I SPY: Wurst Times

Sep 30, 2015

Got ya Lederhosen ready?  It's October tomorrow…Tis' the season to celebrate pumpkin everything, Halloween and Oktoberfest!

Tonight Back Forty West is throwing a German beer hall dinner in honor of Oktoberfest.  This is the restaurant where I did the crab boil in summer that was a hit, so I can't imagine this won't be.  It's only a one day event though.

On the menu we're talking bratwurst, weisswurst, sauerkraut, duck, potato dumplings…hmm, could be wurst times eh?

A line up of the countries best brewed beers will also be on tap, along with the 2 liter glass boot to pass around.  Just like being in Germany!

I'm looking forward to this.  But in case your wondering were not wearing Lederhosen tonight!  I figure without the costume we will manage to make enough arses of ourselves alone and be exiting with beer googles!  HA.  If you can wing it get a ticket online, otherwise stay home and celebrate.  Easy enough to whip up some sausages and grab some cold ones.  Join the party and get into the spirit of Oktoberfest!  Eat.  Drink.  Be merry.

I SPY: Bursting Seams

Sep 29, 2015

You know that feeling when you eat too much till you feel like your bursting seams?  It happens every time in Queens with this crew!

I think we subconsciously made it a mission to try every all you can eat buffet, because thats where we always tend to end up.  No better place then in Queens, because they got your best ethnic food that sure beats your typical American food buffet.  The kids love the buffets, and us adults do too.  It's fast, good, and their huge assortment of food is ideal to please everyone.

Our recent feast was at Mizumi.  An all you can eat Chinese/ Japanese/ Korean joint.  They have a 1.5 hour time limit, which didn't feel rushed with kids.  However, can you imagine not going with kids and being able to solely focus on eating?  Thats a long time that could spell serious DANGER for folks like me with no control!  HA.  Just look at their selection.

Sushi galore…

Raw seafood bar…

Hot food…


Oops, I remembered half way through my meal that I needed to take photos to share with you, so only caught the last two plates of my meal.  Lost count of how many plates I had prior to this though!  HA.

Their decor is not bad either.  Clean, well lit and quite mod.

Another all around winner, and thats why my kids love dining in Queens.  Eat your heart out baby!

231 - 10 Northern Boulevard
Little Neck, NY 11362
T: 718. 229. 8686

I SPY: Happy Bark - Day

Sep 28, 2015

Guess who's birthday it is?  EDDY's.  He turned 2!  We celebrated yesterday, just to have reason to eat cupcakes, dress our dog up like a fool and have our neighbors look at us and confirm we're weirdos!  HA.

Have you tried Sprinkles cupcakes before?  Been a fan for years.  If you don't have a location in your town you can buy their pre-mix online.  Their cupcake mixes are super easy to make at home.  Made them a handful of times on special occasions and have ace'd them every time!  Fool proof.  If I can do it you can too!  My favorite is the red velvet, and tastes as if it was store bought.

Well we got Eddy a surprise from there!  A pooch safe, sugar free cupcake made by Sprinkles.  The ingredients are unbleached flour, eggs, honey, vanilla and a yoghurt frosting.  This is a new discovery for me that they make cupcakes for dogs so had to try.  Picked one up for him, and of course some for us!  Thats the red velvet, chocolate and doggie cupcake you see.  How cute is Mr Ed's cupcake?

All bought from the cupcake ATM.  Look at this genius concept.  No more long lines!

Chow time!  Eddy isn't a foodie so didn't know what to do with the cupcake at first.  After a few minutes of sniffing he dug in.  The rest is history!  He has discovered that human food is delicious!  You can tell by that smile on his face.  HA.  Eddy approved.  Paws up!  Happy Bark-day Eddy!!!

I SPY: Swag At The Park

Sep 25, 2015

Need a drink?  It's Fri - YAY!  Last night I was found at The New York Edition hotel bar.  I call it swag at the park!  This use to be the old clock tower at Madison Square Park, that was recently re-furbished into a hotel and opened this summer 2015.  It's beautiful, and the decor is so swanky I can't stop lusting over it.  Super POSH.

If your in the Flat Iron district or looking for a upscale place to hang out in NYC then check out the lobby bar.  It's cozy with fireplaces, throws and plush seating that over looks the park, in a very clean neutral palette.  Pick a seat and enjoy the ambience, people watching and this bubbly cocktail…The Edition Owl.  It's a perfected mix of Elyx Vodka, Fresh Raspberries, Lemon Juice, Lavender, Thyme Cordial, and topped with Champagne.  So YUMMY.  And how cute is that owl cup?  I wanted to take him home!

Upstairs is their restaurant which is going to WOW you.  Take a peek and climb the spiral stair case to the second floor, or even better dine there.

The restaurant is split into three rooms.  Each dining room has a different theme of vintage photography ranging from music icons, New York street icons and Hollywood icons.  The images cluster the walls of each room that will make you feel like your walking into a museum!

Then there's the billiard room.  Look at that.  How can you not love that purple pool table?  Oh em gee!

Last but not least the Gold Bar.  Named that for a reason.  The bar top is 24K gold leaf.  You must rub it for good luck!

How do you feel about this hotel?  A lot of thought and attention to detail went into this decor.  It looks rich - Down to the small details like the door knobs and fire place mantels, which are all original moldings.  Yup, I inspected and asked about everything!  HA.  What can I say…I'm in love with the whole hotel!  I must go back and dine there though to get the full experience.  More reason to return!

I SPY: Spoiler Alert

Sep 24, 2015

Who's thinking about holiday cards?  I am!  Crazy I know, but it's almost October, and before all the festivities begin I better get it out of the way before X'mas creeps up on me.  You know it will!

Yesterday my boys did their annual photo shoot with Rachel Hudgins a whiz behind the lens.  I've raved about her before if you remember my old post?  We chose to do the shoot by Harry's Corner Shop.  It's a barber down in Soho on the corner of MacDougal & Houston, who has a great wall.  You know I have this thing with walls!  HA.  It turned out to be a great back drop.  I must say the random pics I took on my phone turned out pretty darn cute.  I can't help but share…so here's the spoiler alert!

Whatcha think?  Imagine how the photographers photos turned out?  I can't wait to see!

Hope I've inspired you to get the ball rolling on your holiday cards too.  That's only if you usually send one out, otherwise I'm not pressuring you to add another thing to your plate!  Just remember photographers get crazy with the holiday chaos too, so book a shoot if you want to go the professional route.  Otherwise start experimenting with your creativity early to get that perfect shot.  If your lost where to start Pinterest always has good ideas to feed off of.  Good luck!

I SPY: 1st Day Of Fall

Sep 23, 2015

Did you feel the first nip of chill in the air yesterday?  In NY we did.  Yesterday was officially the last day of summer.  UGH.  Goodbye tan and bare legs!

I'm not ready for this.  But I did have this scarf I bought a few weeks ago from Zara.  I must admit I was a tad excited to bust it out yesterday and wear it as a shawl!

Do you like it?  Get it!  I received so many compliments on it.  The colors are great, looks a lil' Burberry, kind of vintage, and actually feels soft and not itchy for Acrylic.  For that price point, its a steal.

I SPY: Lady Slayer

Sep 22, 2015

Watch the Emmy's Sunday?  If not, makes two of us.  I was busy tuned into baseball.  Who is this girl!  Only because I had a bet on the table.  HA.  What's your excuse?  Well I'm catched up now!

I must admit I felt out of touch, just like Andy Samberg's opening musical act.  So many hit series on TV that I have not been able to follow.  No time.  I would seriously have to lock myself up in a bunker for a year to catch up to speed.  But who has time for that?

While I can't really comment on who deserved to win the Emmy awards, I can definitely put my vote in for who won the best dressed award.  My nominee for #1 Lady Slayer is Lady Gaga.

Photo Credit: www.popsugar.com

Who won your vote?  I thought Lady Gaga looked so chic and classic.  LOVE me some old Hollywood fashion.  Don't you?

Besides the gowns on the red carpet did you notice the trending hair style?  The short BOB.

Sarah Hyland - Photo Credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

Oh brother, it's kind of making me feel like chopping off my mane again!  HA.

I SPY: Subway Series

Sep 21, 2015

How was your weekend?  So mine was one of those weekends where you don't think you have anything important planned…but then last minute invites happen and suddenly it's turned into an action packed weekend!  We got invited to the subway series!!!  WOO HOO.

What's that you say?  Baseball.  Mets vs. Yankees.  Big deal in NYC.  Our two rival teams fighting for the win.  The METS won game 1.  My kids team.  Traitors!  Hmm…they must be adopted because their Mama is a loyal Yankees fan.  HA.

Well actually a loyal Derek Jeter fan!  Long story short…Growing up in Singapore I had hardly any exposure to American sports, thus zero interest.  Until I moved to NYC twenty years ago, happened to spot Jeter on TV and became hooked on that face for life!  Not enough pull to call me a true baseball fan, but definitely struck my attention when the Yankees were on, and he taught me a thing or two about baseball.

But hey, now that he's retired I have the freedom to switch teams?  That wouldn't be considered cheating would it?  HA.  Sit tight.  No reason to switch yet.  The Yanks won two out of three games in the subway series, so are still breaking balls.  I have faith in them.  Maybe it's time for my kids to switch back to following their Mama?  Let's go YANKEES!!!

I SPY: Man Up

Sep 18, 2015

You know what else from NY Fashion Week is making me tick?  The men.  Their fashion is making me long to wear a suit, button down shirt, cufflinks, ties, suspenders, loafers and sneakers.  I'm really digging how smart they look.  Clean and fresh.

Photo Credit: Instagrammer @grantlegan

Photo Credit: Instagrammer @visualsbypierre
You feeling it?  Or looks too butch for you?  HA.  I think you can pull it off with a feminine touch.  I'll research it this weekend and give you some tips soon on how to man up your look.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Stay tuned next week!


Sep 17, 2015

Time to update your Fall wardrobe?  Well there isn't any better time then now during New York Fashion Week.  I've been paying close attention to the Fashion world lately, because I've got some shopping to do!  HA.

The trends that are repeatedly popping up on the NYFW runway for Spring 2016 are: Color Block, Crochet, Fringe, Patterns, Orange, and Oversized earrings.  I know your saying...We got to get through Fall and Winter before we can get to Spring!  True.  But if your an eager beaver like me you can dip into these trends now and start taking advantage of them in your current Fall fashion.  Try it!

Another way is to pay attention to street fashion for Fall inspiration when looking for ways to update your closet.  I am currently obsessed with this Instagrammers account +VisualsByPierre He knows my style!  I don't even need to step outside of my house to capture what people are wearing to NYFW.  He's doing it for me!  NICE.

Notice how some of the runway trends I mentioned above are already being inspired into these hipsters street wear?  That's how you do it... in small doses!  Shall we hit the stores?  Cha - ching!

I SPY: Looking Rather G

Sep 16, 2015

Have you seen my phone in the last month?  It's looking rather G (gangsta)!  HA.  Just before I left for Brazil I got a new phone.  A week later on vacation I'm playing on my phone in bed, in the dark, and go to place it on the night stand before passing out.  Miss the table by a hair, slamming it into the table in an attempt to catch it, which made the phone bounce into the wall and fly across the room!  OUCH.

Pretty bad, huh?  The worst my phone has EVER looked!  But now I'm punishing myself and refuse to get a new phone.  I don't deserve a newbie.  The cracked screen doesn't cut me anymore, because all the glass shards have fallen out already!  HA.  I've become talented to learn to read between the cracks, so it doesn't even bother me anymore.  But it highly bothers everyone else!  Grabs strangers attentions from a far, and I've received the most hilarious comments in passing.  It's become entertainment for me, and I kind of enjoy looking a lil' G!

Anyways, I'm limited to how much work I can do on my phone because I can't see detail through the cracks, nor edit photos.  You feel my struggle?  Thus todays post is short and lame, since I accidentally left my laptop in the city yesterday.  But don't worry, I know where it is this time, not like last year!  Remember that horror story?  All good!  Life goes on...

I SPY: Post Waffle Week

Sep 15, 2015

Did you know last week was waffle week?  Well, who really cares because it's pretty much waffle Sunday every weekend at my house!  But have you tried fried chicken and waffles?  Well that is a different story and doesn't get served at home!  TREAT.

One of my favorite brunch spots Clinton St. Baking Company serves this Southern comfort classic.  Fried chicken, buttermilk waffles and maple syrup.  Do I hear you saying YUM?

If that doesn't turn you on, then maybe this will?  Their blueberry pancakes are much talked about around town.

If I've just bored you because you don't have a sweet tooth, oops sorry your hard to please!  Well then you can go the burger route.  They're winners too.

Have I allured you yet?  If your a breakfast food lover this is definitely your spot because they serve breakfast all day.  I get excited over that, because I do occasionally crave breakfast for dinner.  Is that weird?  I don't think so!  HA.

They've been around since 2001 so nothing new.  But tried and tested and still with stand their name all these years.  I also just found out that they have expanded into Dubai and Tokyo too!  International winners.  Double WOW.  Add this to your list if your not a fan already.

Clinton St. Baking Company
4 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
T: 646. 602. 6263

I SPY: Grand Slam

Sep 14, 2015

Tired of hearing me talk about the US Open's?  This is it!  PROMISE.  The tennis matches came to an end yesterday and we have new Grand Slam champions.  I lost both my bets on Serena Williams and Roger Federer.  BOO.  Sign I should stop betting?  Never!

Flavia Pennetta is the woman's singles champ.  Congrats to her!  I was so ecstatic for her when she scored.  I was crying happy tears together with her on her win, and then when she announced that she was retiring I just lost all control.  How embarrassing!

Photo Credit: www.indianexpress.com

What an amazing way to end her tennis career and say goodbye huh?  I wasn't a fan of hers, and knew very little about her career, but by the end of her finals game I was!  She won my heart with that winner smile and so much warmth in her.  It's contagious.  Plus her fiancé is that hot tennis star Fabio Fognini who I was drooling over last week!  Now you know I watch sports for the wrong reasons!  HA.

Novak Djokovic won the men's singles.  UGH.  I was upset to see my man Roger loose.  But it was an awesome match that I was lucky enough to watch live last night.  It was all worth it, even though it started 3 hours late due to a rain delay.  These people were smart to come prepared with an umbrella.  However, the majority of us were forced to run inside for cover to wait the rain out.

Once the rain stopped we were all pumped for the match to begin.  The marine corps opened the ceremony unfurling the flag. It was a beautiful sight, and look at how big that flag was.  Almost the size of the tennis court!  HUGE.

The vibes at Arthur Ashe stadium last night was lit.  The fans were in full form.  The games were exciting through out the four sets.  The scores were very close.  It was extremely nerve wrecking and such a close call till the very end.  A lot of FUN.

Well there you go…What a night!  I can now shut up about tennis and catch up on some sleep!  Till next year…

i * SPY CANDY. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.