by Alexandra Minton @sweetsweetdallas
The holidays are a magical time of year, and time to hit Deck the Hall Street! ✨ I adore the festivity and decor of the season! To me, December 1st officially kicks off the season so to get in the spirit, I hit up #deckthehallstreet at @fictioncoffeeshop ! For a month, Fiction Coffee transforms itself into a festive and cheerful Christmas themed wonderland with wreaths, lights, a tree and a fireplace with stockings. 🎄❄️⛄️ To boot, a custom mural painted by @allikdesign adorns the side of the building and festive coffee mugs in the shapes of Santa, reindeer and snowmen abound for customers dining in to enjoy their hot beverages. I enjoy the Fa La La Latte with cinnamon and lavender. There are other drinks like Peppermint Dreams and O Christmas Tea. There are also coffee free drinks like White Christmas Wassail and HoHoHot Cocoa!
I also have to point out that I will no longer be eating croissants. I’ve discovered Kouign amann and I’m never going back. It’s similar to a croissant but has a caramelized sugar bottom. The layers are flaky, buttery and sugary… a phenomenal combo with the crunch on the bottom. I can not recommend this pasty enough!! A++ for the Kouign amann!
Be sure to go visit this adorable shop for coffee and pastry (and @tacodeli tacos should you want a taco!) Dress warm if it’s cold out and grab a photo of your adorable holiday mug and the mural! It’ll be a new holiday tradition as it has become one for me!
Watching your diet for the whole year and reversing all that hard work during the holidays is a reality for almost everyone. No matter how carefully you watch your weight, just a few holidays can put to waste all those moments of observing carefully what you eat. Holidays are conducive to gaining weight. For one, you aim to derive maximum pleasure from the few off-days that you have from work. This means that you intend to spend most of your time trying not to move much and stuffing your mouth with whatever you can. Moreover, though this sedentary lifestyle is punctured by some moments of you going out with your friends, that too involves going to all the famous eateries you did not find time to go. Even if one is not at home and is travelling to their favorite holiday destination, they would still find it difficult to keep their weight in check. After all, when you go to a new place, you want to experience it to the maximum, and that experience involves trying out food that is part of the culture of the place you are at. Hence, during the holidays, it becomes really difficult for one to maintain their weight. [Read more…] about 5 tips to avoid weight gain on your Holiday Getaway
by Alexandra Minton www.instagram.com/sweetsweetdallas
With the number of times I go to Austin each year, I like to include some amazing Austin spots here on Sweet Sweet Dallas! Austin is full of incredible spots to dine! I’ve had my eye on @junesallday for a bit and was thrilled to be able to get a table and at the perfect time too! 🙌🏻 (Check out the interior shot I’m currently swooning over!)
This place has a fantastic dessert menu and the Pear Financier happened to catch my eye immediately! It’s an almond cake with pears, drizzled with salted caramel with vanilla ice cream. It was absolutely delicious!! I highly recommend this one! You can taste the quality of these ingredients and the flavor combination is on point! Major bonus that the staff was friendly and service was wonderful!
New York For Newbies: A First Timer’s Guide To The Big Apple
Visiting New York is one of the most popular places on travel wish lists and bucket lists. After all, the skyline is iconic and there are many famous sights to see and cultural activities to indulge in. It is a relative smorgasbord for tourists! The Big Apple can be a little intimidating for first time visitors because of its size, but luckily, even if you are a first-time visitor, you can have an amazing trip!
Getting your bearings
New York is a surprisingly simple place to get the hang of geographically. This is because it is split into just five districts, called boroughs. The first is Manhattan, probably the most famous, and the one that is located on the island in the Hudson. Then there are Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
With New York’s excellent subway and bus transport system, it shouldn’t be too tough to find your way around, even without a car. In fact, the roads in New York are known to be somewhat hair-raising, even for the most confident driver, so newbies visiting the city may wish to skip hiring a car for their first visit entirely.
Another surprise for first time visitors to the Big Apple is that New York is one of the safest cities in the world! Of course, there are still the usual risks that you will encounter in any big city, and one in particular to avoid are pickpockets. I know all about pickpockets, as I have been a victim of them twice! They are good at what they do, so watch your bags and do not leave zippers exposed!
Pickpockets in New York operate on the subway or in crowded spaces like in Time Square or where street performance is occurring. They often use a bait and switch scam which is when one person creates a scene and while someone else relieves you of your wallet, smartphone, and valuables. With this in mind it’s best to avoid keeping things in trouser or coat pockets, and instead, use a bag that is worn and accessible only to you. I’ve had people get into my backpack, so keep your stuff on your front!
Also, concerning safety, it’s always smart to not mark yourself out as a tourist or newbie as much as possible. What this means is that if you need directions, ask a storekeeper rather than a stranger on the street, or use your headphone for Google Maps.
Lastly, keep the guidebooks to a minimum, and carry minimal cash, who doesn’t take credit or debit cards these days?
Don’t miss sights and attractions
Which of New York’s famous sites and attractions you should visit on your first trip? There are plenty of choices!
Be sure to head to the center of the city where you will be able to marvel at the structure of Grand Central Station, take a walk in the famous Central Park, and head over to 5th Avenue for some high-end shopping.
Then there the famous Lady Liberty herself, a gift to America in 1886 by the French and located on Liberty Island in the Hudson River. The Statue of Liberty is an iconic attraction that all New York Visitors must see, and you can access the site via a ferry tour, although it is worth considering booking before the day you go, to avoid long queues.
If you are up for a bit of culture on your Big Apple Visit, then there’s nowhere better than the rather spectacular MOMA or Museum of Modern art on 53rd street in Manhattan. You can make it a triple whammy by taking a trip to the Metropolitian Museum of Art, on 5th Avenue and the Guggenheim, designed by Frank Lloyd-Wright, also on 5th Avenue on, as well!
Last of all, if you are looking for some high energy fun, why not head on over to the theatre district and take in a show like Anastasia on Broadway, now showing at the Broadhurst? Such musicals are known for their stunning costumes, and substantial production values, making them a very entertaining activity to partake in.
Alternatively, if you would rather be out and about why not take a walk around The Bustling street of Chinatown? There you can visit the very vintage Nom Wah Tea Parlor, or The Golden Unicorn, and treat yourself to an authentic chinese meal.
New York delicacies
Talking of food, it would be a crime to visit New York without partaking of some of the particular delicacies that are “street food”.First and foremost this means hot dogs, which are pretty much available on every street corner, especially in central New York. Although Crif Dogs and The Cannibal Beer & Butcher are rated among the best.
There are other places to eat as well as thehot dog carts, and particularly popular right now are the food markets, and the Heartland Brewery on 8th Avenue. Try the soft pretzels with cheese dip, pulled pork sandwich, or the pastrami egg rolls which are getting rave reviews!
Alternatively, if you fancy something with a little more kick then why not head on over to Los Tacos No. 1, on 9th Avenue? There is often a long line! Luckily it moves quickly and is a favorite with locals for tacos, tortillas, and carne asada. Yum!
Last of all, with a strong Jewish heritage, it’s no surprise that you will find some fantastic bagel joints and delis in the Big Apple as well. You probably won’t have time to try everything on the menu as they are so vast! Don’t worry though because a classic pastrami Reuben is always a good choice, as is cream cheese and lox. Just remember to ask for it ‘easy on the pickles’ if you’re not into gherkins! Plus, no one will spot you as a newbie if you start to master the local lingo!
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