The Diner Diary: Black Tap’s Insane Milkshakes

Seeing that I’m stranded in NYC (shout out to my cousin for letting me stay at her place a few extra days), I felt as if I should probably put my extra time to good use and share my latest New York adventure.

Despite the chilly January weather, my fellow HGTV intern Katie and I were determined to try the “insane” “delicious” milkshakes that were making waves on everybody’s newsfeeds.

So we set out at 6 P.M. after work on a Thursday to see what the Milkshake gods had in store for us. Apparently, we didn’t plan very well, and we didn’t know that Black Tap has two locations for their designer milkshakes. Our first stop was their Soho location (the original Black Tap). But after quickly learning that we would have to wait in line for, wait for it, TWO HOURS, we decided to politely retreat and call it a day. That was the plan, until we overheard that Black Tap’s other location had a 45 minute wait and it was MUCH larger.

So we jumped on the subway and headed to the Meatpacking district. This location was HUGE. Take my word for it, milkshake lovers, and go to the location on 14th street. Don’t waist your time waiting in an endless line at Black Tap Soho. A short 15 minute wait later, Katie and I were seated.

As we sat down, our waitress told us that the milkshake wait was an HOUR long. At that point, we were determined to still get our treats so we quickly ordered our milkshakes and an order of fries. Naturally, we didn’t have to wait quite that long to get the shakes, but it was well worth the 20 minutes we did wait.

These milkshakes were very much worthy of the hype. Mine, a cotton candy milkshake, stood almost a foot tall, topped with whipped cream, an entire ball of cotton candy and adorned with a full sized lollipop, two rock candy sticks and an entire rim of malted milk balls. This treat was extraordinary.

Katie’s milkshake, the “Sweet and Salty” was a chocolate shake with assorted chocolate candies, pretzel sticks and M&Ms around the rim. She even dug out an entire Sugar Daddy candy bar that had sunk down below the sugary layer of whipped cream.

These New Yorkers surely do know how to do their sweets. FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (4)IMG_7702


The Diner Diary: Coffee Date at Fika

In honor of a much needed three-day weekend, I felt like a little coffee treat was just what I wanted. I never expected to find a place as spectacular as Fika. With locations all over Manhattan, I didn’t think that the coffee and sweets would be as high-quality and gorgeous as they were. The New York brand boasts locally crafted coffee and espresso from Brooklyn and award-winning chocolate truffles (both of the non-alcoholic and alcoholic variety). I met up with two of my friends from the dance school I teach at, Alaina and Jessica, and we all spent the afternoon sipping on some lattes and cappuccinos and indulging in mini chocolate truffles.

These “award-winning” truffles were nothing short of amazing. As pictured below, I ordered a cappuccino with one salted caramel truffle (an absolute salty delight) and a chocolate Bailey’s Irish Cream truffle (which was just about as decadent as you can imagine).

Before we left, the three of us nabbed some of their goodies from the merchandise corner of the cafe.

This cafe, despite its overwhelming presence in Manhattan, is a truly wonderful find.

Project Redecorate

I’m in a complete and total redecorating mood. All I want to do is start over with my bedroom. Even though I know I’ll be moving (most likely to a different state) in the next few months, this little urge isn’t going to go away.
I blame my time at HGTV, which has me staring at issues upon issues of home decorating tips or looking at a computer screen full of pillows.

So yesterday I decided to start a Pinterest board to organize all my redecorating desires. Here are a few of my favorite finds. I can’t wait to get my hands on these when I get back to Madison.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 10.33.14 AM

Clockwise from top:  Lamp: Walmart, $14.97; Paris clock: Walmart, $10.97; Utility cart: Amazon, $54.80; Bird cage candle holder: Joann Fabrics, $3.99; Marquee light: Target, $9.99

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 10.35.26 AM

Clockwise from top: Brown pillow: Target, $18.00; White pillow: Target, $17.00; Wire basket: Target, $21.24; Pink pillow: Dormify, $5 (on sale!)

Saturday in Soho

I’m not going to lie: I can’t remember the last time I slept in past 10 a.m. And yet, there I was, waking up at 1 p.m. this Saturday. But despite my lazy slumber (aka much needed beauty rest from my first week at HGTV), I somehow was able to put myself together in 15 minutes, and I jumped on the quickest train to Soho so I could meet my cousin Heather for lunch.

I almost forgot how much I love Soho. In a different (and much richer) life, I would totally get a place somewhere in Soho and roll in all my money in my big loft. But I guess I have to take what I can get. So Heather and I decided to hit up one of her favorite places, Hampton Chutney Company, where we enjoyed dosas. I had a seasonal dosa with roasted butternut squash, portobello mushrooms, arugula and jack cheese. I added avocado with a side of peanut chutney, and I got a traditional iced chai to drink. This has to be one of my favorite places I’ve eaten at so far in the city: crispy, nutritious, and flavorful. These dosas had it all.


Next, we took a detour to Chinatown and Little Italy. We grabbed some bubble tea at Kung Fu Tea. And we finished the afternoon off by hitting up West Broadway and walking to Laduree. Despite not being a groupie of Laduree (because let’s be honest, mass produced macarons just aren’t the same as the macarons made with tender love and care), I had to pick up a few to fulfill my macaron cravings. And also, their shops have the cutest aesthetic.




God, I love Soho.



Lessons from My First Week


Perhaps this post should be titled “Lessons from my first 10 or so days in NYC” or “Lessons from my first 5 days at my internship” … but that all sounded too difficult and rather wordy. So let’s just settle with my knowledge being accumulated over the course of around a week (or so). There are so many cliche things I could say about my internship (like “wow, the magazine industry works so quickly”) or about NYC (like “wow, there really are dead rats in the subway” and “wow, you really do have to hold onto your belongings in sketchier parts of the city”), but I feel as though those are the lessons we could all learn in watching one OG  episode of Gossip Girl. So here are the legitimate life lessons I’ve picked up this past week: from the advice I’ve received from my close friends to the everyday observations I’ve picked up on my walk from the subway station to my office building.

1.) Damn. Starbucks is expensive here.

2.) There’s a difference between the “express” subway and the “local” subway trains.

3.) Down time as an intern gives you the opportunity to either do nothing at all or to work productively on the small things you never thought possible. Currently attempting the latter.

4.) If I’m going act like I fit in here, I’m going to need to buy a chic fur jacket (all the cool Upper West Siders have one for some reason).

5.) Packing food for work is actually a necessity. Two words: cheese sticks.

6.) Just because you might travel to East Harlem to buy a specific product doesn’t mean that the company will choose to use said “specific product” for the final copy of the magazine. And in some cases, they’ll ask for said “specific product” from at least three or four different vendors.

7.) $400 is pocket money for big corporations.

8.) If you wear heels to work, always bring a pair of ballet flats in your bag (ALWAYS).

9.) Remember that part of The Devil Wears Prada when Andy learns to bring a tiny notebook to write down all the ridiculous requests Miranda throws at her? Yeah, not a bad call, Andy. Tiny notebooks are EVERYTHING.

10.) Going to lunch in the city at lunchtime is nearly impossible, unless you want to stand in a HELLA long line. Instead, go right after the lunch rush to avoid standing in a long line (we all know what it’s like when I get hangry).