23 Years: A Libra’s Review

23 Years: A Libra’s Review

Ahh September. Crisp fall air, crunchy leaves and a socially acceptable time to start drinking hot chocolate (even though we all know I drink that liquid heaven year round). The ninth month of the year has always marked new beginnings for me. A time for reflection and renewal. Not to mention it’s the month of my birth sooo that may have something to do with it. Google even acknowledges their my birthday every year; it’s fantastic.

I’m mere days away from turning 24 and I’ve been thinking tons about what I’ve done in my 23rd year on this spinning globe of crazy. Join me on this trip down memory lane…

September 27, 2014 – midnight. I had just turned 23. I also happened to be at work at ABC News in NYC.

I used my 23rd birthday to raise nearly $2500 for one of my favorite charities, charity: water, and was invited to their yearly gala event where I met so many inspiring, philanthropic folks.

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(I’m currently running a campaign for this year too! Please join in and donate to bring clean water to folks who really need it!  CLICK HERE!)

At the time, I was living on the Upper West Side.

I frequented the Silver Moon Bakery where they make the absolute best chocolate brioche. NOM.

I saw Mariah Carey’s Christmas show at the Beacon Theater. And then I saw JT at MSG in Feb.

Love love love them both.

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By the beginning of 2015 I was working at NBC. I moved back home. I left NBC in March.

I MET ANDERSON COOPER AND ANDY COHEN AT AN EVENT IN BOSTON!!

I grabbed some temp work here and there…

…And then I booked a one way ticket to California…on a whim…which turned out to be one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made in my LIFE.

I’ve written about my travels, but it’s worth noting again how amazing that adventure really was.

I met tons of incredible people and even got to circle back with a few who ventured to NY after I was back!

Since getting back to NY, I’ve worked some temp jobs in an attempt to build my bank account back up.

But I still made time for other adventures, like hanging in the nation’s capital for a long weekend, trying kangaroo and randomly learning ukulele in Astoria…

I just got my first tattoo (!!!) by a very talented friend of mine. Click here to see more of Heather’s other amazing work!

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WOW. This year has definitely been jam packed.

 Despite all the times I felt lost and unsure of what the hell I was doing with my life in these last twelve months, it’s nice to look back and see all that I’ve done. I decided to take chances and live outside the confines of what our society deems ‘the norm.’

I can reflect on my 23rd year with such happiness in all of these amazing memories.

Cheers to all that 24 brings!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

NYC Restaurant Week: Let’s try some kangaroo…

NYC Restaurant Week: Let’s try some kangaroo…

Alas, NYC Restaurant week is upon us (until March 6th) which means food that’s normally “$$$$” is now accessible to us peasants at $38 for a three course dinner (not including drinks — can’t have it all, dude).

My friend Chelsea and I decided to embark on an Aussie Adventure and take a trip to Burke & Wills on the Upper West Side. The name of the restaurant comes from the folks Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills who led an expedition in the late 1800s and trekked 2,000 miles across Australia. Yay exploration! Speaking of which, let’s get on to exploring the food…

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Chicken Roaster.

Chelsea and I walked in, past the long slim bar area, passing the kitchen window and a chicken roaster on the way, to the rear of the restaurant where tables and booths circled the room and framed photos filled the walls. If you look up, you’ll find a lovely skylight ceiling. The area where we sat definitely had a more sophisticated vibe than the bar area which appeared to be very laid-back and, well, Australian.

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Butternut Squash Soup.

Ok, food time! For starters, I went with the Butternut Squash Soup which featured a chestnut vinaigrette and brioche croutons. It was one of those charades where they bring you the bowl and then pour the soup in front of you…faaaannncyyy. Let me tell you, this dang soup was absolutely DELICIOUS. I wish I could just have a constant IV drip of it. It tasted like Christmas in a way I can’t really explain other than perhaps the chestnuts in it…

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Roasted Scallops.

Chelsea opted for the Roasted Scallops and, again, they were DELICIOUS. If you’ve ever watched anything on the Food Network/Hell’s Kitchen, you know how hard it is for people to cook scallops correctly. It’s like the food that everybody inevitably screws up. I’ve had many a scallop (thinking they were good) but now I know I’ve only ever eaten ‘screwed up’ scallops, because the bite I had (that Chels so graciously offered) was perfection. A bit crispy on the outside and then tender and fresh and PERFECT in the middle. Go. Run. Get those scallops.

Main course: KANGAROO BURGERS, Y’ALL! There was really no other option. When in Rome Australia New York (pretending to be in the land down under)…

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Chelsea!
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Getting excited to try some ‘roo!

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of taste and I’m not even sure how to describe it now that I’ve tried it. Chelsea said it was a bit ‘gamey’ — we both enjoyed it though! It was served with “triple fried chips” which were basically very large, thick fries which came with a spicy dipping sauce. The burger itself was topped with a tomato jam and pickled onions.

 

 

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Bombolini.

 

For dessert, I asked for the waiter’s recommendation to which he immediately offered the Bomboloni and, with that, I was sold. Served as four little cinnamon sugar donuts with a dulce de leche filling and vanilla ice cream, it was the perfect note to end my Aussie Adventure.

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Pavlova.

Chelsea went with the more traditional Australian dessert, Pavlova. A passion fruit curd, fresh berries, and whipped cream all stacked between these unique melt-in-your-mouth crispy wafers.

Now that I’ve had a taste of Australia, I’m ready to book a flight! Who’s with me?!

 

 

Spread kindness and cheer, xo

Jackie