About Jillian M.

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powerful blueberry smoothie

Powerful Blueberry Smoothie - filled with antioxidants, vitamins, omegas-3s and more

This powerful blueberry smoothie is full of amazing ingredients that fill you up, pump you up and make you feel good. The blueberries are superstars in that they provide healthy and high doses of antioxidants, fiber, copper, potassium and multiple vitamins. Frozen strawberries add a much-needed frostiness while giving the body vitamin C, polyphenols (protects against free radicals) and manganese (supports bone health). A little bit of avocado provides the healthy fats, while keeping this drink as creamy as can be. The chia seeds are great here because you don’t actually taste or feel their texture, yet you’re still reaping the benefits of the protein and omega-3s. And the maca? That’s optional, but I’ve been using it as a natural energy boost every now and then and it’s amazingly effective at getting me up and going. This smoothie is all that and one more thing: it’s completely delicious! It’s no wonder it’s so powerful.

As with any smoothie, this recipe is highly adaptable. You don’t need to use nut milk, like I did. Any other milk or even coconut water would be fine and should you like it more runny, then add a little more of it. If you want it more creamy, add more of that avocado. For more icyness, you can throw an ice cube or two into the mix, or even more frozen fruit. And if anything else, add more blueberries because blueberries are just the best.

Powerful Blueberry Smoothie
serves 1

1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
5 frozen strawberries
1/4 flesh of an avocado
2 cups to start with of your favorite nut milk 
1-2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
Pinch of nutmeg

Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Adjust/add more ingredients to suit your taste.

Powerful Blueberry Smoothie.

So, my blender broke. Womp, womp. But I’m happy that it waited until all the ingredients were perfectly blended before it malfunctioned. I was wondering if I should get another cheap little thing or bite the bullet and go full-on Vitamix or some other high-powered blender that costs a boatload of money. But I think I’ve resolved to go with quality (cha-ching!) because in the long run, that might end up costing me less anyway. A friend has been singing the praises of the Vitamix, so I’m thinking about going in that direction. What do you think? Do you have a Vitamix or a good blender that you swear by? I’m open to suggestions.

the week of emotions

Get ready for a rambly post and some crappy, filtered iPhone pics.

appetizers

Grilled octopus and sausages at Telly’s Taverna in Astoria. ↑

Last week was…a bit off for me. One minute I was high, the other I was low. I had a lot of things on weighing on me while I was at work and it was hard to focus. So I got up from my desk, went downstairs and called Bob to vent (but mostly, panic) about, well…my life. Our lives.  But Bob is so cool and collected and he quickly calmed me down and said, “It’s going to be okay”, plus some other very reassuring things. But it’s what I needed to hear. He didn’t make light of my worries or tell me I was being psychotic (even though I knew I was). He was reasonable and level-headed, when I couldn’t be. But after some time, I was able to better see things for what they were and later sent Bob a message saying “Can we forget my earlier meltdown? I’m just tremedously hormonal right now and that’s what I’m going to blame it on, okay? It wasn’t me! It’s the hormones’ fault.” Whatever we need to tell ourselves, right?

But the weekend was nice. I was in the right headspace again so I was able to enjoy it. I hung out with my friend Val on Friday night and we had dinner and dessert at Vanessa’s Dumplings and Momofuku Milk Bar, respectively. We encountered a lot of weirdos that night, but none weirder than the guy who stood right in our path and literally screamed, “Aaaaargh!” in our faces. That was interesting.

sale

Thrift-shopping: a favorite pastime. ↑

The next day, we went to Bob’s mother’s house and I learned the secret behind her pasta sauce. It’s all in the meat! Figures. So Bob and I made a deal: I will learn his mother’s sauce and he will learn my grandmother’s mofongo.

bob

When thrifting, Bob goes straight for the books section. I like to rummage through racks of clothes first. Found 2 tops for under $10! ↑

We put an offer on a house. It’s that small fixer-upper I was telling you about last week. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

fish

Branzini feast for one! ↑

As someone who lives in Astoria, I feel it’s my duty to once and for all do a Greek food hop and find the best Greek in all the land! But as it turns out, the quest is proving to be difficult in that there are so many fantastic Greek restaurants out here, including Agnanti which I’ve adored from the beginning. Last weekend, we went to Telly’s Taverna for lunch, which we haven’t been to before. Incredible food!  Creamy frappes (loooove), grilled octopus, lemon potatoes and I watched carefully as the server quickly and seamlessly deboned my grilled-to-perfection branzini*. But I’m still determined to get to Taverna Kyclades which always has the most ridiculously long line to get in. Funny because there’s a Greek place directly across the street that is always depressingly empty when we pass by. No joke! The wait will be an hour for Taverna Kyclades, while the place across the street has less than 5 patrons in it. I think that speaks volumes to how great TK is!

*As I type this, I’m having leftover octopus and lemon potatoes for breakfast. Breakfast of champions!

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and we’ll leave off with this: cross your fingers that we get this place…at our offer price (ha, fat chance). And with that, another week of emotions begins!

the queens museum (and house-hunt updates)

as far as the eye can see

This past weekend, Bob and I went to see a particular house in New Jersey that we’d seen once before. It’s a single-family home with loads of potential. A fixer-upper! Which is really just a nice way of saying, it’s going to need a lot of work. But! If we can get this at the price we want, well…that’d be the best thing we could ask for. I mean, this place is practically perfect for us. Yes, it’s a bit cozy (real estate buzz word for ‘small’!) for a house, but the location is ideal, in terms of access to public transportation, shopping and NYC. We can deal with cozy.

People keep telling me not to get my hopes up too high because it could all fall through any minute. Unfortunately, it’s already too late for that. I’ve already begun to imagine barbecues in the backyard, painting over the pink walls, waking up in our new bedroom, making dinner in the granite-countertop kitchen and taking long baths in the jacuzzi (!!!). Honestly, the jacuzzi wasn’t something I was looking for, but if it comes with the house…hey, why not?

queens museum

In other (unrelated) news, we also found time to go to the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Park. I hadn’t been before since I don’t find myself in that part of Queens too often, but it has been on my list of places to visit for the longest. So we went. It’s everything you’d imagine a modern museum to be: clean design, bright white open spaces and really cool exhibits to lose yourself in.
china

This is a minimalist’s dream library ↓
library

In which I found this book that instructed me how to put on my makeups! ↓
book

These are cupcakes, but all I see are nipples. ↓
cupcakes

Tiffany doesn’t just make jewelry and share breakfast pastries with Holly Golightly—she designs lamps too. And I’ll take one of these over a ring any day. That blue one in the middle that looks like a weeping willow please! ↓
tiffany lamps

A pig with a mushroom head. The artists’s words, not mine. ↓ pig with a mushroom headBut perhaps the best exhibit is the famous panorama of New York City. It’s truly impressive and we spent so much time just shouting out neighborhoods and spotting landmarks. In this photo, you can see Central Park on the right, part of the Bronx on the left, Randall’s Island (that green patch island with two bridges running through it), Roosevelt Island, Brooklyn and Queens (which are all across the river from Manhattan). I got such a kick spotting our neighborhood here! ↓
panorama

The only borough not pictured here is Staten Island (womp, womp, sorry SI).

If you ask me, this museum is way underrated and in the shadow of some more well-known museums in Manhattan. It is significantly smaller in size (it took us about 1 1/2 hours to get through all of it pretty thoroughly), but I think it’s worth visiting.

At the same time, I loved practically having the place to ourselves. It’s a welcome change from having to deal with the massive crowds at some of the more popular museums!
worlds fair book

click on these

bud

  • Fascinating: How cultures around the world approach parenting. (“In Japan, where Gross-Loh lives part of the year, she lets her 4-year-old daughter run errands with her 7-year-old sister and 11-year-old brother — without parental supervision. Her kids don’t hesitate to take the Tokyo subways by themselves and walk on busy streets alone, just like their Japanese peers”)

Happy weekend!

out of doors

cell phone pic

Every summer, we see at least one of Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors performances. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s outdoors (which appeals to my “MUST BE OUT AND ENJOY THIS LOVELY WEATHER AT ALL TIMES” mentality in the summer).

lc out of doors

Friday night started with eighth blackbird, a classical sextet. I know nothing about classical music so this is all I have to say about it: It was interesting.

sextet2sextet1

That was followed by a couple of modern dance numbers from Pam Tanowitz Dance Company. Dancing is always my favorite to watch. Sure, it’s nice to see musicians play the violin or the clarinet for a little while, but give me dance and you’ve got my attention all night.

dance1

dance2

Even Bob enjoyed it and he’s usually not into that sort of thing (see: last year).

me and bob

Sneak attack photo during the classical set (my attention just could not be held for an hour of it, sorry)

us1

This is how I amuse myself.

us2

Aaaaand caught. End of game.

us3

But then the dancing came on and I was all, This is more like it!

dance3And, I wish I could do that!

dance4

flying over new york city

empire

A few months ago, Bob had declared this “the summer of aviation”. That is, he had this ambitious bucket list that included riding in a hot air balloon, on a helicopter and a blimp. Well! We checked off his helicopter dream last weekend. And it was all kinds of awesome.

copilot

I got to sit up front (best seat in the houuuuuse!) and be Dan’s co-pilot. I think that’s what his name was. He was very sweet and kept giving me random thumbs up throughout the ride. Just like that picture up there.

helicopterbuildings

I was a little anxious pre-flight, but once we ascended, it wasn’t nearly as choppy or bumpy as I’d imagined and I felt completely at ease. So much so that I wanted to stay up there longer. The ride was about 15-20 minutes, but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to live in that sky! At least for extra 20 minutes anyway.

downtown

liberty

The ride was AMAZING. The views were stunning and I couldn’t help but feel like I was living in a postcard. I took a good amount of pictures, but mostly I set the camera down on my lap and made sure to take it all in. We hovered near Ellis Island, Liberty Island, Governors Island and between the west side of Manhattan and northern New Jersey. We saw all the iconic buildings, the Verrazano Bridge, Central Park and I even clearly spotted my office building. It was so cool to see all those landmarks from a different point of view.

ellis island

central park

one-world-trade black and white

Side note: Don’t mind the color and exposure inconsistencies in each of these photos. These were taken by both me and Bob and they were processed separately as well. And a couple of them are pictures of pictures. Scanning is apparently too complicated for me.

group shot

In case you’re interested, we flew with Zip Aviation, which I’d recommend. The staff was nice and the experience was incredible! I bought my tour through this Groupon deal.