May 30, 2014

Food & Drinks / Diner and Boys from Jersey


Three weeks ago we went to see the musical Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. I didn't know who Franki Valli was, nor had I ever heard of The Four Seasons. I had no idea which performers where portraying which roles and I had no clue which music we were going to hear (except for the song Begging). So to say I went to this musical with an open mind was an understatement. Before we went to see the musical, we had dinner in this amazing diner across from the theatre. How awesome is that painting of the Joker?! I wanted to take it home with me, but I didn't =) Oh I liked the musical by the way. Not my favourite (that's still Saturday Night Fever, the first musical I ever saw), but I had a great evening!









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May 28, 2014

Sleeping / Cheap Hostels/Hotels in NY

YMCA Vanderbilt in 2012
This picture says more about the size of the room than about the amount of shopping we did! =D

Next to your air plane ticket, the place where you're going to stay is one of the first things you want to take care of when you're planning a trip. I would love to sleep in the most luxurious suites, but I don't have that kind of money. The money I do have, I rather spend on things like shopping and food. So next up are five affordable places where you can stay while you're in New York.

1. YMCA Vanderbilt (hostel) - www.ymcanyc.org/vanderbilt

I've stayed in this hostel two years ago. The room is about the size of a closet and you've shared bathrooms. If you're looking for a cheap place to stay and you have no problem with that, this is a perfect place. It's in the middle of Manhattan, walking distance to the subway, for a good price and the people that work there are friendly. The rooms are bit old, but as you can see we rather spend out money on other things =D

2. Hotel Newton (hotel) - www.thehotelnewton.com

This hotel is located in the Upper West Side and there is a subway station really close by. The rooms got a bit of an old fashioned feel about them, but I think a lot of hotels have the same thing. It's probably because of all the patterns in the curtains and bedspreads. The hotel doesn't have free WiFi, what I think is a bit of a downside, but you can always go to Starbucks.

3. Pod 51 / 39 Hotel (hostel) - www.thepodhotel.com

I love the look of this hotel / hostel! This one is really modern, lots of white and bright colours. They have shared bathrooms, but you can also choose to have a private bathroom (which makes the whole thing more expensive off course). Both their locations are located in Manhattan and near to subway station. I haven't stayed here myself, but this Pod is definitely on my list for the next time I'll visit New York.

4. Hotel 17 (hostel) - www.hotel17ny.com

This place has gotten good reviews and oh no, more of those patterns on the curtains and bedspreads (I'm just kidding, we love those old fashioned patterns). This hotel is located in Gramercy Park neighbourhood. It's also close to Union Square, where there are a lot of shops (like Macy's and Victoria's Secret) and you can take the subway there.

5. HI New York (hostel) - www.hiusa.org

The other hostels I talked about all had private rooms (with shared bathrooms), but this hostel is really affordable when you book a dorm room where 6-8-10-12 people can stay. I've never done this before and I'm not really sure if I would, but it's an really affordable way to stay in New York. It's gotten really good reviews on Tripadvisor, but you have to make sure it's your cup of tea. If you rather have a private room, than this is not for you.
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May 26, 2014

Food & Drinks / Eggs out of a wall


A few weeks ago we went out to get eggs. We didn't go to a supermarket or a farm. We kind of did go to a farm, but where we got the eggs was a little different. Here in The Netherlands we have fastfood restaurants that have walls with little doors (oh how I love describing this) where you can get your snacks. So you don't have to wait in line (well sometimes you do). What I didn't know was that there are farms that use this same kind of system. Only they don't sell snacks but eggs. Genius! You type in the number of the window you want to open, put in the money and you can open the door. Again, genius!





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May 25, 2014

Food & Drinks / Bagels in New York

Silver Star Diner, New York City

1. Absolute Bagels - www.absolutebagels.com

You may have to stand in line for this one, but they all say it's worth it. They have all kinds of bagels and toppings (that's probably why the line is so long, everyone has a hard time choosing). This one is on top of my list for the next time I'm in New York!

2. Bagel Oasis - www.bageloasis.com

This store is always (!) open. So when you're graving a late night bagel, this is the place to go. Bagel Oasis has been making their bagels the old fashioned way, handmade, for over 45 years. Just like all the others, this bagel shop is mentioned in all the best bagels in New York lists. Definitely with checking this place out.

3. Ess-a-Bagel - www.ess-a-bagel.com

Ess-a-Bagel has been in New York since 1976 and is located on 1st Ave. By popular demand they opened a second store on 3rd Ave. They've won a lot of prices for their bagels as well as for their salads and their varieties of cream cheese. The store has a lovely wooden exterior and there are quite a few small tables were you can sit.

4. H&H Bagels - www.hhbagels.net

Not only is this one on a lot of best bagels lists, this one is famous as well. H&H Bagels has been featured in a few movies and tv-shows like Seinfeld, Friends, The Office and You've Got Mail. H&H is also one of the largest bagel producers in the world, so they probably know their bagels. No reason not to go here for your morning bagel!

5. Murray's - www.murraysbagels.com

Murray's Bagels is located in Greenwich Village and has been there since 1996. Their bagels are hand-crafted and made fresh everyday. No wonder they're on so many top 10 best bagels in New York lists! Check their website for the exact location and don't forget to read the story on how it all started (I love things like that!).
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May 23, 2014

Home / Glass decoration


One of the easiest (and cheapest) things to decorate your house with: Glass! You don't have to go to a store to buy expensive vases, you can find them everywhere. Use empty (duh!) wine bottles, like the ones I used. These are extra fun because they're not you typical wine bottles. Or other glass items that used to have food in them. You can get the labels of by laying them in warm water for a while. You can see my collection has grown a bit, since I started with only the two wine bottles in this post. I try to collect different kind of shapes, which gives the whole thing a fun look.




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May 21, 2014

Travel / Beauty Shopping in New York

Sephora on 5th avenue, New York City

1. ULTA - www.ulta.com

If you're into beauty, than you must have heard of Ulta. Every American blogger and/or vlogger goes here to do their beauty shopping. Ulta has some brands that Sephora doesn't have, like NYX, Chi, Dermalogica and Japonesque. I don't hear a lot of people talking about the fact that there's a Ulta in New York. It's not in Manhattan though, but in Queens. You can take the subway to Queens and get out at 63 Dr - Rego Park (the E, M & R trains will take you there). From there it's just a short walk to Rego Park Center I and II. Ulta is located in Rego Park Center II. 

2. Sephora - www.sephora.com

We had a Sephora in the Netherlands for a while, but now it's gone. For all those beauty addicts out there that don't know what to do with their lives without a Sephora, in New York they're everywhere. Not only are they everywhere, they're also bigger and better than in most other countries. There are way more brands and their assortment is huge (don't spend your whole trip in there ;D).

3. Walgreens, CVS & Duane Reade - www.walgreens.com, www.cvs.com & www.duanereade.com

These are actually three different stores, but hey they're all drugstores in New York City. The drugstores in your own country are like ok, but drugstores in other countries are so much more interesting! These three are also al over the city and you can spend hours browsing the aisles. Some of them are even open 24hours (for when you feel the need to buy some make up in the middle of the night ;D). Some of the brands that are available in these drugstores are CoverGirl, Milani and Wet n Wild (Walgreens) and Simple, Neutrogena and Essie (CVS). 

4. Bath and Body Works - www.bathandbodyworks.com

Known for their amazing shower gels, body butters, handsanitizers and candles, this is a place you have to visit while you're in New York. They adapt their collections to the season, so their products always have the right smell for the season. There are only a few stores in New York City, find their addresses on their website or Google.

5. Department Stores

Whether you go to Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Henri Bendel, Saks Fifth Avenue or Macy's (Macy's being the least luxurious) if you want to buy something at these places you're going to have to break the bank. If you decide to do just that, that does mean you're going to walk out with some pretty amazing beauty items (start saving up! I know I will). Look at their websites to find their addresses.

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May 19, 2014

News / A New Focus

New York City, 2009
I've been blogging on justAimee for almost a year and a half. My main focus for this blog has always been photography. Through my photographs you could see bits and pieces of my life. About the things I like (traveling, photography, reading, food, beauty and fashion). It felt like my blog was kind of all over the place. So for a while now, I've been thinking about focussing my blog on one subject. I don't want to limit myself, but I do want the focus to be on that subject. All the other things will just be extras. So, what's that subject going to be?

When I was reading Mascha's book Happy Life, she asked the question what could you do for 24 hours a day? What do you like to do so much that you could do it all day long? To my surprise I could answer the question immediately. You know that I love to travel, but what you maybe don't know is that I love to plan my trips. I love to do research (as I call it) weeks, sometimes even months, before my trip. I love this so much I could do this all day long. On those days I won't even notice the time passing by.

That's it! I'm going to do my research just like I do before a trip and instead of keeping it all to myself, I'm going to publish it on my blog. I know that there are a lot of people out there that don't like to do this kind of research and now they don't have to. I don't have any trips planned for myself (unfortunately money doesn't grow on trees - not yet anyway), but that's OK. I can still do my research as if I'm going and I can also share things from previous trips.

Off course I'll keep blogging about my personal life as well, just like I did before, through my photographs. I hope you enjoy this change as much as I do! =)
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May 18, 2014

Food & Drinks / Mother's Day


My photography / lifestyle blog feels like a food blog these days. I may love food and food is a big part of my life, but lately I wondering if that part isn't too big. Maybe I should eat less crappy food and more healthy food and the only food pictures that are allowed on my blog are healthy food pictures. Maybe that's what I should do =)










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May 16, 2014

Beauty / Coconut Care Facial Cleansing Wipes


You might think I'm weird, but I like the packaging of cleansing wipes. I have no idea why, I just do. 


A while back I'd run out of my Bioderma (seriously I need to go back to Paris and get more of that stuff, it's so good!), so I had to use my old Dr. Van de Hoog cleansing milk and lotion again. Disappointed that it wasn't as good as the one from Bioderma, I wanted to buy some cleansing wipes. Easier to use, for days when I'm just too lazy. When I saw these ones from Coconut Care, I was like oooh coconut! They were only about €0,79 so I bought two packs.

They are OK for cleansing wipes, but nothing beats my Bioderma! =)


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May 14, 2014

Books / Happy Life by Mascha


When I read that Mascha (Dutch blogger / youtuber) was writing a book, I immediately thought I want to read that book. Mascha turned her hobby / passion into her job. I'm a firm believer of doing things you like and love. I can't imagine myself having a job (for the rest of my life!) that I don't like. That fact that her book is full of great tips, tricks and stories to get a Happy Life is even more amazing! I just finished reading it, and I can say that I enjoyed reading it. Definitely a book you get back to, to read certain chapters again. Well done Mascha!


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May 12, 2014

Photography / Another day, another park


A while back we went to this park which has all kinds of different things for kids to play with and learn from. It all was very environment friendly. I love that you can find these kinds of places just outside the city, but it looks like you've driven for hours and hours.







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May 11, 2014

Food & Drinks / Cold Pasta Salad Recipe






Ingredients

300 grams of macaroni
400 grams of chicken fillet  (small pieces)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 tablespoons of red pesto
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic
300 grams of cherry tomatoes
4 spring onions
70 grams of pine seeds
100 grams of grated cheese
3 tablespoons of fresh shredded basil
Salt and pepper

What you need to do

Cook the macaroni and drain it so that there's no water left in the pot.
Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the lemon juice and the pressed garlic. Add this to the still warm pasta. Now leave the pasta to cool down. 
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bake the chicken fillet approximately 4 minutes. Add some salt and pepper and leave the chicken to cool down. 
Roast the pine seeds till they're golden brown and leave them to cool down.
Cut the cherry tomatoes and spring onions in little pieces. 
Mix the cherry tomatoes, spring onions, grated cheese and the chicken with the pasta.
Last but not least add the pine seeds and the fresh shredded basil.

* Wow it's kind of difficult to translate Dutch recipes into English. I hope everything makes sense, let me know if it doesn't =)
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May 9, 2014

Photography / Liberation Day!


On the fifth of May we celebrated Liberation Day. We went to a music festival in Haarlem and I snapped some pictures with my iPhone. We had amazing weather, delicious food, all in all a great day!















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