking scenic photos of NYC.

As I’ve been perusing Insta for great photos to have on hand for my posts, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of really amazing (and funny) accounts out there. Here are some of my all-time favorites.

If you have a serious case of wanderlust, follow @LucyLaucht.

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Manarola glowing at dusk

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Her photos are seriously stunning, and I always have to stop myself from re-posting every image she shares.

If you love food, follow @Food52.

Their dreamy, minimalistic approach to food photos makes for beautiful photos guaranteed to make your mouth water. Food52 also reposts a lot, so it’s a great way to find other accounts to follow.

If you love bright colors, follow @ABeautifulMess.

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🌵❤☀ @rclayton #ABMlovesmurals

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ABM is also an amazing site that has tons of craft ideas and recipes, but their Insta feed is an always-welcome pop of color.

If you love NYC, follow @AlyssaInTheCity.

This Refinery29 writer posts great photos of everything from rosé to retro cars, and (of course) beautiful images of New York.

If you need a laugh, follow @GirlWithNoJob.

There are tons of accounts that share memes and funny text posts (@FuckJerry is also great), but this one is always on point.


pin-spiration, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: ice cream i want

Who cares when the official first day of summer is–it’s 80 degress in NYC and Memorial Day weekend is long gone. For this week’s pinspiration, I’m sharing some totally drool-worthy ice cream pins. My dessert obsession went overboard on Pinterest, so I had to make a “sweets” board separate from my main food one. Feast your eyes! And maybe your mouths if you’re into making ice cream.

Follow nyc is my boyfriend on instagram.

places, Uncategorized

the bronx is blooming

#OrchidDelirium is here! Living so close to the New York Botanical Gardens is amazing–the garden grounds are beautiful year round, and they have the most beautiful shows throughout the year. I finally got to the annual orchid show, and it did not disappoint. As a Fordham student, visiting NYBG is one of my favorite free things to do near campus, but special admission to the show will set you back a couple of bucks. Spend the day and get your money’s worth–then head over to Arthur Avenue for some phenomenal Italian food. (I recommend Mike’s Deli or Zero Otto Nove.) Your Instagram will thank you.

the latest, Uncategorized

a faux-photographer’s fave photos

I know you’ve probably had enough with the nostalgic 2015 posts, but someone recently reached out to me about posting my favorite photo from 2015. Well, I take WAY too many pictures to pick just one, so I went through my Instagram and picked my top three!

1. Chichen Itza, Mexico

Ok, so since I’m in the picture, somebody else (my sister) took it, but I love how this photo came out. 2015 was a great year for traveling…any suggestions where I should go this year?

2. Amsterdam

This photo just makes me teary-eyed. The city is so stunning, and it’s hard to capture Amsterdam’s beauty in a single picture. Everything from the afternoon lighting, bicycle-filled rush hour, and houseboat-lined canals makes it perfect.

3. NYC

I love this picture because it represents the start of a happy chapter in my life…I finally got to work in my dream industry, and would walk through Columbus Circle almost everyday. Realizing my goals were within grasp was huge for me, and it made 2015 was an incredibly happy year.


three days later//three things discovered

I arrived in Amsterdam three days ago, though jet lag has blurred all of them into a single never-ending group orientation. I am studying at the University of Amsterdam through a program called CIEE, along with a 86 other American students. We stayed at a hostel on the city’s outskirts for the first two nights, and moved into our dormitories today. I use the term “dormitory” loosely because it is nothing like the dorms of my American college experience (an enormous bedroom, non-uptight RAs, no security, and most importantly, an incredible view).


Anyway, I wanted to share three things I have noticed since my arrival in Amsterdam.

1. Environmental responsibility. Bicycle is the most popular form of transportation, and I am hoping to purchase my own bike in the next week or two. Public transport is also readily available, and many people have cars, but the number of people riding bikes at all hours of the day is incredible. Amazingly, Amsterdam is one of the cleanest cities I have ever visited. Unlike the garbage-lined streets of my beloved New York, Amsterdam is comparatively spotless. Additionally, plastic is not as popular as in the U.S. At the supermarket, you have to request a plastic bag, and it is preferred that you bring your own reusable shopping tote. If you do take a plastic bag, you’re expected to continue reusing it each time you go grocery shopping. For packaging, glass is much more widely used than plastic. I’m especially excited to save all of my glass bottles to use as flower vases around my apartment.

FullSizeRender-3 2. Frequency of hostile resting face (aka “bitch face,” a trait from which I suffer). The Dutch keep to themselves; they are uninterested in large tour groups, stare angrily at you if you walk in the bike lane, and are unenthusiastic small talkers. I enjoy this aspect of life in Amsterdam because at times, I do prefer to do things by myself, whether it’s grocery shopping or visiting a museum. I like the sense of independence that is prevalent in this city.


*resting bitch face not present in this photo

3. Hagelslag. So far, this is the only Dutch word I have learned. Hagelslag are chocolate sprinkles, and look very similar to the tasteless American sprinkles (or “jimmies” to New Englanders like myself), but are a hundred times more delicious. A popular Dutch breakfast is bread and butter, topped with hagelslag. We had dinner on a pancake boat, and ate pancakes topped with hagelslag. I had pudding for dessert last night, and there was hagelslag sprinkled on top. What a wonderful place.

photo by Robyn Lee

photo by Robyn Lee