Today is Friday! That means hundreds of wonderful ladies are coming to my town – Chicago – for the Healthy Living Summit! I’ve already been reading several posts from some great bloggers talking about the sights they have seen and what they have done so far. It’s so interesting to read their perspectives on the city I live in and see what I see every day through their eyes.
I will definitely have a recap of the conference this weekend. Can’t wait to hear some of the sessions – there are a lot of great bloggers hosting panels.
But taking a step back from Chicago, there was still plenty of fun to be had in NYC since my BlogHer Part I recap post. Thank you all for your sweet comments on my and Jill’s session at the conference. It really means a lot to know I have such amazing fellow bloggers supporting what we are doing.
I took hundreds more pictures of fun and food – here are some of my favorite highlights!
1) Hanging out with awesome bloggers at the conference gala on Friday night. From left to right in the first photo below we have Jill, Ashley, me and Jess. Then in the back row of the second picture is Morgan, Jill, me, Kinsey and Gazalle. Front row is Jess, Ashley, Jess and Lauren.
Ashley in the first picture is the co-founder of a company that makes the most amazing and downright nerdy jewelry around. Her company is called Survival of the Hippest and they specialize in making necklaces with your social media names. Jill and I picked up our @felska and @jennkorducki (my alter ego when I’m not moonlighting as @EatingBender) bling. 😉 LOVE them!
2) Taking an NYC Tours4Fun with NYCity Mama. The only downside was that we had hoped it would be a double decker bus and it was just a standard Greyhound. But we still made the most of the situation, complete with Craisins that were supplied by the sponsor. Did you know that they have blueberry and pomegranate flavors now? YUM!!! Jill loves Craisins, hence the goofy first picture. Kinsey and Gazalle were also on the tour with us and it was so much fun to chat!
We made a couple of stops along the way, including Rockefeller Center and the South Street Seaport. I would love to come back to New York near Christmastime when the tree is lit in the center. I can imagine that it’s absolutely beautiful! The South Street Seaport brought back memories of when I was last in New York City – with my dad when I was just 12 years old. My how life has changed since then! 😉 But one thing that hasn’t changed is the beauty of the Brooklyn bridge at night.
3) Taking in the sights and sounds of the BlogHer parties on Saturday night, including Sparklecorn and CheeseburgHer. It’s so much fun watching everyone completely let loose without worrying about obligations, to-dos and everything else on their plates – if only for one night.
All in all, I had a wonderful time at the conference, learning a lot about myself and other bloggers while meeting some amazing new people that I am happy to call my friends!
4) Getting a glimpse of the Eat, Pray, Love premiere. I know the picture is blurry, but we actually saw Elizabeth Gilbert getting out of her car wearing a stunning pink dress. I teared up a bit – as someone whose dream is to become an author, I could appreciate how she must have felt at that moment.
5) Seeing a show on Broadway! We were able to find discounted tickets for Promises, Promises with Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. It was absolutely amazing – both leading actors had beautiful voices and the play kept my attention the entire time.
6) Touring the New York Times building! The paper recently moved into a beautiful, very modern glass office. As journalism majors, Jill and I were in awe. The screens behind us in the picture below pulled random quotes from newspaper editions, past and present.
But of course, I’m most excited to share with you my favorite foods! I can’t even begin to express how amazing the restaurants of New York were to us while we were there. We got lucky and found several places that were easy on the budget and incredibly delicious.
1) Lime Jungle
Jill and I found Lime Jungle while wandering down 9th street. It was touted as the healthiest food on Earth – how could I say no? It was amazing to me how fresh the ingredients looked on the menu. I did go the not-so-healthy route by ordering a margarita, but it was worth it. 😉 We also ordered chips and fresh guacamole to start, which was phenomenal.
For dinner I ordered the Lean Mean Quesadilla, which came with a whole wheat tortilla, chicken, low fat jack and cheddar cheese, beans, lettuce and pico de gallo salsa.
Inspired by Gossip Girl, this is a New York must. ‘Nuff said. I chose the original tart yogurt with blueberries, raspberries, kiwi and dark chocolate chips. Totally hit the spot.
I had heard wonderful things about this place from Danielle (in fact, we were supposed to meet there for lunch but I rudely canceled on her in the heat of the busy week!) and was excited to be able to stop there for a quick snack between meetings.
I tried the hummus and veggie cup and ordered fresh wheat and raisin bread on the side.
I loved how big the hummus cup was! There was so much more on the menu that I wanted to try, but this made for a nice snack, along with the Pain au Chocolat I saved for later. 😉
This cute little chain restaurant was super convenient! We stopped by and grabbed a quick bit – you could choose from a full sandwich or half. I chose a half turkey club that came with fresh avocado, lettuce, bacon and tomato. The orange soda that came with it was tasty, too.
Best part? I just looked on their website and they are coming to CHICAGO!!
The picture is a zoomed in perspective of where we were standing in line. The Shake Shack draws a huge crowd all day, every day. There are several locations around the city, but we visited the original in Madison Square Park to get the most authentic taste possible.
I decided to go with the Shack Stack, which was a cheeseburger topped with a portabella mushroom. I also decided to try a small frozen vanilla custard.
Words can’t express the bliss of this meal. Absolutely worth the wait – so much flavor and richness!
I was also delighted to have such great company, including Karla! Jill’s friend Audrey and my maid of honor Sam were also in attendance to witness the deliciousness.
As someone with a huge sweet tooth, I was jumping up and down when we arrived outside of Dylan’s Candy Bar. There were two huge floors of amazing candies, chocolates and more.
I had to get a photo in front of the jelly beans – my favorite candy!! I also found what could be a new favorite – crunchy gummy bears. Holy yum.
My my, New York City. How you spoiled me! We left feeling quite content and looking forward to getting back to fresh foods from home. But I certainly enjoyed the ride!
Whew! What a recap! I love having a blog to document every amazing moment. If you’re still with me, I hope you enjoyed reading and got some ideas for your own future trip to NYC. Thanks to everyone who commented with their suggestions before I left. There is never dull moment in this city!
And now…onto the next conference! Have a great weekend, everyone! What are your plans?