Fusion Taco Night

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The holiday festivities are almost coming to a close, but family and friend gatherings are still happening!  Potluck is always fun, if you know what’s coming so that you’ll get a fair amount of food versus desserts. Then there’s always take out or home cooked meals. One of my favorites this year that I started doing randomly with friends is a themed night. We’ve tried sushi night and hotpot so far! Also did pizza and others, but photos didn’t do justice to a belly-filling night! This time, our friends invited us over for taco night.  While we brought the more traditional guacamole and pico de gallo, they got creative with their Korean and Chipotle inspired dishes. (It may sound so odd, but who doesn’t love creating their own combinations?) 

Starting off with garlic rice … 

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then a side of vinegar-marinated carrots and cucumbers, 

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Mexican corn on the cob, 

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bulgogi beef, 

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shredded chicken, 

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guacamole, 

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and pico de gallo.

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With the many varieties, you can make a Mexican-style taco with chicken, sour cream, guacamole, and rice …

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or a Korean-style taco with bulgogi beef and the marinated cucumbers and carrots / garlic rice. 

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The food was just fantastic!  I’d love to try more themed nights for 2016!  Got an idea? Want to host one along with me? Do share please! 🙂 

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Beautiful and Ugly At The Same Time

It seems that in the last few years, “ugly” sweaters have gotten really popular and so have ugly sweater contests!  There are even websites such as UglyChristmasSweaterParties and Pinterest heavy ideas to help with the making of them.  This year, our school Parents Association hosted an incredibly sweet Teachers Appreciation Breakfast / Luncheon last year, and part of the fun was wearing an ugly sweater to be part of a staff contest. My first instinct was “Where the heck am I going to find an ugly sweater?!?” Of course two days after that, my favorite sweater got ruined by random things in my classroom and by the velcro on my jacket sleeve.  VOILA!  There goes a sweater that I can plop some ugly stuff on!

So Tuesday came about, and many teachers showed up in the most fun sweaters. My favorite part about all of it was the fact that our staff really took it to a whole different level and embraced the fact that just for one day, we can look as silly as we want!

From Hanukkah to Christmas, from LED lights to hand sewn details, from 3D pop-outs to sweaters that jingle and make noises, the creativity was intense!  I took as many photos of the sweaters as I can (with faces of course cropped out for privacy). Thanks to all the teachers for letting me take pictures to share with everyone!

Can you all guess who the winners were?  2 for most creative and 1 for ugliest sweater!

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Holiday Checklist Begins

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23 presents and counting … Sometimes being the older one in the family makes me feel like Santa. Wrapping gifts used to be one of my favorite things to do – I’d even volunteer my time with New York Cares to wrap gifts at Barnes and Noble.  I still love to do it, but wish the shopping part was a bit easier! When you don’t know what the people want, it makes it ten times harder! 

I started my shopping a few weeks ago, and one of my first stops was the Union Square Holiday Market.  I’ve always wanted to go but somehow never did!  They have some beautiful things that I adore, but then there are these little trinkets that you kind of wonder what you’re going to do with after you buy them…  the trip didn’t wind up to be successful with shopping, but I did enjoy the time spent looking at some of the talent out there and the unique handmade items. Plus, who can resist the view of the Empire State Building right behind!?  

One of the two “cute” vendors that popped out at me – how cute are these handmade planes and animals?? 

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Some vendors offer samples, some are just attractive to look at based on packaging and a friendly face. I met Mary here from Lebkuchen who offered some delicious Gingerbread cookie like no other!  It’s made the European way – baked with a wafer on the bottom, with the sticky dough on top. Her company packaging was adorable! 

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There are lots of shops to choose from, and even if you’re not shopping, it’s good to stop by for a nice sample, viewing, and good holiday cheer. It’s almost as if you’re in the Christmas markets of Europe… except without the mulled wine and bratwursts!  (Ohhh Germany, how I’ve missed you…) 

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Sad that December is already half gone, but excited that the Christmas countdown has begun. Union Square market down, Rockefeller next!  What’s on YOUR holiday to-do list? 

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Happy 2 Years to Lilspirations!

I’m gonna need some twins for this one! 😉  I can’t believe it has been 2 years!  It has been such a joy to have this blog since my husband slash web designer created this as my way of sharing my joys with all of you.  A HUGE THANK YOU to YOU – for reading, for sharing, for just listening to me share (and sometimes vent!) about all the little things in life, especially here in New York City. The blog has come a long way, from a simple entry about how all it takes is one idea to being an entrepreneur to interviews with some incredible talents out there such as my friend Christina Seid from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.  I can’t wait to see how much the third year will grow as I recently renewed this domain.  Just thank you thank you for all of it! 

Wish I had time this week to create a little collage for you, but here are 5 of some memorable posts from the last 2 years!

Easter Egg Hunt of NYC 

My Australian Animals Adventure

Foodies Love Hudson Eats 

Behind the Scenes at the DonorsChoose Office

My Visit to a Fashion Designers Ruben & Isabel Toledos’ Home

Please do send an email and tell me what you’d love to read about or what your favorite entries were! 🙂  As always, thanks for reading! xox

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A New Angle (literally) on Thanksgiving

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A whole week after Thanksgiving weekend, I’m finally here to share all the fun and yum! I got to spend a laugh-till-your-stomach-hurts Thanksgiving with both my family and my in-laws, and it was just a huge blessing.  A family-oriented weekend indeed, and that’s really what I believe the holidays should be if we have the opportunity to.

As always, I’m looking for new insights and things to learn even in the midst of the ordinary. During our Thanksgiving dinner, I broke out my Nikon camera with our new 35mm 1/1.8G lens and started clicking away. Thanks to the tips from my professional food photographer uncle (Thanks, King!), I was able to capture some new angles of food photos (family photos can’t be posted, sorry!). Here’s what I took, with the exception of the last and above photos.

Starting with the star of the dinner…

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