Monday, February 20, 2017

Table for Two #2

I'm really excited that Rachel of Hello, Chelly and I have teamed up once more to bring you a brand spanking new collaboration that involves two of my favorite things - New York City and food. We're proud to introduce Table for Two, where the two of us will be highlighting restaurants and dessert spots in New York City. You'll be hearing our personal opinions on the place and the food, as well as where you can go to try it out for yourself!



We're back with another round of Table for Two! This time around, we decided to grab dinner at Izakaya Mew, a restaurant I only discovered last year and fell in love with, and dessert at Sweet Churros in K-Town (which you can read about on Rachel's blog).

Honestly, if you hadn't heard of the place (or if you don't have sisters like mine, who are excellent at finding food spots to try), you probably wouldn't even notice Izakaya Mew. The entrance is a single door with very simple signage, and it opens directly onto a narrow staircase. Once you descend, you'll get your first glimpse of the dimly light, simply furnished spot - hanging light bulbs, Haruki Murakami art, and a lot of wood details. It's a charming little nook amidst the big city bustle, and not even the crowds would deter me from a regular visit.

Once you're seated at your table (which is, admittedly, a bit of a tight squeeze because the tables are a bit close together to accommodate more people), you'll be handed their menu and poured a glass of water. Their menu has so much to offer in terms of Japanese food mixed with New York flavor, and it'll take a while before you decide on what you want to eat! This visit, I decided I wanted to have the fancy roll (which is eel, avocado, cream cheese topped with crabstick and eel sauce) and Rachel had the katsudon (which is deep-fried cutlets over rice). We also shared the salmon sashimi tacos (marinated salmon with guacamole) for an appetizer. As always, the food was absolutely delicious and extremely filling! Plus, the prices are quite reasonable too.

All in all, Izakaya Mew is, by far, one of my favorite spots to eat in New York! Especially for Japanese food, since all the things I've ever had at the restaurant were delicious. You can find Izakaya Mew on 53 W 35th St. Basement, New York, NY 10001, and they are open for lunch (Monday-Friday from 12pm-2:45pm), as well as dinner (Monday-Thursday from 5:30-11:00pm, Friday-Saturday from 5:30-12am and Sunday from 5:30-10pm). Let us know if you decide to check it out!


2017 Love-a-Thon: Wrap-up + Giveaway

This is it, folks. We've officially hit the end of this year's Love-a-Thon. I'm always sad to bid this event goodbye, because it's so near and dear to my heart. I've loved having the opportunity to get to know many folk better, being inspired by all of the insanely creative posts that have popped up over the weekend and just being reminded how much I love the genuine enthusiasm that I see during the event. I'm so overwhelmed by joy and gratitude, and want to say thank you to every single person who was involved in making it happen this year.

First of all, I'm so grateful to my incredible co-hosts - my darlings Cee, Kristin & Mel. Without your creative input, generous contributions of time and effort and genuine enthusiasm, this event would not have been what it was. So grateful for the three of you, and glad we could work together for this year's Love-a-Thon!

Second of all, I need to give a shoutout to the wonderful folk who donated so generously to make our giveaways amazing this year: Tor Teen, Disney-Hyperion, the NOVL, and Alex from Booksy Daisy Reviews. I'm so blown away from your generosity, and excited for our giveaway winners!

And, last but certainly not least, thank you to each and every single person who participated this year. My passion for this event is fueled by seeing connections being made, and witnessing the genuine enthusiasm and positivity that this event brings about, and this year was no different. So grateful for you all, and I hope you've enjoyed the Love-a-Thon this year!

Just going to leave you all with another repeat of what I first said at the end of a Love-a-Thon two years ago, mostly because I feel like it's still relevant:
Let me leave you with one important thought: Love should be shared all year round. Yes, this Love-a-Thon is time we set aside specifically to celebrate the people we love in this crazy awesome blogging community, and that's always a wonderful thing. But it's important to remember to be kind, to be respectful and to be expressive of our love + gratitude + joy all the time. We should strive to keep the positive attitude the Love-a-Thon inspires going all year round!

Thanks again for being a part of the 2017 Love-a-thon! I wish I could give you all virtual hugs (or high fives, if you're more comfortable with that), but I suppose these last three giveaways are going to have to do... But seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so, so much. Please enter the giveaway below, which is open internationally. We'll be choosing three random winners for each of the prize packs listed below!

Prize Pack #1
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
Becoming Bonnie newspaper
Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (ARC)
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (ARC)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon + Dean Hale (ARC)
Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (ARC)

Prize Pack #2
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
Becoming Bonnie newspaper
The Nerdy + The Dirty by B.T. Gottfred
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Updraft by Fran Wilde
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Gauntlet by Holly Jennings (ARC)
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (ARC)
At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (ARC)

Prize Pack #3
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly 
Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The Infinity of You and Me by J.Q. Coyle
Spindle by E.K. Johnston
Dreamworld by Kit Alloway
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Romeo and What's Her Name by Shani Petroff (ARC)
The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (ARC)
Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman (ARC)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Love-a-Thon: On the Road Again


The Love-a-Thon is an annual event that has been running since 2012, and it's continued to grow in the five years since then. It's meant to encourage positivity, form and strengthen relationships and to just be a whole lot of fun. This year, I'm co-hosting with Cee of The Novel HermitKristin of Super Space Chick & Mel of The Daily Prophecy! (P.S. If you're only discovering this event today, please know that you're still welcome to sign up to be a part of it!)



We're finally on to our last mini-challenge for this year's event! Cee was the mastermind behind the dream tea party challenge from last year, and she's come up with one that's similar but with a new goal in mind - a dream road trip. Tell us where you'd go, what you'd do, who'd you bring and more! If you want to be entered in the giveaway for this challenge, please link us to your post for the challenge over at The Novel Hermit. Don't fret if you're not awake yet, as the linky will be open through February 20!


Even though I don't drive nowadays (I know how to, but I haven't gotten my US license just yet and I really haven't driven in years), I love road trips. Even though it's not necessarily the most comfortable of scenarios, I've always found traveling on the road really magical. If I were planning my ideal road trip, I'd love to travel to Canada - specifically Niagara Falls, Montreal and Whistler Mountain. I've never been to Canada before, but it looks beautiful and I'm all about small, bustling cities and mountainous landscapes.


We'd take a big ol' SUV (maybe a Jeep Grand Cherokee?), stuff it silly with pillows and blankets, snacks, and a cooler with drinks, and an iPod specially prepared with songs for the trip. I'd definitely dress comfortably - leggings, an oversized sweater, sneakers, with a scarf, tank top, fuzzy socks, boots, fuzzy hat all tucked away if things got cooler.


I honestly think I'd only take along real life folk on this trip - Macky (my husband), Mel (my sister), Rachel from Hello Chelly and Kelly from Belle of the Literati. We'd have a grand old time exploring, taking photos, chatting way too late into the night and just hanging out, and I generally feel like it would be a very jovial atmosphere.




Don't forget to link us to your post over at The Novel Hermit to be entered in the giveaway!

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