NYC Part 6: Our final day

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I spent a long weekend in NYC. Catch up now with part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5.

We woke up on Monday morning, our last day in New York feeling blue. Our flight home wasn’t until 8pm, but we didn’t have much planned for our last day. Another of David’s friends, Ella, was in the city visiting family, so we made plans to met her at a Swedish coffee shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

After showering and storing our bags (thank goodness our Airbnb had a locker we could use after checkout!) we walked to the subway and headed from Astoria to Greenpoint. The coffee shop was a little chain store called Konditori, but David was excited because it was Swedish. We got drinks at the counter, Ella and I both ordered hot chocolate, while David and I split a muffin, then crowded around a little table in the back of the shop.

swedishcoffeeshop

We chatted and enjoyed our hot beverages, then decided to explore the neighborhood we were in, which is known as “Little Poland.” Little Poland wasn’t as strictly defined as Little Odessa; while it had something of an Eastern European feel, there were still sushi restaurants, people speaking English, and Swedish coffee shops. We stopped in a few little shops in search of Prince Polo candy bars, my favorite Polish treat. There’s a cute Polish Deli not far from my work, but I still wanted to find Prince Polo in New York.

We wandered all over the neighborhood, explored bodega after bodega before finally finding a shop selling Prince Polo. You could tell right away we were in the right place: the store took me back to my study abroad days. They had a selection of Polish snacks and drinks, and a small deli counter. Everyone but us was speaking Polish. We picked up 3 Prince Polos (Ella was excited to try the chocolate bar) and headed back into the bitter cold.

prince-polo-1

Next on the agenda: Polish food for lunch. Between google maps and some good, old fashioned wandering around, we found ourselves in a Polish market. We ate potato pierogi dipped in mustard and chatted until Ella had to head back to her brother’s. She told us about a bookstore in Manhattan that supposedly had Urdu language books (David speaks Urdu) so David and I decided to check it out.

LittlePoland

We said goodbye to Ella at the subway; David and I made our way uptown to the Upper West Side. Upon entering the bookstore, we looked at each other–it didn’t look like we’d find any Urdu books there. It appeared to be a children’s bookstore, and while we found a handful of Spanish learning materials for kids, we didn’t find anything close to Urdu resources.

What were we to do? Our uptown adventure was a bust, we only had a few more hours in New York and we weren’t at all familiar with the neighborhood. So we decided to just walk around in the cold and see what we could see. Two broke 20-somethings quickly saw the Mexican restaurant having happy hour $5 margaritas. Sold.

margarita

The restaurant was really cute and the bartender was nice. We ended up hanging out for a while and ordering their happy hour boneless wings to share. Finally, it was time for us to go. We took the subway back to Astoria to retrieve our bags, then ubered to La Guardia. Our plane was delayed because it was SNOWING in NC, but otherwise our trip home was fairly uneventful.

PlaneDelayed

Whew! When I set out to share my NYC journey with you, I did NOT plan for it to go on for 2 months nor for it to expand into 6 posts. I hope you enjoyed it, because I certainly enjoyed experiencing it and sharing it with all of you. Tell me about your experiences in New York or your favorite city in the comments below. If you liked this post, be sure to hit the subscribe button, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and keep following me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Margarita picture: https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2015/1/27/a-margarita-a-day-january-2015

10 Cool Gadgets under $100 you can buy with your Amazon gift cards

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, living room, or office, you’ll find something irresistible on this list. Happy spending!

  1. Water resistant bluetooth speaker
    This waterproof speaker is perfect if you love singing in the shower. It also has waterproof controls so you can skip songs, adjust the volume, and even answer phone calls.
    Average rating: 3.9 stars
    Price: $14.99+

    5 star review from Jason:
    “What a great product! So much that both my wife and I have one. We take this all over the house. In the shower. Kitchen. Workshop. Back Deck. Study. Easy to set up and link via bluetooth. To proceed with the next song/podcast/etc it’s a simple press down of the left/right arrow keys, while holding them will adjust the volume. Loud enough to be heard while doing dishes and taking a shower. Battery lasts for weeks, so you’re not constantly recharging it (and we use ours a lot). When the battery does run low, it beeps at you and you have about 5 mins of battery left. Sound quality is better than an iPhone. Suction cup on back works well, only following off it the surface is dirty.Highly suggest getting this if you use your phone all over your house and even other places. Better sound, better volume and thus more enjoyable.”
  2. Amazon Fire TV stick with Alexa voice remote
    If you love streaming TV and movies, you’ll love The Fire Stick. You’ll have access to Netflix, Hulu, and many other streaming channels. It can be plugged in to any TV, making it portable.
    Average rating: 4.4 stars
    Price: $34.99+

    5 star review from King:
    “This 2017 generation fire TV stick works great for. Just plug it in. It comes already connected to your account if you buy it directly from Amazon. If you don’t want it connected to your account from out of the box? Then select the gift option. Or when you setup it up for the first time it will ask if you are so and so? And you just press no. Then you can connect it to a different account.
    So yeah it great,portable and easy to use and navigate through the menu with the remote or the built in Alexa voice control button. Picture quality is great and no slow downs or hiccups while watching video programs like Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu or YouTube. $40 well spent. Cutting the TV cord really soon. It has all the programming you want. When or if you want it or not. You are in control not the networks or broadcasters 😊👍”
  3. Instant Pot (3Qt)
    The Instant Pot is this year’s kitchen it gadget. This little guy is the 3 quart version, making it a great choice for small families. Just like it’s big brother, it’s a multitasker and can function as a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker, or Warmer.
    Average rating: 4.6 stars
    Price: $58.31+

    5 star review from Diane:
    “I bought my first Instant Pot, a Duo80, before Christmas and fell in love. Although there are only two of us, the 8-quart was a wise purchase because I love to make up big batches of stuff and freeze it in portions for me and the SigO to pull out whenever we want. My “Papa Bear” Instant Pot is great for that. But it’s overkill if I’m doing something just for a dinner, and it’s also nice to have the separate pot for cooking something that has to cook a long time. I can do my steamed veggies and such in the big pot for just a few minutes while I’m cooking something like pork loin I want to be very tender and shreddable in the mini. Or vice versa! My Corelle 16 oz. bowls fit in the mini great when I want to do oatmeal or heat up leftovers. “Baby Bear,” my mini, has two fewer buttons on the sides, which works out just fine, but the Keep Warm button is in a different place from my Duo80. I’ll just have to cook less on auto-pilot when I’m using both of them!”
  4. Shiatsu massage pillow
    This small, heated massager is perfect for targeted massages. It’s designed for the neck and shoulders, but can be used on the lower back, calves, or feet. It comes with straps so it can be secured to your favorite chair during your relaxing massage.
    Average rating: 4.5 stars
    Price: $39.95+

    5 star review from Kelly:
    “I love this massager! I use it every day several times a day if I’m sitting a lot. I’m a writer so I sit a lot. The best part, for me, is that it heats up. When it heats up everything starts to loosen up and feels so much better. I highly recommend this product, it’s been great. This is a great product and we were so satisfied with it we bought one for my boyfriend’s sister for Christmas.”
  5. Stovetop Espresso pot (3 cup)
    This Italian espresso maker is perfect for a single person. It makes 3 shots of espresso on your stovetop so A) You don’t end up with a ton of extra and B) You don’t need a bulky espresso maker taking up a ton of counter space.
    Average rating: 4.4 stars
    Price: $32.99+

    5 star review from M:
    “Received this little 3-cup maker a few weeks ago and have enjoyed several mornings of great lattes and espressos already. This is very simple to use and only takes a minute to get a brew going. Simply add water to the base, add a tablespoon or so of grounds in the filter, screw on the pitcher and heat up. Espresso is ready in just a couple minutes. Great little design that is very easy to use and clean.”
  6. Earbuds with or without mic
    These earbuds are inexpensive, without being cheap. They’re basic, but ergonomic earbuds, with a low price tag and over 45,000 positive reviews on Amazon.
    Average rating: 4.2 stars
    Price: $8.03+
    earbuds5 star review from megallo:
    “I am at work, next to the window, and there is a LITERAL JACKHAMMER outside the window. I have these headphones in, listening to music, and I can’t hear it at all. If you want that in your life, these are the earbuds for you.”
  7. Food Processor
    Food processors are a fabulous kitchen must-have: you can prep everything from hummus to ground nuts. This one has a scraper attachment for easy cleanup and getting the most out of your food.
    Average rating: 4.2
    Price: $30.59+

    5 star review from BLRG
    “I tried several others before settling on the Hamilton Beach Bowl Scraper Food Processor. For a start, this one is quieter, very easy to use, has a pulse and two speeds, the quality is up there with much more expensive food processors and it performs great. I use it quite a lot and it is easy to clean, use and looks great. The scraper comes out if you don’t want to use it but it is very effective. I was surprised at how well it works so I tend to leave it in. Another aspect I really appreciate and is just peace of mind is that Hamilton Beach have an online store and it is very easy and inexpensive to get spare and replacement parts for this unit should you ever need them, including the bowl, blades, slicer and more. So effectively eliminating the need to get a whole new food processor should a part get lost, break or wear out – very nice. Easy 5 stars!”
  8. Mini portable photo printer
    This little printer allows you to print directly from your smartphone (android or iOS) anywhere you go. It is fully wireless and comes with a free app to edit your photos before printing them.
    Average rating: 3.7 stars
    Price: $89.99+

    5 star review from Elaine:
    “The mini printer is great very easy to set up the pictures are very clear , very fast to print. Pictures are small but it’s nice to have them in a few minutes. Love this little printer.”
  9. Flexible tripod with smartphone and gopro adapters
    This is not your ordinary tripod. It’s much smaller with flexible legs making it portable, and easy to set up. You can secure the tripod’s legs around a tree or balcony, set your camera’s self-timer and take awesome group shots with ease.
    Average rating: 4.7
    Price: $14.99+

    5 star review from MariaBrad:
    “This tripod is really cool. The legs move in all directions making it quite easy to wrap around items to secure your phone for photos or video taking. Very convenient. I would really recommend this tripod to anyone.”
  10. Coffee bean and spice grinder
    You can officially stop buying ground coffee and spices: up your freshness game with this nifty grinder. It can grind up to 3 oz of coffee beans in seconds. Tired of pre-ground spices that have been sitting on the shelf for oh, a few years? Get fresh spices and grind ‘em up yourself!
    Average rating: 4.1 stars
    Price: $17.99+
    coffeegrinder5 star review from Gabriel:
    “This coffee grinder is awesome and simple to use. It really gets the job done. We use this for multiple things also. I can use this to grind up herbs, seeds, and coffee. You can’t clean it using water, but it’s really easy to clean – just wipe away with a paper towel after each use. Or if you insist of using soap, just use a small amount with paper towel and clean out just the inside. I wouldn’t get the exterior wet though. I’ve had this for a couple months now, so this review is much deserved. The speed is really fantastic, I feel like it’s high quality grade – something they might use in a small coffee shop. Love it! Would definitely recommend to anyone who loves coffee and needs a coffee grinder.”

Are you ready to put those Amazon gift cards to good use yet? What are your favorite gadgets? Share with me in the comments below! Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Reviews were edited for length/clarity.  If you follow the links in the body of the text, I may receive a compensation from Amazon.  This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.

 

10 Gifts Under $20 for Your Favorite Bookworm

Your favorite book lover already has a million books they haven’t even read. So what do you get them for a holiday gift? Check out my list below for bookworm-themed gifts under $20!

  1. Go Away, I’m Reading sign
    This sign is to-the-point and on point for any book lover. It’s a perfect decoration for any home library or young reader’s bedroom.
    Average rating: 4.5 stars
    Price: $9.51

    5 star review from A Bucket of Corn:
    “Awesome sitting on my shelf, right next to all my favorite books. A great product. This item would make a great gift for anyone who loves to read.”
  2. Harry Potter Earring Set
    This adorable earring set comes with 6 pairs of Harry Potter-themed stud earrings. They’re a perfect gift for your favorite Potterhead, while also being friendly to your wallet.
    Average rating: 4.7 stars
    Price: $10.50

    Check out this 5 star review from SMB:
    “These are adorable and comfortable to wear for ANY Harry Potter fan! I ALWAYS get compliments at work from adults and students alike! So very glad I bought these!”
  3. Book shaped cake pan
    Your baking bookworm bud will adore this open-book shaped baking pan. It’s perfect for parties and events or just a fun Saturday at home.
    Average rating: 4.2 stars
    Price: $11.88

    5 star review from Rhonda:
    “I was very pleased with this pan, cooked evenly and cake came out great. The pan is sturdy and performed well, just have no complaints.”
  4. I’m Not Addicted to Reading…I can quit as soon as I finish this book mug
    This adorably clever mug will please any coffee drinking reader. Imagine yourself sitting on the couch on a rainy day with a good book and a clever mug full of steaming coffee or tea. This is the perfect mug!
    Average rating: 4.8 stars
    Price: $13.99

    5 star review from Gail:
    “Cup is fun and very nicely made, with clear print and bright colors. Came quickly, too”
  5. Kitty and Books necklace
    Bibliophiles will love this sleepy kitty in a library on a pendant.
    Average rating: 5.0 stars
    Price: $3.99

    5 star review from an Amazon user:
    “Cute cat and books!”
  6. Dr. Seuss quote wall decal
    So this one is aimed at children, but I adore the quote, as it’s totally relatable for adults too.
    Average rating: 4.6 stars
    Price: $14.99

    5 star review from Amazon user:
    “Perfect for my storytime room.”
  7. Bookmark? You Mean Quitter Strip? T-shirt
    Comes in 5 colors and Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s sizes. I believe I have a couple of dear friends who could rock this geeky Tee.
    Average rating: 5.0 stars
    Price: $19.95

    5 star review from kbill:
    “My daughter is very sarcastic and loves to read so this is perfect for her. She smiles every time she wears it and loves to see people’s reaction to it.”
  8. Mix young adult symbols necklace
    Young adult novel fans, this one’s for you! It combines the symbols from The Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games, Divergent, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter.
    Average rating: 5.0 stars
    Price: $9.99

    5 star review from Melissa:
    “My daughter just loves her necklace!”
  9. Just one more chapter pillowcase
    Curl up with this book-themed pillowcase on your favorite pillow! It’s a great addition to any book nook.
    Average rating: 4.7 stars
    Price: $9.99

    5 star review from EM:
    “I bought this pillow cover as a gift to my sister who loves to read. The material is good quality, the words clearly printed and my sister loved it.”
  10. Lumos/Nox light switch decal
    So simple, but so clever. This Harry Potter-inspired decal will make you feel like a wizard, even when you have to turn off the lights the muggle way.
    Average rating: 4.3 stars
    Price: $4.97

    5 star review by George:
    “Looks great and stays on well even as we brush our hands to flick the switch. I was afraid they would peal off but they are stuck on well.”

Did you enjoy this list? What would you add to it? Let me know in the comments below! Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Disclaimer: if you follow the Amazon links in the body of this post and make purchases through them, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon. This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

Ingredients:

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 oz vodka
½ oz simple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Combine pumpkin pie spice and vodka in a small bottle
  2. Close and shake vigorously until spices are mostly dissolved (liquid will turn brown)
  3. Let sit at least 2 hours (for best results, let sit overnight). Shake occasionally.
  4.  Strain liquid through coffee filter (I ended up with about 1 ½ oz of liquid after straining) and discard solids.
  5. Add simple syrup to liquid and mix thoroughly

This recipe is pretty simple and perfect for fall drinks (or even coffee, we won’t judge). Enjoy!

Inspired by: https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/pumpkin-spice-liqueur-recipe