This past weekend I took a business trip to New York City to learn how to add some punch to my blog! I knew right away that I had to attend the Blogcademy when Gala Darling (this girl got swag!) kept showing up on my Pinterest feed. Come to find out one of the other head mistresses, their seductive name for leaders, is Kat from Rock n’ Roll Bride, one of the coolest wedding spots on the internet—where our wedding was featured last year. To say the world is small is an understatement but in this case, I like to think the world is connected. I haven’t decided how I’ll spill what I’ve learned but in some way, shape or form, you will be able to read all the amazing things I learned from the event in the near future. Let’s just say, I am exited, motivated and ready to create some pretty kick ass content for your reading pleasure.
The summit took place in Brooklyn and so wandering the neighborhood became my morning and evening plans when class was out. I was inspired by all the graffiti, the healthy food options, the small shops filled with unique gifts and the hipster people inhabiting the streets. This being my first time to New York City, (and also a check off my bucket list) I wanted to share with you the 7 inspirational gems I found in my time spent in Brooklyn…
#1 The Kale Salad at Lodge
When lunch time came around the first day, I walked up a few blocks and found this corner restaurant called the Lodge. I looked at the menu and found a Kale Salad and figured there’s no better time to try my first kale salad than now! I normally don’t take many food risks (I know, I know…definitely not fierce of me) but I am so glad I did in this case. I added fresh grilled chicken to the salad and along with it came their homemade Caesar dressing. Other times I have used kale has been to put in a smoothy to add fiber and healthy greens and having tried the kale on its own, it was hard to get from my mouth to my throat to the final destination of down my throat. It was hard, crispy and almost sharp in places but what I learned from the Lodge’s Kale salad is that you have to chop it up in strips. Doing so leaves this robust green without the sharpness I had experienced with it as a whole leaf. I did some googling and found this tutorial for chopping your kale.
#2 Coconut Water on the streets in China Town
I was so grateful to have been able to meet up with two Fierce Forward Ambassadors, Kaseedee & Mariette, during my stay! To say they gave me a warm welcome does not do it justice. Kaseedee text me full on directions through my first subway ride in NYC, showed up at the subway terminal to greet me, took me to get new shoes as my chuck tailors had rubbed so long on the back of my heel there were blisters and then walked me around Manhattan to show me all the sights we could get in before we met Mariette for dinner! We walked through Soho where Elizabeth Olsen walked right by me in the cutest black, floppy hat and through China town where street vendors sold exotic fruits and even chopped a coconut for your drinking pleasure. This was another first! I have never tried coconut water straight from the coconut but immediately felt I should be taken somewhere on a beach and left to relax. Needless to say, it might have tasted a little like cereal water but I was happy I tried something fun.
#3 242 Grand Jewelry on 242 Grand Street, Brooklyn
I was walking across the street when I spotted this store with tons of chains hanging inside and it wasn’t until I saw the gold skull in the window that I knew I had to get over there pronto. Walking in, I was drawn to the crystal necklaces, then the bronze skull ring that now adorns my pinky finger and even chatted it up with one of the local jewelers who was working. After I told her my idea that I’m walking around Brooklyn and collecting my favorite inspirational gems and that this shop would be 1 of the 7, she told me to try to walk to the river (a few blocks down) and find peace in the silence by walking or biking across the bridge. See #4.
#4 The Williamsburg Bridge
I was so bummed not to have had time to take her advice and walk to the bridge, she did tell me you can easily rent a bike and make your way across it any time you’d like and that her favorite times to go were in the early morning and late afternoon, when the bridge was void of the mass of people that are normally out and about. She said that is her escape within the city and it’s beyond beautiful. A definite must-do for my next visit to Brooklyn!
#5 Love Grace Juice
At Blogcademy, one of their sponsors greeted us with samples of fresh squeezed juice from her local shop, Love Grace. After sampling a few different mixes, I decided my favorite was the carrot/ginger/apple/lemon pictured above! During most of my stay in NYC, I had a cold so choosing the ginger was a great way to combat any lurking cracks in my immune system. I love that you can purchase the juice online and have it delivered to your door, which will last 3-5 days in your refrigerator. You can even order a Cleanse from them (definitely thinking about it!)
#6 66 Hope Cafe Coffee Shop
It goes without saying that I love a morning cup of coffee! Each morning, I would make a pit stop at the coffee shop across the street from the convention and get an iced latte to sip on through the morning. Inside the coffee shop was the most beautiful display of plants and long wooden tables that you can sit at and read, write or sip your coffee. I found a few coffee shops but this one definitely took the cake. #7 Unexpected Street Art
It seemed like every time you turned a corner or turned your gaze to the ground, there were messages in the form of graffiti. I have always loved the art of graffiti. Not the ones where buildings are destructed because of it but the art that serves the purpose of sending a positive message to the world, be it through a painting or a message in words. Brooklyn has a wall that is graffiti’d You Are Beautiful-that’s what I’m talking about! And if you can’t find a positive message, write your own!