Traif Restaurant Review

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Y’all, this weekend was wild! Let me just get started by saying fleet week is 100% my favorite week of the year. I have quite the affinity for sailors. I met this amazing guy Josh this weekend and it was his first time in New York for the week/weekend and I got to show him around all my favorite places and y’all it was so fun and he’s such a sweetheart!


We started off by meeting in Bryant Park, from there we went to Magnolia and got cupcakes and then went to The Met. Honestly, bless his heart for putting up with me because we kept getting lost in the subways due to weekend construction.

So for dinner, he wanted to go out to Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn which is the most well known steak place in New York however, the line was extremely long and at this point we were just too hungry to wait but we would have been living our best lives if we went.
After deciding not to wait, we wandered around and yelped until we found Traif. I was just going to order an entree but Josh suggested we do the chefs tasting which is $55 per person and you get 8 small entrees (2 of your choosing but the steak costs extra) and 2 desserts. If you’re interested you can also do the $35 wine tasting if you’re open to trying new drinks! I happen to be picky so I ended up getting wine by the glass which ranged anywhere from $9-15 a glass. He happened to get scotch and whiskey which could go anywhere from $15-20 – he mentioned that the section was really nice.

I managed to only record my meal on snapchat because I didn’t want to disturb everyone with the flash of my camera so here’s a few of my favorite snaps of the meal!

So we were so excited when our meal came. I’m the pickiest eater in the world and I’ve never been so excited for a dinner. I loved the suspense and the surprise and at the end I could not help but give my best to the chef! The food was beautiful and so flavorful. I loved the fact that there were so many asian inspired aspects!

Dinner

*I’m going to try and list what we had but please note that Traif does not have a current menu posted anywhere so this is all from memory and taste and from the menus they have posted ALSO note I tried to keep everything in order*

  1. Pea Soup in shooters – This soup was simple and so amazing. It was smooth and creamy and rich in flavor.
  2. Tuna Tartar – I usually don’t eat tuna but I loved this dish! It was bigeye tuna, tempura Japanese eggplant, and kecap manis.
  3. Asparagus Salad – I personally did not love this but I appreciated how well the flavors mixed together. It had green asparagus, pistachios, shaved radish-celery-carrot, yogurt, tarragon, citrus vin.
  4. Cucumber Salad – This was amazing however the mint was super overpowering in the dish.
  5. Parisienne Gnocchi – I loved this but I think the heat was a little too much. It included cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, spicy saffron ‘vodka sauce’.
  6. Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps – I loved this and the fish sauce was to die for. My only dislike was the fact that the fish was full of bones. These were simple lettuce wraps with fish, fish sauce, and bib lettuce.
  7. Buttermilk-Fried ‘Polet Rouge’ Heritage Chicken – These were amazing and to die for. At this point I was super full but I had to keep eating! hushpuppies, honey, red eye aioli
  8. Steak with a gravy and potato puree – This was by far the best dish and it was amazing. It was the best way to end the meal. It was filling and savory and the perfect portion size.

Dessert

  1. Key Lime Pie – Classic key lime pie,
  2. Bacon Doughnuts – Totally more like doughnut holes but they were a super fun twist on a doughnut.

Overall 

This place was amazing. The atmosphere was lovely, the pricing was pretty decent for the experience and location and quality of food. I highly recommend going here with a group of friends or on a date. The staff is so friendly and they’re so accommodating. I loved how great they were at suggesting wines and other various things.

The people in the restaurant itself were so sweet. We sat near a couple and all we kept trying to do was share our entrees with each other! I highly recommend this restaurant and I’m so glad it’s one of my new favorite places!

jess

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My Workout Routine

I totally got this quote from google and I’m obsessed with it! This quote totally embodies my life and who I am and not only that, but it reminds me that it’s okay to not always be on the top of your game and to have some off days! Life truly is all about finding a healthy balance!

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To start off; I am absolutely in no way, shape, or form a fitness expert. I know a lot of people go to the gym for many reasons but my personal reason is to get toned so I focus on areas that I want to look better!

I also want to note that working out is amazing and it is helpful, but dieting is also key! Everything in moderation is the best for you and choosing the healthier options when you can  really makes a noticeable difference. Working out and dieting go hand in hand and they work together! I’m also saying that you don’t need to give up eating or starve yourself, but definitely watch what you eat and try to go for the healthier option but remember that cheat days and cheat meals are acceptable!  


 I personally know what works for me and after a bunch of messing around with workouts, I’ve found one that’s suitable for me! My workout takes me anywhere from 1-1.5 hours depending on my level of intensity and if I want to add-on extras! Here’s my base workout!  As a side note, I try to go 2-3 times a week if I can.

Arc Trainer (30 minutes)

I start off on the arc trainer which I really enjoy, I immediately start off with an incline of 20 and a resistance of 35. Every 10 minutes I increase the resistance by +5 and end at a resistance of 45! I end up burning about 300 calories and I usually get to a mile in distance!

Here’s a fun workout idea that has different intervals and intensities which I may try out for myself!

Abs (30-45 minutes)

Crunches (80)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Crunches (80 – Left)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Crunches (80 – Right)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Weights (30 Left)

Russian Twists (50)

Side Weights (30 Right)

Plank (1 Minute)

Here’s a link with helpful form and workout tips and routines!

Butt (15-20 Minutes)

Leg Lifts (2 sets, 25 reps each leg)

( I keep my leg straight for these and just bring it up or down, eventually I would love to add ankle weights once I’m comfortable with these)

Sumo Squats (3 sets, 30 reps)


This is my standard workout routine and I’m always switching it up and changing it around, but right now I’m finally happy with it! I also used to run on the treadmill which did wonders for my butt except it started to really bother my ankles so I haven’t been doing it so much! A tip when running is no matter what, sprint the last 5th of every mile (or more if you can)! That really helps get your booty in shape! 

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Buy Rupi’s poem book here.

JUST REMEMBER THAT GETTING YOUR BODY TO WHERE AND HOW YOU WANT IT TO BE TAKES TIME AND LEARNING SELF LOVE! It’s taken me so long to love my body (even though I’m still not 100% confident in it) regardless of how big my love handles look or how bloated I feel. I’m learning to be kinder to myself and that’s the most important thing there is. I honestly notice on different days my body looks different and that’s okay. It’s all about how I feel about myself and I’ve come to terms with it and now I can only do my best to keep up with the goals I’ve set for myself!

jess

Eating my way through Los Angeles

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I recently have taken a quick mini trip to Los Angeles and let me say, the food here is pretty amazing! I have spent a good sum of money on eating at various restaurants and locations and it’s all worth it! The food is amazing and I’ve come to appreciate all the styles of cooking. LA may actually have something on New York’s food game!

I’ve eaten at quite a few places but here are some of my favorite snaps of the food I’ve eaten and  loved!

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Brick + Mortar, Santa Monica

This was the first meal I ate in California and it was absolutely amazing! I went with my friend and his roommate and let me tell you, I’m all about cheese and this melted brie was absolutely spectacular! I loved the fact that you got bread and apples for dipping! I was super impressed by this meal! I also ended up getting a hummus plate and the hummus was made very well and the vegetables were amazing too (I personally loved how they were coated in vinegar and oil prior to being served)! I also had the pita with it and they gave it to me fully inflated and it was a shock to see a pita the size of a small pillow however it was still really amazing and I loved it!

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Gjusta, Venice 

This place was super cute and the food amazing! This place was jam packed when we got here! I started off with the Bialy egg sandwich and I personally wasn’t the biggest fan! It was good but it wasn’t amazing! However, the flavors were really bold and different and to someone with a broader taste palette, I think this would be the perfect breakfast sandwich!

I haven’t yet had any other pastries besides the biscuit with jam but let me tell you, that was the best biscuit I’ve ever had! It wasn’t dry at all and it was amazing. The biscuit comes with jam and butter and that combination is just so sweet and amazing and I was in heaven eating it! I haven’t thought about another breakfast since! After typing up this post I’m definitely going to grab 2!

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Erewhon

This isn’t a restaurant but it’s actually an organic and natural grocery store! After grabbing breakfast at Gjusta and walking around Abbott Kinney Blvd I was super thirsty and my friend recommended that we go get juice because apparently the juicy craze in LA is so real! The cold pressed juice I had was some type of orange/strawberry mix with a hunt of ginger and it was amazing! The only thing was it was a pretty hefty price at $9 with a $1.50 bottle deposit fee but it was well worth it!

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Gelateria Uli, Downtown

I love ice cream and I love sweets and the ice cream here was amazing! Everything is hand-made that day and the quality is astonishing! The workers here are so nice and the best part is that they pretty much let you sample whatever you want! They’re always experimenting with flavors and that’s really cool and fun! I love how the menu is always changing! If you go, be sure to grab a freshly made waffle cone!

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Ingo’s Tasty Diner, Santa Monica

I’m a brunch enthusiast and let me tell you, the brunch here was amazing! The food was all really fairly priced and the portion sizes were all great! My friend and I split the skillet of hash browns and they were absolutely amazing! They were super crispy on the outside and the fact that they came with sour cream was awesome! I loved the flavor it added! I also got pancakes with fruit and bacon! I loved how thin these pancakes were, they were almost crepe style and they were delicious! The fruit also was really good too and I loved how fresh it was!

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Bulgogi Hut, Koreatown 

I’ve never had Korean Barbecue and it was actually amazing! This was an ABC style menu and it was all you can eat! They start off by bringing you a bunch of sides which are all super interesting and yummy! I loved the different textures! You order three different meets at a time and you cook them yourself! The food was amazing and the seasoning was super sweet and I loved it! Definitely would recommend going on an empty stomach!

Other Places I went 

Sockerbit: This was a swedish candy store and you pay by the pound and the candy is all really amazing! I only got sour candy but it was still really good! I had one type of candy that was actually sour opposed to the sour/sweetness of American Candy.

See’s Candy: I stopped in here after grabbing breakfast at Ingo’s and the candy was amazing! I found these butterscotch lollipops that I’ve had before and they were amazing! I ended up getting a few chocolates and he actually ended up giving them to me for free! The chocolate is super rich and very flavorful and it’s a must! They have a New York location as well!

Night + Market Song: The food here was authentic Thai so I wasn’t used to it and my dish actually ended up being a little too spicy for my liking so I hardly ate it and ended up picking at the food! It was really good however and I think if I hadn’t have been eating all day I probably would have attempted to eat more!

Volcano Tea House: I had my first bubble tea here and it was really good! The boba’s werent my favorite however it was still really fun to experience the craze of bubble tea!

jess

Packing Tips

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So a few of y’all may know that I’m going to Los Angeles in 2 weeks for a trip to see my friend Austin – he lives more in Santa Barbara so that’s mostly where I’ll be! I’ll also be having a layover in Dallas and I’ll finally get to meet my gal Jas – all the feels, I’m honestly so pumped!

Alright, so I’m a horrible packer and I like to pack everything that I think I may wear but I really only end up wearing a few things on rotation so in the end I end up way over packing! I’m trying to manage to fit all my stuff into a carry on but I may end up having to check my bag because the amount of stuff I’m packing is getting pretty ridiculous. So here are a few tips that I have!

▼ Maximize your carry on(s) ▼

I’m almost positive I’m going to end up checking my bag because the standard carry on I have is a little too small seeing how it exactly fits the carry on sizing limits. But I know for a fact I’m bringing my North Face Backpack which is easy to carry and it’s fairly roomy! I highly recommend a backpack opposed to a large tote or duffel bag because it frees up both hands. If you really feel the need, bringing a cross body would also help – you would be able to keep important things at easy reach and still be hands free!

A good tip when packing your carry on’s is to have things you may need in case your luggage gets lost. I’ll be carrying my Mac, chargers, my makeup bag, jewelry, etc. I’m definitely also bringing a bag of essentials and a change of clothes that are weather appropriate!

▼ Packing Cubes + Other Storage Bags

Holy crap I love these! I love how easily they help to store clothes and keep things organized! I know whenever I go somewhere my suitcase always becomes a jumbled mess with everything packed loosely! I think these are so handy and Target right now has some really cute ones here and here! Not only are they handy for travel but it also helps you maximize space and cut down on clutter! I also love these bags for travel!

So the suitcase I’m most likely bring is this one from Swiss Gear which I absolutely adore! When I purchased mine it not only came with a wet bag (which I’m storing all my bathing suits in) but it came with a garment bag and another miscellaneous bag which I’ll most likely end up storing all my tank tops and basics in! I love the fact that this suitcase has so many places to store items in and I love the fact that it allows you to compartmentalize things!

Stick to a color palette ▼

Like stated, I’m an overpacker and I tend to pack everything and anything I think I may wear. This trip I’m sticking to a color palette to help maximize all my outfits! My logic is that if I stick to a color palette, almost everything I pack should be interchangeable and should match most everything else! The palette I’m sticking with is white, cream, baby pink, black, and pale green! I’m hoping if I do this, then I won’t need to pack as many clothing items because they’ll all be able to mix and match with ease!

Also, packing staples is a must! Right now I have 5 different black bottoms packed which shouldn’t be the case! Cutting back on these would not only save space, but would probably make my suitcase quite a bit lighter! Only try to pack one of everything that you will need! In the end I would like to bring only 2 different black bottoms!

Shoes is also a really hard one for me because I have so many and I love them all so much! Right now I pretty much have my shoe situation figured out and I’m only trying to bring one of each color – i.e. nude heels, black wedges, black heels, etc. Shoes are super heavy and take up a lot of room and I’m really trying to make space in my suitcase! Also, knowing me I’ll probably only wear 1-2 pairs the whole time I’m there!

So far these are the tips I’m trying to follow! Hopefully everything goes smoothly but I still have a little less than 2 weeks to get everything all situated!

jess

Pieces I’m Loving

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I never have had a specific style and I never really fit a certain mold. I’ve always wore what makes me happy. Some days I love wearing Oxford’s with plaid skirts and other days I love wearing crop tops with ripped jeans. Right now I’m working on building a solid wardrobe of pieces that are more versatile for everyday life and that can be worn with different outfits. However, here are a few things that I love and think would be super fun for spring – most of these pieces are super versatile as well, while others are a tad bit trendy. I’ve linked similar pieces below!

Off The Shoulder Anything 

I love anything off the shoulder! I am a full supporter of off the shoulder tops and dresses! I love the fun vibe they give and I think they really accentuate most people’s collar bones – especially with dainty necklaces.

Lace Trim Top // Striped Top // Floral Top

Pom Pom Sandals

These are 100% the tackiest things I’ve ever seen but I’m in love! I’m dying for a pair that I can wear with all white or even a cute sundress! I love how fun they are and how they make a statement with any outfit!

Slide Sandal // Lace Up Sandal 1 (you can sign up for 10% off)  // Lace Up Sandal 2

Rose Gold Sunnies

I love sunglasses and I wear them all the time! I recently invested in a pair of wayfarers but before I had a rose gold and pink pair from RayBan and I absolutely loved them! There are so many places to get cheap sunglasses too which I think is super awesome – I love Forever 21s selection!

RayBan Aviators // Quay Sunnies // Mirrored Aviators

Casual Sneakers

I’m loving casual sneakers these days and I love the trend of wearing them with nicer things – i.e. dresses, skirts, etc. I love how cute they can be and I love the air of casualness that they can bring to almost any outfit! I’m especially loving Adidas Superstars and I’ll link the exact pair below!

Rose Gold Adidas // High Top Vans // Converse (I love these, I have 2 pairs!)

Striped Dresses

I love this pattern on a dress and I think it’s so flattering! I’m the biggest fan of stripes and I love a solid light blue/white stripe combo on almost anything! I think it’s so versatile and it looks super great with pops of color.

Off the Shoulder // Cut Out Dress // Ruffled Dress

Graphic Jumper 

I’m loving these for everyday looks! I have one and it’s super soft and I love the look of it with almost anything! I wear mine to bed a lot but I also love wearing it with jeans and sneakers out while running errands.

Coffee Till Cocktails (I have this one and I adore it) // Somewhere Sunny // My Happy Place

Distressed Denim 

I love distressed denim anything. I love how casual it can make an outfit and I love distressed boyfriend jeans with a nice pointy pump if you’re going for an edgier look. I’m always looking for different styles of distressed denim pants – I’m loving the ones with frayed edges right now (even if I’m not bold enough to pull them off)! Also, distressing jeans is super easy and would make a fun DIY project!

Boyfriend Jeans // Frayed Bottoms // Skinny Jeans

Watches

I love watches and I think they’re a necessity in everyday life. I have a baby pink and gold one that I wear quite often. I think besides being the obvious tool, they’re also a really fun statement piece. I also believe that watches should be something you splurge on because they are a lasting piece that will never go out of style – well, depending on the style you get.

Pink Watch // Gold Watch // Rose Gold Watch

Dainty Necklaces  

I love necklaces and I wear one everyday 24/7. I love the look of a daintier necklace especially when it’s layered. I have a rose gold one with a small diamond pendent and I’m looking to get a personalized bar necklace neck so I can layer them together!

Bar Necklace // KS Elisa // Gold Choker (I have this exact one and I love it)

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These are a few of my favorite things right now that I love and of course there are so many more, but these happen to be my favorite trends I’m loving!

A few other noteworthy items are: lace-up tops, denim skirts, caged sandals, wrap tops, jumpsuits, utility vests, and western booties.

jess

My Favorite Healthy Snacks

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I’m not the healthiest person but I’m trying to change my ways! I just started a gym membership (and I’m kind of obsessed with going) and I’ve been trying to reach for more healthy options when it comes to snacks! Above are a few of my favorite things I love to reach for and do quite often!

Lara Bars  

These are by far my favorite bars to eat and I’ve tried quite a few! I’ve never been too into kind bars or cliff bars but I love these! I love the flavors they come in and I love how healthy they are compared to other similar options. I’m also a fan of the vegan options which I think is super cool! My personal favorite flavors happen to be the chocolate chip cookie dough one which is amazing and I’m a sucker for the peanut butter and jelly flavor as well!

Naked Juice

So I’m not the biggest fan of water at all unless it’s with lemon. So whenever I’m out somewhere and I’m thirsty I tend to reach for these! They aren’t the healthiest drinks but they’re a better option than soda or some sugary juice! I also love how filling they are! I’ll usually get one of these between meals and it’ll tide me over until it’s time to eat again.

Fruit

I love fruit but I’m super picky about eating it and how I prepare it. I tend to buy the precut fruit because it’s much easier to separate and pack away for snacks. However, I don’t mind cutting up my fruit as well. I absolutely love strawberries and pineapples and I find myself eating those all the time. They’re so sweet and juicy and I love how they feel like a healthier dessert. I also love apples soaked in lemon juice!

Tomatoes

I eat these by the handful and sometimes even by the carton. I swear these are my favorite snack ever and I’m obsessed with them. They’re not only healthy, but they are also sweet and juicy! They’re also super easy to grab and pack for a quick snack!

Nuts and Almonds 

I don’t often eat nuts but I do occasionally like to grab a small handful. They’re really good for you and high in protein and that’s a plus!

jess

Run The Jewels Concert Experience

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So I ended up buying a ticket to the Run The Jewels: Run The World Tour – as you can see I got a shitty pic among various cool videos which I’ll post on my Instagram! I ended up going to one of four New York shows and I went on Saturday the 25th of February.

To start off, let me say, I was really excited to go because I love anything in New York, these people seriously know how to party – I mean they definitely don’t call it the city that never sleep for anything! I loved the vibe of the concert personally and Killer Mike and El-P were amazing and honestly the experience was so surreal, I never realized how many people loved this Duo! I personally only discovered them early January from some random guy! But back to what I was saying, the aura and vibe during their concert was amazing. All the fans knew all the lyrics and they put on a super amazing show and their set list was 10/10. Every song was amazing and was great for singing along and dancing too!

A highlight of the show was definitely when Gangsta Boo came on during “Love Again”. That’s one of my favorite songs from them and I loved how after the song she made sure to emphasize that “P***y is power” and she made sure it was engrained in everyone’s head. She was like a magical goddess and my drunk self was in love with her and I’ll definelty look more into her at a later time!

Like stated, the vibe was amazing and I was super happy I went. Killer Mike and El-P put on a great show and it 100% exceeded my expectations. At first I was excited and as time went I was starting to get a little apprehensive about going just because the ticket was so much but I am happy I went and it was such a surreal and amazing experience to be there.

The only downside was the schedule of the concert. Usually in New York people don’t get to places on time and usually come significantly late. To be fair, I never once looked at the schedule on El-P’s Instagram so it’s my fault for showing up at 10pm and missing all the openers but besides the point. I didn’t expect the concert to be done so fast! They started at 10:15 and went until around 11:30 and I half expected it to go later than that even if it wasn’t them playing. It may have just been me but I thought they ended particularly early and I definitely thought they could have started later on and had different openers!

But another plus was the location! The venue – Terminal 5 – was located in Hell’s Kitchen and it was super close to a lot of awesome restaurants and bars so afterwards going out was really simple and made super easy! One of my favorite bars in that area is Bar Bacon and I highly recommend that to anyone in the area regardless of whether or not you are visit the venue. It’s also pretty close to the Meatpacking District which is also a quick cab ride away!

Overall my experience was amazing and I’m so grateful and happy that I went. The show was 10/10 and if they’re ever around again I would love to go! I would higly reccomend the show if they still have available dates near you!

jess