The Best Pizza in NYC

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Ever since I visited Chicago this summer, I have found myself having many favorite-type-of-pizza conversations. It’s a topic that New Yorker’s never get tired of talking about, and everyone has lots of opinions about where to get the best slice. After careful consideration, when people ask me if I liked Chicago pizza better than NYC (it’s delicious, but no), and what’s my number one place, here’s what I say. With this many yummy options to choose from, you can’t pick just one.

*Warning: If you haven’t eaten lunch yet, you should probably stop reading here.

Favorite Everyday Slice: Muzzarella’s

No one is going to travel very far when they are craving a slice while sitting on their couch watching TV. The best spot in my neighborhood is my number one for a few reasons – 1. They deliver slices 2. Their cheese slices is on point, along with their white and lasagna. The basics are reliably tasty.

Favorite Special Slice: Artichoke

While 99.9% of the time, I get the artichoke slice because it is a small piece of cheesy oozy heaven, their crab and margarita slices are delicious in their own right. If you’ve got the time, and stomach space – sit down and order a fresh pie and have a drink, it’s even better when you’re not standing, scarfing down your slice in the tiny area outside.

Favorite Neopolitan: Motorino

Do yourself a favor and order the Brussels sprout pie with smoked pancetta. Or if that’s too exotic, the cremini mushroom. You won’t be sorry.

Favorite Sicilian: South Brooklyn Pizza

I am still devastated that their East Village location closed. Their pies are expensive, starting at $25 before you even add all your favorite toppings, but they are so, so worth every single dollar. Their dough is outstanding. You won’t leave even the smallest bite of crust behind.

Favorite Wood-Fired Pie: Zero Otto Nove

I visit this standby when I am in the Bronx at my alma mater, Fordham. Don’t even bother reading the menu, just order La Cirilo for the table as an appetizer as soon as you sit down. You’ll be the hero of dinner once everyone tastes the sweet-savory butternut squash and truffle oil combination.

Favorite All-Around Best Pizza: Juliana’s

If this place was more conveniently located to where I live and work, I am pretty sure I would eat it once a week. If you’re looking for the best pizza in NYC, this one gets my vote. I’m generally not a huge fan of waiting  in line for food, but in this case, it’s worth the wait. Just TRY not to eat at least 3 slices (spoiler alert: you won’t be able to do it. It’s so good, you just can’t stop after two).

Image by British Mum

25 Things


You might not know about me…

1. I am often awake between the hours of 3 and 6 am, and get a lot of random things accomplished…like writing this, and reorganizing my closet.

2. I have a weakness for anything with a cute furry little animal on it.

3. I LOVE to decorate for holidays and make holiday greeting cards, especially Christmas.

4. I am still terrified by the movie Scream, and Scream 2. I CANNOT believe they are making another one.

5. I’m strangely good at crossword and jigsaw puzzles.

6. I’m not going to lie, I still have a lot of trouble picking out my outfit without an opinion (often via a text photo).

7. I’m working on writing a novel.

8. But if I could do anything, I would definitely be a fashion designer.

9. I love doing crafts, and have an entire box full of different colored jelly pens, glitter and googly eyes.

10. I regularly try to win the lottery, and actually think that I might every time I buy a ticket.

11. Pessimists really get on my nerves.

12. I don’t feel like myself without regular doses of my girlfriends from home, who have all been a wonderful part of my life since elementary school, and I don’t know what I would ever do without them.

13. I believe that everyone has multiple people/soulmates they are destined to meet and have in their lives forever.

14. There is nothing better than laughing until your face/abs hurt.

15. I’m slightly addicted to watching music videos and anything on mtv/bravo.

16. My top 5 favorite places I’ve been are: 1.Rome 2. Berlin 3. Costa Rica 4. Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and 5. Paris. Bolivia is up there too. And I feel really lucky to have been able to visit so many places already. Next on my list to visit is Bali and Iceland.

17. I (not-so) secretly dream of designing my own neighborhood called Janny Panny lane that only my friends and family would be allowed to live in.

18. Getting new nail polish color makes me pretty happy.

19. My sister is my best friend.

20. If I wasn’t concerned for my health, I’d cook like an old southern woman, with lots of mayonnaise and butter.

21. If I could only drink one alcoholic beverage for the rest of my life, it would definitely be champagne……or twisted tea-lol. If I could only eat one kind of food it would definitely be mexican.

22. I’m really ridiculously scared of cockroaches to the point that once I strategically baked cupcakes when the exterminator was coming so he would put extra poison in my apartment.

23. I’m still really really bad at driving in reverse, and actually think that some people just lack the ability to do it. (like me)

24. I have big dreams of learning to hula hoop dance.

25. I think that people who have never been swimming in a lake/river/waterfall or gone canoeing are seriously deprived in life.

Image by Yellow Button Studio

Today is Going to Be a Great Day


I have this awesome calendar that brightens my morning every day. It’s called Today is Going to Be a Great Day, and it’s full of gorgeous artwork like this one by Jill De Haan. Pretty, with an inspirational quote, and the best part is they have the artist’s name and site on the back so you can go to the site and purchase that page that caught your eye. And if you’re not really the tearaway-a-day type, they have the pages in book form: Think Happy, Be Happy.

Image by Jill De Haan

How What We Read/Watch Affects Happiness


We all spend a lot of time reading and watching things on screens these days. There are health problems from it (you’ve heard of “tech neck,” right?), and marathoning has become a couch sport – not just a long race for athletic types. Now, a new study by Civic Science (that I read about in the September issue of Women’s Health mag) reveals that what we choose to spend time scrolling through can predict whether we’re happy or sad.

On Social Media

People who spent time creating and pinning to boards on Pinterest fared the best, because it’s a platform that encourages creative expression. It’s less about getting validation or approval from others, and more about fulfilling your artistic (or cooking or decorating) impulses, which is more pleasurable.

On the Big Screen

Whether you’re watching oldie-but-goodies on Netflix, or catching the latest blockbuster at the multiplex, those who chose dramas were happier, while people who took in horror movies were the bluest. While the latest slasher can be entertaining, it’s hard to relate to the characters, or picture yourself in the film. People who can commiserate with the actors on screen get more out of watching.

On Television

Sports fans rejoice! People who watch five to 10 hours of their favorite teams a week fare better emotionally than those who don’t log any time cheering (or yelling as the case may be) at the TV screen. Fan girls and boys gain a sense of community with their fellow fans, and feel a part of something bigger. Those who skip the fantasy leagues and read a book on game day miss out.

Image by Craig Sunter

4 Ways to Deal When You Do Something Embarassing


I do embarrassing things all the time. Wiping out in the middle of a crosswalk? Been there (more times that I would like to admit)! Walking around with deodorant marks on my black top? Sure. Totally misunderstanding what someone is asking me? Of course! The range of snafus is wide and the list is long. But what I don’t do? Walk around feeling all ashamed and humiliated most of the time. Chalk it up to having a mother who wasn’t afraid of making a public scene every now and again, but eventually I just stopped really caring what other people thought, especially when I’ve done something clumsy or a little odd. Here are 4 things that might help you cope next time potential humiliation knocks at your door.

1. Laugh or Apologize

If you’ve done something embarrassing to yourself, laugh at it. People will feel a lot less pity and a lot more admiration for how you handled the situation when they can laugh (at what is really probably a pretty funny situation) without you getting mad at them. It diffuses the tension from the situation when they’re waiting to see how you’ll react. Laughing works best when you’ve done something silly like trip in front of a crowd or tuck your skirt into your pantyhose. If you’ve done something that embarrasses you because you embarrassed someone else, like really putting your foot in your mouth in a meeting, the best route is apologizing publicly and immediately to show people that at least you realize your blunder. Then try to take corrective steps, and at the very least, just remember never to make that same mistake again.
2. Put it in Perspective
While it might seem like a world-ending humiliation in your eyes, to most other people, it’s a minor blip in one day where they’re really more preoccupied with their stuff. It helps to remember that most people (high school girls excluded) care more about their own lives than yours. If you don’t remind them of the embarrassing incident, they will probably forget in the time it took you to forget what the person sitting across from you on the subway was wearing.

3. Move Along
If you pick up acting normally like nothing happened, other people will take it as a cue that they should go back to normal business as usual as well. Even if you’re still cringing internally about how you could ever do such an embarrassing thing, regaining your composure, and pretending like you’ve gotten over it is the best way to deal until you actually have.

4. Remember that it Won’t Matter in 5 Minutes, Hours, Days or Months
I’ve found that most times I feel really humiliated in the moment, I end up describing the whole event in great detail a few days later to my friends with lots of laughs in between. While you might have to force the laugh when it’s happening, after the initial embarrassment has passed there’s usually a funny story there. And if your friends want to joke about it before you’re ready, a simple, “Too soon,” should quiet them down until you’re ready to laugh about it down the road. And trust me, eventually you will be.

How do you cope when you’ve done something really embarrassing?

Tonkey, The Dog Who Looks like a Teddy Bear


A couple weeks ago, I fell in love with Munchkin, an adorable little pup dressed in a teddy bear suit. Now there is a dog who looks like an actual teddy bear who has stolen my (and the whole internet’s) heart. Her name is Tonkey, and she’s a bearcoat sharpie who likes plopping down on the floor, the grass, in the sink, bounding up stairs, and generally melting your heart. Try to look at her Instagram feed without saying, “Awww” out loud, I dare you.

Image by Tonkey Bear


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Here’s what I’ve been reading lately to help you over the hump towards the weekend.

I know I have felt that awkward, “What can I possibly say feeling?” How to Help People in Grief.

Huzzah! Long live the cheap bikini!


These two should probably join Cirque du Solei

The Music in Whale Calls

Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence. Spoiler alert: It’s not the lame advice you’d typically expect. (Gosh, I just love her so much!)

Even though he’s Magic Mike, he’s still just a weird dad.

Aliens are real!

If someone is shitty to everyone else, there is a 99.5 percent chance that they will eventually be shitty to you, too.”

When you’re running late.

Image by Alice

Your Summer Farmer’s Market Shopping List

One of my favorite things about summertime is all of the bounty it brings to my local farmer’s market. After all of the squash and root veggies of winter, and the greens of early spring, I’m ready for tomatoes and berries once the warmer months come around.  I stop by a market about once a week, and look for the things that are in season – that’s where you get the best deals.


First I do a loop to see which vendors have what, and are offering the best price. Then, I let my nose be my guide. If I can smell the peaches or the melons from a distance, it usually means they’re ripe.

To make sure the produce lasts, I get a combination of ripe – I’ll eat it when I get home things, and stuff that could use a couple more days to soften up. Buy fruits and veggies with the stem on. They’ll last longer. Check out this guide to what’s in season now:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe/ Muskmelons
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lima Beans
  • Nectarines
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash & Zucchini
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Now go snap some up!

Get It: A 5 Step Guide to Killing It in Life


I was talking with a friend about asking for a raise at work – telling her she deserved it, and it wouldn’t hurt to ask. After all, the worst they can say is no, right? Her response, “It’s easy for you to do, you’re so confident.” Another day, another friend said, “It seems like you’ve been killing it lately – what’s your secret?” It made me stop and think.

Sure, I have an awesome apartment, and a job I dreamed about as a little kid, but was it really confidence or some special secret? What was it that helped me get what I wanted?

Because the truth is, when I go into a salary negotiation, I might seem calm and collected, but on the inside, I’m shaking in my pumps. And when I call my landlord to try to talk them down on my rent, it takes me a little while to work myself up to dialing the number. But somehow, I do it anyways.

Here’s what gets me over the I’m-so-nervous-I-can’t-do-it hump.

1. Don’t Quit

I have lived in neighborhoods of NYC that were less-than-ideal. My apartment was farther up town, or up a few more flights of stairs than I wanted. I had soul-stealing jobs that involved serving up food and beverages to strangers when I would rather have been penning a great American novel. Did I let it get me down? Sure. I was straight-up bummed out about my life circumstances for some long-ish periods of my life. Did I let it crush my dream? Nope.

Even when things aren’t how you want them to be, you have to remind yourself that sometimes, it’s not you, it’s them. It takes waaaay longer to get what you want than it seems like it should, but the only way to find out if you’ve got the right stuff is to keep your hat in the ring – especially when it seems like the odds are against you. (If we’re going with this whole gambling metaphor, that’s when the biggest payoffs come, right?)

2. Do the Work

Because no one likes it when someone has all these big life goals for themselves, but never does anything to move them closer to them, right? Right. If it’s a life partner you’re after, suck it up and go on 1 million OKCupid dates. Sure, a lot of them will suck, but you’re not going to meet anyone watching Netflix alone.  If you just can’t get the job you want, find a side hustle that moves you closer to that dream. Do it in your free time, on your weekends, do it for free until you have the experience to make a move towards getting paid in that direction. If you’re asking for a raise, you had better do some research in advance and have cold hard facts that demonstrate why you deserve it.

3. Have a Dress Rehearsal

Public speaking used to make me queasy. I would start most presentations by just telling the audience my face was going to turn bright red, so just expect it. I would be in a full sweat pretty much the entire time, and black out while I was doing it. Then, I had a job where I had to stand at the front of a room and teach groups of people. And the first few times? I would finish the class wondering what happened, happy I managed not to sweat through my shirt. But after I did it over and over again, I got better at it.

When I had to teach new material, I would say my presentation, out loud, while I was folding laundry at home. I asked my colleagues to let me do a practice run. When I had big interviews, I would call my sister and ask her to faux-interview me over the phone the night before. When I had my annual reviews, I would make a plan with an experienced aunt to present my goals and hopes. In short, I practiced what I wanted to say over and over and over so that when I inevitably got nervous the hope was I would go on autopilot and fall back on what I had rehearsed. Those actors who do this for every dang play are onto something.

4. Pretend You’ve Got This

I’ll never forget when I was out to dinner with a dear friend of mine who had been working for a couple years while I was still finishing up my Master’s. She said, “I have no idea what I am doing half the time. I just say OK, and then go figure it out!” When I started working, I tried to follow her advice- don’t be afraid to take something on because you’re not sure. Go for it, google the heck out of it, and ask questions as you go along. Most people prefer someone giving it a try than saying no out of the gate. When I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, or that I’m not good enough, I just pretend that I do and that I am. Everyone else is doing it anyways!

5. Feel Entitled

Ok, so recently, entitlement has gotten a pretty bad name with all of the “Rich kids of X” shows, Instagram feeds, and celebrity coverage floating around. I’m not telling you to go out and demand a Ferrari that you didn’t earn, or brag about that expensive trip you had given to you.

But as a concept, feeling entitled to…[fill in the blank] is really what confidence boils down to – that feeling of “I deserve this.” (Just circle back to number 2 first, and make sure you’re justified in that feeling.) When I go after something I want, I remind myself – I’ve worked hard for this, I went to school for this, I put in the time dating all those weirdoes for this, I did the research for this, I followed a 10K training plan to do this. Now, it’s time to get what’s mine. You’d be surprised at how good it can make you feel asking for what you want when you start off by thinking you deserve to have it.

Now get out there, and start killing it already!

Image by Jennifer