My Trick to Scoring 6 Cronuts Without Waiting in Line & Other Food Finds in NYC

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Dominique Ansel 

189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 |  (212) 219-2773
Dominique Ansel is a world famous pastry chef that created the Cronut! Image a croissant and a donut having a baby. There is usually a line out the door of the bakery in SoHo and I wanted to guarantee that I would be able to grab one during my short trip to NYC. I usually base my travel itinerary around 2 things: food and picturesque locations.
Just a tip: there is a strict 2 cronut limit per person and they usually sell out before 11 A.M. However there is a way to ensure that you get the delectable pastry in your tummy by preordering! Pre-orders have to made 2 weeks in advance and you get a box of 6 cronuts. A lot of locals were extremely envious of my huge box of cronuts.
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Only 1 flavor is released every month and April’s flavor is blood orange cream almond cream!  I love the little garnish on top of the glaze. In the picture below you can see the cream oozing out of the cronut. Now that I’m back in Cali all I want are cronuts but I won’t be satiated by just any cronut out there.
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Alpha Fusion

365 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001| (212) 279-8887

I love trying Asian Fusion Food and Alpha fusion was just the right pick. Pictured above is a sushi pizza topped with spicy tuna, seaweed salad, avocado, jalapeño, peanuts, and fish egg with spicy aioli. Salmon can be added on for an extra charge.
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Joy Luck Palace

98 Mott St, New York, NY 10013 | (212) 219-2828

At Joy Luck Palace, I was thrown off by the communal seating but rewarded with great tasting dimsum. It was also a nice treat to have a couple of them in cute animal shapes. The piggy bun is filled with custard while the bunny bun is filled with a red bean paste. They were so adorable! I hesitated a little bit before eating them.
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The next time I go to NYC, I’m going to take more days to fully enjoy more food the city has to offer. Thank you for reading!

Antelope Valley Poppy Fields

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It’s finally Spring Break! I’ve been counting down for a while and to start off my Spring Bring, I took a last minute mini road trip to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.
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When we went one of the trails was closed off and that seemed like it lead to where most of the poppies were blooming. For parking you have to pay $10 for the day and I would advise to get there early as the parking lot fills up pretty fast.  A field of flowers gives me the excuse to do a bunch of yoga poses! Above my cousin and I are in Dancer’s pose. This is one of my favorite poses and I can’t wait to get my leg higher and go into the full expression of Dancer’s Pose. Maybe I need to get a strap.
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Some parts of the reserve are a little barren and have very few poppies as you can see in this picture while I’m in three legged dog. It was super windy the day I went so I wasn’t able to finish all the trails which was a little disappointing. The wind increased the chill factor! Wind is pretty common here so I would recommend dressing according. A lot of people didn’t stay that long due to the wind.
The trails range from easy, moderate, to difficult. One trail was a little step, but there is one paved path that is wheelchair accessible. The paved path is about 4 feet wide and there is one turn around point.
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Tip: There are more poppies and less people outside of the reserve.  In the photo above I was trying my best to smile in the wind.
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We stopped for lunch in Lancaster and took a moment to try out the Musical Road. The road has sets of grooves on it so when you drive over the groove at 55 mph it sounds like William Tell Overture.  It’s a cute little hidden gem and worth checking out while looking at poppies.

Late Post: Stepping into Wine Country

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One of the things that I really miss about living in the Bay is the proximity to Napa. Napa is an easy weekend trip with it just being about an hour away. Wine tasting is one of my favorite things to do and food is an added bonus. We started out with breakfast at Auberge du Soleil, a Michelin star restaurant with a view. Even though we had the option of sitting out on the patio to take in the views we opted to sit inside instead because it was a little chilly. Sitting outside is still an option in the fall since they have heaters above each table and offer shawls.
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After dining at Auberge du Soleil, we started our first wine tour at Mumm. I love how you get to keep the tasting glass after the tour! During the tour, you get 4 tastings and an overview of the history of Mumm. I would recommend 3 wineries a day so that you get a chance to explore the grounds of each.

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At the end of the tour, there was a cute little gallery. I loved Mumm’s Sparkling Brut Rosé. Usually I’ll drink rosé just because I like the color pink and not really because I like the taste of it. I bought two bottles and brought them out for Thanksgiving at my Uncle’s.

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Beringer has really pretty grounds and  I would recommend their Cabernet Sauvignon. You can also stop by and get merlot fudge. I’m not supposed to eat chocolate so I can’t say if it’s good or not but I heard good things from my friends.
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Our very last stop was at Hess. Sitting in the garden sipping wine while munching on snacks was a great way to unwind. The shortbread was my favorite and the servers were really generous with pours and even gave me a free refill. I can’t wait to go back to Napa in the Spring.

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Joshua Tree National Park

I like to extend the wear of my dresses into the fall by pairing them with booties. Once it gets a little chillier, I’ll add a layer of textured tights. The second day in Southern California was spent in Joshua Tree National Park. After taking some cute photos, I changed into my workout clothes and got ready to hike. This was my first desert hike and I can’t wait to go back. There are multiple rock formations to climb and some easy to moderate trails.
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Free People Dress (old), BP Tandem Booties (old) 5
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Nike Hat, Nike Mesh Sweater (old) XS & Lululemon All the Right Places Crop 2
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Trip to SoCal

For my birthday, I decided to take a trip to Southern California to do a little exploring. The Last Bookstore was a treasure trove. I could spend hours looking for books.  We stayed at cute little loft in Downtown Los Angeles. I didn’t check the weather and was stuck wearing a turtleneck in 90 degree weather…
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H&M Turtle Neck (old) 0, Kimchi Blue Skater Skirt (old) XS & Steve Madden Stecy 5
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After the Last Bookstore, we made a trip to Komodo. They are known for making the phorrito, which is basically pho wrapped in a tortilla. It was surprisingly really good, and I can’t wait to try to make it myself at home. It’s been a while since I actually experimented in the kitchen.

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Topshop Slip Dress (old) 0 & Dior Nail Vernis in Rouge 999
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For a night out, I picked out this hunter green slip dress from Topshop. The lace adds a delicate touch and I wore my vegan leather jacket to make it more edgy. Leather and lace is one of my favorite combinations.

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Bye Bye Bay

Last weekend, I decided to check out two set of mosaic tiled stairs in San Francisco- The Hidden Garden Steps and the 16th Avenue Steps. Both set of stairs are community projects set in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood.  
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I prefer the art on the 16th Avenue Steps more but the Hidden Garden Steps weren’t as populated. I would recommend parking by the Hidden Garden Steps and working your way up to the 16th Avenue Steps. You could continue up to Grand View park or work your way back down. 
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Personally, I would admit that I dread running and avoid it. Pilates, yoga, hiking, anything but running. Stairs are a nice alternative and a good warm up workout. If only Fresno had a hidden gem like this…

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The Hidden Garden Steps, sister of the 16th Ave Steps, are less populated and it’s easier to take pictures and to enjoy. I would recommend climbing both set of stairs early in the morning to avoid the crowd.

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As of today, I end my short chapter in the Bay Area. I spent two years teaching high school in East Oakland, two long but valuable years. Two years that I will always hold near and dear to my heart. My students taught me about love, resilience, and passion. 
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I’ll miss my students. I’ll miss the weather and being able to wear sweaters year round. I’ll miss the food. It finally hit me when I started to unpack, that I’m no longer in the Bay. I’ve been a little emotional lately with missing all the good things that I had and scared of the future. It’s been a good two years, but it’s time to say good bye. 
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This isn’t good bye forever, but goodbye for now. 

Visiting Connie

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Last weekend was a little departure from a carefully planned routine weekend. A weekend that I needed, to break the cycle of keeping myself locked up in my apartment. So I braved Bay Area traffic, and drove directly to Santa Maria after work. 

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H&M Crop Top  XS (old)  &  American Eagle Hi-Rise Shorts 00
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A boat, a raft, and lots of laughs

Let’s just say that I am the opposite of a thrill seeker. I cling to my planner and plan my life for fun. So pushing myself to do slightly dangerous things takes a lot out of me.  I tried rafting for the first and probably the last time. I’d rather just sit on a boat and lounge around than actually go in the in the water…
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After spending Saturday at Lopez Lake, we decided to have a quick stop at the beach before I make my trek back to the Bay. Montana de Oro is secluded and serene, perfect for a picnic for two. Personally, I would pick a cute spot on the bluffs and read a book alone.